Why people pirate

TorrentFreak found a site today that is building a list of reasons why people pirate content.  All the comments left on the site are user submitted, and some are quite fascinating. The site now has over 1700 responses.

If you start and stop on”all piracy is bad” then you really need to read this site. Id recommend that you start with the most popular, and work down. Some are quite clever; like this one:

because every time I buy a DVD, a warning message informs me that I could have the same DVD for free earlier, ad-free and without DRM.

And then there is this one:

Because I prefer to listen to lots of music but to go live, pout compensate artists and not the shareholders of the majors.

From the sarcastic:

I pirate because piracy is killing the artists. Good thing I do not like Justin Bieber!

to the humorous:

To verify that the taxes I pay are used efficiently by my government (yes Hadopi, of thee I speak, hurry up to nab me where I’ll end up thinking that you is not capable of …)

And then there’s the practical:

Because FNAC (a french retailer) not sell Norwegian death metal.

Or the honest:

Because I am poor.

I’ve heard a variation of most of these reasons at least a few times already. Piracy is what people do, and here you can find out why.



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. monopole6 June, 2011

    Good! I hope Justin Bieber suffers the same fate as Kid Rock did:

    1. Nate Hoffelder6 June, 2011

      LOL. That’s new to me.

  2. Dick Hartzell7 June, 2011

    Coupla things:

    1) The comments you quote don’t seem to address the pirating of books — they seem to be skewed (not surprisingly) toward music and movies

    2) I’m less curious about why people pirate than about *who* pirates; the stereotype I have in mind is males 15 to 30 and I’d love to know if that’s wrong

    3) Assuming I’m right about point 2 (or even if I’m not), I’d also like to know to what extent pirates share content with nonpirates; we all know there are far more people who, while unwilling to pirate themselves, would be willing to accept illicit content from someone who’s already done the dirty work

    4) I suspect Point 4 is most relevant to the pirating of ebooks, because the core ebook reader demographic to my mind is older and relatively affluent — traits that would make such persons less likely to steal content

    Any thoughts?

  3. Dick Hartzell7 June, 2011

    Oops. “I suspect Point 4” should read “I suspect Point 3”. Sorry about that.

  4. […] say that I absolutely cannot afford to purchase much of the entertainment media I consume, in fact this article summarizes reasons why people pirate and one of the more popular reasons was “because […]


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