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Author Topic: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet  (Read 5743 times)

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Offline Kuroneko

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2011, 11:54:18 AM »

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.

Walk through a comic or anime convention, or attend a movie like Harry Potter where everyone dresses up likes specific characters from the comics, books, cartoons and films and then tell me that costume designs are not as desired as music.

I'm not saying that a customer who pays for a product can't do with it what they want.  I think I already made it clear that they can.  They bought it, they own it.  Give it away, resell it, make copies for friends if they want.  I only said I personally don't make or accept copied music for personal reasons.  However, someone that steals an item is not a customer, and they do not have the same ownership rights that purchasing an item gives them.  And yes, if if you are copying something that you have no legal access to, you are still stealing it and taking potential revenue away from the artist.  Is it unfotunate that you can't get it?  Of course.  But that doesn't provide a means to rationalizing away stealing it instead.   

I think you might be missing my points too, particulary the point I made about TV and radio stations purchasing a license to play the media they broadcast.  The very fact that they have to in order to broadcast these things in the first place proves that there is ownership of the product.  And a percentage of those licensing fees do get to the artists.  An actor friend of mine gets residual checks every time his films are broadcast on a television station, and sometimes, those checks are the difference between making rent or being homeless.  Musicians also get residuals when their work is played on a radio station, downloaded from a legitimate site, or purchased in store. So yes, illegal music downloading is as serious as stealing a car, at least in my eyes.  You're taking away their income.  Some people illegally download thousands of songs.  If we're comparing monetary value, eventually it adds up and could equal a car.

However, regardless of the differences in opinion over whether the car and the music are equal in value (because I don't think we'll agree, which is fine), my main point and contention is that the effort it takes to create artistic work is equal no matter the form.  That is what is truly equal here, what makes my point valid and reasonable, and what seems to have been misunderstood.  I'm sorry that I wasn't clear.  The end product itself is irrelevant - music, costumes, books, songs, paitings, what have you.  The time, effort, and skills used to create them are what matters, and the end result is a work of art that is inherently the property of the artist until they choose to sell some or all of the rights for publication, recording or other means of public exposure.  Changing distribution technology doesn't change this, in my opinion, it just, as you said, makes it necessary to adapt and change.  And to me, stealing artistic work is worse than stealing a car.  A car can be replaced.  Stealing artwork is like taking part of the artist themselves.  It doesn't matter to me than a song costs much less than a car. Artists deserve to be compensated for their work and effort the same way any other worker in any other profession does. or those of us who aren't Kanye West or Stephen King level successul, it hurts us financially and professionally.  That was my point.    My blood, sweat and tears are in my work.  It's more than theft to me if it's taken; it's a personal violation of sorts.

I think we're just going to hve to agree to disagree, and I freely admit that my opinion certainly stems from my position as an artist that depends on income from my work to survive.  I can't help but see myself, co-workers and friends on the losing end of the illegal downloading cycle.  I just can't sanction any activity that is clearly theft in my eyes, no matter how well it's argued that it isn't.   But, I do respect that others have a different opinion on this issue, even if I don't agree with it. 


edited once again, because I can't type *sigh*
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 12:23:45 PM by Kuroneko »

Offline Noelle

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2011, 12:24:24 PM »
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.

As it's been pointed out, the consumption of said media has already taken place. You can't un-read a book or un-see a movie. I've pirated movies that I then delete from my hard drive when I'm done because I have no use for it anymore, but by your definition, the long-term possession is what the real offense here is -- so is what I did simply 'borrowing' that movie from the Internet and then getting rid of it when I've consumed what I want of it?

Also, I don't understand how you can reconcile second-hand media resale if we're defending the rights of the artist/publisher/etc. to make a profit off of their work. Buying a used game is hardly supporting the game developers, so shouldn't they be under scrutiny, as well? They're profiting off of other people buying the game at full price and then effectively undercutting the original distributor.

On that note, I used to record songs from the radio on my cassette tapes to later play on my walkman, is that also worthy of prosecution?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2011, 12:43:40 PM »
As it's been pointed out, the consumption of said media has already taken place. You can't un-read a book or un-see a movie. I've pirated movies that I then delete from my hard drive when I'm done because I have no use for it anymore, but by your definition, the long-term possession is what the real offense here is -- so is what I did simply 'borrowing' that movie from the Internet and then getting rid of it when I've consumed what I want of it?

Also, I don't understand how you can reconcile second-hand media resale if we're defending the rights of the artist/publisher/etc. to make a profit off of their work. Buying a used game is hardly supporting the game developers, so shouldn't they be under scrutiny, as well? They're profiting off of other people buying the game at full price and then effectively undercutting the original distributor.

On that note, I used to record songs from the radio on my cassette tapes to later play on my walkman, is that also worthy of prosecution?

 Using a library is legal and at the end you return the product you borrowed.  The knowledge you gained is still yours, but the item you used is not yours and is returned.  Buying things second hand is again, legal. It's something you buy, not make a bootleg copy of and don't pay for.  Resale of goods is an expected and completely legal thing.

 
Quote
I've pirated movies that I then delete from my hard drive when I'm done because I have no use for it anymore,

 That doesn't make any difference. You pirated, stole it with the express purpose of -not- intending to pay for it.  The fact you deleted it later means nothing. You took it without paying in the first place.

