If there’s ever a time where piracy should be allowed, it’s now.
Just to be clear, I’m not intending to argue FOR piracy as much as I am arguing for some leniency towards it right now. I’ll acknowledge the amounts (albeit overinflated) of revenue lost to the country in taxes due to piracy. I’ll acknowledge the blatant ignorance of copyright law which is so pervasive. I’ll acknowledge the impact a consumer’s familiarity with terms such as “cinema copies” has on the country. However, the absence of cheap entertainment is simply more trouble than its worth at this time.
The reality of life in Fiji now, not unlike so many other parts of the world, is represented by struggle for many people. I’ve been amazed at the sheer increases of our food shopping bill each month. Fuel has always been highly priced and continues to climb. Any and all imported items seem to cost well over 30% of what they were just 6 months ago. Consumption, very much a part of any society, has simply been hard to do.
Perhaps one of the few guilty pleasures people did have was the ability to amuse themselves with cheap entertainment and pirated DVDs, so readily available, was one simple way of appeasing a frustrated and bored populace.
Frankly, I’m hoping that this crackdown on illegal DVD shops eases up and these businesses start operating again. It may not be politically correct but I’d rather have groups of youth sitting inside a house watching some cheap, grainy DVD than standing on a street corner looking for something to keep them busy. The latter is a much bigger strain on society.
I respect the position of the people who needed to make their case but perhaps this is one time they need to sit back and take one for the team. Fiji needs entertainment in whatever form it can get. A widespread access to pirated films, as ridiculous as it may appear to some people, actually does serve some greater good. I don’t believe 100% of the issue is a negative.
The people who are going to benefit from this crackdown are the Internet Service Providers who will likely see an increase in data usage from customers starved for content. An increasingly connected user base in Fiji will begin to realise that the Internet solves their media hungry appetites. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.