92 year old WWII vet is DVD bootlegger who sent 300,000 pirated discs to US troops

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100 Responses to “92 year old WWII vet is DVD bootlegger who sent 300,000 pirated discs to US troops”

  1. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    The New York Times has fallen on hard times it seems.
    They talk about billions of dollars being siphoned out of the market, haven’t we debunked all of those studies already?

    I nominate Big Hy for best “pirate” ever. 
    Helping all of those service members find a little entertainment far away from home.
    All on his own dime, and never asked for a thing.
    I guess it is true…  Sharing is Caring.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Hey, the guy even admits that what he’s doing is “wrong,” but does it anyway, knowing how to do a proper cost/benefit analysis in his heart.  The studios should have been doing it this way anyway (yeah, I’m talking to you, Corporate Boss o’ Mine), and God help the misbegotten studio who succumbs to the urge to throw the book at Hy to “make an example.”  The public outrage would be, to quote Hy, “moyda!”

      I’ll second that nomination, Coward.  Easily and loudly.

    • Alex Copeland says:

      Yeah, this shows Big Hy in a pretty positive light, but okay.

      • foobar says:

        Really, have you got anything bad to say about Hy?

        • unit_1421 says:

           Yes, he’s breaking the law. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. However, I would be merciful and fine him $3 and not make him watch Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows movie, which is a partial birth abortion of a movie.

  2. semiotix says:

    Well, you know, war changes people. I’m sure he wasn’t such a monster when he went off to fight the Japanese, but something must have happened to blacken his soul to the point where he’s capable of this sort of atrocity.

  3. RJ says:

    God bless him. We need more Hyman Strachmans in this world.

    Oh, how I’d love to be a fly on the wall in an MPAA board room when they’re discussing this little situation. I bet the friction from all those teeth grinding could heat McMurdo Station for a week.

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      I’m honestly surprised they managed to not knee-jerk sue.

      Wonder who we have to thank for making them understand going after a ww2 vet was a bad idea.

    • Phil Fot says:

       I propose that we send the MPAA to McMurdo and let them grind their teeth there outside for a solid week. Any of them who aren’t frozen solid at the end of the week can come home.

  4. garyg2 says:

     Good for him.

    And in that leading photo he reminds me of Carl from ‘Up’, maybe in spirit too.

  5. TooGoodToCheck says:

    Given the MPAA’s behavior up to this point that I’m actually surprised that they had the good sense to show some restraint here.

    Even if it’s purely a PR move to choose not throw the book at Mr Strachman, at least it’s a competent PR move.

    • Guest says:

      I’m not praising the MPAA for not bulling an elderly veteran.

      • theophrastvs says:

        letsee, De Morgan’s law on that becomes…

        It’s not the case that:  I’m praising the MPAA or bulling [sic] an elderly veteran.

        nah, that can’t be right. The two “not”s cancel? no, that’s worse.

        • DeMorgan doesn’t apply here. The statement “I’m not praising the MPAA for not bullying an elderly veteran” is a propositional attitude, a sentence that describes an attitude or disposition in regard to another proposition. They are not truth-functional compounds, they are treated as atomic formulas in propositional logic. 

    • toyg says:

      I wonder if their restraint can be used legally. Copyright and trademarks are made null if not enforced.

      • thompson says:

         That’s not true, actually.  I can’t speak to trademarks, but a copyright doesn’t lose its validity if it isn’t enforced.  You could vanish for fifty years, then pop up and start suing people for infringement — even people who believed in good faith it was in the public domain — and your fifty years of doing absolutely nothing would have absolutely no effect on your case.

        • toyg says:

          Trademarks do have to be enforced to be valid. At the very minimum, all those little (TM) you see after all titles and character properties would be voided if it was found that Hyman even just wrote them down on discs and nobody sued him for that over a certain period of time.

          In terms of copyright, legislation varies widely depending on countries. International treaties cover enforcing copyright recognized by original countries, but the definition of that concept differs across countries.