  Recording songs from the radio I believe comes under the heading as illegal, but it's so hard to catch in the act and so minor, I don't know if anyone has been  charged on that.
 

 
Quote
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.

 Oh yes you are. The product isn't even for sale in your country and you had to basically steal it from outside of your country to get it. You did not pay the artist, you didn't pay anyone. You went and downloaded it anyways. You said, I believe that you would have bought it if it was for sale in your country, but it wasn't. So you went around the laws to get it.






Offline Will

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2011, 01:02:22 PM »
Using a library is legal and at the end you return the product you borrowed.  The knowledge you gained is still yours, but the item you used is not yours and is returned.  Buying things second hand is again, legal. It's something you buy, not make a bootleg copy of and don't pay for.  Resale of goods is an expected and completely legal thing.

So it's just the legality that makes the difference?  If we all got together and passed legislation making piracy of all kinds legal, you'd be fine with it?

Does the principle behind the law not matter?  You borrow a book from a friend, you read it, and now you've enjoyed the author's hard work without paying them for it.  How is that not exactly the same as just stealing the book from the store?  Oh, it's legal.  Well, let's just legalize theft, then?  Problem solved.

Offline Noelle

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2011, 01:56:58 PM »
Using a library is legal and at the end you return the product you borrowed.  The knowledge you gained is still yours, but the item you used is not yours and is returned.

 
Quote
That doesn't make any difference. You pirated, stole it with the express purpose of -not- intending to pay for it.  The fact you deleted it later means nothing. You took it without paying in the first place.

How do you reconcile these two things? If I borrow it from a library, I'm obviously not intending to pay for it. If I borrow a book from a friend, I'm obviously not intending to pay for it. What about things like TiVo or when people used to tape their shows on a VCR? They weren't intending to pay for the series in DVD or VHS format to rewatch it later, they got it for free.

If someone buys a DVD and decides to lend it out to his friends by letting them download it? What if they delete it when they're done, then what's the difference? And if that person lends it to 100 friends? A million? You have not made any kind of consistent judgment here as to what is and isn't okay except to speak of intent, which doesn't exactly make a convincing case in court.


Quote
Recording songs from the radio I believe comes under the heading as illegal, but it's so hard to catch in the act and so minor, I don't know if anyone has been  charged on that.

You say it's minor -- so what, praytell, is the difference between me recording songs from the radio and downloading music online? If one is minor, why is the other a much more grave offense?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2011, 04:23:29 PM »
So it's just the legality that makes the difference?  If we all got together and passed legislation making piracy of all kinds legal, you'd be fine with it?

Does the principle behind the law not matter?  You borrow a book from a friend, you read it, and now you've enjoyed the author's hard work without paying them for it.  How is that not exactly the same as just stealing the book from the store?  Oh, it's legal.  Well, let's just legalize theft, then?  Problem solved.

 /sigh   Yes, it is the legality that matters.  Right now, there are people using the excuse 'He can afford the loss' to justify -purposefully- pirating stuff. Those people have absolutely no intention of paying the artist/author. 

 Right now China is doing copyright theft on a massive scale and the government (China's) does little to stop it. Despite the fact that it's violating many international copywrite laws.  I'm not seeing any difference between that and what people on this board have said they've done except on the scale of it.

  If you  borrow a book, you end up giving the book back. If you borrow a movie, you give it back.  If a friend gives you a book/movie/whatever, that person bought it for you.  As several people have admitted on this forum, they pirated stuff if they 1, could not find it in their area/nation/region or 2, didn't intend to pay for it anyways.  They intentionally went out and took that item digitally with the intent to keep it.


How do you reconcile these two things? If I borrow it from a library, I'm obviously not intending to pay for it. If I borrow a book from a friend, I'm obviously not intending to pay for it. What about things like TiVo or when people used to tape their shows on a VCR? They weren't intending to pay for the series in DVD or VHS format to rewatch it later, they got it for free.


You say it's minor -- so what, praytell, is the difference between me recording songs from the radio and downloading music online? If one is minor, why is the other a much more grave offense?

 If you borrow it from a library, you are also intending to return the book. You do not keep it. That's the point I am trying to make. You do not keep it..  TiVo's, I believe were allowed under the law or they never would have been for sale. The company had no problem selling or marketing the device.

 Recording stuff off the radio is very very hard to detect, hence why I said it was minor. Unless you caught someone in the act, it's very hard to catch someone doing it.

Quote
If someone buys a DVD and decides to lend it out to his friends by letting them download it? What if they delete it when they're done, then what's the difference? And if that person lends it to 100 friends? A million? You have not made any kind of consistent judgment here as to what is and isn't okay except to speak of intent, which doesn't exactly make a convincing case in court.

 I'm not a lawyer. Far from it in fact.  I just find it disturbing that so many people nowadays apparently have no problem with stealing stuff online. Theft is theft. It makes no difference at all of it's an object or digital data (that has been proven in court. There does not need to be a physical item stolen for it to be considered theft).

 If you have no problem with that, then you shouldn't have any issue if someone downloaded the contents of your computer to another machine without your knowledge, right? After all, it's just data and you were not hurt by it were you? If they do not use the bank or personal information, what harm was done to you?




