Let’s face it, piracy is inevitable, although we may be reluctant to admit it at least once all of us have downloaded something illegal, merely watching a free episode online is seen as a form of piracy, but yet the temptation is too great to ignore. Personally if I could illegally download a celebrities life, I would #noregrets, but unfortunately technology hasn’t reached that level yet and probably won’t in my lifetime. Let’s face it we can’t even gain proper internet service in Australia, let alone having the ability to download Queen B’s lavish lifestyle (includes free Jay Z if you download deluxe version).
I shouldn’t joke, piracy is like an incurable disease, it’s spreading rapidly over multiple platforms and cannot be contained, although servers may shut down certain websites another one pops up soon after. When it comes to the rules and regulations that are supposedly designed to control and monitor piracy, they aren’t successful in completing their job. This is because piracy is another entity, it has a life of its own and everyone does it now even if we are too ashamed to admit. It’s become socially accepted and joked about.
Elements of piracy, however, have contributed economically as Necsus states “Certain types of piracy (street-market bootleg DVD trade, for example) appear to perform many of the economic functions that we expect of legitimate media industries. Jobs are created, distributive networks maintained and expanded, and livelihoods built – just not in the production sector”. It is, however only minimal compared to the damage it creates to several leading industries, businesses and artists. It isn’t fair for those undertaking the piracy to gain incentives while the creators are ignored and overlooked.
This is why Australia aimed to enforce a ‘Anti-Piracy Site Blocking Law’ which allows individuals to contact the Federal Court to have overseas websites blocked or ‘online locations’ that a predominantly designed to breach copyright infringement removed. If they are successful Australian internet providers such as Telstra and Optus will then disable access to the website. I believe this is a reasonable response to combating piracy, attack the website itself rather than the individuals who use it. In a recent reading I undertook a man was convicted of illegally downloading 30 songs from a file sharing website and ordered to pay $675, 000 in damages. The Rhodes Island based citizen is contesting this treatment, which I can understand. It isn’t fair to solely target one individual who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when millions of us undertake illegal downloads on a daily basis. This treatment is unjust, and an ineffective use of regulations and laws.
Although the internet provides artists with the opportunity to reach a further demographic, diversify their image and establish stronger connections globally as recognised by Lawrence Lessig who writes an interesting piece on illegal downloading. It also has established a world where creativity is hindered by loss of funds and resources. The rules and regulations in place are designed to combat illegal downloading but how can they? One cannot possibly monitor the internet, it is impossible and although there are ways in which we can prevent copyright infringement to an extent we will never be able to stop it in its entirety because the internet is essentially an open sphere.