There was a time when the system worked. From the earliest days of cinema, a system of staggered worldwide releases of Hollywood movies developed. It made sense: there were only a certain number of prints and it took time to ship them across the world. Nick James, editor of the British Film Institute's magazine Sight and Sound, told me that in the 1970s you could sometimes wait two years to see a Hollywood film in the UK. And 30 years ago that was alright. The markets really were separate. How would the average person in the UK even hear about the latest movies or TV shows on the US? You could run a five-year-old US TV show, call it brand new and very few people would be any the wiser. It felt natural for the same system to extend to videos and DVDs.
But it's not alright anymore. Here's why: the markets for legitimate purchase are still separate, but the marketing is not. The web is, as the name suggests, worldwide, and if you're advertising your great new movie or TV show on the New York Times website, or Salon magazine or in Gmail banner ads, you're advertising it to the world. Advertisers are very good at their jobs. They know how to tease and persuade, to push the buttons that get us to buy things; even things that we know are bad for us. It's not that we're entirely helpless in the face of advertising. Of course it's possible to see an ad for something you really want and still not buy it. But we find it difficult; that's the whole point of advertising. And if you're advertising a movie or a TV show, but not giving people the opportunity to buy it legally, what do you think is going to happen? You're working against yourself: with one breath saying "look at this wonderful product, don't you want it?" and with the next saying "you can't have it at any price".
People who download illegally aren't people who hate the product. They're fans. Of course there are some people who would never pay a penny for it, no matter how cheaply or easily available it was. But there are many who, like me, just want to enjoy a TV show they've seen advertised.
Naomi Alderman, The Guardian
The TGWTPRH Preservation Project is dedicated to preserving the memory and glory days of what was once [That Guy With The Prematurely Receding Hairline], my favorite website as a teenager, Sadly, the majority of the videos from this site were lost when blip.tv went offline for good. However, many people downloaded those videos and through them I am attempting to resurrect TGWTPRH for historical purposes.
The only series I am still completely missing is Angry Beefer's. I know it didn't last very long, but none of my sources have been able to find any episodes of the series. If you know of anyone who has saved Internet material from around 2011, please investigate further. I still have hope they were preserved on somebody's hard drive somewhere. Don't throw out your grandpa's old tower - there may be treasure inside!
Keiki: "The Angry Beefer"