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Other Piracy

Discussion in 'Software' started by Zinfandel, 2 Aug 2010.

  1. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    I agree with boiled_elephant here; before we consider any actions we should first establish the size of the actual problem. Independent studies have so far shown that the current copyright infringement seems to have little to no impact on sales. Oh sure, the industry's been claiming piracy's to blame for declining sales over the past decade, but considering that the industry I work in (telecommunications) has lost over 70% of its revenue over that time due to the economic crisis I would hardly call that claim satisfactory. It also does not account for the record sales the industry's had in the past (2) year(s).

    If you want people to respect copyright law, perhaps the industry should not have expanded its scope and duration so much over the past decades. I value copyright law very highly, but I do not respect a copyright law that:
    - threatens to punish children with thousands or even millions of dollars in fines for singing songs around a campfire
    - makes it illegal for me to write an open source DVD player
    - makes it illegal for me to rip the cd I bought to my mp3 player (legal in many countries)
    - makes it illegal for me to rip the dvd I bought to my home cinema system (illegal in most countries)
    and I certainly do not respect corporate lobbiest who think we should even go far beyond that, and disconnect people from the internet based on allegations of copyright infringement without the due process of a court of law.

    Copyright is very important to me, both from a professional as from a private perspective, but if we want the public to respect it, perhaps we should first bring it down to respectable levels.

    The DRM fiasco has very little to do with people protecting their assets, and everything with technically illiterate people choosing the science fiction safety of DRM over the science that explains why DRM can, by definition, not help to prevent copyright infringement. Even worse than DRM however is the law that prevents loyal customers from breaking DRM for legal purposes, like writing an Open Source dvd player.
     
  2. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    I also agree with some of this. I don't think any punishment should be meted out for allegations of piracy, unless it has been proven beyond doubt the accused is guilty. I also agree that the scope of copyright is sometimes too restrictive, for example being allowed to copy media you legally own (for backup purposes only). I would be the first to agree that the copyright laws need bringing into the 21st century. I don't agree that piracy should be made a non-issue though for those who just want freebie games, music, DVD's etc.


    I think utilising DRM was just a way of being able to say that they were taking the problem of piracy seriously and were trying to address the issue. I don't think they thought it would receive such a backlash from their paying customers, as no company wants to meet with that reception from the very people who will ultimately make or break their company. Yes they should have done their homework before trying the crap out, but I still say I understand totally their logic behind DRM.
     
    Last edited: 15 Aug 2010
  3. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Oh, I certainly agree with that, but considering the penalties for copyright infringement I would hardly think it's considered a non-issue by anyone. The problem is though that as long as you have corporate lobbyists calling for measures as three-strikes, anti-circumvention laws and ACTA (secret IP treaty currently being negotiated), the respect that the general public has for copyright will continue to erode, and considering that we still live in a democracy that may be the last thing we want to happen. 10 years ago, people voting a "Pirate Party" into office on both a national and European level would be unthinkable. Now we have large groups of people thinking it may actually be better if we totally abolish copyright, and although I don't agree with them I find myself arguing their side of things more and more often these days to defend against the latest proposals from the RIAA/MPAA.
     
  4. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    It really is seen by many as a non-issue though, especially by the common or garden pirate, who pirates not for profit, and just wants to play, hear or watch the latest release. The only people who are pretty much guaranteed to face the penalties here in the UK, are those who pirate on an organisational basis, and that's only after they have been detected (if at all). So people do not take the threat of the penalties seriously. It's like me threatening to ground my kids every time they do something wrong, but never actually do it. After so long, they would know this and just see me as someone who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk.
     
  5. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    The thing that gets me, though, is that they don't seem to mind having that reaction from people - I'm specifically thinking of Assassin's Creed 2, which after such hugely negative reactions to DRM in the past went a step further and put in a system so draconian that I'm sure it must've hurt their sales massively (I've certainly heard a lot of people saying they won't buy it for PC). They don't seem to intend to back off on the DRM front at all, regardless of customer reaction - if anything, the only reaction has been to slack off the PC format generally, as with Gears of War 2.

    On a slight tangent re: legal action, I still wish they would get around to tackling the systems that facilitate piracy, rather than the ordinary pirates. There's been a lot of the latter, with Davenport & Lyons' shenannigans sending threatening letters to old ladies and, as phulsof says, suing kids into oblivion, but apart from the Pirate Bay trial there hasn't been much action against the actual sources of pirated materials: the software designed to facilitate it and the uploaders and seeders who make it available to begin with.

