I Don’t Support Piracy

Over here in Kenya you can buy very few legitimate DVD’s and CD’s. For Christmas we bought our daughter a CD and they physically showed us that it was a new one and that it wasn’t just burned off a computer. When we put it in the first time, iTunes wouldn’t recognise it and said it was empty. ‘What a waste of $6’ I thought. The second time it worked but wouldn’t bring up the artist of song name. That was bought was a real music store.

Anywhere on the side of a road there will be people selling all sorts of things from kites, to DVD’s to fruit. When Skyfall came out at the movies within a couple of days the DVD also came out by a very friendly salesman not far from home.

For most people, they think nothing of spending $6 on a pirated DVD or illegally downloading something off the internet. To them it seems okay to photocopy whole books for their schooling. We had two overseas students living with us for 2 years in Sydney and they saw nothing wrong with spending $10 at a shop downtown photocopying an entire book. Neither did they mind copying and pasting stuff off the internet without giving reference to the author. In one assignment I saw that they hadn’t even bothered to change the font from the source to what was in their assignment!

I don’t support piracy because it’s stealing, just wrapped up nicely. One could say that it’s keeping people employed. Do we then buy drugs because it keeps people employed?

Stealing is stealing. I’ve told my girls off several times for illegally downloading things via sources like Torrent. You can justify it as much as you like but it’s still taking something and not paying for it.

I tell you who pays for it. It’s the artists, musicians, writers and actors who have put their time, effort and skills into creating something we love to watch or read. I was watching the making of Inception (on a genuine DVD) and the writer took 8 years to create the story. Eight years of developing and sacrificing to bring forth a story that entertains millions, only to have it sold illegally for a couple of dollars.

It’s also the buyer that pays for it. Why do you think they cost so much?

As a Christian, I refuse to buy illegally made software, DVD’s, CD’s etc no matter how ‘real’ they appear. It’s against the rules people!

I have plenty of musician friends who I am proud to support by paying for their songs. As a photographer nothing grates you more than when people use your photos without permission, and don’t give credit for the source. Sure Instagram has given a lot to the photography world but it doesn’t make you an artist.

While lots of people say there are no copyright rules in Africa, that’s simply untrue. Everyone complains about corruption but here it is on the ground level. If we continue to support piracy we have no right to complain about officials who are doing the same thing but in a different form.

Pay the price and keep your conscience clean. Support our artists and show people we don’t have to scoop to illegal acts just to get what we want.



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