The Fight against the Pirates

Friday, October 30, 2009

Online piracy is a worldwide phenomenon. Ever since the advent of the Internet, illegal copying or distributing unauthorized software has become more of a natural process than a criminal offence. Users, just like you and me ignore the fact that they are stealing some or all operations including the advertising, offering, acquiring, or distribution of pirated software. ‘Don’t you think ‘Stealing’ is a harsh word, everyone I know is doing it, it’s easier, convenient and fast.’ said Ms. Zehra Ahmed, 18 years.

While the Internet vastly increases opportunities to sell products and services to its unlimited yet anonymous audiences, it also creates new opportunities to pilfer not only software but movies, music, videos and images as well. And this software theft and such distributions threaten to put jobs, technology and revenue that the Internet promises dangerously at stake. The Internet allows products to move from computer to computer, with no middle man transaction and little risk of detection. Some piracy schemes may even involve computers without the owner's knowledge. Piracy that once required an understanding of complex computer codes can now be done with the click of a mouse. And nearly 100 million Americans now have Internet access, according to recent estimates, supplying software pirates with a growing market.

Retail music sales are falling so quickly, in part because of file-sharing, that there may not be much of an industry to protect with the passage of time. And piracy is almost as tough to measure as it is to fight. ‘True, that piracy rips musicians and industries off their material, but it also gives back their share of publicity letting Users familiarize the unknown in our limitless media world, where every second something new is published!’ said Mr. Ali Hussain, a consultant to a business firm.

The continuous attempts to shut down file-sharing websites have resulted to the growth of others. The battle can never be won, Hollywood and the Pirates are always at head and neck with each other, the question is when will it stop? ‘Never’ says Mr. James Johnson, an avid internet user. ‘True this is a debate that is moot for now, but even if piracy is halted by the law, it will still continue somewhere or the other.’ He added.

Cutting people’s broadband connections, or slowing them down, is also much smarter than trying to imprison offenders; suing people has proven to be expensive, unpopular and ineffective.

‘The best way to wean people off illegal but free downloading is to educate them that it is illegal in the first place’ said Mr. Krishna Moorty, IT specialist.

But for now the battle continues...


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