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One day we may all be downloading films.

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Posted 30th March 2011 at 05:57 PM by keirarts

Ok, first and formost I do not believe that film piracy is right, not when decent quality versions of films are available legally. Ok now thats out the way an admission....

onece upon a time I used to buy pirated movies. Not the dodgy cam versions of big screen multiplex fodder though, mainly cult horror. Back before dvd, in the golden age of VHS there were few ways to get decent cult movies. The main and most legitimate way was to run the gauntlet of customs and excise with your tapes from either europe of america. With european releses they were not always guranteed to be in english, or if they were they would often have burned on subtitles, I still remember seeing evil dead uncut for the first time with dutch subs across the bottom of the screen! American tapes were not always gurenteed to be top qualitty either and you had to be certain your vhs player would run them. Laserdisc was about, but there was no way I could afford it so I was stuck with vhs. For older titles car boots were always good fun, it was rare finding anything on the dpp list of nasties but I discovered some gems like the VTC release of scaremaker with Hal holbrook, currently out on dvd stateside under the tilte girls night out (tough to track down these days) and the excellent mutations with donald pleasence, now out on dvd as the freakmaker, (also becoming rare)

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but then as fun as it was tracking down rare films it sure was a lot of footwork and finding something was never a guarentee.

Then there was the offchance something would slip by uncut, or turn up on tv more uncut than the vhs, but again never a guarentee.
I ended up buying pirated tapes. Some would be hissy 3rd or 4th generation copies with awful sound and picture quality, but when one particular guy was about he'd transfer me stuff off laserdisc, excellent quality and 100% uncut.

Now as I said, I dont believe in piracy, and since the dawn of dvd when uncut goodies became availible thanks to softening of the bbfc's stance combined with the availability of multi-region capeable dvd players has ment i've avoided piracy for a quite a while and hope to continue doing so. Unfortunately the technology that finally made state censorship irrelevant (the intenet) has brought new forms of copyright theft, in the form of torrent sites and has raised a lot more issues for the industry. Its not all bad i suppose, certain torrent sites do host titles long since deleted, and mean someone keen on seeing certain films no longer needs to pay 50-200 quid for a dvd just because its rare. This is as much a fault with the publisher for not keeping the title on the shelves as it is for the guy at home trying to save a few quid, one of the reasons nikko mastorakis has kept the infamous nasty island of death re-released for so long is because of the daft prices the vhs was getting on ebay.
Still theft is theft, but i'd say its a problem the industry needs to tackle creatively by looking at new ways of distributing movies.

Take steam for example, steam offers a way for developers to cut out all the pesky middlemen and offer games direct to the customer without the need for packaging or transportation, and its meant that many of our aussie chums have been able to keep playing the games the notoriously conservative government has banned. The main problem however is that it hasn't seen a drop in prices, as some games can be bought cheaper in hard copy from play or amazon, which isn't on really when you consider how much cash this medium is saving. I would suspect that steams pricing has as much to do with lack of competiton more than anything and once other companies get in on the act things might change.

nontheless its probably worth looking at for films....

imagine a film club, paid for by fans like you and me, run like a torrent site, where all the latest cult masterpieces were available to download at the click of a button for a monthly fee.... chuck in forums for the fans, the option to download covers or even make your own and post them up for other customers to use could add a whole lot of fun for film fans everywhere. Fans could even provide their own bonus features, blu-ray lets you do fan commentary's so why not extend that to downloads! There would be major issues however, escpecially isp's of less liberal companies blocking the sites for moral reasons, the issue of territorial right for film and consideration for the poor sods like me living in an area where the internet speeds resemble some kind of donkey derby over quicksand. And lets not forget the rights of the creators while were at it. Eradicate these problems however and we could have a whole new era of filmgoing, make film a more interactive medium and share our passions for whatever films we like.

As a film fan the idea intrigues me, as someone who works in retail however I like it somewhat less.

And this is the main issue.

Shops are already under a lot of pressure from the internet and supermarkets over selling regular dvd's, cut out the middleman and you put a lot of people (me included) out of work. This is the downside to the new online world we have coming, there WILL be casualities, and watch the tax bills rise to pay for all those poor sods stuck on the dole.

Still sat least we'll have more time to watch films!
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  1. Old Comment
    Kyle's Avatar
    great blog! i personally don't have a problem with downloading films and i do a lot of it but i also buy a lot of films too.

    some films are either impossible to find on dvd or cost way too much money, i own about 1500 original dvd's and if it wasn't for torrents i wouldn't have gone out and spent my cash on most of my collection after seeing a downloaded avi first.

    the idea would be great but a lot of people love the dvd covers and wouldn't give them up i think, cuz a print your own version just isn't the same.

    really enjoyed reading this blog, thanks
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 30th March 2011 at 06:12 PM by Kyle Kyle is offline
  2. Old Comment
    keirarts's Avatar
    I agree, if a film is not made legitimately available then what do people expect! Thats why i'm surprised more enterprising companies dont spot the high price tag discs and re-issue them immediately, because clearly theirs a demand.

    As for the covers issue, it wouldent be to hard to attach a copy of an authentic cover to the file to print out.

    I for one would love the origional pre-cert vipco zombie flesh-eaters cover!
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 31st March 2011 at 08:29 AM by keirarts keirarts is offline
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