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downloading movies - Good? Bad?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Gary D, Jul 27, 2004.

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  1. Gary D

    Gary D
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    i dont want to stir anything up (but you know I know it will) i've read through a few threads lately and i've noticed that a number of people are: downloading movies, watching them, saying how good they are then
    pledging to buy the real version when it comes out but not calling themselves pirates!

    Question is: is someone a pirate if they dont sell multiple copies at a car boot? is someone a pirate if they make one copy and then let friends and family have it? is someone a pirate if they only watch it themselves?

    my personal thoughts are that if you are downloading a movie then your doing something illegal, and you cant really excuse it by saying that you will buy it when it comes out. i often dont have time to go to the pictures and often just cant be bothered after being at work all day. so does that justify downloading a movie, even if i do buy it later on - i'm still denying the film companies revenue.

    Any thoughts?


    Gary
     
  2. sjp1966

    sjp1966
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    My personal thoughts on this are.

    I think it is acceptable if you download the movie to see if you like it and want it in your collection, if you do want it, you buy the proper legal version, and delete the downloaded version, if you dont like it you delete it, end of story. :smashin:

    it is not acceptable to download it and sell on or give to family or friends :nono:

    technically i suppose no matter which of the above you do, you will still be classed as a `pirate` so you won't escape being pigeon holed as that.
     
  3. Azrikam

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    I gotta agree with sjp1966. I consider film downloading to be no different than music sampling. You watch something you wouldn't normally pay for, and if you like it then you pay for it. I don't see them losing any sales. They usually either result in no sale, but that person wouldn't have bought the product anyway; or a sale if the product turned out better than expected. The net result is more sales, not less. The people I know who download a lot of films also have the largest collections of DVDs. I don't think that's a coincidence.

    Of course, there are another group of people who build collections of downloaded films and have no intention of buying the originals, whatever the price. In my opinion, this is another matter entirely.

    Personally, I download very few films. When I do, it ends up being films that I cannot acquire normally. (ie, out of print films / very small films with little or no distribution) In fact, most of my downloads in the past have been TV shows, but now that so many classic shows are getting quality DVD treatment, that's becoming a thing of the past as well.

    I honestly don't think DVD sales are being harmed by illegal downloads yet. The picture/sound quality is often inferior, and you lose out on valuable DVD extras. Unlike the music industry, I think DVDs are well priced and good value for money; hence the reason why most people don't feel the need to download.

    There will always be a black market in these industries. It's only when a product is priced higher than consumers are willing to pay that the black market becomes a real problem.

    Also, let's get this out of the way early. Copyright infringement does not equal theft. Legally, they are two separate and distinct infractions, so unless you are paid by a cartel to spread propaganda, please refrain from calling it so. You wouldn't call someone who receives a parking fine a speeder, so don't call copyright infringers thieves. :lesson:
     
  4. spook

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    If you download or copy a movie without paying the owners of that movie then you are a thief,
    you can dress it up all you like, but there it is, the truth.
    I could say well that's just my opinion, but it also happens to be the law.

    I have yet to come across a film studio that has a "try before you buy" policy?

    I might sound a tad black and white here, but this fuzzy attitude towards theft is a real button pusher for me.

    spook
     
  5. Matt Horne

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    "The picture/sound quality is often inferior"

    Thats the problem in a nutshell... the studios should be very worried.. because other than the cinema cam copies (which are trully awful and not worth the bandwidth).. alot of the time the films you are downloading are the real dvd, just stripped of extras. Elf and Shrek 2 are not out until November but you can already dl the retail dvd's.. you cannot tell me thats not going to hurt their sales.. its six months early and in the case of shrek its still making money in the UK cinema.
     
