Movie2k is causing quite a fuss among technology conscious Internet users. The website was one of the world's most popular file sharing websites, providing links to other sites that offered all the latest and greatest first run movies for direct download; free of charge and often weeks before the movie was available in the theater.
Obviously, the motion picture industry and the Hollywood studios were not among Movie2k's fan-base and it didn't take long for the Motion Pictures Association of America to get a court order to shut Movie2k down. The film industry pulled no punches when they said that sites that offer links to download illegal copies of motion pictures are committing an act of financial piracy. The MPAA made it quite clear they are willing to use all the legal muscle at their command to put file sharing sites out of business.
For their part, Movie2k contends they are not breaking any laws by making links available to other websites and they should not be held responsible for the conduct of other individuals. However, there are conspiracy laws and copyright laws that would disagree with their point of view and that has made life difficult for Movie2k.
There is a third point of view in this argument. Many internet users have thea slightly unrealistic view that there should not be any private ownership of ideas and intellectual property should be freely shared on the World Wide Web. They show little, if any, concern about the simple fact that a studio like Dreamworks might have $300 million invested in one motion picture and they are entitled to make a profit.
The argument has gotten so convoluted that Jason Shultz, staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, had this to say about motion picture piracy: "In other words, let's say people are forgoing paying for $6 billion in movies by downloading or consuming illegal goods but end up spending that $6 billion on iPods, computers and HDTV sets on which to watch the movies, which leads to $25 billion in job creation in the computer/software/consumer electronics field." In plain English, they can steal from Peter to pay Paul, and everything is just fine.
The advocates of movie file sharing seem to be oblivious to the most important point of all; if the studios are unable to make a profit on their films, eventually they will be forced out of business, and then my friends, as Porky Pig used to say, "Th, Th, Th, That's All Folks." No more movies.