On Wednesday, I posted about PIPA and SOPA and why I think they are terrible ideas. But this in no way means that I support piracy. We do need to do something about it. But one person--me--deciding to completely abstain from piracy will do more to fight piracy than SOPA and PIPA could ever dream of.
I was in middle school when Napster came out. P2P networks and Torrents are as much a part of my childhood as Rocko's Modern Life and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'll admit that it is often easier to stream a pirated copy of a new television show than to Tivo it.
I have a library with music, books, television shows, and movies. They have language learning software for their patrons. They have almost anything I could want and I can conveniently request it from the library website. If they happen to not have it, I can request it. They will borrow it for me from another library system. There are more than enough good books out there to keep me busy while I wait for my requests. If I really feel like I can't spend 10 bucks on a book or CD, then I probably don't want it as immediately as I thought I did.
Amazon consistently puts musical albums that I want on sale for $5. I can afford that. They store it on their cloud service for free, forever. I can access it from anywhere and play it in my browser, or I can download it (legally) and import the songs to iTunes. This is actually a whole lot more convenient than torrenting.
E-Books go on sale all the time. I have over 150 books that I own, but have not read yet. I can wait. And if I'm waiting, I might as well use this handy Kindle Price Drop Tracker. It tells me when books I want drop in price. Then I have a good deal, the author gets paid, and Amazon keeps the file for me, forever.
So this is me, with little confidence in our country's ability to honestly discuss issues. I am making a public pledge not to support piracy, because I am afraid that our discussions have devolved into Piracy vs. SOPA. I want to be part of a climate that allows us to oppose both and find a solution that is good for everyone.