This grew out of a frustrating experience I had in trying to find a copy of "Slayers," a great little anime TV show that was released on DVD back in 2000. It hasn't been reissued, so it's hard to find a copy these days. Very hard, I discovered. First, I went to Deep Discount DVD, who listed that they had it in stock until I tried to buy it, at which point they listed it was discontinued. OK, no problem, I went to Ebay, and was greeted with a deluge of bootlegs and questionable releases.
Here's my beef about bootlegs. I have no problem borrowing or using a bootleg or downloaded copy of a television program, movie, or song, but it's usually because I like to try things out before I buy them (or, in the case of music, I don't want to buy an entire CD for one song - but now that iTunes has put an end to that, I see myself buying more individual songs). Truth be told, I've never downloaded a movie and watched it, because I think the quality is so crappy that it's not worth it. I downloaded "Jeremiah," but that was because I didn't have Showtime at the time, and it wasn't available on DVD (I have since acquired both). I think bootlegs, in general, are dishonest. If you really like something enough to want to own it, then buy it legitimately and let the artists get money for it. I'm a little less worried about things like music, because the "artists" see very little in the way of actual album sales. I used to hang out on The Refreshments' fourms a lot, and the band posted there often in the early days of MP3s, Naptster, and that bruhaha. They explained that bands typically see only one or two cents from each record (CD) sale, and that the music companies get the rest. But, CDs are viewed basically as marketing material for concerts, where the band gets a much larger percentage of overall ticket sales. Therefore, the entire recording / CD industry is basically an enormous and bloated moneymaking machine that also happens to serve to fill seats at concerts for the bands.
But, things like software really should be purchased, if you're going to use them enough. I owned a pirated copy of Civilization, which is possibly my favorite game of all time. I never would have heard of the game, much less played it, if it weren't for my friend who gave it to me on disk. But, after playing it for several months, I went out and just bought the game. I decided that, hey, a lot of work went into making this really cool game, and if I'm gonna get enjoyment out of it, I'll let the designers eat, too. It's only fair.
Anyway, so a lot of these Slayers DVDs appeared to be boots, which lead me to one of my favorite home theater forums where I asked for advice. They pointed me to two very useful websites: a complete guide to spotting pirate anime, including merchandise other than DVDs, and a site where you can find a list of every anime that's been released on DVD. Both seem to be very good resources.
The also pointed me to a legit seller who had a copy of Slayers.
Friday, February 13, 2004