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Author Topic: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet  (Read 5749 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

This is a topic I've been very curious about, but almost afraid to touch o.O sort of like incest, haha, but will save that one for another day...

I'll be honest, I have downloaded songs here and there, and gotten games that are hard to find in an actual physical copy nowadays, and sometimes I've gotten things that wouldn't be hard to get a legitimate way. Thing is, I've never been sure how wrong what I did really is or how much guilt I should be feeling, because the whole issue is so murky and loaded with fearmongering I have no idea where the truth of it lies and where the social myth is.

Wow, that sounded like my incest rant again xD

Anyway, the one arguement I hear a lot is "LOL! Kanye West is rich, stealing his music online won't hurt him" To which I scratch my head... didn't he get rich selling CD's, not, ya know, giving them away? :/ He may not feel it now, or ever, but musicians after him would probably be hurting at some point. Right? This is the thing, I don't really know if this is 'hurting the industry' or if it's 'growing pains'. All industries eventually change, and the elements that stay put will suffer as the system becomes something they can't operate with. Maybe there are better ways to cut down on piracy instead of hiring rabid lawyers to scare potential pirates with highly publicised and heavy handed lawsuits that secretly draw in an assload of cash as a bonus. Maybe these lawsuits are one of the stretch marks of the rise of digital distribution instead of music stores with plastic cases.

I remember once I read that piracy was an issue in Russia, but Valve started upping their localization efforts, which made the Russian versions of their games available around the same time as the American ones, which cut the piracy rate of their games down a good deal. I thought that was kind of a 'well duh!' line of thought, it felt simple and proactive, attacking the source of the problem rather then treating the symptoms.

Be honest, have you ever downloaded an album and felt slightly guilty? Did you try to learn what exactly it was you'd just done and been completely intimidated by how much the issue has exploded that you really can't read on for the legal clusterfuck that just tumbled from your Google?

Offline Anyalyss

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 07:16:04 AM »
You really have a thing for incest, don't you? *tickles*

Not guilty at all, ever *giggles* maybe I'm a bitch but I see it as a "if I like it I buy it, but first I try it" thing. I do agree that sometiems I have downloaded something, a game, or a music cd thinking that I would really love it (hype and all) and... it sucked a lot, I know for certain that I would have felt horrible if I spent money on something that I would end up disliking so much.

Also yes, I agree that some of the piracy that goes on it's because the developers fail to support a community and then they're forced to play it in a language that it's not their native, which is always uncomfortable even if you're good at it... so.. why would you spend money on something that it's not even in your language? it's another reasoning. Some people are just happy to have subtitles/text in their language but oh well  ::)

Offline Calison

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 08:07:54 AM »
I'm not an expert in this sort of thing, but I have done my fair share of illegal downloads in the past and it was mostly music. I buy most of my music now if I can (for some things like Japanese music or any sort of foreign music that's not popular state-side I resort to downloading from a site or two I frequent). My personal take on it is that if I like the music, I should support the artist so that they continue to do what they do if I can. Of course the reason I buy my music now is because I am able to pay for it. Up until a couple years ago I didn't have any sort of job, so the accessibility wasn't that great. Did I feel guilty with the downloads? I don't think I did. In all honesty I really didn't download that much >.>; I usually don't like all of the songs from an album that a band or artist releases so I'm really selective. I no longer download for the reason that I used less than safe programs (Limewire >.>;; ) to do my downloading and ended up messing up a couple of computers because of it. Just don't want to go through the hassle again.

With high profile artists like Kanye, yeah he's not hurting that bad, mainly because he is high profile. I honestly don't know how pirating has affected the profit margins of the music industry, but the logic of if you want someone to continue doing something, they have to be paid for it/ be showed as lucrative. The industry is an industry, it's a business. If something isn't making money for them, it's going to get the axe. Smaller artists may feel the hurt more than folks like Kanye, so their content flow might not continue. This is of course just my theory.

There should be definite better ways for artists and record labels to protect their intellectual property, but I honestly can't think of any. But scare tactics are obviously not working. It really doesn't stop people from not doing something. Sure a few are made an example of, but that doesn't mean they're going to catch everyone and I don't think that they can either.

