Since 2004, Hyman “Big Hy” Strachman has sent over 300,000 bootlegged movie discs to military units in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never expecting any money and using an estimated $30,000 of his own coin, the 92-year-old took up the hobby of bootlegging after his wife over more than 50 years died. According to this incredible piece in the New York Times, Strachman discovered a site that cataloged soldier requests for care packages, and after noticing that many asked for DVDs, he started an operation that started slow and evolved (with the help of a professional disc burner) into an enterprise that saw hundreds of movies copied every day.

The practice re-connects him, a World War II vet, to the military, and the result so far has been a few binder’s worth of Thank You notes but no legal notifications from studios.

Even with a staunch anti-piracy view, it’s difficult to deny the sweetness of an old man using all of his time and a lot of his own resources to ensure that a specific group of men and women get a chance to see movies that wouldn’t normally be able to see in their downtime between mortar attacks. Of course, the difference rests in an arbitrary sense of fairness. There’s little honor in clicking a button and waiting a few minutes to see what thousands worked hard to create. However, there just might be something fantastic about a man working around the clock and shipping hard copies half-way around the world to military personnel who need a distraction.

Either way that piece is a must-read. Strachman might be an outlier, but he challenges the perceived face of piracy.

Photo Credit: Todd Heisler/New York Times


ARTICLE TAGS
Like this article? Join thousands of your fellow movie lovers who subscribe to The Weekly Edition from Film School Rejects. Our best articles, every week, right in your inbox!
  %
%  
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3