It is so frustrating to have decisions made by people that don't understand how our generation works. I regularly buy DVDs of my favourite films as I appreciate having a copy of the artwork and many of the extras that less commonly make it online (I'm guessing I'm in a minority of those that watched the historical research bit for Girl with a Pearl Earring and re-watch it fairly regularly). And because Keifer deserves perfect quality, I own the entirety of 24 on disc. Yet, I watch Grey's Anatomy as it's aired via a great site that allows my pathetic obsession to flourish and, more importantly, an episode of Most Haunted being on Youtube enabled me to do research for my job.
There is overlap and I spend as much money as I ever did on media. In fact, if I ever get pregnant I shall be asking the father for the entire boxed set of Grey's Anatomy to support me through the sleepless nights. I have also in the past started watching a film online only to confirm it was worthy of a big screen, turned it off and gone out (shamefully it was to see The Ugly Truth because Butler was evidently going to be worthy of larger projection).
Obviously these examples are shallow but they reflect how I and my peers use the internet. Yes I watch stuff for free but I still spend money. I have a vast amount of music on my laptop that I copied from the boyfriend's CD collection but this has fostered a love of his music and the purchasing of gig tickets.
I genuinely don't see myself as a thief. I have never plagiarised and while I regularly quote those that have inspired me I always give accreditation to the best of my knowledge and provide links to the original material (hell, I even link twitter profiles to people I mention). All of the images on my website are my own which means I sooner compromise on quality before integrity. I’m happy to be dismissed but when I write about someone I make reasonable efforts to let them know (it’s the least I can do and to date every single person has said thanks).
I have my ethics and while they may be a little vague in places I have strived to develop them and what really gets my goat is the fact that I am a music and film lover. I LOVED watching Avatar in 3D and equally I loved the small Gun gig I attended at the tail end of last year that introduced me to the incredible and awesome New Device where yes, the boyfriend* bought the latest CDs from both bands while we were there.
I suppose my issue is that when illegal file-sharing gets discussed, I just don’t see how I fit into that. It’s not so much a case that I tick both boxes of “CD/DVD buyer, cinema and gig goer” and “Grey’s Anatomy obsessive” but that they are completely mutual. I like the evolution of the artwork on my Nip/Tuck box sets and like owning them but I still wanted to watch the latest episode online. Just because I watch something online doesn’t mean I don’t buy the DVD and just because I copy music doesn’t mean I don’t buy CDs and gig tickets. I save pictures I like from the net but also buy a lot of artwork. Developing my tastes doesn’t stop an appreciation for a well-framed print. I save pictures and send them to the boyfriend but that is to clarify where we spend our money with regard to art.
Obviously there are abusers of the system and I appreciate a need for legislation but if ever there has been a grey issue rubber stamped in black and white, it is this.
* Just realised that I shout out about everyone but rarely the funniest and most interesting bloke I know online (which is where I met him; the 3D stuff inc. relationship title came much later)