Thursday, July 07, 2011

Ethical downloading

“I download stuff and I ain’t ashamed of it.” I plan to inscribe this on a plain tee sometime pretty soon. I have utter disregard for those who perceive downloading movies and music as the worst form of theft. Because they take this sanctimonious stand that Intellectual Property is a holy grail, even a sensible argument will be met with a wall. I’ll however hasten a risk and list out a manifesto, which someone like me, who downloads 70 GB of unique content every month (that’s a shameless plug, I know), tends to follow.

· Never download movies that will find a release near your theatre. If you are the kind of person who downloads Kung Fu Panda-2 and critiques it on Facebook, you should be given a brief custodial sentence. Admit it, if someone confesses to be a movie buff and is busy downloading Scream 4, he or she is anything but a ‘movie buff’. I didn’t have any compunction about downloading “Hobo With a Shotgun” because I was very well aware that delicious gore wouldn’t find a theatrical release in this part of the world.

· If you really respect movies, start from Buster Keaton’s silent cinema. Then graduate to Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, early Woody Allen, and latter Spielberg and so on. All these movies are available for downloading and you are very much justified to download these flicks. I don’t really give two monkeys about the sanitised world cinema that UTV and NDTV proffer to show in their channels. Imagine watching ‘Irreversible’ without that underground rape scene and that’s how badly they mangle movies with aesthetic sex scenes (or gratuitous for that matter) and justified swearing.

· By the way, never ever download the camera prints. Always go for the dvdrips that are available 90 days after the movie’s release.

· If downloading music is really a crime, Steve Jobs should have been Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s fellow inmate at Rikers Island. The iTunes service has already hijacked the concept of album and peddles singles to anyone willing to pay anything as low as a half-quid. Anyway, it’s an old saw that bands don’t earn money anymore from CD sales but it’s the live concerts that brings bread to their table. That means I’m exonerated, right?

· I’ll also propose institution of a system of fines to anyone found downloading downright garbag-ish sitcoms like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, et al. Star World anyway plays these shows round-the-clock, if you have such free time to expend. Instead download The Killing or Wire or Breaking Bad (PS: I refuse to believe the daft argument that one man’s Grisham is another man’s Shakespeare). What more, none of these shows are broadcast in India.

· Now the above ‘rules’ might not apply to students who depend on their parents for their daily expenses, right? That’s wrong with a capital W. If they can find enough money to buy Blackberry to frantically fiddle with the trackball and BBM sweet nothings or if they can throw flashy birthday parties at one of those over-priced fast food joints, I’m sure they can spend Rs 200 on something as rewarding as watching a movie in a dark starkly dark room where the only light is a beam from the projector. Anyway, if they are really interested in cinema, there are at least half-a dozen movie clubs that show amazing movies pro bono.

Do remember to abide by these rules and I’ll be more than happy to welcome you into this digital Ku Klux Klan. Feel free to add more ‘rules’.


At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can i copy the picture above?


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