Offline Hemingway

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2011, 05:25:31 PM »
I think we're just going to hve to agree to disagree, and I freely admit that my opinion certainly stems from my position as an artist that depends on income from my work to survive.  I can't help but see myself, co-workers and friends on the losing end of the illegal downloading cycle.  I just can't sanction any activity that is clearly theft in my eyes, no matter how well it's argued that it isn't.   But, I do respect that others have a different opinion on this issue, even if I don't agree with it.

If nothing can change your mind, why are we even debating this? If you freely admit you don't care what words actually mean, why are you trying to tell me I'm wrong? If facts don't matter to you, in this case that the act of "theft" implies, according to most if not all definitions of the word I've seen, a deprivation of something from someone, then how could we ever hope to reach any sort of consensus?

I happen to believe that, as part of the larger argument, it matters that piracy is not theft. Just as murder and manslaughter aren't the same thing, even if the result is the same for the victim, there's a difference, and it needs to be taken into account in any serious argument.

Offline Noelle

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2011, 06:31:57 PM »
  If you  borrow a book, you end up giving the book back. If you borrow a movie, you give it back.  If a friend gives you a book/movie/whatever, that person bought it for you.  As several people have admitted on this forum, they pirated stuff if they 1, could not find it in their area/nation/region or 2, didn't intend to pay for it anyways.  They intentionally went out and took that item digitally with the intent to keep it.

Except I haven't kept any of the movies I've downloaded. You keep running in circles on this, so here is the logic breakdown I'm getting from you:

1. It's okay to borrow from a library or a friend because you don't keep it
2. It's not okay to download from a friend even if you don't keep it

I get your point that you do not keep it, but that point has already demonstrated to be futile in the above example. The fact that I would delete my content when I'm done with it is me not keeping it. It's no longer on my hard drive, it's no longer in my possession. I've complied with your wishes of not keeping it, so now what?

The only thing you're nitpicking here is the source of the download. What's the difference if I borrow a DVD from a friend, watch it, and give it back, or if I download the DVD from a friend's computer, watch it, and delete it? That's the real question I'd like for you to address here.


Quote
If you have no problem with that, then you shouldn't have any issue if someone downloaded the contents of your computer to another machine without your knowledge, right? After all, it's just data and you were not hurt by it were you? If they do not use the bank or personal information, what harm was done to you?

I don't see how this is a relevant example, as you're invoking two totally different things here. Things I keep private on my home computer are just that, they're private. Things that you choose to share on the internet are public. Things you make public can be taken and in turn shared. Nobody is forcibly hacking into a musician's computer; presumably at least one person has bought the album and has in turn shared it. That's...kind of a big difference.

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2011, 09:25:57 PM »
If nothing can change your mind, why are we even debating this? If you freely admit you don't care what words actually mean, why are you trying to tell me I'm wrong? If facts don't matter to you, in this case that the act of "theft" implies, according to most if not all definitions of the word I've seen, a deprivation of something from someone, then how could we ever hope to reach any sort of consensus?

I happen to believe that, as part of the larger argument, it matters that piracy is not theft. Just as murder and manslaughter aren't the same thing, even if the result is the same for the victim, there's a difference, and it needs to be taken into account in any serious argument.

I'm sorry, but where did I ever say I don't care what words mean or that facts didn't matter to me?  I did not.  In fact, I was also clear to say that what I expressed was my opinion, not that you were wrong.  I also said that my opinion is biased because of my profession and that I respected your right to have your own opinion.  Please do not put words into my mouth. 


Definition of PIRACY
1: an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery
2: robbery on the high seas
3a : the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright b : the illicit accessing of broadcast signals
(emphasis mine)


Definition of THEFT

1a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property


-Mirriam Webster Dictionary

That is the meaning of the word. Theft is theft, end of. It's already been proven in court cases that piracy of music is theft.  Our opinions differ, and that's fine.  But you're right, we can't really have a discussion because of those differences.  You're just as unwilling to consider that illegal downloading is theft as I am to consider that it isn't.   I'm not here to debate anything, just give my opinion, based on my personal situation as an artist who is directly affected by intellectual property theft and copyright infringement. 

This discussion is beginning to go beyond the range of politeness.  Accusations are beginning to fly, and I'm really not comfortable with that.  So, I'll bow out now and you all can continue to rationalize illegal activity without me. 

Thanks to everyone for an interesting discussion. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 09:31:08 PM by Kuroneko »

Offline Jude

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2011, 10:35:40 PM »
Yes, my piracy makes me a thief of intellectual property -- I fully recognize this.  I also recognize that stealing intellectual property isn't the same thing as stealing something physical (the latter leaves the would-be seller at a disadvantage because they've lost the physical materials to create the product which must then be replaced).  Pretending they're the same thing is a bit silly; they're obviously not.  You can argue about lost sales until you're blue in the face (and I think piracy does result in some people not buying a product they can steal for free), but you still have to present somewhat of a subjective argument to pretend there's equivalence there.

Is piracy an immoral act?  Maybe.  I can see an argument put forth either way.  I do think you need to measure the harm done however.  Whether you are stealing from a starving artist, a working class game designer, Kanye West, or Activision makes a big difference.

Online Oreo

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2011, 10:39:27 PM »
I'm curious about the application of replacing already purchased media? Lets say 2G was spent on a VHS video collection, now everything is coming out on DVDs. Should it be considered illegal to torrent movies that one has already paid the royalties on?

