Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Aaargh, there be pirates!

I spent my childhood and adolescents in the US of A. Our family kept in touch with the Muslim community through the numerous organizations they had set up. We were mostly involved with ICNA, the thing I like about this organization is their media wing known as Sound Vision. They created a popular children series by the name of Adam’s World. Adam and his little sister Aneesah were puppets that taught children good moral values.

I approve of the series because its fighting fire with fire. Kids grow up watching Barney and all they learn is that “sharing is caring, eehya”. At least with this series they develop a moral compass without having to give up their beloved TV, which is a big thing in American society.

That is all I had to say on the subject, until we moved to Pakistan. That’s when I started noticing bootleg copies of Adam’s World. What really ticked me off was when I found a plastic pouch filled with CDs representing the entire Adam’s World Series. To add insult to injury the pirate had the gall to put his “company name” on it, Truevision. No wonder why Pakistani society has sunk so low we aren’t capable of original and creative thought so we have to steal from others.

This also raises the issue of the rampant piracy going on in this society, especially software. You can get the latest Microsoft Product for $1 twenty-four hours after its international release! Some critics site the Robin Hood effect, which says that poor students in the Indian Subcontinent can’t afford the suggested retail price and would be cut off from the wonders of the information age if the pirates didn’t do what they do. The other side says piracy is stealing, period, there are no gray areas.

I am a software engineer the companies that I have worked for in Pakistan never produce software for the Pakistani mass market, only private institutions and foreign clients. Needless to say Pakistani people are missing out on some great products. Wouldn’t they like to give their kids an encyclopedia on Islamic History rather than rely on Encarta to teach them instead?
Post a Comment