Within places where the accessibly is more than fine and people can pay for it, it's kinda hard to justify shaving off a couple of bucks to get something. The high price tags of video games maybe, but still. In places like Russia and other places where there is no access to a localized copy, I get that more and that was simply a smart business move on Valve's part to have Russia localization versions of their games. The gamers get their games and Valve can reap the rewards there of. This helped the problem, but didn't eliminate it apparently. It would be interesting to see where the remaining pirating was done from, though such studies I imagine would be hard to do.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 09:00:43 AM »
I occasionally pirated things in the past, though for me it always seemed like too much work. I don't know why, but I always seemed to have a hard time getting things to work. That's why I've basically stopped. Not because I feel it's morally wrong.

The main problem for me - the thing that makes pirating things most tempting - is that a lot of the music I listen to isn't available in my country. It's not available for legal download, it's not available in stores, it's not available on iTunes - it's not available. You can't really claim I'm stealing from them when they're not even offering me the thing I want. I don't download games because Steam offers me a very reliable platform through which I can pay for and download the games I want. If the same existed with music, I would be buying a lot more of it, and I wouldn't even think about illegally downloading anything.

And that's another thing I hate about this issue, the way they try to make you feel like you're actually depriving artists of something tangible. Whatever it is, it's not the same as stealing. No more than making a physical copy of a car would be stealing that car. If the record companies and their thugs were a little bit more honest, and a little bit more interested in finding actual solutions, they'd do a lot more to get rid of illegal downloading than with their current tactics, which is basically intimidation.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 09:56:07 AM »
I don't download anymore. Not out of some altruistic sense of honor or desire to avoid being prosecute but the simple fact that most of the songs I want I own know. (With a few exceptions that I've never been able to find.. Like "New York, New York" by Queeen or lost, like the entire Riding Bean album, the old Heavy Metal cassette version and a few otehrs)

Personally I think the biggest thief in the music industry.. is the recording groups themselves. They look for ways to cook their books, use hinky accounting practices to avoid disclosure to the artists and do anything/everything to maximize their profits at the cost of everyone else. They've lied, defaulted on promises to older artists and so forth. The sheer amount of money they have put forth to cover their bottom line is amazing.

They have done what they could legally to control their Intellectual Properties, paid congress what they had to extend copyrights, pass laws to reduce the buying public's rights and did anything they could to ensure that they controlled the market models. If the record companies had gotten their way there would be no iPod, Zune or digital media at all. You'd not be able to buy anything in any format but what they okay. You wouldn't be able to run your CDs on a computer.

It's an old story, despite the latest twists on it. The industry has tried curtail any and all forms of recordable media each time it came up and will continue to do so.

I think, and this is an opinion, a lot of the hate and discontent between the pirates and the recording industry could have been avoided with a change in the way they run their market model but it's not going to happen anytime soon.

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011, 10:18:02 AM »
I never liked the idea of pirating or piracy of another person's work product.  I'm an aspiring author and if I'm lucky enough to become published and successful I would like to received the benefit of my my time and labor.  That's fair and deserved. 

Take my book and copy it 100 times and pass it out for free and that is hundreds of dollars in royalties that I lose.  Sell that copy for even a fraction of the cost of the book from legitimate sources and you've stolen that money from me.

An author, musician or game designer that lives on the royalties of their blood, sweat and tears to support themselves and possibly a family deserves those royalties.

Piracy is theft.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2011, 10:38:05 AM »
I never liked the idea of pirating or piracy of another person's work product.  I'm an aspiring author and if I'm lucky enough to become published and successful I would like to received the benefit of my my time and labor.  That's fair and deserved. 

Take my book and copy it 100 times and pass it out for free and that is hundreds of dollars in royalties that I lose.  Sell that copy for even a fraction of the cost of the book from legitimate sources and you've stolen that money from me.

An author, musician or game designer that lives on the royalties of their blood, sweat and tears to support themselves and possibly a family deserves those royalties.

Piracy is theft.

Which is why I don't do it anymore. I was there when Napster first appeared, I made a LOT of coin making 'work out' CDs for folks when it took time and money to burn CDs.. (mostly the guys would bring me like a bunch CDs of music and I'd 'cut and paste' the stuff into a single CD..)

I can't recall the last time I got somethign I didn't pay for.. and most of my napster days was lost in drive crashes years ago. So everything I got I paid for.

My problem with the market these days is.. the royalties aren't being paid to the artists in some cases.. or the books are being cooked to screw them. A quick google search of  'artist defrauded by record company' pulls a LOT of hits.

