Potential Loss of Piracy

SkullAccording to the concept of anti-piracy, the cost of production is the factor that makes it’s retail price bloated. Pirates claims the high price tagged to softwares are the main, if not sole purpose for their conducts. The authorities said, by pirating the content, the producer records a massive loss in sales.

This “loss” is not the traditional loss we’re all familiar about. It’s not like you lost your lunch money to a thug. It’s actually more like when your mom PROMISED you your allowance and she didn’t stand by her words. It’s a potential loss.

Let’s say Microsoft produced 1000 copies of the latest Windows Vista Home Premium, which cost $149.99 and sold 500 of them. And let’s just say, at the same time, there’re 500 other people downloading them from the Internet. In total there should be 1000 people running Windows on their computer, but only half of them paid for it.

According to the potential loss theory, Microsoft would have “lost” 500 x $149.99 = $74,995 and sold $74,995 worth of Windows. By summing these numbers we’ll get the total revenue. So, let’s.

Total Revenue = Money Received – Money Lost = $0

Theoretically, Microsoft won’t received anything. But we know that this is impossible. No money are taken from them, instead they received cash for the 500 copies they sold. They lost nothing.

Anti-piracy supporters would say that if nobody are pirating, Microsoft would get a total of $74,995 x 2= $149,990 of revenue. But fact is that most pirates would probably use Linux instead, if they’re unable to pirate Windows. This idea of potential loss is ridiculous.

Pirating software is like lending books you’ve read to your friends. Or like recording songs from the radio. It should fall under ‘fair-use’ terms.

It’s not the same as shoplifting, where someone actually lost something. What should be banned is photocopying the book and selling them. Gaining profit from other people’s work is unethical. But sharing them should’nt be.

People argued that we are actually buying the content, not the physical package, hence the non-lendable term. One person buys one right to use the content. But if any of this is true, why should I now pay for the same Led Zeppelin CD I lost back in 1999?

No, I don’t think softwares, music, movies should be free. Producing them cost money. It’s rightful to pay a fair price for ’em. And I’m totally against the idea of selling pirated CD’s. It’s just that until those companies can respect our rights to our paid materials, whether it’s the content or package, there’ll be no stopping to piracy.

Because real pirates aren’t doing it for profit. We do it for freedom.

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