Article > Downloading Is Stealing
Description :: Lies, obfuscation, and a deliberate disrespect for parallelism in analogy
Moviegoers recently have been treated to a more proactive marketing campaign by the Motion Picture Association of America. Now every time they go see a theatrical release, they are reminded that downloading movies is stealing. If you haven't been blessed with this unique viewing experience, it goes something like this:

you wouldn't steal a car
you wouldn't steal a handbag
you wouldn't steal a television
you wouldn't steal a DVD
downloading pirated films is stealing
stealing is against the law

(with appropriate video footage for each act)

I think it's interesting that the MPAA--who would like very much for you to believe that you don't own the rights to do anything with a movie you bought, other than to watch it exactly as they provided/intended--are going the route that they are. They're implying that stuffing a DVD under your jacket and walking out of the store with it is the same as downloading a copy of the same movie. Just in case this argument doesn't seem incongruent to you, let me outline some reasons that it is:
So how is downloading like stealing, when downloaded files are lesser quality, sans extra features, lacking compatibility with consumer products (and home theater setups), require additional time to acquire and additional hard drive (but no physical) space to store--and most importantly--when downloading doesn't directly translate into lost sales like theft does? It doesn't. It doesn't add up.

** There are copies of entire DVDs available for download. However, they are huge in comparison to MPEG-4 and SVCD copies, and consequently are far less common (available for far fewer movies), and less popular. They aren't generally considered practical for file trading as they take too long to get and, as they are often available by BitTorrent, sources for them are often shut down before users get a complete copy of anything. They're large enough that they don't generally fit on writeable DVDs, which means they must be stored on and viewed from one's hard drive, and few people have the kind of hard drive space necessary to have such a collection. These aren't, presently, really a threat to the MPAA in any significant way.