I know I've responded, to this thread, at least once, may be even twice, and I'm pretty sure, each post was for different reasons. The "Pirate" in me, over these many years, has changed, and thus, my attitude for torrenting has also changed. It is now 2019, and I started my "road to Hell" with Demonoid. Many of the torrent sites I've belonged to, like Demon, are either gone, or a pale comparison to what they were.
The biggest loss was What, the amount of material that was of "library" content, may never be found, or collected in one place ever again. If you look at a torrent site as a Library, then the powers-that-be taking down a site, is like during the Holocaust time of burning books, only this is ANY content. Anything that is "man-made" is going to fail... CD's have a life of something like ten years, and I am sure DVDs and Blu-Ray have similar lifetimes. I've been on this nostalgic TV kick recently, and have been finding out that many of the "old" TV shows were either recorded over once they were broadcast, or they never kept them, or the ravages of time (and the film they used at the time) have made them useless. If it weren't for torrent "copies" of these on the file sharing sites, these would never be seen again.
I know I could blame costs of media, availability, being cheap, not having a decent income, or just the simple answer of being a "Pirate" as excuses, but the truth of the matter is, media has become a "leased" commodity. You don't "own" it anymore, you borrow it, you rent it, and even when you think you have bought it out-right, you continue to pay for it. e.g. Windows OS... you don't buy it, you rent / lease it for a year. Used to be, you bought MS Office, now you rent it for 365 days. Being from an age of purchase, this just seems to slap the average consumer in the face.
Now, don't get me wrong, I truly BLEED for poor Mr. Dee Snyder and his lost profits, but many artists have seen their profits going out the window, and not due to the piracy of their albums, but rather, the raping of their profits from their own record label. Many artists have seen this, and gone to releasing albums direct to download. Many TV Stations have seen the future, and gone to allowing streaming of their shows from their web sites. We are the future. We may be pirates, but, we are what the future is moving to. If anything, torrent sites are the "repository" of media, the Library, and the future storage of the past, present, and future. If the whole "piracy" thing could be nulled, these places are where a collection point is being made, and contained for the future generations to hear, or see.
Stopped downloading music when Spotify came along. If we could get something similar for movies and TV shows, I would gladly pay. But I dont want to have Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV+, hbo, Netflix etc etc, and pay that much.
And therein lies the reason why I still pirate a lot. To have to subscribe to umpteen different companies in order to get all your fav programs is just too expensive. Add to that geo restrictions with some Netflix programs. Easier and more convienient just to pirate, as well as being a lot cheaper.
Some days I wonder why I still bother because music streaming services are so good nowadays.
Sometimes I take a step back and tell myself that the cost of the servers I use for piracy grossly outweighs the cost of all the legal services I pay for and every so often I consider just cutting piracy all together.
But then you sit down with the missus and want to watch a crappy film on a brain-dead night and you start looking for something you decided to watch only to find out it's not on any of the streaming services and end up having to pirate it.
Sure you try the VPNs but the majority of them get blocked anyway...
I do think however going fully legal is still more expensive than pirating even in my situation where I keep over 25TB of storage on servers in datacenters.
There's cable, package for the US TV shows which hilariously enough don't simulcast with the US but w/e, package with the sports that I want to watch, NHL TV, UFC Fightpass, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify. I'd consider Hulu but evidently my dirty non-US scum money is not cool enough so meh?
Disney+ only very recently made it over here but it's on the expensive side so perhaps not?
Anyway the cost of all of the above combined is around and about a wopping 95 quid a month so maybe the 60 I'm paying for my servers isn't going to go anywhere any time soon.
I started when I got my home internet around 2006. I could not afford paid content at that time, I was a university student. Then 4 years later I bought my first PC game and slowly started building my collection. Later I started buying my software. I find a good value in software and games because you pay once and use it for years. I hate software and games subscription. I still torrent my movies and TV shows to avoid country restrictions. Also a lot of content is not available in a legal way. And I don't find a good value in paying for a TV episode or a movie that you watch only once. I like the convenience to download the content and watch when I want ad free. And to play pirated games on a console you have to mod it which I don't like. Pirated software has certain limitations like not being able to update it. To watch a pirated movie or a TV episode I just need a decent media player and I can watch in the best quality available and as soon as a TV episode is released. I have been thinking about subscription services like Netflix but not all the TV shows I want to watch there are available. And I hate subscriptions because when you stop it you don't have anything anymore. I'd rather buy the boxsets of my favourite TV shows but they are released after some time and I still have to torrent the episodes and the boxsets will be just for my collection.
So much better than all the services. I have Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Amazon Prime, Disney+, YoutubeTV and access to TVAnywhere and a bunch of the channel apps. It still seems you always find movies especially that aren't on any. I don't watch or download as much TV anymore and with all those subscriptions that seems to be pretty taken care of. I like Roku vs Fire TV, but it seems like when you search with it, it steers you to a paid version even if it's available on one you have a subscription for. Music-wise with Spotify and Pandora, I've mostly quit downloading music. Partially because I listen to not very popular stuff and because of the ease of Spotify, I just never bothered finding another music tracker after What and Waffles disappeared.
Torrenting gives you a unique opportunity to explore a huge variety of stuff like movies, ebooks, etc. This is also true for ebooks and scientific publications that many publishers treated them as money-drains for researchers. It is also important to mention that many movies or musics are not available "physically" or even in streaming services so