The milk has spilt today reported an interview with BSA in response to our government’s proposal to the software/music business people to cut prices to curb piracy. Expectedly, Ajay Advani, chair of BSA, said that “People have to understand that morally and ethically it is wrong to use pirated software”. Well, it’s also wrong to steal and rape – you think the thief or rapist does not understand that? It’s not a matter of mental comprehension. It’s a matter of doing it without people finding out (and sometimes, people don’t even care if they’re found out).

Appealing to the morals of a couple of thousand existing and world-be murderers and rapists has spawned new sectors in behavourial sciences over the last century. How long would it take to change the mindsets of a few million errant home users of pirated software?

While I agree that dropping prices isn’t economically sound, the hard truth is that due to technological advances (and access to these advances), prices HAVE to come down. Technology will continue to progress and until someone makes an international decree regulating or banning software conversion wares, CD burners and ANY form of file-swapping, backed by relentless enforcement bodies resembling armies of officers bearing down on citizens in their offices and in their homes, declaring some sort of martial law restricting forever the free use of such technology, not unlike movies about large, evil fuel empires trying to oppress the development of alternative fuels. The milk is spilt and it’s gone past the carpet. The expensive production fees, the US$10 million monthly salaries, the elaborate marketing and advertising campaigns, the profit margins, will all have to be rethought.

The gravy train has run its course.


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