Can I have what I paid for, please, sir?

Image courtesy of TorrentFreak

Much debate has been made out of ‘pirating’ content that isn’t available in a specific territory. But what if you legitimately purchased content but can’t get access to it?

This happened to me two weeks ago. I was looking to purchase the new Album from Storm Corrosion. It’s available both digitally and physically. Now I’m a bit old fashioned, and do prefer the physical media. But at the time, I was at work, so I figured a digital download through iTunes to my iPhone would let me listen to it on the drive home. Too easy.

I was at JB HiFi the following weekend, having a look, when I saw the special edition release of Storm Corrosion – the CD and a BluRay disc with the album in high definition plus extra videos. Was a bargain price, so I grabbed it. Yes, I paid for 3 copies of the album, in different forms. Hold on to that thought.

I finally got around to playing the BluRay on my laptop, using the Roxio software that was provided. All I got was a blank screen. I tried a few times, including trying to play the file. Nothing. So I fired up trusty VLC player, added the mods needed to play BluRays (including a config file with decryption keys), only to be told (repeatedly) that I didn’t have the decryption key needed to decode the file. More or less telling me that the disc was too new to play.

So after all that, I’ve paid for 3 copies of this music, and can’t play the high definition version.

What are my options? I have three. I can go purchase BluRay playing software, but what if that doesn’t have the correct keys? A small chance, I’ll concede, but given I can play other fairly recent BluRays with my current software (which refuses to update) its not a guaranteed solution.

My second option is to download movie ripping/conversion software. Again, there is the (slight) chance it won’t have the right key. Also, this is a very grey area in the issue of copyright infringement. While it is technically legal to make a personal copy, most recording and movie reps consider this a small tip toe away from full blown piracy.

Finally, I could just go and download the HD video/lossless audio from a torrent site. Arguably the simplest solution, and seeing as I own a copy (three, to be precise) surely downloading it to get access to it would be justified? From a legal standpoint probably not. But it’s a possibility I’m certainly entertaining.

It’s an interesting situation: buy a copy of an album, but not be able to play it. Does this mean I am justified to obtain a copy in any way I see fit? Or would I be considered a pirate despite owning these copies?


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