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Other Piracy

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

  1. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    Looking at things from a moral perspective should not entail a lack of clarity when it comes to examining exactly what happens when copyright is infringed. To claim that what happens is theft is an uneducated response, and shows a lack of consideration for what is really going on.
     
  2. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    Well, until I see your law degree I'll trust my lawyers here and in the US. And they disagree with you, as do most courts. There are different laws, yes. But that has more to do with it being a civil action and not a criminal one. The truth is 9 times out of 10, copyright holder win suits against infringers. That is because it's wrong and illegal. While you might enjoy tip toeing around the legal wording, everything that has been piling up in precedent shows that it's tantamount to theft. Being able to split hairs over wording doesn't seem to help infringers avoid convictions and fines. And I feel no remorse when I have to use the courts to recoup losses that I can prove, even when sometimes it means the courts have to be heavy handed with their settlements. I'm in the right, legally and morally.

    Your attempts to some how make a justification for not complying with copyright laws and your support for artists are not compatible. The laws provide the protections needed to ensure that past, current and future artists receive the compensation they deserve for the work they produce. No amount of your warped fantasy, socialist, "dude, art should be free, man", whining is going to change that, because it won't work. Every person that relies on producing art, from paintings to software code, doesn't like when they are stolen from by people that can't recognize hard work and emotional investment. Suggesting there is no moral obligation for their compensation because no one is making them create art as a living is in direct objection to your statements about supporting the arts. You seem bent on a course of thought were there would be no reason to create art, there by removing from the world one of the deepest and most powerful expressions we have as humans. All because your a cheap git that likes to argue semantics. That isn't a world most rational people want. Thankfully.
    Not at all, just the opposite. It shows a deeper understanding then what you seem capable of, which is the understanding of what it's like to be the one stolen from, and what we as a society see as theft. And it's hardly uneducated, it shows a deeper grasp of what laws and legal structures are about then just reading something up and regurgitating it.

    Again, I think when you grow up and start actually producing something of value, your opinions will change. It's funny how that happens to people in time.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  3. Nexxo

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

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    QFT.

    First, let's look up the definition of "colloquial":

    col·lo·qui·al /kəˈloʊkwiəl/ Spelled [kuh-loh-kwee-uhl] -adj.

    1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.
    2. involving or using conversation.

    Copyright infringement is informally, or in general conversation linked to the notion of theft. It is another way of saying that the general public's understanding of copyright infringement is that it is a kind of theft.

    What you seem to claim is that although copyright infringement has an element of gain (on the side of the 'pirate') and an element of loss (on the side of the content provider), because it is not exactly (called) theft it is not (as) illegal or immoral.

    Moreover you say that just because someone makes it formally clear that they expect remuneration for the use or appropriation of their product, and you use or take said product:
    • that does not mean that you agreed to that agreement, so you are not obliged to honour it;
    • it is not your concern whether they lose income, because they can choose to make their living in a different manner.

    You can argue semantics about 'theft' and 'copyright infringement' and the difference between 'illegal' and 'immoral' and then argue the difference between our understanding of morality and yours, but from the above it seems clear to me where you are coming from morally, and that it is a very different place from where we're coming. Each to their own, but what is really the crux of the debate is not whether piracy is wrong, but whether you consider it wrong within your moral framework. I guess you don't; but we do, and judging by a number of court cases on the issue, so does most of the world. To the general public, colloquially, so to speak, piracy is a kind of theft.

    So let's agree to disagree.
     
  4. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  5. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm not sure any one person can really speak for our whole society, and this discussion should be some indication that society might be divided on the point of what counts as theft. If your opinon (or anyone else's) of what theft is runs contrary to what has been legally defined as theft, then I will call it uneducated. Unless you are saying that you get to decide what theft is, and that everyone else has to agree.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  6. Nexxo

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

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    I'm sure it will make a difference to the person who is robbed of the remuneration of their hard work.
     
  7. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    If you make £10,000 selling music at £10 per album and someone then steals £10,000 from you, you will be left with £0.

    If you make £10,000 selling music at £10 per album and then find out that a 1000 copies of your album have been unlawfully downloaded, you will still have £10,000. It could be argued that you're ability to make further revenue has been reduced by the actions of the pirates, but it is not the case that they have stolen from you (how can you steal what does not yet exist?)

    In the first case you would have nothing left (no money to pay the bills etc). This is what makes it theft: something actual has been taken from you. In the second case you still have your £10,000. I think this would make all the difference to the artist.
     
  8. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I don't speak for a whole society, but I can see what is happening in most countries, both legally and in popular culture. And as for this discussion, most of the listeners at home reside in democratic countries what have strong copyright protection laws. That alone should tell you that the division you desperately want to point out is more likely a tiny minority that likes portray themselves as social vigilante anarchists. If there was a overwhelming number of people with your views, the democratic system would have forced the laws to be changed and your view would be enshrined in law. But that hasn't happened. Because people know what it means to make or create something, then have someone come along and take it. People know that, however you want to try and wheedle and whine about the "legal terms", it's theft. And as long as people have ideas and dreams that they want to see created and come to life, that will be the overwhelming opinion.
    The difference it would make to the artist would be the difference between 10,000GBP and 20,000GBP. Show me an artist that would turn that away.
     
  9. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    .
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  10. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    I live in a democratic society, but I can't remember the last time I actually helped to decide what the law is. It is large corporations like Sony who appear to have most influence with our politicians. That is why we have such draconian copyright laws.
     
  11. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    I take it you don't vote then, or you don't pay attention to political party manifestos when you do vote?

