I’ve started writing a regular column for filmmaker magazine entitled Culture Hacker. The column just hit newsstands this past week.
I have to admit I’m a bit excited. As I stand waiting in an empty parking lot I feel as if I’m in a scene from All the President’s Men. Although I haven’t placed a red flag on a balcony, I have been granted entry to a world — one where music, films, games and books are free.
When Danny pulls up he seems like your average 20-year-old. Disheveled, self-aware and a tad bit paranoid. He’s excited to be interviewed but makes sure to remind me not to say anything to his parents in the event they come home.
Danny’s house sits at the end of a suburban cul-de-sac. His room is poorly lit. There is clutter. Piles of dirty laundry cover his floor, much of which appear to be t-shirts with logos. As he fires up his PC, there is an awkward silence as the system boots. His walls are adorned with posters of bands, scantily clothed women and beer. It strikes me that the analog things in Danny’s room were most likely purchased.
As I turn back he’s smiling and pointing to his computer screen. At first it appears to just be a product listing for Pirates of the Caribbean on Amazon. But as my eyes meet Danny’s tapping finger I see the words “download 4 free.” It looks like a mistake but Danny tells me with a sense of pride that I’m experiencing “Pirates of the Amazon,” which is an add-on for Firefox. Add-ons are simple scripts that enable the Firefox Web browser to extend its functionality. “Pirates of the Amazon” along with “IMDB Pirated,” which turns IMDB into a full-fledged torrent search engine of sorts, are two of the newer add-ons that are simplifying the discovery of torrents. – read more