Offline Reno

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2011, 10:41:48 PM »
Copyright infringement isn't "theft." That's already a different crime with a completely different set of conditions, so referring to it as "theft" is just self-serving rhetoric. Perhaps it's a crime, and it might even be wrong (one does not imply the other), but until you (the generic 'you') can be intellectually honest about something, you cannot have a rational discussion about it.

As far as I'm concerned, downloading, cracking DRM, format shifting, etc are all justified and fair, whether or not they are legal. The laws in that specific domain are particularly one-sided against the interests of the general citizenry in favor of the content owners. The public domain, which is what is supposed to be our payment for obeying the temporary monopolies of copyright, has essentially ceased to exist as copyright duration is repeatedly extended to more and more abusive extremes in the interest of corporate content owners.

The rules of the game are fixed, and the referees are being bribed, so going outside of them isn't going to cost me any sleep.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2011, 10:50:06 PM »
Quote from: Kuroneko
Definition of THEFT

1a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property

-Mirriam Webster Dictionary

That is the meaning of the word. Theft is theft, end of. It's already been proven in court cases that piracy of music is theft.

I don't think this can be boiled down just to what dictionaries say, even if the sense given is one that many people would agree with. Some people - a large number, actually - would argue, on the basis of their ideas, that taxation is theft, as a matter of course, unless the individual taxed has been in a position to freely determine exactly what his or her particular tax input shall be used for, and in what proportions. Like, "I agree to pay for military spending and for the new science center here in town, as long as the politicians and senators don't change the plans as they exist now, but I will not have my money going to primary education or medicare". Of course, that would make taxation, and most political decisions,  hopeless beyond the smallest communities. Everyone would say now and then "I ain't paying for that, this is robbery!"

I've done a fair bit of downloading and sharing myself, and I know a large part of it has been stuff I could never have found in the ordinary market (like, Ukrainian metal, WW2 radio speeches, live bootlegs and music recorded by Soviet/Russian rock bands in the 80s and 90s). Some of it has never been commercially released, or only on a minor scale or locally, some of it has been music and video that I would never have had a chance of knowing about if I had tried the ordinary commercial or magazine routes - and I'm actually interested in music and do get to read a bit about even little-known acts. I am still buying cd's and dvd's, my buying hasn't dropped since i began downloading for free, just moved into  new directions. And I agree it's very off the mark to assume that fifty free downloads of a certain record in mp3 format would equal fifty buys of the actual records or itunes files if the free option hadn't existed.

On the other hand, I don't think the argument where people are saying simply "Information wants to be free and the more people who will get a piece of music or a film for free, the better" and "if someone fights back to protect copyright then it is always oppression, no matter who is the target" is a solid one. Why not? Because if you offer an argument that wants to defend small-scale sharing but it seems to work every bit as fine for a pirate cd factory in China, then you're out on thin ice. With one-for-all arguments of that kind, it gets difficult to discern between the different levels of "sharing"/piracy.

It's like with a supposed medicine that's the only one able to cure a certain mortal disease, yet the inventor keeps it jealously in short supply (for whatever reason) and has set a very high sales price. Let's say there's a man whose wife is dying from that disease, so that she needs the drug to have a chance to survive, and the man asks the owner of the patent if he can buy a bottle of it for two-thirds of the set, very elevated (and not market-determined) price. The owner says no, no way unless you pay my set price in cash. The man becomes desperate and breaks into the shop or the storeroom, stealing the bottle of medicine he needs to save his wife. Now, I saw that example in a text book on ethics, a book which had appeared before the modern issues of piracy had become well known. The author of that book saw it as a textbook case of (the break-in man) setting himself above morals, he assumed that if you believed in any kind of firm moral rules there was no excuse or mitigating circumstances even in that situation. I think most people today would say the drug dealer/maker was behaving like a bastard and taking undue advantage of a situation that would not go on for a very long time  but long enough for many people to die unless they could pay full price for his drug (and I am assuming it wasn't a drug that was very hard or expensive to manufacture, but this man, for the time being, was the only one who could have it produced legally, just as it's not inordinately expensive in itself these days to make a recording and produce cd's). But the issue of breaking in and stealing the drug in that kind of situation is a bit different from actually setting up a parallel factory and putting the original drugmaker out of business. Just like, IMO, personal filesharing on a small scale, is a different thing than setting up a cd factory and should be argued in a different way.


 his wife is breaks into that man's storeroomn and steals a bottle of that drug because his wife is dying and this medicine is the only oe that would help
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 11:03:33 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline DudelRok

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2011, 11:04:32 PM »
I like how Noelle was at me in another thread all: "Artists want to be paid for their work." And now seems pretty pro-piracy.


Let's go this way: I see piracy as theft. Granted it is a lesser extent of theft than that of physically walking into a store and taking something, but theft is theft to me. I also don't have a problem with theft when who I'm stealing from is A) Not the artist directly (most if not all that money goes to the publisher in many cases) B) Is trying to swindle me (You want me to pay HOW MUCH for this?) or if I'm going to get it used anyway (which is the case of most everything I purchase) and no one but the resale company is getting money... and I might as well find it elsewhere if/when I can.


