Piracy has existed as long as humans have walked the earth. Piracy is just the use of intellectual property without the consent of the author or not paying for it. Throughout the history, humans have pirated my things which include ideas, invitations, books, battle strategies, blueprints, recipes, art style, writing styles, languages, religion anything which can be thoughts and exists in our mind has pirated and used by people without the consent of the author. But with the rise of digital platforms, it has become easier to pirate artwork and entertainment media and anime is one of them. Many people talk about piracy in anime but fail to understand piracy and how it affects a medium. In this post, I will try to explain factors which affect piracy and medium which piracy is prevalent and how to reduce it because piracy cannot be stopped but it can be reduced. Let’s get started.
“why do people pirate?” this question is very important to ask. Without knowing the roots of piracy we can’t understand and end piracy. Let us ask another question “Why do people buy frozen and canned foods?” I know this has no connection to piracy but let us ask it, why don’t people cook their own food instead buy food with added preservatives even knowing that is bad for them, well it is simply because it is convenient to do so. We always choose the path of least resistance because that is our nature. Ask yourself, do you do things knowingly even when those are not good for you, we all do it simply because it is convenient to do so. I think we all pick the path of least resistant, to save time or effort. We can conclude that most people pirate anime because it is convenient than buying it legally. Of course, this is not the only cause but it is indeed embedded in the problem and most of the piracy will go down if buying anime legally is convenient than piracy, just take a look at steam and modern gaming industry where piracy does exist but it is convenient to buy a game legally rather than pirating it as long as there are not idiotic DLCs and because of this indie games are thriving.
Understanding people who pirate is also a very important step, most of you will say that it is not necessary because these people who pirates anime are worst of worst scum, even worst than people in Kuzu no Honkai, but understanding them is pivotal in understanding piracy, in the end, they are also part of our community. Most of these people are either poor or students, these people cannot afford to watch anime and most of the anime are not available in their country. These people are not a problem and blaming them for piracy is also idiotic. Pirating communities are one of the most prideful and passionate community I have ever seen. Hitting them with arguments of morality and responsibility will only break your hand, just think a little when what will you feel when you say to someone that you pirate anime and when you will have enough money you will pay for these anime and he replies “You are a scum and anime industry is dying because of you.” Just think if someone told you that you are responsible for what is happening, this kind of treatment has opposite effect on people and these people will continue to pirate anime because of their pride and distaste of mainstream anime community even if they are capable of paying, by persecuting pirate we are making sure that they never mix into mainstream community, most of you may not understand what I am saying. So I will recommend you to spend some time with people who pirate anime and understand their mentality. When someone says I am pirating a game people respond to it “If you like the game then support the developers” and we say “You will go to hell” this kind of attitude makes us unadoptable and unapproachable.
There is a big myth going on in the anime industry and that is anime industry is dying and piracy is killing it. I don’t know who made this up but I might as well try to clear it up because it involves piracy. Who paid for anime before anime become popular in west? well, of course, Japanese people did and now who is paying for anime? well of course still Japanese people pay most of it and now some income is coming from the west as well. Did you guys see the difference, more people are paying for anime than before and it is not like that anime is cheap, income never went down for anime and anime will not be dying ever. People who pirate slowly converts into mainstream community, hence increasing the popularity and profitability of the medium. We should thank piracy and fansubs for increasing the scope of anime beyond japan and making anime worldwide phenomenon rather than a Japanese one. Then what about the lack of salary of the people who work on anime? I assume most of you live in the USA, the richest country in the world and I live in India, your average wage is $3,769 per month and our is $295, Yet we are able to eat, buy houses, buy cars, pay bills, have children, get good medical treatment with less income than yours. A person who is poor in the USA is rich in India and still, Indians have nearly every life necessity fulfilled and are happy with their lives, It simply cost more to live in the USA than India and that extends to japan as well and mix it with work culture and japan economic recession you will get the result you are looking for, these are simple economics, an average animator have more salary than an average engineer in India. Another factor is companies and doesn’t say that anime companies are as good as fairies, companies want to make the profit than anything else and they are the last one to care about anime itself. just look at EA, it makes money and still pays grass it to its developers. Piracy is the least of the things affecting anime industry right now And if anime industry falls because of these companies then it will be for good for anime because it will reborn into something new that will solve the problems of past, sometimes without falling one cannot learn their lesson.(note, all figures of money are taking form first result of google search and may be wrong but that still doesn’t change the point of what I am saying)
So how to make anime great again and the answer is simple. Stop blaming piracy because most of the piracy is just there because of lack of service and high prices, piracy most of the time doesn’t hurt the industry and it is a free PR. Work around the piracy, make anime accessible, make it cheaper, remove the middleman, interact with your customers rather than thinking them as resources, don’t be a dick to YouTubers and pirates, work smart, accept piracy as important factors of Anime community and encourage them to become mainstream rather than prosecuting them, if industry follow this advice, I am sure piracy will be reduced. But giving how dense is anime companies and mainstream anime fanboys I don’t think this will be happening and failing of current system will be the only way out, let us hope this does not happen.
Thanks, every discussion is welcome in the comment section and let me know your thoughts, like and share if you liked the post and follow, you can also follow me using your email. Thanks for reading.
Note for those who didn’t get what I was saying above, I do not support piracy but I also don’t support blaming something for the mistake of the industry, everything is good in proportion and more you press it more severe it becomes.
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