Instigator / Con
0
1491
rating
16
debates
62.5%
won
Topic
#5391

Pirating paid content such as movies, games and music is unethical

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
0
0
Better sources
0
0
Better legibility
0
0
Better conduct
0
0

After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Rated
Number of rounds
4
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Minimal rating
None
Contender / Pro
0
1517
rating
13
debates
50.0%
won
Description

Piracy: the unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work

Round 1
Con
#1
Before anyone begins reading this debate, please take a look at the organization of flashdrives for freedom and donate any flashdrives you have but no longer need. They often will sneak in information to North korea of the outside world that they have no access to because of how repressed they are, and yes they undoubtedly put pirated content on these flash drives such as American T.V. shows to bring these repressed people a bit of normalcy in their living hell. https://flashdrivesforfreedom.org/


Piracy is not theft. When somebody goes into your house and steals your t.v. than you have no T.V.. However if they make a copy of a CD you are listening to, you have lost nothing. The entire case for piracy being wrong is based on this silly notion that it is theft, which it most certainly is not. From that point alone I have proven that at worst, piracy is a moral neutral. However as you will see throughout the debate companies are stealing from you and your only recourse may be to pirate content to prevent that theft. You are also going to learn that for many poor people struggling in 3rd world nations. Piracy is the only way they can enjoy real entertainment.

## corporate malfeasance

1. Look corporations are evil. We know this so some of this will not come as a shock to the readers but they are no less infuriating. Earlier this month people who bought a Roku device and by buying the device agreed to the terms and conditions. Now randomly if you turned on your ROKU streaming device recently you got a pop up forcing you to sign a new terms of service requiring you agree to the arbitration agreement. There was no option to deny, you were forced to accept or they just bricked your ROKU stick you paid for. https://qz.com/roku-smart-tv-streaming-forced-arbitration-agreement-1851315704

2. Games that are not pirated perform better. If you bought Resident Evil 8's the village you were screwed over, because by pirating the game you would have gotten better performance. This is due to a lot of anti cheating software the game incorporates and even some antipirating measures that are completely ineffective and useless, but resident evil is far from the only game that runs better pirated. The all do, especially games owned by Capcom or ones using denovu https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/07/better-performance-for-pirates-crack-removes-stutters-from-capcom-pc-game/

3. HP printers if you buy them and use 3rd party ink they will brick your printer, fail to pay for their subscription service, even if you have a full ink toner cartridge they will brick your printer. https://www.wired.com/story/hp-ceo-ink-cartridge-hackers-dynamic-security/ The Ceo when asked about this said that hackers can use ink toner to hack networks. Note this has never ever happened and is very unlikely to ever occur.

4.  Amazon and many other media companies have sold people movies that said "bought at check out", and these companies tend to remove these purchases. It's not exclusive to Amazon, google movies and Apple has done it as well. https://www.techdirt.com/2020/05/07/amazon-sued-saying-youve-bought-movies-that-it-can-take-away-you/  They have removed books you have purchased. Amazon has also pulled books off of kindle that were in the public domain but just not purchased from Amazon. If buying a movie doesn't mean you actually own the movie than I would have to say that pirating a moving is not theft.

## preservation of culture

1. the only way some games or music is preserved is through piracy and they are important to our cultural history. There have been people who would torrent out of print music that was really obscure and could only be found in a few goodwills and which likely would just be lost to history if not pirated. We have an ethical obligation to preserve our cultural history. We also have games now as part of our cultural history and some will be lost and can never be rereleased for a variety of reasons.  87% of classic games are completely unavailable without piracy and will be lost forever. Some favorites from your childhood. https://eriktwice.com/en/2024/02/28/without-piracy-history-video-games-lost/  we are losing classics such as sim city, the sims, flight simulator and even angry bird.  physical media will not last forever either and is not a solution. If you ever want to see Oregon trail again your time is running out because floppy disks have a 30 year shelf life.

