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Stream PirateBay movies directly from CLI
249 points by guilhermepontes on April 4, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 204 comments

This looks like a way to break BitTorrent, as other posters have outlined.

Streaming in general (apart from via a local server) frustrates me. The entire idea is simply a way of relinquishing control to an external body. Hard drives are not that expensive, and patience is a virtue. I'm very happy that youtube-dl exists, for example, because otherwise when Google disappears I'll lose a lot of useful material I have access to at the moment.

Regardless - I'm surprised to see this here. Sci-Hub is one thing - it's an educational resource.

Mainstream media... I just gave it up rather than pirating it. I'm not 18 any more - my friends don't really care about the latest Marvel flick. The movie companies have lost even my mindshare now. Books, online reading material, educational videos, all free, all a better use of my time, all less likely to leave me wanting a fast car like James Bond.

> Streaming in general (apart from via a local server) frustrates me. The entire idea is simply a way of relinquishing control to an external body.

Not said enough; thank you.

There was outrage (rightfully so) over DRM on videos and music, because it handcuffed the user, and it prevented legitimate and legal activities like moving music to a new device.

The streaming situation is far more restrictive, but nobody seems to mind---not only do you have digital handcuffs on the stream itself, you have ephemeral media. And most people don't consider it as a problem, because the issues they traditionally had with DRM---such as copying to another device---no longer manifest; it's available _everywhere_. But when you stop paying for your account, or when the service disappears, you no longer have access to your media; you never did to begin with.

This comment is irrelevant to the topic at hand. Not only is this app (or any other torrent streaming app, including uTorrent and qBittorrent and PopcornTime) not have any DRM, you can use the fully downloaded file after you stream it. [1]

For non-torrent sources, streaming is not tied to DRM either. Most youtube videos are not flash based, but streamed MP4 files that aren't DRM'd in any way; you can get the MP4 file if you want. Service disruption is a problem, but there is always a trade off- and honestly, I'm more likely to lose a hard drive full of video files than Youtube is likely to disappear in the next 10 years.

[1] http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5Q24UE0ptGU/TZiOmTxoHJI/AAAAAAAAAI... Here's a qBittorrent image for an example.

You (and I) are certainly more likely to lose a hard drive before YouTube disappears, but it's likely that at least a few of the videos I have here have already been taken down.

Not to mention, if my hard drives and backups fail, I have bigger problems than my video hoard!

Additionally, I can bookmark _and_ download; that would take what, 0.5 seconds longer? :)

It's relevant in the sense that I'm stating that streaming makes the users worse off than DRM; the reason for the comparison wasn't clear.

Well, the streaming is combined with DRM that makes obtaining the stream difficult.

Unprotected streams are not an issue.

Streaming doesn't break bittorrent that easily. It's not optimal for the health of a torrent cloud, but practice has shown that it's not a major issue.

Plenty of torrent streaming apps, most notably Popcorn Time (http://popcorntime.sh and source code at https://github.com/popcorn-official/popcorn-desktop) has existed for a long time now.

As self-righteous as it often sounds, this type of fight against consumerism really is admirable. That said, I think in way these types of tools actually help people to move in the direction that you're going (or have gone).

Setting up x y and z streaming servers and downloading 38 movies at a time (because patience is a virtue) so you have a large on-demand catalogue isn't really less consumerist than having tools that are versatile enough to let you sit down and get something on the screen within 30 seconds.

Of course, you can abuse something like this or Popcorn Time to become more of a consumer than ever, but I don't think it's inherent to the tool.

On the topic of the latest Marvel flick, you really should see Deadpool. It's absolutely hysterical!

I wasn't really advocating a huge library either. I think the idea I have is that there's not really a benefit to trying to 'optimize' watching movies.

I guess I see it in the same way as healthy eating, or something. I really bloody like cookies. They're super tasty. If I end up with pack of freshly baked cookies they're gone in a few hours. So why give myself that temptation?

What I actually want is the ability to do it. I think it's good for my mental health to have a treat every now and then, but not have it take over my life. So basically, it should be difficult, but not too difficult.

In a similar vein, downloading a YouTube video before watching it gives me that window of self control before there's more exciting stuff battering me in the face to continue.

I've been using computers and Internet since childhood - I'm not a luddite by any means. But I think it's far too easy nowadays to get caught in bad behaviour patterns because of the instantaneous nature. It takes active effort to digest deep topics.

I don't think I'm a pious enough person to be self righteous! Maybe I'd feel different if I were more financially secure and had more time for pure leisure? I don't know. :)

> because otherwise when Google disappears I'll lose a lot of useful material I have access to at the moment.

Could you explain that ? Why would google disappear ?

Lazy language, perhaps.

Ultimately, I doubt that every piece of media that is currently on YouTube will be available for as long as I need them. That could be a year, or it could be fifty.

For my purposes, if a video gets taken down, it's lost forever, I probably won't be able to find it again.

But 'Guinea Pig Noises Loud Squeaking Sounds.mp4' lives on my hard-drive forever. ;)

I feel the same way about webpages really. wget -> it's mine until my hard-drive and all backups die. bookmark -> it's mine until my hard-drive and all backups die, PLUS the site goes down. Also immutable, which can be a bonus.

But if you didn't contribute to the cost of making those guinea pig noises, however small they may seem, you don't have the right to that access that content infinitely.

If you are interested in my views on copyright infringement, you might find this comment useful (commenting on ad blockers).


It probably makes sense for me to formulate the argument properly and write it up at some point.

In this particular instance - I'm not sure that the amount paid is relevant - the desires of the publishers would be, which doesn't necessarily include payment (otherwise no-one would publish under GPL). It's potentially a violation of the ToS of YouTube - I wouldn't know, I use a commandline tool which bypasses the web interface entirely.

Sorry Google! I'm sure you'll do OK. (Do you have a donation address? :P)

I'm not sure how your view on ad blocking is entitling you to infinite media consumption of IP you didn't contribute to. Advertisers didn't make these hypothetical guinea pig sounds you like, I'm assuming.

And my views personally represent my own, not an organization, which is why I don't hide behind a dinosaur name :)

Sorry, it's the best I can do for now.

We'll have to agree to disagree. :)

Oh come on now, I was hoping you had actually rationalized something that wasn't self serving.

Maybe you should switch to username non-sequitursaurus :)

Who knows. Their point is that they now have control over the content and aren't subject to the whims of an external body. I have felt the pain of this as about 25% (!) of the videos in my youtube favorites list have been removed either by Google or the original uploader over the years.

When the sun expands into a red giant?

I thought about downloading all the youtube videos that I consider have future watching values but then i realised it would take way too much effort and storage space to download and tag/categorise them and that there is no limit to my hoarding tendency.