Oh, and did you know that the video game industry is currently trying to kill the used game market? Physically making a used copy of a game worthless in many aspects? Locking content upon disks, blocking downloadable content, all kinds of nonsense... and a whole bunch of other stuff that's really discouraging me to be a next gen gamer.

Video game wise... I'd rather the disk/cart/etc if my systems worked or if the things where easy to get or if the things didn't cost the same as (or more than) newer games. I'll wait to play cheap PS1 games on my PS2 for when I've the cash... and if my SNES was still around I'd use that.. and if the GBA was still viable for me to play on, I'd do that too. That and carts aren't reliable, especially used with disk only being a little less so. New stuff in that area just isn't practical, either... as we're talking collector value not play value. Certain systems I wont pirate, PS1 and PS2 being good examples. Simply because the disks are readily available and tend to usually work.

Also: Did you know that you are actually allowed to copy all media for yourself? The clench, here, is you aren't allowed to give out this copy to others... for monetary gain or at the loss of monetary gain of another. Now the question is "What's monetary gain?" If I buy something, don't like it, and return it... did someone lose out? Yes... but the only people who did was the actual store that sold it to me, not the publisher (who already got paid for the units the store bought with intent to sell) or the artist who was already (yes already) paid by the publisher for their work.

Yet the people who can file the lawsuit are the artists (who've already been paid) or the publisher (who have also already been paid) so, well screw them. You might argue that the artist/publisher get more if more units are sold... well this isn't always the case. The publisher can create more units and make more cash, but the artist's continued revenue is from elsewhere, like live shows and guest appearances etc. Same goes with game units... the publisher gets more money than anyone else and those people have already been paid before the units hit shelves (assuming they don't get sent back, anyway).

So, yeah...

* Dudel is pro piracy when who's being stolen from doesn't deserve it.

Offline Will

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2011, 11:08:33 PM »
The rules of the game are fixed, and the referees are being bribed, so going outside of them isn't going to cost me any sleep.

This pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject, along with the caveat that Jude mentioned.  I'm certainly more apt to cough up the cash for an artist/author that isn't already filthy rich.

Most of the music I download is available for free outright, legitimately.  I happen to love live music, and lots of artists allow their shows to be recorded (or do it themselves), and encourage the sharing of those recordings.  It's a perfect example of the "piracy as advertising" phenomenon that can be overlooked in the rhetoric coming from publishers.  This kind of thing allows me to find smaller bands that I would have never heard of otherwise, and in those cases, I will try to buy an album or go to an actual concert.  The rules of the game are fixed against smaller/independent artists as much as consumers, so depriving them of profit actually does hit my conscience pretty hard.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 11:11:32 PM by Will »

Offline Noelle

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2011, 11:23:33 PM »
Quote
I like how Noelle was at me in another thread all: "Artists want to be paid for their work." And now seems pretty pro-piracy.

You can address me directly, you know :P No need for passive-aggressive commentary, as this is a subject I particularly like to talk about.

Yes, artists want to be paid for their work. There is no better way to support an artist that you enjoy than to pay them money, as they have bills to pay and supplies to buy to keep making art.

However, I don't charge people to look at my art and people certainly aren't paying me to see it. On sites like Tumblr, I distribute my art freely -- and if you know anything about Tumblr, it's that anyone can see an image and reblog it for others to see, effectively spreading it around much in the same way piracy works. This is good for me. It's free advertisement and generates interest in my work, which in turn, generates more potential customers who either might want custom work or would buy prints. So long as nobody is claiming that the work is theirs, I have no issues with it being used with credit linking back to me so other viewers can find the source. These people aren't paying me money either way, so it makes no sense for me to try to futilely retain a deathgrip on my artwork. I embrace the medium and use it to my advantage.

If I hear something, see something, or listen to something that I really like, I go out and pay for it or find some other way to show my support for the artist monetarily, either through concert tickets or merchandise. I may even send a song or two to a friend who I think will like it and thus give them another potential customer. It's called overhead, and many indie bands out there really rely on things like BitTorrent to get the word out. I can't afford not to do the same -- if I hug my artwork tightly to my chest and only rarely hand it out, nobody sees it at all.

So yes, it is possible to be pro-artist and pro-piracy.

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Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2011, 11:26:56 PM »
I think it needs to be pointed out that the prices of cd's and dvd's, especially music and movies, at the point of buying, have long since stopped having any firm relation either to how hot the product was when it was released or how much work effort, or payments to people, went into it. Why am I saying this? Because

- movie dvd's are often much cheaper than music cd's, though the dvd may have three of four times as much playing time, has a multi-channel sound mix, both audio and video, and has had many more people involved.

-many mainstream record shops charge standard prices for some ranges of their on-shelf cd's. A record will cost eq. of 15$ whether it's by Jeff Beck, David Bowie or an obscure local act. No one would do it like that with books, at least not hardbound books.

-I can buy pretty much any rock/pop/soul record that sold big in its time (very many of them, anyway) for a very low price by using Amazon's "used or new" ('spot market') option. the same with many books. A scientific dissertation in chemistry or history, on the other hand, will never go beyond thirty dollars, sometimes far more. Why? because almost nobody is selling, except the actual university press.

