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Safe and Sound

Pirated Content: How it Can Hurt You and Your Community

Pirated Content

Psssst. Looking for a cheap copy of Iron Man II? How about a download of the latest Harry Potter on the same day it’s premiering? Enjoy big savings for you, the thrill of seeing it before your friends and no long lines at the theater. Besides, no one really gets hurt, right?

The Cost of Piracy

Wrong. In 2010, Hollywood told the press that illegal movie downloads cost the U.S. economy more than $20 billion annually in loss of business, jobs, wages and taxes. Think of the hundreds of people who work on a film – from the director to the skilled laborers who build the sets – and how they’re not receiving a full return for their work because of pirating.

There’s also the danger of importing viruses, malware, trojan horses and other destructive and intrusive programs. Pirated content can come from anywhere, and the seller’s intent may be more than just getting a few bucks for an illegally copied movie or song. Also, you may not get what you thought you had purchased, or the pirated item may be of terrible quality. You don’t have a legal leg to stand on in trying to get your money back.

Last and most important, people who deal or buy pirated content can face serious legal consequences. In 2008, the Federal Government greatly increased the civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement. This was done partly in response to the almost $250 billion in annual losses that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims is lost to intellectual copyright theft.

Alternatives to Pirated Content

Instead of taking part in an activity that could harm your computer and possibly get you in trouble with the law, consider the many legal alternatives to getting the movies and TV programs you want.

Your cable provider
All the cable companies offer movie services – for TV and online viewing. With Cox Advanced TV service, you get On DEMAND for free. That means access to hundreds of movie titles in the comfort of your home. Many of the new releases often premiere the same day they’re available on DVD and Blu-ray, and in some cases, the day of their theater release. On DEMAND lets you back up, fast forward and pause if you want to make popcorn. For more information on Cox Advanced TV and On DEMAND, go here.

Through Cox Movie Pak, you can watch and stream movies with EpixHD.com and Vutopia.com. Both online services offer hundreds of recent releases as well as old favorites that can be enjoyed anytime you want from any broadband connection. With the EpixHD.com service, you can invite up to four friends to watch the movie with you from their own computers. To find out more about Cox Movie Pak and EpixHD.com and Vutopia.com, go here.

Legal Online Movie Sites
These sites offer thousands of movie titles, many of them new movies that just came out on DVD and Blu-ray, and lots of favorites. This is an excellent option if you have High Speed Internet service. Several of these sites either send you the movie as a download or let you stream it. Some of the better-known movie sites include Netflix, Apple- iTunes, CinemaNow and Amazon Unbox. Just about all of them will charge for their service, either on a per-movie basis or through a membership fee.

Online DVD/Blu-ray sales and rentals
You can easily and legally purchase or rent new DVD and Blu-ray titles online. Blockbuster and Netflix are just two of many companies where you can buy or rent movies and have them mailed to your home.

Video Stores
Yep, many are still in business and will stock all new releases as soon as they’re available.  The independent stores, however, may be a better choice for older or indie films.

Go to the Movies
Get your coat, call a friend and enjoy movies the way they’re meant to be seen: on the big screen in a surround sound setting with a hundred or so other people who love going to the movies. The latest releases will be at your nearest theater complex, and you can keep an eye out for indies and older titles at the independent theaters.

 
 
 
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