Here’s why I’m grateful:
Pirates have pulled me, kicking and screaming, out of my shell. I was a non-confrontational type of gal until piracy entered my life. I would cross the street rather than go toe to toe with anyone. I was, as I’ve explained before, a good ol’ Southern Belle (please note: that’s ol’, not OLD). That doesn’t mean I was a pushover, but I was reclusive. I was on a message board for five years before I posted something. Now, everybody gets the “benefit” of my opinion whether they want it or not, and I’ll fight a pirate to the death before I back down.
Pirates have forced me to learn technology I otherwise would not have learned. How to track IP addresses. How to hide my own IP and machine address. How to get around being banned on certain sites. How to trace the identity of someone from just their login name. Understanding torrents. I’ve become quite the code cracker, if I say so myself.
Pirates have forced me to learn the Digital Millineum Copyright Act and the safe harbor provisions. Because of my legal knowledge, I’ve been taken off several pirate sites, with people being prohibited from posting my work. Each little victory is like a bullet hole in their flag.
Pirates have forced me out of my comfort zone and into a place where I’m scared. Being scared is okay. It’s a learning experience. I’ve learned to deal with fear. Hug the monster, remember?
Pirates have forced me to learn the workings of my own government. I am now knowledgeable about ICE, the Intellectual Property division, S3804, and work on that front.
Pirates have made me sit down and face the reality of the work I do. I love being a writer. It completes me. Just because I’m thrilled to be a writer doesn’t mean my work should be free. I value the work I do. I value my labor. I value myself.
Pirates have forced me to fight alone. No one is going to protect the work I do better than me. No one.
Piracy has brought me two dear friends, both pirate hunters extraordinaire. They make my life better by their presence.
Now, with all this steaming pile of gratitude, does that mean I’m going to quit eradicating pirates? Nope. I’m going out there every day with my saber in hand, my cannon at my side. (And my trusty pirate hunting dog asleep at my feet.)