Today's Pirate Is the Entrepreneur of Tomorrow

And if you think China is safe, think again. Dotcom's business was Hong Kong based. We all know that file-sharing, illegal streaming and the rest go on here as much or maybe more than anywhere else. Considering its record-breaking Internet population and intense development, this should be no surprise.

And here is my point: These pirates really are the innovators. They are the future tech CEOs.

Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning got the P2P ball rolling with Napster in 1999. Parker's now worth $2.1 billion and is treated like a guru. He famously teamed up with Mark Zuckerberg to create Facebook, and as we know from Social Network and the payout he subsequently had to make, that was a copied idea, too. Fanning isn't doing badly, either.

News International's Rupert Murdoch insists Google's bosses are "pirate leaders", hosting his group's content for free. YouTube is predicated on hosting other people's works, and it wasn't long ago that Viacom was calling for its head.

Social networking sites like Digg, Delicious and even Twitter, which claim not to host other people's works (like Megaupload) actually do feature and link to them.

Much innovation is based on copying and making it better. The pirates of today are in fact the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. It's just a label that changes.

On the other hand, the US federal government's pursuit of these privateers and their products is fair game. After all, it is the government's job to protect its citizens and businesses, boosting them and putting the rest down. It's economic warfare out there. Or, business as usual.

But I have a feeling it will turn full circle before long, when the pirates become big business and even Kim Dotcom gets a green card and is part of the establishment.

Then, these soldiers of fortune will be the ones calling on the government to make a new generation of pirates walk the plank.

By Jules Quartly

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