Piracy is not "theft" - and is actually a net good?

Interesting podcast episode - they expose some of the lies and misconceptions around media piracy that have been propagated by large media corporations and discuss the many social benefits that come from piracy.


This is not a piracy forum.

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Piracy is something that many privacy enthusiasts encounter - even using an adblocker could be considered piracy. I think it’s worth discussion. I put it in the off topic category.


Piracy is morally questionable, but is big for privacy.

Pirating movies and TV Shows means you can avoid intrusive DRM and one more company with your payment data, not to mention geo-blocking and VPN blocking that streaming platforms often do.

Pirating games will make it so there’s no need for a game launcher, and always online DRM is defeated so you can play games fully offline.

I’m not sure if this is allowed to be talked about in here. But it’s definitely on topic with privacy.


Piracy is also very very bad for security as in “malware”.

Please note that due to the topic the mods will be extra trigger-happy to close this thread as soon as it goes off the rails in any way. :gun:


Isn’t it a little simplistic to say that piracy is bad for security? I mean the example I gave before of adblock is widely used, has a big security benefit, and is even recommended by the FBI. Frontends like Freetube could also be considered piracy, but it’s recommended by Privacy Guides, which obviously has a high bar for security. And DRM used in paid media is often cited as a security risk.

Obviously there are forms of piracy that are bad for security - I wouldn’t recommend running any kind of executable that’s been pirated, for example.

Also thank you mods for not shutting down this thread immediately :smiley:


I don’t think so. Lots of pirated software comes with “free malware”.
If they are smart about it, they don’t even put the malware into the software but just download it the first or nth time it gets started so no AV app can save you.

Also about the “net good” of piracy … let’s imagine the extreme: everything gets 100% pirated, noone buys anything anymore. I’m sure everyone can see that this won’t have a very positive effect on software development as a whole.


Idk I only use free open source software which seems to be developing just fine ¯\(ツ)

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Not just software we are talking about, also media and the arts in general


Don’t look up who makes up a very large chunk of contributions to the Linux kernel and various other major FOSS projects :wink:

If you want to pirate, pirate. If you want to steal, steal. There is nothing to justify, especially not morally. Theft of private property remains theft of private property regardless whether you steal from an individual or a corporation. That is a practical difference, not a moral one.

If everyone started pirating, people and companies would no longer create new content and products, since they would have to put more resources into their content and products than they’re getting in return. They’d operate at a loss and at their own expense.

You can also see this in some US states where shoplifting crimes are no longer enforced to a certain extend. Companies are moving, since it’s no longer profitable to operate a business in those locations.

If you make a product or produce content to make a living and others steal it from you, they’re taking away resources from you and by extension your time that you invested into the product/content.

So, as I said above, if you want to pirate, pirate. If you want to steal, steal. But at the end of the day there is no justification for it.

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I was being a little facetious with the FOSS comment :slight_smile:

I know it’s a bit long but I really would highly recommend listening to the podcast. This is a much more nuanced issue than it first appears to be, and I think it would be challenging for me to adequately explain everything in a forum post.

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I dont know anymore.

If I pay for things and I dont own them then maybe piracy isnt stealing anymore.

Lets take for example Ubisoft with all their live service game. They put out a game, you buy a legit copy. The game you bought didnt perform as well and now they take off the game from their always on live servers even though its a single player game. Result? The game you paid for aint working anymore, and Ubisoft functionally stole from you.

Is piracy the morally right thing to do to get back your game?

Anyway I’d like also chime in that this isnt a piracy forum and that you need privacy in the form of VPNs to get it safely. We shouldnt endorse it but we must disallow the discussion. At least not outright


I don’t pirate, unless you consider things like NewPipe or ad blocking piracy. But something that pisses me off is how it’s impossible to own digital copies of movies and series. I’d like to own digital copies of my favourite movies and series, so that I can watch them whenever I want, wherever I want, and in whichever device I want.

I wouldn’t mind paying $60 for each movie, but I’d want to have the full-quality version, with multiple audio tracks, subtitles and NO DRM, so that I can use whatever software and whatever device I want, whenever now or in the future. I could get that by pirating, I can’t get that legally, no matter how much I’m willing to pay. In my country buying a blu ray, and ripping it removing it’s DRM is illegal, while downloading pirated content isn’t.


If you bought software of any kind or video you own it. It is not pirating at that point, simply getting what you legally paid for. Any that says that point is different I would love to hear their arguement on how you can be stolen from but not get back what was taken away without harming another.

Yes their ToS all say along the lines of it can be removed at any point without refund but that is pure scum behavior.

On the other hand if you pirate anything you have not legally paid for already? You are a theif.

Having said that this is a place for privacy and security so let us move on to that. It would be ideal to have a secondary device strictly for such use that is a guest on the network, however that can easily costs hundreds of euros even used.

My advice? Use a VM, such as Virtual Box, and install either Windows or Linux on it. My preferred is Kicksecure for this type of situation as I can use Open Snitch as it pops up yes or no for any connections.

You want to read this link here on making Virtual Box more secure. You can in the setting remove the network connection so the VM has no internet access.

Main thing is there is a option in the VM setting to turn off/on drag & drop from host machine to guest (the VM). Turn this on to drag the downloaded file in there then turn it off.

After following those steps install ClamAV if you use Linux and Windows. If you use Windows ClamAV and a few portable AV, meaning they do not need to be installed to scan files. I won’t be advising any specific ones, just search for Free Windows Portable AV to get a list to choose from.

If you are using Linux then as I said ClamAV, but you might also want to install Chkrootkit, Rootkit Hunter, Lynis. With Linux you want to run them all and move the files on to your main machine before opening any downloaded pirated files.

Why? Most of them need a base to go off of as they check if hashes were changed in files to really work right. If a system hash has changed after opening a file? Nuke it.

Having typed all of this remember there exists maleware that can break out of a VM. They are just very rare and unlikely to be found in a season of the Simpsons.

TLDR: Use VM, download AVs, update everything, scan, move scanned results to main machine, turn off network access, put downloaded file in VM, remove VM ability to move files to your machine, scan file, open file, rescan everything for changes.

If no changes? Probably okay, but some can and do notice it is in a VM and does not run maleware part to hide itself. In the end that is the best you will realistically get without purchasing a separate used laptop.

Piracy isn’t stealing, it’s making a copy.


Ok then, lets look at the opposite of that situation, since you seem to be in favor of going towards that direction. Everything, including access to education, food, healthcare, water etc, being behind a paywall and probably requiring a subscription.

If I am choosing one of those those two options, I choose everything being free. I think this is a pretty bad argument against piracy as the opposite is worse.

Same as with music/art/software these products/services don’t come out of nowhere. SOMEONE has to pay/work for them.

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This is the common misconception about piracy that big corporations like to propagate. For example, someone pirating a song is not the same as not paying for that song. The idea that if piracy did not exist every pirate would of paid for everything they pirated is completely false and without merit.

This is why people mistakenly think piracy and stealing are the same thing, when they are in fact, not.

More likely, if piracy did not exist, these pirates would of found alternatives, or forgone those services completely.

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That’s a straw-man argument. In no way was anyone here arguing that everything should be for profit. Furthermore, one could argue that something should be free but still condemn piracy by arguing that the government should provide the service or funding to make that product/service for free.