C’mon, we’ve had a good run…20 years of the “Wild West” on the internet and man what a ride! It was amazing to be able to just type in whatever you wanted and bam! At first a few days, then a few hours, then minutes…seconds…it was like magic! But alas, like all good things, it too must end.
Most of us hardly even notice them. A few of us try to skip them, but we can’t because of some sort of DVD stopper that prevents us from doing so…I wonder why…Some of “us” even put them on the front end of movies we’ve pirated as some sort of a joke, but those warnings at the beginning of movies that have been there since as long as I can remember. As far back as when I was watching Conan the Barbarian on laser disc in the early 80’s, I really do remember it clearly, A LARGE, BLUE, VERY Noticeable warning about copyright laws and the penalties associated with it. I remember asking my mom what it meant, cause it looked serious, and I knew that whatever it was saying not to do, I wanted to make sure I didn’t do it… Honestly, the majority of us are not affected, at least in our perception, by copyright infringement and piracy of the things we love as Americans…basically entertainment. It’s our Opera, our culture, it’s how the rest of the world knows and loves us.
Other then our ticket prices rising, we have not seen piracy as a negative. We can get whatver we want on YouTube, or RapidShare. If we are going to be traveling, we need to stop by the laundry mat to see that guy with the big bag full of DVD’s. Which we complain about because the audio sucks, or its too dark, or some guy walks in front of the camera half way through it… some vendors even have an exchange policy for badly burnt movies, and a frequent buyer card… We don’t get what the big deal about piracy is…well that’s just it! Because of piracy we’ve seen first hand that ticket prices have gone up substantially! Why? Take it from someone who’s job was to research and track movies from the second they were pirated until the one file splintered off into 7 or 8 different versions across 20 countries(in most cases a movie would have at least 3-5 main sources and up to 60 differnet versions!) Now lets just say that one file was even half as bad as it actually is. Now these are numbers solely based on the amount of complete downloads, I was able to prove and across multiple titles across multiple major studios that a pirated movie is shared by as many people as actually pay to go see the film! Thats basically saying that a movie is loosing half its box office because of piracy! Why have ticket prices doubled? That’s the studios money. They see that kind of loss and they feel they must compensate to make up for the difference, and honestly can we blame them? Who among us has every downloaded a movie and then paid to go see that same movie in the theater? Didn’t think so…
Piracy is real and it is rampant and we have no one to blame but ourselves! We are all guilty of it! If the Feds raided your house today, how many pieces of pirated content would they find? Honestly? Movies? Music? Programs? Games? Each one is 1 count of copyright infringement punishable by 5 years and $250,000 per!!! Again, I am a Pirate! Those of you who’ve known me for years know the road I’ve come down! The tattoo on my arm is a testiment to my piraty roots, but I worked for the studios as well in coroporate legal ANTI-PIRACY, and saw first hand the real numbers and facts…but now that the party is over, we can whine if we want to but there is little we can do, it was fun! But creatives and studios have the right to protect their property the best they can within our borders, don’t like it…I here Canada has a 7 year waiting list…they have no copyright laws there…have at it, at least for now!
Take heart my friends, look at the way of music, it was bound to happen, back then it was all gov’t control, we are loosing our rights, blah, blah, blah! But what it came down to was not being able to use Napster to get our free music on! But what I really have to shake my head at is the apparent sudden “fear” of “Big Brother” honestly, with the Patriot Act, if Big Brother wanted to take out your site, it would. Period..they just had to say that they found some anti american content on hidden pages of your domain..lol, you swear!
