Why do you pirate movies/TV shows?

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Oh yeah, I agree. We need to adjust the laws for digital media somehow. I'm just poking fun at people's psychological tendency to use a valid complaint to cover all use cases, even the ones not really about that complaint.
Tangentially, it's an odd experience walking into a barbershop and seeing a whole lot of bootleg DVDs just sitting under a glass countertop not several meters from a security booth.
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Maybe these movies wouldn't be "incredibly expensive" if they would stop paying people like Johnny Depp $20 million to star in bad movies like the 2013 version of The Lone Ranger. (According to IMDB, he was paid $50,000,000 for the crappy 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland.) If they would pay the actors the same wages that normal people get for doing their job, maybe the movies wouldn't be so expensive to make.

Plus, the movie industry is one of the few industries where they can make a bad product, and there's no money back guarantee. No matter how bad the movie is, you can't get your money back from the movie theater after you've watched the movie, you can't get your money back from the store after you've opened the DVD, and you can't get your time back after you've wasted it watching a terrible movie.
Actually actors make that enormous amount of money because people are willing to pay: 100 million people are wiling to pay 6 dollars to see Johnny Deep, that's 600 million dollars, about 40% of that goes to the studio which justifies spending 240 million dollars in making and advertising a movie staring Johnny Deep, hence he gets paid 50 million dollars for his work.

Famous actors in local film markets like Brazil or Japan, make around 1 million dollars in a movie.

The size of an actor's salary is determined by the size of the market. I guess in a 100 years you will have actors making 1 billion dollars per movie.



Actually actors make that enormous amount of money because people are willing to pay: 100 million people are wiling to pay 6 dollars to see Johnny Deep, that's 600 million dollars, about 40% of that goes to the studio which justifies spending 240 million dollars in making and advertising a movie staring Johnny Deep, hence he gets paid 50 million dollars for his work.
That's not how it works, though. If it was then Lone Ranger wouldn't have flopped.

Actors sign contracts prior to the job which establishes their pay up front. It's a combination of studios willing to throw extra money at the actor just to secure that name recognition and the actors standing on higher pay ultimatums. You pay me X or I walk.



jakubmike's Avatar
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I personally think that piracy is great. It is awesome, it is best thing that happened in our culture since printing press.
While I personally do not download movies I do not condemn anyone who does it. And there is simple reason for that- I can afford seeing movies. But many people cannot. Piracy allows poor people to participate in culture, without it they would be excluded from cultural life and the rift beetwen poor and middle class would further extend to language, cultural experience, and even metaphors.

Let's not kid ourselves, it is always better experience to either buy disk with all the cool additional features or go to the cinema, people who have disposable income will do so simply because going out to see movies is a social occasion.

This whole "Look how much industry is loosing because of piracy" is stupid because it rest on the idea that everyone who downloaded the movie would watch it in cinema, it is literally making up numbers.

And yes, I am truly crying because of terrible situation of Hollywood producers and actors, they are truly poor people and industry is clearly dying... oh wait, no it is not, actors get record breaking money for starring in movies and movies themselves generate great amount of money...not exactly dying bussines.



I dunno if you read much of the thread, but pretty much all of those arguments have been addressed to some degree. But here's the executive summary:

While I personally do not download movies I do not condemn anyone who does it. And there is simple reason for that- I can afford seeing movies. But many people cannot. Piracy allows poor people to participate in culture, without it they would be excluded from cultural life and the rift beetwen poor and middle class would further extend to language, cultural experience, and even metaphors.
Two issues with this, I think:

1) Virtually everyone can afford seeing almost any movie. You mean they can't afford to see them immediately. And let's be honest, seeing some movies a few months later doesn't meaningfully exclude someone from "cultural life." Heck, I run a movie website, and rarely see films in the theaters, and I don't feel excluded at all.

2) Pirating is widespread enough that it obviously isn't done only (or even mostly) by people who can't afford it. But if this is why you think it's ethically justified, does that mean you'd agree it's wrong when not done by someone poor?

This whole "Look how much industry is loosing because of piracy" is stupid because it rest on the idea that everyone who downloaded the movie would watch it in cinema, it is literally making up numbers.
Trying to put an exact number on it is silly, yes, but it's also silly to pretend they're not losing a significant amount on it, whatever the specific figure is.

