Posted by: Spacehamster74 | 11/18/2008

Why pirate when you can wait?

I’d just heard of plans by the French RIAA to sue SourceForge for aiding abetting in software piracy by distributing Open Source software under the GPL. I’m awaiting more legal commentary from Groklaw, but this certainly sounds like the next big Open Source-related case.

Which leads me to ask one question: Just exactly why do people pirate stuff? I’ve heard people use the "excessive prices" of DVD’s, CD’s and Computer Games as an excuse. Maybe it’s just the way I was brought up, but that excuse just doesn’t cut it with me. If the game or DVD you really wanted wasn’t released at a price you could afford, why not wait a couple of months until it’s on special and buy it then? And with plenty of sites like this one, that sell computer games at very cheap prices, there’s just no justifiable excuse for software piracy. Apart from my brother and a friend, nobody else seems to have done that.

What it comes down to is consumerism – pure and simple. Our generation has been trained with Pavlovian-like responses to the hype of mass entertainment. I admit, when I was in my mid-twenties I was just as guilty of wasting
my disposable income on luxury goods that I didn’t really need. But
I’ve learned better. Previous generations (such as my parents) were never bombarded with this level of media hype. They grew up in leaner, harder times. They learned to save every cent – to make every dollar count. To save up their money for what they really needed in life – like a house and car – and not spend their money on what they wanted. As a result, they learned patience and fiscal discipline.

Our generation…hasn’t.

But with the Global Financial Meltdown, they’re going to have to start learning fiscal discipline and responsibility. And won’t that be a huge shock to the system?


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