Making a copy of a new DVD to send to a loved one stationed overseas with the armed forces is something many people would consider just fine. Making thousands of copies of that same DVD for sale on street corners would likely earn some frowns from the public. But what about someone — especially an adorable nonagenarian World War II vet — who makes thousands of copies for the sole purpose of entertaining the troops?
“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” says a 92-year-old man from New York who has become something of a folk hero to the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who have been on the receiving end of thousands of DVDs he pirated for their use. “If I were younger… maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”
He estimates that he’s copied and shipped more than 300,000 discs since he started his operation in 2004. Between the blank discs and shipping costs, he’s likely spent at least $30,000 of his own money in that time.
Surely irking Hollywood even more, the Long Island resident says he doesn’t make his copies from store-bought DVDs but from already-bootlegged versions of recent releases.
When the NY Times reached a rep for the MPAA — an organization not exactly known for its love of bootleggers — all he would say is, “We are grateful that the entertainment we produce can bring some enjoyment to them while they are away from home.”
Thanks to Dov for the tip!