So here’s the thing. I download torrents. I mean, I’m pretty sure that everybody has done this at some point but after reading a comment thread the other day where people were basically condeming every person that has ever downloaded a torrent straight to the 11th ring of Hell (the one where you are forced to listed to that horrible Friday song on repeat at full volume FOR ETERNITY) I wanted to say something. Problem is, I can’t remember where I saw it so instead I’m going to justify myself to all of you who probably do it too. Because I’m pretty sure most of my readers are soleless geeks.
The main point that people were making is the fact that you are “pulling money out of the pockets” that create the content. Now, they were specifically mentioning actors and I was like yeah, because poor Charlie Sheen was only making 1.5 million dollars per episode. I bet he is really feelin’ it in the pocket book. Poor guy…
Granted they don’t all make that much but even those cute little brats from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody make $20,000 each per episode. So at 28 eisoded in the second season they each earned $560,000. This doesn’t include endorsement deals, books, ETC!
And don’t even get me started on what movie stars make. It’s obscene. Seriously.
ANYWAY! I’m not as concerened about the actors as I am about all “the little people” that work on set, catering, wardrobe, you get the idea. I do think that THEY are the ones that people should be more concerned about.
Lets veer off that tangent and back to the topic.
My main arguement is this: I DO pay for all these shows. We pay for cable, including HBO and all that jazz. We pay for movies that we really love (plus the outrageous ticket prices to see them in the theatres usually once a week) and know we will watch over and over, pay for Netflix, pay for Hulu+ we pay and pay and pay. And it’s awesome that most major networks offer some kind of online viewing option and that’s great if you happen to have an internet connection available. But what if you don’t?
Once you remove the internet equation your choices become limited. You can rent Movies from iTunes for $5.00 each or you can pay $3.00 PER TV EPISODE to buy them. Or you can pay for the DVD or Bluray and hope it comes with a digital copy (again, we do this with movies we love) but other than that, on a phone or tablet you really don’t have any other options.
So I download them.
Honestly, it seems really silly to pay $5.00 to iTunes JUST to watch something on the go. Especially when the same movie is available from RedBox for $1.00 to watch at home. The pricing is ridiculous. If you want me to pay for it don’t try to stab me in the pocketbook with a dull knife in the process.
If there was a service out there that let me download a season of a show for $10.00 or LESS I’d consider it but even that is pushing it. $50.00+ is STUPID. BE REALISTIC.
Just for the record, I ONLY download TV and Movies. I got a Nook for Mother’s Day and I’ve paid for every single book I’ve read. I just can’t get behind NOT paying at LEAST once for something. With TV shows and movies, I’ve either paid via cable subscription or in a theater so I don’t feel bad not paying a SECOND time. Same thing applies to music. I buy all of it.
So what do you think? Do you break the bank just to catch up on your favorite TV show? What do you think would be a “fair” price to rent movies or TV shows to watch on a mobile devise?
10 thoughts on “My Case for Torrents.”
Oh my gosh you are so right. So many more people would probably actually pay for this media if it was affordable and they would make SO much more money from it. I wish they had the freaking brains to actually see this.
Right now we are poor. We have no TV and no cable and no subscription to netflix or hulu+ (heck, we can’t even get netflix or hulu in NZ). We have the internet and to top that, we have a damn cap each month. We get 60 gigs every freaking month. Yeah, it’s a lot but for a couple nerds like us, we’ll use it… if you catch my drift. 😉
I don’t feel guilty about torrents at all. I’m not incredibly savvy on the industry but, at least for the film industry, I’ve read that the amount they get from internet-based viewers is such a small percentage anyway. (Wasn’t that a big part of the Writers’ Strike a few years ago? “New media” residuals?)
You’re so right about the cost of internet-based media. My TiVO will sometimes recommend a show that isn’t currently airing episodes and one of the options is to buy through Amazon.com… the prices (if I remember) are similar to iTunes and I’m sorry but $3 or $4 for ONE episode is a bit steep!
We subscribe to cable (and fancy HD cable at that!), we go see movies in theater that we MUST see, and we buy DVDs of movies that we love, to include the super fancy special editions that include the most mundane deleted scenes. I buy books brand new from authors I love, which often means the hardcover editions, and I’ll buy copies of books that I think I should have in my personal library.
