Internet Piracy

About 10 years ago Napster was all the rage. It was amazing, you could log on and download any song you wanted and with in half an hour you would have that song.

People were filling up their computers with all sorts of pirated material that they never would have thought about buying. In the end Napster got shutdown but not before it spawned a cornucopia of copycats.
You may not remember Napster but chances are if you spend much time on the internet you will have heard of limewire, vuse or pirate bay: all of these programs allowed people to find (and download) illegal versions of material. They are still there and thriving, and the record companies and TV studios are doing their best to come up with ways to track down pirates and shut down the systems that allow this.
The idea that every downloaded song is lost revenue for the record companies is ridiculous. Quite often, the songs that are pirated would never have been purchased – mostly downloaded by those who are tasting material they are not sure if they are willing to spend money on. More often than not, in my opinion, if you were to hear a song you really liked, you are then going to BUY more from that band, the album it was from, or other similar albums.  I will admit that in my past I have pirated music. Those days are well behind me now, as iTunes has made it so easy to find anything I want at the touch of a button and have it downloaded to my computer with in 5 minutes; All with the correct track information, and album artwork. I know it is high quality and will sync with my iPod without any trouble. I believe this is the same for most people. iTunes has made music very easily available and at an appropriate price. You are still paying $10-$15 for an album, but it is cheaper than purchasing the CD and you get it instantly.
I wish this was the case for movies and TV shows. TV shows in particular are my gripe at the moment. I am willing to support the people who produce the content that I enjoy watching. I just wish there was an easy way to do it with out turning to “other means.” Just because I am in Australia there are a lot of shows that are unavailable to me, the lead time between them being aired and appearing on the iTunes store can be a matter of months. These are shows that are available on the American store or streamed on websites for those in particular geographical areas. I know the shows I want to watch, and I would like to watch them as soon as they are available.
The internet has changed the way the world works. We are no longer restricted by the physical barriers and distance that we were. We have access to this material through these websites and peer to peer sharing. So PLEASE, get your act together and allow me to pay you for the material I want to watch. I am more than willing, just make it easy for me and I promise I will never look for you material elsewhere again. 

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Matt Edwards

Matt is a past owner of AussieTheatre, working as digital director from 2011 to 2019. He is also a performer, most recently appeared in the Australian tour of Mamma Mia! and previously in the Australian/NZ tour of CATS and Enda Markey's acclaimed production of Blood Brothers. As well as performing Matt keeps himself busy in the digital side of the arts working with web design agency Emptyhead Digital

Matt Edwards

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