          • thompson says:

            Trademarks and copyrights are two completely different things, and I think you’re confusing the two.  Although it’s true there are some wrinkles internationally, particularly with older works, I think you’re overstating differences.

            The vast majority of the world’s countries are parties to the Berne Convention.  According to Berne, a creative work is copyrighted as soon as it becomes fixed in tangible form — be in written in a notebook, on a dvd, or painted.  It’s automatic, and there’s no need for any kind of registration.  (For a long time, the U.S. wasn’t a signatory to Berne, and this lack of any kind of formality in copyright creation was a big reason why.)

            Once the work is fixed, all copyright protections apply for as long as the copyright lasts.  (Berne requires 50 years after the death of the author, with some exceptions for certain kinds of works, but countries that are parties to it are free to set longer terms.)  Nothing the author does, short of declaring the work in the public domain, or selling the rights to someone else, has any effect on the copyright.

            Trademarks are more difficult to obtain, and do have to protected, but that doesn’t really apply to what this gentleman is doing.  They apply within a given context.  IE, Budweiser.  If I start making my own beer in the US and call it Budweiser, and am successful, and Budweiser does absolutely nothing to stop me, they run the risk of eventually losing their trademark in the US.

            If this gentleman produced a TV show called “The Sopranos” and it became successful, and HBO took no action in the face of its widespread success, HBO could lose its trademark to the title “The Sopranos” for a TV series and lose the right to sue anyone else who used that title for a TV show.  HBO would not, however, lose its copyright to the actual show “The Sopranos,” even if the newer show was about mobsters in New Jersey and used all the same characters and plotlines.

            This guy isn’t using the name for a competing product in the same field, which could threaten a trademark if not enforced.  He’s just making copies.  What he’s doing is copyright infringement, and the studios face absolutely no legal consequences if they don’t sue him.

            I know it’s a widespread misconception, but it has no legal basis.  You don’t have to sue infringers to keep a copyright.  It’s just not the case — you have the copyright as soon as you make the work, and as long as you never voluntarily give it up, you have it for the entirety of the statutory duration.  And if you’re in one of the 150+ countries that are signatories to Berne, that’s going to be a minimum of a very long time, depending on the kind of work.

            Sorry for the long post.

  6. retepslluerb says:

    Well, as long as it keeps troops from throwing puppies from cliffs, murdering people in their sleep, use killed enemies as trophies and so one he’s okay by my book.

  7. This story has exposed the true beliefs of people who otherwise validate piracy with philosophical arguments. In this case, a) there’s no argument for fair use, b) the distributor rather than the receiver is being held accountable, c) he has admitted it was wrong, d) it is on a fairly large scale, and e) it is distributed on physical media. The usual excuses for supporting piracy fail here. But now we have a new one: “He did it for the troops at his own expense! A martyr! A hero for our times!”

    Why not just admit your true beliefs: “I do not think content creators deserve to get paid for their work.”

    • kraken17 says:

       Wow. You should make a nice hat for your strawman.

      • Congratulations on using a term you don’t understand and getting lots of points for it.

        Or can you actually explain the position I attacked, and how it differs from the position I intended to attack?

        • Itsumishi says:

          a) there’s no argument for fair use, – True

          b) the distributor rather than the receiver is being held accountable, – As has been the case in many similar cases, which still get defended here.

          c) he has admitted it was wrong, - Irrelevant entirely

          d) it is on a fairly large scale, – Tiny, tiny scale compared to say The Pirate Bay, which is defended here regularly.

          e) it is distributed on physical media. – Completely irrelevant, he’s still simply making copies. If he were walking into shops and physically stealing copies then posting them abroad you may have an argument.

          I’d say Kraken17s straw-man comment was completely correct.

        • Guest says:

           Further: “Why not just admit your true beliefs: …”

          rather speaks for itself.

          • Hanglyman says:

             Unless one is psychic, anything following that phrase almost has to be a strawman, unless the person whose beliefs are being examined has a very obvious and blatant history that supports it (such as Rush Limbaugh being sexist).

          • My argument was: false motives are given in condoning piracy. I was attacking the position that “true motives are given in condoning piracy”. Where is the secondary, strawman, argument I made?

