The urge to buy or download pirated copies of expensive workout products is strong. If you have the technical savvy, or have found somebody online who’s willing to sell you a knocked off copy for half price, then what’s not to like? Get the quality goods, save cash, workout and get the body you want, all without breaking the bank. Smart? Actually, no, and not just because we retail these products. Read on to discover some very real dangers involved with these activities, and then ask yourself-is it really worth it?
One of the biggest temptations out there right now is to buy a burned copy of your favorite workout from a Chinese vendor. They’ll sell them to you for almost half price, and promise you that you’ll get everything you need in the box. Not true. We’ve had a number of people contact us here at EFR asking if we can sell them the workout calendar, or the nutrition guide, or any other key component of the workout that didn’t come with the DVD’s,. Frequently the DVD’s themselves don’t play. We know this for a fact: we ordered a sample from two Chinese vendors out of curiosity. One never arrived, and the second had three DVD’s that wouldn’t play.
What’s even more dangerous is that you’re giving unscrupulous people your credit card information. If you haven’t heard, identity theft is a growing crisis for banks and people who find their accounts wiped clean, and sending your financial information to people with no problem ripping off valuable products is a bad, bad move. Many of these illegal vendors are involved a wider array of criminal activity, and selling your credit card information is probably the least of it. So-ask yourself before you buy knock off products online for ridiculously cheap prices-is the high chance of identity theft and incomplete or missing products worth the money you’ll save?
Another avenue that people take is to download these workouts from the internet for free. Of course, you’ve probably already heard about all the viruses out there, and how they’re embedded in these popular products. How millions and millions of computers are now enslaved as ‘zombies’ to hackers who use their combined processing power and online capabilities to attack big, secure targets. This isn’t alarmist talk-google any of the terms I just mentioned, and you’ll pull up a number of reports from CNN, the NYTimes, etc. Downloading large, popular programs is a fast track way to infect your computer. Further, these downloads don’t come with all the required materials. No Nutrition Guide, no workout calendar, none of the other supplemental and vital information that comes with the authentic package.
Of course, the greatest damage won’t be done to you, your identity or computer-it’s being done daily by thousands of people who engage in these practices to Beachbody itself. Now, I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for them, but simply point out a fact. If they lose enough money to piracy, they’ll stop becoming profitable, or as profitable, and will stop making these amazing products. We’ve already heard from them as to how much they’re being hurt financially by all this piracy, and it seems like it will only get worse.
And finally, think about the message these fitness programs promote: P90X, INSANITY, all of them urge you to discover a new form of integrity, of self-respect, to reach deep into yourself and become a new, better you that is proud of not only their body but the determination, courage and effort it took them to get there. How can you begin such a journey if it starts based in theft and ripping off the very trainers and people who are seeking to help you realize your goals?
Piracy. We’re warned against doing it so much that we tend to tune those warnings out, and hear instead, ‘Blah blah blah’. But piracy has very tangible, real consequences, as the hundreds of thousands of people who experience identity theft can attest, or the ruined computers and the help they give hackers show, or the general disrespect to both yourself and these incredibly trainers that stems from ripping them off despite all their hard work. If you’re tempted to steal a copy of these workouts-don’t. Start this journey with integrity, because trust me, it’s truly, truly worth it.
Spirit of Justice in America
Image by DonkeyHotey
First they came for our search history, then they came for the open Internet, and then they came for our public spaces.
Imagine a future where all spaces, actual and digital, are privatized. In this world you will always be operating under terms of service rather than the Rule of Law. The same click-away-your-rights protocol that currently infects website, app and software usage will be brought to the actual world. Everything you see, hear, feel, and smell in these environments is subject to copyright. Your right to photograph, video, write about or in any way reproduce or share anything will be severely limited.
As you enter a mall, a highway, a doctors office, a privatized park (like Zuccotti Park), a subway, a movie theater, an airplane, a grocery store, a university, or any privately owned space, your communications device receives a terms of service request based on your location. You will be required to accept the terms of service to be eligible to enter the space.
You won’t be given permission to access if you are undocumented, have been convicted of a crime, have a low credit score, don’t have insurance, are on some terrorist/protestor/copyright infringer watch list or don’t have a recognized device. "No shirt, no shoes, no chip, no service." "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." If you don’t want to live by the rules, then you always have the freedom to… stay home… move to another country… change the law, or whatever.
If you attempt to enter the space without accepting the terms of service you could immediately be e-ticketed. Now you will have to appear in court or pay a fine. The same holds for copyright violations. Three strikes and you are immobilized, apprehended and escorted straight to the privatized prison. You won’t see a day in court or be tried by a jury of your peers. You’ll be lucky if you are entitled to redress your grievances in front of a corporate hired arbitrator. You’ll stay in prison until you serve your term and emerge in debt for the cost of your conviction, incarceration and probation. You’ll loose the right to vote. Your prospects will be diminished.
In this future we will no longer be citizens, we will no longer even be consumers, we will become users trading our liberty for the right to work and shop.
This scenario may be extreme, but it suggests how the never ending march of privatization and robo-justice could result in a world where we justify every breech of liberty by citing the property rights of corporations. The rights we give up in the so called digital world are real rights and are setting precedents to be used against our rights in the "real world."
The cellular network is accessing the real Internet. It should not be a corporate wild west where Net Neutrality does not apply. The Internet is part of the real world where our constitutional rights must be upheld. We must be less forgiving of business practices for digital goods that restrict our rights and prevent the creep of these practices into the non-digital realm.
Another step in this escalating process of corporate control is SOPA, aka the Protect IP Act, which will bring less liberty and more robo-justice for all in the name of reducing copyright infringement and piracy.
Read Senator Ron Wyden’s SOPA statement where he warns of severe repercussions to a Free and Open Internet if bills are passed."
You can read a Senate version of the bill in this PDF.
Sculpture of the "Spirit of Justice" from the Great Hall, 2nd floor of the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. The artist, Carl Paul Jennewein, created this aluminum sculpture in 1935. The dimensions are 12′ 6" tall x 48" in diameter. The CC image used in this post is from my Flickr photostream. The source for this image of the "Spirit of Justice" is a another great photo by Carol M. Highsmith and available via the Library of Congress.
The image has been cropped, exposure increased, contrast increased, and the color is adjusted. The "Spirit of Justice" is holding the letter "INC" the abbreviation for incorporated.