These days, I would call anyone out as a liar if they told me that they'd never received or downloaded digital content that had been taken from the internet illegally.
Am I one of the guilty? Yes
Am I proud of it? No
So why do I do it then?
Because I believe that we've all become a bit spoilt with technology and content lately - we want it, and we want it NOW. I don't want to wait every Tuesday to see what happens next in my favourite TV show knowing that the same show is already two whole seasons ahead overseas.
If I can't see film and television at the same time as everyone else around the world at home or in the theatre, then I at least want to have the option of seeing the same content on demand so that I can catch up and be up to date.
Most of the major broadcasting companies have "on demand" or "catch up" options on their official websites, and I know that these are free to stream....
Free to stream if you live in the country of origin otherwise you get the "this content is currently unavailable in your country"
How is that fair?
I can understand the reasons why I can't stream the content for free - money hasn't exchanged hands between the broadcasters who want the show here and the broadcasters who own the show there.
And that can take months - sometimes even years.
And this is where my issue is at...... where is my option to beat the slow-ass broadcasters in my country and pay a small fee to watch international content where I want and when I want.
YES, I DID JUST SAY I WOULD PAY FOR CONTENT SO LONG AS IT'S ON DEMAND.
However, there doesn't appear to any such option, which is a shame because someone will then miss out on a pay day if I choose the OTHER option.
So at the end of my tether, the only option (other than waiting for it to eventually air - and by that time it's become less current) is to either find a copy to download or find someone who already has.
The above is using television as an example. When It comes to film most of the blockbusters share a worldwide release date which is awesome. I'm there on opening night, I pay my $17 for my ticket and $23 for my medium popcorn ( the price of which are a different story ).
But what about the films that aren't blockbusters, what about the b grades or even the one that have been banned from even screening here. Shouldn't I be able to make the decision of what is OK for me to view?
Well there is one way of seeing those films where and when I want......
Music? one of those things that has had better treatment via the internet. I Tunes has it pretty well covered, as far as I'm concerned there really isn't any good excuse for music downloads other than the price per download, which in my opinion is not too bad anyway. I'm still a CD shopper however - music is better with lyrics and artwork / photos and you just don't get that with downloads.
I've heard it said before that the artists complaining about their music being downloaded illegally are the ones that really don't need that extra income, the ones that already have five mansions and garages full of expensive cars. I can agree with that statement to an extent, but I'm sure that anyone would be annoyed if someone was ripping them off regardless of how much they were already earning.
So in short - If the option is there, price and availability are reasonable and fair and the content is of good quality it seems as though there are enough people who are willing to pay but just don't have the options.
It's time to change don't you agree?
The debate will continue...
Take care and remember: Oil and water don't mix