I remember summer 2000, when I first became involved in filesharing. Before this, I had heard of filesharing, many of my friends were doing it, and I have to admit to sharing and mp3 every now and then, but I never thought I would get as deeply involved in it as I did.
I started out small - a few mp3s here, a humorous video clip or anime music video there, nothing big, you know? But then I just sunk deeper and deeper into the dark underworld of napster and scour, even stooping to gnutella and kazaa when napster was shut down.
Recently, my habit has gotten out of control. I’m downloading things I didn’t know I wanted to see, things I had no intention of ever watching, just because they were there. I have 8 Mile on my hard drive, and I HATE Eminem. I have from Dusk till Dawn on my computer, and I don’t even know what the movie’s about, except that there are vampires. I just want the madness to end.
The record companies (owned primarily by the same conglomerates that distribute DVD’s and movies) have been convicted of price fixing on a gargantuan scale… they have been convicted in a court of law of screwing the consumer outta their (our) hard-earned cash for YEARS. Money we will NEVER see again. I say screw 'em. You ain’t gonna get back all they stole from YOU!
I like to download movies too. When they’re still in the theatre. The thing is, if a movie interests me enough to spend the time, bandwidth, and blank media on, it’s a cinch that I’m going to see it in the theatre, too, and buy the DVD when it becomes available.
So I sleep pretty well at night.
I have to perform slightly more complicated mental gymnastics to justify grabbing television shows-- it’s been a long time since I watched The Simpsons, South Park, or Twenty-four any other way apart from downloading commercial-free VCD versions of the same. I’m sure the sort of copyright lawyer who figures that part of the unspoken contract between viewers and content-providers requires the viewer to absorb the bundled advertising might object to that, but I reason that I’m far too intelligent to allow a thirty-second ad to positively influence my purchasing habits, although many ads irritate me enough to avoid the product out of pique-- therefore, my circumvention of the ads represents a potential net-gain to the sponsor, since I’m reducing the possibility that I’ll be exposed to something that will insult me enough that my resentment might actually negatively influence their gross income.
I’ll ask you all to step very carefully around that last argument, though. It’s kind of like a twelve-egg chocolate genoise that’s been in the oven for about seventeen minutes. I’m glad that it’s there, because it’s deeply comforting, but the slightest disturbance might cause it to fall flat at any moment.