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Futurama movie leaked
Posted on Tuesday, November 20 2007 @ 16:03:50 PST

Yep, the whole film has been leaked and is making its way across the interwebs as I type this a whole seven days before it even gets to the cinema, and it's DVD quality! I haven't seen it myself, I'm tempted to just wait until I can see it in enormo-vision at the cinema. That isn't what this blog is about though, it's more a precursor to the true topic of piracy.

Piracy is a pretty big thing, there are countless torrent sites full of pirated material and relatively few that contain only legitimate large files intended for legal distribution. There is an 'internet underground' replete with IRC channels, torrents and sod knows what else where, if you know what you're doing, you can find pretty much whatever you want. I truly have no idea how these things start and don't have a clue how films like Futurama can get leaked so quickly but is it a good or bad thing? Moreover why does it happen?

Arguably there has always been piracy, even back in the Commodore 64 days, but it's been recently that a big furore has been made of the evils of piracy and how those who partake in the practice bring down the artists who make the music/movies/games. Piracy has been blamed on the rise in price for these items, because of the sales lost to piracy the legitimate customers have to pay extra so the creators get their bags of cash. Piracy is responsible for DRM, the scourge of legitimate users everywhere. But is piracy the evil it's made out to be, or is it a reaction to tighter and more unreasonable restrictions made by media giants?

I'm here to argue that it's both. I'm definitely no proponent of heavy piracy, I feel that artists, whether they're making music, film or games, deserve to be paid for their efforts (though perhaps not the millions that some stars make). But at the same time I vehemently disagree with the pricing strategy of some things. Sure, the record label/publisher needs to get reimbursed and paid but just how much of the consumer's money goes to the people responsible for creating the item they're buying? I'm guessing if you drop a few middlemen you could drop the price and still make a decent profit. People download because they don't want to pay ridiculous prices, for instance the Dirty Sanchez movie in a certain high street retailer cost about £18! For you non-English people just keep in mind that normally DVDs cost about £10, even brand new DVDs are around £13. The only reason I bought it was because I found it in an awesome deal. Anyway, rising prices merely encourage people who would buy things at a reasonable price to download them for free.

As for DRM, what an incredibly flawed concept! Let's get this straight, you buy an album from a shop and you want to put it on your computer, your laptop, your iPod and copy it to a backup disc but wait! You can't because DRM only lets you copy a song a certain number of times. Obviously this is intended to limit the amount of copies a person can make so they can't just buy one album and then sell numerous copies to numerous people but anyone bent on making their business in piracy is going to manage it anyway, all DRM does is limit functionality for law abiding people who actually buy the product.

So do these flaws mean we shouldn't attempt to crack down on piracy? No, not at all, but rather than attempting to directly screw over the pirates (which only screws over the consumer) why not attempt to make the prospect of legitimately purchasing a product more appealing? I know I'd buy things from the iTunes music store if I could use them with another audio player and I'd gladly buy films from the various websites there are if it was an easier process and they didn't have so many stupid restrictions. Long story short there will always be piracy but the tactics the conglomerates are using now do nothing but harm the regular, Joe Bloggs Consumer.
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