A while ago, I went to see “Sex Tape” with my wife. It’s a moderately entertaining movie that’s got its moments and is good enough for an evening of light entertainment. The story itself and the associated technological premise is ludicrous, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief on that. There is however, one thing that stuck me: the movie is basically condoning piracy, even though they don’t seem to really realise it. From a movie coming from Sony, I’d expect a bit more paranoia.
Now, if you want to go to see the movie, stop here, as I’ll have to explain the plot in order to follow my argumentation.
Basically, the story is as such: Couple makes sex tape to spice up their sex life using an iPad. The movie gets accidentally uploaded to “The Cloud” and is automatically distributed to all (Apple) devices ever owned by the couple. Incidentally, they gave away some “old” iPads to friends and acquaintances (and the mail man). Now, why these iPads were not wiped by the previous owner, is explained as following: The owner, the man in the couple, working in the music industry (!), explains that the iPads are just a “container” for the real present, namely the “playlists” he makes.
Whoa! Stop right there! They are trying to tell us that giving away iPads fully, associated with your user account (because that’s what’s required to get connected to his part of the cloud) and all the music the guy owns on his iPad, is totally okay?. I mean, the guy is sharing playlists, but for these playlists to work, you actually have to have access to the music itself. I mean, sure, I can give you a playlist of my favourite Pink Floyd songs, but that wouldn’t help you at all to listen to them legally, provided you already own all Pink Floyd albums. Logically follows, that the guy in the movie is simply aiding unauthorized distribution of music, which is affectively called “piracy”. Sure it’s under his account, but that doesn’t make it right. Ok, fine, your normal Joe Sixpack surely doesn’t know he’s doing something wrong, but a guy working for the music industry? You want me to swallow he doesn’t know what’s right or wrong regarding music distribution? You want me to think he doesn’t know anything about the legal status of distributing music? No, I can’t really see how that is possible whatsoever, and I am ignoring all computer-related problems the movie has.
Of course, this I’m supposed to do the whole suspension of disbelief thingy, but really, I expect better from an industry that claims billions of lost sales due to so-called piracy.