The longstanding unwritten rule of the filesharing scene was that it was taboo to make money off of piracy. Years ago that meant “click my banners to get the password to my FTP site” were considered garbage profiteers that were denounced by the piracy community. These days with “we pay you to pirate” cyberlocker sites and “we have a shitload of ads on our site” torrent sites, that line is being crossed more than ever before. What’s even worse is that those voices from the “it’s not cool to profit from this” school of thought are dwindling as more self-serving, selfish, entitled kids dominate the piracy landscape.
Case in point – recently a man in Scotland was found guilty of recording movies in a theater which he then would upload to “pay you for your pirated material” websites. He was profiting from piracy. When TorrentFreak did an excellent story about this situation, thankfully a large number of comments were denouncing this guy. However one of the first comments sums up the mentality of an ever-increasing number of new-school freeloaders:
Why does it matter if he was profiting? The central point of filesharing is that culture should be free. So long as we can get it for free, does it really matter who is making money? I can honestly say that I don’t care if he makes money or the companies make money so long as I can get it for free.
The problem with this guy’s post is that he’s living in a fantasy world. Or his parent’s basement, I’m not sure, but he definitely isn’t living outside because if he was, he’d realize that there is FREE CULTURE EVERYWHERE! There are music festivals, art exhibits, parks, public libraries, museums, beaches and gatherings of all kinds that involve little to no money. What this guy is really complaining about is that he believes he should be able to dictate what he considers culture and which of those cultures should be free and in his case…all of them. This dictatorial edict that creative artists subscribe to his whims is not only insulting but shows the level of naivete that runs rampant through this new generation of filesharing aficionados.
Does it matter who’s making money? Ummm…if you worked a 40 hour workweek and your boss decided to pay someone else for your work would that matter to you? Something tells me it would. If the people creating the culture decide to do it for-profit then they better be the ones getting paid for it. Otherwise they won’t do it anymore. And I’m sure the pro-filesharing crowd would be content with nothing but free subpar quality art right? These pseudo-socialist-but-selfishly-capitalist guys never run out of things to justify their self-serving interests. These guys already can endlessly complain about the merits of for-profit creations that they aren’t even paying for or in any material way supporting. They aren’t above running to the internet to complain about non-profit pursuits I’m sure.
These guys believe in a world where everything is free and any attempt to squelch their Spaghetti Monster given right to watch a bootleg copy of Transformers is, in only their minds, tantamount to what the Jews endured under Nazi Germany. However at no time have they offered any solutions as to how you convince the Middle East to give away oil so that that precious petroleum can be used to create their new computer monitor. They’ve yet to outline how to convince the rest of the world that works for a living that we should all just be unemployed consumers who put nothing into the pot but demand that our government stay out of our business except when it comes to coddling us cradle to the grave even though we pay no taxes.
However that’s not the world that those of us over the age of 18 live in. A world where you learn pretty quick that nobody owes you anything and that you actually have to work and earn the things you enjoy in life. You stop portraying yourself as a victim and take responsibility for your own actions. And while you never stop believing in your ideal world, you know that pragmatically, you don’t live in your ideal world, you live in the real world.
But why live in the real world when you can live in the pirate consumer’s fantasy world? A world that’s made possible by other people’s tax dollars, other people’s creativity and one in which artists receive nothing in return for their investment but internet keyboard warrior snark. A world where the pinnacle of life is achieved only by getting the most Likes of your sarcastic anonymous comments. Where the measure of a man is not by how he provided for his family and the legacy he left behind but in the size of his external hard drive. In this world freeloaders just wait for that moment when Vulcans land on Earth and our entire world abandons all currency and becomes a world of whatever-you-want, whenever-you-want…at no charge. Ya know, the kind of world that exists only in a Hollywood movie…and with plenty of seeders.
Please check out the full article on TorrentFreak. While I don’t often agree with the slant of the stories, they are nonetheless well-done and provocative and offers great insight into just how divided both sides of the copyright argument are.