A Pirates Life for Me … Er, I Mean, Guy?

eLABorations: Are those downloading movies over the Internet copyright pirates or just really big fans?

I have a friend--lets call him Guy--and hes an Internet copyright pirate.

Hes not much of a pirate. Something close to 99 percent of Guys MP3 collection is made up of songs ripped from his own CDs. But he recently joined the ranks of those nasty evil-doers who download movies and deprive the movie studios of their millions. Hillary Rosen and Jack Valenti are probably hunting Guy down as we speak.

I suppose youre probably wondering what drove him to this act. What made him spend hours downloading a movie whose quality wouldnt be very good anyway?

Was it "Spider-man" or "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones?" No. In fact, it was a movie Guy had already seen four times: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings.

Thats right. Hes seen it four times, and hes pre-ordered the DVD from Amazon.com.

So why did he commit this act? Because hes a big fan, and he wanted to see the movie again, even if it was a poor-quality version. After all, the movie isnt playing anywhere any more, and the DVD wont be available until late summer.

Indeed, only die-hard fans have the patience (and lack of a real life) to sit through the hassles of downloading a file and then making sure they have all the right obscure codecs to run the thing. At this very moment, my fellow losers are watching "Spider-man" on their computers, recorded in a theater from a handheld camera. But theyre watching it in between umpteenth runs to the multiplex to see Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in action.

In fact, so-called pirates are probably the movie industrys best customers.

But Guy swears he wont do it again. Honest. Really.

Do you think its wrong to download films youve already seen? Let me know your take at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com