It took a month for the winner of the Academy Award’s Best Movie category The Hurt Locker to appear on New Zealand screens. It will be many more months DVDs are on sale and perhaps years before we can legally purchase the movie online and DRM-free. Rather than satisfying demand for the movie it was delayed and missed the hype of the Oscars. Will illegal downloads of The Hurt Locker be counted and should we respect them when they’re not even selling a movie?
If you buy a DVD exactly are you buying? Should owning a movie mean that you have a license to access it on any device, or should you be forced to buy it on DVD, then again for your iPod? The New York Times looks at the issue of ownership and how conventional rights are taken away when you buy books online: “I bought an e-reader for travel and was eager to begin “Under the Dome,” the new Stephen King novel. Unfortunately, the electronic version was not yet available. The publisher apparently withheld it to encourage people to buy the more expensive hardcover. So I did, all 1,074 pages, more than three and a half pounds. Then I found a pirated version online, downloaded it to my e-reader and took it on my trip. I generally disapprove of illegal downloads, but wasn’t this O.K.?“