Legal Piracy aka DVDs: 11 for $100

I can’t help but feel that lawlessness is a part of our culture and mindset. I recently read in the newspaper where the CEO of Directv in the Caribbean was complaining about the legal cable company pirating some channels, mainly the so-called premium channels like HBO and Cinemax. This was supported by a statement from HBO that the cable company had no permission to broadcast those channels. The Directv CEO also said he wrote the Minister responsible for the protection of intellectual property about a year ago on the issue and he is yet to receive a reply. This lack of interest shows where the Government stands on intellectual property – nowhere.

I feel successive Governments have turned a blind eye to cable and DVD piracy because it would create an uproar among the masses and the masses have too much to worry about. The reasoning goes beyond that. If the Government clamps down on big “legitimate” business because of piracy then the Government would also have to clamp down on the “small man” for the same reason. This is a no-win situation for the Government because hitting the small man means losing votes and hitting big business means losing friends.

The people continue to be ignorant about what makes a society better and therefore continue to support the things that are illegal and/or immoral. Our leaders continue to only run their mouths about the value of intellectual property while blatantly refusing to protect it. Laws and their enforcement would not eliminate piracy but it would make a strong statement about the value of intellectual property to the nation.