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At 92, a Bandit to Hollywood but a Hero to Soldiers
New York Times ^ | April 26, 2012 | ALAN SCHWARZ

Posted on 04/27/2012 7:43:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway

One of the world’s most prolific bootleggers of Hollywood DVDs loves his morning farina. He has spent eight years churning out hundreds of thousands of copies of “The Hangover,” “Gran Torino” and other first-run movies from his small Long Island apartment to ship overseas.

“Big Hy” — his handle among many loyal customers — would almost certainly be cast as Hollywood Enemy No. 1 but for a few details. He is actually Hyman Strachman, a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife. And he has sent every one of his copied DVDs, almost 4,000 boxes of them to date, free to American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With the United States military presence in those regions dwindling, Big Hy Strachman will live on in many soldiers’ hearts as one of the war’s more shadowy heroes.

“It’s not the right thing to do, but I did it,” Mr. Strachman said, acknowledging that his actions violated copyright law.

“If I were younger,” he added, “maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow.”

Capt. Bryan Curran, who recently returned from Afghanistan, estimated that from 2008 to 2010, Mr. Strachman sent more than 2,000 DVDs to his outfits there.

“You’re shocked because your initial image is of some back-alley Eastern European bootlegger — not an old Jewish guy on Long Island,” Captain Curran said. “He would time them with the movie’s release — whenever a new movie was just in theaters, we knew Big Hy would be sending us some. I saw ‘The Transformers’ before it hit the States.”

Jenna Gordon, a specialist in the Army Reserve, said she had handed out even more of Mr. Strachman’s DVDs last year as a medic with the 883rd Medical Company east of Kandahar City,

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Military/Veterans; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: movies; piracy; technology

Young People these days...

1 posted on 04/27/2012 7:43:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

That CIB says volumes. GIT SUM!!

2 posted on 04/27/2012 8:03:31 PM PDT by TexasSecede79366
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To: nickcarraway

Okay Jesse Jackson. Come to Hyman and talk about “Hymietown”.

This little Jewish warrior will kick you racist ass back to Zimbabwe.

L’Chaim, Hy. You’ve earned it.

(My son fought in Iraq and loved receiving books, cookies, etc. from the homefront. There were and are a lot of anonymous “Hy’s) out there, supporting our troops, not betraying them like the Coward in Chief).

3 posted on 04/27/2012 8:40:38 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: nickcarraway
That Combat Infantryman Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster is not given out to wimps, it means it was given to men who excelled and were in sustained ground combat with the enemy.

The Combat Infantryman Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster is the rifle and wreath lower right one in photo. It is also one of the more honored and respected decorations given out, for it not a BS one and speaks for itself.

4 posted on 04/27/2012 9:55:19 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Nations are only truly great when it's people are struggling against all odds, growing and expanding)
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To: Sea Parrot

It says that he is entitled to a Bronze Star or an Oak Leaf cluster, denoting a second award of the Bronze Star because he was awarded a Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

A star at the top of the wreath denotes a second award of the CIB, two stars, a third award, I have seen a few of those.

In 1977, we had a Bn CSM (1stBn, 61stInf./5th ID) who had three CIB’s, WWII, Koreah, Viet Nam. We had a lot of respect for this man.

5 posted on 04/27/2012 10:41:12 PM PDT by coincheck (Time is Short, Salvation is for Today)
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To: All

Talk about one hell of a story. Stop and read this article, Freeperdom, and you will remember this man for the rest of your life ISYN.

This is the definition of what nobility is. How humble men become kings.

6 posted on 04/27/2012 11:19:50 PM PDT by AnTiw1
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To: nickcarraway

This guy needs to set up his own Dread Captain Roberts franchise and appoint the next generation of pirate.

7 posted on 04/27/2012 11:51:05 PM PDT by Kevmo (Judicaret spectator se ipso: Let the lurker decide for himself)
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To: AnTiw1

Nobility? Really?

This is theft. Theft from all writers, like me, who get residuals for our work. The actors, directors and everyone who put up money to make the film are getting ripped off, too.

Say he wanted to send the troops Hickory Farms goodies or phone cards. Nice. Good intentions. Would you then sign off on his waltzing into the mall and walking off with all this stuff? Because he’s sending it to the troops?

If he could secure the copyright holders’ permission for what he’s doing, fine. But the rules are, in a free market economy, where property rights are still respected and everything doesn’t yet belong to the government, you have to ask. Charity by theft isn’t charity.

And I don’t care if he’s 92, that guy doesn’t speak for all vets; I read the comments accompanying the article. One vet said a care package with a jacked DVD in it would make him as uncomfortable as a candy bar stolen from 7/11.

8 posted on 04/28/2012 6:54:40 AM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: Blue Ink

Yup, I really didn’t look at it that way.

Maybe I’m bent because it’s no food off my plate, or maybe I naturally connect to the people whose day in the zone was made a little better by his crime than those who were outraged.

It must be that I’m just wired wrong, because although you made a conclusive argument, I just can’t connect to your pain. I keep visualizing young men in Afghanistan whose only positive event of a day in hell was a larcenous old vet that gave them a ninety minute escape out of it.

You’re 100% right, he has absolutely no legal defense at all, not one leg in court he could stand on. And he was aware of the legal ramifications of his actions, which would come down hard on him at his sentencing.

9 posted on 04/28/2012 8:02:58 AM PDT by AnTiw1
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To: nickcarraway

Can’t wait for the MPAA to sue him for about $75 million (300,000 DVD x $250,000 penalty each) . They need to make an example out of this clear Anti- American evil menace to society. Big Hy needs to suffer big time.


10 posted on 04/28/2012 8:11:29 AM PDT by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: nickcarraway
If it boosts the morale of the troops it's OK with me.Let the motion picture industry try to sue him.Although they just might try to sue his estate if he leaves anything behind.
11 posted on 04/28/2012 11:23:18 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
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To: AnTiw1

I’m not mad at him, not really. Because his heart is in the right place.

My beef is, our 92 year old vet is smart enough to figure out the technology to make dupes. Good for him. That means he’s on the ball enough to go about this legitimately — ASK the studios for copies of films. My guess is they would be glad to donate DVDs to the troops. Fantastic publicity, and believe it or not, there are patriots in Hollywood.

12 posted on 04/28/2012 6:50:42 PM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: Sea Parrot
He's been awarded the CIB once. The emblem of the rifle on its own is an Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB). The same emblem with a wreath around it is the Combat Infantryman Badge. A star in the top-center of the wreath denotes a second award.

Expert Infantryman Badge:

CIB First Award:

CIB Second Award:

CIB Third Award:

CIB Fourth Award:

13 posted on 04/28/2012 7:04:25 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (
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