The Piracy Manifesto

In this interview we will go head first into the piracy issue. The person being interviewed has pirated all his life and has been kind enough to express his personal insights on the matter. He will answer any questions you may have, so be sure to leave comments if you want to add anything.

The Interview

First I want to thank you for letting me interview you. I understand it is a hassle for both of us to do this with the time difference.

Yeah, I just want to help out with that I can.

Letâ??s get started then. Who are you?

I am a small time blogger whose hobbies span arts, technology, and literature. I think the era we live in is one of the greatest in mankind; the technological revolution and all. Recent exponential growth fascinates me.

That sounds just like something I would say. From what weâ??ve discussed earlier, you are very close to my age. Would you describe yourself as an average teenager?

An average teenager with an outlook on mischief  🙂

I donâ??t think most teens interact with technology the way I do. But I have read your biography on your website, and I would say we are very similar in fact.

So when did you started pirating?

When I was 4 or 5. I didnâ??t even know what I was doing. My momâ??s friendâ??s son hooked me up with anything I wanted. I still think I have a CD from back then. I was getting brand new games for less than $3. Back then I donâ??t think I even knew about buying games in stores.

I also played games in a computer café which I doubt payed for one single game on the 30+ computers they had. I remember one time a new bridge opened, the pope and possibly the president came to open it. I was in the computer lab across it playing Bomberman, Counterstrke, GTA, and what not, oblivious to the bridge opening. I think computers are the best toys a five year old could have. The last thing on my mind was some bridge opening that day.

How do you feel about pirating?

I hate it. In my opinion it is the same thing as stealing. No one knows I pirate. I keep it away from friends, parents, and my sister. I donâ??t want them knowing I do it and I donâ??t want others doing it.

My sister has been pirating since she was 6-7. She doesnâ??t even know what the heck pirating is either. YouTube videos give you links and you could know less about what youâ??re doing. Itâ??s terrible; especially for the new generation. Go to YouTube, search for your program of interest + â??Free downloadâ?, watch a video, download link, and follow instructions. Youâ??ve just broken about 20 different laws, but you donâ??t know it. Especially since you saved anywhere from $20-$2,500.

On the other hand thereâ??s douchebags out there that embrace the pirate culture. They have fun stealing software and sharing stuff, oblivious to the damage it causes. When it comes to the pirate culture I am just about one of the worst pirates out there. I never share anything and neither do I seed my torrents.

I canâ??t relate to the pirate culture because I donâ??t know why anyone would brag about not affording software/entertainment. If youâ??re going to do it, do it, but donâ??t act like a hotshot for stealing someoneâ??s work. A drug dealer can be proud of his infrastructure, but a inbred internet user canâ??t be proud of clicking on download links.

Why do you do it?

Because I canâ??t afford software. I may live comfortably enough in my parentâ??s house, but I donâ??t live comfortably enough to afford $400-$2000 software.

Iâ??ve worked in small businesses, where Iâ??ve seen pirating occur. Iâ??ve even seen it happen in my school. I donâ??t think Microsoft offers any license where youâ??re allowed to burn XP discs yourselves and sharpie a code on the CD. Itâ??s also very common for small businesses to pirate software such as Microsoft Office.

The reason I pirate is for education. I donâ??t use pirated software for commercial purposes. In my opinion pirating for education purposes is 100% justified.
When I was visiting my home country we were staying at a friendâ??s house. I found Autodesk Maya on there. It was pirated. From then on I started becoming really interested in 3D animation and modeling.

When Einstein was given a compass to him on his fourth birthday, the future of mankind was literally changed forever. The compass his father gave him inspired him to understand what was making the needle always point north. It quickly led Einstein to studying science and mathematics, he began exploring the world. Nearly three decades later he published his theory on relativity. In the same way that a compass once inspired a little boy, I believe that corporate level software can inspire new generations.

I wish I could find a link to something I read about a kid one time. This kid was basically 7-9 years old and was featured on Autodesk for using Maya and helping his parentâ??s factory, or something like that. It was really amazing what the kid was doing, and he was able to do it through great software. If you donâ??t believe me I found this video of a 7 year old giving a tutorial on building a spaceship in Maya So the potential for generations benefiting from great software is there.

Companies such as Microsoft and Autodesk now offer their software for free for educational purposes. I believe that is the right way to do it. Education should always be free, regardless if these private companies function on selling their software. Also it should be noted that most people that benefit from free educational licenses are often under 18 years old. If a 10 year old was found to be using a pirated version of Autodesk Maya to learn 3D modeling, I doubt a case would get anywhere. For that reason more companies should open up their licenses for education. Imagine if all schools had access to Photoshop, and Dreamweaver for free? We might find ourselves in a better world 20 years from now if we give our generation the right tools.

