Pirates of the Hypocriticarribean: The Ethics of Reciprocity in the Digital Age

Is it unreasonable to assume that most of the people who are somehow tied to the entertainment industry are getting their private fix for free?

Mother Teresa - Jack Sparrow Clone

[From the Annals of the 21th Century Buccanneers]


and Hackbeard the Blessed stepped in front of the Mob which was already armed to the teeth gaps with ding-dongles and spoke up:

Fellow Buccaneers, we have gathered here today to discuss how best to protect our hard earned loot against Pirates. Let`s be honest with each other: we don`t know a lot about honesty, but we know at least this: there is no harm in preaching the opposite of what you do, as long as everybody does it.

Ever since I heard about how there are more and more intricate ways to protect our Loot from being stolen by Pirates  - which are the scum of the Sea (which we are not, since we are called Buccaneers) and cost us a lot of ducats - I have mused about the history: The first measure we invented were the Chests, once found, the Pirates` keymakers wouldn`t take long to lockpick them, so we hid the treasures and buried them on remote islands, made maps that were evenly distributed among the crewmembers, but even then : treasure raiders at the end always found these chests. The last attempt our fellow Captain Eamaxis tried is by far the most radical, he sunk his whole ship to bury his treasures deep in the ocean, where no one would be able to find them.

We have been called Liars and Hypocrits by the Pirates, fellow Bucanneers, because we made Laws we don`t believe in ourselves, that we don`t obey ourselves.

The Simpleminded!

Nothing could be further from the truth. Of Course we obey our laws, Monday-Friday 7 am to 8 pm. If we are transporting Apples we have an official Appletransportlicense. If we grow Apples we have a special Appledeveloplicense, if we eat apples, though, we are used to take them from every tree that is in our reach.

Ok, when we talk about Laws we don`t actually mention the time limit, but everybody knows about it, it is conveyed from Father to Son, it`s in our blood. What is wrong with being a Pirate at the weekend and after hours? Nothing, because the Code doesn`t say so explicitly. That is a huge difference to all the filthy scumbags that steal from us.

The Pirates accuse us of building our ships with stolen tools, laughable!

Newsflash: it`s not actually called stealing if you do it in your freetime, it`s called: trying out if the tools work as advertised, most toolmakers even allow for that feature. And what harm is there if we overpaint the watermarks the trial tools are leaving on our deck? They are still there, only invisible. We didn`t actually alter anything.

For years we argued with the sextant-manufacturers, that it is not even funny that every time you cross a longitude degree your sextant stops to work and you must use another one. Ridiculous, the stars don`t actually change, what sense does it make to take 360 sextants to a world circumnavigation?

So we cracked the Longitude limit, the Sextant-manufacturers should be grateful that we showed them the error of their ways.

All sailors are equal. But some are more, some are less. Anyone who says otherwise must be out of his mind.  It is the most beautiful gift for any sailor to be unburdened of his cargo by a Buccaneer, thus he might not fall prey to the claws of Pirates.


[end of citation]


I have a confession to make: I know a lot of Pirates.

I am even related to some. I am even living with one.

The estimations how high the piracy percentages of any mass media product that reaches the market range from 10-90%. The dark figure is huge (meaning extremely dark) since no one can assemble viable data easily.

Let`s change that and shed some light on the data by courtesy of one special Pirate which honesty in this matter I can vouch for.

Duration of Digital Piracy Career: 15 years (1998-2013)

First memorized pirated game: “Tomb Raider 2”

Pirated Music: 98%

Pirated Movies: 95%

Pirated Games: 80%

Pirated Software:99%

Pirated TV-shows: 100%

While this figures may paint that special Pirate as a hopeless, extreme case of deviant Morality, I ensure you, he is a paradigm of mediocrity: He never spent time in a jail, he works in the gameindustry, he has finished a university degree, he has kids, he has a slightly under-average income for his profession. He is not in any stretch of the word extreme.

He could be you.

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