    If you did both of the above, then you HAVE played a part in the law making process, albeit a very small one, welcome to democracy!
     
  12. Nexxo

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

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    Basically, piracy may have up to halved his income (I say 'up to' because a significant number of pirates would not have bought the music anyway).

    Now let's say that to produce the music and burn the CDs and distribute and market them costs £10,000. If the publisher sells 1000 copies at £10 each, he is just starting to break even. Anything after that starts to become profit.

    But pirated copies find their way onto the market and people might reason, like yourself: "why pay for something that I can get for free? It is not as if I'm taking something away from the artist". Sales plummet, and the publisher is unable to make that profit. In fact, if enough people pirate and don't buy the music, he'll make a definite loss. Very real money is really taken away from him.

    After a while the producer says: "Bugger this for a lark, I'm not putting more resources into trying to sell a product that is already all over the internet for free". Production is cancelled, the musicians laid off. Your talented artists stop creating art because they are not supported in their endeavours, and decide to make a living in a less exciting but safer profession. Telesales, say. The result of the philosophy that art should be free... Usually uttered by people who are not the artists (or really crap ones).

    Meanwhile the publisher is quite disgruntled seeing his business under threat like this, and seeks to protect his income by investing in countermeasures like copy protection and DRM. As the law is connected to politics, which in turn is tightly connected to a capitalist philosophy of free enterprise, a sufficiently big business does have the politicians' ear:

    We have such draconian copyright laws because there are people like yourself arguing that copyright infringement is not theft, really, and therefore kind of OK. We have convoluted and bothersome DRM and copy protection measures (right down to the annoying requirement to put your DVD in the PC before you can play the game that is already installed on the harddisk) because people keep thinking it's OK to circumvent them. It takes two to create the dynamic. Sony et al. are just responding to the market --as they always do.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  13. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    Up to this point I pretty much agree with what you're saying. Although I will again point out that I don't engage in 'piracy' (I'm not sure, but I think you might have been indicating otherwise.) And I think it would be more accurate to say that what's taken away from the artist is potential future income. But other than those small issues what you say makes sense to me (partly beacuse you do not refer to it as theft).
     
  14. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I, officially, "pirate" TV shows that air in the US, and then don't air in the UK for some arbitrary length of time, when in reality, there's no reason that they couldn't air them on the next evening in the UK.

    I don't see it as morally objectionable (But then again, my moral barometer has been in the shop for some years now), because frankly, I'm impatient and there's no reason for the delay (Converting NTSC to PAL does NOT take years at a time, I'm not even sure it makes a fat lot of difference anymore, either).

    Offer me a Sky Package that lets me add and remove channels (IE: Right now I'd want, Comedy Central, Discovery, History Channel, SyFy and a handful of others), the ability to see TV shows in the UK within a couple of days of them airing in the US and I'd happily buy it. I've yet to see Sky offer something along those lines, then again, I've not checked in the last month or so >.>

    As for piracy of software, be that games or creation tools, that's morally wrong, legally grey, and needs the legality clearing up and committing to law.

    Pirates are thieving gits. The "Try before you buy" policy is a load of crap, as for 99% of the people saying it are probably not ever even considering buying what they're downloading.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  15. Nexxo

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

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    ^^^ Like I said: most piracy is just the result of bad self-targeted marketing. A pirate is just a potential customer waiting for a good deal.
     
  16. Nexxo

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

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    I don't know whether you engage in it. I just know that you have rationalised it before in this thread as morally acceptable. You appear to have changed your stance on that a bit (in this thread at least), but that's as far as my mind reading abilities go. :D
     
  17. roland777

    roland777 What's a Dremel?

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    And the people respond by pirating more. Whether we see this as right or wrong, the fact is: it's happening. And no amount of DRM or legal threats (or moral outrage) is going to stop this movement. It's not an ideal situation for any of the parties concerned, and something really needs to change. This doesn't morally justify 'piracy', it's just looking at the situation pragmatically and realising that (whoever might be right or wrong) copyright law (in it's present form) just doesn't work.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  18. Nexxo

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

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    I agree with you. Someone has to be the first to blink and change their behaviour to break the vicious cycle. Now who could that be? Arguably the publishers need to drop their prices and create a wider range of self-targeted versions of their products to reduce piracy (Microsoft for instance has really loosened up the pricing structure on MS Office). Pirates need to stop being greedy dicks so publishers will feel able to let go of DRM measures a bit. With three legal licences of MS Office available for £80,-- and OpenOffice as a good free alternative, there really is no reason to pirate MS Office anymore.
     
  19. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    As someone who participates in a digital marketplace, this is certainly true. (I too am frustrated by the lack of global distribution in a timely manner.) But voting with your wallet is by far more effective in changing corporate policy and behavior.

    I still believe that the copy right laws as implemented in the US and EU/UK are draconian and heavily influenced by industry - not always to the benefit of the original artists. But, with out a doubt, there need to be copyright and IP protections in place.

    Democracy is a participatory sport. An educated and conscientious voter is by far powerful then a misguided vigilante.
     
  20. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    So even though a developer is being deprived of income from their own work, by the act of piracy, you have a problem with this being labelled theft. Is this because of the stigma of being labelled a thief bothers you, or you do not regard the fact that money is being deprived a theft?

    I suspect the former myself. Those who pirate try to convince themselves that they are above the common or garden variety of thief (ie shoplifter etc.) but in reality they are having the same net effect on the owner of the property they steal (or obtain). They like to think they hold the higher moral ground, because they are not going out and stealing physical items off shop shelves. But they are still obtaining materials illegally.
     

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