Marc Pilgrim, while writing about David Flanagan’s recent post about book piracy, tries to distinguish between “enabling” and “encouraging” piracy. He notes, correctly, that technology enables piracy but then says that it doesn’t encourage it. In that respect he’s wrong. Of course technology encourages piracy.
Technology makes it very easy to pirate media and software (enables). This simple fact, enabling piracy, at the same time encourages many to pirate. As noted in the comments of Marc’s article many things aren’t available in foreign countries (iTunes being a common example) which encourages piracy because people can’t buy, even if they can afford and want to, media from iTunes. This isn’t strictly technology, in the iTunes example its more about licensing, but the technology itself keeps people from being able to purchase what they want.
And of course sometimes people just aren’t going to pay for something in the first place. Technology makes it very easy to then just pirate what wasn’t going to be purchased in the first place. Yes it encourages it because as Marc notes it’s all just 1s and 0s.