In the 17th century, when groups of men plundered the seas in ships filled with rats and scurvy, they agreed on a code to keep themselves civilly uncivil. I propose the same for BitTorrent.
My code isn't necessarily the code for everyone. But it is the code for my ship, my computer, my slow-ass DSL connection that can't steal anything worth a damn anyway. Here is the code that I live by.
Article One Every man shall upload half of what he downloads, with the saints filling in the rest. It's like tossing back a tiny fish so that it may grow into a great whale...only so we can hunt said whale and feast on its blubber during a later voyage.
Article Two TV is to be downloaded, movies are to be attended when a man returns to shore. If ye aren't a Neilsen family, what you watch doesn't matter for ratings anyway. Since advertisers pay by rating, it's a theft-less crime. Movies, on the other hand, do see profits of gold and jewels. So support independent/foreign film in the theaters, and save the action flicks with high production values and many beautiful explosions for the big screen, too. Hollywood romantic comedies? They are for plundering (in secret).
Article Three A man shall steal as much music as he needs to quench his thirst, assuming that he supports the band by attending concerts and buying t-shirts. One should always buy the work of an indie label, however, if the music is deemed pleasant after the new moon, it's time for purchasing.
Article Four Ye wouldn't be a pirate if ye didn't download Photoshop. But for the office, such manners are frowned upon. Make your employer pay so that others may play. And if a man spends his life building a $10 app, that man has earned his $10. Toss him a coin should you requisition his services.
Article Five Pornography can keep a man company at sea, but always avoid that dealing with husbandry. Girlfriend sharing is OK, assuming the missus knows she's on the Bay. (We're pirates, not douchebags.)
Article Six JK Rowling's booty is apt for plundering, but her's is a rare case indeed. If a book be in the library and tis in stock, one could make an argument to download for free. But our conscience dictates that we buy some books to keep good writers in print.
Article Seven If at any time a man should download a virus, that man must notify the message board immediately. If at any time a man should actively upload a virus, no retributive measure shall be deemed too brutal. An arse becomes fair game for a hook.
Article Eight After you try it, if you really like it and can afford to do so, buy it.
As I said, these are the pirating rules that I live by. They might not be right for every sea, but they've served me just fine for many a year. What be your pirate code?
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