Originally Posted by sbutton
Does Tom Cruise really need any more money?
Whoa. I would hope you're aware that movie production (not to mention studio production) depends on a lot more people than just the actors listed on the poster, and all of those people are paid, fairly or not, and have their livelihoods depending on the continuation of the industry. In other words, you might not be directly contributing payment to them, but if movie sales mysteriously become unprofitable, it is possible that they will cease to be hired.
We are not yet, if we will ever be, at the point where movie production can be simplified and made easy by technology: the industry does succeed in setting a higher bar that remains meaningful. This is something the music industry does not do: record label albums do not contain better music. Record labels only hold a role that has since been replaced by the Internet: a distribution and publicity channel.
I would certainly hesitate to pirate movies on the basis of not "lining executives' pockets" more frequently than I would hesitate to pirate music. Music is a medium that requires the talent of a group, the expertise of using reasonably quality recording equipment, and competent marketing and distribution. Beyond that, it's a matter of getting on stage in front of large crowds and being paid for it. Movies, on the other hand, remain a labor of love for thousands of professionals, even the extras; the difference of quality between a Hollywood film and an indie film is clear and meaningful. It might not be a necessary difference: see recent films Babel and Borat: but it does exist.
I guess I rambled a bit; sorry.