pirated firefly copies

UPDATED: Thursday, February 9, 2006 05:58
VIEWED: 5319
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:12 AM


a friend gave me a pirated copy of the firefly series a while back. at first i was uninterested in watching it but eventually broke down to peer pressure and tried crack… i mean firefly. i sometimes confuse the two as they are equally addictive. when i caught the series on the scifi marathon before the movie release, i noticed that it was slightly different than the copies i had. the pirated copied seemed to lack some of the finishing touched that the scifi broadcast has. did they re-edit the scifi versions? or was a unfinished version leaked by the studio before release? on purpose?

anyway, all this also got me wondering: how many got hooked on firefly by the distribution of pirated copies? given the lack of finish on the pirated copies, i wonder if it was leaked from the inside as a marketing tool, sort of like a movie prescreening or demo software. the idea being to get the widest distribution possible, but make the no cost version not up to par with the commercial version. i figure that there are a lot people like me who don’t have time to sift through the mindless drivel normally on tv to find the few hidden gems. i also wont pay $20+ for a dvd boxed set for a cancelled tv show ive never heard of. it would seem to make marketing sense to make a version available to bait people like me, especially since it seems that a significant portion firefly’s popularity seems to be word of mouth by the fans.

now before somebody gets their panties in a knot about pirated copies, let me say that i bought a copy of serenity on dvd after taking my gf to see it twice at the theater. i also have a legit copy of the series on its way from amazon. if you are a fan and only have pirated copies, you should be ashamed of yourself. the crew of serenity “did a job and [they] deserve to get paid”.

edited cause i cant spell


Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:20 AM


Downloaded Serenity because I was bored. Downloaded FireFly because I was curios. Will by them both on DVD because I'm in love.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:43 AM


There were two version of the 2 hour Serenity pilot. One that aired of Fox, is airing on Sci-fi, and is contained on the Fox DVD. Then there is another version (the first actually) that never aired and was pirated to the internet. They have different musical scores and extended scenes and scenes never seen anywhere including the deleted scenes section of Firefly.

The only other modification is Objects in Space. This was always meant to be the last episodes but Fox never aired three of the episodes that came before it so Joss had to add a scene about Inara leaving Serenity that was later taken out of the version put on the DVD.

Oh, and play Cantr II at


Tuesday, January 10, 2006 3:15 PM


The versions shown on SciFi were the same as the ones on the legit DVDs, with the exceptions already noted, and the fact that SciFi added various sound effects. Still not sure why.

MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..." - Big Damn Podcast


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:40 AM


I'm all for online availability of media for the reasons that the OP said. Same thing with computer game demos and such. But in the end, if you like it: buy it.

Glad to hear that the OP did so.

I recommended the series to a friend of mine who responded with, "I'll have to download a couple." I then told him, "If you just wanna check it out, that's fine. But if you like it: BUY it, otherwise I will hunt you down, I will find you and I will CUT you."

Nothing could be more pathetically ironic than a Firefly flan who's kvetching about the show not being on the air and hasn't bought all the DVDs.

Heck, I'm considering buying REPEATED copies of Serenity to give as gifts just to boost sales =P


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:51 AM


Don't forget, for many people (including me) downloading was the only chance to check out the show before buying the box (which I did a few days later, can prove it anytime )

°°°°°°°°°°°° - my selfmade ambient/lounge/chillout music


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:02 PM


Personally, I don't have a problem with people downloading an ep or three to try it out, as long as they do one of two things afterwards:

1 (unthinkable) decide they don't like it and delete the downloaded copies, or

2 (you betcha) realize what an amazing show they've been missing and buy the DVDs.

Of course, IANA (entertainment biz) Lawyer.

I don't disagree on any particular point.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:26 PM



if you are a fan and only have pirated copies, you should be ashamed of yourself. the crew of serenity “did a job and [they] deserve to get paid”.

While I certainly agree that you should buy the the firefly and serenity dvds, your statement is of course quite hypocritical. It sounds a bit like: "If you like a movie - buy it. If not it's ok to just download it."