So price has come to depend a lot on what amounts have been sold or stocked to shops, and how widely circulated a certain piece has been. Not really on how desirable the book, record or game is. This is completely at odds with the classic supply/demand pricing model which everyone gets to see most of the time.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 11:36:35 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline consortium11

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2011, 09:50:28 AM »
A couple of thoughts on a large topic and discussion.

  • If we're going to talk in legal terms than piracy of the type we mean here is pretty much definitively not theft. While it obviously varies by jurisdiction almost all definitions of theft require an "intention to permanently deprive" the rightful owner of the "stolen" property. With regards to piracy that simply doesn't occur... and I'd be very interested to see the logic of any court that argued it had. Piracy is dealt with by intellectual property/copyright laws for a reason.
  • I also think it's slightly missing the point to argue what is essentially an ethical question in terms of legality. The legality of the situation is basically black and white... does the jurisdiction in question have IP/Copyright laws and if it does do they make piracy of this type illegal? Unless we wish to turn this debate into one about whether we have a duty to follow the law then debating the legality seems to me to miss the heart of this question... which is whether the piracy of this sort of moral or ethical.
    Although if you allow me one brief interlude on the law it is worth noting that in the UK change of format is illegal under the same laws. While the law is being changed as of now anyone who's ripped a CD, transferred a VHS to DVD etc... and I'd say that's a huge number of people... is guilty of piracy and just as culpable as anyone who uses a torrent to get the same song. Likewise while the music industry generally allows backups it is illegal to make even a single copy of a DVD you own (at least in the US post-321 and RealDVD law suits).
  • If we get away from the legal arguments then a lot of things we view as standard and acceptable actually end up on far shakier logical ground. The most frequently presented argument is that by downloading something for free the "consumer" and provider are taking money away from the creators. Even disregarding all arguments about whether someone getting something for free means they'd otherwise pay full price for it and whether it is the actual creators who make money from their products being sold in that way there are still issues.
    The widest and simplest one is this; if we're arguing that it is morally wrong to distribute something that even potentially may take money away from the creators then everything seems to be fair game. Ever give something to friends or family which they may have otherwise bought (an old TV, furniture, clothes)? Every given anything to a charity shop? Ever donated a good to charity? Ever had a yard sale? Every gone to a car-boot sale? All of those represent the receiver getting the benefit of something while the creator gets nothing. On that basis there is no difference between buying a CD from a charity shop or being given an old book by a good friend and downloading the self-same products.
    The normal counter to this relates to the nature of physical property. Because there is only "one" of the given book or CD and it is simply a case that possession/ownership has been transferred (and thus the original owner has lost the benefit) it is separate from piracy where millions of copies can be created with no loss to the original owner. It seems to me that this again misses the heart of the argument. When we talk about piracy of this nature we're not talking about the physical good... we're talking about the intellectual property contained within that good (which is why change of format laws were on the books). Intellectual property isn't consumable in the traditional way (in that listening to a CD/watching a movie/playing a game/reading a book means that either can't or won't do it again) but they lose their value each time their consumed... we all have examples of books/songs/films/movies that we read/watch/listen to once and then rarely if ever do so again. The very existence of donation driven charity shops selling such items shows that there is a point where people no longer wish to consume the IP. If we accept that then lending a book/film/CD to someone, even if they don't make a copy, is little different to downloading the same IP... it is being consumed by another at no benefit to the creator. Are we attempting to argue that both giving to charity and charity selling those goods are immoral acts?
  • That's not to same I'm a hardliner against IP and copyright laws. There is no doubt that creators should be allowed to profit from their creations and that others shouldn't be able to exploit that for their own profit. We certainly should never be in a situation where an author writes and releases a novel only to find 4 dozen other people copy it word-for-word, stick their name on as the author and release it to make a profit for themselves. There may be a better balance to strike (for example in pharmaceutical companies high R&D costs against the high cost of patents leading to people dying as they can't afford the cost of such treatments) but there is an undoubted argument for the protection of creators.
    Moreover despite the points above about why many of the common anti-piracy arguements seem to me to be on shaky ground I don't think we should throw the book open and let anyone copy anything and distribute it. From streaming PPV sports broadcasts to downloading music/games/films etc I fully accept that they are in at least some way "wrong" and the issue they logically bring up with the less formal sector (which I doubt many oppose) may simply be a case where you have to disregard logic and say one is acceptable and one isn't.
  • Just to finish with one question/point:
    Did Jesus steal (using the term colloquially in the "piracy is theft" rather than legal sense) from the bakers and fishmongers when he enabled a small amount of fish and bread to feed the multitude?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2011, 12:04:34 PM »
Yes, my piracy makes me a thief of intellectual property -- I fully recognize this.  I also recognize that stealing intellectual property isn't the same thing as stealing something physical (the latter leaves the would-be seller at a disadvantage because they've lost the physical materials to create the product which must then be replaced).  Pretending they're the same thing is a bit silly; they're obviously not.  You can argue about lost sales until you're blue in the face (and I think piracy does result in some people not buying a product they can steal for free), but you still have to present somewhat of a subjective argument to pretend there's equivalence there.

Is piracy an immoral act?  Maybe.  I can see an argument put forth either way.  I do think you need to measure the harm done however.  Whether you are stealing from a starving artist, a working class game designer, Kanye West, or Activision makes a big difference.