What I hate is when people pirate for entertainment purposes. If you canâ??t afford Rosetta Stone or Maya, etc, feel free to pirate it if you are going to put effort into learning. But I donâ??t think anyone should ever feel they are entitled to free entertainment.

Most people that use the internet just enjoy consuming work, creating memes, and what not. Of course 90% of the population will feel like pirating isnâ??t that bad. But when you try and start your own company, you will see how much it ruins you. So again if you are a small business, or do not need the pirated material to learn; I think you are a complete douche if you steal.

Where do you see the future of pirating going?

Naturally I would say I canâ??t predict the future, but I think in this case it is very simple. Recently Iâ??ve seen software developers trying to negotiate with pirates. Iâ??ve seen comments on download pages from people that say they are trying out a new project. They contact software developers and show them their software is being downloaded for free. Than they ask the developers to make a sales page that is 70% off (for pirates). That page is than shared on the illegal download page, asking pirates to at least pay 30% for the software.

That sounds like complete bullcrap to me. You should never negotiate with a pirate. Copying software is illegal and if someone is going to do it, you arenâ??t going to reward them not to do it. I blame all the pirating problems on the companies who make the anti-pirating techniques, such as outdated serial authentication. If itâ??s so easy a 7 year old can follow instructions on registering software for free, youâ??d think there is something wrong with the system?

In the future I would imagine that most software and video games require a remote server authentication to work. Blizzard tried this with their new game, Diablo III. Many people hated the fact that 10% of the game was hosted on a server, and you couldnâ??t play offline. But thatâ??s the only way to protect your software nowadays. Microsoft Office cracks emulate Microsoft servers and activate your products illegally. As long as the authentication process is local to some extent, pirating will always happen.

The solution would be to keep 5-10% of the necessary data on a remote server. Stuff like this takes a lot of design on the developerâ??s part, and it also doesnâ??t let you use your programs without an internet connection. In the future we should have internet just about anywhere, so that problem will be solved. Cloud computing will also become really popular. So it is possible that eventually most software will be hosted on servers remotely. Once Google Fiber makes a big hit, services such as Onlive should technically allow us to play video games on any device without any lag. Onlive is a service that lets you download PC games on a cloud computer, which you can access/play from an iPad, Android device, computer, etc.

So software and video games may become safe from pirating in the future.

As for music and movies. There is no simple fix for that. People can always download YouTube videos (extract MP3), they can always copy DVDs, etc.

The government could technically hunt down pirates. Most people are stupid enough to not mask their IPâ??s while downloading torrents, which are publically seen by everyone sharing the torrent. Iâ??ve hacked people based on the IPâ??s Iâ??ve found on new movies/games. It would be pretty easy for the government to aggregate a list of repeating offenders and issue out fees/ISP shutdowns.

I personally donâ??t use a proxy to hide my IP. But I do use a firewall to block all pirated software from trying to â??phone homeâ?. (Programs try to contact the company who makes them, and give out your info/check if you actually bought the software. If you donâ??t it probably goes in huge database that no one does anything about. For nowâ?¦) So trying to hunt down pirates is pretty hopeless in the sense that people will see it as their privacy being invaded. Eventually everyone would use proxies to download illegal programs, and then the anti-piracy implementations would just be spying on the average Joe. Even if the intent is not so, someone will abuse it, be it the government themselves, or a hacker.

Either way even if Google blocked all pirating sites/downloads, people would still share. I can still scan books, copy audio, and copy video, etc. Friends can still share songs, etc. If pirating websites were blocked or shutdown Iâ??m sure other things such as email networks would popup, and pirates would hide deeper in the internet, but they would still get their fix. As long as programs are hosted on cloud server, developers will be safe, until then, they will lose money.

I personally wanted to start a small business recently, but it would have never taken off due to pirating. It is hard to write a popular eBook nowdays, or release a small app, without having it being pirated. You donâ??t know the sadness I felt when I realized I couldnâ??t make thousands of dollars, because people would just copy my work.

Do you think thereâ??s any easy solution?

When I was first learning CSS a couple of years ago from, I found a very interesting image of â??Emperor Norton Iâ? being used in the site. I was intrigued, so I looked him up. He was self-proclaimed Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I of the United States (and protector of Mexico), and was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California.

â??After losing a lawsuit in which he tried to void his rice contract, Norton left San Francisco. He returned a few years later, apparently mentally unbalanced, and claiming to be the Emperor of the United States.[6] Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.â?