            (Why am I even responding to people who can’t bother to use English sentences when discussing a matter of usage?)

          • Guest says:

            @openid-138767:disqus http://www.losinghorns.com

            because you weren’t arguing with me, at all.

          • Itsumishi says:

            @openid-138767:disqus You were attacking the position that true motives are given in condoning piracy, by supplying reasons why they are usually defended. However only one of your five suggested reasons for defence were actually true, point a). Points b-e) were false arguments that do not represent the true positions held by those that argue for more sensible Copyright laws, and enforcement, ergo a strawman argument.
            Perhaps you want to criticise my English skills now to counter your lousy argument?

        • kraken17 says:

           Why not just admit your true beliefs: “I do not think content creators deserve to get paid for their work.”

          I was referring to the caricature you paint of those who support restoring fairness to copyright law. Opposing those who wield copyright law like a club is not the same as opposing the very idea of copyright. Please show me where anyone has advocated stripping the rights of content creators. A significant portion of Boing Boing’s user base consists of creators, as evidenced by the sheer number of posts related to the maker culture. Many here make a living through their creativity. I would like to know what you are basing your assertion on.

          On a side note, observe that I was able to reply without making any disparaging remarks about your intelligence.

        • Senor Schaffer says:

           Calling strawman is the new strawman.

      • mjfgates says:

        Should it be a felt hat? Or a leather hat?

    • blissfulight says:

      I would avoid using the philosophical angle to try to undermine the piracy perspective, since it’s underpinning the entertainment industry’s angle (and our entire legal system!) that everything that everyone is doing is essentially theft, unless they keep on buying $20 copies of ‘region-locked, limited release, special editions with deleted footage and director’s commentary in 3D’ of Mall Cop.  Also, realistically, this isn’t something you can control, only mitigate, and the attempts to censor the entire internet to staunch the flow of pirated media was a bit much, along with all their other bungled attempts to sue users, buy politicians, seize domains, and make the process of acquiring content as painful as possible (FBI warnings, trailers, ultraviolet, licensing, formats, and other assorted obstacles which can be easily bypassed if you’re a ‘pirate’) just makes it more irritating, harder, and tempting to use the dark side (‘quicker, easier, more seductive’).  Everyone is still making a lot of money, so I’m not seeing the issue here, other than the feeling that a lot of additional money is being left on the table, and there’s no way to scoop it all up to fill already stuffed pockets (very little of which will be showered on all those hardworking, honorable, and brave film crews and theater popcorn machine operators).  Hollywood has had a long, storied history of fighting the future, and then figuring out ways to make even more money from the very technology that they decried, despite peddling so much worthless crap.  I’m sure someone working in the industry could have figured this out for themselves, and just cut a deal with the Pentagon to give the soldiers what they want instead of their usual half-ass solutions (Reel-to-reel?  Film projector?  Really?) and still make more money.  Instead, they were (as per usual) just dumb, shortsighted, and greedy, and as a result, you can thank them for not getting a crumb of the proceeds that they could have made if they had exercised even a little bit of that old WWII gumption.

    • koko szanel says:

      “I do not think content creators deserve to get paid for their work perpetually.” 

      • I assume you put that in quotes because you realize it doesn’t apply here, where the movies weren’t just current, they were often pre-theatrical release.

        {edit} Also, I completely agree with you. Copyright law covers works for far too long.

      • I’ll assume that you mean rights holders, and not content creators.

        For as long as a content creator is alive I don’t see why they shouldn’t get paid for their work, if that’s the model they choose.

    • I have to be honest, I seem to be one of the few people that kind of agree with you; and I’m normally pretty inline with BoingBoing’s stance on copyright (generally that it’s important, but broken – stifling rather than promoting creativity).

      I mean if he were at least buying the DVDs, then ripping them and sending them over, I’d probably more OK with the whole thing.  But as it stands, not so much.

      But then the presence of the word ‘vet’ in the story doesn’t rewrite the rules for me, as it seems to for most.  I mean, remove that from the equation and what’s the defense?

