The Lite Side

How To Be a Copyright Pirate

- 2002.03.18

Given the absolute frenzy in the media recently regarding the piracy of music files by individuals on their home equipment, I thought that there might be a few people out there who did not know how to be a software pirate.

Follow these easy and simple steps to be a pirate. First, choose the type of pirate you want to be, then follow the directions. You'll be a pirate in no time!

Disney-style Pirate

  1. Buy some music.
  2. Hide the music in a cabinet or drawer where you can't see it.
  3. When you aren't looking, steal the music from yourself and put it on your computer.
  4. While you're at it, change the very meaning of copyright law, preventing a wonderful tradition of allowing works to come into the public domain, just so you can keep a copyright on the picture of your mouse.
  5. Repeat the same thing over and over, moving exactly as you did before, while interjecting "Arrr, matey" at appropriate intervals.

Microsoft-style Pirate

  1. Start a planetary-scale monopoly on some commodity everyone has to have.
  2. Wait until the government accuses you of being a monopoly.
  3. Quick as a bunny, add the last few products you want to monopolize as "features" of the commodity.
  4. Use your monopoly power to threaten the court trying you for being a monopoly.
  5. Periodically utter a monomaniacal laugh like this: "Buh-wah hahaha!"

RIAA-style Pirate

  1. Sign a band to make some music.
  2. Record it.
  3. Play the recording over open-air frequencies such as ham radio, CB, FRS, AM, and FM.
  4. Act confused when people talk about recording music from radios.
  5. Put your CD on a table on the sidewalk of a busy street. Wait until someone steals your CD. Snatch it back.
  6. Stomp on the CD and break it. Threaten to do it again unless everyone says, "Who's the meanest pirate of them all? RIAA, the Sailor!"

Pirates of Penzance-style Pirate

  1. Be the very model of a modern Major-General.
  2. Think about buying music, but then decide not to.
  3. Sing your own songs and pay no royalties for singing songs like "Happy Birthday."

Silicon Valley-style Pirate

  1. Wait until someone else records a bit of music.
  2. Ask if you can listen to it.
  3. Clandestinely record it as you listen.
  4. Sell the recording, claiming you did it yourself.

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