CONTENT THEFT! Special edition.

Copyright infringement isn’t a big deal in Pakistan. I mean just look at the clothing industry. We proudly tell people that we got the same designer outfit that they spent thousands on for a fraction of the price from someone who makes a replica so close to the original that the original doesn’t hold a light to it. So we aren’t a nation that believes in giving credit or asking for permission or assigning acknowledgment. These fancy concepts aren’t for us.

But fancy as they may be they are moral concepts too. They have an ethical and a legal side also. They are more like rules and not societal dogmas that you and I can pick and choose.

We have sadly promoted the culture of cheating in our society. We have deemed it almost normal and okay to sell “guess papers” before exams. We find nothing wrong with openly selling what we think might be high yield material for exams. These papers are for kids as young as 16-18 years of age. See what we are modeling for them?

Quacks are okay to be. We see nothing wrong with unlicensed practitioners who prescribe medications to people without ever seeing the inside of a medical school. We have legitimized this culture in the name of “easy access”. See how this makes easy access to everything a priority and the ethicality of it a finer, “I’ll get to it later” point?

When you have been surrounded by this type of double crossing all your life, online content is just par for the course. It’s not even a big deal. It’s not even a major consideration. It’s just something that the society and may be even your parents always told you to help yourselves to.

What I want to say is that don’t fall in this trap. This abyss of immorality of stealing online content and others’ work isn’t just plagiarism. It’s a deeper, more nuanced problem. It’s a thing of integrity and imagine how useless we are without integrity!

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