2. Its not just games. Disney for example just shelves its classic shows that they could put on their streaming app. You have several seasons of Recess missing, andthese are things that many of us grew up with and want to pass on and share with our children but Disney just wants to be evil fucks. If you sre going to groom my kid with you gay shows the least you can do is also give me season 6 episode 8 of recess in return for me allowing it to happen. https://www.reddit.com/r/DisneyPlus/comments/letidz/how_come_theres_only_3_seasons_of_recess/


## The unfortunate

1. poor people have no access to some things and it's not fair. Rich kids are allowed to play whatever games they want whenever they want but if a poor kid in Somalia wants to play Donkey Kong or listen to the Beetles than I guess he can go fuck himself because Nintendo and Sony want to send goons to his door. It's not just games. A kids only way out of poverty might be to pirate some Udemy courses and learn a skill like video editing, coding or cyber security and it's not unethical for him to do whatever it takes to feed his family, to escape poverty, to have an opportunity to make a real impact on the world and live a fulfilling life.

2. people in repressive regimes like north korea can only obtain pirated content. I gave you the link earlier to donate flash drives. It's important these people get some momentary escape from their repressive regimes and a simple USB thumb drive with a pirated show such as friends could be a real life saver.

## Piracy has no economic impact on companies

1. Nobody wants to risk paying $20 for a cd that sucks from an unknown artist. A lot of times pirating content gets you to learn about a band and purchase more of there stuff. Studies also show pirated content tends to also sell better. The Eu when criticized for going after piracy in such a heavy handed manner, wanted to prove they were not absolutely retarded for being thugs. The study found (drum roll) that piracy has no economic impact whatsoever. Apparently when people say they are only pirating content they would never buy, they are being honest. The EU spent close to half a million dollars on the study then ended up suppressing the results because it wasn't what they wanted. So they had 100% proof that acting like the gestapo was a bad thing and than the EU said "Fuck it, we kind of like acting like gestapo so let's suppress the truth" https://www.engadget.com/2017-09-22-eu-suppressed-study-piracy-no-sales-impact.html  In the case of Games the EU study found that pirating games increased the likelihood the game would be bought by the pirate.

2. If content creators used FOSS to say learn Gimp or free editing than they likely would be less likely to end up buying photoshop later on than if they pirate an old stripped down version and learn it than pay for the one with more features once they get the money. Think about it. GIMP does all the same exact things as photoshop but even better and is free. If broke content creators get their start with something like GIMP instead of a pirated copy of photoshop, then they would never ever use photoshop and photoshop would miss out on sales when the content creator grows their audience.

## Conclusion


Pirating content at worst is morally neutral and at best it is unethical to not pirate. Pirating preserves culture, gives access to media and education to the poor and those in repressive regimes, it also acts as a type of counter balance to corporations being evil such as ROKU or HP or Disney. Also best yet, pirating according to the most extensive study on it is proven to not only to have a neutral economic impact but in the case of videogames, actually helps to increase sales.


Pro
#2
Con was banned for a year for encouraging people to pirate content, thus proving that it is unethical.

Date: 3/32/2023
Moderator: Barney

WyIted (not to be confused with Wylted, who has an L instead of an uppercase I disguised as an lowercase l in the middle of their name), has been banned for up to one year, to end sometime on April 1st 2025-1.

His offenses are many, but chiefly since the creation of their account in February, has proceeded to be a goddamned WyIted... every... single... day!

Further, he advised people on how to disable JavaScript explicitly to get past many paywalls: https://youtu.be/rhn0wdYLzls
There are of course many valid reasons to disable JavaScript, which said video could be used to learn, even while it should not be used for to hide ads or bypass paywalls.

...

On a related note,  your nearest library likely has a mass subscription (or exemption) to news site paywalls.
Similarly, even as an Alumni, you can likely use virtual tools from your university/college to legally bypass them using the school's credentials.
I urge everyone to vote Pro.
Round 2
Con
#3
fake news people. Extend arguments
Pro
#4
…………….Fuck.







Code of Ethics
  • All piracy is theft. (If you replicate any content that does not belong to you without paying for it, and share it with someone else for them to use. You have stolen something that is not yours and committed theft.
  • Theft is bad.
  • All individuals or creators of a work or product have the final say on how that content is used.
  • Consumers do not have the right to content just because they do not want to pay.
  • Two wrongs do not make a right.
  • The law, while imperfect, is used to protect businesses and consumers from unfair treatment.
  • While exceptions exist, they neither break nor change the rules.
S1: If pirating movies, games, and music violates the consent of the owners to be distributed in a way against their will, then pirating paid content is unethical.
S2: If pirating paid content results in real-world harms to people, then pirating paid content is unethical.
S3: If pirating paid content breaks the law, then pirating paid content is unethical.
S4: If pirating paid content causes the loss of a livelihood or a passion, then pirating paid content is unethical.
S5: If pirating paid content threatens the manifestation of creative potential, then pirating paid content is unethical. 
S6: If pirating paid content leads to loss of entertainment for consumers, then pirating paid content is unethical.

