Monday, January 16, 2012

Why I'm a pirate

To be honest, the biggest reason I pirate movies and music is that the media companies have worked so hard (and successfully) to make honest copying difficult. If I have a DVD, I should be able to make a copy of it to some other medium. However, due to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that's illegal. Technically, it's not very hard, but it's harder than it should be, and it shouldn't be illegal.

Music companies have tried to get the same level of control but failed. As a result, I'm much more likely to purchase music legitimately than a movie. I still have no love of the music companies that worked against their customers, but it's finally true that I can go to Amazon and buy an mp3 just as easily as I can go find an illegal copy.

As far as I can tell, legal online services for movies offer nowhere near the level of service as the average pirate site, and I'm not talking about price. Illegally, I can go get practically any movie at any time, at any level of quality and in any language. I can take that file and put it on my phone or my TiVo and watch it anywhere. I can keep it and watch it over and over.

I have a Netflix subscription too, but I hardly use it. The selection is lousy. I can stream it to my phone, except that I'm usually watching on a train, and the coverage is spotty. That's to say nothing of Netflix swallowing my data plan whole.

It's important to me that I'm able to have the file and move it to any device with a screen.

When the studios offer the same service that the pirates do, people will buy it, and they'll make money. Until then, they'll spend money on lawyers and leave honest money on the table because they don't think they have to do what it takes to earn it.

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