I think the solution would be having more Emperor Nortons when it comes to pirating; self-proclaimed saviors that help in the race against pirates. Not the type of stuff big companies do such as trying to spread fake downloads, and claiming downloads have viruses, but more creative stuff. Iâ??m not sure what we have to do, but Iâ??m sure thereâ??s something to be done to inspire people not to pirate.

Public service announcements can surely be more engaging than the IRP makes them out to be

In any case I am not encouraging more Anonymous (the group) douchebags getting involved. We donâ??t need any exploits/shortcuts to solving things. I imagine the way anti-smoking/texting while driving prevention programs work at public schools, anti-piracy could work the same way. Everyone gets free songs anyways, so it wouldnâ??t really teach kids that they can get the stuff for free. 90% of them do it anyways, so it would be good to teach them why itâ??s wrong. Parents could also benefit from learning similar things, and monitoring their kidâ??s activities.

Do you actually think pirating is stealing?

The bible tells us not to steal. Surely this refers to stealing your neighborâ??s goat, etc. But what if you snuck in and took its DNA and made a million goats? Are those really his goats? What if he is the only want to have goats in the world? Surely the DNA belongs to him, as do any other copies.

In the bible stealing is a white and black scenario. You steal bread from someone, they starve. Etc. If you find out their recipe and use it to outsell them, did you really steal their recipe? Even if you take it out of their notebook, etc. Did you steal the recipe, or did you steal all their future clients?

Personally I want to say you did neither. Most of the time software isnâ??t even being copied. Illegitimate keys are created. Itâ??s a grey area and it can be solved in one way. Your actions of cracking/hacking software so that you donâ??t have to pay, does in fact directly affect the creator. Whether you werenâ??t going to buy the software or not, you have still stolen the creatorâ??s right to sell his work. So no I donâ??t think pirating is stealing. I do think it is wrong because of the impacts on others.

Most people are under the conception that stealing from big corporations is okay. In all honesty these are just excuses. Would you steal from the government? It runs taxes, etc, the economy. Big corporations similarly create jobs and fuel the economy; affecting big companies in ways that cause them to sell less, is directly affecting your economy and your society.

Also most people pirate small companyâ??s work as well. I can find just about any program for free. Even things that sell for $1. Even developers that make less than $100 for their work a year. It doesnâ??t matter who you steal from, youâ??re stealing from an open market which you are part of. Saying that it is okay to steal from big corporations implies that you should never grow that big. Isnâ??t that communism to some extent if you imply limits on profits?

How much have you pirated?

I have an entire collection of software ranging from audio, word processing, 3D modeling, video editing, photo editing, DJ software, and system utilities. I also have a lot of movies and music. Iâ??m not proud of it but once you get started itâ??s hard to stop.

When I was 8 or 9 all I wanted to do was play the new Grand Theft Auto. My dad wouldnâ??t buy it for me because it was rated R. I tried finding free downloads but I never knew what the hell keygens were. I couldnâ??t setup the cracks; I didnâ??t know what cracks were. I remember praying to god on multiple occasions that I hit the jackpot and I get the right files/game that works. I never did.

For that same reason I donâ??t hide my IP when downloading illegal software. I feel like if it meant so much to me that I wanted to win â??the lotteryâ? of a working game, I might as well enter myself in the â??lotteryâ? of getting caught one day. I think I owe the world that much; not hiding.

So as a kid you want things. I wanted to play Grand Theft Auto. In the past if you wanted a BB gun or something else you either had to beg your parents, or make the cash for it. Through pirating we can have everything and anything for nothing. Video game addiction is just as serious as sex addiction, drug addiction, etc. But nowadays it can be fueled by $0. For the first time in history a man can hold a mediocre job, build a gaming computer, and play unlimited amounts of games for free. Iâ??ve played over $4000 (at least in the past few years) worth of games without buying them. Iâ??ve played 2012 games weeks and months before even the betas were released to the public.

Itâ??s easy to fuel an addiction that doesnâ??t cost anything; especially such a time destructive one such as video game addiction. I walk into video games stores and I just laugh my nutsack off looking at all the games on the shelves. Games I was playing before they were even out, and I look at the prices $60, and I laugh even more. Adding up all the games Iâ??ve played and imaging how many hours of work it would have taken me to buy them. I faintly remember how personal it felt to open a CD case and the smell of a new game. The way the CD was a little sticky to your fingers, and how youâ??d have to handle the edges careful not to touch the silver part. Now it is all about waiting 20 minutes, and emulating an .iso, installing the game, and copying over the cracked files.

Thatâ??s the horror of pirating. How much you can get for nothing. When you put it that way you really start to see that even if all those games arenâ??t worth $4000, you still contributed to at least 10% of those loses. Itâ??s easy to not care and keep on with your habits, especially when they cost nothing to maintain.

