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free film clips to download: Thoughtless theaters provoke piracy

By: Kevin Slane found at The Daily Cardinal  - March 5, 2009


Before I wrote all of my Oscar columns, I felt a responsibility to my readers to see each and every film I wrote about. Although I ended up short of my goal (who wants to watch “The Reader” anyway?), I still managed to watch most of the major contenders, and was able to make an educated commentary on each of them.

Yet, I am a starving college student, and unlike many of the students living in the luxurious high-rises around campus, I am not made of money. So how, you ask, do I manage to find the time and money to watch so many good movies? Just a little bit of piracy, that’s all.

Most of you use (or at least have heard of) some sort of pirating device. Limewire, Azureus, BitTorrent and many others are readily available online, but it’s only in recent months that the biggest offenders in this business have come to prominence. The Pirate Bay, one of the biggest torrent trackers on the web, is currently on trial in Sweden for “complicitly making copyrighted material accessible,” which is a pretty vague charge. So far, the defense has been running circles around the prosecution, both in their technical prowess and their defense, pointing out that Google is just as much of a torrent searching device as the Pirate Bay, it’s simply branded differently.

Similarly, this week ESPN was knocked out of the top 10 video viewing sites by MegaVideo.com, a Chinese site that posts full movies, television shows and all other matters of video clips. Although the videos are not indexed in any regular fashion, linking sites, such as alloftv.org or tvforfree.com, spring up just as quickly as they can be shut down. For example, viewers spent an average of over six hours on Megavideo, which is leaps an d bounds ahead of any other video site. Furthermore, the Chinese government has no obligation to turn over any IP addresses to the U.S., so the site’s proprietors can continue with little to no interruption.

The reason this is important is not the fact that people are pirating movies. It’s the fact that people are not going to as many movies because of these readily available free alternatives. More often than not, people will say something like “Well, that movie looks OK, but I don’t really want to see it in theaters. I’ll rent the DVD.” This statement has regressed for many people to “That movie looks OK, maybe I’ll download it.”

Yet, I can’t bring myself to blame these sites for Hollywood’s misfortune. By making a night at the cinema a more enjoyable experience, the industry could solve a lot of their problems.

I don’t really enjoy showing up to a movie theater to pay nine dollars for a ticket allowing me to munch on stale popcorn while sitting in sticky, uncomfortable seats surrounded by crying children and thoughtless talkers. I’d much rather enjoy some free, warm and fresh popcorn while sitting in my comfortable recliner at home, enjoying a movie in solitude or in the company of a few friends who won’t gab the whole time.

So apologies to Hollywood, but until there is marked improvement or a drastic price reduction in your product, I’m putting my pirate hat on and enjoying the spoils of a pilfered movie in the comfort of my own ship.

Do you blame pirates like Kevin for the plight of the movie industry? E-mail him at kevslane@gmail.com

 

 

 

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