      Is our position now that we shouldn’t have to pay for movies?  Or that soldiers shouldn’t have to pay for movies?  What’s the argument here?

      I suppose ultimately if the rights owner has said it’s OK, then it’s not my place to argue with them.  But what we’re seeing is essentially emotional and PR blackmail.  Couldn’t happen to a more deserving organisation, but still…

      {edit} I’d like to point out that I’m not calling for his arrest or anything, I’m just confused as to what makes this OK.

      • Itsumishi says:

        A) He’s not making any profit, in fact he’s losing money on the deal

        B) He’s sending them to people that aren’t exactly in the position to walk into the local Walmart and pick up copies themselves.

        C) He’s sending them to people that the content owners could distribute to themselves, with similar methods, whilst probably picking up a cheque from the US Government, but instead they’re so petrified of supposed losses from piracy they use more expensive methods, which troops can use less of the time, i.e. projectors and reel-to-reel. 

        Much in the same way that content creators could find better ways to distribute the sorts of TV shows that air 8 months later than the US all over the world.

        • rtresco says:

          Regarding point B, I disagree. No US solider anywhere is on some sort of remote and inaccessible “front” where it’s hard for the 19yr olds to blow their pay on Apple gadgets and Jason Stratham blu-rays. These guys aren’t grateful to receive his shipments because they are so hard up for entertainment – they’re grateful because like the rest of us they don’t want to pay to watch something once. These guys are fully capable of getting whatever they want to purchase from Amazon delivered to them.

        • I’m not sure why (A) has any relevance to anything.  I wouldn’t be any more or less on board if he were charging a couple bucks for the DVDs; it’s irrelevant.
          (B) and (C) are kind of the same argument, that the soldiers have no easy access and someone is providing that access.But I don’t see why that should mean the old dude shouldn’t pay for his copy; and from what I gather it isn’t true any way.

          Your last paragraph is spot on – I’m with you on that; I just don’t see the relevance here.  The guy that’s actually breaking the law doesn’t have any problem with access, he’s just choosing not to pay for stuff.   If, however, soldiers couldn’t get any access to content (not true) so torrented movies, I’d totally understand that; but that’s not what’s happening here.

          • Itsumishi says:

            A) Is relevant because he’s clearly not doing it with the aim of personal gain. Which is a big reason why Copyright exists, to stop people gaining off other peoples work. He’s putting considerable time, effort and cost into supplying entertainment to people that have requested it, that he wants to support. Buying the discs already pirated makes it both easier to copy (if you read the article it says he doesn’t know how to rip genuinely purchased DVDs) and less of a financial burden on himself. 
            You’re right B)&C) are much the same point. However the ability to order disks off Amazon, then wait the month or so shipping it takes for them to arrive (yes, Amazon shipping takes around a month if you’re not in the US or UK) is not the same as having access to the local video store, and as pointed out by @boingboing-6ac89f55d94efe564ee12b2b1a9c69c5:disqus most soldiers don’t want to spend $40 on a movie they intend to watch once or twice. The MPAA could fill that niche by signing a deal with the US Gov or the US military, but they don’t.

            The MPAA can claim that by pirating these movies and sending them across each DVD has cost both Amazon and the movie companies the full price of a DVD, but thats bullshit. The soldiers wouldn’t suddenly all start buying every movie they’ve ever wanted to see just because no pirated copies were floating about, they’d just be more bored.

          • teapot says:

            In addition to Itsumishi’s points: Does anyone here really expect soldiers in a war zone far from home to create and maintain a DVD collection? That’s just silly, especially considering there is surely a limit on the amount of personal effects a deployed soldier is allowed to accumulate.

            I believe Microsoft gives Xboxes to the army for use by deployed soldiers and movie studios should be doing the same thing.. If they’re so worried about piracy they should just stick a watermark on the DVDs and then at least they will be able to track any leaks that happen.

            Bottom line: If the studios were supporting troops as they should, Hy wouldn’t have to make copies illegally.