It's more videos I've already seen.

I find it absurd that I can have a copy of a video in my brain, but potentially not be able to show it to someone else. It feels like an arbitrary limitation on knowledge transfer. If we had brain-computer interfaces I could just push my (analog fuzzy) version out into the screen again!

Tagging and categorization can be fixed later. I generally find grep -i a good enough solution.

Reconstructing videos from memories has already happened (in a sense): http://mashable.com/2011/09/23/scientists-brain-visual-memor...

I'm deeply concerned about popularizing torrent streaming.

A few leechers breaking "rarest-first" might not cause much harm. But if most leechers become streamers, torrents will lose their efficiency in distributing less-popular content.

Transmission implemented a "streaming" feature once, that didn't actually stream. It just stopped fetching pieces "with the same rarity" randomly. They still got too much heat for adding that not very usefull feature. And they reverted the commits soon after.

Former LimeWire engineer here. I implemented randomized chunk selection for swarmed downloads in LimeWire.

I think the proper swarmed streaming solution is to make the percentage chance of requesting the rarest chunk be a smooth function of the number of replicas of the rarest chunk. If the rarest chunk has only one source, the probability should be 1.0. If there are multiple chunks that are all the most rare, you probably want to randomly select which chunk to request next, with an approximately exponential distribution rather than uniform distribution. Y probability of selecting the first chunk, Y^2 for the second, Y^3 for the third, etc. You'd want to run some simulations to fine-tune the probability function and also the Y percentage.

What I did for LimeWire was (1) if the MIME type wasn't on a streamable whitelist, download all chunks in randomized order. (2) if the file was a streming type and less than 10% complete, start downloading the available chunk closest to the front of the file that isn't currently in progress (3) if the file is a streamable type and 10% to N% complete, randomly select either in-order or randomized selection with probability X. (4) beyond N% complete, always use random chunk selection. I'm pretty sure N was 50 and nearly certain X was 0.5. I originally proposed making X a smooth function of the % downloaded instead of 0, 0.5. 1.0 stair-steps, but the lead developer strongly preferred stair-steps.

The random selection algorithm actually tried to keep the number of ranges of bytes (extents) below 5. So even after 50% downloaded, you still have a 25% chance of getting in-order downloading.

The reason I used randomization instead of rarest-first was that it was my first change to LimeWire, and this was the least invasive change to make. At that time, LimeWire had a global list of verified downloaded chunks and a global list of in-progress chunks, but no global counter for number of replicas.

Oh, and if the user was idle more than something like 5, 15, or 30 minutes, LimeWire would switch to random chunk requests regardless of MIME type, assuming the user didn't need a streaming download. I hope full-screen media players prevented the user from being counted as idle.

I vaguely seem to remember WMV and ASF also needing some information from footers in the file, and therefor also prioritizing the last MB of the file.

This was all implemented using the Strategy object oriented design pattern, to make it easier to play around with many alternatives and make specialized strategies for specific MIME types.

> Former LimeWire engineer here

Wow that's an entity I haven't heard in a long time. It would be super interesting to hear more about the engineering behind the software, do you have any blogposts anywhere?

No blog entries specifically about LimeWire, but I do have a few observations that maybe I'll blog about:

    (1) Merkle trees are tough to get right
      (a) Bittorrent's BEP 30 is vulnerable
      (b) A small tweak would have allowed Gnutella's THEX to carry a proof of file length [0]
      (c) Use the Sakura tree construction [0]
      (d) There was an attack against LW where one could respond quickly with a bogus THEX root for a popular SHA-1
      (e) The THEX root should have been the unique identifier in both DHT and query responses
    (2) Using HTTP for data transfer was definitely the right choice
      (a) It uses X-alts and X-nalts "experimental" HTTP headers for swarm control
      (b) I prototyped an Apache plugin to allow it to transparently participate in Gnutella swarms
      (c) HTTP/2.0 would be ideal now
    (3) Gnutella uses query broadcast
      (a) exponential fan-out means most traffic is in the last hop
      (b) if the fanout is 19:1, 95% of traffic is the last hop
      (c) LW used Bloom Filters to often skip the last hop
      (d) We should have used mulitple hash functions in the Bloom filter
      (e) Adding new hash functions is backward-compatible, at the cost of increased query traffic during transition
    (4) LW connection handshake includes the 32-bit serial number of the latest XML version message
      (a) The message is signed using DSA
      (b) Newly signed XML messages propagate to 95% of the network within 60 seconds
      (c) We accidentally DDoSed our servers by having everyone come for updates at the same time
      (d) So we added user alert time randomization parameters in the XML message
      (e) There was no mechanism to roll over or expand version message serial numbers.
      (f) We could have locked ourselves out of asking users to upgrade by signing an INT_MAX serial XML message.
    (4) We wrote a minimal C++ agent capable of downloading the latest free LW version from LW nodes
      (a) SHA-1 of the free installer is part of the signed XML version message above
      (b) SHA-1 was checked before running the full installer, preventing malware injection
      (c) It was great for saving bandwidth and reducing legacy support
    (5) I misplaced a paren in LimeWire QueryKey crypto code (later fixed)
      (a) QueryKeys prevent turning the LW network into a DDoS botnet
      (b) I knew the code wasn't behaving quite right
      (c) I convinced myself that my reasoning was wrong and the code must be right
    (6) Random seeks are tough on equipment
      (a) Apache would kernel-panic OSX on random HTTP range requests (ca 2006)
      (b) Anecdotally, random block download order wasn't great for hard drive life
      (c) Random download order code tried to minimize number of file extents
         (i) Saves bandwidth in describing what you have
         (ii) Might be better for hard drive life 
[0] http://kmagsoftware.blogspot.hk/2016/02/on-content-addressed...

This could be true, however I think that if all this torrent streaming sticks to same behavior such as that of XBMC torrent [1] (i.e. streaming for the whole duration of the movie) the swarm will end up stronger, not weaker.

[1] https://github.com/steeve/xbmctorrent/blob/e6bcb1037668959e1...

Suppose there is only one seeder and 2-3 leechers. All leechers managed to get 50+%. Now, if the seeder disappears, the leechers should be able to finish the download from each other. If all initial leechers are streamers, that download will never finish for them or anyone else.

Supposedly long seed intervals will not help the swarm in that case.

Streaming isn't going to work there anyway.

In reality, there are 100+ seeders and if you had a constant supply of streamers who spend half their time seeding (assuming they download the whole movie by the 50% mark), then you have a very very healthy swarm.

Unfortunately in many juristictions seeding is copyright infringement and leeching is not.

Seeding by default sadly gets a lot of newbs into trouble - especially as publicising IP addresses are part of the protocol.

