Anti-piracy group's study reveals that pirates are mostly people who couldn't afford, find, or use a commercial version


‘Pirates’ Tend To Be the Biggest Buyers of Legal Content, Study Shows (


What really frustrates me is that anything older than about 10 years can be a pain in the ass to find on streaming services. I’d much rather pay to watch 40s screwball comedies than whatever Netflix is serving up these days, but legally streaming the vast majority of movie history doesn’t seem to be an option.

/rant about “in my day, video libraries would lend you a wide variety of 7 videos for 8 days for $10 and it was awesome” goes here


That’s news to me. The Canadian Govt has actually implemented laws to limit how copyright holders can go after those torrenting, Notice and Notice Law. It means that to go after a torrenter you must first let the ISP notify the torrenter of an illegal act, then they have three years to subpoena for the identity behind the IP address. After that they can only go after a set monetary amount. This prevents the copyright trolls that are making an industry out of these claims.

Streaming is as unlegislated as anywhere else, IIRC.


And what about: “I want to be in control of my media and play it in a reasonable fashion”?

I don’t want to rely on streaming services. I don’t want to ‘buy’ it from AmazonTV or Google - who knows when they may revoke it, and what if my internet is out and I want to watch something?

I don’t want to own a tonne of Blurays (I already have boxes and boxes of DVDs taking up space), and I don’t want to have to change the disc or sort through discs to find what I want.

From a pragmatic/technical level, nothing offers me the quality of the experience as do quality torrrent sites.


I completely agree on the pragmatic level, at least as it relates to the way you consume your media. I’m much the same.

There’s a dilemma I have which I haven’t completely solved. I’m an adult now, and I used to torrent a lot when I was younger without two nickels to rub together. But I can afford paying for things now, and if I want the shows and movie I like to continue to be made someone has to pay for them for them to get made and eventually put up on the sharing sites.

I will frequently torrent first, and then buy the physical media later–as much as it sucks to store, I’m at least capable of archiving it digitally if I want to get it on a device. Realistically, I only make the time to rip stuff off CD to ensure it’s the quality I prefer, ID3 tags set just so, etc. or unless it’s rare enough you can’t torrent it.

How do you handle this? Voting with your money, that is, to get more of what you like created?

Paying for Amazon channels is a great solution for current stuff. I want to watch GoT or WestWorld as it airs? I can do that for 10 bucks a month, and end the channel at any time, no fuss. Netflix-created content, same deal.


You make a good point. While I’m also an adult (and on the wrong side of 40 at that), I’m still not exactly flush with resources, so I still have cost things to consider. But I do buy media (mainly music) as well, but then I always share anything I buy to contribute to the bittorrent ecosystem (to be a ‘good citizen’ so to speak). I’m not always that concerned to ‘vote with my money’ in terms of buying the media from Amazon or wherever, in part because that is at least in part also ‘voting with my money’ to support systems I don’t care for. Musicians in many cases make more money off of concerts than CD-sales, so – if you have the resources – go to one of their concert, buy some merchandise, whatever.

Netflix is interesting - and when I have more resources (and a non-capped Internet because netflix can really burn through data; they don’t seem to have any obvious 720p option – which is generally what I choose for torrents since I can’t usually tell the difference between 720p and anything higher, even on a large screen, but I can easily tell the different between SD & 720p+), I’ll probably subscribe regular to Netflix just to support their somewhat disruptive model. And if HBO promises to put at least some of my subscription money into a scheme to put Comcast out of business, I’ll subscribe to them too.

But in the end, I’m not going to worry overly much about it. I end up spending money going to the cinema, and I’ve bought lots of media in my life already. If there’s a particular creator who really needs support, it’s probably more effective to try to figure out a more direct way of supporting them (Patreon, for all of it’s problems, is along the right sort of lines, I think). Otherwise, if I have extra monies lying about, I’d rather donate them to some free/open-source software projects.


With music I have a choice of either paying a subscription fee for access to everything, but with DRM (which I will begrudgingly accept as a necessary evil for a subscription service), or reasonably-priced a-la-carte DRM-free downloads. In some cases, from the same store (iTunes, maybe others?)

I just want video to get to that point as well. It’s so close, but DRM on purchased movies/TV episodes is ridiculous, and the fact that I need to juggle a dozen different subscriptions (HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc) depending on what shows I’m watching is not ideal. Amazon’s “channels” thing (where you can subscribe to HBO and others under your Amazon account) or Apple’s subscriptions through iTunes help by centralizing the management of the different subscriptions.

If one of those services drops DRM for purchased videos and gives me a good centralized place to manage subscriptions I’ll be very happy.


As an anime fan I can’t say I’d have the same interest in it as I would without piracy services, and many others can attest to that. However I can’t also disagree that that industry is particularly large enough compared to the many ways piracy of that same content doesn’t ding their sustainability the same way US movies and TV shows are. I would still say any business decision made will be worth more than anything piracy can cost, but this particular side of entertainment is much more mired in piracy mentalities than I think anything else does.


I’m generally just too lazy to engage in piracy these days. Most things I want to watch are available through legitimate channels and I’m fortunate enough to have a decent salary. I’d rather just drop the $5 to rent it through Google Play than mess around with illegitimate sources. Most of my friends are in the same boat.

The big exception to this is Amazon shows. Almost everyone I know has Prime and has an Android TV box or a Chromecast. Unfortunately, thanks to the ongoing pissing match between Google and Amazon, they have no way to get the shows on Prime on to their TVs. Which means many of them pirate content they are already paying for, just so they can get it up on their TV. (I have an Nvidia Shield TV box which DOES have a Prime app but for reasons I don’t care enough to understand, the app is blocked for Canadian users which means I have to trick the Shield in to thinking I’m not in Canada just so I can use an official app to watch content I legitimately paid for. This is the world we live in.)

The moral of the story for companies: most people who can afford to pay for content will. But if you keep screwing them around even when they WANT to pay, they will have no hesitation pirating the content.

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