Piracy and the Underground Economy

The Escapist: "There is a clarion call that has been building in the voice of game developers in recent years. They claim that piracy is laying waste to their livelihoods and costing them billions in sales. It's the same banner to which software developers, record labels and movie studios have been flocking for the past decade or so. They insist they're merely defending the rights of the developers and artists to get paid, and that continuing to support piracy is not only illegal, it also robs the very people whose products we enjoy.

Fair arguments, I'm sure, but I want to introduce you to an entirely different perspective: Piracy supports an underground economy and the livelihoods of thousands of people in Asia, especially in countries where most people live below the poverty line. This underground exists primarily because its participants cannot afford the exorbitant prices charged by game publishers. It's a point of view that isn't often raised in American or "industrialized" media, but it's easy to miss when you aren't surrounded by piracy on a daily basis."

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