I have beef with major corporations. Not the usual beef of their major greed and general shitiness like Martin Shkreli. My beef is with when movie and game studios complain about piracy. Now to be completely fair, maintaining one’s intellectual property is essential when that product pays your bills. But my problem is when these companies, that hold these major IP’s, complain that piracy causes them to lose money. Which in turn, they say, causes them to lay off employees. The problem with this thinking is that piracy does not make them lose actual money. No one is taking money out of their account. At most, piracy makes these companies miss out on potential dollars.
In most cases if someone pirates a movie or game they probably were not going to buy it to begin with. So I find it hard to believe that these companies are actually losing money when people pirate. At best, if someone pirates the movie and then sells bootleg versions then they have an argument. But if someone pirates a game just for their own personal use, then they are not actually stealing money from the company. With that said, they are stealing money in an abstract way.
If you pirate a game, then you are enjoying content without compensating the people who spent their time and effort to create it. Which is really a douchebag move because if you were to go to work, do your job and not get paid, you would be pissed. By pirating a game you are essentially doing the same thing to the people who created this content. To keep this in prospective, if you pirate a big AAA title game it probably won’t hurt their bottom line. They will just have to be satisfied with making 500 million dollars instead of 501 million dollars. But pirating from a mid to a small indie game may be the difference between them staying open or not.
In general, you should never pirate content because that’s just rude. Though I can understand situations where you would want to pirate content. Such as being a poor college student or the content is not accessible in your country through legal means. The first reasoning to pirate is not completely excusable and should only be done as a last resort. The second reason is completely on the creator of the content. If a major content creator delays the release of an IP for one area while its available in another, people are going to pirate. Even though people will be people, content creators can at least reduce the amount of piracy if they release thier product to everywhere at the same time. If content is easily accessible, then they are less likely to pirate.
For the most part, the claims that piracy is destroying jobs and companies are overly exaggerated. They are just mad that out of the millions of dollars that they already make, they could make another million. But if too many people pirate then many IP’s may stop being made since the creators have no incentive to do so. So don’t be cheap and pay for content you enjoy.
(As an aside, if you have a favorite artist or game developer that is far from making it big, pay them when you can. Don’t get all butt hurt when they ask for more than $10 for a commissioned work. Don’t be cheap, if you really enjoy their work then you should pay them for their time and skill. If you are not willing to pay, then you obviously don’t care for their work that much. Don’t be that person who wants quality work but only want to pay for subpar work. Don’t Do It.)