Friday, May 30, 2008

When Bootlegging Isn't So Bad

ESPN reporter Don Steinberg recently praised bootlegging:

To put it briefly, he confessed to buying bootleg fights, and he mentioned forums where boxing matches are available for free download. He said: "...if you really need videos of Shane Mosley's greatest hits, what's a guy to do? There's no legal way to do it." He mentioned that HBO and the others don't normally put out boxing DVDs because the market is small, and the rights issues are complex. Then he said this:

"I'm not proud that I solicit products from the digital underground....I stopped downloading music illicitly years ago and began paying for it on iTunes and Amazon. Every week I ignore the guy I see selling bootleg DVDs of new movies."

That's the point. Bootlegging may not be such a crime if it's rare items and there's no demand, but it's a crime when it's easily available music or movies. Some radical jihadists in forums and in blogs are "proud" of what they do, rationalize by ragging on the RIAA or MPAA, and believe the anarchy of torrents and that "music should be free."

What is ethical, moral and legal, is to buy what is available to buy. It means being adult. It means saying what this reporter said, that you have no reason to be "proud" of stealing what you should buy. Buying helps the economy. It gives people jobs. It lets honest musicians, songwriters and store owners do what they want to do and should be able to do.

Why do the radical jihadists (who usually have no jobs, and are just as nasty, socially inept and malcontented as the religious fanatics are) use moron excuses like "music must be free" and "down with the RIAA." Down with the RIAA? And up with what? Microsoft? Yahoo? Google? Organizations far bigger and more sinister than the RIAA, run by billionaire fatcats who hoard their money and have created a creepy world called "Silicone Valley?"

By bootlegging and downloading, the radical jihadists are screwing musicians, store owners, songwriters, and yes, somewhat inept organizations like RIAA, BMI and ASCAP, but they are making billionaires out of fatcats at Microsoft, Rapidshare, Yahoo, Megaupload and Google and a few "genius" torrent owners and members of organized crime.

Maybe, just maybe, bootlegging old boxing telecasts isn't so bad. Same with scoring an ounce of pot, or needing a prostitute's services. Maybe friendly "sharing" on a small level isn't so bad either. But...

Distributing free music, warez and movies on mammoth blogs, in secret forums, and via torrents, in an organized conspiracy to not have to buy this easily available no reason to be proud.


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