How to NOT Pirate
People do not have to pirate. You do not have to pirate.
Stop pirating, we'll ignore the fact that you use to. We wash you of all your previous sins.
Quick Reasons for NOT Pirating:
1. Piracy decreases the profit margins of companies whether they be in the music, gaming, Anime/Manga industry or other industries where piracy of their material can occur. Lower profit margins means companies will be less likely to hire new staff, to innovate or try something different.
2. Companies will focus more on those who will pay. Who will pay games? It seems adults are more likely than teenagers who don't have any money. Those who don't know how to pirate are more likely to. Moms and Dads are probably the new market that actually pays for their games - so more casual games.
Who pays for Anime/Manga? The dedicated otaku, especially those who prefer ecchi/moe content. Thus the influx of said series.
3. Want more competition? Want lower prices? Want less DRM? Want more interesting and diverse range of games/Anime/Manga? Stop pirating.
4. Most important on a personal level - piracy is not free.
People believe that when you pirate something, you are getting it for free. You are not.
Piracy involves finding material to pirate, downloading said material and then using said material whether it be by watching, reading, listening or playing.
Here is where the problem begins. You've got 200GB download limit. How many of you download AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE before you reach your limit each month? How many of you run out of things to download so you download things you would never download before? How many of you spend countless hours watching/reading Anime/Manga, playing countless amounts of Games that if you had to pay money for you would have never played?
What you are basically doing is wasting countless hours on sub-par entertainment because it is 'free' and you want to get the most out of it. The thought process goes something like this "I have 200GB download limit, I am going to use it all. Not using it all is a waste."; so "I am going to search for things to download because I haven't reached my limit yet"; and thus "I am going to download this material even though it is not good quality because "oh well, it is free, right?""; then "I have 200GB of pirated material. Not using/reading/playing/watching this material would mean I wasted all that time finding/downloading them."
You end up wasting away your life, overwhelmingly spending it on countless hours of shows, movies, Anime/Manga, games/etc and forgetting to hang out with friends, exercise, maintain a healthy life**** learn new things, explore the world/etc.
Thus piracy is not free.
So how, sir, do I NOT pirate?
Simple my friend! Buy entertainment. You might be thinking "What? No. I can get it for free!". Refer to Point 4 above. It is not free.
By buying your entertainment, your wallet effectively becomes a self-restraining mechanism that helps you balance digital entertainment with other pursuits in life such as hanging out with friends, scuba diving and the like. Buying entertainment also means you have something valuable at hand.
For those who still demand a high level of entertainment but do not want to pirate, there are free sources of entertainment you can try your hand at.
1. Free-to-air TV.
We still have those. Record your shows and watch them later.
2. Online streaming.
Some shows have free online streaming. They might have a 30-40 second ad at the beginning of each section, but who cares? It gives them money, and you get the show for free, legally. Plus you no longer need to fork out for that 2TB external hard drive. Off the top of my head:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Complete Archive available.
The Colbert Report/Colbert Nation
Complete Archive available.
Channel 7 Plus 7:
Episodes posted ~1hr after broadcast; each episode on the site for 7 days.
Channel 7's online streaming shows include: Australia's Got Talent, Grey's Anatomy, Border Security, Surf Patrol, Home and Away, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives/etc.
I am unsure whether this is Australia-only or not.
Keeps a few episodes. Don't know when it is uploaded.
Channel 10's online streaming shows include: Lie to Me, Glee, MasterChef, Merlin, Neighbours, Rush, Thursday Night Live/etc.
I am unsure whether this is Australia-only or not. Shows are split into 5-6 sections with 20-30 second ads in-between; great if you missed out on some section of a show and don't want to stream the whole thing.
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp., not American Broadcasting Corp.)
Although not much in terms of streaming besides previews and clips, since ABC is owned by the Australian government all shows are completely free. You can download episodes from the respective shows (they usually have their own sites), or even subscrube to vodcasts of their episodes. Remember The Chasers? The guys who dressed up as Osama Bin Laden at APEC and got through the barrier by pretending to be the Canadian envoy? All their episodes were free, since they were from the ABC.
