Digital Video Availability

This has been something on my mind since the SOPA/PIPA debacle a few weeks ago.

This past weekend, I wanted to watch “Inception”. However, I couldn’t find any legal way to watch it. The same could be said for “How to Train Your Pet Dragon”, a movie I’ve wanted to rewatch for some time now. It just baffles me — at one point these movies were available online, but then someone decided to take them away. Amazon’s Instant Video glumly shows the following:

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that video just isn’t readily available online. In my opinion, this lack of availability is what leads people to pirating. I personally don’t pirate because I like to support artists. Like many in the internet-savvy generation, I would gladly give money to consume the content I want (music, TV, movies, etc). But sometimes the content isn’t legally available. In my case, I just sigh and watch something else. For many others, the path of least resistance are torrents.

I think that this recent the Oatmeal comic illustrates this perspective quite well (click the image to view the readable original):

What’s funny is that a few years ago the music industry had a similar struggle with digital content (remember Napster, Kazaa, and Bearshare?). Since then, things have changed for the better and I have yet to find an album that I cannot buy on iTunes or Amazon. But for whatever reason, TV and movies have been slow on the uptake.

In the meantime, I’ll be patiently waiting for my chance to reconsider if that top actually falls over or stays standing.

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