The idea of trying to get “something for nothing” is as old as humanity; and for every product there are always people that will not only make attempts at taking while others pay, but also rationalizing why they shouldn’t have to pay. In our digital era, this has taken on an entirely new realm, and the theft has a long lasting effect on many.
Digital piracy is stealing and/or distributing a product that is copyrighted. In today’s digital age they can include movies, songs, videos, books, and even games. The illegal downloading of any of these ends up costing those that worked to create them as well as the companies that devoted the money to production. However, in the moment that someone is illegally downloading, they don’t think of any of the consequences, only that they are getting something for nothing; and they seem to have an odd idea that they deserve this opportunity. In other situations they are taking advantage of a free download due to financial hardship. In either case, there is a loss associated with nonpayment and it cascades from the corporation all the way to the workers.
It must be stated that a majority of people abide by the laws and pay for digital products. But with that said, there are billions of dollars that are lost due to digital theft. According to RIAA Facts & Research, the U.S. music industry alone experiences incredible losses each year that amount to:
- The U.S. economy loses $12.5 billion in total output annually as a consequence of music theft.
- Sound recording piracy leads to the loss of 71,060 jobs to the U.S. economy.
- Music theft also leads to the loss of $2.7 billion in earnings annually in both the sound recording industry and in downstream retail industries.
- The U.S. federal, state and local governments lose a minimum of $422 million in tax revenues annually due to piracy.
- $291 million of that $422 million represents lost personal income taxes while $131 million is lost corporate income and production taxes.
Source: Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
When you multiply this by the amount of theft around the globe, you are seeing a vast number of people losing their jobs, families affected, and corporate loss that cannot be made up.
In other words, stealing digital pirates is also stealing from individuals and their livelihoods.
The reasons people are digital pirates?
As mentioned above, some people steal because of financial hardships, but this reason only covers a small amount of the theft. Others have a personal philosophy that all digital products should be free and available in an open forum; and there are still others that believe that companies make enough profit and their theft won’t cause any harm. Certain individuals want to create a profit stream for themselves by selling the products they have stolen at cheap prices.
There are those that have a more self-motivating reason for digital piracy and this is where it encroaches on the darker side. These individuals know that there are many people that are vulnerable and fall prey to the temptation of downloading for free. These people will embed harmful malware, Trojans, and viruses into the digital products that will infect those that take advantage of what “sounds” like a good offer.
No matter what the reason or rationale, digital piracy costs everyone in the long run.
CyberEd and Da Vinci Forensics has years of experience working with individuals and companies in adapting to the changes that are required in our digital world. We are committed to assisting corporations in protecting their proprietary products and educating staff to the dangers involved in digital piracy. Theft on any level inevitably has consequences and we work diligently towards the process of understanding the repercussions.