Sometimes I question if I should be less honest and open about myself on my blog but you know what, that is not how we do things here at Out of Time. And don't take my honesty as shamelessness because admitting the things I've done in the past and still do is not an easy feat but I feel as though this needs to be said.
I also want to make it clear that judgment for the things I've done says more about you than it does about it. After reading, if you feel like judging me, think about yourself before you type -as that's the point of this post.
Let me make it clear now so you don't have to wonder "what the hell is this about?" It's about piracy, guys. Piracy.
In class, the teacher wrote a simple question on the board: I know where you can steal 10 grand. You won't get caught, guaranteed and it'll take five minutes? You in?
This led to the class being divided into two, those who would do it and those who wouldn't.
After that, the teacher erased the question and wrote a new comment: the money is from a church.
Since my school is Catholic but a lot of people who go there aren't Catholic, the amount of people in the "would steal" side were split again and so it became [on estimate], one quarter who would steal and three who wouldn't.
The room began to get loud as the people who originally didn't want to steal started berating those who switched sides and calling them "terrible people."
Does where something comes from or what something is matter when it comes to stealing?
I first heard about book piracy back in 2013. I could not comprehend why people would do something like this. In fact, I judged these people way harshly, thinking they must be horrible people from doing this to an author. This was partly because of two reasons:
1) I know the authors. I talk to them on twitter and I can't imagine stealing from them.
2) Why don't you just go to the library if you can't afford the book?
Let me ask you, do you hate book piracy? Do you feel as though it should be deleted? Do you think that sites where you can get eBooks from without paying should be taken down? Have you ever participated in book piracy?
For me, the answer was simple: no.
But ponder the answers to these questions:
- Have you ever used a YouTube to mp3 converter for music?
- Have you ever used a site like putlocker or megashare?
- Have you ever bought movies in plastic casing [usually sold in flea markets or for me, shady Asian places?]
- How much music do you have in your iTunes library vs. how much music did you pay for?
After asking myself these questions, I realized that the story above [about the stealing money] applied so much to me. I was the person who would steal... but not from "the church" [authors.] And honestly, I have no right at all to judge people for reading books they didn't pay for when I watch movies that I haven't paid for. No one is perfect. We've all made mistakes and we all will continue to. If you've never pirated music or watched an illegal movie, then you're probably an angel and I completely admire you.
Honestly, it shouldn't matter whether I know the artist or not, whether they're making an author salary or a world famous pop star salary.
Self-reflecting is one of the most important things in my life. How do we grow as people without looking at our own faults? This post is going up because I need to tell others about how I learned that the extreme way I judged others is wrong. And how I'm still trying to live by the morals I've set for others.
So all of this leads me to a question that I cannot hope to answer: Is it possible for me to say that book piracy is wrong and do all the things to stop it when I'm converting YouTube videos to music for my iTunes library? And when we've all done something wrong [thinking outside piracy,] is it hypocritical to tell others to do right?