Friday, March 19, 2010
11. people pirate media because piracy is cool?
how long have you been using the phrase "piracy" or the verb "pirate" to denote steali... i mean... the creative acquisition of digital booty and other similar copyrighted ducats? since ye were naught but a salty young lad or lass just gettin yer digital sea legs i fathom. i know, i'm sorry, i just got carried away. the phrase was originally a metaphor for hijacking someone's vessel on the open water and taking all their stuff. this of course was meant to denote criminal activity, like a proverbial scarlet "P" you'd have to wear around all the time to discourage others.
while various media rightsholders complained about and are doing their best to combat piracy (with good reason, really) they're now complaining about the actual terms "pirate" and "piracy" that they themselves coined. why? because these days it sounds too damn cool. i myself, typing this donning a skull and crossbones on my attire, can't fully disagree. with recent media supermemes like the whole pirate vs ninja nonsense and movies like the pirates of the caribbean franchise, and unofficial "holidays" like talk like a pirate day, it's bound to happen. so back to that scarlet P. some people in media industries, when they hear "pirate," don't think about downloading divx rips or xbox 360 iso's (you know, so i've been told that's what these types of things are called), but they think about adventure and freedom on the high seas. and of course, johnny depp. after a recent study that over 1 million jobs would be lost in europe by 2015 due to piracy - and i'd love to see the calculations on that one - the head of the international actors' federation said:
"we should change the word piracy. to me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about johnny depp. we all want to be a bit like johnny depp. but we're talking about a criminal act. we're talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do."
and the tv commercials where actors tell me that because i downloaded their movie instead of shelling out 13 bucks, their cameramen and crew can't feed their families. if they really cared they would take $9 million instead of 10 for the project they're on.
but that's another topic for another day.
pirates have welcomed the label with open arms and really don't care too much about potential negative connotations, so i guess media industries are pushing for the faaaar less uncool "thief." like people download music because they want to be like jack damn sparrow. but call pirates whatever you want, as long as you throw a "thank you" in there too. as much as the industry complains, in an economic crunch theater takes have been up. since 2005, US box office sales are up 10%, as well as 50% globally. and that's from dan glickman, addressing the 2010 showest conference as the chairman of the MPAA. to counteract any potential losses they claim to take through pirated media, they're forced to actually make people want to buy, by making quality products or selling fair prices. it's a delicate balance that ultimately serves consumers.
like the force.
personally i'd be ok with buccaneer, or digital mercenary.