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Modern day pirates and a moral dilemma, the right thing to do?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by chicken_china_mom, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Ok, I don't mean the pirates of the high seas, I mean the modern day music and movie downloading kind of pirates. Specifically I mean my ex. First, let me explain how my ex is, to give you an idea of what he is like. My ex is 37 years old and has never held a job in his life for more than 8 months at a time, and that's the job he had when I met him. Apparently he was caught stealing from it and he was fired. For the next 6 years it was myself and my mother that supported him and our children. He is a very manipulative person. He had already ruined his own credit, so while we were together he did things like putting cars in my name, and then getting rid of them without filing the proper paperwork, and I ended up with my license getting suspended because of it and he took my bank card and emptied my account out, and other things like this. He cheated constantly, and then tried to blame it on me, basically all but ignored our kids, though he does to this day favor our older daughter. He always makes our younger daughter feel alienated. I got fed up in late 2003 and he moved out. We worked clumbsily at fixing things, but then I discovered that he was cheating on me with the girl that he had cheated on me with when I was pregnant with our first daughter (don't ask, I claim temporary insanity), and at that point I couldn't take the drama anymore, so I ended it for good. So he manipulated the two eldery men that live next door to his sister and convinced them that they needed him living with them to take care of them. Til his sister put her foot down, so the next step was to get serious with that new gf of his, and they got an apartment together, no doubt it was with HER money. My ex is a scam artist extraordinaire. If he can con someone, or find a less than ethical way of making money without having to do any real work, that is the path he chooses to follow. He did fix cars from time to time to make money, but I never really saw that money. Here's an example of things he has done in the past to make money:

    Selling weed for his cousin who is a drug lord

    Buying brand new items that had "fallen off the back of one truck or another" and then selling them

    Befriending the elderly and then going into their houses after they die and taking whatever he thought might be valuable before their spouse or family could come in and complain or notice. He would target people who were pretty well isolated from their families, so that much of the belongings that they had accumulated would not be noticed if he took them. He was also good at smooth talking the surviving relatives.

    Selling or trading away things of mine or the childrens', or my mother's

    And more that I probably don't even know he did. Let me say right now, I did not condone anything illegal or immoral, and I fought him tooth and nail on it, and that's probably one of the main reasons, besides his cheating, as to why we separated. After we split, he went on to become a pirate.

