Friday, September 24, 2010

Why would a pirate dare rob a magician?

Over at Strategic Sorcery (On Pirates) in the comment section, Pallas Renatus wrote "Why on earth would [pirates] risk pissing off magicians of all people? This just seems like common sense to me."

Here is my theory: The pirates do not believe that the magicians can do anything to hurt them.

Heck, the pirates do not believe that the law can touch them. If the mass forces of the law enforcement agencies and the legal system cannot touch them, how can the puny forces mustered by a lowly magician affect them?

Furthermore, they argue that they are not doing anything wrong. In fact, pirates believe that writers and artists should be happy creating new material for them to use and enjoy while not recieving a single penny to offset the time and energy they used to create the work. Even if they believes in, oh say something like, Karma or the Three-fold Law of Return, they would think that it is the creators of the material that are the moral violators and not them.

And most of these pirates have no stake in the outcome of this situation, either as creators or users. They do not create anything that can earn them a thin dime (my proof: everyone I know with a monetary stake in a copyright or intellectual property is a supporter of copyright and patent laws, even if we cannot agree how strong the laws should be). And they are armchair occultists---they are not actually using the material that they are stealing.

It is this last part that makes it especially difficult for magicians to fight back (with a couple of notable exceptations). In previous ages, magicians used to blind their work to prevent it from working correctly in the hands of those people not in their own lineage. Think: Large Booby Trap, often complete with drooling demons to feast on one's scattered remains. The defense that the lineaged working magician were traditionally taught does not work if the person just downloads a pdf and never actually casts a single spell from the work (in some cases, I am not even sure that they actually are reading the works in question).

But note that working magicians are a crafty lot, and there are some interesting magical procedures starting to be developed to cope with this new form of piracy. It is only a matter of time before the pirates realize that magicians are the last people you want to rob, and that we have rolled out a whole new line of customized curses to deal with the likes of them (curses that cannot be removed with anti-virus software).

8 comments:

S.L. Æris said...

I am wondering what kind of vengeance I can expect from magicians when I check these books out from the library?

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

None. The copy has been paid for. You are perfectly safe provided that you just take notes, and do not copy more than ten percent of the book.

I should consider doing a blog post to explain why library patrons do not get cursed by magicians.

S. J. Reisner || Audrey Brice || S. Connolly said...

I routinely put "protections" on my work and it has worked so far. I haven't really considered placing execrations upon them, but that's an interesting thing to consider. ::evil grin::

Pallas Renatus said...

I'm not exactly up on the occult-book-pirating scene, but when I think about the people who are effective at distributing occult content (which really is a niche area) I think of large-scale specialty projects like DigiMob, run and contributed to by people who have at least some inclination to believe that this stuff is real.

I guess I just see the logic involved as being on the same level as people who think "That's the most violently haunted house in our state/country/whatever? Lets stay overnight with no training or protection and poke it with a stick! And lets bring the kids!"

Or anything else deserving of a spiritual Darwin Award.

VLM said...

I'm not sure about others, but I have downloaded a *ton* of electronic books. Anything that I find useful and/or meaningful, I purchase the real thing.

Books become as old friends.. But I am not fond of paying for something that ends up being nothing more than a waste of space on my already crowded bookshelf.

I am also not sure where I sit on the "intellectual property" argument. How can an idea "belong" to anyone? It used to be that you needed to copy out things by hand, but of course with the advent of printing it became very easy for anyone to mass produce their writing.

If that writing would be better off as toilet paper, does it not make sense to see it before hand?

This is becoming more and more important, IMO, since many of the current-day authors do nothing more than rehash someone else's older writings, in a newer book.. How, then, is this their idea?

Rob said...

Well I'm going to have to say I agree with the pirates here. I have very serious doubts that the people who claim to put curses on their books actually have that kind of power.

It's the spiritual equivalent of saying "I must warn you, I have a black belt in karate." No one who warns you that they know karate ever does.

And this is the difference between someone who is a magician and whatever the people cursing their ebooks are. Magicians don't make threats. Magicians don't talk about what they can do. Magicians don't prattle on about their awesome power. Magicians simply do things, and ultimately they can be judged by their actions.

If someone wants to leave a bloody path of occult book pirates in their wake, then they would just do that. After all these guys can't be uploading files via torrent if they're all too dead to turn on their computers. But if you start going on with "I'm going to curse you if you steal from me, blah blah blah, and you'll have to pay me $50 to make it go away," I'm sorry, but you're a joke. You're a joke to magicians and you're a joke to pirates, and none of them can be blamed because you are a joke.

And really, who is going to be most interested in pirating magic books? Magicians. And magicians should be able to defend themselves. But a lot of magicians would see a curse against piracy, whether it's real or just an empty threat, to be an attack against them, and they would consider a counter-attack to be morally justified. Some might even pirate a book they have no intention of reading or using just to invoke the curse so they can engage in a magical war because, after all, magical wars are fun.

Not saying that piracy is right or wrong, but if you are supposedly a magician, and you're scared of pissing off another magician by stealing their book, you should just stop being a magician. You're never going to get anywhere with magic. You're just not made of the right stuff.

And Pallas, I don't know why poking things without protection or training seems like such a bad idea to you. It seems like an awesome idea to me. I'd encourage anyone to do just that.

Zinkyleaks said...

I think it amusing you are writing about the latest fad on the blog sphere, considering you are a member of a private occult book sharing torrent tracker.  You routinely download copyright material and by constant seeding participate in its distribution.  Yes Morgan you are a pirate.

Can you explain your hypocrisy to the likes of the Cicero’s, Pat Zalewski, Darcy Kuntz and Nick Farrell? 

It is sad to see the likes of Rufus Opus’s livelihood eroded by piracy but the idea of a “curse” on people who share electronic books is farcical.  It is in the same realm of fantasy as the “astral initiation” in the GD. 

Bet you don’t have the balls to publish this comment.

Frater said...

I download scanned PDF books.

Two reasons which come to mind are:

1) PDF files can be searched which is invaluable. Most paper books don't include an index.

2) 99% of occult books are dross. Damn the IP, I'm not going to shed any tears for books only good for toilet paper.
I see the PDF as a try before you buy. I buy many paper copies just on the basis of the pirated PDF.