Pirated films: is it really worth it?
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.