Freeloading: don't call it piracy

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Chris Ruen

Illegal downloads are starving creativity but attacking the consumer misses the point.

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One of the problems with embracing sloppy language like “piracy" is that it fails to draw a distinction between a college student who “pirates" a few albums online (and may very well be later paying for concert tickets, merchandise or the albums themselves), a bootlegger making a few dollars by selling pirated DVDs in your local metro station, and a Somali gang member who pirates an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, or the real problem for our purposes—pirate distributors like The Pirate Bay who sell advertising or subscriptions on the backs of exploited creators.

About the author

Chris Ruen is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer.