File-share don’t File-steal

June 6th, 2007 @

The companies hate it, people love it and no matter which side your on it’s a huge topic. It wasn’t always this way. Sure the major companies have been worried about stealing and sharing for awhile now but because of the advances in technology it has become a severe genuine concern.

Back in the day we still watched our movies without paying full price for them. It didn’t happen as often but you’d borrow a friends copy and watch it. We all have that one friend who is an avid collector of movies and has a huge collection that we peruse through just to ask to borrow.

There was no worry about getting caught. In fact I’m not even entirely sure this is illegal. In addition this process had some added benefits. A conversation would typically start out “Was this movie any good?” leading into a “Can I borrow it?” if the answer was positive. After we returned the movie we would have a discussion about it if the movie warranted. I remember grand conversations about FightClub, Harry Potter, and recently 300.

So I ask you, quit going to those websites we all have quick bookmarked and flat out stealing the files. Instead I offer the following ways to continue sharing your music, virtually eliminate the chances of getting caught and also maximizing your success of viewing quality cinema.

Trade with friends

Call up your buddies and ask them if they own what your looking for. Let them know they can borrow your stuff any time they want. Offer to trade temporarily something of equal value if you are worried they won’t return it. And last but not least always return your friends items promptly and in the same condition as you received it.

Set up a private FTP Server

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s the original way to download files. They install easily on WindowsXP and Linux. Give your friends an account and ask them or help them to set up a file server so you can enjoy as well.

Set up a private HTTP Server

For the more technically advanced you can set up an HTTP server. This has the added benefit of being able to show artwork or descriptions if you wish. Setup accounts for your buddies and again ask them to do the same.

Email

While large movies will probably cause issues because of file size, music emails fairly well nowadays. Write your friends and ask them to send you a few songs you like and return the favor. Your email client may block certain types of files, but if it’s like most this block is quite ‘dumb’ and can be easily side-stepped by renaming the file extension.

Instant Messengers

Most instant messenger clients have a way to transfer files. Please note some of them might require additional setup on your router to get working. Refer to the instructions on your particular client to get this working, then IM your friends and start leaching.

Snail Mail

People don’t write much anymore it’s a shame really. Let’s stop that and start sharing the old old fashioned way. Ask your friends to mail you a loaned copy. Start your own personal NetFlix. What makes this nice is the Post Office has a cheaper rate called Media Mail which can be used. Be sure to ask for it when your at the counter. Send multiple movies to save money.

Library

It may shock you to know your public library most likely has movies too. Some have quite a nice selection and many have a way you can check online. If you don’t live in a big community check out neighboring cities. You may have to pay a small fee for your library card but usually this is less then the cost of a rental.

Let’s stop file-stealing and start file-sharing.

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