        • Phil Fot says:

           Oh, no, the troops really want those reel-to-reel films. They like to watch them in the field at night. LOL

          Only an idiot who has never served in anyone’s military would think that sending film reels to troops in the field was a big help. What idiots.

      • quitterjunior says:

        This.  (Am I using that correctly?).  This is Ayers/Swiftboat/Lewinski.  I seriously am in love with Hy for his service.  And that’s exactly why I’m pissed you’re Elian-ing him.  Also, Tabitha Soren.  

    • Guest says:

      “I do not think content creators deserve to get paid for their work.”

      Uh. I think the creators do deserve to get paid.

      You’ve confused marketers for makers.

      The marketer is the one with his hand in the makers back pocket.

    • prion says:

       The opinion is that distribution without profit is not wrong. The reality is that the producers of media have the opportunity to make money by offering additional value. How they react to market realities will determine their bottom line.

    • Ipo says:

      I truly believe I should get paid for my work. 
      For some of my work: 

      Work that I created, and that I didn’t give away for free, that gets taken not copied, or that others profit from financially,  some that gets kept to be consumed again, that the consumer can easily afford, that isn’t credited to me, that is not raising the value of works made by me, …

      I don’t need to get paid for work 50 years or a day after I’m dead, not by people who can’t afford to pay and would not experience my work at all through a paywall, not for work that I didn’t create, unless I made possible and caused its creation, … 

      Society at large, rules, laws, zeitgeist, conventions, technology, science and superstitions, culture and all that, as much as I dislike a great part of it, contributed a great deal to my ability to create.
      So there are automatically some rights that society has in my creation. 
      Or is that a Marxist idea or something? 
      ( Wouldn’t a society that demands money from me to pay cops with to beat me up have some right to access creations made by me under its caring auspices? )

      Also, if I publish my work in a digital format, it has become the matter of which the bloodstream of computer networks consists, and I released it to the “insane swarm intelligence – evolution”,  in its native form to its native habitat, where things multiply like cells cloning when they fill a niche not yet covered. 

      My expectation to control what happens to it out there, in the body of data and demand, is from then on seriously diminished. 

      I knew what would happen.  Once you copied it, it could only aspire to become  a meme, or some other part of our culture, something many, many people know.  Hopefully sometimes I can attach my name to it. 

      For the first time since the printing press we have a new fount of knowledge that really changes how society works. 
      Smart people everywhere, for thousands of years, have mourned the legendary Great Library of Alexandria since it burned. 

      Don’t let them burn our most advanced means of transmitting culture because some soulless corporationperson has a non-upgradeable business model or just no interest to evolve. 

      I know I’m wrong. 
      It’s just how I feel. 
      I wish everybody did.
      Then I’d be right.

    • Avram Grumer says:

      Are you under the impression that everyone who’s involved in making a movie gets a cut of the DVD sales? 

  8. Ethan Taliesin Houser says:

    This is a reminder…don’t forget to seed.

  9. B E Pratt says:

    Hum, I feel bad about being flippant about this earlier. I mentioned this story to a gung-ho conservative and the reaction was simply, “Well, he broke the law”….
    I despair of my country.

  10. I can imagine him now,  commenting on the torrent sites about the skip at 34:56, after he’s tabbed over from Reddit.

  11. magicdragonfly says:

    All I have to say to the MPAA is “it sucks when you’re painted into a corner, don’t it?” 

  12. Graysmith says:

    As a former member of the armed forces I’m going to have to assume that this means I’m free to pirate as many movies as I’d like without risk of prosecution. Yay!

  13. If only the troops could get movies sent to them without violating copyright law… Nah, impossible!
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/04/14/cnnheroes.radzyminski.discs/index.html

    • blissfulight says:

      The donations are probably the musical and movie equivalent of the proverbial (and unwanted) can of green beans.  Amusingly enough, everyone who donated all that music probably ripped the music to their hard drives before passing it on, so you should send out the copyright police to arrest those unpatriotic unAmericans for not wiping their iPods and hard drives clean.  

