No doubt we have all have encountered that moral dilemma in this day in age. If you have a computer, an internet connection, and a method of sequestering your data stream to a download program (and even if you don’t); then you thought about downloading something of value. Of course in certain places in the globe, there are limitations to what we can and cannot do. For instance, you can distribute your work that you’ve actually made however you cannot distribute someone else’s work under false pretences of your own. You can make music, but not distribute music or make music. It’s kind of new section of law and order for the 21st century and beyond. It’s been each country’s responsibility to set forth restrictions on copyrights and extend them into the digital realm.
From a consumer’s point of view; it’s a conflicting decision to either “support” the artist you know or love, pay for the next and latest games from my favourite franchise or watching a movie without a lengthy cost of food and film. Of course in this day in age, thrift is on everyone’s mind. The “try and save a penny” mentality gets us between the download and our wallets. I’ve been in situations where I could buy a deluxe edition game over downloading the whole deal. Whether I waited years for the price to drop over half to play or just a few weeks to treat myself. Surely I am for supporting intellectual property, but in this century it starts to be more of a for profit affair than it is for the viewers. With everything coming online rather than on screen, the archaic metering of viewers to make or break a successful idea. For instance of my favourite sci-fi franchises, Stargate, had Stargate Universe on Sy-Fi. Great that MGM had it picked up by the original channel that got SG-1 off the ground, but here’s the punch line. It’s going to set me back 60 bucks a month just for Space (the Canadian channel that has Stargate). Now lets assume I get 4 episodes a month and I watch nothing else. For those 4 hours, I’m paying about $15 an episode or per hour. So already it exceeds the 10 dollar 2 hour ticket to the movies and not even accounting getting the large popcorn for another 10 clams. So where else would I get this from? Of course, the internet with a cheap connection cost that I use frequently for Facebook and video games (still trying to kick that addiction by the way) and spend the time to download it, which is 15 minutes and less at 1mbps. After all that, I would receive a copy of the episode which I can burn and make my own private DVD so I can just watch it whenever I feel like saving me an additional $50+ for a DVD collection. Sure I might not get the bonus material, but I would only buy it for the show. I might be labelled a pirate for doing so, however I’m not profiting capitally to owning it. I just own it so I don’t have to wait for it to come around and watch it. Sure direct TV would be nice and all but that’s another service I would by and even TV on demand services would put expiry dates on their videos. Until the day, TV can stream over 1 yottabyte to millions of viewers; I’ll be sticking close to the border line sketchy side streets of the Internet for my entertainment.
Then there is the opposite side of me knowing this (if it was Fallout 3) would be bad karma since I’m partially influencing what people are uploading to these torrent websites. Each torrent I download usually had about thousands of people uploading and about 3/4th of that number downloading. So everyone one of us downloading are influencing what others are downloading as well. Since we’re not paying for it, people who product such a product wouldn’t think it would be a great product since these aren’t really valued as viewers so they have the opportunity to scrap it or force people to watch it on their channels for that good price of 50 bucks a month. That way their encouraged to make more and know there’s a strong viewership under such a production.
Although this new front in order to “protect the consumer” by emplacing a copyright law under this is kind of odd. Is it really to protect people or protect people producing product? In my opinion, it’s only to protect people who really are after a profit if you can sue someone under a copyright charge. Though I do believe in what you made is what you own and anyone using it should ask to use, I don’t think you should really charge someone over such thing. I think within a free society, people should really distribute what they want but they should credit it back to the source like a research paper. By this, I mean I could watch Star Trek Enterprise on YouTube but the videos should credit to Paramount Pictures and as long as it’s credited to them, they can’t be able to take it down or sue over it. The show is over and I doubt DVD sales would really help revive the series, move on or make crappy movies and TV shows while you search online and take down everything you own (oh wait, you’re doing that already…). The whole point of sharing would be to get more and more people interested into a series or even spark conversation. Under that logic, does that mean these companies are really saying “we hate society and it’s social ways”. If anything, they should really focus on getting people to share more and more rather than profiting from people sharing.
In the early 2000’s, it might have been frowned upon to pirate music, movies and games. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad now, considering that people are trying to save on luxury items. Sure people would call me out on it, but now it’s simply put to an implied statement after “Hey guys I got [insert item you can download here]” as “…and yes, downloaded.” It does innocent now, but we’re still walking that fine line.