One of the things you learn when you read books on making money and you start creating your own content is that things are not free and they take a lot of time! In our society though, we have an aversion to paying for content other people create and instead, turns to piracy. It is almost a badge of honor when you say you don’t pay for something. People pirate movies/games, suffer through ads (or block them which is another topic), software, and services, the list could go on and on. Today we are going to try and examine why piracy is a thing and why it is a big issue. Let’s look at 6 different examples/common arguments.
- Put yourself in the creator’s shoes- Let’s take a big Hollywood blockbuster movie or game. Hundreds of people are working on this project, spending at least 40 hours or more of their week to get the project finished. We have all heard the stories of people working so much to complete something that it consumes their life. They finally get to the end and are ready to release it to the public and what do some people do? Take the project that hundreds of people have invested so much time, energy, money, resources into to make a living for themselves only to have people take what they created and are supposed to pay for and make it free. They get the end product, but they basically are saying “Thank you for all you did to complete this project, I am going to use it like you intended, but not pay you anything for your work.
- Now let’s imagine if you were a creator- This is somewhat similar to the point above, but let’s not imagine a Hollywood blockbuster. Let’s imagine a small business or someone doing a side hustle. They may be working full time, raising a family, and using their FREE time to work on their business. A blog, podcast, author/book or YouTube are all great examples. You can find plenty of everyday people making amazing content offering it for free or for a small price. If you were in their shoes and you gave up your free time to make something you were proud of and then someone was just taking it, wouldn’t you be upset? You don’t have to buy expensive courses or merchandise to show your support if you can’t afford it or don’t need it, but don’t be afraid to send them a few dollars or buy their book to show them you appreciate them creating something you enjoy or enjoyed.
- We don’t have a giving mindset- Paying money is how the world works. It is how we show that we appreciate a work of art and what its value is over something else. Instead of being afraid and boastful about not paying for content, we should be excited to support the content creators who are just like you and me. They have themselves to support, their families, new projects to create. When we focus on ourselves it is hard to see the other side. When we switch to a giving mindset, it makes it more clear that by paying for something, you are thanking the person for their time, energy, and attention into creating something you enjoy or find value in.
- Do you value the content?- If you are finding the need to use something that is supposed to be paid for, but are using it for free, then it is of value to you. In any kind of economy, if you are using something that helps you out or enjoy, you should “thank” the creator. It doesn’t always have to be money, but in most cases it is what shows you support or get value out of what they are doing.
- It is too Expensive- This one is more of where you place your priorities. There are definitely some times and some people who can not pay for something. Does that mean they should take what someone created and because they don’t have enough money, justify stealing it. No. If you don’t have the money you should be respectful of the content creators and either find a different alternative way to view or use their content or find something you can afford.
- If everyone else is doing it, why can’t I? – This one is just a matter of justification. Just because you see someone else doing something, does not mean you should. You need to always be questioning and forming your own thoughts. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
To add a bonus 7th point the biggest reason why we should want to pay for things, especially in our digital age, is for privacy. We say we care about our privacy, but then all of our actions point towards the exact opposite direction. Even us at Cents of Time are guilty of this sometimes as well. If you use an app regularly and you can pay to remove ads…DO IT!!!!! If anything this will mean less tracking on you, less data use, and less drain on your battery. That is just one example, but there are many others you could point to as well. The key takeaway is this, if you are getting value, enjoyment, or entertainment out of something someone else created, do your part and support them.