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Other Piracy

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

  1. Krazeh

    Krazeh Minimodder

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    No, i'm not suggesting that at all. What i'm saying is that the act you've described is not a criminal offence, i.e. it is unlawful rather than illegal. Just because something is against the law does not automatically make it a crime, it can be something which leads to a civil tort rather than criminal proceedings.
     
  2. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I just don't see why we're all wasting so much time on semantics. If someone stole my car, but brought it back, saying that it's not actually theft doesn't make the crime any less. I know this, HE knows this also, and I'm fairly certain Krazeh actually knows this too! He's just arguing for the fun of arguing, and this isn't really adding anything to the debate.

    The PRINCIPLE of taking someone car with asking is wrong, and anyone who does so probably also knows it's wrong, and bringing it back doesn't make it any less wrong either. As for what exact offence you'd need to be charged with is of no importance to me whatsoever right now as we're discussing whether the act of taking someone's car is wrong or not. Clearly it is, and clearly it's a criminal offence, and these semantics are getting no one anywhere so far as this thread is concerned.

    I'm also baffled by Krazeh's challenge that there is no law forbidding the downloading of copyrighted, licensed software for your personal use. Is he suggesting that I can download a copy of Adobe CS5 illegally, and that's all fine and dandy so far as the law is concerned?

    I find this hard to believe.

    [NINJA]


    So what? Is it, or is it legal for me, you, or anyone else to download copyrighted material for free from a warez site for your own personal use if that software can only legally be used under the terms of it's license, and the only way to obtain that license is to pay for it?

    In so far as the subject of this thread goes, I fail to see why you spend so much time making these distinctions. Just because there may, or may not be a loophole in the law, or the law may be lacking in some respect, doesn't make it downloading and using pirate software any more "right". Whether it's illegal, or unlawful, it is wrong, and my point is, doing something known to be wrong just because you know you can get away with it is morally wrong and shows a great deal of disrespect for other people's intellectual property. It's also massively immature, thoughtless and ultimately destructive to an industry you all profess to care about.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2010
  3. Krazeh

    Krazeh Minimodder

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    No it's not legal but at the same time it's not a crime.

    I make these distinctions because they're important to the discussion. You can't have a cogent debate/discussion about something when you don't even know what you're trying to discuss actually is. Having a discussion where people are claiming that piracy is theft is meaningless because right from the outset you're discussing something that is simply not true. By all means discuss that the law should be changed so piracy is included in the Theft Act but don't go around saying that it already is theft or that it makes no difference what law it falls under because you already consider it to be theft. While it may not make a huge difference to the moral arguments the discussion goes beyond that and does stray into discussion of legalities.
     
  4. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    I agree that on a moral level piracy is wrong, and I also agree that no distinction should be made between piracy and other acts of theft. The end results are the same in my opinion, with the victim losing out and the culprit gaining at the victims expense.

    I think Krazeh did raise some valid points though on the legal definition of theft, and these can't be ignored when we are accusing people of theft. On a moral standing we may be correct, but on a legal standing we are on incredibly thin ice. I can see this, but I do not see it as an excuse for pirates to continue exploiting this situation. To do so just makes their actions worse as far as I can see, as it shows contempt both for what is right and wrong, and for the people who work hard to provide their entertainment.
     
  5. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Whether it is theft from a legal standpoint is a valid argument to make, yes. However, does the fact that it is not a crime, but merely unlawful shed any new light on this debate? While there is a debate to be had about whether it is a criminal offence or not, does this really make much a difference for this thread? If it is unlawful to commit a certain act rather than illegal, does it legitimise it in any way. I fail to see how this changes anything. We're steering this thread away from what really matters, and that is whether piracy is right, or wrong... morally, as well as legally, and whether it has any impact upon the industries concerned - that last point being the most important.

    Even if it is unlawful, rather than illegal, it's clearly still not legal to do so, and those who chose to examine the finer points of law to try and legitimise, or excuse their behaviour clearly have no problem with the idea of taking someone else's intellectual property and doing with it as they see fit.

    If you download a music track illegally instead of paying 89p for it, you've made a choice, and to me that choice is clear: I am taking what is not mine, and I don't care. Any argument to the contrary is just noise making to either ease your conscience or lessen the importance of such an act. You know you SHOULD really be paying for it... surely? You know this stuff ain't free, so if you know this, then you're just making excuses for your illegal (unlawful) actions.

    If you have a problem with the price of something, it is your right to not pay it. That doesn't mean you can exercise that right but still take the goods anyway. You all know this is true.

