Today’s Long John Silvers and Captain Blackbeard’s no longer require the meanest reputation, biggest ships or the most fearsome of crews to commit piracy; today all pirates need is a broadband connection.
The stance taken by the UK government is that piracy is a crime that won’t be overlooked, yet with such serious consequences, and a potential 10 year prison sentence, how has piracy become one of the most common crimes committed in today’s digital age? And is it affecting music industry jobs?
With 43% of Britain admitting to committing piracy, illegal music downloads are at an all time high. It appears that the illegal downloading of music is seen as “ok” in the minds of most the population of Britain.
Understandably the anonymity of illegally downloading music from your own home appeals more than the use of a balaclava in a heist on HMV but this should not make it any more acceptable. Another possibility is that there it appears to be a victimless crime despite that not being the case.
What is being done?
Although the music industry has long pursued a policy of prosecuting ‘offenders’, to deal with the problem effectively a different approach needs to be taken.
Only recently has the music industry acknowledged the problem it faces, and it took an industry outsider, namely Steve Jobs, to explain where they were going wrong. To combat piracy you need to give people a realistic alternative.