No, unfortunately we’re not talking the Johnny Depp and Kiera Knightly kind. We’re talking the sometimes malicious and always faceless kind that you find online. So what does Internet Piracy actually mean?
Internet piracy can be defined as, “the unauthorized copying, distribution and selling of works in copyright.” Peer-to-peer file sharing networks are a good example. These have been a hot topic of discussion within the online piracy debate since the 1990’s. Remember Napster? - that was all about piracy and copyright laws.
Unfortunately, almost 22 years later and we still don’t have much more clarity on the issue, and the youth of today aren’t helping. Much of our youth are becoming increasingly apathetic to the issue, having grown up with access to sites such as Napster and other peer-to-peer networks and as a result they are unclear on the line between legal and illegal. Education on piracy is what’s needed to help a younger generation understand the issue.
There’s no denying it, online content is easily accessed by the majority of us, but it’s clear that the business models that were developed prior to the influx of technology in our lives is proving to be outdated in discussions such as these. Businesses that have embraced the nature of online sharing and media distribution are proving successful. Take iTunes and Netflix for example, both have changed the way we purchase music and rent DVDs. It just goes to show that consumers are willing to pay a small fee to access media and download or stream it safely, without putting themselves at risk of a piracy violation.
Do you think online piracy should be a criminal offence?