    That says one thing to me, on the face of it: that these large companies aren't genuinely concerned with tackling piracy, only with making lucrative examples of the odd easy target. If they were actually out to reduce piracy (as we can probably all agree they should be) they would be targeting the sources, not the average Joes.

    There are some users on RS/MU forums who've uploaded literally thousands of films and games, each one receiving hundreds of grateful responses representing downloads. Any one of those users are directly responsible for the distribution of hundreds of thousands of copies of pirated material. Those are the people the focus should be on. Yet nothing (to my knowledge) is done to stop them. Or what about the forums themselves? Upload-share forums seem to go about their business totally unimpeded, and I cannot fathom why they might be legally immune. They directly aid piracy on a huge scale with no euphemism or pretense and nothing is done. Can anyone make sense of that?
     
  6. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Well, that's a company's choice, now isn't it? That's why I stated earlier that it may not be good business sense to go after every infringement of your copyrights. The punishments for copyright infringement are severe, but the PR nightmare of actually suing normal people for it is preventing many companies from following through with it. If you sue a 14 year old girl for copying your game, you're quickly viewed upon as a money grabbing corporation trying to intimidate our children. Perhaps if the penalties weren't so severe, people would look upon it differently, but if you read in the news about your average neighbor getting a 6M penalty for downloading a few CDs then the respect for copyright only diminishes. Besides: it's almost impossible not to infringe on someone's copyrights on a daily basis in this digital age, and many times it's an action that people would not equate with doing anything wrong, like the examples I listed above.
     
  7. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    I think the British government got some ideas right within the Digital Economy Bill, but they were executed terribly. One of these is the three strikes system they are imposing on ISP's. I would have welcomed this, if the bill stated that a fair trail in an open court of law had to be carried out, before any action could be taken, if the accused so wished. There would need to be conclusive evidence of pirating activity before any action could be taken. I would even have welcomed the idea of using this law on only the most prolific of "personal use pirates".

    I don't agree with the US stye compensation orders, which are astronomical figures, for the common pirate, but I do think there should be some form of recompense for the copyright holder, even if it's paying the price of the game plus some pre-defined cost (I think being charged double the price of a game/cd/dvd/app would be enough to put people off, if the ability to do so consistantly was legally given to publishers. If the piracy was on a commercial scale, then it's only right that the victim company should be able to take the offending company to the cleaners, and do so with a big grin on their faces. I also think there should be deterrents in place to address piracy, even if it is just restricting a proven offender's internet usage for a defined period, or some other similar scheme.
     
  8. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Personally I'm against this, even if the person is found guilty by a court of law, and even if he/she's not part of an entire family that will be affected by a disconnect. For starters: the penalties on copyright infringement are already so severe that I see no need whatsoever to increase them. On top of that: digital communication is almost a must in this day and age, and I see no reason to take that away from someone for the sake of a civil law violation that is copyright infringement. Every crime has its punishment, but we don't forbid people to use the roads just because they used them to steal a cd from the store. That crime carries its own punishment, just like copyright infringement does.

    Have you noticed btw how people who come up with the most stringent copyright laws usually pop up in the news shortly after for copyright infringement? Sure, then it was an "accident", and they just pay the nominal fee. Why is it that Joe Public never gets that option?
     
  9. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    I would see internet usage restriction as the lesser of two evils. If I was faced with the choice of paying thousands of pounds, or having my internet restricted, then I would choose the latter. There's always the library or the uni PC's:D

    On your last paragraph, I can't say that I have noticed this. I think the law and levels of punishment/ compensation should apply to all, regardless of status, position, etc etc. and that's for any unlawful activity.
     
  10. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Actuaaally............


    We do have laws here in the UK that restrict usage:

    • Drunk driving is one, where the offender loses the right to drive on the roads.
    • Shoplifters can legally be banned from shops where they have stolen from.
    • Benefit fraudsters can lose their benefits.
    • People who have gun licenses can lose their licenses.
    • Chavs can have curfews placed on them, to address their behaviour.

    I could go on with examples, the list is endless.

    That is until we come to piracy, of course.
     
  11. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Well, if it was an alternative, then perhaps it would make sense, but this law was not introduced as an alternative punishment, but as an additive punishment to be given without due process.

