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Movie Piracy – Online and Off
May 29, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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This is a long Memorial Day weekend, and I really do not plan on staying on the computer all that much. The weather in metro New York is turning quite nice, and I have decided to spend much of my time out doors or doing whatever. It’s a nice chance to get away from the daily dose of P2P and other intrusions of file sharing. However, it seems that even when I am away from this machine, file-sharing still follows me around.

Last night I was at one of my favorite bars in Long Island, New York. Quiet at times, loud when the Yankees are winning (or losing.) In any case, I am minding my own business drinking a Coors Light when someone taps me on the shoulder.

“Hey, you want to buy some movies?” the guy asks. I look into a large paper shopping bag and he is showing me about three dozen theatrical movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Shrek 2”, “Mean Girls”, “Troy” and many others. He even had “Harry Potter”, a full week before its official release.

Out of curiosity, I ask, “How much?” It turns out they were very reasonably priced. Depending on the release date, if I just wanted one, it would cost me 3 dollars. “The Day After Tomorrow” would have run me about 5 dollars. In addition, he was willing to make a deal, so if I wanted 3 movies I probably could have gotten away with only spending 10 dollars. Although the cases were quite professionally assembled, cover and all, I politely declined.

For those who are lacking in the ways of IRC, Newsgroups, BitTorrent, or eDonkey2000, this would be an excellent deal. Considering the price for movie admission can cost up to 12 dollars in New York, tolerating a near VHS quality movie experience seems acceptable. Over the last few years, the quality of pirated movies has increased considerably. Telesync, where the audio is linked directly from the source, coupled by digital video recorders, have resulted in a very good quality movie experience, save for the moments someone gets up to get some popcorn.

So what is causing this boon in movie exchange? There are a variety of reasons; however the broadband revolution, along with the simplicity of file-sharing, has been the primary cause. Even just a few years ago, downloading a movie from the Internet was reserved for the most computer savvy. A detailed knowledge of the Newsgroups or IRC was just about the only reliable ways of acquiring these commodities.

Today, the Newsgroups have become many times easier to operate. Instead of struggling with programs such as Agent; Grabit or Newsbin Pro have almost brought about a P2P simplicity to the Newsgroups. IRC has become much easier to navigate, thanks to IRC search engines. has a lengthy tutorial that describes the functionality of these search engines. With BitTorrent and eDonkey2000, if you know how to point and click, you are well on your way to downloading a full length movie.

As I was looking through the peddler’s warez, I noticed that this individual probably acquired his movies from the above methods and burned them himself (or perhaps operates with a few coworkers.) Although I can not be 100% sure, it seemed the DVD’s and lables were CompUSA specials. In any case, this brazen approach to movies piracy reflects the growing trend on the Internet today, which is exploding at an amazing rate. So far, the MPAA has held off from suing its customers. However, if movies continue to be within the reach of a mouse click, and revenue begins to drop, we may find things change in the near future.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Unauthorized Distribution :: Physical Piracy
Unauthorized Distribution :: Digital Piracy

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