  14. Ryan Bro says:

    No one mentioned this so I will. Thousands of pirated DVDs are sold on military bases in Iraq. There are whole stores filled with nothing but pirated DVDs. The military could care less.

  15. iburl says:

    It’s almost as if laws are only enforced when it suits the desires of the creator-beneficiaries of those laws. Just wait until the elder-care specialty private prisons hear about this guy.

  16. rtresco says:

    Say what you will about the evil MPAA, but another point of view is that their normal position on the matter is being held hostage here by patriotism/nationalism. That’s not a very good thing either.

  17. pjcamp says:

    Let’s see . . . estimating at what the Hurt Locker producers are demanding in their suits, this guy is on the hook for $900,000,000.

    Yeah. That should go over well.

  18. kmoser says:

    What on earth does his height have to do with this?

  19. Joseph Finn says:

    I’m curious, since the article doesn’t bother to get into it. as to why Mr. Strachman didn’t buy DVDs and sent them to troops, rather than stealing them and sending them to troops.

    • Daniel Smith says:

       Perhaps because after living for 92 years, the last 20 plus of which he has been living on a fixed retirement income that has had less and less buying power as the years went by, he simply cannot afford that option. That, and at 92 he figures the powers that be have very little little leverage to use to coerce him into compliance.

      • Spriggan_Prime says:

         “He became a stockbroker on Wall Street … before retiring in the early 1990s.”

        I’d risk a guess that he’s doing just fine between that, social security, a military pension and his wife’s life insurance policy. As for the estimated 30,000 the article estimates he’s already spent… well at 92, you can’t take it all with you.

      • Joseph Finn says:

        But he’s spending a lot of money in copying, burning and mailing these things.  It’s not like he’s obviously broke.  Why not just do it legally and morally?

        • tomandersen says:

          Can you not add? That’s 10′s of thousands of DVDs x $20 each, so several million $. 

          Its legal in Afghanistan to copy and sell DVDs, so his legal leg would be as strong as the US governments GiMo argument – which seems to work well for them.

    • BadIdeaSociety says:

      I would guess he is renting the DVDs and copying them multiple times.

      As I have mentioned several times, piracy is illegal, but there ARE benefits to piracy that many TV and movie companies don’t realize. Collectors who pirate tend to purchase the titles they like and piracy allows people who are unable to watch certain titles to watch those titles.  Seth McFarlane openly admits that illegal downloading, ShoutCast streams, and general word of mouth saved Family Guy from its second cancellation. 

      NBC would probably benefit, for example, by making their word-of-mouth internet-friendly show, “Community,” more easily available through their own web page (rather than HuluPlus), but they just do not see the bigger picture.

      Signed,
      A guy who took a 5-year hiatus from US TV and music because of the selfish regional blocks NetFlix, Rhapsody, Hulu, and the like place on their programs. (a.k.a: If you are not offering it to me for sale, how is my downloading it from a source that makes it available stealing? You are the dumbasses who don’t want to make money from my purchase or viewing.)

    • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

      Well lets cover the actual article…. (It seems you and many of the people to follow didn’t bother to read it.)

      - The movies he is sending are created from a *GASP* bootleg bought off the street (thou now he has a better supplier).  They are movies not yet available on DVD and are sometimes still in theaters.   So he can’t buy them.
      - “Stealing them”.  Please show me the tape of the warehouse in real time where everytime Hy made a copy another copy winked out of existence.
      - He is old in America, he isn’t rich.  Assuming because someone had a good job means they are set for life died off in the 1950s.

      Because you didn’t bother to read, you missed the whole buys a bootleg and was copying them 1 at a time.  Boxing them up, sending them off.  Destroying the original bootleg he paid for.  He now has a multiple disc duplicators so he can make them faster.

      If the MPAA wasn’t stuck in their own fears they could have send out screener DVDs to the troops.  Instead they send reels of movies and projectors, because its HARDER to copy those.  Because people in a warzone are TOTALLY going to stop what they are doing, make a rip and get it on TPB on the joke that passes for their internet connection.