Porn blackmail companies and MPAA agents know that seeders are low hanging fruit.

Similarly Limewire and ilk using the downloads folder as a default share folder is useful for the health of the network but this has led many to be unwitting uploaders - which is what they got done for.

Jammie Thomas is a case in point, newb music fan (or her kids I recall) but the sharing by default is what she was convicted of - for $30,000,000.

No one has ever been convicted of downloading alone - they don't bother trying.

So seeding by default can be very cruel - sadly.

Even with that caveat, those like Jammie, brought up on Sesame Street were taught to share and don't know how severe tne penalties can be.

That sharing is or can be wrong is now taught at a nursery level.

> Unfortunately in many juristictions seeding is copyright infringement and leeching is not.

At least in Germany, both leeching and seeding are copyright infringements as soon as you upload any data back into the swarm. Since leeching also does this (though not exclusively), it is also copyright infringement. Pure downloading is not, though, which is why streaming websites (just downloading, no uploads) are fairly popular here.

Yes by leech only I meant downloading alone.

Well clarified thanks.

This is why bittorrent should have included passwords. If everybody uses the same password (e.g., "cyberpunk"), then everybody could download each other's files, while the liability would lie purely with the leecher (because he broke into someone else's machine by guessing the password).

> That sharing is or can be wrong is now taught at a nursery level.

Really? This is yet another step closer to "The Right to Read". Such a waste. We should end scarcity, not create it artificially.

Where are you getting 30 million from? Her initial fine was $220k, a later appeal upped it to 1.2 mil, then back to $54k, and the final ruling was $220k. (Source: wikipedia.)

Which is still a crazy result, but it helps no one to make up numbers that are several orders of magnitude higher than the real ones.

Yes of course, thanks for the correction - I'd edit but the hour is up - going back over the case, enraging injustice.

The sum you mention was the 1st amount, on appeal this was raised to $1,920,000, then lowered to $54,000, appealed again to $1,500,000, then appealed to $54,000, appealed finally in 2013 to $220,000.

She denied ever using Kazaa and no such files were recovered from her hard drive.

Conviction was on IP address alone from MediaSentry.

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Records,_Inc._v._Tho...

Over six years in court, mess your life up some, threats began in 2005, so 8 years of harrasment over 24 songs.

IMHO the many years she was dragged through the courts already more than sufficient.

Flippin bonkers.

A regular person hit for 30 mm. USA is insane.

> They still got too much heat for adding that not very usefull feature.

I don't get this. It is definitely useful.

I'm not saying don't upload: the client still seeds. It just downloads the contents in order.

It wasn't very useful because it didn't actually force streaming. The "rarest-first" rule was still respected.

It wasn't optimal for the swarm. Yet, the user didn't really get what he/she wanted.

Can the seeders enforce the rarest-first approach giving priority at lechers that ask for the rarest chunks ?

It seems a lot of the magic behind this comes from Peerflix - a node.js library for streaming torrents.

This is mostly a CLI wrapper for searching piratebay, parsing the results, and then streaming using peerflix. https://github.com/mafintosh/peerflix

I'm curious why thepiratebay npm package wasn't used instead: https://github.com/t3chnoboy/thepiratebay

That said, great usage of cheerio for parsing the returned HTML results. I love how it's as simple as running JQuery like commands on the server side.

A lot of credit for most FOSS software is the various libraries and programming languages they are built upon: I don't think you can take anything away from this project because of it. Indeed if you take the time to look into Peerflix's dependencies (https://github.com/mafintosh/peerflix/blob/master/package.js...) you'll see that it, too, is based upon airplay-js, parse-torrent, torrent-stream, amongst others.

We're at a rather convenient point in time where building a program/app is an exercise in coming up with an idea, researching the alternative components it can be built out of and then spending the time getting them to play nicely together. I wouldn't underestimate the amount of work that entails.

Great point. This is definitely nice work, and it looks like a great usage of existing tools. Did not intend to come off disregarding the effort.

>I'm curious why thepiratebay npm package wasn't used instead

They didn't want their work broken due to a random unpublish?

Given that the dependencies are: "babel-core": "^6.7.4", "babel-polyfill": "^6.7.4", "chalk": "^1.1.3", "cheerio": "^0.20.0", "es6-promise": "^3.1.2", "inquirer": "^0.12.0", "isomorphic-fetch": "^2.2.1", "jsonfile": "^2.2.3", "lodash": "^4.7.0", "meow": "^3.7.0", "ora": "^0.2.1", "peerflix": "^0.32.4"

That's probably not the reason.

it already exists in the form of torrentflix, a project i've contributed to.

you can also stream from more than just TPB

When are we as a community going to stop cheekily "tolerating" piracy and finally stand up against the unjust and immoral lie that is the concept of intellectual property rights?

When you can tell me who owns the number two, I can tell you who owns a song.

It's not just "I want movies without paying" posturing. Culture is reuse and remixing. Half of internet culture these days comes from V, from Tyler Durden, from The Matrix, from the Terminator. Should response GIFs and image macros be illegal?

Literally ALL use of every kind is fair use.

Creators should get paid, yes, but that does not warrant the current farce in any way whatsoever. The "legal solutions" foisted upon us under the current model (eg Spotify) see creators getting paid approximately the same amounts as they did under the Napster setup.

I hate to admit it, but rms was right about the whole mess, and it was much, much bigger than computer code.

> When are we as a community going to stop cheekily "tolerating" piracy and finally stand up against the unjust and immoral lie that is the concept of intellectual property rights?

Probably never, and that's fine. At least not until the avalanche of inevitability gets rolling and then it doesn't matter, and that's fine too. That's just how real social change happens. First you get the majority on board, then the rest is just bookkeeping.

Nobody "as a community" stopped "cheekily tolerating" casual cannabis use and "finally stood up", but tolerance got so ubiquitous that suddenly the "squares" were out of touch and suddenly has to "stand up" for what was already the law -- not the other way around.

I'm pretty sure "cheekily tolerating" homosexuality also cumulatively did more for gay rights than "standing up" did.

A lot of people did hard time and worse to change cannabis laws and anti-gay discrimination, voting rights, &c.

Governments change laws when there is political capital in it.

I think the real change will come with the increasing use of crowdfunding.

The problem with copyright is that it relies on artists being paid after the fact for their work, which is now impossible to enforce.

But if most artists are being paid up front for their work, they'll have much less incentive to care about copyright. Indeed, many will actively encourage it to create buzz for their next project.

It should be noted that rms has some misgivings about simply reducing or eliminating copyright: "How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software" (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pirate-party.en.html)

That's because GPL relies on copyright.

