Copyright, What Copyright?

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Don’t you hate how much it costs to buy the latest action-packed video game? Or is it the price of an HD Blu-ray blockbuster? Or is it the cost of your favorite artist’s album? Wouldn’t you just die to get the same product with the same quality but for a cheaper price? Some would agree while others would like to follow the legitimate and typical path of buying original items from whatever provider available.
Pirated CDs are not very popular in Europe and the Americas, neither are they popular in many parts of Asia whereas most African nations don’t even have time for entertainment as they struggle to live. While pirated items are not as available in most countries because of strict and very punishing copyright laws, the remaining few countries don’t have any copyright laws whatsoever to restrict them!
Let us study my country Syria for example. Whenever I want to watch the latest blockbuster that has not been shown in the country’s only cinema showing the latest non-regional movies (US and European), I wait about 1 week and then visit any CD retail store, according to local etymology. Any movie, whether a 50-year old classic or the latest blockbuster, usually costs 25 Syrian pounds which equals to (wait for it) around $0.5. In some stores, it costs just 15 Syrian pounds while there was an offer once of 10 movies for 100 Syrian pounds (=$2)! Even though what I’m about to say may sound like an advertisement, but the movies are actually high quality and include many additional features and behind the curtain bonus interviews and footage. Plus, each CD is packed in its own plastic case with a cover containing the theme image of the movie on one side and a typical blurb and other information such as age restrictions on the other.
As for music albums, some retailers decide to make their own mix CDs or sell an artist’s whole album separately. There is however a third choice which is currently very much coming to vogue which consists of a single CD containing several complete albums!
Games and software, which are probably the most grossing in the country, are sold at various prices. A PC game is sold at around 50 to 100 Syrian pounds depending on the size of the game (0.5 to 1 dollar), while XBOX 360 games are sold at $0.5 each and PS3 games (downloaded to hard disk) at a more expensive value of $3-$4 each but with the sacrifice of online play unless you are lucky enough and don’t get banned by the PlayStation Network or XBOX Live. Software, however, is quite unbelievable. Last month, I bought the latest edition of Microsoft Office including Access, Visio, Word, Excel, Project and the whole set for a mere single dollar. The package also contained brief description about each product and was packed like it was an original copy. Along with the option to update and a very original looking case and wrapping, it is very much as good as original. Simply insert CD and install and its ready for use. I also bought the Autodesk Maya 2011 and another CD consisting of another 3 Autodesk products including Mudbox 2011 for the same price of 1 dollar each.
As I earlier mentioned, some would approve while others won’t, but if the quality is equal but the price is about 50 times less in some cases, why not get the cheaper one unless it is illegal.





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