  I see no difference whether the person you are stealing from is a starving artist or a wealthy artist.  It disturbs me that you admit your stealing, but see nothing wrong with it.  But I'm not going to convince you otherwise and you are not going to convince me either.  We'll have to agree to disagree.

Offline Noelle

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2011, 04:58:21 PM »
I'd say my question still stands.

Quote
The only thing you're nitpicking here is the source of the download. What's the difference if I borrow a DVD from a friend, watch it, and give it back, or if I download the DVD from a friend's computer, watch it, and delete it? That's the real question I'd like for you to address here.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2011, 10:54:39 PM »
I'd say my question still stands.


 Alright then. Borrowing a DVD, you have the intent to give it back. You do not keep it.  As I have come to understand, you can make a copy of a DVD, or a friend can, IF they own a copy of it and gift it to other friends.  What's pirated online is normally NOT done with the creator's consent or permission.   

That's my issue with pirating online stuff. The users do not intend to EVERY pay for it. Skate around the issue all you want, pirating is considered theft in the courts and by law. This is to protect the big artists, as well as the smaller ones.

Offline Noelle

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2011, 04:59:38 PM »
You haven't really addressed my point at all. :\

Alright then. Borrowing a DVD, you have the intent to give it back. You do not keep it.

I download a video. I delete it when I'm done. I do not keep it. How is this different?

Quote
As I have come to understand, you can make a copy of a DVD, or a friend can, IF they own a copy of it and gift it to other friends.
I own a CD. I make a copy of it. I let my friends download it from my computer. Repeat: How is this different?

Quote
What's pirated online is normally NOT done with the creator's consent or permission.
Neither is making a copy of a DVD for a friend. Again, this is why some people are trying to shut down second hand book/DVD/CD stores -- The creator does not profit when you sell your CD/DVD/etc. to a friend personally and those FBI warnings at the beginning of DVDs explicitly state that you can't redistribute.

Quote
That's my issue with pirating online stuff. The users do not intend to EVERY pay for it.
I will repeat myself yet again: You do not intend to pay for something when you borrow it -- be it from a library or a friend. How is this any different?

Offline rick957

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2011, 06:06:17 PM »
Below is a long thing I just wrote that relates to the topics discussed here.  I know it's not normal to add long posts like this to old discussions like this one, but since this discussion has slowed to a crawl anyway and may die out before long, I assume nobody will mind.  Also maybe one or two people will read this and have something to say in response.  :)

Here's what bugs me about torrenting and piracy and the demise of intellectual property copyrighting, which continues to look like an inevitability.  First, a logical argument, followed by discussion of its consequences.

Secure intellectual property copyrights assured giant businesses that they could earn massive profits off the creative works of certain individuals.

Those giant businesses invested huge amounts of money into finding and promoting the creative work of certain individuals so that the businesses could eventually recoup their investments and earn those massive profits.

As a result of those investments from those giant businesses, the attention of large numbers of people was drawn to the brilliant creative works of certain individuals.

Some of those brilliant creative works were mere fluff entertainment, but others of those works had enormous social and artistic value.  The artistic value arose from the authentic self-expression involved in the creation of those particular works.  The social value came as audience members formed personal connections to those works -- identified personally with the creative self-expression in those works -- and then in turn felt a kind of connection with each other, because large segments of the public shared a common interest in certain creative works.

Still with me?  Alright, so what I'm saying is, at the end of this sequence you have important and meaningful cultural phenomena; you have a society in which people come to understand their lives and each other and form connections with each other based on popular creative works, whether they're songs or movies or TV shows.  Actually, with extremely rare exceptions such as bestselling books or video games, the creative works that reached enough of the public to develop real cultural significance over the last several decades have been almost exclusively in those three areas of pop culture:  music, movies, and television.

What's happened in the last 15 years or so is that widespread, seemingly-unstoppable piracy has convinced those giant businesses that they can no longer be assured of recouping their investments and realizing massive profits from the creative works of individuals, so they've given up on making those investments, and in turn, society has been deprived of those important creative works and the artistic and social benefits that arose from those works.  For example, 20 years ago, people could have water-cooler chats about the latest dramatic development on E.R., or they could repeat jokes from last night's Simpsons episode, and those people could bond over their mutual enjoyment of those TV shows.  Same thing happened around blockbuster films like the Star Wars movies or Titanic, and around the work of hit musicians from Michael Jackson to Metallica.

All that bonding and shared cultural experience is now impossible.  We won't have any more TV shows or movies or songs that we all know and can bond over, and I'm not talking just about the giant ones like those mentioned in the previous paragraph; we won't have any of the smaller, more interesting, niche ones either.  There won't be another Nirvana or Pearl Jam or U2 or even another Cure or Marilyn Manson or Outkast; now we're stuck with tiny bands that relatively few people have heard and even fewer people really care about.  There won't be another Breakfast Club or Pulp Fiction, hell, there won't even be any more hot auteur directors like Coppola or Scorcese or Tarantino, nor will there be large numbers of new movie stars that everyone knows and can relate to; there is no crop of young stars with the cultural cachet to step into the vacuums left by the aging, declining stars of recent decades past.  Shia LeBeouf may have a successful career, but he'll never be one-tenth as well-known and as widely beloved as Harrison Ford or Sean Connery.  I'd cite an example among actresses, but I don't even know the names of this week's crop of five-minute starlets; I'm pretty sure none of them will measure up to their predecessors in terms of general popularity or career longevity, though.