What this SOPA Bill does is what has already been done in the past 6 years in the piracy industry. The Studios send a warning letter of Copyright infrigement stated in the DMCA(Digital Millenia Copyright Act) an act that’s already in place since 2000, asking that you take down the content or face the legal consequences. They don’t rip you out of cyberspace! They send you a firm letter letting you know of the boo boo and what you need to do to avoid any legal actions, which is also something that we agree to when we establish internet connections in the US. There is a user agreement that states that we, as users, wont use the internet connection we are being provided to do anything illegal, if we do, we agree that we can have our internet suspended…go ahead, call charter and ask them, they will tell you its true…I know, I use to work for an 2 internet companies and this has ALWAYS been the rule! And remember the internet, it’s a service being provided, not a right in the constitution, so stop being so damn entitled…no wonder the world hates Americans. So… you Big Brother Babies! Take off your foil triangle caps! No one is saying that you can’t publish whatever you want on face book, or put up your own crappy artwork or express your short sided spoon fed opinons on your personal website, or sell a pair of cables you own to another person who needs them…its got to do with digital files of copyrighted intellectual property that WE DO NOT OWN being exchanged over the internet, to another person WHO DOES NOT OWN IT EITHER, period. And there are measures already in place and have been in place that “sniff” the packets you send over the internet to “known” trouble or Rogue sites and a vast bevvy of other parameters and guess what!?! Like magic, some nerds figured out a way to tell if what you are sending is something that its never heard of before i.e. “Jimmy plays ball at grandmas house” and lets Say, umm…Star Wars: Episode I…its nothing to do with titles, its Nerd Magic is all I can say and I’ve seen it first hand how it works…so again, is it possible that the gov’t could use this bill to try to leverage more of our rights away from us? Yes…if they wanted to do that anyway, don’t you think they just would? Yes…so again, those of us that are doing the biggest amount of whinning are those that don’t want the free party to end or we are just regurjetating what we heard our friends say and post. It’s a little too late for us to try to “Rock the Vote” we’ve given up too many rights as it is, this little bit of legislation is just putting a muzzle on a rabid dog that was the “free” internet. As US Citizens, with all of its blessings also comes a few of its curses, we are bound by laws of THIS land. We have been circumventing OUR OWN LAWS by going to websites that exist outside our borders in countries who’s laws are lax in regards to copyright and intellectual property, usually communist or socialist governments…are you a commie? Lol j/k But in all honesty, what we’ve been doing IS illegal and why should our government not try to enforce the laws that its set up to protect the artistic and creative community that works hard to produce quality content for our entertainment pleasure…how do we repay them? By buying 5 for $20 dvd rip offs from the guy at the taco stand…Where in this world do you ever expect to see a movie for free? You pay for cable television. You buy a DVD in a store, You pay for redbox and netflix…the only free tv is suck TV and you watch what you are given, when you are given it and guess what, even the televison is regualted by the government! Oh no!!! lol!…Hopefully the gov’t does right for a change and piracy, at least in this country, is taken under control. As a entertainment hopeful and as one of the few Americans in this country to have actually sat in the MPAA Meetings with the FBI, and the Internet and Digital Crimes task force and has actually seen the outstanding numbers of files downloaded 24, 48, just 72 hours into a movies release.I have to say about time! I’ve wanted to personally enforce this law that has gone relativly ignored for the last 30 years! Everytime I see those blankets laid out on the sidewalk with cheap covers of the latest blockbuster I’ve wanted to call the cops over and say “Look! That’s a Federal Crime, Do Something!!!” And don’t get me started on where THAT money goes to…if you think you are helping Lucy and Pablo put clothes on their back, THINK AGAIN! Most of the street vendors I’ve investigated are part of a network who are given their product by gang members and organized crime syndicates who see DVD movies as a safe, easy all profit business to supplement drugs and arms…no ‘effin JOKE! The vendors themselves make a quarter to a buck per movie they sell…So please start thinking for yourself and stop copying and pasting the junk your hip friends are posting that their hip friends posted.., yes the bill has holes and flaws, but that’s why we have these drawn out disucssions and oh so many old people to argue for us, just to get them just right, and even then you will still have doubters and people who will complain… but belive me, this change is coming, the ride is over, its time for us to start paying our own way and go back to the days of sneaking from theater to theater in order to get “free” movies!