...And this is why I pirate my tv shows
We bought a house. (yay us!) The owner, when showing us around, apologetically told us there is no TV aerial. Neither of us cared. For years we haven't watched any free to air tv. My time is valuable enough that I'd rather pay for the DVD set, and watch tv when it's convenient to me. No adverts, and when I have an evening off I can watch four episodes, then go two or three weeks without watching anything. Then pass on the DVDs to my friends, and borrow theirs. The industry is still getting money from me (probably more money, now) and the good shows are being rewarded, instead of the prime-time-shows that happen to be on.
It's a good theory. Except when it doesn't work. Not watching TV, I don't know what the good shows are. Having handed over hundred(s) of dollars for a series or two, and found them to be utter crap, I can be a bit gun-shy about giving new shows a try. That's where the internet comes in. Despite being Australian, I tend to like british shows, so I occasionally browse through the BBC website, and read about whatever is showing over there, then use good old bittorrent. If the show is good, available here, and reasonably priced, I'll happily put down my money for season 2. My girlfriend likes having "complete sets" so usually buys season 1 as well... which sits in plastic wrap on the shelf.
Hmm, still a good theory... but I said there are times it doesn't work, didn't I? Well... it bugs me when I put a disk in, then walk to the kitchen to get myself food. Eat the food. Wander back in. And about that time the menu is appearing. I don't want to sit through their "don't pirate movies" spiel. All that does is makes me think "if this was a pirated DVD, I'd already be watching the show". I don't want the unskippable menus. I don't want to watch the advert for the stargate computer game on *every single disk* as I'm watching the series. Sheesh! Show it to me on disk 1, then give me a free pass for the rest! - so, by doing the right thing and handing over my money, I am being *inconvenienced*! Why? I could sit at my computer, schedule the season worth of episodes to download. Sure, it takes a few days, but I can queue up enough of what I want to watch, and I go weeks between watching anything. In terms of effort and inconvenience, downloading my tv and movies is pretty close to zero. It's a lot less effort than going out to the shops to buy the dvd, and that's before I even consider the cost. Then you add the forced adverts on the disks that I've already paid for. Oh. And that's assuming that it's even been released here in Australia. I've spent weeks asking different stores if they have a particular show, asking if they can order it in, until I got fed up, downloaded it, and started watching that evening.
So it comes to a very simple choice for me. Do I want to pay my money for inconvenience, with the (small) moral benefit of feeling like I'm supporting the industry and the shows I like? Or do I want to get on with whatever I want to do, and have the shows appear there, with little to no effort on my part, and no annoying adverts?
Every time I hand over my money I feel *bad* about it. And I'm reminded of that, every time I sit there trying to skip to the starting menu. Before worrying about money from adverts, try making the things that we pay for *at least as convenient as what we can get for free!* - threatening jail doesn't help. Be positive. Let me pay to download my dvd, if I don't want to go to the shops. Let me *choose* if I want to watch the adverts on the dvd, or put them after the show. Or at least let me skip them if I hit the button. Let me skip to the starting menu unless there's a *very* good reason why I need to see it. Get the DVDs into the shops *before* they are aired on tv. Basically, give me the convenience that I have when I download an avi. I'll pay my money, if you do that. I have no objection to paying for what I get, I only have an objection to being "punished" or inconvenienced when I do the right thing, and pay.