Magazine topic: 

Pirated films: is it really worth it?

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I saw “Monsters Inc.” in the cinema when it came out and loved it.  I was desperate to see the prequel, “Monsters University” but, when it was in the cinema, I was getting ready to leave for Colombia and did not have the time.  My disappointment did not last long, however, as last week I settled down to watch it online.  It turns out, though, that my disappointment was to resurface very quickly.

Here in Latin America, there are pirated versions of everything you could possibly imagine – you can find pirated films, music, clothes, and even books.  I had never really been against pirated versions of films.  In fact I never really had an opinion on the issue.  Now, though, the problem that I have with pirated films is not a moral or legal or copyright one – it is simply a question of quality.

Watching a film on a computer is never the best option – the big screen at the cinema or an HD television will always give you better quality – but watching this pirated film was truly awful:  the picture was fuzzy; the sound was so bad you couldn’t understand what the characters were saying – or, therefore, the jokes.  I’ve heard stories of pirated versions that have entire scenes missing, and I consequently spent the entire film worrying if this had happened here.  A smaller but ultimately funnier problem was when the people in front of the camera stood up to go to the bathroom.

When talking about pirated films or, particularly, music, people often point out that artists will not be paid a fair wage for their work.  I agree with this wholeheartedly (mind you, I do not always agree that they should be paid so much) but, what worries me more, is that the work of so many artists is spoiled in cheap knock-offs. 

Thousands of hours are spent making films, and the talents of the many artists that help make a film cannot be measured.  Animated films, such as “Monsters University”, have fantastic graphics and the design is wonderful but you would never know this watching a pirated version. The creators might as well have used 1950s black-and-white cameras. 

Pirated films are very easy and very cheap, or free to find, but with such low quality, it seems that what you save in money, you lose in enjoyment.

Language level: 

What do you think about pirated films? Do you agree with Steve? 


Khaleesi's picture
Khaleesi 20 May, 2014 - 15:22

I honestly think pirated movies are amazing.
I live in a city where there are only a few CD shops. And I'm not sure if they even sell the original discs (They do look like that), so that is out of question. There are also very cheap discs (an euro or two) that you can buy at random places. We've always bought those (since i can remember) and if it's not a fraud, they've got awesome quality.

For the past three years I've been downloading movies online. It's amazing what you can find if you know where to search. There are different types of files, qualities, sources etc. And then there's another thing people can't seem to realise - If a movie is new, then you have to wait for the DVD to come out if you want good quality. Otherwise it's just filmed with a camcorder. (Also make sure you have fast internet.)

If you want to watch a dubbed movie and you can't find it, you just mash the audio track (in your language) with the video.

You find a good quality movie, and you want to watch it on TV? Even that can be done. You can burn the file on a disc (But then your file must have less than 4.7 GB) or connect your computer to a TV. (In my opinion, a way better solution. Looks wonderful if you've got a strong laptop, a good TV and a HD movie.) Or the movie can be converted and played on a smartphone.

In the end, It all comes down to knowledge and preference. Once you've learned, you'll be unstoppable!
Arr mateys!

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Khaleesi's picture
Khaleesi 20 May, 2014 - 14:48

If you know how and where to download it, then yes. VERY worth it. You can just connect your computer via a HDMI cable or something, and voila! Better and FREE! Afterwards, if you don't like a movie you simply delete it. Or you can keep it. No wasted money. (And you have to watch out for files that are tracked.)

So, in the end, it just depends on your knowledge.

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Fatime143's picture
Fatime143 7 February, 2014 - 11:30

I dont watch pirated films.I think piracy is most rampant in China and India because these are developing countries with a large population.

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MALINE's picture
MALINE 24 December, 2013 - 17:34

I think this is such a good subject,it has its pros and cons.
-You can watch it with all your family at your house for a low price.
-You can buy snacks to watch it.
-It´s cheap.
-You can find a wide range of movies.
-Sometimes the pirated version is realesed before the original.
-You can find the movies on every corner.
-The low quality (but some movies actually are clearly).
*I think sometimes the companies give a copy of their own movies to be sell as pirated movies,they earn a lot of oney with pirated versions,I can´t find another reason why some movies are just as good as the originals.
Finally,I think it is up to you whether you buy them or not.

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Harabeli Supersweet's picture
Harabeli Supersweet 4 October, 2013 - 18:23

I sometimes watch pirated films, not because I want to save money, but most of the movies that I want to watch are not transmited on TV or cinema in my country. And I can't find the original DVDs too, so I buy the pirated ones for a really low price. I would like to have the original DVDs of my favourite movies, but here it's not even illegal to trade pirated DVDs. Anyway, I think that we should appriciate the hard work and the hours that hundreds of people have spent to make a movie.

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