Downloading Films, Music, and Television Illegally: Thoughts, Arguments and Discussion

edited March 2011 in General Discussion Posts: 72
We all do it or we have once done it. Is it a crime or do we deserve it? Do our opinions change because of our background or profession? What do you folks think?

I am an aspiring filmmaker and writer yet there are times when I have downloaded films. Does it matter which films? Is it better that I download Due Date and not 2001: A Space Odyssey? Is it ok for certain films to be downloaded? What of music? I download without any second thought and TV?

There's a lot of questions there so I look forward to our discussions!
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Comments

  • Posts: 92
    Ironically enough today in Tutor we were meant to discuss this ... instead my Tutor Group and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Illegally downloaded and all.

    Is it right? No not really when you consider the artists, and all the other people that rely on sales to make a living. It is a lot of work to make music, make films etc and we should pay for it - it is the right thing to do.

    It is a crime - one I have committed. The copy of Deathly Hallows was on my laptop afterall. I downloaded it because I was impatient for it to come out. I wanted to watch it, just like half my iTunes music. In saying that if I really do like something I do go out and buy it.

    That isn't a perfect way to do things - I'm by all rights a criminal but I'll keep doing because I'm a big fan of 'instant' get it now'. And these days that is very possible. I don't think its really right to download any type of movie ...but I'll still do it because it really doesn't trouble me that much. It's wrong but it isn't something that will weigh on my mind.
  • Posts: 72
    I have to agree with you Fae. If there is a film I love I'll buy it. And, judging from my growing collection of 300+, I'm buying quite a few. But why should I rent a film for 5-6 dollars? That's insanity and I have a feeling it doesn't profit the filmmakers.

    Also, if I want to see a shit film, does it deserve my theatre or rental money?
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 110
    Quoting Agent_OO7: Also, if I want to see a shit film, does it deserve my theatre or rental money?
    If I want to see a bad film, does it deserve not to be escorted out of the store in my coat pocket?
  • Posts: 72
    Quoting Bartleby: If I want to see a bad film, does it deserve not to be escorted out of the store in my coat pocket?
    No, because you're stealing the packaging, the disc, which is another business in itself. If it is purely a digital file, what is the loss?
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 4,622
    I think its a personal choice. If one has reservations, then don't do it and you are probably a better person for it.
    However I don't have much patience for big businesses that litigate rather than adapt their business models. No business model is static. The music industry has to adapt to changing consumer trends like any other business has to continually adapt to changing market conditions.
    Copying music is nothing new. Back in the days of LP's, teenagers would record LP's to blank casettes to play them in their cars or loan to friends.
    Something that isn't readily known. In Canada at least, there is a recording industry levy on blank recording media,( recordable cd's and dvd's at least) so they are already getting a cut on the sale of the blank discs. Now mind you digital downloads are rendering discs obsolete so that revenue will continue to shrink.
    But the music industry is big business and it also has a history of ripping off artists so I shed no tears.
    I have every confidence that the industry will always find a way to make a buck. As for the artists, as always, they need competent trustworthy management that will make sure they get their slice of the pie.
    And consumers as always will look for the best value and good business people will find a way to get them to be happy to pay for it, without running to the courts.

    ==Realistically the recording industry and film industry can be quite full of it. Technically, it is illegal to download product without paying for it but realistically the law is unenforceable, unlike say stealing a disc from a store. That is shoplifting and can easily land you in jail.
    But digital downloads is a whole different animal. Realistically the industry has to factor in the loss and adjust their marketing to minimize it or offset it. That's business. In business there is no profit that one is entitled to. One gets the profit one earns.
    Grocery stores have to dump product that doesn't sell before the expiry date etc They do what they can to minimize the dumping. They discount. They try to order just the right amount etc. Mimimizing loss is all part of the equation. The recording industry faces the same challenges. Personally from a business perspective, you have to adjust your model to factor in the loss. Sure try and lay the guilts trips on consumers but thats really just a strategy and I don't think it works very well anyway. Finding a way to give consumers value is what will get them off their wallets.
    I-tunes figured it out despite doom and gloom warnings of illegal file sharing destroying the consumer market.
    Business requires business smarts. The model has to keep being adjusted. Unfortunately mega business don't like to compete or change. They petition courts and governments to pass or enforce laws that maintain their status quo. This is fair practise I guess, (but IMO dubious strategy) but it doesn't mean as consumers we have to roll over for them.
  • Posts: 110
    @Agent_OO7 You are reducing their earning capacity. When you pay for a movie, you are paying for the right to view it. If you view it without paying, then you have stolen that right.
  • Posts: 92
    @timmer - I have a way for you to watch True Blood :">
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 4,622
    Quoting AgentFae: I have a way for you to watch True Blood :">
    Thanks Fae. We will have to PM when that feature returns. Don't want to get in trouble :">
    But you know if HBO didn't require that I upgrade my cable package into the stratosphere, then I would just PVR the show but they won't so we do what we do. When the discs turn up a respectable price, I will probably buy the season. God knows I've bought plenty of others, but for now I'm not giving the pirates at the cable company anymore cash. [-(
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,399
    i illegally download music all the time... sometimes i do it, because my local record store, or Best Buy, or FYE doesn't have what I am looking for right at that moment - so instead of ordering it off of amazon, or hell even itunes (because i'm already fed up at this point) i'll just download it, or torrent it.. and if i happen to really like it, and if find out that yes, my local retailer has it - then i'll go and buy it...

