A Terabyte of Piracy Ain't Art


New member
Mar 5, 2009
I think I'm going to have to say this seems pretty artly to me. It was apparently controversial enough to generate an article about it, it's in a gallery, and it's at least as conceptually interesting as most conceptual art. Probably took more time to make than some of the crap that makes it into a gallery too.

Art! The next one that gets made wont be, though. The points go for originality after all.


New member
Mar 25, 2009
GrizzlerBorno said:
Silk_Sk said:
"What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

Whether or not you think it's art, this kid is certainly making a statement about how obvious the gap between price and value is in today's culture. I think that if you're arguing that something isn't art then you've already lost. I am solidly on the side of it being art. To use such a simple idea to make such a complex statement is worth some congratulations in my opinion.
I'm guessing the guy would say to you "Yeah, that's exactly the 'statement' I wanted to make! Finally someone GETS it!" Then he'd turn around and say the same to the five other people behind him who made five completely different abstract observations from that one hard disk.

YOUR ability to make intelligent, philosophical thought connections does not make HIS work art. HE'S not making a statement (or atleast he's not doing it very well). YOU'RE making an inference based on what you're seeing.
I'm not sure I understand the point you're trying to make. The fact that people will draw different meanings out of it is one of the exact reasons that it should be considered art. What school did you go to where they taught otherwise?

Either way, the artist, in the end, is just an audience even to his own creation. He can draw his own conclusions as to what his piece meant and he wouldn't be any more right or wrong that I am.


New member
Jan 31, 2009
DoctorFrankenStein said:
I've seen beautiful things for sale on Etsy alone. People who probably work menial jobs all day just to afford materials, and deserve to have their talent recognized far more then this guy. I think society as a whole doesn't appreciate artists, so the ones who get attention tend to be those who hate society right back, and only create things that are ugly or controversial.
Look at Art Designers in the Movie and Video Game industry. No one is going to disrespect them, people appreciated the art of Star Wars and Avatar. Put people in a gallery and show them Rembrandt - they will show awe in front of his work and recognize the mastery.

The problem is modern art. I was in a modern museum a few months ago, some wiseguy put a black cube on a pedestal. Would I appreciated it? Hell no, I made more complex stuff in 3rd grade, everyone did. So what conclusions do you think people make when they see something like that and are told that "it's just sooooooooooooo deep". Yeah, this is when respect goes out of the window. If you want appreciation you must be able to show the public something that is beyond their ability to replicate.

As for the coverage - it's media, they only cover controversial pieces.


Ruining videogames
Feb 3, 2011
this is going to become a thread where people bleat about (debunked) piracy numbers and how its "destroying the industry" methinks
OT: modern art is about doing something that requires no effort but that people can read their own meaning into, that way if someone doesn't like it everyone can get indignant at them and tell them they are just to much of a caveman to "get it"


The Man With the Golden Bun
Oct 28, 2009
It's MODERN art. Nobody ever said it was ART. Just MODERN art. CompLETEly different.


King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
My God! If that's how big his illegally downloaded games drive is, imagine how big his illegally downloaded porn drive is!


New member
Jan 7, 2011
Of course it's art. It's entirely debatable whether it's good art, but it's art in my book. What really defines art for me is intent. The artist did something with the intent of mentally or emotionally affecting the viewer in one way or another. That's it, at least to me.

It seems like the tired old argument of "I could do something like that" constantly gets brought up. The answer is always the same. Yes, you could have. But did you, with the intent of provoking thought or emotional reaction? Just because something doesn't require a lot of skill to do doesn't make it art. Video games are art, performance art is art, paintings are art. If you hang up a blank canvas and call it art, it's art.

It frustrates me that people constantly have this debate over what's art and what's not. It's the wrong question to ask. If you're debating about it, it's probably art. The distinction is whether it's good art. There was a performance artist that chopped off pieces of his penis until he bled to death. That's not good art. It's crazy, stupid and honestly not very thought-provoking. But that doesn't stop it from being art.

Personally, I kind of like the piece. It has multiple interpretations, both pro- and anti-piracy, and has at the very least caused some lively discussions in this thread. But that's just my opinion.

Sorry for the rant, but this issue kind of bugs me. It puts the question of quality to the side and kind of assumes that if something is considered art then it's automatically good. Just my opinion.


