Once in a while someone comes along and makes a passionate argument justifying that they have to illegally download content because it is the only way they can get it. Except that very often, it isn’t. They provide a false argument where they don’t want to pay for the way they could get it, because it is slightly more expensive than they want it. Or, it comes to them in a method that is not the medium they would prefer it be delivered to them.
So, they push the “bad behavior” off of themselves and on to the very entity that is providing the content that they claim to love and desire so desperately they have to steal to obtain it. This is bullshit, plain and simple.
Giving the consumer what they want is great, and obviously the key to any great business. But it only works for rational demands.
After that point a company simply can’t grant everyone’s greatest wishes. Its a business, it costs money. Shows cost money to make, and they have to make money back. Many businesses have determined that certain methods of delivery, like over cable distribution systems where the overhead, distribution, and customer service is handled instead of an expense.
There are lots of things I want that I can’t have because I lack the resources like a Viking range, a BMW X5 and washboard abs. Doesn’t mean I’m allowed to go out and steal them. Same goes for music, movies and video games. Just because I want the content and it’s convenient to steal doesn’t mean I should.
There’s right, and there’s wrong. Stealing stuff is just plain wrong. We learn this as children, yet somehow we make elaborate excuses for it as we get older, like “Well, I’m just copying bits. I’m not really stealing.” Or “If it weren’t so hard for me to get legitimately, I wouldn’t have to steal it instead.”
When the studios make it hard for you to have content you want, you should just live without it, or reward other content providers who make it easier for you to do business with them.
Consumers have to stop expecting to have everyone kiss their ass just because they want something. This is the warped, misguided reason why “Six Strikes” policies are created to begin with.
Certainly, there can be arguments for better methods. At some point if someone provides a product closer to what customers want, then they deserve to win, but I would argue that if no one is coming in to serve the demand, it is not sustainable. If it is sustainable, someone will come along and take away their customers. That is how the free market works. Players adapt or die.
But the sense of entitlement to product is just staggering. As Andy Ihnatko put it:
The world does not OWE you Season 1 of “Game Of Thrones” in the form you want it at the moment you want it at the price you want to pay for it. If it’s not available under 100% your terms, you have the free-and-clear option of not having it.
It has even gotten to the point where when a company does ship something that is available anywhere you want it, for the lowest possible cost, at any time, as much as you want – people still complain that there are credits. That’s right. God forbid we acknowledge the people took time to make the product you are marathon watching because its-just-that-good to devote 13 straight hours to over a weekend.
I love this argument – “Give us what we want, when we want it, how we want it, and for the price we’re willing to pay for it and we’ll happily hand over our money for it.”
This doesn’t sound ”comically selfish” – it is selfish. First, the problem was not being able to get the content we wanted when we wanted it. Then, came the laments about pricing. How dare seasons of television cost anything more than [INSERT ARBITRARY NUMBER I REMOVED FROM MY RECTUM]!
Now, people are getting their panties in a twist over having to sit through opening credits? Where does it end? At what point does this blatant selfishness turn into, “I hate this actor/these mushy love scenes/this director. If you remove all of that, I’ll be beating down your door to give you money, then complaining some more.”