I remember the very first time I used bittorrent. It was 2004 and I was at a prominent university in the USA, which I quit after a few months.
It wasn’t until reflecting upon Steal This Film that I realized how much the acquisition of copyrighted material influenced my life. This is not just because PC games, films, and music brought me countless hours of entertainment. It’s because the time spent searching for ways to download these forms of media exposed me to new information and more importantly, taught me how to find the information/data I seek. Being able to distinguish between fake sites from real sites, being able to find information pertaining to a computer error, the latest news regarding the pharmacology industry or some esoteric literature- I owe my abilities to the hours I spent searching for the latest warez release of a computer game when I was a teenager.
What does this all mean? To paraphrase Douglas Rushkoff: “The Internet is not a information revolution, it is a communications revolution!”
I have yet to see a documentary that expresses this so well as Steal This Film Pt. 2. The first part of the film is pretty good too, but the second part (produced a year later) is in a league of its own. It includes interviews with top intellectuals and academics from around the world and is a MUST see.