Ah yes, internet piracy: the activity some of us are ashamed of doing, but do anyways. In the last few years, rates of internet piracy have increased by a lot. Recently, to combat the increase, Congress almost passed controversial bills like SOPA and PIPA. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith to “expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods,” according to Wikipedia. But bills like this one completely miss the point of principles like free speech and innovation.
Now, let me first say that piracy is not good. It’s not good at all. Companies like Adobe that spend endless time and money on a single product such as Photoshop should have the ability to sell products without worrying about cracks and keygens (key generators). They should be able to make a profit, more so than they do with piracy running so rampant.
The only problem I see with stopping online piracy is disrupting the economy of the Internet. Let’s say that all downloads of Photoshop CS5 have been blocked by the U.S. government. Most people won’t buy it, but maybe some students in college have to have it for their studies: that means they have to buy it. Since no more pirating would exist, Adobe would be able to increase the price on all their products if they wanted to. There’s no one to go against them, if you have to get the program, you must pay for it. Piracy almost balances out the Internet; it disallows companies from overpricing special products or services.
Also, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was recently introduced as an “agreement or the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement, ” according to Wikipedia. Another stupid agreement that countries are trying to get together just to make more money.
If you do end up pirating software or music of some sort, buy it if you like it! If you appreciate what the artist has produced you should go support him/her by buying the actual copy from iTunes: don’t just steal work like that from others, it’s immoral.