Piracy is piracy... the fact that you didn't like the movie or that you delete it after watching it doesn't make it any better.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not some kind of saint who always buys his dvds and computer games, etc. But then again I don't proclaim some kind of very dubious code of honor.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:54 PM


I herd Patrick Norton mention firefly on the twit podcast. I thought "this sounds interesting" so I downloaded the entire series via bittorent. I was hooked after the first 5 miniuts. I have scince seen the movie in theators, bought the dvd box set, the comic books, and Serenity on dvd. My point is that if it were not for piracy, I never would have discovered this truly great show.


Thursday, January 12, 2006 3:43 PM


I absolutely agree that piracy is rubbish. I would definately want to watch a perfect copy of a movie rather than some shoddy copy from the cinema. Also I collect DVD's and I want the packaging and definately the perfect digital reproduction and not a load of shoddy DVDs downloaded from bittorrent sites in plastic sleeves thrown in my draw. However I did get a DVD rip off my friend (if it wasn't a perfect copy I wouldn't have bothered) of serenity because it's not available in UK yet. When it is released I'll be buying 2 copies, 1 for my collection and 1 to watch.


Saturday, January 14, 2006 6:34 AM



Originally posted by j6ngo1977:
However I did get a DVD rip off my friend (if it wasn't a perfect copy I wouldn't have bothered) of serenity because it's not available in UK yet. When it is released I'll be buying 2 copies, 1 for my collection and 1 to watch.

I know it's just a few clicks away, but I am not going to destroy my pleasant anticipation. This is the most fun part after all

°°°°°°°°°°°° - my selfmade ambient/lounge/chillout music


Saturday, January 14, 2006 7:00 AM



The versions shown on SciFi were the same as the ones on the legit DVDs, with the exceptions already noted, and the fact that SciFi added various sound effects. Still not sure why.

What sort of sound effects?

And do the episodes end with the executive producers' names, or the glowing Serenity stencil?

Sliders: Gate Haven -


Saturday, January 14, 2006 8:41 AM


Here is the original thread:

And I think they end with the stencil, then put the screen "off to the side" for the credits and talk over them.

MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..." - Big Damn Podcast


Sunday, January 15, 2006 5:48 AM


Well, I recorded 4 episodes that aired on Sci Fi because I was intrested. What really intrested me as when I rented the actual movie first. Then of course I heard from a friend that it was being shown on sci fi, and made sure I recorded some of it. After that, I was hooked. None of my stores carried the boxset, but I found some online to download, and got them instead. One day i'll get the box set, but till then, I at least bought the movie to support the Firefly/Serenity fan bases. So piracy is not always bad, it's only bad they way certain people go about using it.


Sunday, January 15, 2006 6:09 PM


I have mixed views on piracy.

First of all, I can't download movies or anything, because I have dial-up. So, unless I wanted to see them in about 10 years, it's easier to rent them or check 'em out at the library.

I think that if something looks interesting enough (talking about dvd's and videos), and you find out enough about it. You should buy it if you want to. But if you watch it, and like it enough...then you should support it by buying it. That is just my thoughts. Unless it is only available by downloading, like I know some of the extra un-released Firefly stuff is. One day I'll get to see those.

I do download music for free though. I have no problems with that because I refuse to pay 15 bucks for a CD with 10 songs, where I only really like 2 of them. Which I know goes under piracy or whatever but the recording companies and all that have been ripping us off for too long. I did buy my Firefly and Serenity soundtracks from the store though, because downloading those is wrong, to me because...well that's obvious.

I wanna meet some AZ Firefly fans!


Sunday, January 15, 2006 6:47 PM


My feeling is, they broadcast most of the episodes for free in the first place, knowing a lot of people would be recording them, and possibly sharing and/or dubbing the tapes. Same thing for the Sci-Fi Channel reruns.