And yes, I am truly crying because of terrible situation of Hollywood producers and actors, they are truly poor people and industry is clearly dying... oh wait, no it is not, actors get record breaking money for starring in movies and movies themselves generate great amount of money...not exactly dying bussines.
Profit isn't binary. I'll reproduce what I said earlier in the thread:

At any size, the movie industry has films that are on the cusp of making financial sense. Therefore, any dollar that goes into or out of the industry affects how many movies are made, and how much money is spent on them. Which in turn affects how many people work on the crew (normal people, mind you).
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jakubmike's Avatar
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1) Virtually everyone can afford seeing almost any monvie. You mean they can't afford to see them immediately. And let's be honest, seeing some movies a few months later doesn't meaningfully exclude someone from "cultural life."
Yes it does, movies are fads, people talk about them for a while and then move to the next one , you are either "in" or you are not.


2) Pirating is widespread enough that it obviously isn't done only (or even mostly) by people who can't afford it. But if this is why you think it's ethically justified, does that mean you'd agree it's wrong when not done by someone poor?
No, I do not agree it is wrong when done by someone who is not poor. Movies, music, storytelling in general exist to provide joy to people. If your movie fail to do that you do not deserve to be paid. Have you seen street musicians? They play, if you like it you can pay. If do not like it, you don't. Why are movies/music the only things you have to pay in advance. It is like buying cat in a bag. Will I get my money back if I disliked a movie? No.
Let's be frank here, when bard told bad stories he was very hungry bard, it was good system, I think we should return to it, especially now since when it comes to movies we are literally in Star Trek "food replicators" territory. We can make all the copies we want. And people still buy movies they like, they still go to cinemas, for three reasons.
1. Movies are conversational pieces, somebody see a movie on your shelf and can strike up conversation about it.
2. Visual value- nice looking movie looks good on shelf, send message to people who visit you and creates mood.
3. Going out to cinema is a good opportunity to meet with friends.


Trying to put an exact number on it is silly, yes, but it's also silly to pretend they're not losing a significant amount on it, whatever the specific figure is.


That's not how profits work. I'll reproduce what I said earlier in the thread:
I am not buying it. Sorry, it is stupid.
Imagine that suddenly you can create a car out of thin air. And boss of the automobile company says "Our losses go into billions, just look at how many people created ferrari's for themselves"...yeah, because every single one of those people would buy your ferrari right?
But even this comparison is not good because pirated movies are just that, movies. People buy disks today for the same reason they buy beautifull editions of books- to own them, to treat themselves or to support the creators, but not to watch them. It is not main motivation.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I can think of two big films that lost a lot of money due to piracy. Expendables III and Wolverine:Origins.


Then again, I think piracy saved people from wasting their money on such things.


Also, I think poor people have other things on their minds other than being up to date on pop culture nonsense.
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Because I spend plenty of money on content. The great thing about piracy is that I can support what I love instead of everything I consume, regardless of how terrible it might be. I spend more money on movies and tv shows than 99% of the population, so you'll forgive me if I don't feel bad about pirating.

Studios and companies are screaming into the void because they don't want to adapt to a changing market. The gatekeepers no longer have the power to decide what content makes it to the consumer and how, and they hate this. We can support artists directly instead of giving the corporate middleman his cut.

They can make up as many numbers of "how much money we've lost" but it's meaningless, because the fact that Joe Blow downloaded a movie doesn't mean he won't buy it later, or vice versa.



jakubmike's Avatar
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Also, I think poor people have other things on their minds other than being up to date on pop culture nonsense.
And you would be quite wrong. Pop culture is living culture, it is what people breath, what they talk about it is even in how they talk. Being unable to recognise specific references is just as damning as going around in old second-hand clothes, it is yet another way for you not to fit in. It is especially painfull for children and teenagers because they want to be "in" on new fads, they want to feel as part of the group. Cultural exclusion is a thing, and it hits with equal strenght for different reason- poor people, and old people . One group could not afford to participate if it was not for piracy and the other cannot participate without someone to teach them about new media, basic computer skills etc.



