While discussing cases of copyright infringement over a dinner meeting the other night, I was told that when such cases go public and pushes thru in the courts, it becomes a sensitive issue — it’s because all of us have committed some copyright infringement of some sort at one time or another.
I never looked at it that way but it does make sense. We go thru some of the more common stuff we do everyday without knowing we’re actually doing the same. I’d be the first one to admit to some of these oversights.
- The MP3s we download, the movies and TV shows we share on torrents and P2P networks are a common form of piracy. Filipinos are very fond of sharing digital content, even way back in the days of the IRC.
- The pirated CDs and DVDs sold in Quiapo, Baclaran and other smaller malls. We either patronize them or just ignore them as if it’s normal and legit in our society. We never cried foul because we know we benefit from it (not until it’s own work that’s being peddled and used without compensation or attribution).
- The softwares we use on our PCs and laptops — Windows XP, MS Office, Adobe PhotoShop, WinZip/WinRar, Nero CD/DVD Burner, Kaspersky Anti-Virus are just some of the more commonly pirated softwares a lot of people use.
- People flock Cartimar to buy fake branded shoes, hand bags and clothes.
There are a lot more actually — inks, batteries, cellphones, perfumes, jewelries, etc.
But what can we do — either we accept that we’re a country full of freeloaders/cheapskates or we start paying for those software licenses and buy only originals. I’d prefer we do the latter.
I believe piracy did some good to a lot of people (especially those who don’t have the capacity to afford some of the more expensive licenses). I personally benefited from it too — learning how to use PhotoShop, Flash, DreamWeaver and Premiere as well as program in VB and .NET.
I would be hard-pressed to stand in court, point to someone who infringed on my copyright and not admit I do the same thing myself.