What you're paying for when you buy a professional DVD copy of once-broadcast TV shows isn't so much the right to watch them as the ability to watch a clean, complete copy, without commercials or rough pause-cuts that eliminate dialogue, whenever you want.

None of this applies, of course, to pirate copies of Serenity, at least not until it is eventually released to TV. And no one has the right to sell copies of a copyrighted movie or show for profit without paying royalties

"A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head." -- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates


Sunday, January 15, 2006 6:55 PM


Before December, I'd heard of Firefly/Serenity in passing. Missed Serenity in theaters because I hadn't watched Firefly and knew enough to want to see the series before I watched the movie. Actually made my friends turn off a crappy crappy shakycam pirated copy of Serenity one night because I didn't want to ruin it for myself.

One night I was bored. Dowloaded eps off BT and watched the pilot. And 'The Train Job'. And the rest, even though it was exams week and I was supposed to be studying. By the time I got to Objects in Space (about a week later), I was about ready to cry because I knew it was the last episode. Downloaded Serenity once I could find a good rip and watched that. Did cry several times during the BDM. Fell in love. Lurked around various forums for a bit ;)

Bought the Serenity DVD the first chance I had at Best Buy (a bit of a drive from home). Watched all the extras. Watched movie with commentary by Joss. I've watched it with three different groups of friends so far. People wonder what I'm talking about when I quote our BDHs, and I'm happy to tell them. 'Best Sci-Fi of the past ten years' or 'better then Episods 1-3'.

Two series box sets and another copy of Serenity on the way from Amazon right now, along with the BSG Season One DVDs. I have a close friend who has been pestering me about getting copies of the eps, and I figured she deserves a nice box set instead, and the movie. Since we will probably watch them together

I'll be honest, I don't usually buy movie or TV show DVDs. But Firefly/Serenity were special enough and I enjoyed them so much that I felt not buying them would nag on me for the rest of my life. I want more. I want it yesterday. I want it piped into my brain while I sleep so that I think I'm actually living in the 'verse. I'm almost tempted to send Joss money directly. I would sell my soul to Fox if it would help. Advertise the new series on my forhead!


Friday, January 20, 2006 4:37 AM


I'm going to admit it: I burn copies of the series for friends and relatives to borrow. What I've found is that, even if they're not the type to get obsessed about the show and buy 18 copies (like me ), most of them have at least bought a copy of the movie (or two, because the people at work needed to be enlightened). And I figure, people keeping burnt copies every now and again is worth the dozen or so copies of the movie my DVD burner has inspired people to buy.


Saturday, January 21, 2006 1:08 PM


I got into firefly because of an illegal copy, all of my friends have gotten hooked on the series because of someone handing it out. I like the series so much, I'm going to actually buy the DVD's so I can watch it on my tv instead of watching the illegal copy on my computer.

Handing out illegal copies may be wrong, but how else are people going to be turned onto a canceled series and a movie that was a flop at the box office? Firefly is kick ass, but I would not have ever even heard of this show or decided to join this blog if it wasn't for an illegal copy.


Sunday, January 22, 2006 1:00 AM


Was the pirated version downloaded from the internet or copied from an original disk? If it was copied from an original, according to my dad at least, the program used to copy a disk to another disk my cut out bits and peices (e.g. extras and such, a possibly some of the actual feature) if there is too much information to fit on the new disc.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006 4:31 PM


I love Joss's other shows but was skeptical of Firelfy and consequently ignored it when it was on TV. I downloaded the DVDs off the internet just as a novelty. Waited a few months before watching the eps. Watched all the eps IN A ROW over a couple of nights. Bought the box set to ease my guilty conscience. Watched Serenity in the theater. Downloaded the DVD before it was released just so I could enjoy it that much sooner. Bought the DVD not so long ago.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:23 AM


Aye, I be a pirate of the Firefly 'verse.

I first got into it after it was cancelled, but before the DVDs were released. My best friend got me into the series after showing a tiny bit on his computer. He then burned the episodes to disc for me, and I watched them later--except for the three never-been-aired ones; I saved those for when the DVD came out to give me a little surprise.

