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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An image of a qbittorrent interface; a popular torrenting program due to its free and open-sourced design.
Qbittorrent is one of the most widely used torrenting programs due to its free and open-sourced nature.

Online piracy is the practice of downloading and distributing copyrighted content digitally without permission, such as music or software.[1][2] The principle behind piracy has predated the creation of the Internet, but its online popularity arose alongside the internet. Despite its explicit illegality in many developed countries, online piracy is still widely done by many users due to many ethical reasons and its ease of use has only gotten better as technology advances.

History

The act of copying content without authoriziation goes back to when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited the Sistine Chapel at the age of 14 and heard Allegri's Miserere being performed.[3] The piece's sheet-music was only authorized to be owned by three people: Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, John V of Portugal,[4] and Giovanni Battista Martini.[5] After having heard it once Mozart went back to his hotel and transcribed the entire piece from memory, coming back again two days later to proofread the transcription against the performance.[3] In the months following his transcription's publication, Mozart's fame for the act had gotten so high that Pope Clement XIV summoned him to Rome in order to grant him papal knighthood.[6]

A screenshot of the installation of limewire pro that was attained via the free version of limewire
LimeWire's paid version of their app was frequently acquired by users using the free version

Nathan Fisk traces the origins of modern online piracy back to similar problems posed by the advent of the printing press. Quoting from legal standards in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., he notes that there have historically been a number of technologies which have had a "dual effect" of facilitating legitimate sharing of information, but which also facilitate the ease with which copyright can be violated. He likens online piracy to issues faced in the early 20th century by stationers in England, who tried and failed to prevent the large scale printing and distribution of illicit sheet music.[7]:9–10

The release of Napster in 1999 caused a rapid upsurge in online piracy of music, films and television, though it always maintained a focus on music in the .MP3 format.[8][9] It allowed user to share content via peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and was one of the first mainstream uses of this distribution methods as it made it easy for regular users to get free music. Napster's popular use would only be short lived as on July 27, 2000, it was ordered to be shut down by a federal judge; it was officially shut down July 11, 2001 in order to comply with the order and the case was officially settled on September 24, 2001.[10]

Although it was short-lived, Napster's reign allowed its users to dive into the grey-area of content piracy. Following its shutdown, many other popular P2P file sharing programs arose: the creation and usage of Limewire quickly followed suit. Learning from the mistakes of Napster, Limewired decentralized their servers by implmenting the BitTorrent protocol on the Gnutella network.[11] The success of the BitTorrent communication protocol led to the rise of many other popular programs that are still widely used today including μTorrent, Transmission, Deluge, QBittorrent, and Tixati. Digital piracy as a continuing problem significantly impacts various stakeholders, including consumers, enterprises, and countries. This global problem can impact media and content-oriented industries. [12]

Scope

The economic loss caused by digital piracy before the year 2000 is estimated to be worth $265B and in 2004 it was found that 4% of box office receipts were lost. Both piracy and economic losses due to piracy are both trending upwards. Digital piracy has taken the spotlight. Lost revenues due to digital piracy could reach $5 billion by the end of 2005.[1][13] Understanding digital privacy can be supplemented by the exploration of the consequences of digital piracy, using a base model and several extensions (with consumer sampling, network effects, and indirect appropriation).[14] In a 2014 research study, the economic and technological factors were examined within 12 indicators, resulting in that on average, most research respondents agreed that the reason why they keep participating in the unethical doing of digital piracy is it widely spread influence by economic and technological factors.[15]

The groups and individuals who operate piracy websites potentially earn millions of dollars from their efforts. This revenue can come from a number of sources, such as advertising, subscriptions, and the sale of content.[16] Piracy behavior demonstrated that economic theory explains a notable part of the individual variation in a survey study. Individuals with a low net valuation of an original when a copy is available are more prone to engage in piracy than individuals with a higher valuation. Individuals with a low cost of obtaining and handling copies are also more engaged in piracy. The country-wise variation can also be explained by economic variables; GNI/capita and judicial efficiency explain a substantial part of this variation.[17] While these sites are occasionally shut down, they are often quickly replaced, and may move through successive national legal jurisdictions to avoid law enforcement. These efforts at detection and enforcement are further complicated by the often prohibitive amount of time, resources and personnel required.[18]

