Thursday, January 16, 2014
Copyright and Piracy---My Opinion
There's been a link going around Facebook lately where you can download a certain movie (that is still in theaters) for "free." As I watched it get passed around and around it began to weigh heavily on my mind.
I wondered if anyone had really educated themselves on what they were doing. When you download a movie that is still in theaters, or a book that hasn't been released yet, you are probably downloading a pirated copy---an illegal copy that violates copyright laws.
Copyright laws? You might shrug and say pshaw, who cares about those? Or everybody is doing it, what's the harm? Or, those people make millions, what does it matter if I get it for free? But the fact is, it is wrong and against the law. And these laws are in place for a reason---to protect those who created that story/movie that you enjoyed.
So many people work hard to provide escapes for us in books and movies and their work is hurt by these illegal copies. When we pass on the links to these illegal sites, we are, in effect, supporting the people who are breaking the law and stealing intellectual property---whether a book or a movie. Why doesn't that matter to us? Would you want something that you had worked months, or even years, to produce and then have someone steal it and give it to thousands of people for free? How would you feel if your rights and control over something you created were illegally taken away from you so that these sites could provide something for "free?" Sadly, it happens all too often.
A good way to help put these illegal sites out of business is to not give our support to them. Don't pass around the links, don't download the pirated property. If you can't afford to go to the theater, it will be out on DVD next month. If you can't afford the book, it will most likely be in your library.
However, if you can afford the book or movie, buy it and support the creative people who have worked hard to produce something that entertained you. This sends a message that you want more of that kind of entertainment and gives them the incentives they need to keep writing and producing.
I think that's something we can all do and feel good about, don't you?