Friday, January 20, 2012

Bakeries and Pirates

This morning I met my friend Eve at Caballé the local pastisseria.  Most of the English people who live here call it Fleca.  I suppose they don’t know that fleca means bakery, that there are several flecas in the village, and that the name of this bakery is Caballé.  Caballé used to be one of the few places where you could enjoy your coffee without any cigarette smoke.  Another was the other pastisseria in town.  At that time, bakeries, by law, were the only sure no-smoking havens (although you can drink there -- they all serve beer and brandy).  Now smoking is forbidden in any café, bar, or restaurant.  But I stick with Caballé because I think it has the best coffee and the best morning pastries in the village.  Unfortunately, for good cakes and fancy pastries, you have to leave the village and search elsewhere.

Today’s TV news is of the arrest of seven persons in New Zealand, accused of internet piracy.  I never heard of Megaupload until today.  I’ve never tried to download anything for free.  I believe in the right of the author/artist to receive compensation for their work and their creative output.  I never buy albums or movies from street vendors either, knowing that those are pirated copies.  When I want an album or movie, I rent it from the library or buy it from a reputable retailer.  But there have been times when I’ve only wanted one cut off an album.  I tried to download it legally.  I tried with Amazon but they detected that I was connected to the internet from somewhere outside the U.S. and the download was not allowed.  So I tried Amazon UK, all of us being part of Europe.  But there I ran into the same problem.  I was not in the UK, therefore I could not pay and download the song I wanted, although I could purchase the CD.  I badly needed to hear "I Will Survive" at any time day or night, so in the end my friend Chaim sent the song to me, good friend that he is.  So I ask you, if they don’t allow you to download legally, is it any wonder that people do it illegally?

Otherwise, there is nothing much new here except for my water leak, but I will talk about that later, once my trusty plumber (and electrician) Ramon finds and repairs it.  

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