If they also passed a law mandating software to be delivered with source code I suppose RMS wouldn't mind :)

> Creators should get paid, yes, but that does not warrant the current farce in any way whatsoever.

That's a huge issue that you're just sweeping under the rug.

Behind all creative material is someone's time, which is the most valuable thing any of us have.

The 'current farce' is really only benefiting the licensing agencies and content publishing corporations - not the creatives.

While I agree that IP (patents and copyrights) are currently a farce, many creatives do make a living using IP frameworks as a backbone. And I think many of these creators view the current farce as better than nothing at all.

Regardless of accuracy, just look at how many creatives are apt to blame piracy for the various media industry declines.

So yes, the question of how a creative type can make a living without an IP framework is huge in these sorts of discussions.

Monopolistic copyright abuse by rights purchasers not necesarily authorial rights are the issue.

The GPL depends on copyright to protect programmers freedoms & the public domain from appropriation.

Is this a technologic or moral problem and can laws solve it ?

Is easy to feel that the issue is artists should be paid, but if one is poor then access to culture and information can be simply unaffordable.

Everyone listens to more music than they can buy. Truefans moreso.

For most artists obscurity is the issue and realistically the big studios/ labels steal more from artists than anyone.

A tricky moral issue that could trivially be solved with strong government and enforced licenses like they did for radio & libraries.

Just like artists get paid when the radio plays a song, it should be the same for sharing, remixing & mashups.

But lobbies legislate these issues, so the monopoly of ludditism prevails.

IMHO false scarcity of knowledge is immoral and unnecessary and if we ever going to get off planet before a meteor hits we must advance beyond the Status Quo.

Why do you hate to admit that rms was right?

I'm aware :] But my question remains.

Because the dangers of information ownership seems to be the single solitary thing the guy has ever been right about, ever, as evidenced in part by that video which I thought sufficed as a standalone answer.

What are good examples of where he's been wrong?

It will probably happen about the same time as opinions are no longer presented as fact.

Github now returns 404 (Not Found) for the linked project.

How do I install it without the project being registered in npm?

Not totally sure what you mean, but you want to install it yourself just clone the repo, `npm install` to get all the dependencies. then, do one of:

1. run `npm link`, which will put pirateflix in your path 2. make src/cli.js executable and run it directly 3. don't make src/cli.js executable, and run it with `node src/cli.js`

For context, the fork linked above references being able to install it using 'npm install pirateflix -g', which does not function due to pirateflix apparently not being registered.


For a news site frequented by software engineers, many of whom receive six figure salaries related to the creation and sale of software, this feels in very bad taste. Movie staff and music artists deserve to have their copyright respected. If you don't like it, just don't watch/listen. It's plainly simple.

Sometimes, we've paid for a movie or TV show and the delivery mechanism is shit. I have absolutely watched content off TPB that I have paid for multiple copies of.

That's a rationalization. You're also supporting others violating copyright when you do this. It's wrong and I think you know that.

Nonsense. If that were true, why am I not also torrenting ebooks, music and video games? Those are all things that I used to torrent, but stopped torrenting when the official delivery mechanisms got good enough for my use cases.

If I was still writing desktop software, I would have no problem with my software being pirated. I'd make it difficult enough for it not be worth the effort for anyone who can afford it, but I know that there's plenty of others who might not be able to afford my software, who are willing to spend the time instead cracking the software. Some kid out there might be building a future career on cracked versions of my software. Ideally they might someday be able to afford it and pay for it. That was certainly the case for me.

With the movie and music industry, they went the other way. They made it difficult to buy their products and a lot easier to pirate. And now they're the ones paying for it.

Although it's nice to hear that you would be ok with the reciprocal in this case, you can't make that decision for everyone. Personally, if I sold consumer desktop software, I'd be disappointed in people who chose to pirate.

Buying movies and music electronically now is far easier than it has ever been. I don't think that's really a valid excuse, but even still, you'd be blaming the industry for a crime you're committing against it. How is that just?

I didn't say it's just. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. People will do unjustified things when they want to and making something difficult to attain is one of the things that leads to piracy[0].

It's like a river: it will take the path of least resistance. I choose to accept that this is inevitable and try to find solutions to control the river by paving paths for it to take, instead of blaming it for doing what it does.

0. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement#Motivat...

>They made it difficult to buy their products and a lot easier to pirate. And now they're the ones paying for it.

Historically, yes, but this has changed, hasn't it?

You can typically purchase or rent a major movie through a variety of streaming-capable channels and mediums. I just rented Room on Google play and streamed to my TV over the weekend. If I bought it, I could download it to my devices for offline viewing.

If you live in the US, then some of the channels are getting close to be more convenient than go to a website designed in early 2000, figure out which link has the content, download a program that handle BitTorrent protocol, install it, wait for the content to download, figure out how to make a player play it, and then watch it.

If you don't live in the US, the typical case is instead to go to the store and look in the bin and hope to find something from two years ago, or go to the cinema and chose one of the 10 shows available this month. The streaming services has something like 1/10 of the lists available in the US, if they offer anything at all.

Yes the industry has started to catch up, but they're still playing games that keeps piracy relevant.

For example, unless I'm not aware, movies that are still in theater or shortly after still are unavailable to stream. Yet they're usually available on torrent sites. Another example is content filtering by region.

if "Movie staff and music artists" feel like they aren't being paid enough, they should lobby the industry and demand more money. Recording artists earn less than 10% of album sales. The industry pays $20 million to have Johnny Moviestar in their movie. But somehow there's not enough for "movie staff" ? That's not a problem attributable to piracy.

Increasingly "the industry" is the technology industry itself. And yes, if you haven't noticed, movie staff and music artists are lobbying the (legitimate) streaming services for better compensation.

That's fine to me, in fact I see it as a good challenge. Ideally, streaming monetization is good enough for content creators to be relatively happy, while simultaneously both preserving the ease of access and wide choice that have made streaming services / tubes popular with consumers, and allowing for a viable business. Perhaps its impossible to completely have it all ways, but if it can be done, it might reduce the influence of the current middleman, the "old media industry", and all of its ills. This to me would be win / win / win.

Unfortunately, the Pirate Bay isn't the way to pursue this. While the Pirate Bay certainly has revenue (via web page advertisements), it certainly doesn't seem to even make a pretense of compensating content creators. That's a no-no in my book.

But this still doesn't justify violating copyright. Think about how you feel when someone violates GPL. How is this any different?

To be honest, I'm not sure that most software developers care much if a student, for example, downloads software and tinkers with it for personal use 'breaking copyright'. In fact many large software companies encourage piracy so that when these kids grow up to work at a company, they'll demand the tools they know already from past piracy.

