Friday, July 17, 2009


Maya went home late from the Lifehouse concert but bed was not her destination. She went straight to her PC, turned some websites on and found Lifehouse torrents ready for downloads. The next day, she walked in school dancing her way bragging that she immediately downloaded Lifehouse songs after she was blown away by their concert.

Maya is a huge music fan, but she’s a pirate.

Also, within Manila is Anton. He is a member of this local school band strongly following the genre of local band Urbandub mixed with not so jiving sounds of Moony. Every time a school program will have them, Anton will always volunteer to get music specimens that they spin to sound contemporary. Anton easily provides music not because he owns a record company, but because he has a very powerful internet connection. No downtime, fast downloads; these are Anton’s favorite mantra.

Anton is voracious music man, but he’s an illegal down loader.

Rafa came out of the bank smiling because once again, he added up lots of bucks to his account. He can deposit cash EVERYDAY because he owns a “download-it-all” shop at the heart of university belt. The shop offers downloads of RPGs, MP3s, movies, TV series, softwares, and even graphic designs. Talk about a very timely business situated in a place where clients can easily access. Students love Rafa, because he’s always updated with what’s hot on the wire. He can easily do this because he buys original materials, crack them up and make tons of copies for sale.

Rafa is in business Nirvana, but he is a high fashion theft.

This is how sophisticated piracy is. It goes beyond music. There could be gazillions of reasons why amidst the efforts of many power sources, piracy still stands strong and ubiquitous.

One great reason I could think of is the simple logic of FREE vs. PAID. No matter how hard record companies think of a formula to lighten up their pricing, it just won’t work. Simply because the presence of PRICE still means a dole out of money for something that one can easily acquire for FREE.

Another reason is the operative cliché “for as long as there’s demand, supply will always be available. If the high statistics of illegal down loaders keeps its progress, we can expect that illegal torrent providers will promulgate and keep up with the pace. This is very much the same to the many Starbucks built around the world because the world is craving for it. The only difference is that Starbucks is a legal craving. No one can possibly take out coffee from a printer or hard drive.
This thought leads me to the third reason I could think of for piracy. Music, RPGs, Softwares, and the like are essentially non-tangible. The world getting significantly wired to the internet makes it very convenient to share, transfer and tamper information and data. We don’t blame the gift of technology. We blame human nature.

It’s ironic how piracy can be so huge but people are conceptually blind to see it. People are blind to see that it is wrong. People don’t consider is grave fault because it can be done inside our individual comfort zones without alarms buzzing and security cameras watching. Piracies are not seen as heavy as murder or plunder simply because no standard ruling is out to ditch those who commit it.
I mentioned earlier that many powerful names and seals have been raising different campaigns to combat piracy. But why does it still exist? Virus is not enough of a threat to these people.

Now, I’m not constructing these thoughts to appear holy and innocent to piracy. I have done illegal downloads. I have patronized pirated DVDs. Who hasn’t? But, believe it or not the feeling is not good at all. Having a good time at the expense of others was never my cup of tea.

I thank Red Hot Chilli Peppers for their music that I often listen to whenever I need to get inspired with my projects at work. Same way I listen to Fall Out Boy pumping out my brain vigour so that it will produce quality thoughts and ideas.
I give all my kudos to Dido, Keane, The Fray and The Script for being with me in moments filled with downers. I like them because they’re just there. They won’t talk, but they could perfectly articulate my feelings with their craft.

Finally, I’m in great awe for the music of our prolific local music especially the bands. For songs that articulates our aspirations as youth and for empowering our nation to be proud of own blood and country. Manny Pacquiao is on the limelight not because of the funny text quotes circulating about him but because he simply showed how our small country can literally punch the world rock hard.

To campaign against piracy, we should hit the right spot. Threat is not working so we should evoke emotions. Record labels shall create campaigns that will awaken the hearts of true fans. Create albums that will include elements that can never be downloaded like images, and non-traditional packaging. Artists should also mobilize to fight piracy. It should be a viral campaign voicing out Real Music is owned by Real Music Fans. It should be a social mantra to be in if, and only if you have the real thing.

Campaigns that will make illegal down loaders realize that they owe music industry in so many ways is necessary. Music and artists are not commodities or merchandise. They are part of our endemic existence here on earth. Imagine a coffee shop without the sounds? Imagine movies without the soundtrack? Imagine artists quitting their craft because they can’t take piracy anymore?

Going back on the prelude, maybe you represent Maya, Anton or Rafa. Have some shame. Artists may not be Gods but like you who exist because of your personal beliefs, they too deserve RESPECT.



Lance said...

(woot) sorry I'm guilty of this..Anyhow, like you it doesn't feel right at all...

lucas said...

pwede bang no comment??? hehe! :P