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Post Reply Can Digital Piracy be Justified?
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Posted 2/27/16
(Restarting this thread because I made a boneheaded mistake in the poll title the first time and people got confused)

So, in my college, I'm required to take an ethics class (wish all people could, really). Part of that class requires me and my group to conduct a survey on digital piracy and present the results. So, what are your thoughts on digital piracy? Is it wrong or can it be justified?

If you have time, please fill out the survey form here: https://goo.gl/K1rxjl

It will only take around ten to fifteen minutes tops. I promise, you will remain anonymous. We need as much people as possible to answer the survey, so please help out.
1mic 
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28 / M / NYC, USA
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Posted 2/27/16
I'll weigh in with a NO - main thought here is that just because it may be easy to pirate and/or technically feasible to access content easily at no personal expense - it doesn't make it advisable or right. like many things, this may be an issue of degree - "pirating" sounds to me like VOLUME access for multiple sessions or users.
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28 / M / NY
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Posted 2/27/16
Justified morally speaking, no. It is a criminal action in most places and does hurt the content creators by existing as a free alternative to legal content that supports them. The degree to which it harms them is debatable, but the fact it harms them at all is the ethical dilemma. Ideally, we would cut out the middlemen and have each user pay the creator directly at a modest fee. This is not an ideal world, however. That said, one can certainly sympathize/empathize with wanting to view/listen to content easily and for free, but it does come at a cost to the ones who make the content in the end. the harm may be as simple as less incentive to create more works, if any at all, knowing the market will not pay for it enough to profit with a free alternative.

Though, the issue is more complicated than this. If content is not made available in every region where there is demand, at reasonable market cost, then the issue of piracy will arise naturally to fill the demand. It is not right, morally speaking, but is understandable from an economic perspective. In this respect, while not justified morally speaking, it is justified economically speaking from a simple supply and demand perspective. Figuring out how to bridge the gap and deter or outright eliminate piracy is a tough task when the pirates have a huge head start into saturating the market.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 2/27/16
if the game is so old, it's no longer available for purchase, and the game company who made the game no longer exists, and there's no reasonable way of getting the game whatsoever, then i'd say pirating is justifiable in that instance.
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29 / M / B.C, Canada
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Posted 2/27/16
No for the law must be absolute. A crime is a crime and thus deserves the maximum sentence available regardless of the reason it was committed. To do otherwise is folly and invites corruption and anarchy.
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19 / M / east coast. Let t...
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Posted 2/27/16
Ugh.....I guess if nobody is making money off of it anyway it's not too bad and you aren't monetizing it I guess it wouldn't be too bad.
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29 / M / B.C, Canada
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Posted 2/27/16

ZavinRoyalheart wrote:

Ugh.....I guess if nobody is making money off of it anyway it's not too bad and you aren't monetizing it I guess it wouldn't be too bad.


Really mate you are sanctioning the committing of a crime..well my opinion of you just dropped several degrees.
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Posted 2/27/16
Unless it's some indie project or something and they rely on the income to survive, I don't see why someone should be prosecuted for it. Maybe discourage it but if it's some millionaire whatever they probably have other income that can't be pirated and probably aren't going to die if they don't get a few sales.
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19 / M / east coast. Let t...
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Posted 2/27/16

Ranwolf wrote:


ZavinRoyalheart wrote:

Ugh.....I guess if nobody is making money off of it anyway it's not too bad and you aren't monetizing it I guess it wouldn't be too bad.


Really mate you are sanctioning the committing of a crime..well my opinion of you just dropped several degrees.


I'm too lazy to argue this.
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 2/28/16
If it's in the public domain it's fair game.
Also "Megas XLR" was never available for purchase so there's no loss of profits there.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 2/28/16

Sir_jamesalot wrote:

If it's in the public domain it's fair game.

isn't the requirement to become public something ridiculous like 200 years or so from the game creation / a century after the death of the copyright holder? (actually, since it's a game, there's a good chance the requirement is longer than that)
literally, not even the games for the early games consoles would qualify. heck, the early arcade games would still be protected, whether there's actually someone alive holding the copyright or not.
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25 / M / Canada
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Posted 3/28/16
Piracy is only justifiable if there is LITERALLY no physical way for you to obtain it legally, such as it being banned in your country.

Never if you just can't afford it or think it might not be worth the money.
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The States
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Posted 3/29/16
I might pirate something every now and then to see if it's worth buying, or if I absolutely can't buy it.

I listen to a bunch of NPR but only donate 33% of years on average. Does that count?

Honestly these days there's so much good free/super cheap media and content that it's silly to pirate.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 3/29/16
I don't know and I don't care since I don't do it.
Posted 3/29/16
its fun
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