No guilt here!
I look at torrents like this:
I have to have been willing to pay for it, and instead be torrenting it to be stealing from them. If I am torrenting it, I’m not willing to pay for it, therefore I’m not stealing anything. If I lost the ability to torrent, I wouldn’t run out and spend $50 on that blu-ray, so they didn’t lose anything from me.
I torrent books all the time. However, all the books I torrent I also own in paperback thanks to my husbands huge collection. So they aren’t losing me as a customer. We’ve already paid for the book, I just want it on my kindle rather then book form.
Same goes with movies and TV. Regular TV shows air for free on network TV. If I missed an episode, I’m going to torrent it. We also pay for Netflix, satellite, HBO, etc. If I miss something, I’m going to torrent it, I ALREADY paid for it.
Thing is… The things we “acquire” are largely things that are NOT available. For instance, We just caught up on Glee season 1 on Netflix. With Hulu Plus, you can catch up on the FIRST two episodes of Season 2, and then there are 18 whole episodes missing. There is nowhere to get the season on DVD yet.
This is dumb.
What do they expect people to do?
That said, I don’t do torrents. Mostly because I’m lazy and I could care less about watching every episode of something. That’s a nice perk. I have never watched shows “in order” and don’t need to start now.
I’ve done torrents. Everyone has in one time or another. But, with the economy, and rising prices, who can blame us? I don’t see what the problem is if you pay for cable, and for streaming the content. Heck, I’d be flattered if I were on TV, and people were downloading my episodes because they enjoyed them *that* much, and had to snatch it for their viewing pleasures.
I guess I’m going to hell…
We use torrents nightly for TV shows. Even with multiple DVR’s in our house, we just can’t record all the shows we all enjoy.
I have specific shows that my husband and kids don’t like and I REALLY don’t care to watch another episode of The Clone Wars or Generator Rex or Pawn Stars lol.
So the shows I can’t record (because of time conflicts) I download the torrent.
We spend about $100 a month for our television service and I don’t feel guilty. I think iTunes WAY overcharges for an episode that is aired on BASIC tv (NBC, ABC, CBS shows). I feel it’s ok for iTunes to charge for paid channels that you would find on cable or satellite. Perhaps $0.50-0.99 for other shows because they are converting it to a specific format.
I think even for pay sites it’s silly! With HBOGo you can watch ANY episode of ANY HBO show EVER for FREE with your paid cable subscription. I think Stars just launched a similar platform. It’s how I watched the entire last season of Entourage because it conflicted with another TV show I wanted to watch so I’d catch it on my iPhone in the morning as I got ready for work.
I agree about iTunes. It’s RIDICULOUS what they charge for a single episode of TV. When I first saw that I was like YEEEEAAAAAAH….
I have no qualms about downloading torrents. I feel like media in our country is grossly inflated, with the exception being books, maybe I’m biased but I’ve always felt they were fairly priced. As well, the technology keeps changing. Andrew and I have an entire entertainment center of soon to be defunct CDs and DVDs. They expect us to pay all over again to upgrade to Blu-Ray?
I torrent movies, shows and video games. If I really like them I’ll go out and buy an actual physical copy, especially with video games. I think most people who think downloading torrents is the evil to end all evil have probably illegally downloaded music.
I *have* done torrents in the past. I no longer do because our cable company turns off your internet until you call them and wait for a tech to come out and make sure that a) you do not have whatever it was that was supposedly downloaded on your computer and b) that you do not have a torrent downloading program on your computer. Yes, our cable company tracks the files we download – they’ll turn it off for a single torrent, but you can download 300 MP3 files from websites with names like MP3 Raid and they don’t care. Go figure.
I have no problem with downloading a show or two, because eventually I know that I *will* buy the series on DVD or Blu-Ray to have for my very own.
Music, not tv, but still. No. I don’t feel bad about taking cents from an artist. If I like them, I will buy a shirt or a concert ticket- something the artist will receive a more substantial cut from. I am also seriously bothered by the fact that the only people that seem butthurt by digital piracy are the ones who make shit loads, anyway.