A 67-year-old man was sued by the movie industry for his 12 year old grandson’s movie downloads. Apparently, the kid downloaded four movies – three of which they already owned. For this, the movie industry asked for a settlement of four thousand dollars. When the man refused, mainly because he didn’t have four grand, they then sued for $600,000 to make an example of the poor old guy. Personally, I think it is an outrage that legal technicalities would be placed above human beings. Hollywood is always big on raising taxes to support the poor, but download their movies and they’ll take grandpa and grandson out. I know they don’t want people watching their movies for free, I get that, but hopefully reason will prevail in this case and grandpa will be let off the hook. If not, Hollywood has just taken up tactics reminiscent of the Nazi Gestapo.
It has been reported that illegal downloading costs the movie industry an estimated $5.4 billion a year, but I don’t see how. The quality that I’ve seen in the past on movies that my friends downloaded is so bad I really don’t see the point. I have spent a lot of money to have a big screen high definition television set. Why would I download a blurry movie? I mean if you are going to spend the money for a fancy TV, it’s a pretty big waste not to have the store bought high quality DVD of your favorite movie. Most downloaded movies are caught by a camcorder in theatres. So you have to imagine the guy doing the recording is wavering back and forth the whole time. You also have to deal with noises from the audience. If you ask, me it’s too nerve wracking to even sit through that.
As much as I empathize with Hollywood on protecting their turf, attacking their potential customers is not the way to go. Producing great products is the most logical course. Hollywood’s movie box office slump this year is not caused by a bunch of 12 year olds downloading movies on the net. DVD sales, after all, are still very high. People want to watch movies on their big screen TV at home at their leisure. Besides, you pay the same amount to take your family to the movies as you do to buy a DVD you can watch over and over again. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either you sell a product to your audience in the theatres or for their home use. The movie industry can’t expect to have people paying to see all their movies at the theatre and turn around and buy the DVD too, unless the movie they are selling is of superior quality like a “Passion of the Christ”, “Batman Begins”, “Star Wars”, etc. An increasing number of people are not going to rush to the theatre to get the same experience they can get at home.