There's a huge difference between making money off a business model which is based around breaking copyright and breaking it for personal use. Most software folks don't care at all about the second, which is what the article is about, which is why your comments are unconvincing.

There is no business usecase for movies and music (with some small exceptions for ads, but nothing like enterprise software). So, by your criteria, they just shouldn't receive copyright protection because their product targets consumers? How does that make any sense?

Have you ever listened to the radio, gone to a theater, been to a nightclub or music venue, watched a movie on television? Of course there is a business use case for movies and music. A theater or TV station could pirate movies and show them for profit. A nightclub or DJ service or radio station that plays songs is running a business based on that music.

You asked "how would you feel if someone violated the GPL". My answer is that well the GPL can't be violated for personal use so it's not relevant at ALL to this discussion. Another software license? Most SW devs would say "if it's for personal use, who cares?" If software and music/movies are so fundamentally different w.r.t. piracy as you claim (since nobody can have a business based on music or movies? What?), you should have no trouble understanding why it's absurd to try to compare them in order to convince people piracy is bad.

And I never said we should remove copyright for anyone in particular (though perhaps we should remove it altogether -- piracy has a few minimal negative effects, many positive ones, I'm not convinced the cure isn't worse than the disease).

I'm explaining why your analogy is misguided and rhetorically ineffective.

>piracy has a few minimal negative effects, many positive ones

If you really believe that you should read this article by a developer who ran an experiment on pirating his own game [1].

94% of day 1 users had pirated the game and were not contributing to the fixed costs of generating the IP. Not all users were going to pay full price, but the developer could have run discounts later to capture most of those users. This was a DRM-free game with a demo, so there were none of the typical excuses for pirating.


Yes, one time an indie flash game was pirated a lot (for the record I actually bought that game at the time). That's exactly what I meant when I said minimal. It sucks for him, but compare that to the people whose machines were bricked by DRM. Compare that to the people whose lives have been destroyed because they downloaded or their kid/grandmother downloaded an MP3. Consider the damage that's been done to the free and open internet and the consequences if one of the constant attacks on it in defense of copyright like SOPA should succeed. Consider all of the culture that could have been created if it wasn't illegal to use someone else's ideas. Consider what we've lost because wealthy capitalists can own and trade our culture/art/thoughts.

I say they shouldn't receive copyright protection because consumers dont enjoy equal representation in Congressional copyright hearings, such as those for DMCA or the numerous copyright extensions. We simply cannot afford to pay for congressmen to vote for our interests the way the movie, music, and publishing industries can.

And the compromise you're looking for is... that artists receive nothing? What justifies wholesale piracy of their hard work?

Historically GPL is a protest against software copyright, Stallman's shock reaction against companies invoking the concept. It's interesting that it has come full circle and now it is used as argument for respecting software copyrights!

Hmmm. This only includes 344 different dependencies from npm. Not sure why I'm concerned. Is this more dangerous than my webpack build? Probably not but it certainly reminded me that convenience comes at a cost...

This doesn't work for me, because http://thepiratebay.se is hardcoded in the code and that mirror is blocked in my location. I filed an issue.


More concerned about the lack of https. Pirate bay might be legal in your country, but that doesn't mean you want snoopers logging your porn searches.

Or maybe they could use [Node.js core DNS](https://nodejs.org/api/dns.html#dns_dns_setservers_servers) module to resolve the domain, setting something like [censurfridns](http://www.censurfridns.dk/) as a temporary server.

I think this module is very immoral, however, so I'm not going to contribute...

Why do you think it's immoral?

Yea I'm wondering this too.

Now, I know that DNS can be a little bit scary when you dig into the details, and sure, it can be a little verbose, but it's not so bad that it's immoral!

> This doesn't work for me, because http://thepiratebay.se is hardcoded in the code and that mirror is blocked in my location. I filed an issue.

Can't you fix that with an entry in your /etc/hosts file ?

The way piratebay blocks are done round my neck of the woods, it's blocked at the IP layer, not just DNS. Hosts file hackery doesn't help.

That sucks. You need a vpn then.

Looks like the repo has been removed. Can anyone else confirm?

Yeah, looks like he wasn't ready accept PR and issues.

Well, I thought he deleted the repo, cause he didn't like my issue :P

It's gone, link returns 404 with GitHub's "This is not the web page you are looking for."

Search GitHub for clones using "pirateflix" to find the code:


Yep, gone for me too.

Looks like it has been deleted from npm too. Weird.

Yes. Any mirrors?

It's gone

Soon after this got on HN, the source seems to have been taken down?

I 404 both on Github and npm.

This fork is still available: https://github.com/orinocoz/pirateflix

Slightly newer fork here (not mine):


The author deleted the repo.

I know there are a lot of people saying the breaking the rarest first rule will be really bad for swarm health but it seems to me that with the rise of faster connections it seems reasonable that you can stream a torrent, keeping a reasonable buffer of a few blocks and then with any spare bandwidth download the torrent with a standard rarest first strategy and seed whilst doing so.

That said I think purely streaming is bad for torrenting and even though it will happen we should encourage something that is better for maintaining health of swarm.

See my other comment here about how I implemented randomized swarming in LimeWire in a way to still promote the health of the swarm, and suggestions for a smarter way than I implemented in LimeWire.

Even for someone who's interested only in leeching a single streamed movie, if the number of sources for some blocks is only one, it's still in their rational best interest to request those single-source blocks first. Also, if there are multiple blocks with only one source, and they assume there may be another user using the same algorithm, it's in their rational self-interest to download earlier blocks, but not always the next one, under the assumption that another leecher may be grabbing the same block at the same time.

So, you end up with the probability of selecting rarest-first vs. earliest-first as a smooth function of the number of sources for the rarest block, and when picking amongst rarest blocks, using something close to an exponential distribution. The best solution for the health of the network would be selecting uniformly from the rarest chunks, but that discourages people from participating in the swarm. Rational self-interest can lead to a solution that's still better for the collective than a pure earliest-first chunk request strategy. (And yes, in LimeWire, I did implement chunk selection as a Strategy design pattern.)

We were asked to delete this post because it might get someone in trouble. I don't think we should delete an entire ongoing discussion, but we did remove the URL.

Sounds a great deal like peerflix:


Looks like the repository is gone now.

I would like to use this at some point. No need to download movies now . Though I still need music

Hoping someone will help. I'm not an engineer, but I'd like to learn a few things. How would I set this up? Not really that interested in streaming torrents but it looks fairly simple so I figure with a nudge I could figure it out on my own.

I'm not sure about the original link since it 404'd before I could look at it but if it's like the other fork up on here it seems it uses the node package manager. So a simple method would be to install nodejs: https://nodejs.org/en/

This installs npm (node package manager) for you.

