Profoundly intriguing and discouraging confirmation class tonight. The topic – the 7th commandment (otherwise known as “you shall not steal”). It seems simple enough; don’t take stuff that isn’t yours. We discovered, however, that there is a lot of gray area in the commandment. I’ll save you the preachy rhetoric that I normally save for 7th & 8th graders – but believe me when I say it was a very humbling discussion.
One of the more lively discussions had to do with YouTube. Is it okay to watch videos on YouTube that haven’t received permission? YouTube has it’s share of family home videos, but it also has a lot of bootlegged copies of concerts, TV shows, movie clips, music videos – very few of which have been posted by the original distributor. Though I’m sure members of the entertainment industry aren’t having a difficult time “feeding their family” because a few college kids post their favorite clips on YouTube, the question of morality remains.
Enter Hulu, a site I stumbled across tonight. It’s possible (read: likely) that I’m way behind on this phenomenon – but it seems like a cool thing. You can watch entire TV shows and movies on this site, as well as shorter clips from TV and film. The streaming video is high quality. The best part – it’s free and it’s LEGAL. You have to put up with an occasional 10-15 second video advertisement, but it’s worth it to see full-length episodes and movies in digital quality resolution.
Oh, and if you’re wondering – over 2/3 of the confirmation students thought it was NOT stealing to watch videos that violate copyright rules. Most of them also didn’t think borrowing a CD from the public library and burning the songs on an iPod was stealing either. Ugh. At least they were honest…
Time to watch “The Big Lebowski” on Hulu.