It is because of piracy that I had access to information that would have otherwise been impossible to find. It is because of piracy that I learned how to use Photoshop, how to edit movies, how to install an operating system.
And I am not the only one. All of my friends that have ended up working in the IT field, began by using pirated software. How else would a 15 year old learn to use software that costs thousands of dollars, when the average income was about $200? How else would an average kid in this country have learned stuff that’s price restrictive even in the US or the UK?
And here’s the thing, it’s because of piracy that most of us have jobs today. Without all those hours spent learning the software, my friends and I would not have become graphic designers, or game developers, or technology writers. I daresay we would have been much less productive members of society.
I know I’ve said some pretty incriminating things but here’s the catch: none of us pirate anymore. Why? Because we always knew pirating wasn’t right, but we never really had any other choice. But now when we all have jobs, when the content is finally available, and when the companies have changed their business models to give cheap access to students and teaching institutions ($39 Windows anyone?) we all choose to buy our software, music, and movies. Oh and that family friend that always had hacked operating systems for us? Well he’s now a manager at IBM.
Check out Cory Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema.