Don't steal movies

Because the FBI is judging you all

Jordan Zy

I’ve always had a healthy respect for the movie makers and cinema owners. When I was in high school, friends would pay for one movie and then “movie hop” by sneaking their way into other theaters to watch another one for free. I was the friend who snuck back out to secretly buy a second ticket. Some look down on me for not having the gall or for being too much of a killjoy, but I could never shake the idea that I was stealing.

Some wonderful people I know, whom I have no harsh thoughts for, have stated that people shouldn’t feel bad for not ponying up $10 for illegally watching multi-million dollar blockbusters. In itself, this isn’t a bad argument. Marvel Studios isn’t going to miss a few dollars here or there on “Avengers 2” if you sneak in. Besides, we are just poor college kids who can’t afford to drop $50 to watch four movies in one day.

Stealing is stealing. Physically taking something that isn’t yours is no different than skipping out on a ticket or downloading something from a file share site. People pour thousands of man-hours into creating quality works of film and music. At the very least, their product deserves to turn a profit.

It’s time to rise above the temptation to tread the paths of online piracy and movie hopping. If you want great entertainment to continue being produced, pay for it. The income a movie or a song generates tells the studios and producers what the public wants more of. “The Avengers” is one of the highest grossing films of all time, and because of that Disney and Marvel keep dishing out more of what we want: superhero movies, apparently. The Harry Potter franchise is beloved by millions, and now J. K. Rowling is writing two more for her fans and Warner Brothers. is producing three new movies. Viewers vote with their pockets, and studios take that seriously.

But what if you don’t know if you’ll like what you see or listen to? Are you wasting your money? Well, that’s a gamble responsible consumers are expected to take. Watching a movie isn’t like ordering coffee; if it isn’t made to your liking, you can’t send it back because you can’t unsee it. To avoid unpleasant movie-going experiences while still remaining ethical, pay attention to trailers and reviews before you take that gamble. If the product isn’t fantastic, then it probably isn’t worth wasting your time, whether you lose money on it or not.

So let’s show the industry what we want, and let’s do it in a way that supports the videos and music we love.

Get a subscription to HBO Go.

Pay $5 for Spotify Student or Pandora Radio.

At the very least get together with some friends to split the bill for Netflix. We may not have much money to spare in college, but we should at least be responsible and keep our dignity.

Jordan is a senior studying psychology.