Louis CK, Culture, And Why We Pirate All The Things

Mark Serrels at Kotaku AU:

When it comes to piracy Australians get such a bad rap, don’t we? It’s crazy. I mean people in this country are known internationally for being pirates! Politicians claim we pirate things because there are no safeguards against piracy. Louis CK knows better. Louis CK knows that we pirate his show Louie even! But here’s the crazy thing: he totally understands. He gets it. And it’s beautiful.

I don’t want to get all Game Of Thrones, something something piracy on this topic, but because of the internet, I think Australia culturally aligns closer than ever to the US. A big part of culture is media and entertainment.

Australian pollies have it backwards; Aussies don’t pirate because there’s no safeguards against piracy. Aussies pirate because global media and entertainment is a part of Australian culture now. We follow it, we talk about it and contribute back. It has become part of our daily lives.

And piracy? That’s the best way right now of accessing that part of our culture.

When people shoot the shit at work, they don’t talk about the show that was on primetime free-to-air last night anymore. They talk about the show that was released in the early afternoon on the torrents which they grabbed when they got home.


Waiting for that show to air legally, or on Foxtel? Too bad, you’re already out of the workplace conversation. You’ve already read a spoiler on Reddit. You saw a True Detective parody on Funny or Die and didn’t get it. A bunch of jokes in a Mashable article just went over your head.

“Am I pirating? Nah, I’m just keeping up with the times.”

The lack of cooperation by media companies has embedded piracy in Australia as an act of culture. And you know what? Culture is sticky. It doesn’t just magically go away when you start making vague threats about graduated response schemes.

Maybe that’s how US media companies should start seeing Australia; less of an independent country, and more of an extension of the existing US market. Honestly, if there was a big switch on the back of my TV that flipped it from Australia-mode to US-mode, I’d flip that switch, stream the decent Aussie shows and be completely fine with the whole situation.

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