Downloading jail time: should online users fear the internet?

Jail Time

You are watching your favorite show on Netflix, enjoying the final episode of the season when a lead weight drops in your stomach: the next season is not available. You search frantically for the next season, looking in the shadiest corners of the internet in hopes that you can find a streaming video of the next season. You finally come to a downloadable copy – virus free – only to realize that downloading this copy is illegal!

A conscionable person would just wait for the season to be available on Netflix. You on the other hand want to see what happens to Dexter Morgan. Illegal downloading has been an issue for several years and it seems to be not only getting worse but easier. Recently however, a report on Mashable had announced that a new law in Japan is enforcing the fining and jailing of illegal downloaders. In theory, any content that is downloaded illegally, including your coveted YouTube videos, will be punishable by law.

Sound familiar?

Not too long ago, SOPA and PIPA were moments from becoming a reality in our own country. Users of the internet would be underground hiding from Judge Dredd in order to watch their favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother without buying the season box set. Where is the line drawn though?

We all want our freedom to watch whatever we want but, for some ungodly reason, people do not want to pay the money for DVDs or iTunes downloads. I don’t agree with the censorship of the Internet but should there be a stronger arm to hold down the law? Online marketing companies were concerned for their own hides when censorship was imminent but I think we missed the picture. Sharing is good but keeping it for your own selfish viewing is not. Pretty obvious I think.

With more and more people streaming and feeding the Spotify, Netflix and Hulu engines, is illegal downloading even necessary? I don’t k now if I am like anyone else on the planet but I can always wait for the next season to come out on Netflix or I can rent it from RedBox. I don’t think fearing the Internet is necessary but users should respect the content of others. I think throwing people in jail is more of a fear factor rather than seeking justice and if that is what it takes to prevent people from downloading Twilight movies then so be it.

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Jail Time” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Written by Jim Vacey

Jim Vacey is the Assistant Marketing Director for Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor NY. Jim is a graduate from Dowling College with a BA in English and History and looks to pursue an MBA in Creative Writing. Jim is now the proud father of his first child, Harley Quinn Vacey.
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