photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
The New York Times has a profile of Long Island resident Hyman Strachman, "a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife."
He is one of the world's most prolific movie bootleggers, and has shipped hundreds of thousands of discs to US troops stationed overseas, at great personal expense. The man doesn't exactly fit the MPAA's pirate stereotype, in age, appearance, or motivation. Better still, who helped him distribute the copied DVDs to soldiers? Army chaplains.
“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” Mr. Strachman said, acknowledging that his actions violated copyright law. “If I were younger,” he added, “maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”
And of course you want to know what the MPAA says about the nonagenarian widower megapirate!
Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, said he did not believe its member studios were aware of Mr. Strachman’s operation. His sole comment dripped with the difficulty of going after a 92-year-old widower supporting the troops.
“We are grateful that the entertainment we produce can bring some enjoyment to them while they are away from home,” Mr. Gantman said.
..through clenched jaw, no doubt.
It's a terrific piece, and you'll want to click through to see the wonderful accompanying photos, and hear audio of "Big Hy" speaking.
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US court records are not copyrighted, but the US court system operates a paywall called “PACER” that is supposed to recoup the costs of serving text files on the internet; charging $0.10/page for access to the public domain, and illegally profiting to the tune of $80,000,000/year.
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