A few years ago, I recall a blues artist being basically being allowed to die painfully because it was easier for the company to scam him of his royalties and promised medical coverage (essentially it was cheaper to pay lawyers than do the right thing) and the attitude was 'he was old and why should we be held accountable to the contract' outlook was fairly clear in the article.

Wish I could remember who it was.. but I know the company was one of the BIG US producers.

The reason I was so pissed off was around the same time, some of the record companies were asserting that electronic purchases weren't. That is.. you weren't BUYING the music online but LEASING it. IE, you were allowed to get music for this computer or that iPod or such BUT you didn't have the right to burn CDs or copy the music to a back up media.

I have similar issues with the publishing industry and their insistence that e-books need to be 'priced fairly' against hardcovers. That is, you have to pay 'full hardcover' price for a new e-book, despite the fact that they have virtually NONE of the overhead of the hard cover book. They don't have to pay for transport, printing, binding, storage or such for an e-book, but insist that they HAVE to have the full cover price for it. I don't see them paying out the 'excess' to the author, warehouse facilities, truckers or anyone else that is cut out of the loop by e-books.

I don't mind paying for e-books, or purchasing my music on Amazon or iTunes. It does gall me that the publishers/recording industry does everything they can to ensure that they maximize their profits while screwing their clients (the artists/authors) in everyway they can and lie to them, the public and the authorities.


Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2011, 10:52:51 AM »
When it comes to money never trust the other party to look our for your interests and never think you can handle the deal yourself.  Get an attorney.  Then even after the attorney looks over everything never sign anything you haven't read.  Ask a dozen questions and then a dozen more if necessary.  It helps keep the attorney honest and if you find out he/she isn't FIRE THEM!

Trusting the wrong people has been the downfall of too many artists.

The sad thing is that there are pirates and their accomplices (customers) who use those inequities to justify what they do.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 11:22:06 AM »
The thing is.. thanks to the way congress has bent over to the accommodate the Recording and Publishing Industry makes it hard to prove fraud against them if you're an artist/author. They don't have the same burden of accountability that most companies do, they play fast and loose with their contracts and ignore them when they can. A LOT of artists get screwed of their overseas revenue, and the Writer's strike a few years ago was almost entirely over the royalties in one way or another. 

Residuals, like royalties, are something that the companies artists and authors deal with, are something they (the companies) would love to do without and minimize at every chance. Despite the run away success of 'on Demand', Streaming, Downloads and such both the Motion Picture association and Recording industry insist that they aren't. Part of the reason that it's hard to disprove is that the accounting methods they use are nearly criminal in their methods of concealment. 

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 11:26:15 AM »
*nods*  We do need better definitions of what is considered owned by the artist or creator and what companies need to reimburse for.  In my opinion any money received by anyone for use/sale/distribution of another person's work product should generate a royalty or residual.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 11:53:05 AM »
*nods*  We do need better definitions of what is considered owned by the artist or creator and what companies need to reimburse for.  In my opinion any money received by anyone for use/sale/distribution of another person's work product should generate a royalty or residual.

Among the various things is most US Recording companies expect the artist to pay a portion (if not all) of the production cost of music videos before they get royalties from them. Which, given the amount they get, seems a bit unfair. The Record Companies (and Publishing houses) nickel and dime their artists and yet it's always 'for their artists' that they seek this or that new law.

A LOT of the stuff they put through congress are scarey when you consider it. They would have no problem demanding  access to your home, credit and internet histories if they thought it could earn them a nickel. Privacy is inmaterial to them, unless it's to hide their frauds from the public and/or artists.

The latest moves, dealing with streaming video, show just how far they are willing to go. Blocking anything they don't get a piece of action for in someway. If you look at it in the strictest measure, they can ban any video posted if a song they own is playing in the background or that your 4 year old is singing to on youTube. Fair Use is dying in the US and the publishers/recording/movie companies are whittling it away step by step.


Offline Kuroneko

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 12:04:01 PM »
I never liked the idea of pirating or piracy of another person's work product.  I'm an aspiring author and if I'm lucky enough to become published and successful I would like to received the benefit of my my time and labor.  That's fair and deserved. 

Take my book and copy it 100 times and pass it out for free and that is hundreds of dollars in royalties that I lose.  Sell that copy for even a fraction of the cost of the book from legitimate sources and you've stolen that money from me.

An author, musician or game designer that lives on the royalties of their blood, sweat and tears to support themselves and possibly a family deserves those royalties.

