Monday, July 14, 2008

Speaking of Privacy....

Here's good news if you like stealing things: PrirateBay, one of the largest torrent sites on the Web, is working on new encryption software that will hide the identities of it's user.

What does this mean? Right now it's pretty easy for a movie studio to find out who downloaded a movie, and send them nasty notices in the mail saying stop it or they'll sue....I know a few people who have actually got the notices and they're not what I would call hardcore bootleggers. In fact, I've read several stories about movie studios uploading early copies of their movies just to get the IP addresses of those downloading it, so they can send those nasty letters.

Like basically every person under the age of 30, I've had my fun downloading things I'm not really supposed to in the past; for the most part it was legit bootlegs of things that don't exist in any other form..."I didn't have any way of getting it" isn't really an excuse for doing something illegal, but it helps me sleep better at night.

I'm actually a firm believer of making every form of entertainment free (books, movies, music, etc.), and using advertising to pay the bills. But maybe that's just me. I think bootlegging is just man's way of telling people find another way to make money. People used to bootleg Shakespeare plays...and before that monks used to bootleg books! It's been going on for hundreds of years!

If people are bootlegging movies, and movie studios can't do anything about it, then guess what? They'll find another way to make money and we will still be entertain. Maybe it's product placement in movies; maybe it's giving the movie out for free if you buy a certain cereal; or maybe it's simple movie licensing. This would help some indie movies, but it's probably not go to make as much for an action movie...which means studios will have to spend less on special effects and more on decent stories.

But until the laws are changed or privacy can truly be hidden, then I guess I have to stick with venting on a blog and staying away from downloading torrents that aren't exactly legal to download.

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