    I've never done it with films, and don't really intend to - because more often than not, if i don't want to see a movie, i just won't see it, period.. but i can't blame people who do do it - because of the crap Hollywood has shoveled out over the past couple years.... but in my opinion, nothing beats seeing a film on the big screen in a theater full of people - it's the whole atmosphere, especially when it's a fun film, or a horror movie - to be in crowed theater with 200 - 300 people either screaming, or cheering is worth the price of admission for me - sitting at home watching the same thing by myself doesn't have the same impact - and it never will..
  • Posts: 92
    Very good point there, haserot. I personally prefer to watch films, even if they aren't at the cinema, with other people. I normally don't download films ... a few exceptions if I have a burning desire to watch something and can't locate at my local rental store.

    Tv shows are a big one for me though - see I follow a couple of shows which aren't shown in Australia reguarely, or at great times for me to watch. So I watch online/download episodes to keep up to date. What is interesting with these shows that I do watch like this I always do go out and buy the Season later.
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,399
    i do the same thing AgentFae... usually with my 2 favorite shows "South Park" and "Supernatural" - more so with Supernatural... since i am out of the house most friday nights, i miss the show... so I TiVo it, watch it later - then once the season is released on DVD, I rush out and buy it - go home, delete all the recorded episodes from my box, and put in the DVDs to watch.. lol
  • Posts: 92
    You are a Supernatural fan?

    Like no joke? Like actually?

    I am also a Supernatural fan - who needs to watch Season 6.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    I'm not going to spend 20 euros on a new DVD/Blu Ray, when there's a possibility the film can be bad, so I tend to download it first, and if I like it, I will of course buy the DVD. Music is different - Where I live, there's not much to find, so I almost always download music. And I am not keen on waiting a week for the album to arrive through the mail from amazon. But I do buy music from Itunes from time to time.
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,399
    yes, i am a big Supernatural fan... i came on to it a bit late though - a friend introduced me to the show, and i liked it.. so i decided to rent the first 5 episodes of the first season on my Xbox... i loved it - was instantly hooked, and had to go out and dump cash into getting the DVDs of the seasons..
  • Posts: 92
    I own Seasons 1-4, plan to get 5 and 6. Love it to death, been with it since the start.

    Sorry this is offtopic
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,399
    lol it's fine... season 6 so far is pretty good... after the epicness of Season 5, i wasn't sure how much further it could go - but so far it's been good, no complaints..
  • CISCIS Suspended
    edited March 2011 Posts: 52
    My philosophy is that we should all keep doing it for as long as we can. Finally, the public has the upper hand. The big companies can try to stop us one at a time, but they can't stop all of us. They have to find more inventive ways of spamming us with advertising, like VEVO on YouTube. I say it's about time we aren't slaves to corporations, at least in this respect. It all began with Napster and Pirate Bay, and with the continuing popularity of P2P networks, I don't see it ending anytime soon.

    One thing to look out for, however, is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that is being considered by numerous western countries, including the U.S., U.K. & Canada. The Canadian government actually refused to release information to the public about this bill. If this passes, we're all screwed.
  • I've been downloading films and music since the days of Napster and Kazaa, then moving on to torrents, and I've never had a moral dilemma about it. Up until the early-2000s, my family used to purchase hundreds of CDs, DVDs, VHS', records, etc., most of which we've listened to/watched just once or twice. I've given a fair share of money from my pockets to the entertainment industry. Heck, I know musicians and actors who use torrents themselves! The one part of the issue I am becoming more conscious of is professional piracy. I used to purchase pirated CDs and DVDs (often unaware of their source), but now I'd rather download the material myself instead of giving money to some shady organizations with who-knows what other criminal activities.

    From another perspective, the ability to download films and music has vastly expanded my tastes and knowledge. I regularly support artists I like by voting for them in various charts and hit parades. And of course the ability to download isn't preventing me from going to the cinema.
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 107
    Quoting Agent_OO7: No, because you're stealing the packaging, the disc, which is another business in itself. If it is purely a digital file, what is the loss?
    A business that one would think you'd be more sensitive to, being a fan artist and all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging you here (even if it sounds like I am). I just think it's interesting that you'd put so much effort into a piece of Bond fan art and then deem DVD packaging not worth paying for.
  • BondBond 1930—2020
    edited March 2011 Posts: 458
    I only purchase the DVDs & CDs of my personal favorite TV shows, movies, music bands/artists because they deserve my money.