I bought the DVD the day it came out, too. I just re-bought last week after selling the first copy to someone, while she was borrowing it. KF


"Lord, I'm walking your way. Let me in, for my feet are sore, my clothes are ragged.
Look in my eyes, Lord, and my sins will play out on them as on a screen. Read them all.
Forgive what you can and send me on my path.
I will walk on until you bid me rest."
~Haven Prayer


Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:22 AM


If it was not for bittorrent, i never would have seen Firefly. None of the rental stores near me has it (I looked) and I'm not in a position where I can blow $40 on a show that friends tell me I'd like, but I've never actually seen. But because I could "sample" Firefly for free, I have not only bought Serenity and will soon by the Firefly dvd set, but I gave the sample files to 3 friends who now love the show and are all planning to do the same. And at this point, I'd be willing to pay $200 easy for a 2nd Season of Firefly.

Piracy (Cinema cameras, copying commercial dvds for resale, etc.) is bad, but using filesharing to watch free tv programs within reason is a HELPFUL thing for those shows. There is now a lot of concensus that Battlestar Galactica owes much of it's popularity to Bittorrent--the most downloaded show of all time, actually--and I think we can encourage this to a degree with Firefly as well. Until they make Bittorrent and the like illegal, let's use it to our advantage. In the long run, it will increase the popularity of the show, and overall $$$ grossed.

Founder--Coalition for a Firefly Miniseries


Wednesday, January 25, 2006 4:45 PM


My first exposure to firefly was Heart of Gold on Sci-Fi. I vaguely recalled seeing a few lame looking comercials for it a few years ago...

I thought HoG was prety good. The following week, a few minutes after watching Objects in Space, I was on the internet ordering the boxset. It arrived the following Tuesday morning. I watched one disk per night Tues-Friday and saw Serenity on Saturday right before it left theaters in my area for good.

I've made a couple copies of disk #1 minus the extra audio tracks and at a lower but still decent resolution that I loan out to people. If the loanee likes it, I tell em where to buy their own set. If they just don't "get" it, then I just can't see it as anyones loss as they wouldn't have ever bought it anyway. More than anything else, the copies are to keep my disk #1 from getting dammaged/lost/etc... by the loanees.

I've also bought several extra boxsets and copies of Serenity that I've given away as gifts.



Thursday, January 26, 2006 7:54 AM


That's a good plan too, I like it. Good way to let people try out the show, 'cuz it's true that some people just don't get it.
Yea, I also try to never lend out my master versions of my dvds--but instead lend my friends backups. My wife thinks this is a bit anal, and perhaps it is, but I look at it as SAVING friendships, because I've had people lose or ruin my dvds/cds/books in the past and it's sort of annoying. This way, I don't have to be annoyed and they don't have to worry as much. It's worth the $0.30 dvd anyway.

Founder--Coalition for a Firefly Miniseries


Friday, January 27, 2006 5:52 AM


John Lee, conspiracy therapist at Hollywood award-winner History Channel-mocked SNL-spoofed wooHOO!!!!!!

Free FF music video:

Video download "previews" are just gifts from friends, which is always legal, and its free marketing for movie producers. It's just like watching a rerun on TV and taping it, and people have already paid for that service. Since the movie producers also own stock in the cable TV (ISP broadband) and own stock in telecom ISPs, they are literally granting permission for video downloads which they do profit from.

Video downloads are lower quality and VERY inconvenient, and you can't really show them to your family and friends unless they want to sit by themselves at a computer. There are major computer code issues with trying to burn DVDs from downloaded videos, since there are over 10 types of DVDs, plus single-sided (4GB = 2 hours) versus double sided (8GB = 4 hours), plus all the various computer codecs, plus wide-screen vs regular TV, plus NTSC/PAL/SECAM with different frame rates, plus burned DVDs (DVD+R, DVD-R) are only compatible in half of DVD players and computers, versus stamped DVDs that are always compatible but require $100,000 manufacturing tooling. Then there is the time issue of having to waste so many hours just to get a damn video downloaded and burned, which is sub minimum wage waste of time. It's so much more convenient to just buy the damn DVD series.

