Once upon a time, we would all jump on the Pirate Bay or Kick Ass Torrents to get all our movies and TV shows, free of charge.
It was great in theory. It costs nothing and you get whatever program it was that you wanted to watch.
But it did little good for the entertainment industry or indeed your computer’s health as piracy proved – and admittedly, still does – a major loss-maker.
Then streaming – legal streaming – of the likes of Stan and Netflix came along and so that particular market boomed.
Sydney Morning Herald journalist Dom Bossi believes a proposed “safe” smoke initiative in the A-League can prove its own version of such platforms.
Bossi reported on Saturday that FFA is considering bringing safe smoke-emitting devices to A-League stadiums in a bid to enhance active support and colour on the terraces.
Importantly too, the move, which could be brought into effect next season with a tick of approval from relevant authorities, can stamp out flares.
Any A-League fan would be all too aware they have been a constant scourge on the league with the issue rearing its ugly head just when we think we have moved on; ultimately, a polarising issue among fans.
That can of worms was again opened in the Sydney Derby some three weeks ago when a flare or flares were discharged in the Western Sydney Wanderers away bay of Allianz Stadium.
That led to another suspended three-point deduction placed over the Wanderers’ heads and the closure of the RBB for Western Sydney’s following match against Perth Glory.
But the 2018-19 season could be the end of the issue once and for all as legal pyrotechnics are considered and Bossi told Tuesday’s Daily Football Show that it looks set to go ahead.
“Greg O’Rourke (head of A-League and W-League) needs to be congratulated for even taking this initiative … whether it’s a approved or not, we’re still waiting on a bit of red tape,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be approved by authorities as well, being police and so on, but it looks like there aren’t many reasons why it can’t go ahead.
“It’s a great alternative to flares, it still allows for a bit of colour in games as well, it still allows that bit of passion to burst at the seams, but it is a legal, alternative to flares, it’s safe.
“These safe-smoke devices don’t release extreme heat so there’s no real threat to burns that can happen with flares.
“If the FFA does come through with permitting safe smoke so to speak, then there’s no excuse ever for anyone to rip open a flare, an illegal flare at games so it’s also a very good way of stamping it out.”
Bossi compared safe smoke to the streaming platform, hopeful fans will gravitate towards the legal alternative to flares.
“I liken it to something like Netflix,” he added.
“People used to always illegally download movies … but when you come up with a legal and good enough alternative, people are happy with that product.
“I think in a roundabout way, that’s what you get with safe smoke.
“We’ve seen it used at some clubs in America, we’ve seen it used in Norway that has legalised or permitted pyrotechnics.
“But it’s the first time that a national federation is actively looking to supply fans with it and that’s an amazing initiative … let’s hope it comes off.”