This post was first published on KickAssTorrents site from user DethHolly’s account authored by me. It’s cross-posted from there for the readers of this blog.
This is my first blog post on this community. I haven’t got the blogging right yet, but thanks to superuser Holly, I’ve got a way to get my words published in this community. I’ve been downloading stuff from kickass torrents for a long while now. While others go to the pirate bay the moment they need to download a torrent, I come to this site because I think it’s more user-friendly and sometimes I just need to download the torrent file and not the magnet link, which is not currently possible on the pirate bay.
First, let’s talk the background of what caused this topic to spawn from me. 😉
THE PRIEST DAYS!
I’ve been blogging from 2006 in my native language and from 2008 in English and I’ve mostly written about technology (news, tutorials, etc) on blogs, newspapers, print magazines, etc. Thus, I have an online community of people (mostly in my country) who follow me on Facebook and other community blogs.
Sometime in 2009 or 2010, I got my first chance to test the open source operating system, Ubuntu. I loved it because of its simplicity, fast responsiveness and less hunger for resource (which isn’t entirely true at its current state). I joined the open source movement and started supporting/spreading the words about using open source linux software. I’ll tell you why I opposed using a pirated Windows operating system.
First, our country is tagged with one of the countries with an incredible percentage of software piracy. Second, most of what average people do on computers can actually be done on those Linux-based distros. Granted, if you’re a Photoshop person, Ubuntu is no good for you. But trust me, most average people only listen to music, play movies, write documents and surf the web. For these purposes, you don’t really need to use a pirated product and harm the country’s image to the international world.
Also, there were words that Microsoft will apply some sort of strict security policy in association with law enforcers that will make it difficult to use pirated Windows. (Know anything about it? Please let me know.) So far, I know that they don’t care much about general people using pirated Windows at their home PCs because of what is referred to as “corporate social responsibility”. But I’m quite sure about that.
I wanted to make sure that people will not be forced to learn a new OS if that law takes effect which will prevent them from using pirated Windows. And a license of Windows costs as much as a whole new computer. People can actually buy two computers at the price of one computer and one Windows license. You get the picture why nobody will be able to buy Windows for home use.
“GTFO,” implied Microsoft, “We don’t like your territory!”
When Windows launched 8, I was curious to give it a try. Those alpha, beta, release preview etc versions come directly from Microsoft so I didn’t really need to bother much or hear criticism from the open source community that knows me. I was surprised with the less hunger for resource and fast response of Windows 8 that I was actually intrigued to buy a license. The $39.99 promotion made me want to buy an original Microsoft Windows license for the first time. It’s actually unbelievable that a guy like me, who has always whined about Microsoft’s security holes, annoying pop-ups (which was fixed in Windows 7, though) and encouraged people to use Ubuntu instead, is getting a Windows license for himself. But my point was, if it’s worth paying for, why not?
But then, Microsoft GTFO’d me. A great time. That’s another story. Read it here: https://aisjournal.com/2012/11/04/seriously-microsoft-i-tried-to-do-something-good-and-this-is-what-you-greet-me-with/
The short version is, the promotion was available to a select countries only. Some folks from my country used VPN to purchase license pretending to be from a supported country. But I didn’t go that way. I was seriously annoyed at Microsoft. If they didn’t want me purchase their license from where I am, I’d rather keep f-ing them and use pirated content (and stop asking people to stop using pirated Windows). If Microsoft wouldn’t let me enjoy a promotional price for its product just because I don’t fall in an area that they like, I wouldn’t bother Microsoft losing money because of people using pirated Windows.
That spawned a whole new point of view in me. Most people download stuff via torrent not because they are not ready to pay for it, but because either there isn’t a way to pay for it or the payment is too much hassle for them.
Take movies or TV series for example. With our average 20-30 kB/s internet speed, it’s really a bit of heavy duty to download 1GB+ movies and 10+GB of TV series. I would rather pay to Netflix or anything like that to stream the movie/TV show at once. I rarely watch the same movie twice unless it’s really that great. If a movie is worth being in collection, I can afford to buy its DVD. Not until then.
So, if I were to stream, I would require: i) Fast Internet connection, which is a big problem; and ii) support from my country. If I access Google Play Music for music or Netflix for TV show, I’m greeted with a friendly “Your country is not supported” message. My immediate reaction is: Alright, better look for its torrent on the web.
That isn’t the case with the people from supported countries. But somewhere on the blogosphere, I read that the fact that TV shows come to Netflix after a long time since they are aired is what make people go mad and download torrent.
“THERE’S STILL A PRIEST IN ME!”
Now, I don’t think that downloading pirated stuff should be banned or anything. Duh, I’m at a place where people come for downloading. 😛 But I learned that people download illegally because there isn’t an easy way to get that legally. For me, I try to buy things from small developers who try to make a living off their creation. Those who make products need to live as well. So, when downloading things like apps and games for my Android, I give it a test by downloading from torrent and if it’s worth the money, I purchase it. And where I can’t, like that case with Windows 8, I just continue to use it.
My goal wasn’t to write an essay on why piracy is taking place. I’m not even intended to prove my point that piracy will go away if there is an easy way to pay for it. If that was the point, I wouldn’t be writing here. Because “torrent”, or this site for that matter, is just a way of sharing pirated stuff. If I use a flash drive or an online cloud storage for sharing cracked item, that should not necessarily mean that the flash drive or cloud storage used to store or share the content is illegal and should be stopped. I remember someone saying that BitTorrent should not be termed as a way to download illegal stuff, because that’s not what this technology was meant for. And I totally agree with that.
The bottom line is, companies like Microsoft should make it convenient for consumers to pay for the services or products that they are offering. This won’t magically turn off the piracy, but it will allow small people like me who – despite having a little above $100 income from oDesk per month (because all I’m good at is blogging, and writing is the least-paying job ever) – are willing to pay for services that make their lives better. I hope someday they will understand and treat everyone from every part of the world in the same way and not offer promotions with an annoying “US and select countries only” tag.
“DO YOU FEEL PRIEST-ISH?”
Now your turn. If you were able to pay for a product and it was convenient to do so, do you still download that via torrent? Why, if so?
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