Open up any Command prompt or Terminal depends on the OS you're running and I'm sure there are lots of alternatives these are usually just the default installed on every machine.

Run the install command which looks something like "npm install pirateflix -g"

The -g means it installs globally on the machine so you can access it in any directory instead of just one specific folder or location.

Once that's done you can just start off each command with "pirateflix" or "pirateflix --help" to get details of the function. It's documented on the github under Usage and Options. Should be straight forward from here. Hardest part is probably just knowing what npm is.

this repository seems to have been removed...not sure whether by GitHub or the initial author but something happened.

torrentflix can do this and it also stream from more than just TPB, i've contributed to tflix in the past.

Seems like the repo was deleted.

It has been taken down :(

It's difficult to do this on the web: https://github.com/orinocoz/pirateflix

It's down?

the page has just been taken down?


A CLI version of Popcorn Time, published using the real life identity of the author? Brave move.

And using a Hollywood movie as an example? If he wanted to claim "it's just a tool, usable for anything" he should have used something like Big Buck Bunny as the example.

This was just an example to be used by the rightholders of that movie. If you published your own movie, you can substitute the name of your movie in the example. :)

He should probably change the preview image from selecting from which high res stream of inception he wants then.

I dont see how this could be problematic. There is nothing illegal done here.

Reading these comments sounds like people think we're in China.

Next we're going to be arresting people who make knives, because you know, people can use them for illegal activities.

Let's be honest: what percentage of people use this type of video streaming to watch content they have rights to watch and what percentage are using it watch content they don't have rights to watch?

My best guess is that a larger portion of people used Popcorn Time to watch copyrighted materials than people used their knives to injure or kill someone.

I agree that the tools isn't illegal but I think it's fair to be honest about it's most likely purpose.

Exactly. And think about those bastards that provide us with water.

People are drowning every day!! When will this finally stop?

He has a picture, but it's not particularly distinctive, and the name could just be a pseudonym.

They're in the Netherlands so I suppose they're safe(ish?)

I wouldn't count on it. The Netherlands is basically a state of the U.S. As far as I know many of the Popcorn Time authors were Dutch as well and they were threatened into taking it down too.

What a complete bullshit.

So you're saying Wessley is safe? Is that your opinion as a Dutch law expert? Maybe before making such dismissive comments you should consider that maybe Wessley is reading this and forming an opinion on whether this silly little github project will have any significant impact on his life.

Despite what many people associate The Netherlands with, we're not a liberal state. We're a democratic bureaucracy that leans heavily towards pleasing our trade partners and making sure the country is pleasant to live in for our citizens. That means we will extradite hackers, spy on our inner cities with cameras and force our ISP's to keep communication records of everyone.

Every once in a while citizens get pissed off and some policy is reversed or diminished, but usually they don't care enough. I'm not saying Wessley will be fined or worse, but just that should this small app draw the ire from whatever big publisher corporation, he definitely is not 'safe' just from being in The Netherlands.

> The Netherlands is basically a state of the U.S.

^ this is all i ment. I agree that he is not _safe_. But he also does not perse do anything forbidden. I am pretty sure he is aware of the gray zone he is working in.

Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people worldwide have had their lives destroyed by this.

For enjoying art.

The War on the fans is immoral, hateful and wasteful.

Those who enact it have stolen more from artists than anyone.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11420963 and marked it off-topic.

Well considering the guy took down his repo, perhaps it is at the heart of his reasons for writing it and taking it down.

So thread detachment, ok, but it is not off topic IMHO.

Your mod intuition is mighty fine tho', so I'll stop posting this thread and go write a book :)

Hundreds of thousands destroyed? I think you will have to back that up with some evidence.

The evidence is trivially googleable in every country and language.

Most commonly it is lost internet access or fines of only a few thousands.

A few thousand is beyond a lot of people, especially in this endless recession.

It can be confiscation of equipment and has led to loss of employment.

People have been jailed for it, faced years of uncertainty over extradition.

Parents, children, teachers, grandmothers, pretty much everyone knows someone who has had at least some trouble.

That is not to mention the technological stagnation, the denial of the blind the right to convert documents to speech, works unavailable in whole countries, the trumping of fair-use by DRM, the hours lost trying to convert media, the denial of access to publicly funded science.

The invasive anti-privacy laws, the time wasted fighting SOPA, PIPA, the clipper chip, &c.

Those who stood in court up faced legal destruction akin to Jammie Thomas, in every country.

The chilling effect on innovation & technological takeup.

Napster was the killer app that kickstarted broadband adoption in the UK, nevermore.

Kids who love music would get into coding - but music startups, even highly legitimate ones are a total no go - the monopolies are too entrenched and stupid.

New cultural forms, remix and mashup are outlawed - NWA's original wall of sound was a cultural dead end as licensing the thousands of samples is impossible.

A entire new form of black American music outlawed.

The loss of orphaned works and rare episodes.

The prosecution, hounding & subsequent death of Aaron Schwartz.

The harm cause by these monopolies is vast and unnecessary.

It could be solved overnight by a blanket license and collection agencies - just like it was for radio.

You have a lot of assertions here but not many references.

I would love to read a blog post that went into detail about all the claims you've made here.

"For enjoying art?" Enjoying art is not why they've been fined, pirating it is. There's a meaningful distinction there. You're not entitled to anyone's work, and it's not a necessary part of being a functional and happy human being.

Shared culture is what society is.

My argument is there is no need for any of this - it is a legal error.

Simply legislate a compulsory license, media and device taxes already exist. Distribution agencies - already in place for radio and libraries.

The correct test for disruptive technology is substantial non-infringing use.

This war on fans is as unnecessary and ineffective as the drug war - calling it "bucaneering" doesn't make sharing immoral or dumb law effective.

Criminalising what everyone is doing and feels is natural and right is a fail - this is a vice law.

Sharing isn't evil.

Sharing the things you love, knowledge, song, jokes, tales is as old as time and what makes us human.

You're conflating what I'm saying with approval of the actions of the RIAA et al... I'm saying stealing is morally wrong. Feel free to start there.

There are plenty of things to share culturally that don't involve theft. Feel free to visit a library and likely walk away with more personal growth anyway.

>"Criminalising what everyone is doing and feels is natural and right is a fail"

You can't honestly believe this. This is empirically ridiculous.

> No one mentioned stealing.

None of these 3 things are theft:

* Enjoying art / downloading;

* Copyright infringement / publishing unauthorised copies en mass / uploading / seeding or "bucaneering" as you put it;

* Remixing / mashups / fan art / performing & modifing work / covering songs / innovating.

Theft deprives someone of something, you are conflating theft with this discussion - a common weasel word.

