It’s 2016 and pirating media is an increasingly jerk-ish move
By Sharon Miki, Columnist
I’ll admit it: there was once a time that I thrilled at the ease that came with downloading songs, movies, and TV shows for “free.” As a child of the ’90s, I remember having to go to the store and wait in line and pay hard-earned money if I wanted access to a CD or DVD, so when it all-of-the-sudden because so easy—just a few clicks!—to instantly access whatever creative work that crossed my mind, I didn’t hesitate. It took the same amount of mouse work to download a movie illegally as it did to buy it on iTunes for $9.99, so I often took the easy way out.
But, lately, things have started to change. I literally don’t know how or where to pirate anything anymore, because I haven’t done it in years.
I’d like to think that this leap to the legal side is grounded in some burgeoning maturity or moral rightness (and, maybe that’s part of it. Like, at least six-or-seven per cent of it). Actually, though? Our current media landscape has evolved to make it so simple and affordable to pay for content that it’s weird not to.
Subscription streaming services like Netflix, Shomi, CraveTV, Apple Music, Spotify, and more start at less than $10 a month, and provide access to more current music, television, and movies than you could possibly ever peruse. If you want a single-access option for a specific title that’s not available as part of your streaming bundles, you can buy or rent media on iTunes or Amazon. It’s totally possible to access all-you-can-consume media for less than the price of a CD (does anyone still buy CDs?) each month. It’s so easy, and so (relatively) cheap.
But why, some may argue, should I pay even $10 or $20 a month to entertain myself, when I could just download it for free? It’s true that, in Canada, it is very unlikely that illegally downloading media would ever result in more than a warning letter from your service provider. However, just because you may never be caught doesn’t mean that you should deny the creators of the media you love of financial support. Just because your girlfriend may never catch you cheating on her, should you still be trolling for randos at the Roxy? In either case, you might get away with it, but there’s really no need for you to risk moral corruption (or, at the very least, a lingering tingle of personal dishonesty) for a few bucks or a quick fuck, respectively.
It’s time to sail away from the Pirate Bay—if entertainment is a priority in your life, make it a part of your budget.