Piracy and the death of copyright is the unacknowledged, widely-misunderstood boogieman responsible for enormous and permanent changes in industrialized Western societies, and these are changes that are leaving us all less connected to each other and less in touch with ourselves as human beings and as people with hopes and dreams and values and experiences in common.  Personally, I don't care too much about which star or CEO is pulling smaller paychecks now compared to twenty years ago, but it bugs the shit out of me that there isn't a new Guns N Roses whose latest album I can rant and rave about with total strangers and have them know what I'm talking about and agree or disagree with me.  Arts and entertainment are moving off the plane of shared cultural discourse, which leaves us with what to talk about with each other?  The weather, and sports.  Is that good enough?  Is it a coincidence that our politics have never been more fractured and divisive -- that divisions among ethnic and religious groups in our society seem to be growing and deepening rather than the reverse?  Okay, maybe I'm over-selling the point, taking it too far ... but I wish I was more certain of that.

Kids nowadays don't even know what they've missed by not having cultural touchstones in common with their peers; they can't really conceive of the cultural phenomena from just a couple decades ago that piracy has totally wiped out.  I want to believe that new phenomena, new cultural touchstones are on their way, and we're on the cusp of a great era of increased interconnectedness and greater cultural empathy and unity.  I just don't know where that's going to come from.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2011, 06:50:37 PM »
You haven't really addressed my point at all. :\

I download a video. I delete it when I'm done. I do not keep it. How is this different?
I own a CD. I make a copy of it. I let my friends download it from my computer. Repeat: How is this different?
Neither is making a copy of a DVD for a friend. Again, this is why some people are trying to shut down second hand book/DVD/CD stores -- The creator does not profit when you sell your CD/DVD/etc. to a friend personally and those FBI warnings at the beginning of DVDs explicitly state that you can't redistribute.
I will repeat myself yet again: You do not intend to pay for something when you borrow it -- be it from a library or a friend. How is this any different?

 Noelle, I will explain this one last time. If you do not get it, you are purposefully ignoring my points.  If you borrow a DVD from a friend or the library, YOU GIVE IT BACK! I have said time and again, you do not keep the thing. You return it.

 Libraries work under the intent that the objects borrowed from it are returned. I have said that time and again. A point you are ignoring.  Others have said here that you can make some copies, as long as you do not intend to distribute for the intent of making money.

 Second hand sales are allowed, otherwise NO second hand store would ever be allowed to exist. Can you understand that?

 As far as I know, people who run the pirating sites, never bought the thing either. They are illegally distributing copies and the theme seems to be, from what people in this thread have said, 'Fuck the man!'  'He's wealthy, he can afford it.'  or  'Why should I pay for it when I can get it for free?'

 I'm getting a little heated under the collar at your thick headedness, (and yes I think you are intentionally being dense or stubborn) so this will be my last post in this thread for awhile. I need to cool down. You admit you -know- you are pirating and see nothing wrong with it.

 From my point of view, if you are using torrent or pirating, without the creators permission, you are stealing. Plain and simple. Argue around that all you want with semantics , it is an upheld view of the court and court systems (you know, the laws that make society run....) that pirating is illegal. And it can hurt the small and poorer artists as well as the more successful ones.

 I know some have no problem with it and are ok with it, but not everyone is and remember, it's not just music, video and arts that can be taken like that, but computer programs and other forms of intellectual property as well. Is there any limit that you would accept as being unacceptable? What shouldn't be allowed to be pirated?

 As I said, this is my last post in this thread. I probably strained several rules and will not do that anymore in this thread, so we will have to agree to disagree on this subject and leave it at that.





Offline Jude

Re: Piracy, Torrenting, Copyright Laws, Kanye Wests Gold Plated Jet
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2011, 07:25:59 PM »
Noelle, I will explain this one last time. If you do not get it, you are purposefully ignoring my points.  If you borrow a DVD from a friend or the library, YOU GIVE IT BACK! I have said time and again, you do not keep the thing. You return it.

 Libraries work under the intent that the objects borrowed from it are returned. I have said that time and again. A point you are ignoring.  Others have said here that you can make some copies, as long as you do not intend to distribute for the intent of making money.

 Second hand sales are allowed, otherwise NO second hand store would ever be allowed to exist. Can you understand that?
So what if you did the kind of thing I used to do when I was a kid?  Rent a VHS tape from the store, buy a blank VHS tape, tape what's on the VHS tape from one to the other, keep it, and return the other one.  If your logic is as simple as "bring it back" justifies everything else, what makes that special?  Why does returning it eventually even matter?  What if I bring back the bootleg VHS tape to the store and dump it in their trashcan after I keep it for another 10 days -- extending my rental.

Why is any of that any different?  I see no arguments to explain why, just a bunch of people saying it's different "because."

The answer is pretty simple, laws and laws only.  We've created a system of rules because it benefits the copyright holders.  Agree or disagree with that, but ultimately the idea of "stealing" intellectual property makes no sense in the real world because no one is being deprived of anything -- they still have their property, just other people have it too and they didn't pay you for it.  That's not theft, that's something else, and it's illegal because we've agreed its illegal.

A different culture, in a different time, and a different place?  May not reach the same conclusion we do.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 07:28:49 PM by Jude »