I donâ??t think breaking the rules always means something bad. In the booking Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, thereâ??s a story about two prisoners. Their guards in Texas didnâ??t know how to use computers, and they thought the prisoners were even dumber. So they gave them unmonitored access to computers. These two prisoners ended up connecting to the internet, controlling all the prison computers, emails, passwords, etc. Were they breaking the law? Were they breaking the rules? Yes, they were. When they got out they both went into IT and started their own businesses. They may have been doing something illegal, but it sure ended up benefiting them in the future.

So in the case of pirating for non-educational purposes; it may also be justifiable. But as you can see once I laid down the line, it was easy to move it again when comparing even worse actions such as pirating video games. Thatâ??s the thing about pirating. You canâ??t keep moving the line, because the world doesnâ??t run on free. Not even open source is free. The tradeoff is time spent using open source software, when you could be using software designed for specific purposes in mind. So you canâ??t drive developers into free. It just doesnâ??t work that way. You get what you paid for.

If you use a cracked antivirus suite, you have to think. Should you really be using an antivirus suite that was vulnerable enough to be cracked by some 15 year old living in his basement?

In my opinion decisions about pirating should be up to you, the individual. Not anyone else. Iâ??ve honestly been lost in the middle of the problem long ago. I think Iâ??m better than other pirates, and Iâ??m sure other pirates think theyâ??re better than the corporations, and so forth. It is a vicious cycle. But it is indeed the cycle of pirating.

It is really scary because it is possible some companies caused the pirating problem on purpose. If you watch you can see what I mean. The guy is a bit off, but the things he says about are very valid. I don’t know the truth, I can’t really discern it from the mess of public data. But something fishy is going on. It seems like the classical, create a problem (such as pirating), offer a solution (anti-pirating bills), BAM! You’ve just got control of millions of people. Give them the tools to break laws, than say they can’t govern themselves, than take away their basic rights. Tactical indeed. That’s why I say you can’t listen to my opinions about pirating, and you can’t really listen to other’s opinions either. Your best bet is researching the topic and deciding if you can live with the guilt/risk of pirating. You should also decide if you want your kids to grow up in such a goalless world where they can have anything they want without paying for it.

If you want to pirate go ahead, if you want to shut down the whole system, please become an Emperor Norton for anti-piracy, go ahead. I really don’t know what is wrong or right anymore in this sense. Your decision is probably better than mine. Good luck.

How would you feel if you woke up one day and pirating was completely eradicated?

It would look like something from the last scene of The Dark Night Rises, where Alfred looks across to Bruce; and that would be that. I would be would be happy the way Alfred feels for Bruce. But at the same time I would be sad for losing such a close friend. Because after all, pirating is sharing, and sharing is commication, and communication is the spectacle of humanity.

Interview with a pirate, by Octavian Ristea.

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="4703992"][shareaholic app="recommendations" id="4704000"]
Octavian is a technology enthusiast and blogger. He enjoys writing for App Comrade and keeping up with current trends. The last thing he would ever do is buy a pre-made computer from a store. He believes building your own computer is a great experience that everyone should try in their lifetime. On the side he likes experimenting with Linux, servers, and programming. He is not "l33t" or ever wishes to be, but he can manage well enough :) On top of running this site he also runs a web design service, an app marketing service and a web hosting service.


  1. The pirate being interviewed was so articulate and helpful that I didn’t even have to include a conclusion. I think everything he says sums up the whole shebang pretty well and it was a pleasure interviewing the guy. You can certainly tell he’s a blogger from his great responses 🙂

    The entire experience/interview is very eye opening, and as stated above he can answer any questions readers may have.

    Thanks again, pirate! :Who-s-the-man:

    • Yeah, this is a fascinating post and a big thanks to the pirate for being so open and honest. He has made some cracking points that I’m going to think about before commenting properly.

      I’ve personally had apps copied/pirated so it’s good to talk together and share opinions rather than argue points.

      I’m going to think on these points and come back with some comments soon. Again a CRACKING interview – thank you pirate for taking the time to give us your outlook on piracy in a way that I was not expecting. 🙂

  2. Some great points you’ve presented there and your opinions were not what I was expecting. Which is refreshing.

    I completely agree that software should be free for educational institutes and it is good to see some software being available on a free trial, such as Maya.

    I think 99% of us are all pirates in some small way, as most of us have been handed a flash drive by a friend and asked to watch a great movie that they’ve downloaded. Like you said, even in an Internet cafe where there are loads of games filling the screen – are they all paid for?

