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Pirates Not Hurt by Online File-Sharing
by Kris on 1/13/2005 (0)

"Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!"
Most Pirates agree that the Internet has helped them make more money from their assorted drunken Pirate songs despite online file-trading services that allow users to copy songs and other material for free, according to a recently released study.

“Arrr, people hear one of our many drunken Pirate songs and it makes them want to go out and buy our CD to hear of all ye tales of pillaging and plundering,” said one of the most famous Pirate musicians of our day, C-Rat. “And even if they decide to keep stealing all me music, it’s not like I really care. After all, I be a Pirate, it’d be hypocritical to judge someone negatively for something me do every day.”

C-Rat’s latest album, “Ahoy Matey, Let’s Sing” recently went triple platinum despite being panned by thousands of critics. He attributes this to the massive market that was exposed to his music through file sharing networks like Kazaa and WinMX.

Two-thirds of Pirates surveyed have said file sharing posed little threat to them, claiming that the Royal Navy was a far greater threat to their well-being. “They’re always after me gold doubloons,” said one such Pirate. Less than one-third of those surveyed said file sharing was a major threat to creative industries.

Only 3 percent said the Internet hurt their ability to protect their creative works. 54 percent of Pirates surveyed admitted that they did not know who or what the Internet or file sharing was but felt that they both should be buried in a chest five paces from two intersecting coconut trees that form a giant cross.

The only legitimate complaint coming from Pirates regarding the Internet is not about illegal sharing of their music but the ease with which Treasure Maps can be distributed.

“Aye, it used to be that ye had to win one in a game of chance, find one in a discarded bottle, or on the back of Capt’n Crunch Cereal,” said Plaid-Beard the Pirate. “Now any Tom, Dick, or Jolly Roger can download one off of the Internet.”

This has lead to a widespread increase in the recovery of buried treasure in recent years by Pirate and citizen alike.

“It be a tragic day,” said one Pirate. “I go to collect me spoils after years of pillaging only to find it missing after some yahoo had downloaded a map to me gold from Yahoo.”

Fortunately though, most Pirates are killed before they ever return to collect their gold and will never realize that it is gone. Thus the issue of easily attainable maps is largely inconsequential.

"What we hear from a wide spectrum of Pirates is that, despite the real challenges of protecting work online, the Internet has opened new ways for them to exercise their imaginations and sell their creations, and they’re often dead before they realize that some twelve year old nerd stole their gold," said report author Marcy Michaels, a research specialist at the Pirate Internet Project for Pirates.

The nonprofit group, formed by concerned citizens who felt that the Pirate presence on the Internet was far too small, based its report on a survey of 500 self-identified Pirates in November 2004. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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