School Of Life Advice Day 23 Pirating Movies: Is It Okay?

My eldest son is a very honest person, the kind of person who returns cash he’s found on the floor in the mall, but he downloads movies off the Internet. He justifies it by saying most are ones he owns already (but in a different format), or that he’s already seen it in the theatre. Sometimes the films he downloads are just not available to purchase. He does go out to the movies tons, and buys lots of films on DVD, so he definitely supports the industry. In fact, he’s such a buff that he says he wants to work the business when he’s older. I don’t want to deny him the opportunity to see some of these films which might help him develop or even get into film school, but I’m afraid he might get into trouble. Should I make him stop? — REEL TROUBLE
My Answer:
What if it was his OWN movie being downloaded? The term for swiping other’s people’s hard work is piracy. If your son doesn’t get arrested, and/or fined for it – ( people do all the time and it’s a felony which means you can’t travel anywhere to do any filming after your prison term) – if somehow, he gets a movie of his own made, then he will face seeing HIS movie pirated and having all the money he spent making it, just blowing in the wind. It’s that old, ‘Do Unto Others,’ come ’round again. Some call it ‘Karma.’ I’d call it, ‘Don’t.’
If you don’t know someone who’s been imprisoned or fined, its just because you don’t have a wide enough acquaintance with the world of film buffs. Not a lot of us do. Pirating is definitely a felony and they’re getting tougher about it all the time. Which makes sense considering the billion buck industry at stake.
But just as a creative person who hopes someday to pay the rent, stealing other people’s stuff, even if it just came out of their brains, is a real downer. Do your own stuff, admire what other people create but leave it on the shelf. Pirating movies ups the five finger discount to double digets. I don’t even want to see this stuff if someone else has done the downloading. If you admire the film work of others, pay your respects in cash.

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