So, this is a topic that’s been coming up a lot recently for me. In the past few weeks, I’ve heard a number of arguments about piracy. Some demonized it, some defended it, and some simply didn’t care either way. Considering I’ve been dealing with it a lot (and I still haven’t gotten through all of Bakemonogatari for that review), I figured… Hey, why not. Let’s talk piracy.
So, I’m going to be completely honest with you fine folks here. I used to pirate. Granted, this was when I was a dumbass, but I did it. So I can’t really condemn or demonize it because, well, that would make me a hypocrite. So I get your reasons for piracy because I’ve probably thrown them out once or twice myself.
“It’s not available anywhere except for hundreds of dollars,” in the case of old, out of production anime and videogames. I totally get that. I mean, look at Amazon sometime. A lot of their older, no longer made stuff? Easily a hundred bucks in some cases, if not more. And what if that game’s not on Good Old Games or the Virtual Console or PSN or whatever and your copy just flat-out doesn’t work? Hell, I’ll admit, I’d get a rom of the thing if it’s not available elsewhere. But… That’s the big thing for me: If it’s not available elsewhere. But if the publishers and developers are somehow able to make money from it? Go out and buy it for ten bucks or whatever it costs. Give back to the people who decided that this particular game or series or whatever was worth bringing back.
“Well, I want this game or anime, but there’s no demo/streaming/so on, so forth.” Again, totally get that. Money’s tight for a lot of people, especially if you’re currently unemployed like me. The money I save up ends up going to gas or food for the most part. I can’t afford to plop down sixty bucks on a new game just on name alone. If there’s no demo and I don’t find reviews terribly helpful (which I don’t, for the most part)? I’ll pirate it, play it for an hour or so. If it’s good, I go out and buy it as soon as I can. If it’s not, I forget about it and move on.
What I’m getting at here is that these companies need income. They need to be able to sell things and make a profit. Does that excuse the companies cutting out things of great significance in order to make it into DLC or screwing us over with DRM? Hell no! But, on the other hand, if the company is a pretty good bunch of dudes and decides to, say, bring over some very anticipated titles after months of refusal? Then, yeah. If you like the product, give them your money and get others to do the same, because if people try to pull this ‘why buy what I can get for free’ nonsense, the companies will stop giving a damn. If you like it and have the means of getting it and supporting that studio or that developer, you go out and you buy it or find a way to get it that supports them. Crunchyroll, for instance, is an absolutely excellent resource for legal anime streaming that doesn’t cost you a thing (unless you subscribe). Sure, you’ll have to put up with some ads. Just deal with ’em, move on, watch your stuff, support the people behind it. Easy as that.
And if you don’t, they’ll start taking notice. I’m not demonizing piracy or completely saying it’s perfectly okay to download whatever you want here. What I’m saying is don’t be a jackass. Anyway, that felt pretty good to write. I hope you fine folks don’t mind a bit of a departure from my usually pretty silly posts. If nothing else, now I have something to refer to next time someone brings up piracy or something. Something that is my thoughts, pretty well-organized and put to paper. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.