03/30/05 at 10:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

True, it’s hard to resist the lure of piracy, but what does this mistress demand from people in return? Who pays the price?

Most people who have commented on this issue have kept an open mind, discussing the issues soberly and respecting each other’s opinion even when espousing opposing views.

Lyndon Gregorio, however, creator of the Beerkada comic strip that appears in The Philippine Star, felt the need to attack me for bringing up the issue and expressing opinions which he doesn’t like. I don’t mind it if others disagree with me — I don’t delude myself into thinking I’m always right, or dismiss the opinions of others because they don’t fit in with my own views. We can all learn a lot from each other.

But to attack a person because you don’t agree with him — well, that’s pathetic.

You can read the entire message Lyndon e-mailed me in my @Play column, as well as my reply to him. But here’s how he ended his e-mail, which he also made a blog entry.

“Stick to writing, Joey. The entrepreneurial mind never regards the buying public as criminals and terrorist supporters. And as syndicated columnist Dave Barry once said, ‘Don’t you wish you had a job like mine? All you have to do is think up a certain number of words! Plus, you can repeat words! And they don’t even have to be true!’

“And you get paid, whether or not people like me enjoy reading your article/s for free.”

Actually, Dave Barry is one of my favorite writers. Too bad Lyndon is reduced to quoting his tongue-in-cheek statements. Hmm, repeating words? You mean like this? Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic.

You can read my reply to Lyndon in my column, plus feedback from UP professor R Feria. After having his reaction published, R Feria e-mailed me to say he was going to post a blog entry about piracy.

Meanwhile, The J Spot also posted an entry discussing my previous column and blog entry about piracy.

Have you blogged about piracy lately, or do you have comments on this issue? Feel free to share your views.



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  1. hey joey, people can go to lengths denying facts about piracy and how it affects them. Piracy is a ticklish issue very few wants to really “write about.” If some readers don’t agree with you, then **&%$ them!!!

  2. Hi Joey!

    Thanks for the link. While I agree with you that a personal attack is unwarranted, somehow, I’d agree with Lyndon’s statement that

    ‘It’s easy to moralize on the poor when you have a full stomach, indoor plumbing, and separate bedrooms. ‘

    I’ve come to ask myself if I have the right to criticize those who buy pirated items such as CDs and DVDs, when I, myself, am guilty of downloading MP3s on the web, ripping tracks off friends’ CDs, installing pirated software, etc. While I DO advocate the use of open-source software, sometimes I can’t help but use pirated proprietary s/w at times, due to necessity, or simply because there are no other alternatives (i.e. compatibility issues). And I can’t help but download unlicensed digital music.

    Perhaps the best way to address piracy is to make the genuine items more available to consumers, or at least more in sync with Pinoy income levels and consumption patterns. In more developed countries, I would think that piracy is less common because most can afford the real deal (or pirated items are also expensive–I was told that in Canada, pirated DVDs sell for CDN$20 per three discs). Barya lang sa kanila ang bumili ng WindowsXP for US$ 200 to 300. But to us, that’s already equivalent to a month’s income for a lower middle class family!

    Erwin got it right by stating that this issue is a sensitive one. But I do hope we can bring this discussion to higher levels by having more people participate. It’s time we did something about the issue. And perhaps talking about it openly would be the first step to a sustainable solution. πŸ˜‰


  3. hey cyberbaguioboy πŸ™‚ thanks for the support.

    well, readers don’t have to agree, but if you’re going to disagree, don’t attack a person just because you have a different opinion.

  4. Hey, Joey!

    It’s such a sensitive issue that the closet bloggger (excuse the oxymoron) in me has to say something.

    Stealing is stealing.

    Poverty becomes an issue when you talk about basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter. Sure, you can rationalize it all you want. And yes, the government has a responsibility to provide greater access to these things. Still, if you break the law, you have to face the consqeuences one way or another.

    But pirated movies? Other forms of IPR violation?

    How is buying pirated DVDs/CDs/VCDs different from buying the latest cellphone model from a known source of stolen goods because you can’t afford to buy it from legit dealers?

    Or paying a neighbor so you can illegally tap into his cable TV connection because you can’t afford a subscription?

    Or a government official stealing from public coffers because he is underpaid?

    The thing with pushing the line all the time is that, one day, you may no longer know where to draw it. Sorry for sounding sanctimonious but, hey, shouldn’t we at least try to do what is right?

    Methinks we should just let the market find its equilibrium. Sooner or later, it will. The movie rental businessmay soon be back and software companies will hopefully find a more competitive way to sell their wares.

  5. hi angelo, thanks for your comment! i answered that question about poverty and i agree with hypnopompicpinay. we’re not talking about basic necessities here πŸ™‚

    yes, i hope that the prices for original products will go down, but the fact is that some people still buy the pirated copies even when they can afford the original.

    anyway, i have longer posts in the comments to my “consumers and piracy” blog entry

  6. hi hypnopompicpinay, yup, i agree, it’s not like we’re talking about basic necessities.

    i think that in many cases, this isn’t about not being able to afford the original. this is about wanting more luxuries for your money. but check out my latest comment in my “consumers and piracy.”

    it’s now about TRIPS, foreign trade and why the West is imposing IPR on third world countries to keep them poor.

    i have a long answer to that, but one of the points i raised is that we should stop talking about the third world as a monolithic entity and ask the hard question: does the philippines even have a competitive advantage over other third world countries?

  7. Hehe why are you always so controvesial Joey?

    Seriously, I’ve gone through both of your arguments and I can only say is that… piracy is complicated. There are certain issues raised by Lyndon that is morally right and but ethically wrong. And there also certain ideas that you proposed that may be ethically right but economically painful. πŸ˜‰

    But either way, I don’t think this should be reduced to simple right/ wrong statements.

    Likewise, I adore Gregorio’s Beerkada stuff but I thought there was a logical fallacy with his statement ‘the entrepreneurial mind’. Not an intelligent statement to make especially coming from a cartoonist with an excellent satirical pen.

  8. hehe hi banzai… yup, sometimes i wonder about that hehe πŸ™‚

    i agree, piracy is a very complicated issue. it’s not going to be reduced to right/wrong statements.

    i don’t know lyndon personally. i don’t know why the hell he felt the need to make a personal attack. but you know i’m not going to take that sitting down — well, actually, i was sitting down when i wrote my reply hehe πŸ™‚ but what’s done is done.

    but i always try to be fair, which is why his message was published in full. i’m more interested in the actual issue.

  9. hello joey, you don’t know me and i don’t know you personally but i know lyndon. :p this is a very old issue but i just want to clear some things up.

    im not here to say that either of you is right or wrong, but it is my opinion that you may have misinterpreted lyndon’s reaction to you. though his comment was ended as a direct note for you, i didn’t think that his entire argument was a personal attack on you. and even if it were, i don’t think it made the issues raised to be meritless.

    when he told you to stick to writing, i am more inclined to think that he rather believes you to be a great writer and the fact that he reacted to your article (negatively or otherwise) is proof that he reads your articles and takes your views seriously. otherwise, he wouldn’t have reacted at all.

    i sure hope that this would help to lessen any ill-feelings you might feel towards lyndon.

    peace! ^_^

  10. hi chompy, thanks for posting πŸ™‚ ancient history.



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