    You can bang about how it's not actually theft all you want, but the person who's rights you've just abused won't be agreeing with you any time soon. However, if your conscience is clear, then I suppose it's down to the law to change. Maybe that will stop you.

    It's a shame that laws like this have to be so finely tuned to stop people with selective morals from taking your hard work for free. I hope one day you will create something that took you months to create and only wanted a fair return for your efforts, and then have people take it for free. Maybe then you'll understand. Until then you will no doubt have this attitude that it's a victimless "crime" and no one gets hurt.
     
    Bakes likes this.
  6. Krazeh

    Krazeh Minimodder

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    Again, I don't recall saying that was my attitude. Seems that apology you provided earlier doesn't mean a whole lot as you've just gone back to making claims about me that are unfounded.

    As it is I think there's arguments to be had on both sides about the impact piracy actually does have on the industry and on the ability for content creators to recieve return for their efforts and until proper research is done it's impossible to say whether piracy is as great an evil as certain sectors would like us to believe it to be. That doesn't mean however that I don't believe that content creators shouldn't recieve fair recompense for their work or that piracy is necessarily a victimless "crime".

    Having said that, your moral arguments about making sure content creators get paid for their work really don't hold much water when you've previously admitted you're happy for people who haven't paid the creator to use their work do so as long as they pay someone some money. If you really care that much about content creators and the industry you should be just as much against things like second hand sales are you are about piracy.
     
  7. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    Way to show your ignorance here.

    Non-commercial copyright infringement is a civil offense, not criminal. Ergo it isn't a crime.

    I also love how people keep redefining the dictionary and legal definition of 'theft' to mean something they thought up.

    I'm bailing out of this 'discussion'. Enjoy living in your fantasy world.
     
  8. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Jesus, that was a lot of reading. I feel slightly zoned out now. Anyway, so far as I can see, my concern was never returned to - the one I summed up thusly:

    Basically I agree with Pookey and stuart's views on piracy itself (i.e. it's wrong and harmful), but cannot find a reason why try-and-buy piracy is morally wrong. (I know it's still legally wrong and would accept the legal consequences - I'm talking only in abstract moral terms here.)

    Sorry to keep banging on about it, but it's personally important to me that I get this right. I like my moral logic and I want it to be watertight. The going assumption seems to be that piracy and try-and-buy piracy are covered by the same arguments, which isn't true. Try-and-buy piracy has no negative impact or consequences (as far as I can see so far).

    Oh and I'll just leave this here because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Well, that was productive.

    Can't believe people are still bickering about this from 7.15am this morning (at least Elledan has the excuse of being an hour ahead :p ).

    Go on, group hug and make up now. No more insults or ad hominem attacks, no more trolling and no shouting for the ban hammer just because people annoy you. Let your rational argument stand or fall on its own merits, and don't take things so personally!

    Go on, hug... Like you mean it... Tighter... That's better. :)
     
  10. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    This is my point. These arguments are used to shore up people's moral sea defences, so they can examine them, and sit back and say "Yeah.. it's OK, I'm not not doing anything wrong".

    There are many reasons why it's wrong, and we've covered them all. It seems to be however, that so long as someone, somewhere can convince you that it's OK, you'll hang onto that desperately, and also strongly challenge all other arguments. It's important to you because want to be certain you're not doing anything wrong. The fact that you're finding it so difficult should be telling you something. If you try hard enough, you can convince yourself that almost anything is morally correct.




    I love how people are using the dictionary definition of "theft" to re-inforce their beliefs that what they are doing is somehow ok and morally sound. "Hey.. it's not illegal.. it's unlawful, therefore not a criminal act.. so it's actually OK... it's not stealing at all... Look.. the law says so".

    Carry on ignoring the fact that these very same files you think are harmless are not being used for commercial gain; that the only people using them are harmless individuals, and these files aren't being used to mass produce pirate media for commercial gain the far east. Carry on believing that just because YOU may be willing to pay for something if you like it then we shouldn't stop it despite exponentially more people not paying.


    Carry on ignoring the moral implications of taking, and using someone else's intellectual property for free just because it's not a criminal act (even though it's not legal).

    Carry on infringing copyright because you think it's a victimless crime ( edit... oh yes.. it's not a "crime" so that's OK then)

    This is one of those arguments that you can't settle by quoting the exact letter of the law and using that as the definitive answer. You can't ignore the moral implications. You all want to of course, because it makes it easier. No one would think of ignoring the moral implications in a debate about gun crime, or child abuse, yet in this argument, there is a strong desire to demonstrate the differences between illegal and unlawful, as if the act in question is somehow morally more robust if you can't get prosecuted in a criminal court (even though you can in a civil one), as if nothing else matters here.

