It’s Saturday night, you have some free time and want to watch a movie. What do you do? Well, first, you may try Netflix, but, oh no, your subscription has lapsed. Well, what’s your next option? Find one of those illicit streaming websites, but the quality sucks and there are too many pop ups. So, you give up and download the movie illegally, right? No. Not to debate the merits and justifications for piracy, but this route is best avoided, especially in college.

Though downloading movies illegally happens often enough, one should be weary of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) sending out letters to colleges advising them to block what they consider “rogue websites” and torrent sites, where you can obtain a downloadable link for movies.

The MPAA and other sources mistakenly believe torrent sites provide only illegal content. This is not true. Torrent engines and similar sites also provide a way to share public domain and other files that can be distributed freely like certain Linux models. Not only this, but the MPAA sends out letters to colleges and students with warnings that sometimes contain lawsuits for the offending students.

While these lawsuits or warnings usually don’t amount to anything, it is best to avoid this hassle while at school. On top of that, downloading files causes you to use up lots of bandwidth, or data speed. While this might not seem like much, there is no need to slow down the school’s network when other students are doing work.

What do you do if you want to watch a movie and money isn’t something you have? Well, good news for you: Plattsburgh State provides students access to the Cardinal Video Den, which can be accessed at res-movie.plattsburgh.edu. While the selection isn’t extensive, students can watch many current hits such as “The Lego Movie” and “22 Jump Street.”

If these selections aren’t to your liking, you may also try Crackle, a video streaming website that features a variety of films from the “Godzilla” franchise and action classics such as “Bad Boys.” Alternatively, the Internet archive provides a variety of public domain films such as the “Flash Gordon” serials.

Finally, on Hulu you can watch full-length features including episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Happy watching. I’m sure somewhere in there you’ll find a movie or two to satisfy your itch.

Email Luis Reyes at luis.reyes@cardinalpointsonline.com

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