Monday, September 19, 2011 3:00 pm | By J. Michael Wahlen
Today, September 19, happens to be one of our favorite days here at the Property Rights Alliance. This day happens to be International Talk Like a Pirate Day , and we would like to take time out on this sacred holiday to discuss the importance of the issue of piracy. We don’t mean Captain Jack Sparrow, or the Somali pirates, but instead the internet piracy of software, songs, books, and other copyrighted works.
Internet piracy has been growing rapidly in recent years. Currently, 23.8% of all internet traffic involves the illegal downloading of material, with the United States leading the way as having the highest number of illegal downloads. China, however, is not far behind. Out of the estimated 457 million internet users in China (compared to 223 million in the US), it is estimated that 99% of all music downloads in China are illegal.
The effects of internet piracy have been a broadside attack on the U.S. economy. It is estimated that software piracy costs the U.S. over $59 billion dollars a year , music piracy costs $12.5 billion a year , and that book industry costs are over $2.8 billion in piracy . These costs are massive, and must be addressed by new legislation. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) estimates that the music industry loses out on over 70,000 jobs every year due to piracy.
While there are a lot of great ways to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day, please don’t do it by downloading copyrighted material illegally. Leave the looting and blundering to the characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean, and give the creators of content what they deserve. After all, rewarding great content is the best way to encourage more of it.