    One of my apps has been downloaded more times from one pirate site than my entire sales so far for that app . . . and it’s under $1 lol

    It’s great that you fully appreciate the impact on small businesses or developers. If it was a pirate with an external hard drive full of stuff saying ‘I don’t care as long as I’m alright Jack’ I’d probably have something stronger to say. Although refreshingly, I agree with many things you’ve said and each point was very well put forward. Plus you recognise that it’s an addiction and also the impact on anyone, including ourselves if we want to start a small business involving digital media.

    My favourite car is a Mustang GT500 and if someone offered me a free Mustang with no questions asked and just a small fine or a slap on the wrist if there was any comeback, yes, you bet I’d be tempted. Nobody is perfect, we all love a freebie. And I fully understand that it is addictive.

    I agree that the problem is the open availability and ease of obtaining pirated material. It fuels the addiction.

    You obviously are a thoughtful and considerate person and not into the ‘We’re against the big corporations’ corny thing. I respect that, because big companies like Apple and Google aren’t exactly evil. If those types of pirates, sat in their bedrooms, clicking a mouse, dressed up like Neo from the Matrix & thinking they are online vigilantes really wanted to attack evil organisations there are plenty to choose from. So I agree with you on this point fully. I once met a lady in South East Asia who had had her fingers cut off and her legs hammered and disfigured when she was young and then dropped off via a van all her life to beg. The money went to them and they just ‘looked after her’ if that’s the right word. These organisations deserve to be hassled and hounded down. If people trying to hassle big corporations such as Google and Apple were to grow some cahonies and go after really evil organisations that do a lot more evil things than say produce games, it would make more sense – but this wouldn’t be done by clicking a mouse from the safety of a bedroom lol. So, I am in complete agreement with you there.
    You are also right in that it sabotages small businesses or openings for lone developers, musicians or film makers. The digital media age opens up the possibility for anyone to use their talents to produce something. The ease of pirating ruins a lot of these openings. Again, going back to the ‘I’m against the controlling organisations’ stereotypes, the company that is usually controlling them is the one running their 9 to 5 jobs. Without the ease of pirating, everyone would at least have the chance, if they have a talent, to use digital media to break away from the chains of working for someone else.

    Your article was fascinating and I agree with many points you put forward. Your interview was so comprehensive I can’t even think of a question to ask.

    I’d like to give a big thanks to the pirate for being so open and sharing his opinions with us. This is what it’s all about, people talking to each other without painting things black and white. In reality most things live in a grey area and none of us are perfect. I hope that piracy will at least get harder for people to find as it goes underground, although I agree it won’t go away completely.

    I actually feel for people addicted to piracy and I don’t blame people for this. I blame the ease of availability. I knew of one guy who had terabytes of stuff on external hard drives that would be impossible to go through in a lifetime. Something like 1000 books mixed in there too. He just sat at home downloading stuff and couldn’t stop the addiction.

    Thanks again for your excellent comments pirate and for getting together and talking things over. These types of conversations break down barriers. Awesome points! :Approve:

    • Maya isn’t actually a free trial. You can get an educational license which works for a year or two, as long as you renew your license. The exported work has watermarks, but those are the only limitations on $2000-$4000 software. So it is 10x better than a 30 day trial 😀

      Also I want to say there is a difference between someone who shares a movie on a flash drive vs someone who keeps a collection of hundreds of programs. A pirate is someone who jumps aboard a ship and steals all the booty. Someone who watches one movie now and than is more like a person who picks up free money on the ground. As you saw in that PSA, if someone offers you free movies you take them. That’s all there is to it.

      It sucks to hear your apps are being pirated. With musicians you can sometimes say pirating doesn’t effect them. The band becomes more popular and more shirts/concert tickets are going to be bought (even if their songs are pirated). With an app developer it usually ends at not getting a sale. Whether your game was good or not, no one is going to ever buy something from you again. No one is going to tweet about your new album, share it with their friends, etc. Sure it would be a good thing if 200 million people downloaded all your stuff for free; but at a small scale if 1,000 download your $1 app for free, it just plain sucks ass. For them all it costs is a buck. The added 1,000 downloads would have made you 1/70th of a Mustang. Something you at least deserve for your hard work. So again if the free downloads are making you popular it’s awesome, but not so much when you’re losing money.

