Media Piracy Runs Rampant

We’ve all seen the warnings on DVDs; “You wouldn’t steal a car… you wouldn’t steal a handbag… you wouldn’t steal a mobile phone… you wouldn’t steal a dvd… buying pirated films is stealing.” LOL. It appears that many people, in fact, would steal a car or purse because they do steal movies and music. Something that this advertisement fails to address is the fact that pirating movies, unlike stealing cars, does not deprive the original movie owner of the movie itself. Pirating can also be done in the privacy of one’s own house. In fact, in an anonymous survey conducted at Ames High School, 10/10 people reported that, under these conditions, they would steal a car. (2/10 reported that they would straight-up steal a car.) Additionally, Ames High has recently experienced a surge of theft in the P.E. locker rooms. This fact also serves to refute the claim argued in the aforementioned advertisement. “I don’t know anybody who actually goes out and buys CDs anymore,” an anonymous student said. “Everyone just downloads them.” Though pirating movies is against the law, many people continue to do it. Data shows that, with more prolific internet use, piracy rates have shot up in recent years. According to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans, 18% reported that they had illegally downloaded a full-length movie. It is by no means hard to get your hands on pirated material. With many programs floating around on the internet, such as Bittorrent, access to pirated material is easy to obtain. There are even websites dedicated to filesharing, being one of the most notorious. "I’ve gotten almost all my music from illegal downloads," said an anonymous student. "I’ve gotten a couple movies, too. Sure, it’s wrong, but how much harm could I be doing?" This seems to be the mentality of many downloaders of pirated material. However, many people do not realize the impact piracy has on the the movie and music industry. According to the motion picture association, the worldwide motion picture industry lost a total of $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy. "I usually don’t illegally download stuff," said an anonymous student. "The only times I do is if I have a personal grudge against the artist, even though they may produce good music. Then I illegally download it." Piracy continues to be problematic for the music/movie industries, but it seems like consumers like it. "I don’t know what I would do without illegal downloads," said an anonymous student. "Pirating has saved me hundreds of dollars. Thanks, pirates."