Yes it does, movies are fads, people talk about them for a while and then move to the next one , you are either "in" or you are not.
This sounds like pure theory, to me. I hang out and talk to lots of people, like my siblings, who see more recent films than I do, and I never feel "excluded." And it's not hard to see why: films are a huge part of the culture, but just released films aren't.

The only people for whom this would be a major problem are people whose lives (and the lives of most of their friends) basically revolve around films.

No, I do not agree it is wrong when done by someone who is not poor.
Then why make the distinction in the first place? Either it provides ethical justification, in which case you would agree, or it doesn't, in which case it's irrelevant.

Movies, music, storytelling in general exist to provide joy to people. If your movie fail to do that you do not deserve to be paid.
So you agree it's ethically wrong for someone to download a film, enjoy it, and not pay for it?

Have you seen street musicians? They play, if you like it you can pay. If do not like it, you don't. Why are movies/music the only things you have to pay in advance.
Because you can't take back the experience of viewing it, obviously. And because you could lie. And the street performer played without demanding money, so that's obviously not equivalent.

Let's be frank here, when bard told bad stories he was very hungry bard, it was good system, I think we should return to it
Maybe it was, but that's not really the question. The question is whether it's a "good system" to let you unilaterally decide what a good system is, over the objections of the people who actually make the films.

I am not buying it. Sorry, it is stupid.
It really isn't; it's basic economics. The function of all profits is the expansion of the industry in question. There's no magic line beyond which it makes no difference to production.

Imagine that suddenly you can create a car out of thin air. And boss of the automobile company says "Our losses go into billions, just look at how many people created ferrari's for themselves"...yeah, because every single one of those people would buy your ferrari right?
I'm not sure how this is a response to my point. It sounds like you're arguing against that "you wouldn't download a car" thing, which isn't what I said (and which I don't think is a good argument).

My actual argument was about how, whatever the level of profit, it has a direct correlation to what is produced, either in terms of budget, or number, and that this doesn't just affect studio heads and wealthy actors.



And you would be quite wrong. Pop culture is living culture, it is what people breath, what they talk about it is even in how they talk. Being unable to recognise specific references is just as damning as going around in old second-hand clothes
Yeah, I wear plenty of secondhand clothes, and nobody can tell, or cares. In lots of circles it's considered cooler. EDIT: I actually think the jeans I'm wearing right now are from the thrift store. The fact that I'm not even sure says it all, though.

You're from a different country though, yeah? Perhaps most of this is true where you live. I certainly don't think it's true here (Eastern United States, in my case).



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Studios and companies are screaming into the void because they don't want to adapt to a changing market.
I bought this for the music industry when Napster came out. They've since then utilized iTunes and Spotify.

I think I'd agree with this if you were talking about Netflix, but you're not. You're talking about illegally downloading a movie. Of course they're not going to be for that because they see no revenue from it. Adapt to a changing market of what? Spending millions of dollars and giving it all away for free? That makes no sense.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
And you would be quite wrong. Pop culture is living culture, it is what people breath, what they talk about it is even in how they talk. Being unable to recognise specific references is just as damning as going around in old second-hand clothes, it is yet another way for you not to fit in. It is especially painfull for children and teenagers because they want to be "in" on new fads, they want to feel as part of the group. Cultural exclusion is a thing, and it hits with equal strenght for different reason- poor people, and old people . One group could not afford to participate if it was not for piracy and the other cannot participate without someone to teach them about new media, basic computer skills etc.

Hmmm, do we have enough food to EAT tomorrow or should I catch up on Grey's Anatomy? Damn these choices.


I guess I'm not spending my money wisely if I can afford high speed internet that lets me download all these movies for free. Almost hitting my data limit because of all the movies I'm downloading? Better upgrade to unlimited.



jakubmike's Avatar
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This sounds like pure theory, to me. I hang out and talk to lots of people, like my siblings, who see more recent films than I do, and I never feel "excluded." And it's not hard to see why: films are a huge part of the culture, but just released films aren't.