    The reasons are pretty clear to me. No one wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. You're able to get free software. You'll defend the goose's existence passionately. No one just has the balls to admit this.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2010
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It's all about cognitive dissonance reduction. People will do what they want to do and then build the beliefs to support the act. They will only perceive facts that fit the beliefs, if necessary modifying their interpretation for a better fit, and filter from their perception the facts that don't. We all work that way (even those who think that piracy is wrong).

    So it's a bit pointless to argue about this. We're all bright, informed people; we all know the arguments for and against. Some are sound; some, like Roland777's, are paper-thin. But none of us are likely to change our opinion soon because, well, the heart wants what the heart wants...

    Anyway, as long as we remember that we are defined by our actions.
     
  12. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    While legal precedent does distinguish between copyright infringement and blatant theft, in Dowling v. United States (1985) the court did make the point that "While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud." So basically, you're a thief, it's just more complex and so there is a different standard applied. And, tbh, that small distinction saved a lot of people from jail time.

    Bye, good luck with your misguided views which, in time, I'm sure will change.
     
  13. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    (Just came back to say this)

    I think you're spot on with the cognitive dissonance thing. For those who pirate habitually, this allows them to do so with a (fairly) clear conscience. For those who have always paid money for their games and music etc, to admit that piracy is ok would mean admitting that they've paid for something that they didn't have to.

    Just to be quite clear - I don't engage in piracy (well not since the days of the C64 anyway), but I would like to see a change in copyright law (so that while artists are still rewarded, their works are more freely available to all). This might make me a bit of an idealist (or Marxist), but I don't think it means I'm a criminal.
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    For those that pirate, their beliefs help them to reconcile their actions with their conscience and view of themselves as basically honest people. For those who don't pirate, their beliefs of themselves as basically honest people help them accept paying for something (or doing without) that they could have taken for free without consent.

    One constructs beliefs to integrate morally incongruent action with their moral view of themselves. The other constructs beliefs that guide their actions to be morally consistent with rheir moral view of themselves. The question is: whose moral framework has more integrity?
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2010
  15. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    I'd argue that the non-pirate's constructed beliefs reinforce the idea that they have been acting morally right all along. This makes it harder for him/her to contemplate the notion that their moral code might not be correct. In other words: it makes them more morally inflexible, and less able to see another's point of view.

    (I'd apply the same reasoning to the habitual pirate also).
     
  16. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    Why don't we all agree to disagree on this matter?

    It's been going round for 32 pages and nothing has really been accomplished.

    Everyone has their own personal views on this matter on the moral, financial and legal consequences of piracy and obviously the various viewpoints are completely incompatible.
     
  17. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    It's just one of those subjects we all feel passionately about, whether it's for, or against. These threads run a fair while as Nexxo quite rightly said, there is a cognitive dissonance between the two ideologies, and where there is a clash of moralities it gets worse and you will get a very heated debate.

    Sometimes the air needs to be cleared though, and as a result, everyone on Bit-Tech will get a feel for the underlying statu quo regarding the issue, and that can only be a good thing even if your own personal views are not modified as a result.

    No matter how heated a debate gets, once the dust settles, we will all have learned something, so I don't see the logic in complaining about threads like this. This thread is a minnow compared to some that emmerge in the Serious sub-forum.

    Indeed :)
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    No. Remember that the starting position for both is the view of themselves as an honest person. The pirate has to reduce cognitive dissonance to integrate their behaviour of doubtful honesty into their view of themselves as honest. The non-pirate doesn't because their honest behaviour already accommodates their view of themselves as honest.

    Now you can (not unreasonably) argue that cognitive dissonance reduction challenges moral constructs and makes them more flexible, but apart from asking whether that is always a good thing, it is also a fudge. The morals don't change, just the perception of the behaviour. In the end you can rationalise everything. But you have to have some coherent and stable sense of good and bad.
     
  19. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    I think it is the non-pirate's view of themselves as a rational being (not a moral one) that would be challenged by rethinking their views. After all, it would have been irrational of them to spend all that money if there was no moral requirement to do so. Therefore their moral code becomes more fixed.
     
  20. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    Just found this on Kotaku:

    THQ's Cory Ledesma has delivered a blunt message to consumers buying used copies of his company's games: they're cheating the publisher out of money.

    "I don't think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything", THQ's creative director for wrestling titles told Gamasutra. "So if used game buyers are upset they don't get the online feature set I don't really have much sympathy for them".

    "That's a little blunt but we hope it doesn't disappoint people. We hope people understand that when the game's bought used we get cheated".


    (my bold)
     

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