Piracy made me buy music, shirts, and concert tickets.

I grew up in the 90’s when digital piracy was pretty much the done thing by any tech savvy kid at school. Torrents didn’t exist yet, but the amount of “Warez” sites around that published copyrighted music, games and software made it easy. I did have to learn a lot about internet security and it also eventually made me immune to stuff like Goatse (Counterstrike and friends who linkbaited everyone on MSN helped too though) but that’s for another post.

I was thinking about it today because probably one of the artists I downloaded the most of was Weird Al, and now as an adult, I own 2 of his CD’s, a bunch of tracks through iTunes, I just went to his concert and I bought a t-shirt. I’ve probably now spent more than his average fan, and it’s because I was able to listen to not just one or two tracks for free, but entire albums and crappy radio rips when I was 14. So, who else has a similar story? I’m sure there’s other artists I’ve done a similar thing for, and not just music too – I know that I’ve bought DVD’s based on watching something downloaded freely (pirated or not, e.g. Dr. Horrible’s Blog), and bought books from people even though their content is free on their website (ever read this guy’s stuff?).

When has pirating something ended up with you owning the same content legally, by choice?