Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The other side of software piracy

As Francis has already blogged, Megaupload owner Kim Schmitz aka Kim Dotcom was arrested recently for criminal copyright infringement charges. Many members of the online community have rallied to his defense. Copyright infringement is of course, a malum prohibitum, and not a mala in se. There have been comparisons made as to how his liability for his crimes will yield prison sentences much longer than that of a rapist or murderer.

However, based on the above article, it is clear that software pirates such as Schmitz do not have the oh-so-benevolent intention of democratizing software, music, videos and other forms of media and making it available to the masses for free, or for a low price of membership in their website.

The fact is, online file-sharing moguls such as Schmitz have their own agenda in mind. It was found, according to the article, that he had assets amounting to $175 million, luxury cars such as a Rolls-Royce Phantom, expensive artworks, and supposedly a swimming pool filled with imported spring water and a wall of high definition TVs in his house.

It's easy to see that the motivation behind Schmitz's actions was money. And according to the article, it was the very extravagance of his lifestyle that led the authorities to crack down on him. In the end, whether one is pro-SOPA, pro-IP or whatnot, the fact remains that while the public may benefit from the free sharing of files online, there are still people at the top of the chain who will profit the most, not just because they were able to acquire media for free or for a lower price, but because they are profiting from those people who do.

Daniel Luis Convocar
Entry No. 5.

Previous Entries: #1, #2, #3, #4

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