      I can actually related to the Ford Mustang 🙂 I saw one at McDonalds one time and was enthralled by its beauty The person who got into the car eventually was an old handicap man. Was expecting some 30 year old business man 😀 But as you said if someone offered you one for free, you wouldn’t really think twice about taking it. :Who-s-the-man: But what if it was stolen from someone who built it by hand? You will never get caught, and no one will ever know. Would you still do it? That’s how pirating works. Now answer that more relative question 🙂

      If the prison warning is greater for pirating I have a feeling illegal downloads will decline very fast. No one likes to do illegal things that may end up with them getting anally raped in prison. Maybe that’s the solution… Another possibility is a treatment center for pirates, such as in a Clock Work Orange Who knows…

      You might find this article interesting on how the media companies make it so damn hard to buy their stuff. For example I can get any new episode on any channel 15 minutes after it finishes playing. Downloads within 2 minutes, and I’m watching it with no advertisements, no breaks, etc. Life is good for me. This is what an average Joe who pays for content experiences, vs me. Don’t you think there’s something wrong with that?

      I also saw a comment on this article one time that made me laugh my lungs out for 20 minutes

      This comment is in response to how the recording industry successfully sued a man $22,000 per song, for a total of $675,000. “I wouldn’t say kid though. He’s about 30 years old.

      That aside, even considering the warnings, this is still pretty ridiculous. I wonder how he’s going to deal with this 10, 20 or even 30 years from now, for what was essentially a little over $30 worth of songs. He would’ve had a better time if he shoplifted a laptop.”

      What made me laugh was the last part. Not only would he have had a better time if he shoplifted a laptop, he would have ruined his life even less if he became a crack dealer! If you look into crimes there’s been people who have been let off from robberies and 2 year man chases, with 5-8 years. You would be back on your feet faster than a man who clicked download 30 times. HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. It gets me everytime. There’s something seriously wrong with these companies. The evil truth of it is that consequences can’t stand in the internet realm anymore.

      If you read that book about The Art of Intrusion, you will realize how trivial the consequences have been for hackers in the past. Let’s imagine someone hacks into NASA, deleted half of their satellite software, and caused $400 billion in damages. YOU CAN NEVER GET THAT BACK! You can put that person into jail, torture him, etc. But that damage isn’t getting paid back, ever! What are you going to do? Kill him? The consequences cannot do anything when it comes to these types of crimes. It is ridiculous and sad.

      That is why I believe the internet is like the wild west right now. It will be tamed in the future. We need more organizations that put the hammer down on things like this. We also need more secure technology. Again if you read that book (I think it is in there) you will find out that we use an outdated encryption system. Why? So that it can be decrypted by the government. But if it’s that easy to decrypt, it means criminals can do it too. Encryption used to be classified as an illegal import/export during the cold war. Why we would use shitty technology when we have better methods, beats me. But it gives hackers that environment they need. Until then, the internet will always be like the wild west in that respect. No lines, no rules, shitty consequences.

      I really like what you have to say about people making real world differences. What you described is actually what I want to dedicate my life to. Helping people. Not in the sense of donating food/clothes to the homeless, but improving communities. There are children out there who experience terrible things, start doing drugs, get pregnant, etc, at very young ages. I believe we all have the responsibility of improving our society.

      I guess there’s a trade off depending on how much you consume/how much you give back. Sadly that ratio isn’t looking so good for most people right now.

      Most people say it is wrong to reward children for doing chores/right things with money, candy, etc. But than you gotta think, what is keeping you from not leaving your job? Money. Lol. So right now in the same sense that a child wouldn’t wash the dishes without an incentive, a human isn’t going to help others (not necessarily by donating money, but by helping communities) because there is no incentive. Which is really depressing seeing that we should do more to help humanity, regardless of the rewards. The return on investment is still there; no one knows it though.

      Not everyone get the best opportunities, and I think there should be a minimum that all humans are given from birth. A minimum opportunity, is what I mean. Because some are so disadvantaged, they have no other choice than to make wrong choices. Greatness can come out of anyone, and when it does it sure is a beautiful thing. I had to keep back from crying when I first saw this video (during school) It really hits home, of how little it takes to help others on their path to greatness.

      I wish I could understand economies more. Although it would be impossible either way to figure out if pirating ruins the economy, or benefits it. My best guess right now is flipping a coin. A virtual Canadian 1 cent penny landed heads up, and thus said it helps the economy. Well that’s a guess as good as any! Who knows…

      1,000 books 😀 Doesn’t sound like much. I have about 7,000-10,000 of the most popular books/series in the past decade. I also have about 10,000-20,000 books on computer topics ranging from networking, to programming, animation, hacking, web dev, etc. If I were to add all my other programs and books that I currently hold on my drives, it would total at least $500,000. That is the reason your writer doesn’t know my identity, and that is the reason I am typing this from behind a Tor router 🙂

      Thanks for having me do this. It feels like a great burden has been lifted off my chest. I hope my insights inspire change; for the better or worse, because right now this isn’t working.

