Lines in the Sand

Recently, I’ve been thinking about theft and piracy.  Mainly because some people I know have been tossing around invites to various torrent sites, and while I don’t join most of them, I don’t mind scanning the content just to see what’s out there.

For me, there are lines I won’t cross.

Movies: I will not pirate movies.  I’ll go to free screenings, I’ll pay for in the theater, I’ll wait for the DVD or Netflix.  I won’t buy one ticket and then see multiple movies at the theater.  In part, I think this is because I want to work in the industry some day, and I would hope if I was trying to make my living off movies that people wouldn’t be stealing my work.

Books: Nope, don’t steal them, don’t download pirated eBooks.  Again, I think this is because I want to be a published author and I wouldn’t want people stealing my stuff.

Games: Way way back in the day, I admit, I pirated some games.  I was 12, maybe 13.  Ever since I could afford to buy them, I’ve stopped pirating.  Once again, an industry I want to work in.

Music: By and large, I don’t pirate.  I say “by and large” because while the majority of my collection comes from ripping my own CDs (some of which I have since sold at garage sales), I have also ripped CDs from other people, or been given mixes from friends that I’ve ripped.  I will say, however, that the majority of my music theft is limited to CDs that are no longer available.  I’d buy them if I could, but I can’t.  This is changing as music companies are finally embracing digital distribution and it doesn’t cost them much to cart out old catalogs and put them up for sale.

TV: On the other hand, I torrent TV shows like there is no tomorrow.  Mostly though, I do this because of the roadblocks they (the networks and cable companies and everyone else) put in my way from enjoying all the shows I want to see.  All I want is a 100% OnDemand service where the episodes are available “on time”.  No holding shows back for a week to try to get me to watch the broadcast.  You can even leave the commercials in.  (Unlike some people, I don’t mind commercials at all, it’s how I learn about other shows, upcoming movies, products, etc.  I don’t record/torrent TV so I can skip commercials.)  The Upfronts are this week and so later I’ll be doing my usual rundown of the fall season and like every year I will illustrate why I have to record/torrent shows.  Things are getting better with services like Hulu out there, but they still don’t have everything.  And frankly, cable TV charges WAY too much to their hostages, I mean, customers.  I’ll happily stop torrenting when I’m given unlimited undelayed time shifting.

Anyway… just thoughts in my head.  Are there lines you cross?  Do you try to justify it?  How?

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