Peeling The Layers Off 'Piracy'
from the but-wait... dept
We often see critics or industry folks make absolute statements like, "copyright infringement is stealing and it's bad." Of course, this is wrong for any number of reasons, but rather than jumping all the way to why such statements are obviously wrong and misleading, why not peel back that onion one layer at a time. Ross Pruden points us to an interesting blog post by Luci Temple, where she begins the process of questioning the assumptions around "piracy is bad." It starts out with that premise (it's bad!) and then starts asking questions:
Purchaser: This person has already paid for a legal copy of the film. Now, the Purchaser might want to do a number of things that are technically in breach of copyright:She goes on to discuss "lending" to a friend, noting how it's fine to lend a physical copy, but why not a digital copy? The thing is, the more you play this game, the more you'll realize how many situations that are automatically lumped in with what's considered "bad," almost certainly aren't "bad" in anyway at all.
a) Burn a copy of the dvd for personal use, so that their original copy won't get scratched.
b) Create a digital copy for use on a portable MP4 player, media gate, or computer.
c) Lend the burned dvd to a friend for their personal use (their friend being a Previewer).
d) Lend the digital copy to a friend for personal use (which actually involves making another digital copy).
All these things are technically acts of "piracy," however, are they all morally "wrong"? Is copyright law applicable to the mores of the digital age, or does it need to be updated?