It's not exactly big news that movie and TV piracy is rife these days. All piracy is, really. Every one of us, no matter how much we try to avoid it, has probably either watched a pirated movie or tv show. It's just so easy. Piracy often provides quick and simple access to almost anything you could want to watch. How could that not be appealing? I'll be honest, it's appealing enough that I do it often and without regret. Yet conversely, it's not something I entirely agree with. So what should I do?
I think the main problem comes down to the industries inability to keep up with the digital age. Yes, I know services like Apple and Netflix offer TV shows and movies on demand. Which is great, of course, and exactly what I'm talking about. If you live in America, at least. I fully believe that if companies were able to offer the shows when they air to a worldwide audience and for a reasonable price, a large percentage of people would stop pirating. I understand that it's far from that simple, but it feels to me like a goal worth pursuing for all major broadcasters. You may say that it's unfair to demand access to TV shows as soon as they air when I should wait for them to be broadcast in my area or to be released on DVD. Perhaps, but clearly there is a more immediate demand for many shows, so why not cater to it? Also in my particular case, living in the East, many of the films and shows I want to watch won't even get a release here. So in order to see the shows I love, I pirate them and will continue to do so. At least until I'm given a better option.
What gets to me most about piracy is the number of people who do it constantly and then complain about shows being cancelled or the quality of TV going downhill. We're to blame! Partially at least. If you care about the quality of TV at all, you should at least pay something towards the shows you enjoy. If you want more good TV shows to be made, show the networks that you love them! Buy a Sopranos DVD, pick up a box set of The Wire or even watch an episode of Mad Men on TV (I'm slowly building a back catalogue of my favourites, sitting at home, still wrapped in plastic). I'm not telling you to stop, as I certainly won't, but do a bit at least. That way the best shows can continue to flourish or at least finish as they were meant to and we can continue enjoying quality entertainment for years to come. Just don't moan at me when you don't buy anything and we're watching endless reiterations of CSI. CSI: Belfast, anyone?