Created on 4th Nov 2012
Written by Simon
takes place in a fairly near future UK, that has a very strong Anti-Piracy, Pro-Copyright government. The novel starts out with young Trent downloading movies and as a result having his family internet cut off for a year. This means his sister can't do her homework, his dad can't do his job, and his mother can't schedule her doctor visits. It dramatically effects everyone, because of how important internet access is to their lives. In shame, Trent runs away from home to London. He falls in with a generally good crowd, learning how to live on the street and eventually running into people who are fighting for a more free and open internet. Meanwhile the government under pressure from media lobbyists, pass a law that makes downloading a criminal offensive leading to jail time, for even minor downloading. The novel follows Trent and his friends attempts to get the law repealed and to try to get the pirate culture accepted in wider society.
The novel is more a polemic against draconian copyright law. Right now, if you make up a song, completely original to you, anyone can force you to take it down, by issuing a DMCA notice. There have been judgments of millions of dollars for a dozen songs torrented. And even worse legislation, such as SOPA and PIPA have narrowly been defeated and more such measures are on their way. Pirate Cinema is a warning of where we are heading and a call to rise up to stop it before it happens.
It is a very enjoyable read. The characters are believable enough, if a bit too good at their skills. And clearly there was a bit of Cory in Jem, when he gets talking about brewing coffee. I could clearly remember Cory's posts on Boing Boing during some of the coffee brewing scenes in the book. The technical details are all plausible considering advancement of technology in the future. It's hard to say exactly when the book takes place, but I'd say about thirty years wouldn't be too far off. A older judge talks about playing Counterstrike in his youth.