I know plenty. They’re brothers and sisters who download movies from the internet from pirate websites or through services like bit torrent. I’m not sure what they’re thinking. Perhaps they think that the services are legal. Maybe they think that media companies are rich enough and that it’s okay to deprive them of revenue. Maybe they think that the copyright laws are unjust and so they’re not obligated to obey them. Maybe they think that living in another country where copyright is not enforced makes it okay for them to access these movies. Whatever they’re thinking, they’re wrong…and so am I.
No, I don’t download movies from pirate sites. I use a virtual private network in order to access hulu and the BBC to view their content. What’s wrong with that? Both of these services restricted their use to only those located in the US and the UK respectively. It’s stated clearly in their terms of service that users agree not to access content from outside of these countries. Yes, I actually read the terms of service…eventually.
But I want to! This isn’t an easy decision. I want to continue watching specific programs. I want to enjoy special holiday shows that aren’t available to me outside of my home country. I want the option of watching programs when I want to and not just when they’re broadcasted. I want all of this, but the fact of the matter is that I don’t have a right to it. I certainly have the means of obtaining it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s my right to have it. Besides, as much as I want access to the content at hulu and the BBC, I want my integrity more. I want to be like Jesus…even when I don’t really want to be like Jesus. So, to paraphrase Paul; it’s (past) time for me to put off lying and act truthfully on the internet.
But, why now? Why this attack of conscience (or to put it more evangelically; why has the Holy Spirit convicted me now)? Because I have a good wife who, after several weeks of wrestling with the issue, raised it again last night and I simply couldn’t ingore the inconsistency of my behavior any longer.