Some jurisdictions, such as Thailand and Malaysia, have no legislation in place to address online piracy, and others, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, have oversight regimes in place that have proven largely ineffective.[19]:62–5

Benefits

Online piracy has led to improvements into file sharing technology that has bettered information distribution as a whole. Additionally, pirating communities tend to model market trends well, as members of those communities tend to be early adopters. Piracy can also lead to businesses developing new models that better account for the current market.[1] It has been argued that online piracy may help in preventing businesses from investing in unnecessary marketing campaigns. In addition to helping screen businesses, research proposes that some organizations may be better off servicing only their most valued and legitimate customers, or those who buy legitimate copies of their products. Because pirated copies of software are expected to attract customers who are sensitive to price, it may not be to businesses’ best interest to engage in extraneous price wars with their competitors or invest heavily in anti-piracy campaigns to win target customers.[20]

Despite the discourse on the digital threat of piracy, it has been shown that innovation and the creation of new works is flourishing more than ever on the internet despite the digital threat discourse.[21] Piracy has also benefitted users in countries where content is either unavailable or delayed. In the case of ABC's Lost, the fear of its last episode being pirated in European and Middle-Eastern countries pushed the network to accelerate the episode's distribution to those countries, resulting in the episode being available in those countries 24/48 hours after the original American broadcast.[21]

Ethics

The laws on copyright protection are clear and the penalties are heavy. The prevalence of piracy in face of these potential penalties is due to the fact that individuals do not see piracy as inappropriate let alone illegal, instead viewing it as ethically acceptable due to the core execution of piracy being that it creates a copy of the file, thus nothing tangible is being taken away from the original owner.[21][22] Additionally, despite the massive realm of copying and sharing digital content, consumers who pirate are more willing to pay for legal content when the content is consumer friendly.[23] A person's ethical and moral predispositions and the judgments that they use to make decisions may indicate consistency across various ethical dilemmas and also indicate their likelihood to pirate software.[24]

Conversely, those same individuals cited that the prevalence of piracy is due to the industry's inability to cater to the consumer. Many cite unsatisfactory industry practices such as obtrusive DRM in paid software, overpriced media, and split markets as their reason for pirating.[21][25] Digital piracy has posed a significant threat to the development of the software industry and the growth of the digital media industry, it has, for the last decade, held considerable interest for researchers and practitioners.[26] In the context of Indonesia, moral equity has affected digital piracy behavior negatively. Therefore, efforts to reduce piracy have been focused on highlighting the importance of fairness and justice.[27] Studying the causes and effects of digital piracy is one way of evaluating the ethics of how our society consumes and spreads media to one another. Ample research in the study of digital piracy can help better understand the psychology and ethics of digital ethics. One of the research approaches that has provided a theoretical framework for studying software piracy has been to place the illegal copying of software within the domain of ethical decision making assumes that a user must be able to recognize software piracy as a moral issue. A person who cannot recognize a moral issue will fail to use moral decision-making schemata. There is more than enough evidence that many individuals do not perceive software piracy to be an ethical problem.[28] Research findings suggested that personal morals decrease digital piracy mainly in the first phase, whereas neutralization is used by individuals to support their behavior throughout other phases.[29]

As more content is fractured into different services, consumers gravitate more towards piracy due to the inconvenience of managing multiple service subscriptions due to differing content being owned by different entities that provide their own content service such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and the recently released Disney+.

