The act of piracy has become a massive dilemma which occurs worldwide. Piracy can be done by any individual with a computer, internet and the intent to download software or entertainment. As a result, there are an increasing amount of people who download different types of files online; however the motivations towards this act do not always revolve around money. The RIAA states that piracy greatly affects the income of many people, and detriments the U.S. economy. Overall, it seems like the primary concern of piracy and copyright infringement is the loss in revenue for many of these businesses.
Why do Individuals Commit Piracy?
In many cases, some forms of entertainment may be unavailable in one country resulting in the last resort of downloading the file. Additionally the process of downloading an album or movie is a lot easier than actually going out and seeking the album in store or entering information for online payment, if purchasing the product online. Although downloading files may be a last resort for many individuals, the U.S. government and governments worldwide find piracy to be a very detrimental aspect of the internet. In my opinion being able to download programs or albums online is actually very beneficial to individuals and expands innovation worldwide. For example, if an individual wants to educate themselves on utilizing Photoshop, however do not have the funds or do not live in a country where this product is available, it is very beneficial to download that program and expand your innovative skills rather than disregarding that drive to utilizing this program because of the laws in place.
Government Laws Attempting to Stop Piracy.
There have been numerous attempts by governments to incorporate stricter copyright laws. Bill-C11 was introduced in Canada in an attempt to stop these piracy acts. The bill, if passed, would limit the reliability of ISP’s, search engines, and an individual’s online privacy in general. There was an attempt to incorporate a similar act called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the U.S., which would also negatively affect an individual’s privacy online since ISP’s would have to notify everyone committing copyright infringement on their network. Both of these bills were not passed because of the amount of people that protested it; however governments worldwide have not stopped in their fight to stop acts of piracy.
File Sharing Websites
File sharing sites have been one of the biggest targets by governments since the beginning of these piracy problems. Sites like the pirate bay, bit torrent and many others allow users to share files with other users, known as peer to peer file sharing. Although the owners of these websites do not actually post any illegal content, they often allow it resulting in a huge file sharing website with endless content available for download. File sharing, although found illegal, may actually have many benefits towards societal values. It permits any person from any background to download any types of files through the click of a button. This greatly expands innovation since albums can inspire individuals to become artists as well and allows them to share their message, which may have not happened if the individual was not introduced to a vast variety of music online.
Owners of file sharing websites have faced many charges and court cases if the website is not taken down when requested by the DMCA. The owners of the pirate bay stated that their file sharing website can be used both legally and illegally, similar to how a car is made to drive both under and over the limit. This shows that the site is not intentionally made for illegal files and as a result there should be no reason to file charges against the owners of file sharing websites. Nevertheless, the owners were found guilty despite their future appeal. This court case shows how unfair the copyright cases can be resulting in the sentencing of so called criminals that do not seem like they are breaking any law, but rather offer a service where users can share files. This impedes greatly on freedom of speech since users should have the ability to share files, despite the fact if they are illegal or legal. The fact that the owners got charged without actually posting any illegal content is very surprising and may introduce non-criminals into the court system.
Overall, many copyright infringement laws have many detrimental factors towards society. File sharing promotes innovation and freedom by allowing any individual to educate themselves through software, music and more. Additionally, the laws have put individuals in jail that may not even deserve to be in court, as seen with the pirate bay trial. Governments and corporations have to stop pursuing the integration of these laws into society, and rather focus their effort on finding a way to cope with the new era of downloading and “torrenting”.