Highway To The Dubious Legality Zone…

Monday, March 1st, 2010

For some reason, my blogs are taking a piracy theme this week. I am an advocate of piracy, I admit that. Not the ‘sail the seven seas and rape all the cabin boys’ kind of piracy, the digital ‘you wouldn’t steal a handbag’ kind. But I like to call myself a ‘legal pirate’, no matter how much of an oxymoron that is.

I only torrent stuff that I can’t get legally, as I cannot afford it or can’t find it over here. For example, I really wanted to acquire The Man From Earth on dvd, but I went into HMV (willing to pay the extra £10 that they charged in store) and was told that they couldn’t even order it in. As my parents do not like ordering stuff over the internet, I was screwed. Until I discovered the magic of torrenting! And yes, I realise how much I sound like a spokesperson.

“Torrent now and we guarantee your penis will be marginally longer* overnight!”

I am of the honest persuasion and I think that if I can afford the item and obtain it legally, I will get it that way. If not, I’ll try it before I buy it. For example, I bought Scott Adam’s book God’s Debris after reading a free copy the author put up on his website (links to my thoughts on this book will be at the bottom of the blog), after which I went out and bought the sequel. I also have a load of Project Gutenberg eBooks on my computer, which are free to read because the copyright has expired on them. At some point, I will buy the books in a hard copy, because I like having a physical copy and because I don’t like reading them on the laptop that much. I may end up buying a Kindle or something like that.

I also review some of the stuff that I download, like Family Guy Something “” “” Dark Side and the Robot Chicken Star Wars II special. Both of these will be bought on dvd when I see them cheap enough. Both of these I was unsure about before downloading, so it’s nice to see that I wouldn’t have wasted my money.

I am currently torrenting Adobe Photoshop for my laptop, as I will need it for photography work (editing photographs and such) and it is way too expensive to buy as software for someone with my budget. So I believe I am in the right here.

I do think however, that I am one of a small minority where legality is concerned. Not that I have a lack of faith in humanity or anything (I really don’t!) but I believe that most people couldn’t care less about the people they’re pirating from.

Plus, who among you can say that you haven’t downloaded something illegally at some point? I know I certainly can’t. And this is one of the reasons why the adverts mentioned in yesterday’s blog annoy me, because if I had the money, I would order everything I bought legally.

So that’s my feelings on piracy. I like the way certain authors and bands have embraced the new online media now, with one notable example being that Lars Ulrich, one of the members of Metallica, has illegally downloaded his own album! (link at the bottom)

*Or shorter.

Thoughts on God’s Debris: https://scottv2.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/damn-now-i-need-a-new-unblowupable-mind/

Lars Ulrich downloaded his own album by a file sharing service: http://torrentfreak.com/metallica-frontman-pirates-his-own-album-090305/

Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page


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