Shiver me timbers and all that nonsense. – Grass Pants Muses on piracy

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.

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8 Responses to Shiver me timbers and all that nonsense. – Grass Pants Muses on piracy

  1. GoodbyeNavi says:

    People complain about Crunchyroll’s subbing, stating either it is completely off or they take too long to stream their shows. However, Crunchyroll is free AND legal. I know they don’t stream everything and I wish they would but they are constantly improving and it is a way to support the industry. Netflix has tons of anime, Crackle has anime (limited), Hulu, Amazon, it’s available. Not everything, I know, I get that, but the excuses that maybe were once valid aren’t completely valid anymore.

    • Never heard of Crackle, will have to check them out. Thanks for the pseudo-recommendation!

      And I’ll admit (and may have admitted above but my memory is bad and I’m short on time so hey), I still torrent things that aren’t available otherwise (again, not shelling out several hundred dollars for something that barely exists and the company no longer gets money for). Again, perfectly fine with piracy of that kind of thing.

      Just, y’know. Don’t be a dick.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Yamadipati says:

    Animes and Japanese Sentai and Hero shows don’t give jack shit if their show is pirated…

    why? because it boosts popularity and means people will buy more of their associated merchandises like mousepads, figures, etc.

    NOW… MANGA, LIGHT NOVEL, MUSIC AND GAMES on the other hand doesn’t have any profit from such “promotional” activities, that’s why i always buy my manga, light novels, music and games through legal means, to show my support for the companies and authors.

    • How did I not get a notification for this comment…?

      And you could argue that piracy boosts popularity of everything, which would make people buy similar (games/manga/music) or buy the stuff when they can afford it. In fact, you could even argue that… Let’s say I pirate some Touhou music. And I really like it, so I get the rest. Then I go out and buy the circle’s entire discography.

      Same with games. I pirate (hypothetically) Assassin’s Creed 1. I end up really liking it, so I’m super-hyped for AC3 and grab Brotherhood and Revelations at the first opportunity.

  3. John Sato says:

    I totally agree. I don’t download at all, though I realize that my circumstances are a little special. I don’t really have any other hobbies and I rarely ever buy things, so if I really need/want to buy something, I can afford it. This also gives me the leeway of being able to look at (numerous) reviews for something, buying it if it’s supposed to be good, and if I don’t like it just saying “Okay. I’m out $30 or whatever. There are worse things in life.” (That said, my income is limited so I make sure I really really want something before I buy it.)
    My personal situation aside, though, I think that’s a great way to look at things. Great post.

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