“Patriot or Pirate?” Aaron Speca asked on his very informative recent blog entry http://aaronspeca.blogspot.de/2012/07/patriots-or-pirates.html, as a reply to Stephen L. Wilson´s initiative to fight an illegal download site, starting here: http://stephenlwilson.blogspot.de/2012/07/inside-event-news-on-high-seas.html.
To me, the term “pirate” still sounds much too heroic and romantic. We´ve left those times behind, when sailors were forced into service, had to risk their lives on the high seas for ridiculously low wages and rotten food, and when they eventually escaped their superiors, tried to make their own living from going to sea. Still, they were criminals, no doubt about that.
Those people today, who claim to be entitled to make free use of the work of others for their own entertainment (not to satisfy a basic need, let´s keep that clear!), or worse, who even make their own profit, are no pirates, no romantic rebels.
They are no patriots either. Patriots are devoted to their country. Those people consider themselves smart by using servers outside their own country´s jurisdiction. Regarding the cost of hardware, maintenance and electricity, in fact they support a foreign economy and not their own. That´s not patriotic.
Philanthropists, according to Wikipedia, would care for, nourish, develop, or enhance the love of humanity. If that was true, the people in question would sit down and start writing e-books, to then distribute them free of charge for the greater good of all. Who could object?
Let´s have a look at the definition of a parasite: Parasites are species that benefit at the expense of another. Parasites show a high degree of specialization, and they reproduce at a much faster rate than their hosts. Parasites impair the fitness of their hosts by exploiting their resources needed for food, water, heat, habitat and dispersion.
Those people in question indeed benefit at our expense. They show a high degree of specialization, as they seem to be unable to create their own stories. Their rate of reproduction is reason for concern, and they indeed exploit the authors´ resources needed for earning their living.
So, to me, those infringers of intellectual property are parasites, not pirates.
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