Piracy is a complicated issue for me because on the one hand yes, it does take money from smaller and independent artists making it harder for them to produce their work. It really does take that work away and ultimately makes the world a poorer place.
On the other hand massive corporations have created and encouraged a lack of preservation and access to media so great that the only real option is piracy. They've done that by abusing tools like Copyright which are meant to protect ARTISTS not Intellectual Property.
In fact I would say that artists suffer far more under the current reign of Disney's Copyright Law abuses than whatever pirates are doing to the industry by stealing their work. They've made the industry a far crueler place with far less space for a variety of voices.
All those legitimate worries over the lack of diverse voices can be tracked back to the hoarding of art by capitalist institutions like Disney. They sit on them like a dragon sits on it's stolen treasure and they use the spectre of piracy to justify their hoarding.
They are the gatekeepers.
The way to really protect artists is to preserve their art and not let it be hoarded and stolen by corporations who spit on them as they starve to death in a corner. Which brings me to another thing: PAY THEM TO PRESERVE THEIR WORK. This is their labor. This is their livelihood.
Imagine a media preservation effort that is available to the public the way libraries are and it pays artists for their work on the regular so they can live and work. Encouraging people to make art and giving them access to that art not just domestically but internationally.
Of course this can never happen now. Libraries are barely happening now. We're lucky we got them when we did. Today libraries would be labeled criminal by corporations and independent artists alike. There'd be massive industry effort to deligitimize them.
To me the issue with piracy is simple: If there is a need for access and preservation there will be a need for piracy and people will unfortunately abuse that need.
That does not make piracy good or bad it makes it another tool for accessing and experiencing art. I understand why some would frown upon that conclusion but frankly when I was younger and poorer piracy was one of the ways I consumed art and I occasionally still do it today.
I especially do it for work that no longer is available for whatever reason. I think it can be justified in many situations and to say otherwise is naive and shallow.
This thread was inspired by people being mad at a tabletop rpg piracy website that I've used in the past.

Fuck that website. You gotta be a prime shithead to steal and then mock the those you robbed openly. Not to mention just a bad thief in general.

Can't respect that hustle.
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