Is it Dangerous that Corporations Are Gathering To Fight Piracy?
Should piracy be treated as “theft”? And should consumers buying pirated content feel guilty or even be punished?
These are some of the common questions that lingers our minds when we hear about online piracy. Arguments against online piracy point at infringement of copyright laws that protects copyright holders. As such, reproducing, distributing, displaying and or performing such acts that are likely to impinge on the stipulated laws should be treated with contempt.
Indeed, piracy is a very big problem in the service industry. Under Netflix’s copyright law, piracy is treated and defined as an infringement and as a “theft”. In this context, “theft” entail unauthorized online downloading, distribution and display of materials that may include apps, movies and music.
However, should internet freedom be taken into consideration when introducing any ant-piracy law? Proponents of internet freedom argue that any ant-piracy law limits the individual ability of consumers to freely express themselves and share various ideas. As such, by controlling or suppressing what people can access, share or view online is a direct infringement of internet freedom. The attempt by Netflix and other major websites to fight piracy is a direct suppression of the freedom to speech and communication that should be objected.
The U.S’s First Amendment Act clearly stipulates the inherent right of every citizen to free speech. Ant-piracy laws and copyrights limits this freedom to freely communicate. Instead, what these major sites should do is to establish the primary motivations of piracy. For instance, the prices requested by the sites maybe too high or consumers may require increased anonymity. Indeed, nothing can justify any act that may limit the freedom of online expression among consumers.
So, should there be limitations to internet freedom? Undoubtedly, defining what is acceptable and what is not under internet freedom can be challenging and controversial. Through the internet, people are exposed to extra-ordinary prospects accessing numerous ideas and freely expressing diverse opinions.
So, is Netflix and other major websites justified to fight piracy?
Different legal arguments have been fronted to oppose the description of piracy as a “theft” of intellectual knowledge. For example, in a particular case, the court argued that while piracy clearly infringed the exclusive rights of the copyright holders, no physical control or otherwise can be proved.
So, while Netflix’s idea of protecting copyrights should be commended, they should exploit other cheaper options rather than trying to stop piracy. For instance, Netflix and other major websites can make it easier for their customers who are willing to pay for their quality online content.
This may sound ridiculous, but the truth is that there will always be people trying to get illegal access to the contents. Therefore, blocking consumers from accessing online content delivery services should be considered a serious impediment to the internet freedom. These anti-piracy laws that supports the blocking of sites is an attempt to monopolize the supply of online content.
Of course no one should ever condone piracy, but punishing the consumers through unnecessary censorships is completely wrong. Netflix and other major websites should instead adapt to the changing world. They should also explore other relevant measures to control piracy other than limiting internet freedom.