Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Tale of 2 Film Buffs

I love movies and watch them often. I have a friend, we'll call her Pear, who also loves movies. We sometimes watch the movies we get with each other, sometimes not. Neither of us has an extensive DVD or, god forbid, VHS collection. We watch so many, that it would be ridiculous to purchase every movie we want to see. Rent? Oh no, no. Pear, as far as I know, has not rented a movie in what may be years. I will occasionally rent one, but it is usually if options are limited. No, Pear and I watch all of our movies for free, essentially.

The fact that my font name is Bloated Nemesis and this is a blog, you could probably make an assumption that I download movies from the log cabin. Well, you would be partially correct, son. That used to be the way to watch movies in the Bauman Manor living room. Downloading has a couple of significant draw backs. The most relevant to this post is the concept that the downloader now has a copy of it. They can spread this copy around as if it is their own. The downloader can become a distributor. Though, I really have no problem with that, I hear there are some rich, fat, selfish dudes in Hollywood who seem pissed about that possibility.

No, the preferred way to view flicks in the Bauman Manor is streaming. It is easy. It is quick. It isn't always reliable. However, it is beautiful. After I watched Bad Lieutenent last week, I could not distribute it to others. I can point someone towards to the site I watched it with, but that is about it. Essentially, it is being broadcast using the log cabin. Now granted, if we applied FCC laws to the peeps who are broadcasting it, they would be shut down.

Pretend it is 1945, and we all love radio. I'm scrolling through the stations and I stumble upon a station I have never heard before. It turns out some rogue electronics nerds with resources set up a tower and started broadcasting with no FCC authorization. Well, those rogue nerds would get in trouble when they were caught. However, those of us who listened to the station would not have legal problems.

So, one of our two film buffs uses log cabin streaming. Well, what does our friend Pear do? She goes to the library. You know, the public library, or that big ass building downtown that has all of the books and homeless people. Ring a bell? Pear watches a lot of movies, all for free. (Well, I suppose technically tax dollars factor in it, but we are working on the individual consumer level right now.) That is completely legal. Shit, you are considered a "good citizen" if you use libraries. Well, it is a slight surprise to some people that libraries often have movies. Lots of them. Good ones, too. Often, many of the same ones you can get from the log cabin. When Pear gets movies from the library, she does not get to keep them. There is a limited time period in which that movie is "hers."

So, in recap. Pear and I both watch a lot of movies. We watch them for free. We have a huge selection to choose from. We have a limited time period in which the movie is "ours." Shit, libraries and streaming both have an unreliability to them. (Even if Pear knows the library has a movie, they may not have it available at that time. When I stream, I often run into server problems or bad copies.) Seems like borrowing media from a library and streaming off of the log cabin are pretty comparable to me.

So, I was just wondering, if the log cabin is the future of information dissemination, and libraries are the past, why is there not a similar legal option on the log cabin to libraries?

Oh yeah, I remember. The log cabin is a new frontier, much like America was up until 100 years ago. The corporations are trying to make the log cabin completely profit driven, and they want to squash anything that is more utopian than them.

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