    His gf, he's still with her, I assume is ok with immoral and illegal activity so long as she has the money to go clubbing and get her nails done, and get drunk, because he doesn't hide it from anyone. When my best friend died in January of last year, I had to travel back North to Chicago to attend the wake, and since my ex hadn't gotten to see my kids for Christmas, he invited me and my older DD who I had brought with me, over to his and his gf's apartment, which is inside HER mother's apartment building for dinner. He knew full well I wasn't letting him take her alone, so he invited me too. We ate a nice dinner, and after dinner the plan was to watch a movie. His gf had picked me up at my aunt's and we had stopped at a Redbox to rent a couple of movies that they didn't already have at their place. So after dinner we move to the living room where he begins to brag about this awesome cable box he has that he picked up somewhere or the other. It is suppose to get ALL the cable channels, even PPV, FREE, because it somehow copies codes or something and transmissions. I'm not clear on how it works, but I was not impressed. The whole time I'm thinking...how illegal is this? So then we watched the Redbox movies. He didn't watch them with us, it was just my daughter, his gf, and myself. After the last movie he comes out with a stack of movies in his hands. I'm alarmed now, because I can see these are bootleged. He hands them to me and says he copied them for me, the girls and my mother, and that it was a bunch of movies he knew we would like. I took them, and later got rid of them. So, I know there is something like a $250,000 fine PER MOVIE for doing what he does, so why risk it? Because he sells the movies before they even come out for like $10 a piece, and he apparently makes quite a bit because they live relatively comfortable, though he loves to complain about how they are alway broke and that's why he has no money to send me. Yeah, if you're broke, how did you get that 50" tv on your wall? Or afford that illegal cable box? Or put that ring on gf's hand? Or pay for her bi weekly nail jobs? Yeah, I could go on and on and on. He does this with music too. I complained when he downloaded songs off the internet from my computer a few years ago when he bought them MP3 players. My kids didn't like that and therefore refused to listen to the players. They were so scared after watching an episode of ICarly that they would go to jail for what their dad had done. Well, come to find out that he's been talking on the phone with my mother, and I'm afraid he's going to get her into trouble. He convinced her to download Limwire, and to start downloading her own movies. Fortunately for us, our internet slows down with downloads, and after 3 days, yes 3 DAYS of trying to download 3 movies, only one actually downloaded. I threw a fit, lectured her about the dangers, and she basically told me to stuff a sock in it, he knew what he was talking about, and if he was doing it, then so could she. Ok, fine, you want to believe a liar and a cheat over your own flesh and blood? So be it. If the FBI ever came knocking on my door, I'd point them STRAIGHT to her bedroom door. So, fast forward, Limewire doesn't work, mom pouts, he sends her about 30 bootlegged movies, TO MY HOUSE! She's thrilled, I'm angry as all get out, and he thinks it's perfectly ok. Am I wrong to think this? Um, pretty sure I was raised with morals, though I think my mother has forgotten some of the ones she instilled in me. Ok, so on June 6th, the day my neighbor and I got into the car accident, we were discussing her niece, who I liked a lot. I thought she was a nice girl, good head on her shoulders, even if she was a little slow (suffered fetal alcohol syndrome), and last I knew Iris had excitedly left for college with dreams of making honor roll and graduating at the top of her class. Iris left for college last year. Well, my neighbor proceeds to tell me that Iris is in big trouble. Apparently she's been downloading movies and music off the internet at the rate of hundred to thousands, and the FBI found out. Well, they came after Iris. She is being fined something like $250,000 PER MOVIE, and a similar amount per song download. They confiscated her computer, and are going after everyone she lives with, gave these movies and songs to, etc. The poor lady she lives with is a probation officer, and now she stands to lose her job for the simple reason that Iris used HER internet connection to do it. It was Iris' computer though, but the FBI doesn't care. They went after Iris' older sister too, who basically renounced Iris. So she's not going to be penalized. My neighbor won't be bothered because she didn't allow Iris to come stay with her when people were asking her to let the kid come stay with her, and now she's very glad she did. So now Iris is looking at millions of dollars in fines and a VERY long time in prison. She's maybe 4 ft 9 and about 90 lbs. Yeah, she'll do GREAT in there! Well, after the accident, when I had calmed down and was back home safe and ALIVE, I told my mom what my neighbor had told me. This sent my mom into a panic. She deleted the movie she had downloaded and the Limewire. However I don't think she realizes that it's still on her hard drive and unless she got rid of the computer completely, the FBI could still come after her if fingers were pointed. However, she kept the movies. I have been slowly, deliberately scratching them, one by one, and claiming they are beyond repair, and then throwing them out. I don't want them in my house!!! I don't want to get in trouble because my ex is a lazy thief!

    So, here is my moral dilemma, should I just sit quietly and keep my mouth shut? Or should I place an anonymous call to the FBI? It's a delicate matter in that he and his gf have a kid together. Would both parents get in trouble? Would HER parents get in trouble? I'd hate to see that kid without parents. Yeah, someone would take her, he has sisters and brothers, she has sister and brothers, but it bothers me. But he won't stop, ever! He sees nothing wrong with lying and stealing to get what he wants, and I am the complete opposite of him. He has since sent another batch of these pirated movies to my house. I think that unless he gets punished formally, he won't stop, and my mother will continue to listen to his nonsense. If I call, I don't even want her to know that I did it because I don't want her thinking I did it because I don't want him to have any contact with my kids, because that's not true. Well, I DON'T, but that's because he isn't teaching them anything except how to lie and steal by his actions, and he tells the girls it's ok! That if it's on the internet it's MEANT to be downloaded! [​IMG] What kind of message does that send to my children? And my mom, well, she's as stubborn as they come. She has to be really scared or have a gun put to her head in order to get her to do something, so I am left pondering. Do the right thing legally, just keep my yap shut and deal with this constantly looming threat since I know the FBI is cracking down now more than ever on pirating? Any advice? [​IMG]
  2. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    I dunno what to tell you. Every time my husband and I do what we feel is the right thing, we get bit in the butt.
  3. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Quote:That's what has me concerned. I don't want him to go lying and saying we did it too, or heaven forbid, that we got him into it! I have a lot of concern about this.
  4. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    My DH is a former musician, so he equates music piracy along the lines of grand theft since many of his former bandmates and friends make a decent chunk of their income from songwriting credits and album royalties.

    Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do in your situation. If it was just ex and his gf, then I'd say "yeah, do it." But like you said, what's going to happen to the kid? Like Quail told you, there are going to be a LOT of repercussions from this that you will not foresee, no matter which course of action you decide.

    You're in a tight spot right now ... [​IMG]
  5. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Crowing

    Feb 23, 2010
    Sometimes there are no easy answers to the problems we face.