Note that some shows are download-only, others have streaming as well (such as Good Game, Australia's Video Games show)
BBC World Service
Not videos, but 'radio'. Listen to BBC World Service on your computer for all you news junkies like me.
Please note that for Australian channels, American shows episodes are broadcast a week or so after America broadcasts it so if you are wondering where (for instance) Lie to Me Episode 11 is cause you only see Episode 10 in the Show List; it hasn't arrived on Australian shores yet.
What I love about legal streaming sites like The Daily Show is that they break up their shows into sections so that if you don't want to watch the host speaking to a guest, you don't have to. You save on your download limit by avoiding sections you are not interested in. Only want to watch Jon Stewart's "Moment of Zen" (usually 15-20 seconds at the end of the show)? You can now. Just choose the "Moment of Zen" section. No need to download the entire show.
There are probably a lot more. Try googling your local TV channel or favorite shows and check whether they have streaming of their shows. I mean, in Australia Channel 7 does; so if technologically 'backwards' Australia offers streaming, I am sure America must have it too.
So next time you think of pirating shows, consider streaming them legally instead.
3. Free, Legal Music.
There are legal avenues to music out there. In fact almost all my music besides a very small selection of Western, Korean and Japanese music which I buy in-stores; the rest of my huge music collection is legally free.
OMG it is Mininova, pirate! Yes, you would have been correct a year ago, but not today. Mininova was tranformed after some legal wrangling into a Content Distribution only torrenter. The only torrents mininova now hosts are legally free, freely distributed by the artists.
You will find a nice selection of music with some real gems inside, as well as the occassional free documentary and the like.
Unfortunately not many seeders or leechers, but the site has potential.
Newgrounds is known for its vast array of user-created flash games and short clips/animations. You will find quite a few real gems in terms of casual games and animations (ever heard of the game Alien Hominid on the PS2? That game came from Newgrounds!).
What I enjoy the most and gets me visiting the site all the time is the Newgrounds Audio Portal.
The portal is split into various genres, my favorite being Trance, Dance and Techno. Some really nice songs in there, although as always given they are user-created you might stumble on a few you might not enjoy (usually the ratings system is decent in sorting out the good from the bad).
To get you started:
Heaven Rd.2(NG Mix) by Envy
Heaven Rd.3 by Envy
Come Home by Envy
Raver Girl (Radio Edit) by Aisarene
Vashti Remix by Seth and Russ
Melancholy Heart by Seth and Russ
Note: You might want to upload them onto your iPod before listening - or at least for me my speakers produce a different sound to my iPod earphones (earphones FTW!)
4. Free Anime/Manga!
I know this kind of belongs in Streaming, but whatever. This is my blog, not yours! Wahahaha!
So an easy way to get free Anime/Manga is to go to your local library. If yours is anything like the two libraries closest to me they should have an Anime/Manga section. Or, find an Anime/Manga Club that holds a library of Anime/Manga you can borrow (we have those here, don't you?)
Or, try some of the legal free streaming/online viewing sites.
Free Legal Streaming Anime Master List by chronoclast
God, all hail chronoclast. His post might be from 2008, but he updates on a regular basis. In fact at time of posting this he had just updated today.
Huge list. Awesome. *shakes fist at all the US and Canada only* (we need some Australia-only streaming sites, stick that at you US peeps).
So, if you complain that you can't get free legal Anime? I shall smack you.
For those wondering about Crunchyroll - it used to be illegal, but then it secured legal distribution rights and so now most of its Anime is legal. Not sure if ALL content is legal though, you'll have to do some checking.
ShonenSunday started posting their legal English-translated Manga chapters for online viewing. Note that they only post a few of the recent chapters, removing older chapters (so you'll actually be motivated to buy the manga from them if you miss a chapter or want to re-read a previous chapter).
Unfortunately it is the only distributor I know of currently with such a service. Anyone know any others?