  3. Yes, I think that your interview will definitely help people understand that pirates are people and not the stereotypes that most people think of.

    I think that in whatever way, big or small, that your article’s impact has had, this is the very best you could ever do to make a change. I am really privileged to have your interview on my website and I believe that it is one of the best articles on my site for sure.

    I was actually quite shocked and surprised by the way that I ended up agreeing with what you had to say. Fancy that . . . someone who has had their work pirated, meeting a pirate and then agreeing that it’s an addiction and that something needs to be done, as well as agreeing that it is human nature to be tempted by freebies. Also, like you said, although we agreed that there are some really evil organisations out there, the mainstream organisations aren’t perfect either, which is reflected in some of the links you pointed out.

    Good question about whether or not I’d be tempted to steal a car that was maybe a kit car of a Mustang GT500 if there was no comeback. I thought about this and my honest answer would be ‘no’. I would feel such a lowlife every time I got into the car and turned on the ignition. However, if a friend had a PDF file on a flash drive (no questions asked about where it came from) about how to build a Mustang GT500 kit car at a fraction of the cost of a real one – I admit I would be straining at the leash to look the PDF file over and wouldn’t even think about where it had come from. i’d just be thinking . . . ‘Where can you get the parts?’ and ‘Does it look convincing?’

    Off topic, I once hired a Mustang in America and went around Arizona for a week and it was such an amazing experience, it was a convertible and I was sad to hand the keys back 🙁 That’s the point where I fell in love with Mustangs I think.

    Yes, I think that everyone should be given an opportunity to break out of the invisible chains that may hold them. Such as if you were brought up in India and were at the bottom of the caste system. It would be great if there was an International organisation that recognised talent or people willing to really put in work, be it studying or work orientated and helped them achieve their goals. These organisations are present in specific countries, such as the ‘Princes Trust’ to help entrepreneurs in England for example, but it would be great to have a worldwide organisation.

    You talked about hacking – you are right in that there is no amount of punishment that could make up for damage that some hacking crimes can cause. This is off the subject . . . but when I was younger (Spectrum and Commodore days lol) I had a friend who hacked into a an English Bank’s main screen. They were round in under 5 minutes and confiscated his computer for a week, mind you he was only 13. We were good friends and he was a kind of geek who used to sit in front of the computer for hours, but he was a good friend. Anyway, he for some unknown reason, attacked me with a washing basket one day?!? He actually slammed it down on my head for no apparent reason. We ended up in a fight and from then on we were enemies. Very strange . . . but completely off topic – Whoa there! 🙂 Where am I going with this lol – let’s get back on topic . . .

    The amount of books you have – Wow! That’s some number.

    You mentioned about apps being copied, which you are right – it kind of sucks. But on the upside, the thought of people playing the game and enjoying the app gives me some satisfaction on the positive side.

    You said you were behind a Tor router. I’m actually behind two bottles of beer at the moment. A kind of beer firewall if you like. So this may explain why I’ve gone off topic at times in this reply 😉

    You had real guts giving your opinions and viewpoints and I respect that a lot. I’d ask any fellow commenters to really put in some well thought out comments in response to this article. I’m going to moderate the comments on this post carefully. Comments such as ‘Piracy is bad’ or ‘Anarchy – take down the big organisations’ etc won’t make it through. Well thought out comments with a valid point will be more than welcome 🙂 Whatever viewpoint.

    This guy has really gone out of his way to connect with others, whether they are pirates or victims of piracy in a pro-active way. If I could give you a high 5 I would pirate and Octavian! Great points! :Beer:

  4. I just want to clarify this. The stereotype most people think of when they think of pirates is correct. Although pirates are people and like any other people they mistakes; in no way or form do I mean to diminish the stereotype people have built up of pirates that “they want to take down the evil companies/don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves.” That sums it up very well 90%+ of pirates out there. I can’t tell you whats wrong or right, I’m just telling you my story. The most I’d want to influence anyone in this regard is that the current system isn’t working for average consumers, media producers, and society. Whatever your solution is, I ask that you carefully research your side and make sure that it would truly make the world a better place, not worse.

    I also appreciate that you try to incite meaningful comments on your site. When it comes to debating topics such as these, leaving your opinions isn’t enough. You have to back them up with cold hard facts. I really would appreciate if someone could tip the debate in either direction with concrete facts, as I could hardly advocate for anti-pirating or pirating myself.

    As for the Mustang example, you may be able to say no. But would a teenager or college student decide the same? Mind you no one will ever know. The person who it was stolen from isn’t getting their car back either way.

