Open Post: Is Piracy As Good As It Is Bad?


At work today, a co-worker asked me how long he thinks DVDs and CDs have left. I should have prefaced this with the fact that I work at HMV (for those who don’t know, this is a music, movies & more retailer based in the UK (though they’ve gone bankrupt) and Canada (we have not)). As the film fanatic I am, like most of you reading this, I dread the day this does happen and I can’t explain why. My answer to him was simply that everyone thought the music industry would’ve folded 5 years ago and it didn’t, and it is in kind of in decent-ish shape at the moment (2012 was up in sales for the first time in years) and though DVD sales have fallen, they’re still doing decently-ish. (For the record, HMV Canada had a very good 2012).

I went on to say that, if people want a product desperately, they will buy it – regardless of piracy. With stuff like On Demand, Apple TV and what not, I don’t think this is as true anymore, but it still holds some weight. Fact: in 3 weeks my store has sold 300 copies of Skyfall on Blu-ray alone. That’s a very good number. Skyfall was a massive success and was obviously going to do very well on DVD. But does that mean anything? Probably not.

The purist in me wants it to mean something, though. But it probably doesn’t. In all honesty, I think digital will take over in the next 10 years, but who knows? I’ll keep buying movies on blu-ray until otherwise. I just like to have a physical copy of something, you know? But the worst part of it all is that I have to justify this. I mean, besides food, clothes, gas and going out, what else do I have to spend my money on? For extracurricular stuff, why wouldn’t I want to buy my favourite movies and not only to support but to just purchase something legally? Again, justifying it when I shouldn’t have to.

Do I download? Of course. Hello, we all do. I’m not blind. I think it’s an incredible resource that lets people watch, listen, do as much as they can for free. Though it’s clearly illegal, I think it helps get the word of mouth of that product out there – good or bad. Lets say you can’t find some obscure movie in store, but you found it online, watched it, loved it and then ordered it off Amazon. That’s good, right? See, piracy helps. But the way Hollywood is fighting it isn’t helping. They’re only making it worse, but that’s for another time and place.

Now, you can turn this on me and say that my attachment to material things – like blu-rays – is exactly what’s wrong with it all. We shouldn’t have to pay so much money for something so insignificant. This is a psychological issue that I’m not smart enough to get into but you’re probably not wrong about, but again, who cares? I still buy CDs too! I know! I am the oldest 22 year-old you know. I also have vinyls. Is this making you sick?

I have a bigger issue with those who purchase digital copies of things than those who only illegally download. WHY WOULD I PAY THE SAME AMOUNT FOR SOMETHING THATS DIGITAL WHEN I CAN GET THE PHYSICAL COPY? Oh my God, I’ve turned into my father. What have I become? But seriously, that’s something I don’t understand. I like to go on the computer for work/You Tube/social media. I like to watch my movies on my TV. I like to read books in paper form. I like to listen to music in the best quality. Is that too much to ask?

End of rant. So, do you still purchase things legally? Will you continue to do so? Do you agree or disagree with me? Sound off below or follow me on Twitter and tweet me your thoughts! (@jordanapps)




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