5. Online Comics
Okay, so they were already free in any case and you would have to be a complete douche to pirate them, but I'll list some here anyway to show you just how much legally free stuff there is online. At least, there is more than enough for any healthy, balanced life****
There are a bajillion more free online comics that are truly epic; have fun finding them though. I lost my bookmarks a while ago and I can't be bothered finding the other comics/manga.
Well, this is a gaming site. Can't finish off without these. Unfortunately I don't know of many free games that were big budget. Still there are plenty of fun casual games you can find on the plethora of online gaming sites.
However, I do have a few games to list worth mentioning that have turned from paid to free. Turned Free games are always good to look out for.
Turned-Free Games (or Free)
Command & Conquer (Tiberian Sun, Firestorm, Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert)
Note: Gamespot doesn't allow it within a link, but just type in cl4ssic after the link to get to it. (replace 4 with a)
Mech Commander Gold
Mech Commander 2
Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War
F.E.A.R.: First Combat
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
The Elder Scrolls: Arena & The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
Rockstar (Grand Theft Auto, Wild Metal and Grand Theft Auto 2)
Note: Same applies for above, cl4ssic after the link to get to it. (replace 4 with a)
If Turned-Free games aren't your thing, there are also various free MMOs, although paying members get extra perks.
Too lazy to link to the games, so check this site out:
You'll notice under the Fee column, "free" means it is free or in beta, and "Item Mall" usually means it is free-to-play, but it has an Item Mall for people who want to buy extra perks.
Some noteable free-to-play MMOs off the top of my head are:
Runescape (don't hurt me!! XD)
Guild Wars (well, you have to buy the game, but no monthly subscriptions!)
Finally you have the ever-frightening 'pay' option. Remember your wallet is a good self-restraining mechanism, so paying isn't in any way a 'bad' thing.
However if you are low on cash, here's a few tips:
a. Buy pre-owned:
It is preferable to buy new, but if you can't, buy pre-owned. Most brick-and-mortar game stores stock pre-owned games which are usually (*glares at EBGames*) cheaper than new. In fact usually a lot cheaper.
Buying/Trading with other people online might be a good idea too. Just make sure to be wary of being scammed.
b. Go for Trade-in:
You can save quite a lot of money by buying the console version of a game instead of PC version. With the console version of a game you are allowed to trade-in the game at your local game store for store credit (some offer cash, but most don't). You can get pretty high trade-in value for new release games.
For instance you might purchase a new PS3 game for AUD99.95, then trade it in to your local game store the next day or two after finishing the game for AUD70. You effectively only paid AUD29.95 for the game.
c. Rent it!:
Unsure whether you like the game or not, but you don't want to fork out a large amount of money for it and there's no demo for the game? Don't fall on excuses and start pirating - Rent it! Rent it for a day or two and see how it plays out; if you like, either rent it longer till you finish it or buy it!
Everybody loves sales! I do, you do! Sales can really get you some cheap games. For instance I recently got The Witcher: Enhanced Edition for AUD25 and Crisis for AUD20 at EBGames' June Construction Sale. Lots of games across all platforms for 1/2 price.
It is a good idea to get some RSS feeds on the online sites of your favorite stores.
If you are lucky enough to be Australian, you can also RSS feed:
Economical Gamer is an Australian-run Bargain Gaming site that posts articles every time one of the major retailers (JB HiFi, EBGames, GAME, GameTraders, ToysRUs, Dick Smith, Myers, Kmart, Big W, Target/etc) post a catalogue, and they post the games sections on their site. They also post any sales/catalogues by digital distribution sites like GOG and Steam. Furthermore they have their own competitions, and their "Bargain Chat" live chat room is constantly updated with people posting about bargains they have stumbled across.
I am sure Americans probably have a similar site to go to.
Oftentimes these sites have deals. Steam usually has at least one deal every weekend, and GOG follows pretty close behind.
You have hopefully learnt how to NOT Pirate. You can do it! I can, so can you! May the Force be...@#