Home taping is killing music. Cracked software. Digital Rights Management. DeCSS. Napster. Warez. Pirate Bay… As long as there have been hackers, some of them have donned the pirate tricorn and sailed to the center of the cultural wars over access to all things digital whether music, movies, games, software, or books. They have redefined “sharing” and “participation.” They know what they, and you, want: the ability to do whatever the fuck you want with the music or software you’ve bought.

Making often necessitates copying—from learning the guitar to emulating a filmmaker to coding an app, new media builds on old media Pirate hackers have always recognized this quality and sought to make it easier to do. Whether an ethic of sharing or liberation, or an anger at the intellectual property monopolies of the motion picture and recording industries, or free-riding, pirate hackers have cracked, copied, served, torrented, decrypted, hoarded and demoed every kind of media; every time someone tries to control media, a pirate hacker has been there to blast it open.

Of course, not all hackers are pirates, and not all pirates are hackers. But nothing provokes a hacker like a lock.