    With regards to my last paragraph:
    http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/gary-marshall-let-s-kick-lily-allen-off-the-net-637713
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,503245,00.html
    http://boingboing.net/2009/10/08/nicolas-copyright-sa.html
    http://www.zeropaid.com/news/87704/french-three-strikes-agency-logo-violates-copyright/
     
  12. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Oh, certainly, but such restrictions are usually limited to the crime committed. If I use the roads to shoplift, I don't get a road restriction. I get a shop restriction from that specific store. If I'm busted for drunk driving, I can get my driver's license suspended, but I don't get confined to my house.

    Also: in all cases it is an ultimate punishment that can be given. That is not how the three strikes laws are set up. With this legislation it's an automatic (minumum) punishment that you can get based on 3 allegations from corporations who so far have managed to sue an elderly couple for downloading gangster rap, sued dead people for copyright infringement, and even claimed P2P copyright infringement by a fax machine. I'll take my due process over that if you don't mind.
     
  13. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    And that's why I said the government has executed the initial plan terribly. If due process was given, then how could a pirate complain if they ignored the warnings, and continued to use their internet connection as a tool for unlawful activity?

    I used to be a manager for a lettings company, and part of the standard contract we issued was that the tenancy could be terminated if it was found that the tenant was using the property for unlawful purposes.
     
  14. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Agreed, IF due process was used and IF it was an alternative in stead of an additive to the already huge fines on copyright infringement. I seriously doubt you'll find the record or movie interested in such limitations however. Also: should that punishment count for the entire family the guilty person belongs to? Should you be prevented from using the internet for your work if your son gets caught downloading a song?

    Also remember that unknowingly, you might be infringing on copyright on a regular basis yourself. Ever forwarded an email? Ever watched a YouTube video? Ever ripped a dvd? Ever printed a cartoon or picture you found online? As a kid, ever copied a picture from the encyclopedia for your school essay?

    How do you know the website you just looked at has permission for all its text, pictures, videos and music it displays? If you view it, you may be committing copyright infringement, and if MEPs like Toine Manders get their way you should be prosecuted under laws similar to those for buying stolen goods.

    Sure, we all think we know what we'd like to be called illegal, but it's almost impossible to write a law that covers all the exceptions we'd like to see in there for behavior we think is ok. I think the Americans with their "fair use" might actually have something, but if I remember correctly we can't introduce something like that in Europe based on our current European copyright directives. We're so stuck within the international agreements we signed that we're unable to form copyright law in what we'd like it to be.
     
  15. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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  16. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Wow 250,000 thats pocket money for that old b*****d.
     
  17. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    Of course it's not ok to steal it, but if you feel like making a copy of my car: go right ahead. You just can't sell it as being an original, but that's where Trademark law comes into play.
     
  18. phulshof

    phulshof What's a Dremel?

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    @stuartpb,

    I finally had some time to read through the entire thread rather than the last few pages, and your view does confuse me (as it has others). You claim you see copyright infringement as theft, because it deprives the producers of revenue, yet when people give you other examples of actions that deprive the producers of revenue (2nd hand market, buying a different product) you claim that that is different because copyright infringement is illegal. Does this mean that if copyright infringement were no longer illegal you would no longer equate it with theft? Does it mean that if buying a different product were to become illegal that it also becomes theft? How about not driving out to buy a pizza, but drive on the bike lane in stead? It's illegal and it deprives the pizza maker of revenue. Theft?

    Yes, copyright infringement is illegal, and rightly so, but I can't possibly see how you can equate it with theft just because it deprives someone of income, and then dismiss other examples that do exactly the same.

    Sure, it's your opinion you say, but redefining judicial terms to fit your own thought patterns is usually not a good way to debate issues with others IMHO.
     
  19. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    The second hand market is legal, so I am basing my statements that this is not theft on that. Yes, it can deprive the publisher of potential income, but it cannot be compared directly to piracy, which is an illegal act. That's my take on it. I never suggested, and did agree, that the second hand market was a problem for publishers, but I did state my opinion that it was the lesser of two evils, as at least the publisher has had a slice of the cake, in the form of the initial sale of the title when it was new. The publisher is still generating income, even on second hand sales, as the title had to be bought new initially.

    As for choosing other products, that was a silly remark by someone else. What the hell has using your right to choose between one product and another got to do with piracy? I never brought this argument up, and I certainly do not see it has anything whatsoever to do with piracy.
     
  20. M7ck

    M7ck Ⓜod Ⓜaster

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    [Comicbook Guy] worst comparisons ever [/Comicbook Guy]
     

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