The only people for whom this would be a major problem are people whose lives (and the lives of most of their friends) basically revolve around films.
Sorry but that is just not true, I worked at school for a long time and saw how it goes. After release of Episode VII children were talking only about it, they talked in quotes, argued about the movie, draw scenes, their entire lives basically revolved around it. Except for small group that did not see it because tickets are expensive, do you know how they felt?
From my own life I remember when game boy (the first one) was a thing, everyone had it, and everyone played pokemon, they talked about, they traded it, friendships were created and broken based on it... except for me and few of my friends... we felt like outcasts.
Then why make the distinction in the first place? Either it provides ethical justification, in which case you would agree, or it doesn't, in which case it's irrelevant.
No, it is simply pointing out the most important part of the argument but not the main and only. The main reason why I am not condemning piracy is because poor people can enjoy the same movies at the same time and do not feel left out, but the other reason is that technological revolution made old bussines model obsolete.

So you agree it's ethically wrong for someone to download a film, enjoy it, and not pay for it?
no. I do not consider it a moral issue, more like a good tone issue, is it morally wrong to eat fish using fork and knife? No, it is bad form, but that is about it. If you like something you should support it of course but for me it is part of etiquette not morality.


Because you can't take back the experience of viewing it, obviously. And the street performer played without demanding money, so that's obviously not equivalent.
As someone who had friends in music school let me assure you that street musician expects the money but he knows he have to earn it by impresing people enough to be rewarded volountarily. Making a good trailer and basically luring people to cinema is not exactly good form would you agree.

Maybe it was, but that's not really the question. The question is whether it's a "good system" to let you unilaterally decide what a good system is, over the objections of the people who actually make the films.
I am not unilaterally deciding anything. I am stating my opinion. And as to objections of people who actually make films...I am sure that owners of transatlantic ships were also not exactly thrilled by invention of commercial flights.


It really isn't; it's basic economics. The function of all profits is the expansion of the industry in question. There's no magic line beyond which it makes no difference to production.
Industry is expanding, nobody is making movies out of the goodnes of their hearts. They make profits, huge amounts of profits. I will not cry my eyes out because of their imaginary losses. If they are so unhappy with their profits stop making movies and go into other bussines. Nobody is keeping anyone by force.

My actual argument was about how, whatever the level of profit, it has a direct correlation to what is produced, either in budget, or number, and that this doesn't just affect studio heads and wealthy actors.
I have different view of it. Studios have to accept piracy as new enviroment. Make your movie releases attractive and people will still buy disc, if only to show of on their shelf. They will still go to see it in cinema, simply because going to see movies is a good past time. But I will not act enraged because some guy downloaded a movie.



jakubmike's Avatar
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Hmmm, do we have enough food to EAT tomorrow or should I catch up on Grey's Anatomy? Damn these choices.


I guess I'm not spending my money wisely if I can afford high speed internet that lets me download all these movies for free. Almost hitting my data limit because of all the movies I'm downloading? Better upgrade to unlimited.
You do know that being poor is gradient right? Just because you can afford food and internet access does not make you rich. Many studies use cultural activities as a way to judge general wealth. There is more to life than being fed, and people are hurt by cultural exclusions. I understand that the same apply to old people right? If some of them feel alienated in today's world and do not even understand language that many people speak because of the technical lingo that is present on every facet of communication...well nothing wrong with that, I mean they are not hungry right?



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I do it if I can't find a movie despite having a monthly cable bill over $200, plus Netflix, Hulu, Fandor, and Filmstruck, and plus I'm a little sketchy



You can't win an argument just by being right!
You do know that being poor is gradient right? Just because you can afford food and internet access does not make you rich. Many studies use cultural activities as a way to judge general wealth. There is more to life than being fed, and people are hurt by cultural exclusions. I understand that the same apply to old people right? If some of them feel alienated in today's world and do not even understand language that many people speak because of the technical lingo that is present on every facet of communication...well nothing wrong with that, I mean they are not hungry right?
I get what you're saying, Jaku. I think it's why people on imdb were getting so butthurt at those who loved movies or tv shows they didnt like or hadnt seen. The anger always struck me as being irrational, but it makes sense if I think about them feeling excluded.



Sorry but that is just not true, I worked at school for a long time and saw how it goes. After release of Episode VII children were talking only about it, they talked in quotes, argued about the movie, draw scenes, their entire lives basically revolved around it. Except for small group that did not see it because tickets are expensive, do you know how they felt?
Whoa, hold up. Episode VII was a major cultural event, years in the making. It broke records. The overwhelming majority of movies have < 1% as much cultural impact as that film did. So if that's going to be your example of "culture," you need to adjust your definition of "affordable," too. Because if we're just talking about seeing films that EVERYONE is seeing, you only need to buy a couple of tickets a year.

