Tag Archive for theft

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?

Less Remake, More Reinvention

I recently learned that there is a remake of The Karate Kid coming down the pipe.  However, he does Kung-Fu instead of Karate, it happens in another country, and lots of other changes.  In essence, this isn’t a remake but a name theft.  They’ve take the name “The Karate Kid” and are slapping it on a movie with a few similar themes.  On the other hand, the theaters in recent years have been littered with remakes.  Taking an old movie and essentially re-shooting it with maybe a few minor changes, or a couple of big drastic ones that either ruin the movie or ultimately have no impact.

Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of remaking an old film they were to take an old film and tell the story from another angle?  Take The Karate Kid for example.  Rather than retread the same ground, why not tell The Johnny Lawrence Story instead – the story of a bully who learns that violence isn’t answer through the ongoing conflict with a scrawny kid named Daniel LaRusso.  Or rather than doing yet another remake of Hamlet, make Gertrude instead – the original story from the point of view of the mother watching her son go mad.  There are so many stories that this can be done to.  Pick another character and turn the tale inside-out and view the whole thing in a new light.

A man can dream…

Anonymity and the Internet

My name is Jason.  No, really.  I post as Jason here on my website, and on most message boards, though there are still a few throwbacks to my EQ days where I post as Ishiro or other boards where I use other names, but even then it takes only about ten seconds to get from any of those forums to here and find out my name is Jason.  I’m not really scared of identity theft, although I don’t go posting my social security number or anything on the Internet and I use secure protocols whenever possible.  I’m protected, but I’m not hiding.  Mostly its because I really don’t have much worth stealing.  I often jest that I wish someone would steal my identity and pay off my bills.  But the point is, nearly a decade ago when I decided to start posting things to the Internet, I decided to, for the most part, be myself.

One thing that I do enjoy doing most on the Internet is engaging in discussions, and to a large degree, I find that its much harder to have serious discussions with people who are anonymous.  Mostly, I find it hard because anonymous people are more likely to say things they don’t really mean or feel because there are few, if any, repercussions for saying those things.  To put it another way: anonymous people are often dicks.

There are entire communities built around anonymous people being dicks.  Oh, some of them are not anonymous, in fact in some cases there are people who are very well known, but the majority are people who only unleash their vitriol on the Internet because its the only place they can get away with it.  The bigger problem with that attitude is that it spreads.  I generally avoid forums where being condescending is the norm, but when other people go there and get used to it, they bring it with them to other places.  Sometimes I think I’m being overly sensitive, but there really are some people who can’t seem to string three sentences together without one of them belittling someone else.  And its a shame, because anonymous people being dicks don’t stop to think “Hmm, maybe what I’m saying is driving people away.” and people like me often don’t put up with it forever.  Its not that the insults hurt.  The insults often are so childish that its impossible to be hurt, only to feel sorry for the person who feels the need to hurl them.  But after a length of time, you just get tired of reading it.  The person may make a good point, but when every good point is accompanied by a personal jab…

I’m rambling.  Anyway, this comes up because lately one of the places I’ve enjoyed hanging around has been overrun by a product of Internet anonymity.  And its just not fun anymore.  But thankfully, that’s why message boards have features to ignore people.

Stuff on the Net V

Its not new news, but EVE Online has proven to me again that it is a place where anything can happen if the players want it to… including theft and assassination.

Do you think you could be the next Mistress of the Dark?

I never think of the great ideas first. From big red paper clip to a year free rent.

Of course, even great ideas can be dwarfed by combined genius and stupidity. I leave is to you to determine which one is the genius.

I don’t bowl enough to have an average, but if I did, I might consider entering this tournament where the winner gets to own the bowling alley.

While looking up stuff to educate myself on the woes and advantages of hybrid cars I stumbled onto this enthusiastic yet disgruntled hybrid owner’s blog.