Join The Black March!
Remember when we recently made that huge roar all over the Internet and repelled the SOPA proposition? Sure you do. We won the battle, but we surely haven't won the war. Yet.
So, it is the time for the next round. And this one's gonna be really fun. Codename: Operation Black March.
What's the idea of Black March?
Let's show the entertainment industry that we can happily live without them and that we won't die out of boredom if there wasn't them.
As you probably know, each company count their profits at the end of each quarter. On those occasions the suits get together in board rooms, sit and watch silly PowerPoints with graphs and pie charts. Except that this time, there will be no pie. And the chart will go straight down through the floor.
So, what do we have to do?
Do not buy a single record. Do not download a single song, legally or illegally. Do not go to see a single film in cinemas, or download a copy. Do not buy a DVD in the stores. Do not buy a videogame. Do not buy a single book or magazine.
Wait the 4 weeks to buy them in April, see the film later, etc. Holding out for just 4 weeks will lave a gaping hole in the media and entertainment companies' profits for the 1st quarter. An economic hit which will in turn be observed by governments worldwide as stocks and shares will blip from a large enough loss of incomes.
OK, I hear you saying: But what will I do the whole month with no movies, no new music and no video-games? Do you really expect us to live a whole month without music and movies?
Of course not. That's where the fun part comes. There is a hell lot of entertainment and culture out there that is not driven by corporations. Stuff that's been made for the sake of art and entertainment, not profit. Stuff they don't want you to find because once you find it, their boys bands, mindless attempts of comedies and empty dramas won't stand a chance. Al those millions of dollars in production and even more in marketing will be useless.
So, where to get free movies and music legally?
Let's cover the music first. My first stop would be jamendo. If you're not familiar with it, it's the largest collection of free music in the world. And by free, I mean not just for zero price but also not owned nor controlled by any corporation or performance rights organization. It's published there by artists themselves under the Creative Commons license. Similar and also worth checking are SoundClick and Tribe of Noise.
Before you think it's a pile of amateur shit there, go take a look. Sure, not everything is top stuff, but neither it is when it comes on corporate CD. You have to do your digging and exploring. There's a nice tag cloud to start with your favourite genre. Be sure that you will find some real gems. I did. Many times.
Movies are somewhat a different cookie. Production of movies cost a lot. But still, you can find some great stuff around. Your first stop might be films page of Creative Commons wiki. Then you might go to Movies Found Online and Top Documentary Films. And don't forget to explore Vodo.net a great site with tons of independent films.
And then, there is Open Culture, a project that deserves a whole post for itself. In short, it's a directory of free cultural and educational media on the Web. And it's huge. It lists hundreds of free academic courses, language courses, great movies, e-books, audio books… you get the idea. Only Hitchcock, Tarkowsky and noir collections might keep you busy for much longer than one month.
Black March is not just about showing the entertainment industry that we can live without them
It's about realizing that we can live without them. It's about switching to a healthy cultural diet. Do something positive for your brain. It feels good.
And, please, if you have more sources of free media that you enjoy, share it in the comments. Show us what you like to listen and watch. Sharing is half of the fun. It's also the important part of culture, the part they are trying to take from us by the insanity of copyright laws and censorship. So, put your pirate hat on and join us!