Recently we've been running a competition to win a shiny new A.C.Ryan Playon!HD mini, kindly supplied by the excellent people at A.C.Ryan. The player is valued at $139, and is a very handy device to have in your lounge room, if you're keen on watching that hard drive full of 1080p video files on your TV.
To win, we asked you to tell us about an incredibly common pastime for Internet users, but one that is still mired in controversy and legal issues - Internet piracy. While most of the debate surrounds the legalities, we wanted you to give us some insight into your attitudes. Do you think Internet piracy is wrong and why, or why not.
The answers were many and varied. A common theme, and one we hear all the time, is that Australian TV networks (or movie distributors) make it hard to watch your favourite shows - shows are on too late, or not at all.
As Jaker1993 pointed out, broadcast shows in Australia at the same time as they're shown overseas, and you might solve the problem.
One of the few to take a hard line reading of the law was farel, who criticised the "self-justification" of those who pirate. "We can't have an economy if theft is normalised as a private liberty," he said.
There were many who blamed the copyright owners and content distributors for the problem, but also a few who questioned this line of argument. Like Slatts, who called on pirates to "Just stop kidding yourself about how it's the producers or distributors fault that you're forced to steal it. You were doing fine without the stuff before someone spent hours/ days/ weeks... whatever to produce and you'll not be more than inconvenienced to continue to live without it."
Another to defend the rights of copyright holders was rubaiyat, and credit to Cyberglitch for pointing out that Steam is an effective model for giving users a taste before they buy.
With so many comments, choosing a winner was difficult. In the end we chose Paul K, whose post pointed out the uncertainty over "who I hurt" that has clouded the issue, despite his opinion that "taking something without paying for it is wrong".
Thanks to everyone who took part, and stay tuned for news of other competitions in the future.