Contentions

Piracy Hurts Businesses & Individuals

Pirating movies hurts the film industry through sabotaging income that comes from box office sales, legal streaming platforms, and DVD sales. This huge subtraction of revenue damages not only the big names in the film industry, but also smaller companies, including independent filmmakers which not only causes smaller budgets but also job loss. 1 
If profit is marginalized, this threatens the accessibility to resources that may be needed for film requirements that succeed your budget. And by sanctioning the deliberate harm, the decreased budgets would lead to the production of movies that are lower-quality, thereby affecting the experience of the viewer paying to watch. Then as a result, less content is being produced ultimately resulting in increased consumer dissatisfaction. 
Illegally distributing music also has similar consequences, ultimately causing the loss of 72,000 jobs in the United States. It also causes the loss of $3 billion for sound recording industries & retail, but the federal, state, and local governments lose a total of $422 million in tax revenue as a result of piracy. A lot of composers and songwriters need royalties to make a sustainable living, but piracy undermines and reduces the royalties they get which hurts their ability to thrive. Given the effects of digital piracy on not just the economy, but the global economy, there is a sudden increase in job cuts and fewer investments which severely destroys the financial stability of companies that exist to provide quality entertainment. 2 Illegal content usually compromises software. Downloading video games come with an increased risk of malware that can jeopardize the security of a computer. Not only does pirating content come with potential infection, but piracy websites are statistically rated as the #2 source of virus risk. 3 

Rebuttals

1. Look corporations are evil. We know this so some of this will not come as a shock to the readers but they are no less infuriating. Earlier this month people who bought a Roku device and by buying the device agreed to the terms and conditions. Now randomly if you turned on your ROKU streaming device recently you got a pop up forcing you to sign a new terms of service requiring you agree to the arbitration agreement. There was no option to deny, you were forced to accept or they just bricked your ROKU stick you paid for. https://qz.com/roku-smart-tv-streaming-forced-arbitration-agreement-1851315704

Certainly proving one fruit is bad does not speak for the entire apple tree, not that proving a business’s loss of integrity or moral corruption justifies retaliation through the form of stealing their content. If this argument were allowed to pass, we could likewise make similar justifications for committing other acts of retribution that are likewise vile, and then the threshold in where the line gets drawn seemingly gets lowered. 
If Con was eating at a restaurant and the waiter surprised him with the bill that charged him extra because the place unexpectedly raised their prices, Con could make the argument that he doesn’t need to tip the waiter because the restaurant mistreated him by forcing him to pay a price he doesn’t want to pay, and then rationalize doing the same to all waiters because restaurant corporations are evil.

2. Games that are not pirated perform better. If you bought Resident Evil 8's the village you were screwed over, because by pirating the game you would have gotten better performance. This is due to a lot of anti cheating software the game incorporates and even some antipirating measures that are completely ineffective and useless, but resident evil is far from the only game that runs better pirated. The all do, especially games owned by Capcom or ones using denovu

This is not necessarily the case. It has been observed that pirated games have a higher risk of containing viruses and infected malware than they do the chance of higher quality. Content and gaming creators have been creating a sort of deterrence for those who attempt to gain the game illegally. The creators of Batman Arkham Asylum deliberately tampered with the game, so when cheaters pirated it, they would then reach a level where progression was impossible. 3

3. HP printers if you buy them and use 3rd party ink they will brick your printer, fail to pay for their subscription service, even if you have a full ink toner cartridge they will brick your printer. https://www.wired.com/story/hp-ceo-ink-cartridge-hackers-dynamic-security/ The Ceo when asked about this said that hackers can use ink toner to hack networks. Note this has never ever happened and is very unlikely to ever occur. 

Irrelevant. The resolution is limited to only movies, games, and music.


1. the only way some games or music is preserved is through piracy and they are important to our cultural history. There have been people who would torrent out of print music that was really obscure and could only be found in a few goodwills and which likely would just be lost to history if not pirated. We have an ethical obligation to preserve our cultural history. We also have games now as part of our cultural history and some will be lost and can never be rereleased for a variety of reasons.  87% of classic games are completely unavailable without piracy and will be lost forever. Some favorites from your childhood. https://eriktwice.com/en/2024/02/28/without-piracy-history-video-games-lost/  we are losing classics such as sim city, the sims, flight simulator and even angry bird.  physical media will not last forever either and is not a solution. If you ever want to see Oregon trail again your time is running out because floppy disks have a 30 year shelf life.

