AP Looks At Piracy Around The World... Misses The Real Story

from the if-it-sounds-good,-run-it dept

It seems that someone at the Associated Press must have bought the Big Content industry's storyline about the "threat of piracy" hook, line and sinker. The folks there have come out with a series of stories talking up what a huge threat piracy is in places like Mexico, Russia and (of course) China. Throughout all three stories, the industry line is portrayed without any question, including the BSA's typically bogus stats on how piracy "hurts" local industry -- ignoring how it can help local industry as well. It's not surprising that the AP doesn't bother to mention how all that piracy helped created new and different business models for musicians in China that let them thrive despite the piracy (actually, in some cases, because of it). Nor does the AP bother to mention how software piracy helped boost certain aspects of the industry in China by decreasing the cost of inputs. This isn't to defend piracy -- but to note that there's a lot more to this story than what the various industry associations would have you believe. Would it be so hard for someone like the Associated Press not to take the corporate PR line, and maybe present a slightly more thoughtful set of articles? Apparently, that's too much work.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 4:45am

    It's easier to toe-the-line then it is to think through their reporting. They get the benefit of a story without the hassles of the old "if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem" stand that the Content Industry continually takes.

     

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  2.  
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    skyrider (profile), Jul 5th, 2006 @ 6:26am

    AP is just another IP company

    When it comes down to it, the AP is an IP company, they sell articles to make money.

    People license their "wire services" for a fee, just like any other 'wire service" I.E. Reuters, AFP, API (just more alphabet soup.)

    It's no surprise that they published the article, they are in the IP business after all.

     

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  3.  
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    lplimac, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:33am

    The AP publishing a story with out researching what is really happening? Say it isn't so! /sarcasm

    Anything the AP publishes needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and with the understanding that they (AP) are pushing their own agenda, what ever that may be. Luckily you can fact check them through the Internet, but the question is how many people take the time do do that?

     

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  4.  
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    donald fee, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:37am

    piracy losses

    has anyone ever asked how many of these low income persons who these pirates sell to in these undeveloped countries can afford to buy
    a copy of the real item at $300 to 400 ? or even a hundred dollars, or in the case of certain designer items at $1,000 u.s?
    when the average wage of these persons are on average less than $200 u.s. per year. i contend that they would not have that market so to say that they lost billions from this is a joke, however, the ones that should be penalized should be the copiers who sell outside of their country to people who can afford the real thing and wont pay for the real items, not the poor people in the undeveloped countries who couldn't afford the real thing ,probably in their lifetime.

     

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  5.  
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    Stephen, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 8:40am

    They also miss another thing...

    Even Microsoft benefits from piracy. The unspoken thought is that it's better to allow piracy of Microsoft stuff than to allow a lower cost competitor in.

    It's a "free" way of gaining market share and locking in customers for the future.

     

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  6.  
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    Mikester, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 8:42am

    What about Canada?

    I feel insulted. How could they not include Canada where our copyright act specifically permits private copying of music? I mean, the Canadian music industry must be devasted from all the downloading going on - oh, it's not? Go figure.

     

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  7.  
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    U_R_A_TOOL, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 9:47am

    Ummmmm....What?

    While the piracy of music and software is not a big issue to me, I hade to reply.

    Are you crazy? Don't you think it is a given that pirating the software/music bennifits the people that do it? Do they need to mention the obvious?

    BREAKING NEWS!!!!! If Mike steals his next computer he can save THOUSAND$$$$$$$$$ in operating expense!!!!! Get out there and steal a PC Mike!

    I do agre witht he other reply that software companies keep the price so high so they can force companies in America and a few other markets to fund the pirated copies.

     

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  8.  
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    n00b, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 10:03am

    Ha ha

    "Not to defend piracy..." Um, that's exactly what you're doing with those ridiculous arguments. I really enjoyed your line of reasoning that piracy is really Microsoft's best friend! Don't you think that maybe they're in a better position than you to determine what's in their own best interests?