    In that sense I’ve gotten in the car and drove away with it. Wasn’t really my decision since I started (pirating) at such an early age, but I sure wouldn’t step out of it now, and just say good bye! The time that someone would spend building a car is the same time that someone would spend living their life and experiencing things, and eventually putting in the work to write a book. The time spent building a car by hand is just as much time and hard work as creating software.

    The thing that would make you feel that bad about the car is that people would admire you for it. If you have pirated applications on your computer no one says “WOW! You can afford Adobe Master?” It’s easier to hide than a car, and so is the guilt.

    What you say about breaking out of the chains is kind of what pirating is. The only problem is that mostly it ends up being used for more entertainment purposes/rather than educational. People are just breaking out of the chains of being tied to only what they can afford.

    I don’t think pirating could ever help you get in a better place in your life. It doesn’t take much to succeed other than hard work (watch Gifted Hands when you get a chance). Also these organizations that you describe sound like a great idea. It is just that there are so many ways to help people, and not everyone thinks that giving talented people the right tools to succeed is really useful. Besides all you truly need is time, a room to study, and inspiration. That might get you into a good school/job. But beyond that it is all up to you and luck. At which point someone has to buy into you, by investing in your entrepreneur endeavors. That’s why like I said earlier, there should be a minimum level of opportunities we are all given. I think the bare minimum should be a non-abusing family environment, parents that teach you correct social skills (Outliers:The story of Success. Read that book to see how the smartest man in the world (180 IQ I think) got nowhere with his life because he has no social skills. The book talks about once you get to about 140 IQ, having higher IQ doesn’t help anymore. Luckily I scored at least 140 IQ on all tests I’ve taken online :]), good enough clothes not to be put down by others, and an opportunity to go to public schools. Hopefully you are confident, but have no false confidence, you are taught logic and reason over everything else, and you aren’t limited by anything such as religion or non-religion.

    I don’t think there’s much more that you can give someone, everything else comes from themselves. Also a whole lot of luck! Moving into the richest 2% isn’t that easy. The truth is not everyone is cut out for hard work and some people are fine just living out their lives. But by the point you’ve reached the 2% you’re already a douchebag that all the 98% hate. It’s a vicious cycle. Life goes on though. It matters on how you define your own success. Einstein lived a terrible life (no love/happiness), Van Gogh (Died crazy and alone/disliked by everyone/artwork was unpopular in his age), Edgar Alan Poe “By the end of his first term Poe was so desperately poor that he burned his furniture to keep warm. ” Well there you have it. It doesn’t mean that being disadvantaged, poor, or depressed means you aren’t successful. Money, success, contribution to society, living life. There isn’t an exact answer that fits everyone. Life goes on I guess.

    I laughed at the thought of a beer firewall 😀 :Beer:

    I’ve actually come up with a great Emperor Norton way of fixing the pirating issue. I was going to share it on here at first, but I’m a little hesitant. I think my idea would put you down in the history books and may very well change the pirating world. If I wasn’t under 18 right now I would do it, but I wouldn’t want to burden my parents with the complications that would come out of doing something like that.

    So do you think I ought to share the idea? Or wait a few years, act upon it, and probably ruin my life but go down in the books for it? This is something as epic (but not as violent) as V for Vendetta. It would very well educate everyone on pirating/change everything related to it. The question is. Do we need the change? I’m also not sure if privacy laws would be endangered after doing something like this. That’s my biggest worry about my idea.

    • Interesting reply and points there pirate. I don’t know what the idea you have is . . . but gut feeling tells me to advise you in a friendly way not to do it. Although it’s not good, online piracy is not the most terrible crime in the world, there are much worse crimes than that and no-one is perfect, and I’ve a feeling you have a lot of good to give in different ways that the idea might jeopardise.

      That’s just my gut feeling . . . I wouldn’t want to appear as if I’m telling someone what to do. I just know that many people are addicted to at least one thing, whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, fighting, downloading copied stuff etc So don’t beat yourself up is all I’m saying, as just because you stray off the line here and there doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person by any means and that you haven’t got a lot of good to give that may even outweigh one action that would even be seen as epic.

      Sounds like the idea would be something huge, but if it would ruin your life, let it slide 😉

      Anyway, just trying to help here. I hope you have a good day Pirate. Good to chat 🙂

  5. Anyone still interested in this topic might benefit from this article

    It’s also crazy what some companies (and individuals) have been doing regarding piracy

    In fact none of these methods combat piracy directly. Instead they offer great prices and forget about the pirates.

    ‘How many legitimate users is it OK to inconvenience in order to reduce piracy?'” he wrote at the time. “The answer should be none.” –

    inconveniencing non-pirates just creates more pirates as the person I interview said ”

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