> Yes everyone shares all the time it is natural and human and those that don't were brought up wrong.

> I do not think I am entitled to anything, life is struggle, you fight to get things, you fight to keep them but I hate being shut out and I hate to see anyone shut out, especially on grounds of poverty or censorship.

I consider artificial scarcity of knowledge & culture heinious.

I utterly dissaprove of everything the RIAA & MPAA do and lobby for.

I believe copyright maximalism to support an incompetent monopoly is an anti-capitalist protection racket.

They abuse copyright to control access to markets, using their monopolies on distribution to force artists into terrible dictatorial contracts and then withold monies and prevent artists from releasing anything that competes with their chosen anodised 'stars' singing appropriated culture on autotune and force it down eveyones throats.

This was their business model for the entire 20th century, music & film suffered terribly from the 'studio system'. So much garbage on the radio & cinema all the time, independant music & film was marginalised and starved out.

Their iron clad grip on publishing & distribution faltered and culture bloomed despite their luddite ravings.

Now weak politicians are bought to legally preserve an antiquated, immoral business model that now harms everyone and everything & stunted progress in the 21st by over a decade - yes progress happens in spite of them but is quickly criminalised.

I believe the fix is simple, give them a fraction of what they ask for in license fees - they are hopelessly inefficient fat cats monopolists and will adapt or die in a fair non-protectionist market.

Enact compulsory blanket licensing compensated using the existing levels of tax on media.

Just like for radio and libraries.

Everyone can do everything - they get paid by share of the media tax alloted to artists by distribution metrics - pay artists straight - cut out the monopolists monopoly.

The Internet is a machine for efficient copying & dissemination.

It is the Gutenberg press. Liberating cultural dispersion like printing liberated knowledge.

They would survive for ages on license payments - because they own the rights to nearly the entire 20th century of music & film.

Reduce copyright terms to ~25-40 years then it goes to the public domain as originally agreed.

Encourage new art to license under GPL to ensure a rich contempory commons before it reverts to the public domain.

At least break up the monopolies, one of the few useful things govt can do to ensure a free and fair market.

The whole thing could be fixed overnight and with the ensuing efficiency there would be a new rennaisance of culture and learning and innovation.

The Scottish Enlightenment came 20 years after basic education was given to all Scots by the Parish act.

> Before that entitlement to basic education was unthinkable.

Which of course led to Hume & Smith who inspired French Idealism and Benjamin Franklin and threw of the shackles off a religious state & invented Capitalism.

Yes freeing up culture from needless antiquated protectionism would change the world.

That was the way things always were since time immemorial; that is the right way.

Sharing the light does not diminish it.

> Yes, I honestly believe art can change the world for the better - free art, freedom to create, freedom to pursue happiness.

Dislike this kind of story appearing in HN. We're all well educated people with high earning potential who should be capable of buying movies, not using our talent to rip them off.

I'd hate to see HN develop a bad reputation because of stuff like this.

I live in Sweden if you're supposed to wait you'll have to wait several months sometimes extra to purchase content made in the US. Also, historically there is no good way to purchase the content if you do not want to purchase a physical disc in a shop.

Sometimes it's never available, especially english shows that is only broadcasted on english tv channels.

If we are talking about the situation in Sweden, it must also be said that there is a copyright tax on storage media in computers, phones and similar devices. The tax is supposed to be there so authors get paid when people do private copying, but DRM creates a situation where the tax money get stolen and nothing is returned to the tax payer.

When copyright is used as an excuse to steal tax money, its hard to use morality as an argument against non-commercial copyright infringement.

Yes, that is truly disgusting.

This is the organisation he/she is talking about: http://www.copyswede.se/in-english/

Standard arguments against your position:

- Using without paying is immoral, you should just do without.

- Even if it's OK for you to do so, we know that many people will illegally download films they could buy, hence offering these tools is unethical.

- As programmers, we rely on copyright for our income, hence it's unethical to infringe on the copyright of others.

Did I miss any? The feelings of deja vu in these threads are way too strong.

1. No one is caring about morality in the end. I believe many people do not believe illegal copying to be immoral.

2. Yes, are there any data on that these people would ever pay?

3. Yes and like all digital content we have the ability to spread our work across the globe very fast at little to no extra cost. If we limit our work to a certain country we only have ourselves to blame when people are illegally copying it.

Sorry, I wasn't clear: I'm a pirate as well. I was just commenting on how these threads always seem to go through the same motions, and nothing is accomplished, because everyone has already heard the arguments against their position and has found them unconvincing.

Well yeah, but that could be said for every political discussion, yet I see a value in keeping the discussion alive.

Don't get me wrong, I think there's plenty to discuss on this topic, it's just that HN is not a good avenue for it.

First, threads always start as a blank slate, so by the time we get through the obvious arguments on both sides, it has already dropped off the front page and the discussion has died down. The next time, someone will again invariably argue that they can't watch stuff in their country, and someone will reply with one of the arguments I listed.

Secondly, since many people consider this topic poses important moral questions, downvotes will invariably be used to suppress valid but disagreeable opinions, and then we'll have more posts of people justly complaining that they've been unfairly downvoted, plus a few assholes playing victim.

HN is great for most discussions around technical and business matters, particularly regarding new developments; it's pretty shitty for serious discussion around social and political topics.

There's an interesting part in Alasdair MacIntyre's book "After Virtue" on the "interminable nature of contemporary moral discussions."

Distribution of media is not as clearcut and issue as you make it seem. Just a couple complicating factors: there are lots of places where popular media is impossible to access legally due to licensing, and DRM often prevents media shifting, which many believe should be a right if you bought a piece of media.

Also, we are not all "well educated people with high earning potential". Maybe a large majority of us are, but I've seen very interesting posts on HN from people from all walks of life.

If media is popular, everyone is entitled to it?

Piracy will be rampant even if everyone is able to legally download all media.

PS - I am one of those who are not "well educated with high earning potential". Even as a "poor" person, I am unable to morally justify my selfish actions (piracy)...

>> If media is popular, everyone is entitled to it?

This is not a simple question. Access to media is access to culture. And we can't expect people without access to a common culture to participate in our society as equals. That's why we have libraries, museums, arts in public areas; we know that we need to share at least part of our common heritage, or it will stop being our common heritage.

Remember, intelectual property is meant to make creating art profitable enough that we don't stop doing it. It is supposed to protect the consumers, not the creators. Ideas that are not consumed are not a societal good, and we don't make laws to protect them. Of course there should be balance between protections for creators and consumers. If someone thinks the current legislation favours content creators more than it should on this alance, then for that person piracy is probably not morally wrong.

