Online “piracy” is very commonplace and I’ll be the first one to admit that I do it all the time. Yes, that’s right, I download lots of stuff off the Internet to watch and I have no problem admitting it. Why? Because virtually everything I download are things that are offered free-of-charge on broadcast TV or cable anyhow, or are simply not available for purchase in the country in which I reside. In other words, it’s either already free, or I couldn’t buy it if I wanted to.
And if the RIAA and similar organizations don’t like that, they can shove it up their ass.
Granted, I don’t download things like theatrical movies. Oh sure, I did at one time, but today, DVDs come out so soon after theatrical release, I’m happy to wait and purchase the DVD or Bluray legally. I have thousands upon thousands of commercial DVDs and Blurays, including tons of TV series box sets. I spend thousands every year on DVDs and that’s not an exaggeration. I’m a patient person, I don’t mind waiting a month or two to see it.
On the other hand, I do download a ton of Japanese-language, usually fan-subtitled shows as well. It’s not like I can run down to Best Buy and buy them, no matter how much I might want to. Very few of them ever make it to American shores and of those that do, I’ll be honest, most are either very badly done or only released dubbed. I don’t do dubbed. In fact, just keep your stupid dub off my DVDs please. That said, I’m going to keep downloading those, like it or not.
One of the arguments I find the most absurd by the strident anti-piracy people is the “they have a right to control who gets what!” Yeah, blow it out your ass. For virtually all of the shows I’m talking about, they were offered free-for-all on television anyhow. Once you put it out there for anyone to see, you’ve lost your control.
Yeah, but some people say “you owe it to the owners to see the commercials and therefore, pay them for their product”. Nope, sorry, nowhere will you find a legal contract that I signed with these property owners promising them I’d sit through commercials or buy the products of advertisers. They might want me to, I have no legal or moral obligation to actually do so.
Or those who say “you watched it, you have to go out and buy the DVD box set!” Well, no I don’t. If it was a good show, if it’s something I’ll likely watch again, then sure, I’ll do that. My wife and I keep up on Bones, Burn Notice, Castle, Fringe, The Mentalist, Psych, Walking Dead and probably a couple others I’m missing. I buy older series all the time. Just got the first season of Six Million Dollar Man for my birthday and yesterday, I picked up the complete series of Birds of Prey. I have tons of shows, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Stargate: SG-1 complete on DVD. The next person who tells me I’m not supporting the industry can go straight to hell.
I’m really sick and tired of people who bitch and whine like the industry has earned a lot of support. From companies that put out bad, bare-bones releases, then re-release the same material with a lot of extras a couple of months later, hoping people will buy their movie over again, to just putting out awful shows that nobody wants to watch in the first place, they don’t automatically get my support, they have to earn it and frankly, Hollywood isn’t doing a lot to earn my support lately. I don’t owe Hollywood anything. I don’t owe them commercial revenue, I don’t owe them box sales, I don’t owe them multiple purchases, I owe them nothing unless they earn my consumer dollar.
Until they improve, I will continue proudly pirating whatever I wish and will brook no whining about it.