Before folks feel sorry for movie execs, remember that Michael Eisner of Disney/ABC pays himself $200-million/year salary, and all studio venture capitalists loot TRILLIONS of dollars from Wall Street pension funds, CAFR govt pension funds, and all banksters counterfeit "money" scrip out of thin air (inluding ALL loans), thanks to the private Federal Reserve Bank Corporation scam.

Trillionaire Sir George Bush Sr Knight of the British Empire (CIA/MI6), British Prime Minister John Major (MI6), the German Queen of England Elizabeth Sax CoBerg Gotha (hereditary dictator of the parliamentary Alliance), and the multi-billionaire Bin Laden family (MI6), bought Universal Studios (Serenity) via Carlyle Group Pentagon contractor (don't feel sorry for Bush killing 1.5-million Iraqs who now can't very well buy FF/S DVDs - IT'S BAD FOR BUSINESS TO KILL THE CUSTOMERS!).

File sharing is just free advertising via unpaid "interns" who have to pay media monopolies for overpriced ISP service. Free file sharing is NOT free. Piracy is a media mafia cartel hijacking the airwaves in violation of anti-trust laws.


Michael Moore: pirate my film, no problem (since I already got paid $100-million)

Fury as Fahrenheit 9/11 director backs allegedly "illegal" not-for-profit downloads - Controversial film-maker Michael Moore has welcomed the appearance on the internet of pirated copies of his anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 and claimed he is happy for anybody to download it free of charge. The activist, author and director told the Sunday Herald that, as long as pirated copies of his film were not being sold, he had no problem with it being downloaded. “I don’t agree with the copyright laws and I don’t have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they’re not trying to make a profit off my labour. I would oppose that,” he said. “I do well enough already and I made this film because I want the world, to change. The more people who see it the better, so I’m happy this is happening.” Distributed via websites such as, which lays claim to having served more than 17 million downloads. Thousands of copies of Fahrenheit 9/11 have already been downloaded, each taking about 3.5 hours over a broadband connection. Moore said: “Is it wrong for someone who’s bought a film on DVD to let a friend watch it for free? Of course it’s not. It never has been and never will be. I think information, art and ideas should be shared.”

"You can't stop the signal!"
-Mr Universe, STM, Pirate TV

Pirate News TV
CTV Channels 6 & 12


Sunday, February 5, 2006 11:11 AM


I normally don't pirate anything that I can buy/view legally instead. But I have a pretty clear conscience when downloading stuff that is just not available in Germany yet. In that case I maybe could order from the US, but then I end up with horrifying prices for shipment and customs and DVDs with the wrong area code which I can only view on the computer.

If they deliver the goods on fair terms, they get paid. Otherwise ... well ... I just try to get my hands on it any other way. I am no thief ... well, actually I am ;) but it is what we in Germany call "Mundraub". I don't think there is a term for this in English. It means stealing things only if you would starve if you did not, a kind of stealing in self defence...


Thursday, February 9, 2006 5:58 AM


I'm another of those people who had heard about the show and wasn't sure I would like it, then figured I'd download the episodes and give them a chance. I was hooked almost immediately. I watched Firefly any spare moment I had over the next couple of days. And since the movie was long since out of theaters but not yet on DVD, I downloaded that too. But instead of burning these files to DVDs like I so easily could have, I went out and spent money I didn't have on the box set, and bought the Serenity DVD the day it came out a few weeks later.

I hate to repeat the same things everyone else is saying, but really- if not for the pirated downloads I would never have found this show. I recognize the fact that the company deserves to get paid for its work, but pirated copies can really do wonders for increasing a fan base. Sometimes you just can't know if you're going to love a thing without trying it out first. And honestly, I know so few people who haven't loved Firefly once they've given it a chance.






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