Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stop with the downloads of full episodes

Some people have told me I really need to stay out of what other people do. For most part, I’ll agree. And I don’t really meddle in other people’s business. I only concern myself when it might have some sort of affect on me.

Case in point: websites that knowingly post links to websites that provide downloads of music, movies and television shows. In most cases, doing such a thing is illegal and if anything, will get you into a world of hurt. And it’ll affect other webmasters of fan websites.

Over the last several months, there is not a day that goes by when I don’t get an “alert” announcing that a new episode is available for download. Are you kidding me? Are these people this brain dead to think that they won’t get caught?

Seriously folks, I know that at one time or another, we’ve all engaged in a little bit of mischief online. When you want that episode that you missed and it’s not offered online legally, you scour the Internet looking for such things.

The reality is nowadays that studios, music labels, networks and the like actively pursue those who “steal.” Call me an alarmist, I’m just looking out for you. Telling you: stay away from those websites that give you free music or movies. They’re evil, I tell you.

“But Jenn, you offer video clips on website,” says the peanut gallery. Yes, I do. And yes, that is wrong. However, the difference between what I do and what other folks do, is that I don’t post the full episode. I’m skirting the line, maybe even jumping over it, but I don’t jump into the abyss. I’m careful. And if they want me remove, I will. Though, I won’t be quit about it. But I’ll comply with the request.

So, how do you know the place you’re downloading from is legit? If it ain’t Netflix or Amazon (concerning Xena episodes) then it’s more than likely (more likely that not) illegal and you need to stay away.

And if you don’t have the DVDs? Check eBay or buy them I realize that costs money. But it’s a cheaper alternative then having to pay a $5,000 fine and sitting in jail. The DVDs for Xena and Hercules are getting rarer and rarer to find because they’re out of print from Anchor Bay (er, Starz Home Entertainment). You better get them now while you can.

With the internet, most network websites now provide the episodes of your favorite shows free of charge for viewing or you can purchase them iTunes or Amazon’s Unbox for a cool $1.99. So it’s $2 and some change after tax. So what? At least your legal.

So my charge to you folks is that if you think it’s a cool idea to offer full episodes for free, you better think again. Big brother is watching you. And he will get you. Eventually.

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