Friday, March 18, 2011

piracy is okay. sometimes.

(if the fonts are too small, CTRL+MOUSE SCROLL for a better view).

I'm aware that a major disaster has hit Japan recently but I'm going to keep that for later. Right now I'm going to set things straight about a couple of posts I made some time ago. Back then, I was condemning the act of piracy and it turns out I'm a freaking hypocrite.

Its easy to forget your roots once you have it great. Yes, I am advocating  the purchase of original merchandise, ESPECIALLY towards intellectual property (in apparel terms, not many can actually tell a difference and you actually rebel against capitalism. Outsourced yet overpriced brands, like that). Intellectual property (like music, movies, literature and VIDEO GAMES) is somewhat serious. Maybe its because I aspire to be a writer one day. They are clearly a product of love, hardwork and passion.

I thoroughly understand the need for us to pirate these things. We can't afford it. We need it. Paying for legitimate copies is impractical. I have been through those times when buying pirated copies was the only option. Originals were nowhere to be found, and if there was, its way beyond what my pocket money. And it getting them was way easier. And i don't need an active internet connection to verify my copy was original, plus i was entitled to unlimited installs.

Furthermore, piracy gave me opportunities to experience games and movies which I otherwise wouldn't be able to simply because I could afford it. I helped me broaden my horizon by costing cheaper. Some materials are not available on local shores and never even considered to be distributed locally. So, how do we get one? Bootleg copies, exactly.

Being a student is another thing. Oh yes. the student status. You would often get special rates for a lot of things. The movies, public transportation, recreational parks, the zoo, the museum, books and etc etc. Us students are one of the most poverty-stricken pity piece of slobs in society. Students are always always on a budget. Except you're one of those kids with ridiculous rich parents or you already have your own business going on. Piracy can really be helpful for the young scholars during tough times. Legal copies of softwares for analytical and constructive purposes can be damn expensive and no student would be able to afford a personal copy. Take SPSS for example. That thing costs a real fortune to own one. Or maybe Microsoft Office. Or Autocad. Or Adobe editing software. Its hard to imagine how a student could get through if they had to get those legally.

but now, times have changed. the internet is now blazing fast. Don't have a credit card? No worries, you can pay through wire transfer. Local companies are now stepping into the scene. We now have localized copies which are way cheaper than imports. We are now getting copies of games from Singapore. Publishers now are getting the message: easy is better than cheap. DRM (Digital Rights Management, or copyright protection for all you laymen and laywomen. Let's get laid) are no longer a burden. getting legal copies are increasingly convenient.

But if its still beyond your means. Its okay to pirate. Here are some advice if your conscience is bothering you:

  1. Pirate only if the product is not available in the the market and stores. I know some valuable gems aren't available in local stores. Like the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Such a shame.
  2. Pirate if you are skeptical of the quality of product. Make sure you buy it if you intend to have it for long term use.
  3. Pirate if you really can't afford them. Buy legal copies once you do. C'mon. If you can afford to buy a thousand ringgit system, you might as well afford having legal copies. Video game consoles (and gaming PCs) are luxury items anyways. Movies productions aren't getting cheaper by the year and so does video games. there are a lot of cheap indie games out there if you know where to find them. Or you could try saving money. Like, reserve RM 20 every week. After a month or two, that legal copy would seem affordable. Decide on a few you really really like and go for it.
  4. If you have a fast internet connection, try download the content instead of buying pirated copies from the market. I know this is debatable. I know the pirates have children to feed and shady businesses to run. But think; are you paying for something that is not legally yours or are going get them for free? TGFF (thank god for freebies).
  5. Again, if you can afford them and you love them, why not? There are people who complain about albums and movies being sucky but has never paid a cent to view them legally. C'mon. They need money to produce the good stuff. And for motivation.

Pirates. Actual Pirates may vary in attractiveness.

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