Where to start?

A reader emails:

Dear Mr. Nate,

I don’t care for the technicality of the law in regards to piracy – laws can change.

I care about morality, wrong and right. Of course, they’re 100% subjective, so there are no wrong answers, however..

Since the media industry rakes in Billion upon Billions and every person involved with the media industry who doesn’t have a 7-figure income is technically a contractor who gets paid absolutely regardless of pirating..

Wouldn’t pirating only be classified as “taking from the super-rich and giving to the poor”? Because people who pirate are just that – they don’t have the money to buy a movie at 30$ a pop. And who does? I barely do.

Which is to say, the only people who are hurt by piracy are the people who are already extremely rich.. and are likely to remain extremely rich or even richer even if pirating becomes more widespread than it already is.

So, in summation, I put it to you that piracy might be illegal, but it is not “wrong” as much as stealing a loaf of bread to feed your semi-starving family in a world where the bread shop is filthy rich because bread can be copied as many times as one wants.

I’d love to hear your counterargument,


Clearly the misconceptions about income show how poorly people understand different industries. But when you equate downloading Transformers with stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family, I lose all respect for you. It’s an insult to actual starving people. You aren’t going to die if you don’t get your Justin Bieber for the week.  Our education and values are so messed up, I don’t even know where to start.

5 thoughts on “Where to start?”

  1. May I ask something? When you were younger & before you got a good job like this one, did you copied audio tapes or CDs from your friends? Ever recorded videos on your video recorder? Copied a game on the C64 or whatever it was when you were young?

  2. Is this guy for real. So if someone has more than another person you’re some how justified in taking from him – is that the logic claimed here?

    So does that mean you can walk into an Apple store and help yourself to the latest Ipad because Apple has more wealth than you? I guess the problem here is that you can’t thieve physical goods anonamously though can you?

    Seriously dude stop smoking weed and eating shity pizzas it’s messing with your head.

  3. Chris,

    What colour is the sky on your planet?

    I’m trying to make a living by selling my (copyrighted) content on the internet, and I can assure you that I’m far from rich. In fact, I’m below the poverty line myself.

    People like you who download illegal/pirated copyrighted material take money out of MY pocket.

    Every time somebody downloads my (pirated) content from an unauthorized site, it means that I don’t get paid for producing, editing, contributing, marketing, and hosting this content. It means that I’ve done this work for free.

    Do YOU work for free? I highly doubt it. So why should I?

  4. Look:
    France, Britain, South Korea, England, Sweden, soon Germany.
    All of those countries have or will soon have the “3 strike policy” and many other countries will follow. (“3 trike policy”, “digital economy act”, “leistungsschutzrecht”, etc whatever it is called in each country).

    Globally functioning laws are not an easy task. They are being installed though. So the days of freebie (whether you like it or not) are numbered.

    Then we can finally stop talking about all this nonsense and artists can finally…. concentrate on making art again.

    Cheapness is not a character trait. All those lame excuses for feeling “owed” are just that…lame excuses for cheapness.

    Music (and all downloadable/streamable content) is NOT free, is NOT worthless. Deal with it.

    Play fair, acquire your entertainment legally; after all it gets you through the day, every day.

  5. Do you have a counterargument, other than to dismiss the person making the case that most people who actually produce content aren’t paid proportionately?

    How many artists procure your services, as a percentage of total business? What portion of your total business consists of middlemen?

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