Lying, Theiving Christians!

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.

I suspect that there are some who still do not see the sin.  I’ll try to make it clearer. The content providers state that use of their service constitutes agreement with the terms of service. (Some actually say something to the effect of “If you don’t agree to these terms, do not use the service.”)  Occasionally, like with iTunes, some content providers actually request that you tick a box to indicate that you agree to be bound by the terms of service. So, when I use these service, tacitly agreeing to the terms of use, without any intention of abiding by them, I am essentially lying. It’s like telling my children that I’m going to take them to the pool when I get home from work knowing full well that I’m going to purposefully come home late and then use that as an excuse not to do what I said I would do. It’s lying, and for a while now I’ve been lying. So, I’m going to stop. From now on, I will not be using my VPN to access content from hulu and the BBC.

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.

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1 Comment

Filed under Reflection

One response to “Lying, Theiving Christians!

  1. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them.
    Acts 4:32-34

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