Peer-to-peer aka the act of sharing
Even before there was such a thing as the internet, there were those who would sit by the radio and record their favorite song on an audio cassette. Or they would video tape their favorite movie off the TV with their VCR. People would share the wonderful music and movie tapes with their peers. It was never considered such a big problem back then. Why should it be considered a problem now?
Peer-to-peer communities that offer a wide variety of media have been around for decades. In the 90’s we had Napster, in the 2000’s we had Limewire, Kazaa and many more. Not much later came BitTorrent and hundreds of so called torrent sites sprouted all over the web, such as PirateBay and Kickasstorrents. All have had one thing in common: The wish to share beautiful things with the less fortunate.
Unfortunately, being able to download anything your geeky little heart desires has always been quite a controversy. They say it is an infringement of copyrights and that it is a crime to download anything off the internet like that.
Now you might say: “Wait a minute, I’ve read this before. Haven’t you been nagging about peer-to-peer networks in previous posts? Downloading free stuff off the internet is wrong, because it is stealing!”
And I will say: “Wow, I am honored! Thank you so much for lurking my random blog for so long!”
But: Artists have bills too
Of course! The artist who makes a beautiful movie, wonderful music or awesome video game, deserves credit for their hard work. Of course; they need to be paid too. Most musicians know that to make a living off of music, they shouldn’t just rely on their record sales…
Besides; A lot of people who really like a certain artist will eventually spend their money on those artists in one way or another anyway. Whether it be by buying their CD or a ticket to a movie theater or attending a show or buying merchandise.
Someone will buy their stuff. For sure! And that someone will want to share it with their peers, because that someone thinks it is so good that all their friends and loved ones should know about this wonderful song or awesome game too. So in a way, the artist is getting some free mouth-to-mouth advertisement in the sharing process. More people will know of their great piece of art and more people will want to know more about it. And if those people will love it that much, they will pay for it somewhere down the line anyway. Which makes it a win-win situation to share!
I get it, I do
From time to time, I design stuff for people. As a flaky artist and freelance graphic designer, I understand the fear of artists to not get paid fairly for their work.
Stuff I’ve designed so far are logo’s, banners, flyers and whatever else someone might need for promotional use. And no, I don’t make my designs for free.
Once a client paid me for their desired design, they will share my design with other. The whole point in promotional designs is that they are shared with as much people as possible. It would be unfair and almost impossible if I’d charge my client for every time a new person would see my design. The client paid me for the design, it’s theirs and they can do whatever they want with it and share it with whomever they want. Which is also a great way for me to have more people see my work and attract new customers. A win-win situation!
Now you might say: “Nice try… But that’s not the same!”
You are sitting in the car of your friend. They turn on the radio and a song of Beyonce is played. Is it bad that you and your friend are listening to Beyonce on the radio?
The radio station owns a license to be able to play music for the public and they also paid for the rights of that Beyonce song to be able to for you to hear it on the radio. Your friend might have bought the car radio a while ago.
But. Neither you or your friend paid for the song that Beyonce song that is played on the radio, did you? And maybe hundreds or thousands of other people are listening to that same radio station. These are all people, listeners, who did not pay to be able to listen to that song. But it is okay, right? Because the radio station paid for it already. Someone already paid for that Beyonce song so that you and your friend can enjoy it in te car on the radio.
Don’t roll your eyes on me now!
Here’s a thought:
Let’s say I buy a bunch of apples from the grocery store. It is a bag of 10 apples, to be more specific. Am I supposed to just keep all those 10 apples in my own house and just eat them all by myself? Would it be unfair towards the farmer or the store if I gave an apple to my friend or my coworker or the neighbor or anyone else that I’d like to share it with?
What if I decide to use the seeds of one of those apples and plant it in my garden, to grow my own apple tree? Would that be unfair to the farmer or the store then?
Now you might say something like: “That’s cute, but those apples are paid for so you can do whatever you want with it.”
And I will say: “Wow, my lurking lurker, you are so right! Indeed, I paid for it and I can do whatever I want with it!“
Here’s another thought:
To be able make any media file available on the internet for others, someone made a purchase somewhere. Either they went to a movie theater or went to a record store or an online shop to get it.
Somewhere someone already paid for that movie or that CD or that video game. And now they just want others to be able to enjoy it just as much as they did. It is a compliment to the artist. Isn’t that why artists like to create stuff in the first place? To make people feel things and enjoy? Or is it just about the money?
My customers paid for my designs and share it with their customers, friends and random people. A radio station pays rights and license so that you and many other people can listen to it for free in the car. The apple I once bought might grow into an apple tree in my backyard so that I can share more apples with others.
Someone once bought a Deadpool DVD or a Will Smith CD or the Sims 4 and put it online for others to enjoy it too. It was already paid for by that someone, so why can’t they do whatever they want with it?
Sharing is caring, right?
Movies, music and video games can provide someone the chance to find piece of mind and maybe even gives a spark of hope. It should be a human right for a person to be able to decide on their own what kind of art they want to be exposed to.
There’s so many beautiful works of art out there, like the movie The Shawshank Redemption, music by Queen or Prince or a wonderful game like Dragon Age Origins. Sadly, some people won’t be able to walk into a store and buy these things. Which is a shame, because they are all masterpieces that should be available to all!
Perhaps these people live in a country where they are not allowed to expose themselves to anything but that what the laws in their country considers acceptable. Perhaps they are too poor to buy anything other than food and pay rent. Maybe they are on their last straw and that one beautiful movie, song or game can lift up their spirit and motivate them to keep going. Isn’t that just sad? Don’t they deserve a spark of happiness too?
Thankfully a lot of people still do have a chance of getting their hands on all these beautiful things, thanks to the generous peer-to-peer network of brave people!
Help free Artem Vaulin!
Kickasstorrentz happens to be THE torrent site I go to when I want to find trustworthy movie and game files that I cannot find anywhere else. I must say that of all the peer-to-peer variations that are available, Kickasstorrentz has been my favorite thus far. Not difficult to use and a warm and friendly community that helps one another out.
A few months ago the website unfortunately was seized by the HSI and IRS and the founder of this wonderful website has been arrested by the police. It is an act against human rights that this poor man is being held hostage for simply wanting to share beautiful things with others!
So please; If you too are all for sharing good and beautiful things with the less fortunate, if you might have ever taped a song off the radio and/or if you’ve ever downloaded a movie or game in the past, if you are all for sharing and caring; Help free this poor man. Let’s stand up for human rights together!
Help, by signing this petition and let’s Free the founder of KICKASSTORRENTZ!