May 8 2012
Hyman Strachman is a WW2 veteran that spends most of his time pirating movies. He started doing this as a hobby shortly after his wife passed away to keep himself occupied. Since 2004 Hy has copied an estimated 300,000 movies and sent every single one to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan – out of his own pocket.
Hyman spent approximately $30,000 on his hobby so far since he began in 2004. The cost of purchasing pirated copies of movies, blank CD's and expensive overseas postage really adds up!
Every box he sends out has 84 discs that usually go out to a platoon in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Hyman acknowledges his violations of domestic copyright laws, but he also pointed to his walls – which are full of huge American flags and dozens of appreciative letters and photos of soldiers holding up their favorite DVD's.
After Mrs. Strachman passed away, Hy discovered a website that collected soldier's requests, which was largely filled with requests for DVD's and such.
When Mr. Strachman first started out he copied CD's on his personal desktop which was a very tedious one-by-one process. He got his hands on a $400 professional duplicator to speed up his process.
“Our downtime is spent watching movies as we clean our weapons” – a hand written note on the wall said.
Hy has never accepted any type of payment for the work that he has done. All he gets in return is letters and emails from soldiers thanking him for the work that he has done for them.
Hyman has seven three-ring binders which are overfilling with letters and printed emails thanking him for the things he has done. Our hats off to you sir, you're a good man!
All photos © NY Times
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