Even as a "poor" person, I am unable to morally justify my selfish actions (piracy)...

That's fine, we have enough seeders.

Are you saying, if something is popular enough it no longer needs moral justification?

Are you saying the opposite? I'm sure a convincing argument could be made for both sides of this question.

After all, is morality not a popular convention?

Nah, I was just making an easy joke.

lol, touché. I think I lost my sense of humor recently. :(


It is not either or.

Yes, Paul Graham has advised not doing music start ups because of the stupidity of the entrenched monopolies.

But making money by forward thinking social change and distruption is at the heart of hnews.

Everyone goes to the movies. All fans spend money on art.

It is well documented that those who spend the most on music also listen to a lot more than strict copyright & DRM allows.

Arguably the problem is not enjoying culture but poorly thought out legislation written by lobbies for monopolies.

Radio play and Libraries both faced the same problem and monopoly lobbying but stronger government then legislated enforced licenses and re-distribution agencies.

To the direct benefit of those monopolies and society.

In fact every new technology is lobbied against. Portrayed as destroying the Music/ Movie industry, yet turns out to be a huge new market when they are dragged kicking and screaming into the present.

The sheet music industry lobbied against records. The record industry lobbied against radio. The film industry lobbied against the VHS market. TV lobbied against cable. Against mp3, against online itself, &c.

Every single time they were wrong about the future of their own industry.

Monopolies are bad for their own markets & society.

These laws are protectionism, the first thing Adam Smith objects to in 'The Wealth of Nations'.

Not everyone who reads hnews is wealthy, many are self-educated precisely because they could hustle access to information.

These monopolies screw over artists more than anyone.

Sure, but then again, I use streaming torrents (via VPN) frequently and it's not to avoid paying for stuff. For various reasons we have a cable TV subscription in our house. Mostly it's because others in the house want cable TV but either way, it's like a $30 addon with internet service so it's relatively cheap and we pay for it.

The down side is that even though I pay for cable TV, I have to use their shitty tuner/DVR and they've all but blocked the use of alternatives. So what I do is run Popcorn Time while connected through a VPN, bookmark all of my favorite shows, and when I want to watch TV, I just go to my favorites and click the latest episode that aired the previous night.

It's seamless, I don't need to worry about their DVR failing to record for some reason I can't troubleshoot (unless you count driving to the cable company during work hours to swap the DVR for another equally shitty DVR), and the interface is much nicer.

And while I'm aware that it's still in violation of copyright law, I don't feel I'm doing anything immoral because I pay for cable TV and could watch the same shows if I happened to be around or awake when they aired.

The really screwy thing here is that I'd gladly pay even more for cable TV if they offered a legit version of this. Nice Netflix-like interface where I can browse titles or go to my favorites and see which episode I left off on. Click any one of them and within a minute it starts streaming in decent 1080p quality and there's no unresponsive 1990's interface to wrestle with.

They could even set it up so you need to log in with your cable service account and all viewers would be "seeds" on the cable company's swarm. Instead I pay $30/yr for a VPN service that provides enough anonymity to avoid lawsuits and threats (even if I wouldn't necessarily count on it for anything truly sensitive) and go the "back channel" route.

While I accept that I'm not owed a better experience and it may come off as entitled, in my case, it's not so much about wanting everything for free as it is about wanting something better and using the available tools to get it.

I dislike this kind of moral point when the alternative only offers the appearance of morality.

> We're all well educated people with high earning potential

I agree we shouldn't be encouraging piracy, but that statement is a huge generalization.

I disagree (particularly about your assumption that "we're all well educated people with high earning potential"), but I'm sorry you're being downvoted.

> We're all well educated people with high earning potential who should be capable of buying movies

That's exactly what I would tell Apple when movies that I want to watch are not available in the German iTunes or just as a dubbed version.

You assume a lot! I've never been to university, and I don't earn a lot of money (actually, none right now as I'm between jobs and haven't looked very hard as I had a major operation).

Even if we are (and we're not), what makes you think we wouldn't/shouldn't want to use our money to try to get rid of intellectual property or fight intellectual property laws instead?

"Getting rid" of intellectual property has the unfortunate side effect of getting rid of the funding for content providers.

The only viable way for me to purchase a large majority of shows my wife and I enjoy watching are to maintain a cable subscription, loaded with channels that I don't care about. I can't justify paying nearly $100 CAD / month.

(We pay for Netflix, Spotify, and have used Google Play to buy episodes of certain shows)

You justify piracy because the legal method (having a cable subscription) is inconvenient?

Some people think about this way too morally - For most of us, morality never enters the equation, I just want to watch something, there's no "justification" it's just "how do I get the content?" in an absolutely utilitarian sense.

Just because someone is unaware of morality does not mean morality ceases to exist...

I guess in the same way folks are uncivil online. The virtual world doesn't seem to have the same emotional force as the real world. So folks lie, cheat and steal without hesitation.

Or as I mentioned in my other post, I actually do pay for cable and I still stream torrents of TV shows because it's the only real alternative to using the cable company tuner/dvr. In my case, the thing I want is a better way to watch the shows I've paid for and since they make it all but impossible to use a better DVR solution, I often just watch via streaming torrents instead.

I agree. I would expect the affluent to have a much more intelligent argument than "well... everyone else pirates (with differing levels of justification) and life goes on".

Piracy is an alternative... not a solution.

what's the alternative if he's looking to stream from cli to vlc?

VLC itself has CLI functionality.

South Park, as always, was spot on with this issue:


Upvoted to combat the lack of caring about honesty. Even if you don't have the money, stealing isn't justified.

I'd pay if they

Try being in not-the-USA and paying for content. Add "Linux" in there and you can forget about it.

So you're saying its up to content makers to support every niche OS, otherwise niche OS users are entitled to steal their work?

I don't know what parent is saying, but my choice of software shouldn't be the concern of content distributors. It's their job to make content available after all. If they don't want my business, I'll take it elsewhere

That's exactly how capitalism should work. But for a moment there it sounded as if you were contemplating piracy, rather than taking your business elsewhere.

Oh make no mistake I am contemplating piracy if only because it's unfair/immoral/irrational (pick your favourite) that the people securing themselves such huge income are the keyholders to almost all legal distribution of media.

We need a Richard Stallman for media.

(edit: added 'legal')

So you steal from people and then claim they're immoral for not giving you their stuff at a price/convenience level of your choosing?

>steal from people Come on, you know it's called copyright infringement. Stop using the wrong word.

No, I choose the content based on it's cost vs value.

Yeah "non-USA" is a "niche".

Read my comment. Niche OS

Thats because all the "DO NOT PIRATE" messages are reserved for the paying customers.

Seems my generalisation was wrong. A shame.

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