In most cases, piracy actually threatens culture by undermining the recognition of film-makers and artists who use symbolic expression through their artwork. Obsolete games and forms of tech. While these examples of preservation through piracy may or may not be valid, these are exceptions to the rules. In our modern digital age, most cases of piracy harm culture.

1. Nobody wants to risk paying $20 for a cd that sucks from an unknown artist. A lot of times pirating content gets you to learn about a band and purchase more of there stuff. Studies also show pirated content tends to also sell better. The Eu when criticized for going after piracy in such a heavy handed manner, wanted to prove they were not absolutely retarded for being thugs. The study found (drum roll) that piracy has no economic impact whatsoever. Apparently when people say they are only pirating content they would never buy, they are being honest. The EU spent close to half a million dollars on the study then ended up suppressing the results because it wasn't what they wanted. So they had 100% proof that acting like the gestapo was a bad thing and than the EU said "Fuck it, we kind of like acting like gestapo so let's suppress the truth" https://www.engadget.com/2017-09-22-eu-suppressed-study-piracy-no-sales-impact.html  In the case of Games the EU study found that pirating games increased the likelihood the game would be bought by the pirate.

Exposure through pirating does not increase profit. Even if piracy leads to more awareness of the artist’s work, the artist is still losing out on potential sales due to not generating any income, and this pirating of their work would only perpetuate awareness through more pirating. Thereby leading to decreased revenue and the production of fewer content, resulting in a resignation or job loss. 

                   https://www.consequencesofpiratinggames.com 


Round 3
Con
#5
I actually gave studies and Meta studies on my position and my opponent gave opinions and blog articles to attempt to contradict points I made such as that piracy has no negative effect on creators. 

Or I pointedout that often times pirated content runs better when pirated and my opponent mentioned that it's not always the case. It's a dumb argument just ignore it when it is not the case then.

He also dropped my arguments about helping out those such as in north korea etc. 

So essentially I would win this but I am sick of dealing with the fucking jester who is threatening me and I refuse to play his game. I am not going to be a slave any more. I am going to be free. 

Please I will not release the documents just leave me alone you fake Roman clown or whatever you are
Pro
#6
Moral Incentives

Con has implied that we have the obligation to illegally stream paid content for viewers who lack the means to afford to watch the content in a law-abiding manner. However, this point of view inflicts more harm and causes more consequences as a whole that would fail to reasonably coincide with the point this philosophy is attempting to make. But before I get into that, I need to emphasize that.: 

  • Pirating paid content is not a necessity for survival, nor is entertainment a basic living requirement.
  • A person’s circumstances does not grant them the privilege of taking content without the creator’s permission. 
  • If pirating leads to the pirater’s death, then manufacturing pirated content is abominable.

Now if Con is morally consistent, then he would agree that we as a society should not condone behavior that would cause unintended harms for the person seeking to access paid content illegally. As it has been observed in North Korea, people who have been observed to smuggle, watch, or distribute foreign entertainment content in North Korea are executed. Therefore, it can be reasoned that pirating for North Korean citizens is unethical on the basis that it causes their death, and that any person who pirates content with this information is an abomination to the eyes of society. 1 So not only do the very factors of survival negate any obligation of pirating content for North Koreans, they actively discourage it.

Credibility & Assessment

Yes, forget that the findings of my sources are backed by statistical analysis and qualifiable research. A comprehensive review of 25 studies on piracy by The Technology Policy Institute concludes that 90% of these studies discovered a proportionately destructive effect from piracy on sales, suggesting that piracy actively hurts revenue. 2
The second study by The Global Innovation Policy Center has come to the observation that piracy causes damage of up to at least $29.2 billion of lost revenue yearly. 3 
Round 4
Con
#7
Forfeited
Pro
#8
Extend all arguments & sources.
Please vote Pro.

If you check Round 1, I wrongfully assumed Wylted had been banned for a year. This was actually a prank by Wylted for April Fool's, as stated by RationalMadman in the comments section.: https://www.debateart.com/debates/5391-pirating-paid-content-such-as-movies-games-and-music-is-unethical?open_tab=comments&comments_page=1&comment_number=3