    Speaking for myself, as a writer, I've made a fair amount of money
    from my work. And I work at guarding myself. I do not post my work
    online at any point. I do not even use this computer to write it on, for
    fear of being hacked. Not even hooked to the same printer.

    When you steal a part of my work --any part of my work--you are stealing
    from me. You are stealing from my wife, my daughter, and any children she
    may have in the future.

    But I also see different degrees of theft according to the intent.

    To copy work from the internet with the sole intent and purpose of your
    own personal use is one thing. Not to be sold, given away, or open to public
    viewing. It's still wrong. But I can accept that.

    To bootleg any copyrighted material with the sole purpose of making a personal
    profit should be punished by law. And yes, to knowingly buy or possess any material
    you have reason to believe has been obtained in this manner should be punishable
    by law.

    I'm a little hazy on your exact post. Exactly who is it that has the work now? If it's in your
    home, get rid of it.

    It will bite you.

    If your ex bootlegs enough, he'll get caught all by himself. You don't have to help him.
    But don't get caught in the fallout.
  6. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    First thing I gots to say-----

    Why in the world would you ever ever want to go to his house?

    You divorced him because he was scum, a leopard don't change his spots.
  7. beckt

    beckt Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    She went with her daughter so she could see her dad. Not so she could see her ex. He sure sounds like the south end of a horse going north to me. Maybe the kids would be better off not having contact with him, even though he is the dad. If it were me I would either just send them back with no return address on the package(so not to be traced back to you) in case he tries to say you downloaded them and was sending them to him, or burn them when they do come.
  8. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    If he wanted to see his daughter it should be on his effort, not her's.

    he's lazy
    he cheated
    he lied
    he steals
    he cons

    She goes to great pains to tell just how big of a db (and I don't mean dear brother) this guy is, then in the next breath she is explaining about going over to his house. Well if he wanted to see his child, great, but she should not have went to his home. After all the explaining about his behavior, did she really think it would be a goodtime, or did she believe it would work out okay?

    I will never likely have an ex-husband but I can gaurantee one thing if I did and he was as described, that sucker wouldn't dare draw air out of the same room where I am breathing.

    Anyhow Mom and videos, music and such, stealing is stealing. Better to leave all that with the x-db.

    Kinda of subject---

    but I often wonder-- oh nevermind I'll never understand no matter how it's explained.
  9. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Regardless of how I feel personally about my ex, he is the father of my children, and my older daughter DOES love him, messed up as he is, and the friend I lost that had me up in the Chicago? I met her through him back when he and I first got together. She and her husband were his friends first, so he was at the wake, knew full well I was in town, and would have raised hell if I had not let him see his daughter. I am not the kind of person that likes confrontation, and he is...extremely confrontational. And he comes from a family that, while most of the time they don't believe his bull, would still support him if he wanted to do something to me. Maybe not his immediate family, but his cousins? That's another story. I'm not sure how close he is with all of them, but I know he's close with one, and he's in gangs, and sells drugs (he's the one whose older brother is the drug lord), and does much of the same illegal activity that my ex does. I still remember attending a birthday party for that cousin's youngest daughter when she was like 3, and the apartment was filled with only adults, very few kids if any at all, and when you entered the kitchen, the smell of pot was so strong you got a buzz just standing in there, and THAT'S where his wife had set all the kids (maybe 6 total? 3 of them being hers, 2 being mine?) to eat some food! I pulled my kids out of there. A bunch of men were on the backporch doing various drugs, and this is how all the birthday parties go for that particular family. With my ex and his brothers and sisters, it's usually the adults getting drunk if it's held at my ex MIL's house. However, my ex BIL actually had the nerve to bring coke to my older DD's baptism party and he and friends he had brought over that I didn't even know were sitting in the basement doing them! Not a whole lot I could say since my SIL had been nice enough to host the party and it was her house, so I packed up the baby and my entire family, and I left. I wasn't having MY family exposed to that. But that's just the kind of crap I've had to deal with over the years. Shortly before my ex and I split, we were having a date night, first in ages, and as we were driving to the theatre he scared me so bad I was literally traumatized. He very matter of factly began to discuss what would happen if I ever left him and didn't allow him to see the kids. He explained that he would arrange for me to be killed. That he wouldn't do it himself, but that he would have someone I didn't know find me and do it. That maybe one day I would be out driving, thinking nothing was wrong, and someone would hit me and kill me. Or maybe one day I would asleep in bed...well, you get the picture. So I made sure to tell EVERYONE I knew that if I suddenly ended up dead for any reasons other than natural causes (and they should still have an autopsy done to make absolutely sure it WAS natural), then suspect him of foul play. That scared me half to death when he said that. When we first split, I let him see the kids, but he was so into his new gf that he didn't have much time for them. Then I just eventually stopped bringing them to him. If he wanted to see them, he had to come over to see them. But eventually I got sick of stuff disappearing from my house, even the kids stuff which would mysteriously reappear in his other daughter's room back at his apartment. My older daughter threw a HUGE fit when she went over for a visit and found her absolute FAVORITE babydoll in the whole world in her little sister's room. The kid was maybe a year and a half old at the time. My daughter saw other toys of hers there too, and was upset, but she took back her babydoll, and flat out told her father this is MINE. It was a series of cumulative events that were the motivation for me to move far from him. For the most part now, my kids don't have much contact with their father. If he calls, it's to talk to my mother and only occasionally does he ask about them, and on rarer occasions will he ask to talk TO them. He deliberately calls late at night knowing full well they'll be asleep. I don't talk to him anymore unless I absolutely have to. There is no court agreement between us. I have the kids, end of story. I decided long ago that if he really loved them and wanted to see them, he would make the effort, and he doesn't. We've lived out here 2 years and he hasn't come to see them once. I don't have the money for a lawyer at the moment, but when I do, I'm going to see what it takes to terminate his rights permanently. I'll get alot of backlash for it from his family, but hey, I don't care anymore. I still worry if he would really try to hurt me. I suppose that along with terminating his rights, I will need to install a good home security system too. I have 7 more years until I never have to speak to him again. Cause once my girls are of legal age, I have no reason to pick up a call coming from his house. In fact, you can bet your butt I'll be changing my number. But, the relationship I have with him, it's not the point. Whether I hate him or go tap dancing with him every Wednesday doesn't change the fact that he is consistently doing illegal things, and is involving my house in these activities by sending stuff here. I can't just burn the movies yet, though I certainly will if I get a call that he got in trouble. Those cd's would be history within moments of the call ending, I guarantee it. And I'd probably have the hard drive on the computer changed, just in case.

