Why I don't rent movies

Three associations of rental movies stores, one Portuguese, one Spanish and one French, joined efforts and created an "anti-piracy civil movement". While I could argue that "civil" is a bad word to describe such movement, this wouldn't catch my eye for long, but it did, since they created that movement for the purpose of getting the Telecoms Package to be approved by the EU Council without the emend 138 (that states that whatever the Package says, personal rights should not be trumped over), and they actually managed to get what they wanted. Anyway, when confronted about how bad for European citizens it would be if the amend was dropped, they failed to justify why they don't like it, and instead mumbled over and over about piracy piracy financial losses piracy piracy piracy... I tried, for three days, to get them talking about 138, and why they don't want that, but instead of getting a justification, I've heard tons of things about piracy and how bad their business was.

During the discussion, and because they felt that I must be pro-piracy (which I actually am not) because I don't agree with them, they tried to confront me by asking a curious thing: what was the last time I rented a movie?

Now, more sober from the discussion, I started to think more about that question. There are lot's of people that never really were into renting movies, but that's not my case. My reply was something like "for years", but now, thinking more about it, I can say with some certainty that the last movie I rent was more or less four years ago. Why?

Well, I lived in Lamego in my youth, and there I never was really into renting movies. The offer there was poor (and last time I checked it was even worse), so there was really no point in spending money and rent a movie when I could spend the less drinking beer, hanging out, or even acting like a potato couch and seeing silly TV shows. When I moved to Coimbra all was different. Specially in my first years there, I was quite addicted in cultural stuff: almost every day I had a concert to see, a theatre play to attend, and exposition to watch, a movie to see. I spent lots of money in one of the cinema's there, where I usually watched all the movies that were shown in that venue. Also, I used to attend to every thing that was going on the Academic Theatre (TAGV): mainly movies, plays or concerts. And I also started renting movies, specially when with friends: we would get a couple of movies, crash in someone's house, and do a "movie party". Life started getting busier and busier, but it wasn't uncommon to see me browsing in Tintarella's shelves, since that particular movies rental store had a quite nice stock of recent and good alternative movies, European cinema and science fiction, and a catchy section with weekly highlights. In my latest years in Coimbra, sometimes I was found in the middle of the night with a couple of friends on the multimedia room of one University department, watching a just-rented movie.

Then I came to the big city of Lisbon, and I never rented a movie again. Do you think it is my fault? First I lived in Carnaxide, now I really live in Lisbon. I know where a/the movies rental store in Carnaxide is: I went there exactly three times, sold there used CDs, bought there one second-hand CD, and their movies selection was... unattractive. I live in "real Lisbon" for almost three years now. And I never saw a movies rental shop.

Now, do you really think that it is my fault that I never rented a movie anymore? Is it caused by piracy? No way. I don't rent movies because I don't have the habit of doing so, I don't know any rental store and I don't feel any urge of finding one. If you take into account that I used to be a client of that kind of stores, their "industry" lost a client. They did not know how to keep me. They failed as business people. They did a bad job. They are doing a bad job. They can throw rocks to piracy, freedom, rights, or anything they like. They might even get the chance to implement any laws and regulations they dream of. They will never have a successful business until they realise and admit their flaws and mistakes. Hurting people is not a way of making them your clients. Slowly, really slowly, the music industry is starting to learn their lesson. Movies rental businesses should too.


  1. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Não alugas filmes não é... aposto que os gostas de "sacar" da net não é... então se for a partir da rede da empresa melhor ainda...mais rápido...pois é!

  2. Anonymous3:03 AM

    Claro que se saca da net. Só vcs é que são tão ceguetas que continuam a tentar evitar lutar contra a corrente do rio, fazendo uma barragem megalómana. Mas o rio não pára por causa da barragem. Ela não consegue parar um rio para sempre.

    Percebam (váaa láaa, estamos fartos de fazer desenhos) que o futuro implica tirarem o cú do sofá e ir para o rio oferecer os vossos serviços.

  3. Anonymous3:09 AM

    (sorry for wrinting in portuguese in last comment. My english is not perfect, but I could have tried to use it like I'm doing now. But I completely forgot this has a english "speaking" blog)

    Even so, I will not translate, the message is for the portuguese ppl.

    But my point is, maybe you were an excelent movie rental client, if you could rent your movies in the internet.

  4. Anonymous10:06 AM

    You should try Netflix for movie rental, it's easy & savvy too.

  5. Anonymous: you probably didn't read well this article, so let me quote this again:

    "they felt that I must be pro-piracy (which I actually am not)"

    I don't believe that doing illegal stuff is good. I don't do piracy of any sort. There are tons of people, like me, that don't rent movies, and that doesn't mean that they engage on piracy. My parents never rented a movie in their whole life. And they don't do piracy, they just watch movies on TV. I watch stuff on DVDs (bought, not rented) or on the theater. But I don't see that many movies nowadays. I don't rent movies because I don't have the habit of doing so. I don't rent movies because you don't make it easy to make an habit out of it. I don't rent movies because I'm lazy. I don't rent movies because I don't feel like renting movies. I don't rent movies because I don't know where to. But mostly, I don't rent movies and I wrote an whole article explaining why. If you don't know how to read, than that's your fault. I am in no mood of being insulted in my own blog -- if you will argue again that I engage in piracy (which I'm telling you I don't), come with proofs. Anything else just tells everyone you're a troll. Oh, and online rental doesn't work for me also: you can know more about my distaste regarding netflix with this article I wholeheartedly subscribe, and I never found (but also didn't bothered to look for) an online rental service without DRM, which I'm completely against.