Meet Hyman Strachman, aka “Big Hy”, a 92 year old World War II veteran who spends his free time copying Hollywood feature films, many still in theaters, and sends them overseas to the courageous men and women of the armed forces, all at his expense. “Big Hy” buys bootleg copies of popular movies such as “The Artist” and “Moneyball”, makes 7 copies at a time using a DVD duplicator connected to his computer, then packs 84 discs into a flat-rate USPS box and sends it away on a 3-month journey overseas to military personnel.
He estimates that he’s duplicated and sent over 300,000 discs, an out-of-pocket expense of over $30,000, and he does it as a kind gesture to the brave men an women who serve in the military, just like him.
“Before long, the sole evidence of his operation will be on his walls and on a little bookshelf, next to his cholesterol-control pills and a few envelopes of farina, where seven three-ring binders overflow with letters and pictures, most addressed to “Big Hy,” from appreciative soldiers.”
Mr. Strachman does not keep copies of the movies for himself, and as far as I can tell, will never be prosecuted:
“Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, said he did not believe its member studios were aware of Mr. Strachman’s operation. His sole comment dripped with the difficulty of going after a 92-year-old widower supporting the troops.
“We are grateful that the entertainment we produce can bring some enjoyment to them while they are away from home,” Mr. Gantman said.”
Its certainly a relief to see the folks at the MPAA have some dignity and humor left and won’t be taking legal action against Mr. Strachman, a national hero that keeps on giving.
Via [NY Times]