Our western society is currently one where downloading movies, songs, TV shows and software is illegal but socially acceptable. Downloading and file-sharing are beyond accepted. They are expected! Those few friends who have paid for all of their music collection are an anomaly, pristine moral creatures which most view with skepticism. But why?
The current view is that “I wouldn’t steal a car but I would download one if I could” in response to the old ads about piracy. There is a sense that nothing is lost when you file share. If you steal someone’s movie then they no longer have it. But downloading and file sharing allow for a copy to be possessed by as many interested parties as wanted.
However, there is still something lost.
I think that too many people use the top of the charts as examples to often. Like the response to Akon and his Jet bedroom on Facebook. The top artists, top films and top TV shows will still make money. Game of Thrones is a highly downloaded TV series and it manages to make millions. But our Copy Culture is damaging the underdogs.
For the industry to work someone has to produce information that they can sell. But when the information is distributed without the permission of that original content creator then they are losing their potential income.
Consider Simon and Martina. They are Canadians who live in South Korea. They were teaching English but have recently become full-time YouTubers. [Fair warning, these are some mighty addictive Youtubers.]
As the YouTube couple explains Western Society has a quite strict policy when it comes to corporate copyright law and intellectual property (Especially when they compare it to Korea). But for some reason this doesn’t translate into our internet copy-culture! Copyright is essential in order to maintain the creation of good content. Obviously it still needs to be changed to be more effective and acclimatized to today’s internet culture, but it is a necessity.