June 23, 2013

The True Cost of Piracy

I think that in an age where digital gear is slowly replacing analog gear, the need for tangible equipment and tangible media is even greater than ever.  Software has existed since the dawn of the first computers – they were a simple set of instructions that the machine needed to follow.  Programs today are much more complicated and specific and the result is that we can do much more without knowing to need how everything works.  I think the abundance of software is what cause so many to actually devalue it.  You go out and buy a car, and that car is yours.  It cannot be copied, and if borrowed it needs to be returned.  Software doesn’t exist in real life, so when it is copied there is little thought about ownership or licensing.

For musicians who have existed during the digital music transition, they have felt the real effects of music piracy.  Unlike major software companies, they don’t have the billions of dollar and the means to fight such behavior.  Any type of digital sale (mp3s, cds) can lead to large amount of profit loss, since the motivation to actually buy new music is rare.  When everyone takes part in a crime, it doesn’t feel like a crime.