Tools

Many who pirate content use an assortment of tools in order to circumvent content restrictions and hide their activities. Such tools include but are not limited to:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Choi, David Y.; Perez, Arturo (April 2007). "Online piracy, innovation, and legitimate business models". Technovation. 27 (4): 168–178. doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2006.09.004. ISSN 0166-4972.
  2. ^ "Definition of: Internet piracy". PC Magazine Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Roche, Jerome; Allegri; Scholars, Tallis; Phillips; Palestrina; Mundy (June 1981). "Miserere". The Musical Times. 122 (1660): 412. doi:10.2307/961024. ISSN 0027-4666. JSTOR 961024.
  4. ^ Stevenson, Robert (2001). "Barbosa Machado, Diogo". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.02018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Grove, George, 1820-1900. (1954). Grove's dictionary of music and musicians. Macmillan. OCLC 36817387.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Vatican archive to display Mozart honour". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  7. ^ Fisk, Nathan (8 June 2009). Understanding Online Piracy: The Truth about Illegal File Sharing: The Truth about Illegal File Sharing. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35474-8.
  8. ^ Giesler, Markus (1 September 2006). "Consumer Gift Systems". Journal of Consumer Research. 33 (2): 283–290. doi:10.1086/506309.
  9. ^ Fusco, Patricia (March 13, 2000). "The Napster Nightmare". ISP-Planet. Archived from the original on 2011-10-19.
  10. ^ "Napster Shut Down". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  11. ^ "How LimeWire Works". HowStuffWorks. 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  12. ^ Kos Koklic, M., Kukar-Kinney, M. & Vida, I. Three-Level Mechanism of Consumer Digital Piracy: Development and Cross-Cultural Validation. J Bus Ethics 134, 15–27 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2075-1
  13. ^ Al-Rafee, S., Cronan, T.P. Digital Piracy: Factors that Influence Attitude Toward Behavior. J Bus Ethics 63, 237–259 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-005-1902-9
  14. ^ Belleflamme, Paul and Peitz, Martin, Digital Piracy: Theory (October 27, 2010). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3222. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1698618
  15. ^ Wulandari, Hesty (2014) Economy and technology as influential factors for digital piracy sustainability: An Indonesian case. In: International Conference on Accounting Studies (ICAS) 2014, 18 - 19 August 2014, Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
  16. ^ McCOYD, Ed (January 2012). "Online piracy of publishers' content: a primer". Learned Publishing. 25 (1): 21–28. doi:10.1087/20120104. ISSN 0953-1513.
  17. ^ Holm, H. J. (2003). Can economic theory explain piracy behavior?, The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0653.1082
  18. ^ Scott, Gini Graham (22 March 2016). Internet Book Piracy: The Fight to Protect Authors, Publishers, and Our Culture. Allworth Press. ISBN 978-1-62153-495-2.
  19. ^ Ballano, Vivencio O. (26 December 2015). Sociological Perspectives on Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam. Springer. ISBN 978-981-287-922-6.
  20. ^ Haruvy, E. , Mahajan, V. and Prasad, A. (2004), “The effect of piracy on the market penetration of subscription software”, Journal of Business, Vol. 77 No. 2, pp. 81-107.
  21. ^ a b c d Frosio, G. F. (2016). Digital piracy debunked: a short note on digital threats and intermediary liability. Internet Policy Review, 5(1). DOI: 10.14763/2016.1.400
  22. ^ M. Limayem, M. Khalifa and W. W. Chin, "Factors motivating software piracy: a longitudinal study," in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 414-425, Nov. 2004. doi: 10.1109/TEM.2004.835087
  23. ^ P. D. M. Fetscherin and P. D. C. Lattemann, "Motives and Willingness to Pay for Digital Music," Third International Conference on Automated Production of Cross Media Content for Multi-Channel Distribution (AXMEDIS'07), Barcelona, 2007, pp. 189-196. doi: 10.1109/AXMEDIS.2007.41
  24. ^ Wagner, S.C., Sanders, G.L. Considerations in Ethical Decision-Making and Software Piracy. Journal of Business Ethics 29, 161–167 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006415514200
  25. ^ Al-Rafee, Sulaiman; Cronan, Timothy Paul (February 2006). "Digital Piracy: Factors that Influence Attitude Toward Behavior". Journal of Business Ethics. 63 (3): 237–259. doi:10.1007/s10551-005-1902-9. ISSN 0167-4544.
  26. ^ Yoon, C. Theory of Planned Behavior and Ethics Theory in Digital Piracy: An Integrated Model. J Bus Ethics 100, 405–417 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0687-7
  27. ^ Arli, D., Tjiptono, F. and Porto, R. (2015), "The impact of moral equity, relativism and attitude on individuals’ digital piracy behaviour in a developing country", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 348-365. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-09-2013-0149
  28. ^ Glass, R.S., Wood, W.A. Situational determinants of software piracy: An equity theory perspective. J Bus Ethics 15, 1189–1198 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00412817
  29. ^ Mathupayas Thongmak, "Ethics, neutralization, and digital piracy", International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies, Vol.8, No.1, pp.1-24, 2017.


This page was last edited on 28 May 2020, at 15:27
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