Updated 23 May, 2013, 1:46 pm IST
All About Piracy
| by Dushyant Khilnani
Piracy in India is an old story, one we’ve been all but desensitized to since the first PCs started showing up in offices and homes. It’s so open, so normal and so habitual that it’s difficult to convince people that there’s something wrong. And even in the last few years, with awareness campaigns and better distribution for legal software, the sheer audacity of the industry is still amazing to see.
Yes, piracy is a flourishing industry. Maybe people still think it happens only on the streets (or Torrent sites) and are unaware of the amount of money that gets siphoned out of regular channels and into black markets. Maybe the authorities still think it’s only a soft crime; an occasional distraction from “real” law and order situations. Good, bad, wrong or right, consciously or not, piracy has gained enough social sanction that even registered DVD duplication units are known to accept orders for producing these knockoff discs.
For the end consumer, on the other hand, it’s a bonanza. A pirated version of Windows Vista Ultimate comes for Rs 60 today, as opposed to Rs 4,900 for a legal copy of Home Basic. And Windows 7 has been available on the streets long before it's launch last week. Who wouldn’t give it a try? And who wouldn’t buy five of the latest movies for Rs 100 on the roadside, to watch at peace on their computers at night? Who wouldn’t want to stop at a corner stall where a vendor with a cheap laptop will fill their phones with all the current Bollywood soundtrack hits for Rs 150? They can get a few fresh gigabytes’ worth every month.
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