Thursday, December 20, 2007

To Pirate or not to Pirate....

That, my friends, is the question in any country like Malawi where they have pirated DVDs.

They are insanely cheap, like $4 for a disc with up to 16 movies on it!

On one level, plain and simple, it is stealing. This is pretty much how it is. So it is black and white...or is it?

I have been discussing this with TJ a bit whilst over here. There are a few factors to think about.

If the company that makes it is not actually losing anything, does that make a difference? (Like if you were to steal a shirt from Myer, then Myer would lose the money it cost them to make that shirt). Particularly if you would not have otherwise bought the DVD-which i wouldn't, as I pretty much never buy DVDs.

Is it better that my money goes to some dude on the street in malawi who actually needs it rather than some suit who works at a movie studio? Or am I just supporting them in earning a dishonest income?

As the actors are almost always paid before the movie goes on sale, the only people who really make money from me buying a DVD is the studio.

I often wonder about this when buying CDs, as it really annoys me that only $1-2 actually goes to the recording artist.
Is it any worse than people at home who buy coffee that screws over the coffee farmers (as does 90% of the coffee people at home drink). Does that even make a difference?

I used to be pretty set that it was totally wrong, but am now reconsidering it. I would love to hear what others who have been faced with this situation think.


Gareth LovesTha Pye said...

I don't I mind the little guy on the street making a small profit on a pirated DVD, what I have the issue with is the organised crime ring that he buys the bulk pirated DVD's off. I'll never buy pirated work because of its roots in organised crime.

I will obtain my own copies of pirated stuff though, just while trying to avoid letting anyone make a profit off it. I feel that I physically goes to the movies often enough and live music often enough that I've 'paid my dues'. I know how hollow that sounds, but I strongly believe that the way I consume media doesn't fit with the traditional distribution of it. I sit here at work with 22 thousand odd songs available for me to listen to, I don't think I could afford to own that much music :)

Anonymous said...

How many wrongs make a right?

Gareth LovesTha Pye said...

Is there a right?

Anonymous said...

Hey Digs,
AB's words of wisdom:
If you care about the street vendor, give him the $4 but don't take his dirty disc!
Merry Christmas!
love from andrew

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a right...but if you have to buy pirated...when i was in a developing country i rather buy things that remind me of the country and stuff like that...your choice in the end mate.

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