5. Piracy: There is no such thing as an original idea so copyrights should be abolished

29 Nov

Downloading and sharing content is okay:

Anyone who has grown up in my generation, of the internet age, has downloaded illegal content for free. It is basically a fact of life. It is available, it is free, and everyone does it with basically no punishment. Canadian law is murky on if it is even illegal for one to download music (the latest copyright act “basically” says that you can download music, just uploading it to share is the illegal aspect). There is no such thing as an original idea anymore. All copyright laws do is stifle innovation of products. Almost every single major idea has been “innovated” or copied in some form, and has lead to better quality and technology for consumers. Software is also a major issue. The fact that software companies charge such high and uncompetitive rates for their software is why people have found ways to upload and download them for free. There are risks of downloading, such as viruses and spyware, so it does take a lot of thought as to do it or not. Since Canadian laws basically allow the downloading of copyrighted content, there should not be anything resembling a moral dilemma.

Copyright infringement is wrong:

We are in business. We work hard day after day for years on end. Some will work hard all their lives with nothing to show for it. Others will take major risks, financial, personal, to try and make it big. Some will fail and others will succeed. Finally after all the years of hard work, all the risks, you come up with a million dollar idea. All the hard work has paid off. Then someone decides that they like your idea and innovation, and will just copy it and reap the benefits of your hard work. Not only time has been invested, but significant amounts of capital as well to make the projects work. As a society, we do not believe it is right for an individual to walk into a store and take a product off the shelf without paying for it. Society believes that the product is the property of the business owner as they have invested time and money into making that product available for sale. However society has taken the view that if it’s available online, it is not stealing. Why are copyrighted files on the internet, any different from a product sitting on a store shelf?

My Stance:

Stealing is stealing. There is absolutely no difference between downloading a copyrighted piece of data such as software, and walking into a store and grabbing a product of the shelf and walking out with it. Just because digital copyright laws in Canada have been slow to adapt to changes and technology, and don’t provide harsh (or any) punishments for downloading copyrighted content, does not mean it is okay. If the law did not provide consequences for murder, it would still be wrong. Canadian law needs to adjust and not only clarify the laws, but make punishments a realistic deterrent.

 

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