The Musical Pirate

 

This image is a statement that the ideological pirate of the 21st century, is indeed associated with illegal downloading of music.

The main figure in this image is a pirate dressed in glowing red and grey pirate attire, walking what appears to be a sandy beach. The pirate is monstrous, taking up about half of the picture. The pirate is wearing typical pirate gab, with a hook hand, and eye patch, and a pirates hat. The figure is also carrying what looks like a satchel around his shoulder, and what is inside the satchel is uncertain. The object almost looks like a speaker head, but it seems impossible to know what the object truly is. The background of this image is a beautiful blue sky, with puffy, oddly shaped clouds scattered across it. The pirates hook hand is pointed behind him at a string of musical notes that seem to be following behind him. The musical notes are of all different types, and seem to be elevated and floating near the pirate’s hook.

The pirate in this image is unlike any traditional pirate like in Pirates of the Caribbean.  This pirate does not have a treasure map and is in search of “booty”, nor is he seeking to plunder port towns for their gold. Instead, this pirate is the pirate of the present day. Although he is dressed as one might expect Captain Jack Sparrow to dress, this captain is in search of mp3’s. The man in this picture represents the piracy of music over the internet and peer to peer sharing. The musical notes that follow behind the pirate make it evident that this pirates plunder is that of music files available over the internet. The object in the pirates satchel is certainly a mystery. If it is something music related, that a valid guess would be that the object is a speaker head, but really it has an odd shape and it is difficult to decipher what exactly this misshapen object could be. Another possibility could be that the object is merely the inside of the bag, and that the pirate is reaching into the bag and dropping musical notes as he walks the beach. This image combines the classical look of the pirate, with the current idea of what piracy is. This blending of classical notions with current realities creates an image that perfectly fits the literal meaning of the term, music piracy. In the 21st century, pirating is no longer a term that refers to hardened men sailing the seas and committing crimes; instead, piracy refers to the online theft of creative works: movies, TV shows and especially music. With this new view of piracy, almost anyone in America can be a true pirate, without the sailing, plundering and killing. Instead, anyone can become an internet pirate.

 

 

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One comment

  1. Justin this is a very well thought out and interesting article. I like how you compare the modern day pirate to the “traditional pirate like in Pirates of the Caribbean”. My favorite line from this is when you said, “This pirate does not have a treasure map and is in search of “booty”, nor is he seeking to plunder port towns for their gold” because when someone hears the word pirate that is the first thing that comes to mind. I have to admit I did not know that the image was aimed at piracy of music until your description. I agree with your statement that “in the 21st century, pirating is no longer a term that refers to hardened men sailing the seas and committing crimes; instead, piracy refers to the online theft of creative works: movies, TV shows and especially music” which is something that needs to end.

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