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Illegal Downloading

I’m Jack


"My mission is to find the body that Mother Nature Intended, not what McNature provided"

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December 2009
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From the top, I am not a fan of downloading illegally.  When people download movies, songs, TV Shows, etc – here on referred to as Entertainment – it is stealing.  If people steal the entertainment, then that is money which is NOT going to the studio’s to produce the shows that you are enjoying enough to illegally download.

It is a catch 22.  You enjoy the shows enough to watch but won’t pay to see them. Hypocritical much?  In the case of television programs, yes it is free, but you are not watching that TV Station’s commercials which fund the cost of the TV Station purchasing that program from the producers.  Therefore, if you are not watching, then ratings fall, if ratings fall then advertisers pay a lower amount to advertise in that timeslot.  The TV station cannot afford to buy the top quality shows and therefore we are left with rubbish shows which are cheaper to produce and therefore cheaper to buy.

How is this good for anybody?  The studio’s receive less money, therefore the actors receive less, the directors, the producers, the sound and lighting guys, the camera operators, the caterers etc.  The list goes on.  They all receive less money.  Suddenly the top actors are not doing this movie because they aren’t being offered the financial incentives they are accustomed to.  So instead of Brad Pitt you get Steve Guttenberg.  Instead of Steven Spielberg you get a 1st year uni graduate.  Are you getting the picture?

Eventually it is going to get to the point where the money is simply not there to make programs such as Dexter, CSI and Law and Order or to produce music from artists such as U2, Bon Jovi, and Taylor Swift.  Then what?  Back to playing Monopoly and Scrabble at the kitchen table and singing Kumbaya around the campfire.

Does that mean that you should never be allowed to download TV programs from the internet?  No, it doesn’t.  There are circumstances when you can. For instance, if a TV program has already been broadcast and for whatever reason you missed it.  But that doesn’t mean you can download the full season.  Eventually you will be able to buy a whole season if it interests you that much.  For eg,  The Survivor Gabon finale was over 3 hours and my HDD was set to record for only 1 hour.  I had watched all other episodes on free to air but missed the finale.  So a mate told me how to download it via torrents.  I did and that is all I downloaded.

A lot of TV channels will allow you to watch a program after the original show has already been broadcast directly from their website and you can also buy episodes of some shows from places like Itunes for less than $3.  That is very reasonable and you have it for life to rewatch at your leisure.  To download new episodes of particular TV shows immediately after they have been broadcasted in America just because you can’t wait for it to be broadcast in Australia is simply not acceptable.  Wait and enjoy it like the rest of us do.

Music and movies should NEVER be illegally downloaded.  Just about every song is available to purchase from iTunes for a couple of bucks.  Cheap as.  Movies can be downloaded from iTunes as well in case you don’t want to go to the video store.

In summary, illegal downloading is stealing.  There is no other way to describe it.  I am a lover of good TV and great movies and cool songs and I am happy to pay for the privilege of enjoying them.

So what about you?  Do you agree with me in full or just parts of my argument?  Have you downloaded illegally?  If so why?  Do you agree with anything I have said?  What is an appropriate punishment for serial offenders?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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2 Comments

  1. troyzee says:

    Agree whole heartedly on music and movies but disagree mostly on TV.

    Simple reason is the world has gotten smaller and now the TV experience can be so much more what with forums and Twitter and blogs and websites. The Australian TV networks need to find a new way to do things. Plain and simple.

    I can wait for them to decide to show a TV series (which can be up to three years after it has been playing in the US. I can let them start showing a series and then relegate it to an unGodly hour or have them cancel it even though it is still playing in the states. I can wait for them to play their bought series somewhat in line with the US and then wait for our massive non-ratings period to be over and be behind again all the while stumbling across spoilers on the net without even having to look for them. Just this year an Australian news paper on their online entertainment page gave away the ending of last season’s Grey’s Anatomy. I wasn’t even looking for info on Grey’s Anatomy. If the finale of the last season of Lost was stumbled across accidentally on the internet it would ruin the last 7 years of enjoyment of that series for me if I couldn’t see the finale without any prior knowledge of it.

    No way. The TV viewing world has changed and as long as Australian networks can’t figure out how to give us content immediately in line with the US then they’re shooting themselves in the foot. Move with the times or die. And as for the ads argument, now with Tivo and IQ even if I did wait for our networks to play the show and then I watched it in my own time – I’m going to fast forward through the ads. So they’re not missing any potential revenue from me anyway.

    That all said – the TV shows I like – I end up buying the box set DVD’s anyway so the US studios still get their money. The backwater Aussie media outlets miss out until they figure out a viable way to give me Dexter or True Blood or Lost no more than a day or two after it airs in the US. I have blogged on my take in this issue before: http://troytyped.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/tv-use-by-dates/

    • jackmcclane says:

      Troy

      Thanks for your response. You make some valid points and yes it is very frustrating to see comments re your favourite shows on the social networks. It annoys me to the point that I purposely avoid Twitter when I know the shows are being broadcast in the US. Luckily it is only a couple of shows where this is the case.

      The Aussie networks do need to step up. Long gone are the days when the awesome shows were shown between April and October and then the crap, poorly produced fill ins were stuck in for the rest of the year. There is enough quality TV shows coming out of the US now that it can fill 52 weeks of the year and therefore there is no reason why shows shouldn’t be broadcast immediately following the US. Yes we are seeing examples of this happening now, ie Glee, Lost, Prison Break.

      That being said, I still can’t agree with illegally downloading the shows I want to see. I don’t and I have successfully managed it well. As a lover of great TV I am prepared to support the networks that give me the shows I love and while I do watch 95% of my shows on Foxtel IQ and I do fast forward through the ads I do still see a fair share.

      I think on this one, we will have to agree to disagree.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond though.

      Jack

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