Piracy - what IS a fair price?

There are many who argue the case for piracy; basing their argument on things such as price or availability, but when it is revealed that some apps on Android are pirated at a ratio of anything up to 70:1 when they cost just less than £1, surely neither of these factors can be considered as real evidence?

This isn't some 'it's OK 'cos they make millions anyway' thing - we're mostly talking about independent publishers who have worked (often alone) on games and software and want just a little reward for their effort. How can anyone justify pirating things like this? Piracy is wrong. Full stop. But we can understand (but do not condone the act) when sometimes the only way of playing or seeing something is to pirate it - US TV shows that will never appear on UK TV is one example, but these sorts of things are the exception and are usually pretty rare. However when something is cheap, available AND easy to obtain though legitimate sources is there anyone who can build any sort of coherent argument to support the illegal copying and distribution of said product?

With tightening purse strings, it seems that as consumers the priority is to get as much as possible as cheaply or freely as possible and damn those that produce the goods you're after. It's a reflection of what is going on across all markets - where free isn't an option, prices are being driven down to the point where the price people are willing to pay is less than the cost in creating the products; it's an unsustainable model that is consumer-focused at the cost of all else. People don't want or cannot accept that they have to spend less and still want the same things as they had before. It's the same for food, clothing and entertainment - the man on the street doesn't care that a farmer may be forced into bankruptcy because they can no longer afford to feed their herd of cattle with the money they get from the supermarkets, they don't care that somewhere in China a child is working 15 or more hours per day to provide them with the latest gadget for a fraction of the price it should cost and they don't care about the bedroom developer who has spent weeks creating software only to find it being freely copied around with no return for them.

So what is a fair price for someone's hard work? a few pennies? nothing at all? We can all complain about the likes of DRM or those FACT ads on our retail DVDs, but the real casualties aren't the companies that can afford to invest in ways of reducing piracy, it's the independent programmers, artists, musicians and producers that depend on their small earnings to support themselves, their families and their communities - if we won't support these people then we'll lose them and we'll ALL be poorer for it...

What do you think? Tell us below!

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