    I paid for 20 Bond films and downloaded 2 (CR & QOS), but I download most any other movies illegally.
  • Posts: 7,625
    Taking stuff that doesn't belong to you I generally consider stealing. The movie industry, music industry and television industry however fail to act actively upon the problem of downloading. They want the rights of internet changed to fit to their needs instead of them trying to connect with its customers.
    I download music when I consider it interesting. Solely with the purpose of listening to it, and if I don't like it I erase it and don't buy it. Do I like the music I generally buy it.
    The movies I tend to download are generally over 50 to 60 years old and are hard or impossible to buy, often because they are not available or hard to come by.
    TV can be watched legally on the internet so I do so.

    I don't mind if people illegaly download, as long as they don't tell me it is morally just due to some simpleton reasoning. The time I bought some trees for my garden and some moron nicked them, because it was cheaper than buying some did make me angry as well. Stealing is just stealing.
  • BondBond 1930—2020
    edited March 2011 Posts: 458
    Quoting SaintMark: I don't mind if people illegaly download, as long as they don't tell me it is morally just due to some simpleton reasoning. The time I bought some trees for my garden and some moron nicked them, because it was cheaper than buying some did make me angry as well. Stealing is just stealing.
    Prove it. How is it stealing when it's merely bytes being transferred over an internet connection? Nothing is lost, it's only copied.

    If I clone you and steal the clone, have I stolen you?
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 107
    Quoting SaintMark: I don't mind if people illegaly download, as long as they don't tell me it is morally just due to some simpleton reasoning.
    I concur; the flimsy rationalizations bother me far more than the actual theft.
    Quoting Bond: Prove it. How is it stealing when it's merely bytes being transferred over an internet connection? Nothing is lost, it's only copied.
    You can't possibly be serious. Money is lost. You know, that thing people use to provide for themselves and their families. What you're stealing is the financial cost of that thing you could've bought, but just took instead. The idea that it's not stealing if you're denying somebody profit instead of a product is completely absurd

    Look, I've stolen. I've pirated. But I don't lie to others or myself about the fact that it is what it is. I have, essentially, taken money that someone else deserved and kept it for myself. Let's be honest.
  • BondBond 1930—2020
    edited March 2011 Posts: 458
    @JobeGDG so according to your logic, I am "stealing" music every time I listen to it at a friend's house, over the speakers in a store, on the bus, etc. etc.

    Funny then how the police aren't cracking down on album-listening parties. :-))
  • Posts: 110
    @Bond It is actually illegal for your friend to play music for you in his own house. I know it seems crazy.
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 107
    Quoting Bond: Funny then how the police aren't cracking down on album-listening parties.
    If such a thing were viable, you really don't think the RIAA (or your regional equivalent; I don't know you) would have them try? It's not legal just because you don't get caught.
  • BondBond 1930—2020
    Posts: 458
    Quoting JobeGDG: If such a thing were viable, you really don't think the RIAA would have them try?
    I wouldn't put it past them, but you realize that what you are suggesting is that every single person who browses a Best Buy and happens to hear Justin Bieber's newest single over the loudspeakers is now a thieving criminal?

    I don't buy it, sorry. I'm only "stealing" a CD if I swipe it from Wal-Mart.
  • BondBond 1930—2020
    edited March 2011 Posts: 458
    Quoting Bartleby:

    @Bond It is actually illegal for your friend to play music for you in his own house. I know it seems crazy.
    Illegal, maybe. But stealing? Hell no.
  • Posts: 110
    @Bond Well, if Best Buy has the rights to play that song, or if the song is being relayed by a radio station, then everything is on the up and up. If you're walking by a neighbor's house and overhear him/her listening to Enrique Iglesias, then you're a thieving criminal.
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 107
    Quoting Bond:
    I wouldn't put it past them, but you realize that what you are suggesting is that every single person who browses a Best Buy and happens to hear Justin Bieber's newest single over the loudspeakers is now a thieving criminal?

    I don't buy it, sorry. I'm only "stealing" a CD if I swipe it from Wal-Mart.
    Nonsense, we're not talking about hearing something while walking down the street. We're talking about taking something for the explicit purpose of enjoying it in your own home. BestBuy may be playing Bieber over the loudspeakers, but they're not the ones who downloaded his album on to your computer. That was you. You sought it out.
    Quoting Bond: Illegal, maybe. But stealing? Hell no.
    Interesting. I might've said, "Stealing, maybe. But wrong? Hell no." I've never seen someone draw a line between stealing and legality. I draw it between stealing and morality, and most people I know do the same. It definitely explains our different stances on the subject.
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