      But nice try trying to make a 92 yr old man look like a freaking ninja stealing DVDs from a warehouse.  Why didn’t the MPAA just send DVDs themselves to troops in a warzone so Hy wouldn’t have filled that need… oh because they are soulless assholes who can’t be bothered to do something without getting paid.  Thanks for keeping us Free!  Now gimme my $25 because you saw Twilight!

    • Ipo says:

       He stole discs? 
      Was that in the article? 

      I had thought he copied movies from DVDs he had bought. 

      • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

        He was buying bootlegs off the street, and then found a better source.

        • Ipo says:

           I was being facetious. 
          (a fun word to disemvowel -and sometimes y -facetiously) 
          Joseph Finn had claimed he stole discs. 
          He hasn’t as far as we know. 
          He bought discs that had pirated movies on them. 
          That is immoral and wrong, but relating to fencing, not theft. 

    • Itsumishi says:

      Let’s see.

      They estimate he’s sent over 300,000 discs since he started in 2004. His personal outlay so far is roughly $30,000.

      If he’d purchased the genuine DVDs he’d (conservatively) be spending about $15 a disc. So that’s $4.5million just on the discs, before we consider that he’d still have to pay for shipping….

      Gee I wonder why he didn’t purchase genuine copies?

  20. stephenl123 says:

    MPAA is a criminal conspiracy which openly asserts its right to buy favors from the US Government.  MPAA is the worlds most active copyright pirate.  Anyone who thinks antipathy to the MPAA has something to do with not thinking creators should be paid is living in an imaginary world.

  21. blissfulight says:

    I’ve paid a lot of money to Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, movie theaters, and Hollywood video.  Consider it an in-kind contribution to the MPAA, which will hopefully offset the $45,000,000,000 potential losses they may have suffered. 

  22. sqyntz says:

    well, even though Afghanistan is winding down, won’t be long before he can send them to Syria or Iran…

  23. Randy Riddle says:

    Everyone’s missing the most interesting aspect of all this.

    The article notes that studios still distribute movies “on reel to reels”, which are difficult to pirate, to the troops.

    Since World War II, studios have sent 16mm projectors and prints of current films for free screenings to troops at military bases.  What Hy is doing is basically meeting the current crop of troops where they are – giving them current films in a portable format they can watch in small groups on their laptops.

    It’s another example of how film studios are still stuck in distribution modes and business models developed many decades ago and aren’t responding to how people consume media now.

    Think about it.  Our troops are fighting a “lean and mean” war, independent, in small groups out in the field with personal technology.  The studios, on the other hand, are still offering physical 16mm prints to troops – the same technology used when Hy was in the military during World War II.

    • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

       Laptops, iThingys, etc… all keep working when the generator goes down too.  Its not like the camps they are in are that nice.

      The idea that people in a warzone would spend the time to try and get something ripped and on TPB really shows how out of touch with reality the MPAA is in their fear.

  24. BadIdeaSociety says:

    The American movie studios should ALREADY be sending their movies to the troops like this guy is. The losses the studio would get would be counteracted by the returned they would get when the soldiers return home and thank the studios by buying their products.

    • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

      They do… on reels with projectors.   So they can’t be copied easily.
      One wonders what offerings that actually make and how far out of date they are with reality.  The concept of someone in one of these bases being shelled stopping and making a copy of anything to post on TPB or similar locations is … words fail for how stupid it is.
      Mind you this only works if your understanding of war comes from watching MASH reruns, where they had downtime where nothing happened.  Everyone could gather in a single tent at the same time and make like it was a real movie theater.  Rather than you just got off of 12 hours of work and you have downtime to yourself, so for a couple hours you watch a movie to unwind.

      Big Hy isn’t the first time I’ve heard about people getting content to soliders in combat zones.  Others fill up hard drives that are made much more rugged, and those are passed around between the bases.  This helps them avoid the local markets where basically everything has a virus of some type on it.

  25. Horned_one24 says:

    Its Carl from UP!

    I cant believe im the first.  (Didnt read all the comments though)

  26. Ryan Lenethen says:

    Is it just me or is that totally the guy from the Disney movie “UP”?

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