Piracy is theft.

This.  I have never downloaded anything illegally because I wouldn't want my own work taken. 

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2011, 12:22:25 PM »
The main problem for me - the thing that makes pirating things most tempting - is that a lot of the music I listen to isn't available in my country. It's not available for legal download, it's not available in stores, it's not available on iTunes - it's not available. You can't really claim I'm stealing from them when they're not even offering me the thing I want. I don't download games because Steam offers me a very reliable platform through which I can pay for and download the games I want. If the same existed with music, I would be buying a lot more of it, and I wouldn't even think about illegally downloading anything.

 That's still stealing if you're taking it without paying for it. If it's not available, it's not available

Quote
And that's another thing I hate about this issue, the way they try to make you feel like you're actually depriving artists of something tangible. Whatever it is, it's not the same as stealing. No more than making a physical copy of a car would be stealing that car. If the record companies and their thugs were a little bit more honest, and a little bit more interested in finding actual solutions, they'd do a lot more to get rid of illegal downloading than with their current tactics, which is basically intimidation.

 This I agree with. The record and music companies have not been playing fair and need to straighten up their act a lot. Times and technology are changing fast and there's no way they can stop it.

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2011, 05:34:25 PM »

And that's another thing I hate about this issue, the way they try to make you feel like you're actually depriving artists of something tangible. Whatever it is, it's not the same as stealing. No more than making a physical copy of a car would be stealing that car. If the record companies and their thugs were a little bit more honest, and a little bit more interested in finding actual solutions, they'd do a lot more to get rid of illegal downloading than with their current tactics, which is basically intimidation.

But, a work of art is tangible. Just because a music recording isn't touchable the way a painting is, it is still a work of art and the intellectual rights to it belong to the artist(s) that created it.   By your reasoning, the costume designs that I produce for a performance could be reproduced by anyone that wanted to and it would be okay simply because they are not the actual, original costumes.  I assure you that my design union (United Scenic Artists 829) would disagree with you, lol, as one of their man purposes for existing is to protect the work of their members.  There are copyrights on my designs the same way there would be on the design of a car.  You might not be stealing that car, but you'd still be stealing the design of that car, and therefore violating copyrights.  And music has many layers of copyrights attached to each individual song and performance, from the lyricist(s) and composer(s) to the individual musicians and the producers.  You're stealing both the work and the monetary compensation they should be receiving in the form of royalties.

Personally, I think one of the reasons people (in a huge general sense, not an individual one) feel that since we can listen to music for free on the radio, or listen to it for free online, that means it should be free in all forms, without realizing that radio stations and internet sites buy licenses to be able to play those musical pieces or that artists live on the royalties generated by the sale of their work in these various forms. 

Now, once you buy your license and download your song, or you buy a CD, you've bought the right to make copies of it and put it on a number of computers for personal use, so if you choose to make a CD for a friend, that's your choice.   I personally don't make or accept CDs, because I want the artist to be compensated for their work the same way I want to be compensated for my work.

edited because I can't type :(
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 05:36:32 PM by Kuroneko »

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2011, 05:34:54 PM »
Take my book and copy it 100 times and pass it out for free and that is hundreds of dollars in royalties that I lose.  Sell that copy for even a fraction of the cost of the book from legitimate sources and you've stolen that money from me.

It's a bit of a non-sequitur, but in practice this isn't true. The assumption that the 100 people who would take and read your work at no cost to them are 100 people who would otherwise purchase your writing doesn't pan out. I would imagine that the numbers are more like losing 5-10 actual purchases for every 100 copies pirated, if that. Neil Gaiman has said that piracy of his work has increased global awareness of it and led to a greater profit for him. Peter Watts saved his writing career by distributing his complete works for free online and watched book sales increase.

Do note that neither of these examples justify piracy, but they show the fallacy of some of the assumptions the industry has made about traditional forms of media distribution. Piracy hurts publishers much more than it hurts those who initially create the media. I see large scale piracy as a problem, and don't use torrent sites or troll the net for free copies of things that I can easily pay for. But sharing copies between friends is no different than lending books, using libraries, or buying things second-hand; all practices that benefit the individual content creators but drive publishers crazy (and the shit publishers are trying to pull against resalers and libraries is just shameful).

