August 20th, 2007 by Bob Bly
A woman on a talk radio show admitted to stealing sugar packets from her local Starbucks.
But she expressed no shame.
Indeed, she felt the theft was justified by the outrageous prices Starbucks charges for a cup of coffee, calling her pilfering a “condiment subsidy.”
What does this have to do with Internet piracy?
People’s willingness to steal online and violate copyright is determined by two primary factors:
1. How easy it is to steal the material.
2. How much you are charging for your content or software in relation to its value.
If it’s difficult and inexpensive to steal the material, they’ll just buy a legal copy.
For instance, few people avoid purchasing a dictionary by photocopying the pages, because it’s a pain in the neck, inconvenient, and expensive to do so.
If the consumer feels your product is a rip-off, they will be more inclined to pirate it. Example: an outrageously priced new version of a software package in which the upgrade merely eliminates defects that should never have been in the old version in the first place.
People will download a song illegally even when they can do so legally at a reasonable price simply because it is so easy.
Reader, do YOU every violate copyright and steal material online for any of the above reasons or for any other reasons?
Do you agree that to do so is stealing and robbing the creator of the profit from intellectual property she created?
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