From Philip Pirkovic
We have seen a very heated debate take place over the last few days. Today I am going to explain what happened in the debate and tell you how and why the negative side (Daniel, Faris and I) have won. The issue at hand is the infamous question of whether piracy, in this case, downloading music, should remain illegal?
We all know piracy has been, and still is a big issue. To many people, piracy is illegally downloading music, movies, software and even books. The reason behind this is simply because people do not feel like wasting money on things that they can get for free. Being a rational consumer, this makes sense. People think yeah, it is illegal, but the chances of me getting caught and punished are slim to none. On the other hand, we have all of the artists and recording companies losing millions of dollars to this horrible thing called piracy.
One of the main arguments that Mister Gromak (who rambled on with a bunch of nonsense and made me waste eight minutes of my life that I will not be able to get back) brought up is the example of buying a CD, vinyl, or a collector item and not being able to download the songs even thought you have already bought the music. He argues that it should not matter how you get the music. James Gromak states, "Why should it be legal to find and utilize the equipment to record a digital version from your own copy of the vinyl but illegal for you to simply download the same album that has already been digitalized? Either way, you have done the same two things: (1) you have bought the album, and (2) you have it digitally. Why should it matter how you manage to get the digital version, if you have already bought it? I argue that it doesn't and that it shouldn't." Daniel comes back by saying that record companies should step in and take control. He offers a few steps, which I believe, will work. If the record companies provide a key code with the CD, which would allow people to download the songs from the CD if they provide the right code. Faris and Daniel also comment on how when you buy a CD, you buy that version of the CD. You are not allowed to download a higher quality version of the songs. My main man Faris stated that, "That is unsound because the artist is selling you one copy of the album, not an unlimited amount. It is not a membership when you buy something of an artist; it is just that specific thing. You do not just buy one thing and get the similar thing." Which is exactly right. Daniel, Faris and I have won this argument because Gromak and Carolyn provide a weak argument to this point. All they state is that you bought the CD, you have the right to download it. WRONG, it is still ILLEGAL! Negative 1…Affirmative 0
The next point that was brought up and discussed was the issue of changing the name of piracy. Mister Gromak stated that we should change the definition of piracy and make it legal. What is next Mister Gormak? Drugs? If you take one thing that is illegal and make it legal, people will push for more and more. Soon, because of your "great" idea, drugs will be legal. Is that what you want? Your buddy Carolyn also goes on to say that "Re-defining piracy is not going to change the amount of downloading that is taking place, but it will serve to eliminate the unlawful witch hunts that are currently in place." If we do what Mister Gromak has proposed, What will happen is that it will encourage more people to download illegally because, well, it doesn't sound like it's so bad. What Daniel proposed is to re-brand piracy. One of the reasons why people do not take it serious because people do not know how bad it really is. He gives the example of words "freedom fighter" and "terrorist". Although they technically mean the same thing, people will react dramatically differently to them when they encounter them". If we re-band piracy and make it the bad thing that it really is, people will stop it. It all relates back to image. People have this image that Piracy is not bad. A common thing that people think is that the rappers and other musicians have ALL the money in the world. They are so rich, that one little CD will not hurt them at all. In reality, it does. If we make piracy seem as bad as people think it is, then it will be decreased dramatically. Negative 2…Affirmative 0.
Another thing that Gromak and Carolyn both tried to do was get you to feel bad. They brought up a few cases where people were caught for pirating music and getting prosecuted. They tried to make you feel bad by saying she didn't make that much money, she had a few kids and so on. However, she did BREAK THE LAW. She knew before hand that there was a chance of being caught. It was a choice that she made and now her and her family have to live with the consequences. This is like saying that we should feel bad for drug dealers that get caught. This makes no sense. We cannot start letting people who break the law off the hook just because they have a family. Once again another weak argument from the affirmative side. Negative 3…Affirmative 0
The last point I am going to talk about was the point that Gromak debated heavily. Gromak ranted on and on about how the RIAA was unethical and illegal. Excuse me Mister Gromak, since when was hunting down someone that breaks that law unethical? I don't know where you learned your ethics are, but they are truly messed up. You go on to state that "So where does all this money the RIAA is getting go? To the artists or record labels of the "stolen" songs? No. It goes into the RIAA's funds for more downloader hunting." You say that the artist's should be reimbursed and the RIAA does not do that. You are correct there, the first right thing you have said this whole time. However, what you did not focus on is the impact the RIAA is having. My main man Faris could not have said it any better when he stated, "Although they are not reimbursing the artists nor the record labels, they are still helping to cut pirates down. If they help cut the illegal downloader's than they will be forced to buy the album which then will the record labels and artists regain somewhat a profit." What you have failed to see with your little eyes is that when the RIAA cracks down on, let me state this point to you one more time ILLEGAL piracy done by people, people will be less likely to download. Hence, making BUYING, not downloading, the only option to get legal music. Once again, another point for the negative. Negative 4…Affirmative 0
Another point that the great Gromak and Carolyn did not bring into play was all of the money loss due to piracy. According to TechWeb, Global music piracy robs the United States of $12.5 billion in economic output and more than 71,000 jobs annually, according to a new study in August 2007. U.S. workers lose $2.7 billion in earnings to music piracy. The recording industry loses about $5.33 billion, while retailers lose about $1.4 billion. According to Stephen E. Siwek, author and principal with Economists Inc., wrote "These direct losses then cascade through the rest of the U.S. economy and the losses of economic output, jobs, and employee earnings multiply," The United States loses more than 46,000 production-level jobs and nearly 25,000 retail jobs due to music piracy. The U.S. government and its citizens lose $422 million in tax revenue, according to TechWeb. That figure includes $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in corporate income and production taxes. Not once did I ever think that me downloading or pirating music online would have that type of long run effect. And I think that most people do not think that either. When you download illegally music, movies or software, think about all of the money that is forgone by taxes. This comes back to hurt us. The government loses this money in taxes because no purchases are made, just downloaded. We are not even talking about movies or software, just music. According to Kevin O'Brien from the May 2008 edition of The International Herald Tribune, Software piracy cost global businesses $47.8 billion in lost revenue last year, up 20 percent from 2006. We are talking about $47.8 billion dollars lost just due to software piracy. No movies, no music, no books, just software. I do not care how rich someone is, no one can afford to lose that much money. Especially in today's world, with how bad the economy has been. According to Mark Reynolds, a group manager of Microsoft stated that "It is generally believed that on average one in every four software programs currently in use is an illegal copy." Without anyone on the affirmative mentioning any of these things, the point goes to the negative. Negative 5…Affirmative 0
In conclusion, this debate was like I said a very heated debate. I think that Mister Gromak was basing all of his thoughts on emotion because he feels so strongly about the subject. In reality, we all know that piracy is illegal and it should remain illegal. There is nothing good coming out of piracy being legal, not one thing.
Kevin's response - Affirmative Rebuttal