So yet another week has flown by and I find myself increasingly having a very healthy appreciation for reporters, freelance writers and reviewers who seem to be able to churn out article after article at what can only be described as a feverish pitch. Thankfully I am a CEO and not a writer (let’s be honest. if you have read some of my earlier blog posts you will undoubtedly agree!). However the challenge to maintain my weekly pace, I worry out about writing something that simply disengages my audience or loses relevancy over time.
As I scoured the web for breaking news or morally appropriate material, I stumbled across the landmark decision made in an Australian court regarding iiNet and 5,000 Australian pirates who, it is alleged, illegally downloaded the “Dallas Buyers Club”. Personally, if you are going to get caught, I would have chosen a better movie. Yes it had its strong points but not in my top 10 (don’t argue, people, this is not a movie review blog!). It is a landmark decision as it has the potential to throw the case out if iiNet doesn’t comply with the requests made.
Ok, so why such a big deal? Well, for starters, illegal downloading just got a whole lot more interesting for people who have never gone there. Importantly it creates further debate about what we as a society see as reasonable to spend our money on. Have we reached a point in society where after seeing a movie once at the cinema we expect to see it for free every time thereafter? If you applied that thinking further, does that mean we only pay for a meal once if we choose to go back to the same restaurant and eat the same dish again? Ok, so maybe not entirely the same as the key difference here is technology and its enablement. Over the years we have graduated from the big screen being the only place to see your film, to using VHS (and Betamax for a brief period) that allowed us to watch our favourite movie at home – without the ads. DVDs and blue-ray were somewhat shorter lived. And now with Netflix and iTunes, we stream movies and shows straight into our TV. Is it therefore not logical to deduce that, as a consumer, we assume that the right to question why we should pay at all is the natural order of evolution?
I am certainly not advocating for piracy. However I ask the question: is piracy or free downloading just the inevitable next step? My main concern is that by downloading (as with Netflix) people can see the selections you have made. I swear the “My Little Ponies Adventure” movie was for my children!