  6. betamac

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    I will just said what i said in the shrek 2 thread

    i download the retail DVDs to try them out instead of renting them, if i like them i buy them, if i dont i trash them, say what you will but this does not efect the movie studios, many movies i know i want months before releases, Indiana Jones box set, Star wars box set etc) i pre ordered them the second i could, other films i dont know take Man Of Fire (i take it thats what set this thread off) i hardly heard of it and it would of passed me by, now i watched it its the best film i seen this year so a DVD purcharse is 100% certain

    So on this occasion they have gained a sale,

    To be onest i dont care what i get called "pirate" or whatever i will carry on doing it as it works for me and gets use of my 1MB internet connection :)
     
  7. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    To be pedantic, surely the 'thief' is the person who obtained the material illegally in the first place? As a downloader, you are technically just a 'receiver of stolen goods'. :)

    My view is that I have no real moral issues with downloading, but I never do it, because a) it takes too bloody long, and b), I prefer the real thing, with nice packaging and all the extras, and I don't want my enjoyment of a movie to be spoilt by poor quality.

    I also think that, on the question of denying the film companies revenue, you have to ask who's ripping who off, when many of the film companies persist in the practice of releasing multiple DVD versions of the same film, over a period of time, without telling us that a 'Special Edition' version is in the pipeline. This can only be a marketing ploy to entice film fans into buying the same movie two or three times.
     
  8. Gary D

    Gary D
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    having read through the responses so far i think some members have some very "elastic" morals. And there is alot of "post decisional rationalisation" going on.

    I love the idea that its ok to "recieve stolen goods" as long as your not a thief :rotfl: Out of interest do you think the stuff would have been stolen if there was no market for it? after all by downloading you are helping and encouraging that market. or do you think that the uploaders are some kind of robin hood figures protecting the world from the "nasty evil film companies".

    this thread was started after i read the Shrek 2 thread. if i want to see Shrek 2 i'll get off my arse and go to the pictures to see it, i wont see a pirate copy just to see if i like it and therefore buy it in 6 months when its released. whatever way you cut it its theft pure and simple. you can dress it up and rationalise it in your own mind whatever way you like but at the end of the day you have some thing without the permission of the owner equaling theft.


    Gary
     
  9. betamac

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    Thats fine i am happy for you, i personly dont want to pay for a movie twice (cinema and then DVD) so i will download it and watch it, whatever works for you,

    P.S I have over 60 bought DVDs and i have to say onestly if i had not of downloaded the movies first i would probably have less than 10 DVDs none apart from the box sets which i always knew i was gona buy EG Indiana, Aliens Quad, Star Wars (Cant Wait) theft, piracy or whatever, while there available i will get em to try before i buy

    You have to ask though why dont the movie studios spend all this anti piracy money on preventing these DVDs leaking so easily? as without the source no one could download them,
     
  10. rOAdeh

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    i personally have to agree with sjp1966 and azrikam. i generally only use downloads as a 'try before you buy' service.

    unfortunately i guess that could be then said to be hurting the revenue of dvd rental companies. however, for the rare number of times that i do (i think its been twice this year so far and one of those times was when the movie was not available to rent) then it is not worth joining up to a mail order dvd rental place and i'm sure as hell not going to pay the likes of blockbuster £4.50 or something similarly extortionate for a 2 night loan.

    Blockbuster imo price themselves out of the market especially nowadays i can go see a film for £1.50 on orange wednesdays in a decent cinema and then use that as a basis to determine if i want to buy the dvd.
     
  11. Gary D

    Gary D
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    as i said guys there are alot of elastic morals on the forum.


    Gary
     
  12. Azrikam

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    I'll put this in caps and bold, because apparently it's difficult for some of us to grasp:

    COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS NOT THEFT!!!

    You are well within your rights to consider someone a thief, anyone for that matter, but I'm talking the letter of the law here. And the law says they are two different things. Here's just the first three links from a Google search explaining the differences:

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Link 3

    I'm not arguing the morality of copyright infringement, or saying that copying media isn't wrong, I'm just trying to stop people from classing someone as a thief when they are clearly not in the eyes of the law. The term "thief" is a very evocative one, and that's why certain industries spend millions a year to hammer that into the public consciousness. If you think someone is a thief for downloading a copy of a film, that's fine. But don't believe it because some spokesperson or "paid-for" politician tells you.

    Personally, I believe copyright law is a flawed system and needs a serious overhaul. But that's a whole 'nother debate. :)
     
  13. Ger

    Ger
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    apart from the morality side of this, is it not dangerous to download these considering the amount of worms/viruses/trojans............... that are out there. the websites that offer these may not be 100% safe (I have never done it myself).
     
