You might wonder what kind of people would spend 3 hours on a Saturday night at a social “event”, trying to make an AppleTV work. But apparently, that’s the result when you get two software developers, a biochemist and a writer in the same room. It was very entertaining, for me, at least.

Being a software developer, I’ll admit I was a bit cocky that I could get the thing to work. I also felt 2D’s assessment that the AppleTV “just doesn’t work” was hogwash. He doesn’t really know how to work things that involve electricity. But Apple got the better of me. Alone, none of us could beat it; together, we conquered the beast in 3 hours. Quite the victory.

At some point, it was indicated that in the same amount of time it took to fix the device, we could have just pirated the movie. You might well wonder why there isn’t a really good service, one as good as the pirate bay, but where you can pay a small fee instead. The truth is, the reason this doesn’t exist is greed. The RIAA and MPAA are some of the biggest crooks in the world, and they hate you. Personally. They may even sue you 15 million dollars for pirating 24 songs. Does that make any sense at all? I don’t think suing your only customers with ridiculous amounts is really a viable business model. Nor is hating them, probably. But they have a monopoly, they like money, and they have a lot of hate in their hearts. It’s a brave new world, and they want no part of it.

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people don’t pirate: it’s unethical, it makes babies cry, if everyone got stuff for free nobody would produce things. But I’m going to give you a reason to pirate: the RIAA and MPAA are basically mafias. They’re corrupt, they’re middle men, their DRM on CDs include viruses on purpose, and the only way to kill them is to cut off their revenue stream. I mean, look at Netflix Canada. It’s a great example of some of the worst content in any one place. Netflix is a great idea, but they’re being choked so hard for money by these associations that they can’t get anything beyond this.

So if you learn anything from me, learn that piracy is not theft. I know you see those ads, in front of movies, that say it is. They’re there to make you feel guilty. But I’m here, on the other shoulder, telling you the opposite. Let me explain:

Let’s say a movie comes out. Let’s call it Gigli. Now, you know it sucks, so you don’t want to pay to see it in theater, and you can’t even justify renting/buying it when it comes to DVD. But one bored Saturday evening comes around, and while you could do many other things, you think “what the hell, I’ll torrent this bad boy.” And so ensues one of the worst evenings in history. Did the movie industry “lose” a sale because you copied a few bits across the internet? You had no intentions of buying it to begin with, so there was no “sale” to lose. Had it not been available in such an easy and cheap format, you would have just gone on with life, and your evening would have been better.

Really it all comes down to convenience and price. When I have to fight so hard, as with the AppleTV, to walk down the path of legitimacy, it makes me wonder why I’m bothering at all.