Lariat Letters: Internet piracy is unacceptable

If I correctly understood the intended message of the Lariat’s editorial — “Waging War Against Piracy is Useless” on March 8 — I must vehemently disagree. Piracy may be a bad and regrettable “fact of life” but so are many social ills.

Decorum prevents my mentioning all such “facts of life” but the list would include violent crimes, robbery, racism, identity theft, bullying, and so on. Are we to stop fighting those social ills because they are “facts of life”?

For reasons that escape me, theft of intangible assets seems more “acceptable” to many, than theft of tangible property, though the effort to create the two types need not differ at all.

Imagine spending hours, weeks or years (and your own money) to produce products for sale, only to have them all stolen from your home or place of business. Would you suggest to anyone that they should not call the police about the burglary – “burglary is just a fact of life”?

I would add that the excuse of “everyone does it” only works until one is caught. I believe it irresponsible for anyone to, in essence, advocate illegal and clearly immoral activity based to any extent on such a premise.

In private practice, I represent many whose livelihoods depend on the protection of their intellectual property. I provide many such services pro bono, because some cannot afford to pay my usual fees (in part, because of piracy). The victims of piracy are real human beings, and I wish all could see them as I do in real life, with real losses, real pain, and all-too-often real failure as otherwise successful artists, inventors and authors.

Think before you pirate.

David G. Henry, Sr. J.D is a lecturer in Baylor Law School / Hankamer School of Business.