Some creative people, and I used to be one of them, lack integrity. They strive on strengthening their talent, but fail to build on their character. And if there is one thing that will lead you to destruction will be a weak character. Here’s my point:

If you’re an artist and a pirate. You’re stealing from yourself. Consequently, bringing ruin to your career. Slowly, but surely.

I think grandma will say, “If you can’t buy it, don’t get it.”

There are plenty of free pleasures out there. Go and support them. If you want something that bad, honor the maker or the artist and blessed them with your dollars. Plan and save for it.

I think grandpa will say, “You reap what you sow.”

What can we expect after a product launch while living a pirate life? The same in return, maybe.

Will filmmakers keep torrenting movies? Will musicians keep downloading “free” music? Will writers keep downloading “PDFs” of X books? Of course. But let’s teach our viewers, listeners, and readers something here: Buy; Invest; Give; and Support by example.

I’m not going play the holy card here. Maybe an ebook or two comes my way. A movie is transferred by a friend. Not going to lie. But if I can challenge myself and other artists to minimize this criminal activity, we’ll be doing ourselves a huge favor here. We might start a movement; a code; a lifestyle.

Invest in your character. Build integrity. Buy awesome products. Teach others to do the same.

15 Replies to “Piracy”

  1. I just recently watched Pirates of Silicon Valley. what are the odds.

    adding Austin Kleon’s “Steal like an Artist” into the mix, both the movie (Silicon Valley) and the book refer to Picasso’s famous quote “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” it seems like one type of piracy is lauded while the other is demonized. plagiarism is an academic offense, but Apple “pirating” Xerox’s GUI software or Facebook “pirating” a platform from a couple of Harvard twins is encouraged or at the least overlooked—as long as a lot of others benefit and money is made. (even my adding quotations around the word pirating for them says something)

    is it safe to say that artists can pirate as long as what we steal is being revamped into something new and then shared with the mass public for everyone to enjoy? like a modern-day Robin Hood? or should great artists (including tech developers) be treated more like Omar Little in the Wire? both are antiheroes, but Hood is praised while Little is vilified.

    great post. you’re making a brotha think this morning. taking me back to that ethics101.

    1. Is it safe to say… No… Why steal? Let’s say you buy it and then create something from it. Or we ask for licenses, pay for them, then create based on that. I know it’s hard, but it’s a start to create the change. We can all do both: steal and create… We can also wait (save), buy and create. Glad we can choose. It is tough not to do the right thing.

      1. An idea is never original. It evolves from somewhere.

        It’s not really about whats right and wrong here, it’s more of: what’s in your heart?

        If it’s greed, pride, and selfishness — then thats how you operate business. If it’s gratitude, humility, and selflessness (business or not) you give credit to whom credit it due. Why lie about it? Own it. Make it better. Give it a facelift. That makes a great artist.

        If you’re going to steal, steal great.

        1. Of course… Lol… Here I am thinking you talking Piracy as in mp3 downloads and movies, etc… Which you did and somehow that’s what got stuck, same with Christopher’s comment! Lol…

          So – yeah, now that I am awake and get it – STEAL… Nothing is really brand new anyhow, it’s all re-invented and with a new twist. The catch is in which flavor and specific twist you and I bring to the table…

  2. Tough topic to write on Josue. Most, if not no one, likes to talk about what we do wrong. Love the occasional music and video… Guilty… I think we’ve all been there and done that. Finally and happy to say I own all of my software and plugins. It’s taken a big chunk of time and cash. But it feels good to really own them. And I’m not any longer spending hours and hours looking for stuff. I use what I own and just keep digging deeper and learning more.


    1. Again, I’m no one to say your doing right or wrong. But I’m someone to say we need to work on integrity and character. When you focus on bettering those human elements, you’ll do more than just correct your piracy tendencies. The battle is not piracy, guns, race, and etc. It’s more internal than that.

  3. Again, I agree (now that I see it… Duh).

    The battle is in the doing. Stop the information overload and go from listening and reading to doing stuff. Like we said yesterday: work SMARTER and not HARDER. Re-allocate the time wisely and for good.

  4. i think there’s a new model appearing though, one that blends the awesomeness of piracy (yes, i said “awesomeness”) and the integrity of character. i think it starts with the creator… and their decision to simply give things away. more creative financial models then, as a consequence, are born.

      1. josue just made a nice distinction between consumer piracy and producer piracy. I wonder if “pro-sumer” piracy can be deemed as parodies and spoofs published on a platform like YouTube. either way, it seems like this idea of giving things away, like john said, is a key factor in how we view it all—and for the financial models. that’s a great point.

          1. We had that attempt at Give Like Crazy… It was fun while it lasted…

            Anyone read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk?

            In essence he’s also sharing how we need to create connections at first by giving, giving, giving – then and only then, perform the art of ASKING!

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