    And I explained how he is at the beginning of the post to give people an idea of what kind of person he is. Yes, he is a liar, a cheat, a con man, and much more. He's also one of those people that unless he is punished severely for his actions, he thinks he's invincible and therefore sees no reason not to do these things. My children know what he does, and I don't like them having to be aware of such awful things. My older daughter is sad. Sad that she has a father that doesn't adore her, sad that he isn't the man that she always wanted him to be, and sad that he isn't an honest man. My younger daughter just hates him. She doesn't trust him, doesn't like him, never has, almost from the moment she was born. He was mad she came out a girl when he really wanted a boy, and he never bonded with her because of it. His own fault. I have two beautiful girls. I think karma came back around to kick him because the kid he has with his current gf? Another girl, and she is BAD. I mean rotten to the core bad! She is 4 and she talks back, spits, bites, hits, swears, and is the most awful child I've ever met. She drives him nuts, and I'm glad for it. It's sad that my kids have this kind of relationship with their father, but he's done it to himself, no one else did it. I just worry about how this will affect my kids, and what impact it would have on us if he were caught. It really wouldn't surprise me if the FBI were already watching him.

    As for who has the pirated music and movies? Probably half of the Logan Square area in Chicago as well as his neighbors, his family, his gf's family, him, and there are even some here because he sent them. He has reproduced hundreds, if not thousands of songs and movies. I am a writer too, and it bothers me to think of the work of others being stolen so easily. It's just not fair. Not for the honest general public either who go out and buy their music and movies, LIKE ME. The cost goes up, the security is increased, and it's just not economical to keep buying.

    I understand the instinct to bash me for still speaking to him, but you're not in my shoes. It's easy to say I'm never letting him see my kids again", but what about what the kids want? I can't just do that to make myself happy, cause if I could, I certainly wouldn't have moved just 3 hours away, I would have probably grabbed my kids and left the country! Dead serious! I never said this was an easy moral dilemma. It's one of the hardest that I've ever had to face. So many people will be impacted one way or another.
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If you have a child with someone, the custody agreement can't be ignored just because you don't like the ex or don't want to be in the same room. If there are serious issues that you believe should limit contact between the child and the ex, then take it back to court or an arbitor. IMO, felony behavior would be a reason to limit the child's exposure to that parent, especially when the child is young enough that she/he is at the early stages of learning what is right/wrong, and is primarily taught by parents and other adults with whom there is frequent contact.

    edited to add: just read through your last post China--how did you ever get divorced without a custody agreement in place? I am amaged that any judge would grant the divorce without one. And why does he call to talk to your Mom? That's weird.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010

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