Regular Member
Sep 18, 2020
Hardcore_gamer said:
Yea, that's indeed lazy.

But then again, I dislike many artists in general.
Do you dislike the artist who drew your avatar in 92/93? XD


New member
Dec 5, 2008
So if someone were to steal this piece of "art", how do you go about assessing its value to the insurers...?

Liquid Paradox

New member
Jul 19, 2009
Evil Alpaca said:
THAT BEING SAID, I also think that Palou should bear the consequences for his art. He illegally downloaded the intellectual properties of various groups and companies. If he wants to make his artistic statement,; fine, all the power to him; but that doesn't mean he should be allowed to display it without consequence.

If I set a car factory on fire to decry the effect of the auto industry's effect on the environment, guess what, I'm still going to jail for arson.

If Manuel Palou wants to use stolen intellectual property as a means for social commentary, then he should still pay the consequences that such actions receive regardless of whether his work has artistic merits or not.
If I eat an apple, I'm a murderer because the apple had to die for me to eat it. If I eat a baby, and try to justify it by saying that I needed the sustenance that that baby provided, I'm still going to go to jail for murder.

There is a huge difference between setting a car factory on fire in the name of art and downloading illegal material in the name of art; primarily that setting a building on fire is dangerous to the community, causes structural damage, and also potentially, injury or loss of life. Pirating software for the explicit purpose of making an artistic statement, on the other hand, is completely harmless.

Throwing a man into jail over a legal technicality is akin to punishing a person simply for the sake of punishing him. Yeah, I get it: he broke a law. More important is the reason he broke said law, along with the effect that breaking that particular law might cause (for example, displaying freshly murdered corpses in the name of art still means people are dead, and burning down an automotive factory means someone is out of millions of dollars.)


New member
Apr 15, 2009
Time is relative, so is art.
However human beings are also 'reasonable', so if you call this art, you are not a human being.

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
Iron Lightning said:
canadamus_prime said:
Error 404: Art Not Found.

Also why was this guy not arrested?
Because copyright infringement is a civil matter and not a criminal offense. It's like breach of contract in that you can get sued for it but not arrested.

More on Topic: Of course this is art. It's kind of a paradox that something that costs $5 million dollars can have so little value. He "stole" 5 million dollars without taking a dime from anyone.
But we're not talking about copyright infringement, we're talking about THEFT. He's openly admitted to stealing $5 million dollars worth of software and put it on display for all to see and nobody is going to arrest him??? I would've thought that the companies behind some of that software would've been all over him like white on rice, with the lawyer brigade in tow.

Edit: This is like if someone broke in to your house and stole your couch and then put the couch on display and said "Look, art!"


New member
Nov 23, 2010
Strange how everything can be nothing on the internet.

Also isn't it crossing a certain line to include download links in the article? I mean showing us what's on it, oke. But ready for use download links?


New member
May 13, 2009
Greg Tito said:
I mean, if he had hand-picked each piece of content to be meaningful or culturally important, at least that would have been something. But with a high speed internet connection, this "5 million dollars, 1 Terabyte" might have taken Palou an afternoon to download.

And that's just not art at all.
How fast do you think internet connections are, Greg? Lets be generous and assume there are 5 hours in an afternoon. 200 GB/hr= 3.33 GB/min= .0555 GB/s= 55.5 MB/s= 444.4Mb/s
Yeah, that's about 100 times faster than the average US connection.
But yes, I guess he could have done it in an afternoon if he had the internet connection of CERN.
Otherwise, I think it probably took at a minimum several days. If he was downloading at near max capacity with a high end connection (20Mbps) it would take 5 days.
More likely: over a week.

But that only matters if you're using time as a metric of effort, which you're using as a metric of how "arty" it is. Which is an entirely made-up definition of art.

Quoting wikipedia:
Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
Did this make you feel something? Make you think about it? Sounds like it was a successful piece of art to me.
Mar 9, 2010
I kinda like it. It's stands as testament of how far we've progressed and what can be done by ordinary people. I think it does that far better than a painting or anything else could.

Yeah, it may be a little unorthodox, but that's art.

EDIT: Also, don't pirate, it's just not cool.


New member
Dec 9, 2009
Well, I'm certainly not going to tell anyone if it's art or not. Art, after all, as a term, shifts and changes over time, and always depends on the viewer, more or less. I will say this however: it's certainly causing discussion, which I guess is one of the purposes of art.