  14. spook

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    We all get compensated for our time and effort, ie work for wages whichever way you look at it,
    if you steal the product of someones time and effort, then you are a thief.

    this is however my personal view and not bound by technical jargon one way or the other.

    spook
     
  15. CrispyXUK

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    I dont care about the studios, they spend so much money on high profile actors and overcooked effects.

    if they make crap I aint paying to see it.
     
  16. betamac

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    I dont use websites, i get them from 0 Day FTP Sites

    This new Anti Piracy campaign they have going though is hilarious, making out that everyoner who downlaods pirated DVDs is sort sort of smuggler and organised criminal lol
     
  17. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    I wasn't saying it's OK, I was trying to clarify the term 'thief', which is technically being used incorrectly. If you bought a kettle from a market stall, knowing it was stolen, that doesn't make you the thief. :D

    Of course, if there was no market for illegal downloads (i.e. if there was no Kazaa, Morpheus, Supanova, etc), then it would simply drive people who were intent on distributing bootleg material, back to the CD Fairs and car boot sales. What do we do, ban everything? There will always be a market for illegal products, and no one is going to stop it, but that doesn't mean I approve. I just don't take the moral highground that bootlegging is killing the industry. 'The Industry' is a multi-billion pound / dollar organisation, and it will take more than a bloke at the back of a cinema with a camcorder to bring it down. Furthermore, as most of the people in this thread (and on these forums) are avid DVD collectors (I have well over 400), even if people do download the odd movie to 'preview', if they are going to later buy it, where's the problem?
     
  18. CarlB

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    The poster with "60 DVDs" made me laugh. I have over 600 DVDs and quite a few of those I would not have bought had I seen the film in advance. Did I choose to download and 'try before you buy'? No. Is it because I am stupid. Some may say 'yes', but I say it's because downloading/copyright infrigement/theft is illegal, plain and simple.

    Attempts to rationalise this and somehow push blame back onto studios for releasing sub-par product is a joke. If it's that bad, why waste your time to download and watch it? If it interests you enough to watch, then pay for it as you know you should, and trade it if you don't like it (my Dad's collection would be non-existent otherwise). My new, self enforced policy, due to lack of space for DVDs is to wait until titles come to Sky that I am not that bothered about. If it was good enough that I would be tempted to download, then its good enough that I want to buy. Still, Hellboy proved that as a system it sure isn't perfect...

    Just don't try to convince us it's some moral crusade to fight the capitalist studios. The people that worked on the film you're downloading have no say over how the studio chooses to release it - how soon the SE comes, how soon the 3 disc Extreme Edition comes, but a film that was a big smash on sales might just help them land their next job.
     
  19. Gary D

    Gary D
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    I'd just like to point out that i'm not taking the moral high ground on the subject. my own thoughts are that i didn't pay 5k for a HC to put pirated disks in it. Or to watch movies that are much better seen on a large screen, why would anyone want to ruin spiderman 2 watching it on pirate?

    we all make our own choices on this subject.


    Gary
     
  20. sapper44

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    How about this then.What if you buy the dvd all legal like,then you lend it to family and friends to watch so they don't have to pay for it either what is that classed as.Is this not wrong as the people watching them are not paying the film makers ets,etc.
     
  21. Simon6776

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    That's classed as having family and friends who let you pay for DVDs with your money, then take advantage of your good nature by borrowing them from you. Tell them to buy their own! ;)
     
  22. Azrikam

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    Good point. Unless I'm mistaken, that falls under "fair use" as far as copyright law is concerned. But, these "fair use" addendums are slowly being taken away from consumers under the guise of protecting the industries from "pirates". That's one of the reasons why copyright law needs an overhaul.

    So, is borrowing a DVD from someone theft?
    How about borrowing it from a library?
    How about if someone rips off a copy of their DVD and sends it to you, then you delete it after watching it? How is this any different from borrowing their DVD? How is this any different from downloading the film to "sample" it?

    I've got no answers, just questions. But I don't think this issue is as black and white as some people think.
     
