Cat (willowisp) wrote,

  • Music:

Am I An Evil Hard-Bitten Criminal Scum?

For the poll I'm interested in the moral implications rather than in whether one should trust someone who would pirate games/music/videos in the first place.

Buying pirated work is:

Always wrong.
Never wrong.
Best decided on a case-by-case basis.
Other (please elaborate in comments).

If you do not consider it a absolute, what conditions might affect your evaluation?

The work in question is not available legally.
The company which owns the work has stated it will never be available legally.
The company does not plan to release the work until later and the buyer wants it now.
The work is not available in the buyer's regional encoding.
The company which owns the work is no longer in business.
The buyer believes the company which owns the work is charging too much.
The buyer believes the comapny which owns the work somehow cheated the artist/programmer/etc.
The buyer refuses to support the company which owns the piece for moral reasons (sweatshop labor, supporting/opposing a cause, etc).
The buyer intends, in good faith, to purchase a legal copy if/when it becomes available.
Other (please elaborate in comments).

There was a TV show in the '90s which I enjoyed immensely. I was in a long-distance relationship with callicrates, and knowing I could see this show every Sunday was what kept me going in between visits. Like all good things it came to an end, and the Major Studio (TM) which produced it seems intent upon pretending it never existed. Then again, it seemed as if they planned on doing it with several of their Sunday shows, but have since released two of the series on DVD.

Tonight I found a box set of all two seasons on a site and was overjoyed, but as I read the site I got the idea that it might not be under license by the Big Studio (TM). Andy agrees; what tipped us both off is that they are not regionally encoding the DVDs. Right off the bat I know a few things:

  1. These people may not have the material in question and may just laugh all the way to the ID theft club with my credit card number.
  2. If the videos are not commercial-free, uncut, and high-definition, as they promise, I will have no legal recourse since I could be nailed for buying pirated goods.
  3. Their purchase record would have to be turned over to the government (presumably with proper paperwork, but under this administration I wouldn't count on it) in a criminal case.
  4. Big Studio (TM) could and probably would try to take it out of my hide if they found out I'd bought a copy (I will note that given how hard Big Studio (TM) seems to be trying to disassociate itself from the show, this doesn't worry me as much as if this was their flagship money-maker).

I went to the Big Studio (TM) website (which still refuses to acknowledge their long-gone Sunday lineup. The two exceptions are the two shows released on DVD, and even then I could only find mention of those two shows by searching the DVD shop specifically) as well as the IMDB. There seems to be absolutely no indication they will ever release the show; even Amazon doesn't have the "Vote for this so we can tell them to make it" option.

I may buy the pirated copy, but I do have nagging doubts about the morality of it all. Or, to put it another way, I'm not the biggest fan of the RIAA or of Big Studio (TM), and I don't see the people who actually created/contributed to the show as being hurt by this. While my decision as to whether to buy it probably won't be influenced by the poll answers, I am a Cat and therefore my curiosity has to kill me sometime.

I welcome comments, especially if the answers offered in the poll are not nuanced enough to cover your feelings on piracy and such.
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