Archive for August, 2002

Software Piracy Does Not Exist

Tuesday, August 20th, 2002

Piracy: 1 the practice or an act of robbery of ships at sea;
2 a similar practice or act in other forms, esp. hijacking.

Yesterday, some poor software-company became victim of software-pirates. The well-armed band marched through the front-entrance at 10.00 am., just as most of the companies employees were at their coffee-break. At the same time, another group of pirates wearing black masks and kalashnikovs landed with their helicopter on the roof of the building.

The company had no chance to react and fight back; some company employees were taken hostage until they surrendered the keys to their safes and the passwords to their servers; others had to march the plank out of the 5th floor of the building and died. Some developers were given the chance to work for the pirates or to be defenestrated or shot as well.

Evidently, there is some pretty black marketing magic at work when comparing illegal copying to hijacking. There is obviously some defamation-campaign going on, which aims to put copyright-violators onto the same level with hijackers, robbers and killers. This is very bad regarding two different aspects: a) its demagogic propaganda in its most evil form and b) it makes the real existing piracy of ships (which is still responsible for hundreds of victims every year) look less bad.

The term “piracy” in this context is obviously coined by a very
strong and unscrupulous “intellectual property”-industry,
compromised of software-companies, the movie-industry, the music industry and for a smaller part the book-publishers; along with lots of minions in the press, television and radio.

Indeed, terming illegal copying “piracy” has been a huge marketing-success, sometimes used so unanimously to even refer to legal copying; which is then supposed to be “piracy” as well, no matter that there is a fair use provision in every copyright-law.

In using the Term “piracy” with regard to copyright-violations, you automatically spread the propaganda of that “intellectual-property”-industry; so I would advise you to refrain from doing this, as long as you want to maintain an objective position.

Peter Keel,