by Jessica Zafra
Does anyone else find it funny that people who make much more money than we do are appealing to us not to deprive them of their income? You have the nerve to charge me Php450 for a CD that is being sold on the street for Php30, and you expect my sympathy?
The campaign against pirated software, CDs, VCDs, audio-and videocasettes, would have us believe that piracy is our problem. Really? How is shelling out Php100 for a disc that contains Php50,000 worth of software a problem for me? It would seem that the pirates are doing me, and my shrinking wallet, a big favor. Why should it bother me that a movie, which has not yet opened in Metro Manila theatres is being peddled on VCD on Ayala Avenue for Php90? I have no fight with the pirates. They are selling me information I might otherwise not have access to because of prohibitive costs. Yes they are thieves and thieves should be punished, but they are not stealing from me. Oh sure, you can lecture me about how in the long run I will pay for buying bootleg, but by then I will have used the information for my benefit.
So let me make a correction. Piracy is the problem of the manufacturers – the software houses, record companies, and motion picture companies – whom I shall refer to from hereon as the corporations. By telling us not to buy pirated materials “for the good of everyone,” corporations make it appear that corporate interests and the public interest are the same thing. This is laughably untrue. Corporations make noises about working in the public interest – these noises are called public relations, PR but their duty is to their owners.
The anti-piracy ads, with their appeals to my virtue, pass the responsibility of combating piracy to me, HELLO. They invoke the law and call on my conscience to protect their profit margin, but when I shell out Php450 for a CD that turns out to be crap, I can’t invoke the law, and corporations have no conscience. We may all be equal under...