8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Decriminalizing Privacy
The intentional violation of the Copyrights Act, in relation to commercial products like music, software, and so on, is known as ‘privacy’. For instance, if you use a music recording or software without a license or make a copy of it to distribute without permission from the creator, you are violating the Copyright Act (Dorrel 2005). The main objective of copyrighting is for the creator to be able to recover all the costs he/she invested in producing the work. Thus copyrighting becomes merely a commercial means to achieve an end. Therefore, ‘privacy’ cannot be applied to any work that has been released or shared freely as an open source (Soliman 2011).
Modern intellectual property laws were intended for the 1850s (Bently & Sherman 1999). The idea of intellectual property and Copyright laws are thought to be a thing of the past. They represent a different phase of information sharing that people have evolved past. The society today needs to evolve just as people and technology have (Smith 2011). There will never be a perfect solution for the piracy issue (Bigwhale 2009). The war against privacy has not stopped illegal sharing and distribution of work, neither has it put fear into the hearts of those who want things for free. Keeping this in mind, the discussions on decriminalizing privacy arose. It is essential to put forth a plan that will work and be fair to everyone involved (Kravets 2007).
Dorrel (2005) suggests that the only way that unfairness of copyright tax that benefits criminals can be avoided, is to legalize privacy for everyone, or decriminalize the benefit itself. This way the public good from the tax will correspond to the free content provided for all. Nevertheless, there are advantages and disadvantages for both the producer and the consumer that arise from decriminalizing piracy.
With decriminalization, the producer or creator gets paid for using those materials that would otherwise have not been paid for. This is a huge advantage for him. Decriminalizing privacy could also push more people to come forward to produce and create material for the good of everyone. An example worth mentioning is the production of LINUX by the open source movement. On the other hand, the consumer also benefits because he gets to enjoy material for a very low price (Thiga 2012).
There are also some disadvantages of decriminalizing privacy. There may come up certain ‘quacks’ with absolutely no knowledge, who will produce anything and then expect their share of the pay. How do you determine how much they get paid? And there are other producers who may not comprehend the complete returns from their works. The consumers also are at a bit of a disadvantage because they end up paying for something they would never even use (Thiga 2012).
The economic reports establish that there has been loss of billions in revenue amounts over the piracy acts. It’s high time something is done about it (Honick & Craig 2005). The thought of decriminalizing piracy has arisen as a result of lack of enforcement of laws by the government. They have the right to identify and punish pirates even if it means invading into their privacy. But the past has shown us this is not possible at the rate piracy is growing.
Smith (2011) says that copyright arises from restrictive motives, and hence leads to restrictive measures. On the other hand, piracy arises out of progressive measured and thus results in progress. Therefore, it is essential to do away with the current intellectual property law and decriminalize the practice of piracy.
- Bently, L. and Sherman, B. (1999). The making of modern intellectual property law: The British experience. Cambridge University Press.
- Bigwhale, E. (2009). Copyrights, intellectually property and piracy. Available: http://www.twm-kd.com/computers/copyrights-intellectualy-property-and-piracy/ Last Accessed 1st February 2013.
- Last Accessed 1st February 2013.
- Honick, R. and Craig, P. (2005). Software Piracy Exposed. Syngress Publishing
- Kravets, D. (2007). Piracy Milestones Converge; Illegal Downloading Goes Unabated. Available:http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/09/piracy-mileston/ Last Accessed 1st February 2013.
- Smith, T. (2011). Legalize Piracy: A Sweeping Response. Available: http://theophillus.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/legalize-piracy-a-sweeping-response/ Last Accessed 1st February 2013.
- Soliman, B. (2011). The Idea of Decriminalising Piracy. Available: http://bryansoliman.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/the-idea-of-decriminalising-piracy/ Last Accessed 1st February 2013.
- Thiga, M.M. (2012). Decriminalising Policy? Available: http://www.thiga.me.ke/decriminalising-piracy/ Last Accessed 1st February 2013.
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