Internet piracy

What is illegal to download? What does this mean for individuals and schools?

Introduction: "People like free stuff. If you concede that piracy will always be with us, where does it fit into our future?" If piracy is wrong, why does it feel so right? From downloading licensed programmes, e-books, music, movies, TV programmes, everyone's doing it right? "We expect it to be accessible to us in the most convenient and easy way possible. And if that access proves to be too expensive or onerous, consumers have demonstrated few misgivings about grabbing culture wherever they can."

We are in a culture of 'sharing' and getting things for 'free'. If you don't get caught then what's the problem? Right? Wrong. The truth is, we are damaging the very industries that provide this material and eventually ourselves. This not only becomes a legal issue, but a moral and ethical dilemma. In Illegal downloading: How do you explain it to the kids? Erin Anderssen writes, "And the fact that the tech industry sells devices that make file-sharing easier, and that blank CDs come with the levy, makes the situation even fuzzier to explain, he says. "The very industry that tells them it's bad is sending mixed messages." "...Why else would you sell home consumers a 2-terabyte hard drive that streams video to their television through a Playstation 3 unless you're assuming they'll be downloading content online?"

Nigel Hulls from CORE education says, "A digital copy of an mp3 has no intrinsic value, it can be copied multiple times, and each time the copy is identical to the original. How can you make a child understand that under today's law this is wrong?" So, what do we need to know about internet piracy as adults? And how do we explain it to our kids?
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Image copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 7/21/09

Internet piracy - a definition

Internet piracy is the unlawful reproduction and/or distribution of any copyrighted digital file that can change hands over the Internet. This can be done with music files, videos and movies, e-books, software, and other materials. Those who engage in Internet piracy can often conduct their entire operation on the Internet, including advertising and sales. Internet piracy has become a worldwide crime problem, because of the relative ease with which it can be committed, even over long distances.

Source -

Participation: What is our current reality? Please note, this voting poll is completely anonymous. Results will be published once they come through.

Suggestion: Read the following Interface article and leave a comment in Interface Magazine online.

Have any of your teachers ignored copyright law? Do they continue to do so? Are they aware of the implications of this?

Do you think we can teach ways to avoid piracy to our students?

Reflection: We'd love to hear your view. As well as leaving comment in Interface, you can leave a message in the DISCUSSION tab above (this will appear in the thread below).

Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Piracy and School tessagray tessagray 0 143 Jul 8, 2010 by tessagray tessagray

Additional resources to consider:

Illegal downloading: How do you explain it to the kids?

External resources in Netsafe on file sharing and copyright infringement