When I was told to submit an article about ‘Anything’ for college’s maiden magazine, I found it as a great opportunity to share my views & insights publicly. I just surround my eyes in blank & start thinking about some topics about which I could write on. To be a techie it becomes my earthy necessity(or rather priority) to write something related to technology. So I come up with many topics like Internet & it’s effects or Today’s Smart war or Hacking around us or more. But to be frank they all are very common topics & are very discussed as already.
So I chose one of the most usable(but controversial) & most unusual topic, The Online Piracy! A topic which needs rather an uncommon sense & more dare to speak publicly. Well, piracy is considered as "The unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted or patent material." But in our laws(that obviously varies countrywide), it is more than just piracy in words. We share the latest movies D.V.D’s with friends is also a kind of piracy or we share any song with our phones via Bluetooth can also be considered as piracy. Moreover, If we share any book (especially Novels) without taking publication’s permission could also give them a reason to Sue us for violating copyright laws. But this really not going to happen because we are not living in an age of dictatorship. But the reason to give these examples was my purpose to tell what our ‘Laws and Orders’ says about copyright infringe. But in actual world a common internet user is almost violates the copyright law a.k.a does the piracy on regular basis with or without his/her knowledge. Share any file on facebook or download any movie from youtube is piracy in itself. But who’s gonna judge it on net. As I always says, "Internet is like an ocean & it is impossible to patrol it." So there’s no capable system available to stop this minor infringes & put a check over 100 billion net users worldwide. But with my this line don’t think I’m against piracy, Well To be in public article I don’t even confess that I use it. So I decide to share my views with rather an interesting way, i.e. To be a middleman. Yes! Neither I take piracy bad nor good. Actually it becomes easy to speak boldly while stay neutral. Now, Let’s talk about piracy with a deep & an uncommon insight.
Step 1: Where is Piracy?
Well, everywhere. Every 10th site on the world of internet one way or other violates the copyright laws. So they are considered as pirated sites. Yet, for the usage of their technology they have been divided into two categories i.e.
1. Peer To Peer (P2P) Sites, And
2. Cyberlocker Sites.
These two types of sites are considered as an open source social network, like we use facebook or twitter. In P2P the file gets shared by people themselves with using .torrent files. But in Cyberlocker sites, The data gets downloaded directly from the server.
Step 2: How Piracy Happens?
Well, It just need a little spirit to start. Get some data from the market (usually a movie), Rip it into PC, and upload it to the public sites(Above mentioned) and it’s done. With these simple & easy steps you have commit a crime & ‘Laws And Orders’ has equal rights to Sue in the court. But in today’s life of commercialization the websites or other sources themselves encourage users to share copyright stuff by offering various commercial benefits. Advertisements are also bigger reasons for existence of surplus pirated sites.
Step 3: Who is Responsible For Piracy?
Dramatically A common man! As a person who earns $50k a month doesn't need to wander over the pirated sites. I strongly believe the psychology & the needs of a common internet users are the reasons behind the piracy. Here my aim is not to criticize a common man. Even I myself is a ‘common boy’. But the psychology of people to think or to persuade themselves that everything around the web is an open source. There’s no doubt that an open source was a hideous point at the rising of pirated sites. But this isn't the only reason. As our so-called most reputed Producers Guild committees like MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), EUCD(European Copyright Directive) & RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) etc. who are continuously trying to stop online piracy with senseless Acts also somewhere responsible for piracy at great extent. Because, In public domain only one proverb works & that is, "The More you’ll censor the thing, The more it’ll increase the curiosity." So more the MPAA or other committees would try to censor the sites by applying various laws, The more revolt they’ll see. As it happened in European Union Courts About ACTA (Anit-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).
Step 4: What 'Lawyers' Are Doing About Piracy?
I strongly believe the lawyers are the most intelligent species of humans who has great tactics to make money from anything(even from a dead’s funeral). The today’s revolt that we are seeing in European countries are somewhere the cultivation of great minds of lawyers. To halt the Piracy Four Acts(Laws) have been created as
1. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement),
2. SOPA ( Stop Online Piracy Act),
3. PIPA ( PROTECT IP Act ), And
4. DMCA( Digital Millennium Copyright Act ).
ACTA is one more offense against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small "club" of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypassed parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.
And, About SOPA, It's a proposed bill that aims to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting access to sites that host or facilitate the trading of pirated contents. And Similarly the PIPA says that an information location tool shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, to remove or disable access to the Internet site associated with the domain name set forth in the order. In addition, it must delete all hyperlinks to the offending "Internet site".
Equivalently, DMCA is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself.
These all Acts works differently at various levels to halt piracy but their main aim is to put common internet users & some other great sites like Google, yahoo, Wikipedia etc. under a continuous censorship and stop them to provide relevant search results.
Step 5: What So Overwhelming About Piracy?
Isn't that awesome to download a Friday night release at the same day from pirated sites? Isn't that exciting? Yes! I guess It is. So in this section of article, I’d like to share some real & surprising facts about, How Users (especially Teens ) are so overwhelm & excited about Piracy! The craze among the teenagers to get everything freely increases the overwhelming nature that obviously motivates the piracy. If we just talk about the traffic of the users on pirated sites then, World’s most pirated site conducts around 55,000,000 monthly hits & 5,957,551 registered users. So these stats tells the level of overwhelm rather very accurately. For more accurate arguments, here are some most pirated movies of all time with their download hits. As:
1. Avatar (2009) ---- 21m Download Hits
2. The Dark Knight(2008) ---- 19m Download Hits
3. Transformer (2007) ---- 19m Download Hits
4. Inception (2010) ---- 18m Download Hits
5. The Hangover (2009) ---- 17m Download Hits.
Similarly, many such a lists could be found on the net about various sections like most pirated Softwares, books, songs, games etc. This so much overwhelm cost Hollywood billions of dollars & Bollywood exactly $960m last year. So, It proves sometimes overwhelm could make financial crisis to film industries either.
Step 6: Here Comes The Crime
It is the most important part of the article. As, it has become really a serious crime in some countries to download anything illegally. In U.S. last year such a case was in news, In which district court charged a woman to pay $1.9m for downloading a song illegally. Actually, Companies are now targeting the common internet users because of their incapability to Sue the pirated sites (Coz Site may be from different countries). In Sweden the news of raid by local police at the teenagers in concern to piracy has become very common in local newspapers. Some countries are appointing ‘special units’ ( A part of cyber police) to stop piracy by force. It has become very easy to trace the IP address of any PC & then to get residential info of internet users for police. Especially teenagers having lack of maturity & knowledge are the common cases of traps. And an accused could face 6 month to 2 years of Sentence in Jail. Yes, It is possible to use pirated sites with using VPNs & DSNs for staying anonymous while downloading but teenagers must remember one thing that, police are more smart then them.
Step 7: The Conclusion
I mused a lot to figure out the reason, Why governments having clever minds & billions dollars of funds failed to stop online piracy? And, I found very brief yet insightful answer that, The people belongs to various nations & cultures are more united to keep piracy then Governments themselves. And, now I’d like to end my article by adding a current news that MPAA chief Chris Dodd admits: SOPA and PIPA "are dead, they're not coming back."
So Happy Open Sourcing Guys!
-- Abhi Sharma