I never, ever
thought I'd find myself in a position to defend record companies and movie studios, but I unwittingly started off the devil's
advocate stuff with the last post, so here it goes
Also, I wrote all of this before seeing your response FreeThinking1; I'm still going to post it though because I spent a fair amount of time on it
and it might even make more sense in light of your reply.
Originally posted by wang
Also Mcory, it is not like stealing and apple from a grocery store. When you steal from a store, you are depriving that person of that item.
Piracy is me walking into a gocery store, having a device to be able to duplicate the apple. I have the exact same apple, but i have not deprived
the previous owner of its ownership. That isnt stealing.
You are correct in that, and that's one thing that makes it a kind of difficult situation to argue. Who honestly and directly loses anything when I
spend my time copying 1's and 0's to my computer?
There isn't a direct loss, not like in the instance with stealing something from a store. I release a song onto the internet, it generally costs me
the same for making it available to 1 person as to 1 million people (not counting bandwidth issues which, although can be pricey in some instances,
I'll ignore here.)
The problem lies in the potential, and that's what the record companies and movie studios are complaining about. If I steal an apple from the store,
I'm depriving that company of two potential customers: one person who could afford the apple and was willing to pay for it, and myself who, even
though I most likely wouldn't have paid a dime for it, potentially could have. If I had better ethics and stealing that apple just wasn't for me
regardless of how hungry and poor I was, I would've tried to change my situation (or ensured I was in a better situation) to where I could afford to
buy it. Now the store owner has his income from the sale instead of a loss from a theft.
Same goes with pirating--movies, music, or software. Instead of making sure I could afford what ever it is I'm stealing, I'm depriving the company
of the potential revenue. They don't get a direct loss--they don't have an inventory they need to replenish or anything--but their earnings are
down from where they would've been if it was strictly a store release.
If they would've earned say $1 profit off each copy of a single in a store, and would've sold 100,000 copies, that's $100K profit. If 20K of those
were pirated, you can look at it as still $80K profit (the easy way to look at it when you're not running the company) or a $20K loss from what the
company was expecting.
You can also look at it like this. You work your job, you're told by your employer you're going to make $100 for performing at a certain
level--whether it's number of hours, sales, whatever the measuring stick is set to. You plan your budget around that $100, ration out bills, rent,
groceries, etc. You start working, and find that--for some strange reason--other people are doing the work that you were supposed to do, and they've
done 20% of it. Payday comes and your boss tells you "You only did 80% of the job, so I'm only giving you $80."
I know, that's kind of a screwy example, but it's really hard to look at stuff like this objectively when you're talking about companies that make
more in a month than most people make in a year. It's much easier to say "they've got plenty of cash, what are they worried about?" Believe me,
I say that too when there's a song out and I don't want to shell out $15 for a single song on a CD, or a software program that costs more than 2
months salary that I'm wanting to use.