  23. CrispyXUK

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    Im with you on that one, but at the end of the day if I can copy a full quality dvd for free I will, if it is a film a really like I will hunt down the best available version.

    wish I'd copied eight legged freaks :(
     
  24. betamac

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    I tell you what makes me laugh that you think i am trying or even want to justify anything, to be perfectly onest i dont care what you think or anyone, i will carry on downloaidng regardless lol i am 1 hour away from Kill Bill Vol 2 i will watch and see if its worth my purchase, nothing will change i will keep on doing it :)

    Downloading and trying before i buy is precisely why i dont have 600 DVDs many which i will never watch and are a complete waste of money the 60 i have i bought after watching a download first because i will watch over and over, i dont just buy any old rubbish
     
  25. Gary D

    Gary D
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    my DVD's go to no one! not even my old mum.


    Gary
     
  26. Marc

    Marc
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    I agree, i'm not a fan of the cinema, because of all the other annoying people, and i'm even less of a fan of paying £6.50 to see a movie then spend another £15 to see it again. Whether it's legal or not, i'll download a movie rather than see it in the cinema. Then if i like it enough i'll buy the DVD. I own over 500 DVD's, so there's not a person around who can say i'm taking money from the pockets of the people behind the movie. Maybe if they did legal downloads of movies for £1 or something, then i might do that, but i will very rarely go to the cinema.
     
  27. CarlB

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    I have Kill Bill vol 2 arriving tomorrow on Region 1 legitimate DVD. The only thing that will stop people downloading is if people start getting nicked for it, which I would like to see happening. I have always been against all forms of piracy, from music to software to movies, it's all the same. Someone somewhere has profited, even with downloads someone was probably paid to get the master copy to make a download available in the first place. Plus these great copies available for download only server to make the life of a pirate that much easier, they can source great copies of films for duplication without even leaving home. It's all a nasty business and seems to be one of the socially acceptable crimes these days, but I still think it's totally wrong on every level. It's a minority opinion though, most people I know don't even think twice about downloads and think it's the main benefit of broadband.
     
  28. Philly112

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    Of course most people don't think twice about downloading!! As far as the CD/DVD downloaders are concerned, as long as the technology allows them to do it, and it's all nice and comfy in their own homes, surely they're not criminals. Criminals don't own PC's right, and wouldn't know how to use them if they did.
    And they don't shave.
    It must be the studios fault for churning out rubbish, or overpriced CD's. And those REAL crooks at Blockbuster... And the cost of cinema tickets - my god, what is the world coming to.
    Lets face it guys, it's something for nothing; lets have no justification, just admit it - it's easy to do with no comeback.
    Doesn't make it morally or legally justifiable though.
     
  29. Azrikam

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    On every level? Do you think it's a crime to have friends over to watch a DVD? What about watching them with a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife? I'm sure very few couples buy 2 copies of all their DVDs. If I buy a DVD and a few friends come over with a few beers to watch it are they stealing from the studios? What if I hang around Blockbuster long enough to watch an entire DVD they have playing on the TV screens? I saw it, yet I didn't pay for it. How about bringing a DVD over to your dear old grannies house during a rainy day when her arthritis is acting up so she can watch it while you do some handy-work around her house? (ok, that's low, but you see what I'm getting at :p )

    See, I don't see any difference between these actions and "sampling" films. I can count on two hands the number of DVDs I own that I bought sight-unseen. All the rest, I either saw on video, at a friends, on TV, in the theatre, or on my PC.

    Are there people who go too far? Yes. But the point I'm trying to make is that downloading a film doesn't necessarily make you some kind of arch-criminal.
     
  30. CarlB

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    These are actions are perfectly legal as they do not constitute a "public showing" of the material which would then be a breach of copyright. It gets messy to be sure, but if you charge or advertise the 'event' you are in breach, but it is entirely legal to watch a film with your wife without incurring the wrath of FACT or whoever.

    As an aside, whatever happened to "looking forward" to something, the event of a big release drawing near? I really want the new Prodigy album due in August, and I know it is readily available for download on the internet thanks to the postings on these boards, but I wouldn't think of downloading.

    And you' re right, downloading does not make you an arch-criminal! Just a plain old criminal.
     
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