From my own life I remember when game boy (the first one) was a thing, everyone had it, and everyone played pokemon, they talked about, they traded it, friendships were created and broken based on it... except for me and few of my friends... we felt like outcasts.
Kids feeling like outsiders isn't something you can fix by torrenting movies. They always exclude each other for dumb things, and they would even if we lived in some egalitarian paradise.

I grew up poor, by the way. I didn't feel excluded from the rich kids: I felt closer to my poor friends.

no. I do not consider it a moral issue, more like a good tone issue, is it morally wrong to eat fish using fork and knife? No, it is bad form, but that is about it. If you like something you should support it of course but for me it is part of etiquette not morality.
The problem is you keep making arguments that you then turn around and admit your belief doesn't hinge on. So you say it's not wrong because some people can't afford it...but it's still okay even if they can. Then you say it's not wrong because they might not enjoy the film...but it's still okay even if they do. So, by your own admission, these things are ancillary to the topic.

As someone who had friends in music school let me assure you that street musician expects the money but he knows he have to earn it by impresing people enough to be rewarded volountarily.
But he doesn't demand it. And that alone means the two situations are not comparable. Whether or not you take it with their permission, or without it, is the important part.

I am not unilaterally deciding anything. I am stating my opinion.
Right, but it's your opinion that you should be allowed to unilaterally decide whether or not to pay for this stuff.

And as to objections of people who actually make films...I am sure that owners of transatlantic ships were also not exactly thrilled by invention of commercial flights.
I'm pretty sure the relevant comparison would be how they felt about stowaways.

Industry is expanding, nobody is making movies out of the goodnes of their hearts. They make profits, huge amounts of profits. I will not cry my eyes out because of their imaginary losses. If they are so unhappy with their profits stop making movies and go into other bussines. Nobody is keeping anyone by force.
Again, you're not really replying to the point here: the level of profits directly correlates to the size of the industry. This is easily demonstrated with a thought experiment: if the film industry made $100 a year, total, they wouldn't be able to make many films (or many films with high production values), right? But if they made $10 million, they would make more, and more expensive ones. And if they made $100 million, you'd see even more movies greenlit, and with higher budgets, and riskier films would get made, too.

In all three of these examples, the industry is making "a profit." In two of them, it's making a large profit. But you're getting far more films, with far larger budgets, and a wider variety of films, the higher you go. And the more films made, and the larger their budgets, the more ordinary people the industry sustains, too, since the overwhelming majority of people involved are not superstar actors or studio heads.

You just said "being poor is a gradient." So are profits. Just as your income affects your consumption, movie industry profits affect what gets made, and for how much. There's no big glowing line that says "REALLY RICH" beyond which they stop making more (or bigger, or weirder) films.

But I will not act enraged because some guy downloaded a movie.
This is a straw man. I'm not saying you should be enraged. I'm just saying I don't think these ethical justifications hold water.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
I dont know how to download and dont want to learn, but living in the pirate nation of the world and knowing people in the biz and chatting to them about it, they believe people here download

1. to push for fast tracking which to a certain extent has worked

and

2. because distribution nd promotion here is piss weak, and we cant even get cinematic releases of a lot of our own movies, or by aussie film makers in america and europe.

For those two reasons I dont blame the vigilantes. I still, however, regard it as stealing, but I;m a goody two shoes and I am biased. I dont judge people for doing it, but I dont like it promoted on film forums either (those spammers who link)

In one study I read that my bro put on fb, pirates are much more likely to spend on merchandise.



That's pretty much where I come down, Dani. Ethically, the justifications just don't work. Doesn't make it, ya' know, murder. I'm not going to tell you I've never done it (though rarely, and I've bought tickets I didn't use and donated to charity as a moral offset). But let's not pretend it's anything more noble or justifiable than it is: people want to see a lot of movies without paying for them.

We'll hear elaborate hypotheticals about out-of-print Brazilian indie films or people living in cardboard boxes with nothing but a shopping cart and a cable modem, but 99% of the time it's someone who can afford a ticket, but would simply rather not pay for it, which is why all those reasons turn not to be dispositive, if you ask.