Module 6: Plundering Pirates

As you will hear in my podcast, I chose to take an excerpt from Steinmetz, K., K. Tunnell (2013). Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates. Deviant Behavior. 34 (1), pg. 53-67. I wanted to emphasize the arguments made by these authors because they analyzed the relationship of consumer and industry from the consumer point of view. I am intrigued to know what makes consumers choose to participate in piracy despite copyright laws and I found that their results were quite accurate. Listen to find out more!



About followemc

In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground where I spent most of my days, chillin out max and relaxin all cool.
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7 Responses to Module 6: Plundering Pirates

  1. sarajnewman says:

    I enjoyed this blog and her point of view on the copyrights, we are not out to bring down the corporate structure we are just trying to be financially sound. We do want to compensate the individuals who produced the work because we want them to continue to perform. We as consumers are just looking for a way to save money. At 99 cents a song and a capacity of 8000 songs on our devices this adds up quickly. As this blogger states its like media industry is stealing from the consumers with their gouging prices. I do disagree with her statement that we should continue with these practices and downloaded illegal content. This music does belong to someone and their work should be compensated but how much is too much? I think if we they brought down the prices of this intellectual property and made it more readably available after the release date individuals would be more inclined to buy the content.

  2. bennetsblog says:

    Good job with your audio blog, I also found this article very informative. Don’t hate me for admitting this but I currently pirate most of my music. I don’t find it very practical paying money for every song I download! From reading the article I found out that my biggest motivation I have to pirate is the motivation to sample. Technically I can afford to buy albums and movies; but as a broke college student these are expenses I would rather get for free if I had the option. I find it very convenient to be able to download an album and sample the songs to see if I like them or not. If I really do love the album and the band I have gone out and bought the CD.
    When it comes to pirating just for the purposes of undermining current copyright regimes I find the whole thing a little more disturbing. I feel like these people are trying to be as wreck less as they can and do as much damage to the industries as possible. It seems like they are acting in a much more criminal fashion and should be stopped. I know It’s very unfair and biased in saying that these people should not be allowed to break the rules yet I can.
    I personally believe in order for some serious changes to occur the governments will have to seriously crack down. They will have to shut down the various websites and give out fines or even jail time for people caught running or participating in them. I know this is really harsh but people need to be scared of getting caught before people will ever considering stopping.

  3. I agree with you in the fact that it is a crime how much we are being charged for music CDs and artifacts, but is it not true that we should respect artists? And maybe out of this respect we should buy atleast some music, the music that we believe we will always listen to, like some music is worth the high prices and some are just not. It is true companies over charge a lot, which is what compels people to go down the piracy road, if only companies could put a monetary value to goodwill, then things would be much better I think.

  4. “Its not like were out to beat the system or bring down the corporate structures” -clap clap clap- I honestly couldnt have said it any better myself. I agree with what you were saying, we ARE consumers and in the end when we want something we will find the cheapest and most efficient way to get it (in this case piracy would be the answer). I also agree with your justification for doing so. I too convert youtube videos to mp3 and before limewire shut down a few years ago thats where I got most of the material on my laptop. I said in my audio blog that “no one can compete with free” and I will continue to believe that for the rest of my life. I understand that the artists and producers and companies put a ton of hard work into everything they put out, but it is very hard to justify spending 99 cents on a song when its even easier to get it for free. Does that make it right? Well….as you said, as long as there’s a loophole in the system I think we can all justify doing what we do. Great podcast, and I look forward to reading/hearing more from you.

  5. Is downloading a deviant behavior? I think not. When a person illegally records a movie in the theatre and then puts it on the internet that is deviant behavior. Sharing music online is really no different than trading cd’s with friends, as in both cases no money was given to the producers, and yet one is still considered illegal while the other is an accepted cultural practice.

  6. ak09dr says:

    Your podcast was very strong! Your ability to be honest and blunt with your stance as a “pirate” in the digital world was captivating. I enjoyed how you highlighted the concept of digital piracy as an act by consumers in the fight against the industry (in this case the music industry). I never thought of illegal downloading as part of a rebellion before. The music industry as you claim in your podcast, are cheating consumers out of fair money, through their inflated prices for songs, albums and concert tickets. Therefore the nature of consumers is to look elsewhere to find the same product for a cheaper price that is accessible. This is when digital piracy comes into play. The digital pirates share content amongst themselves creating a digital community. If this community grows large enough, how do you feel the music industry will react or moderate the situation? I do not believe that digital piracy can be stopped. If digital piracy cannot be stopped, more content will be shared and revenue gained by consumers purchasing music will be of much less value. Therefore artists may turn to reaping funds from other avenues in their career to gain compensation for the money lost to pirates, for example if a consumer does support an artist and wishes to watch them perform, the music industry may turn to inflating ticket prices for performances, or special events to compensate for a portion of the amount of money that they are loosing from illegal downloading.

    The fight between the music industry and the consumers will never find a resolution. The music industry has multiple products (artists) in which consumers absorb (through their music, performance, interviews, merchandise) and admire (beliefs, attitudes, image), that they cannot detach themselves from. Therefore if digital piracy continues I believe that the music industry will find other avenues to compensate for that money, placing consumers who support their artists and wish to experience their talent at a complete disadvantage.

  7. emmythomas says:


    I was very intrigued by your statement that you identify more with pirate communities sharing music than with artists selling music. I had never thought of it before, but it seems like this might be one of the fundamental reasons why people pirate music. Pirates involved in p2p communities are normal people just like us, whereas music artists are generally depicted as rich, famous people living lavish lives – who, moreover, seem to be taking advantage of “normal people” by charging outlandish prices for their music.

    This problem is exacerbated when you look at where the money for legal music downloads actually goes. For example, according to the National Association of Record Industry Professionals, of every 99-cent iTunes download, only 10% goes to the artist; of the remaining money, Apple collects 34 cents and the label company keeps 55 cents. This means that every time a musician finds a way to break the mold and become “one of us,” it’ll still be easier to identify with the pirate community when it comes down to purchasing the music, because the artist doesn’t make much money anyways. Moreover, it’s hard to feel bad for the faceless major music labels that lose the bulk of the money.

    At the end of the day, it’s hard not to identify with pirating culture. Maybe it’s time the industry stops trying to attack that culture with legislation and tries to identify with us by lowering their prices a bit instead! 😉

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