EDIT: Here's the video reference I failed to find earlier: Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 05:44:30 PM by DarklingAlice »

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2011, 05:38:11 PM »
But sharing copies between friends is no different than lending books, using libraries, or buying things second-hand; all practices that benefit the individual content creators but drive publishers crazy (and the shit publishers are trying to pull against resalers and libraries is just shameful).

Agreed.  This is what I was trying to say in my last paragraph, but you did it much better than I did.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2011, 06:05:33 PM »

 But sharing copies between friends is no different than lending books, using libraries, or buying things second-hand; all practices that benefit the individual content creators but drive publishers crazy (and the shit publishers are trying to pull against resalers and libraries is just shameful).

 Sharing/lending a copy, means you still get it back. The other person does not keep it. Libraries require you to return what you take from them (books, music, video and what not). Buying it second hand, you're still paying for it even if it is at a reduced price.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2011, 06:27:04 PM »
Sharing/lending a copy, means you still get it back. The other person does not keep it. Libraries require you to return what you take from them (books, music, video and what not). Buying it second hand, you're still paying for it even if it is at a reduced price.

Your point? All of these give you full access to the content with no money going to the publisher or artist. Yet all three further the artists' career and are of value to them. The distinction is that the publisher does not benefit. Which is why they have been up in arms against all three of these systems since their advent (and lying their assess off to lawmakers and artists). We are just seeing the same thing play out on a digital, worldwide scale, and the industry is having seizures trying to adapt. At the end of the day, the artists will get out of this just fine, it is the old guard of publishing houses that are going to suffer.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2011, 07:27:34 PM »
I am concerned about how copyright issues are going. One the one hand, creative talents are more than due to their royalties and residuals. The problem is the bigger content owners have been doing everything they can to squeeze every penny out of their IP.  Rupert Murdoch is one of the big ones. If he had his way fair use would be moot. He's sued the BBC for reporting on his news organization because they used material from the article.

His publishing company, Harper Collins, has pushed forward a program that limits a library to lending an ebook out only 26 times before they have to pay full price to rebuy it again.

I don't think the creators are the problem these days but Publishing entities who have gone crazy looking for ways to maximize their income in ways that aren't too wise.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2011, 11:17:05 PM »
Your point? All of these give you full access to the content with no money going to the publisher or artist. Yet all three further the artists' career and are of value to them. The distinction is that the publisher does not benefit. Which is why they have been up in arms against all three of these systems since their advent (and lying their assess off to lawmakers and artists). We are just seeing the same thing play out on a digital, worldwide scale, and the industry is having seizures trying to adapt. At the end of the day, the artists will get out of this just fine, it is the old guard of publishing houses that are going to suffer.

 With the examples I replied to, you end up giving the book/music/movie back. You don't keep it. With pirating you do keep it.  Second hand sales of things is allowed or used stores wouldn't be in business. Just taking it without paying is stealing. Gifts do not count since they are either made or bought by someone else.

Offline Shjade

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2011, 12:25:25 AM »
With the examples I replied to, you end up giving the book/music/movie back. You don't keep it. With pirating you do keep it.
Irrelevant. Whether you keep it or not after you've consumed the product doesn't matter - you've still read/heard/watched it already. Trying to make a distinction between being lent a book or pirating a book by duration of ownership is pointless.

Offline Dim Hon

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2011, 01:56:17 AM »
Uuuurgh. I'm a published author, I know if pirates reign supreme I and many others who have not Neil Gaiman's prowess might have their careers snuffed out before we've had a chance to begin....

....but I'm not against piracy or torrenting. I find things on the internet that I would not buy if I saw them in a shop. I read or watch them - most of the time I stop a few minutes later because it's not to my taste. Then, sometimes, I find things that I adore. Because I honestly loathe reading books on a screen and hate how poor quality the vids tend towards - or I simply WANT to possess them physically - I buy them. Example - I found Sarah Monette's books online, read them and bought them a few months later. Now, two of the four books were out of print, so none of the money I paid to get them went to her. Which I really hate, she's a glorious author and I wanted to reward her for the books that I so enjoyed. So I looked for books that she had written after that series, and bought what was in print and will buy every single novel she creates from here on out.

I don't know how common my way of piracy is, but it's the way that I think should be encouraged. Everyone profits from it - from the customer getting what they want, the big companies getting a cut, and the author getting their reward for working.

