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| When a Pirate Aint a Pirate... (1 comments )|
by: magusat999 (6) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad User Articles
Posted 53 months ago ( edited 53 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Within the past two years or so, there has been liberal use of the word "Pirate" to refer to all people who obtain games and other digital media illegally. I don't condone illegal behavior, but I do think that this mish-mashing of classifications is leading to a very dark place.
By lumping everyone together there is an eventual facilitation to punishing all different types of "offenders" with the same (and generally extremely harsh) punishment. Many of us have heard "pirate" used in articles about young teenagers who are being penalized in the hundreds of thousand dollars range for "sharing" a few songs. Incidentally - how often is there a story about someone going down for actually SELLING software? There are way less examples of real pirates being pursued, and it seems that the penny-ante people are the only one getting nabbed.
But the point is not who is getting nabbed; my article is about manipulation being used to lay the smackdown upon anyone who violates the rules - in a way that is irrespective of the scope of the crime.
Before people like the RIAA and MPAA got their stick in the pot, there was a clear distinction between Pirates, Warezerz, Sharezerz, and even Traderz. My personal belief is that a Pirate is someone who sells illegally obtained digital media for a profit.
Warezerz supply information about where to get illegal software. At one point they actually hosted it, but this became dangerous as laws caught up with them. Most warez boards exists for information, but only the stupid ones actually host software. They do not sell software - is that a Pirate?
Sharezerz are people who simply share software and find locations of shared software. They frequent warez forums, bittorent search engines and other P2P conduits in a community type of fashion, helping others who are looking for software. Sharezerz do not make a profit, do not sell - and generally despise those who do. Are THEY Pirates?
Traderz are similar to Pirates, in that they want to get something physical for their shared item(s). Their actually almost as despised as Pirates - but are tolerated just so long as they are severely restricted. Warez boards keep these people restrained, because if left unchecked the board can be ruined by Traderz proliferation. But at any rate, Traderz are not selling anything - they just want to trade a share for share. Are Traderz Pirates?
there are obvious differences between each offender - yet the "authorities" want to lump them all together and punish them all as Pirates. Pirates are the most harshly punished of all - so that means if you share one song, the RIAA would like to treat you as a Pirate and sue you into oblivion. It's a shameful scare tactic, as they are trying to get some bite behind their bark at any cost.
Whether you are against illegal sharing or not, you should not allow "them" to have an all access pass to penalization. Sure, there should be ramifications - but the punishment fit the crime. I hope that people will wake up before it's too late and we are all being Big Brothered to death in the name of "prevention". It sickens me that kids are being hauled into court and sued for hundreds of thousands for sharing a few songs, and that families are being ruined because the courts are allowing unreasonable penalties for what should be a petty crime at best.
But the only way things are going to get better is for citizens to finally take action and put a system in place that is fair and applicable to the real consequence of the crime. It's up to us - and if we enter a state of "digital martial law" we only have our own apathy to blame.
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