Offline Brandon

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2011, 02:58:10 AM »
For me I use torrents as a way to gauge whether I want to spend $20-50 on a product. If I like the book Ill buy it when I have the disposable income to, if I dont like it it gets taken off my hard drive. In these cases its not like music, I cant just go to youtube and pull up a song to listen to and then make my decision. With books and pdf's there just isnt a good sampling ability out there right now. The same goes for movies and to a lesser extent video games (because so few games release demos).

A good example of this is Rogue trader. I probably would have never taken a look at it to begin with but one day I saw it on a torrent site and decided to give it a look. I found it to be awesome and bought the book later that week. If I hadnt looked at that torrent then there would have been one less sale. The other side of the argument is what if I had hated it? Well if that were the case and I had bought the book out of nowhere I would have wasted  $40 (60 if it hadnt been on sale).

I see no morale problem with this because torrents are a tool for me to do responsible shopping and the industry gets their money if I enjoy their product. Everybody wins.

Then theres other issues like DVDs where have to sit through unskippable trailers and FBI warning over and over and over again before you can watch the actual movie. Or how about video games where its a hassle to get all the content you paid for (like my disaster when I got Dragon age ultimate edition for christmas) or has restrictive DRM that forces you to use a service that you dont want? Assuming its a game I really really really like I would buy those games just to support the developer that made them but then Im going to go download a cracked version where I dont have to deal with the bullshit DRM or be connected to steam/origin to play it.

This is how I think people should use torrents and those of us who do use them in this way get a bad rap from people that will never pay for something when they use it all the time.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 06:02:40 AM by Brandon »

Offline Hemingway

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2011, 05:42:55 AM »
That's still stealing if you're taking it without paying for it. If it's not available, it's not available

If the meaning of words matters at all, that is not stealing. To steal something is to acquire something by depriving someone else of it, to take it away from them. If I'm copying something that isn't even available to me, I'm not even depriving the creator of potential revenue.

But, a work of art is tangible. Just because a music recording isn't touchable the way a painting is, it is still a work of art and the intellectual rights to it belong to the artist(s) that created it.   By your reasoning, the costume designs that I produce for a performance could be reproduced by anyone that wanted to and it would be okay simply because they are not the actual, original costumes.  I assure you that my design union (United Scenic Artists 829) would disagree with you, lol, as one of their man purposes for existing is to protect the work of their members.  There are copyrights on my designs the same way there would be on the design of a car.  You might not be stealing that car, but you'd still be stealing the design of that car, and therefore violating copyrights.  And music has many layers of copyrights attached to each individual song and performance, from the lyricist(s) and composer(s) to the individual musicians and the producers.  You're stealing both the work and the monetary compensation they should be receiving in the form of royalties.

You're missing my point entirely. My point was not that downloading music illegally is completely unproblematic. I'm saying that the solution is not to try to bash people over the head with the nonsensical notion that downloading music is somehow on the same level as stealing someone's purse or car. It just isn't, and it creates a situation that's quite difficult to take seriously.

Basically, you can't change the direction in which our technology is moving by declaring its use to be illegal. You have to compete and adapt. If you can't, then, I'm sorry, but I honestly don't think you deserve to be a commercial success. Making customers jump through endless hoops and putting endless restrictions on what they can do with the thing they've paid for, just isn't a good business strategy.

There's also a difference between music and costume designs. I mean, not to be down on costume designers, but I don't think there's quite the same interest in and market for the things that they do. It's not just a question of scale, though. Music in particular, but also movies and the likes, are, as pointed out, frequently played on the TV and the radio and so on. It exists in a place where it can't really be said to belong to the artist in the sense of it being something they physical own and control. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that once something is played on the radio it suddenly belongs to the public, but there is a distinct difference, and I think it needs to be taken into account in any serious discussion of the topic. You can't declare two things to be equal when they so obviously aren't.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2011, 09:53:13 AM »
Uuuurgh. I'm a published author, I know if pirates reign supreme I and many others who have not Neil Gaiman's prowess might have their careers snuffed out before we've had a chance to begin....

I completely agree that it would be a very bad thing if piracy reigned supreme. This is why I am against folks who run large torrent sites and communities that exist only to steal and distribute copies of intellectual property. And anyone who fiscally profits from their piracy should clearly be punished for that.

At the same time you make a great point about how small scale piracy, copying, and trading help an author. You can't lose sales to people who have no reason to purchase your product. I think what we are dealing with is a matter of scale and changing ideologies of distribution, and the law is a blunt instrument that is lacking in the finesse necessary to deal with that.