    What if someone thought you'd be better off with a bat upside your head, because it might clear your way of thinking? You disagree? Oh too bad! *whack*

     

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    kitobot, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 10:51am

    Sometimes...

    If, for example, Microsoft Windows is pirated and people learn to use Windows, the local economy can be boosted by transferring those skills to legitimate business. Piracy could be perceived as further cementing business for Microsoft in this way. I don't think anyone is defending piracy, merely trying to show that, as with most things, the issue is far more complex under the surface and AP's blanket "piracy is bad, nkay" does not highlight the fact that there are positive aspects.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 10:55am

    Hmm, let's see...

    The Porn Industry made 4 billion dollars *more* than hollywood last year, yet it's far easier to find free porn on the web than free movies..

    Odd, I thought free downloads were killing the 'entertainment' industry.

     

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    n00b, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 11:24am

    Piracy *is* bad. If you decide to go steal someone's electric car, end up driving the neighboorhood kids to school with it, therefore eliminating a trip into your subdivision by a behemoth polluting bus, guess what? You're still a thief.

    Saying "but this is really a complex argument and I'm actually helping the environment with what I'm doing" is just a weak rationalization for your unethical, scumbag behavior.

     

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    lay person, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 11:41am

    YUP

    Well perhaps it's not anyones fault... every news service has its own agenda whether blatant or not.

    What's more important is that the readers understand that all writing, regardless of claims, has to be scrutinized not only for the facts but the truth as well.

    Nowadays people don't question...it's too much effort so we just eat what's fed us. We read it to at least feel informed even though we may really be less informed as a result of having read it.

    True information, if new, by it's nature, causes us to at least assess what we know. It provides a means of knowing where we've been, where we are, and where we need to be in response to that information.

    To accept things as fact on the face of it merely enables us to dismiss our faculties of intelligence and weakens us further into believing even more lies until we're just lost in lies and cannot identify the truth if it hit us on the head.

     

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  13.  
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    Big Brother, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 11:51am

    I agree with noob. Piracy is bad. Theft is bad. Now give me your money so it can go into my corporate pockets and only a micronic fractions worth can be given to the developers of the product. Big Brother is watching...

     

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    lay person, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    CRAP

    Oh and for all you "ethical" people:

    Once you start thinking you're better than another person for having stolen an article, perhaps have never been in a position of sheer survival.

    Ethics go right out the window when we are talking life and death (survival).

    If someone steals a loaf of bread to aid a sick loved one, which is worse the stealing of the bread or the death of the loved one?

    This is certainly an oversimplified example but if a person is suppressed by his own national economics and must acquire an article to further advance his goal or dream, do you really think he cares if he affects a huge mutinational Corporation which by it's very nature is inhuman and far removed from the feelings of a real flesh-and-blood human being?

    I buy a music CD for a one-time-cost of$18.00 I listen to occasionally.

    I buy a software CD for a cost of $50.00 plus an additional $20.00 each year for it's use.

    Do the math. I don't care how much I use the software it's still just software...it's a tool...the world doesn't depend on it (unless we let it). The software is a tool just like an electric drill. Where is the ethics in charging for the use of the drill on a yearly basis?

    Yes, it is ludicrous. Companies want us to believe that we cannot live without their prducts so they charge what they charge.

    So, too, the thieves justify their dealings and so must steal what they steal.

    Which is right? Maybe the ethical people can sort this out.
    Just because a company has a set of accounting books, pays taxes, has attorneys, money, etc...does nothing for ethics or morality. Remember Enron? How about Southern Edison? Perhaps Exxon or Union Carbide?

     

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    Mike (profile), Jul 5th, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    Piracy *is* bad. If you decide to go steal someone's electric car, end up driving the neighboorhood kids to school with it, therefore eliminating a trip into your subdivision by a behemoth polluting bus, guess what? You're still a thief.

    Yeah, but that's a case where something is stolen. Something is missing.

    With content or software, nothing is actually missing. The original owner still owns everything.

    That's what makes this issue more complex. Even the Supreme Court has weighed in that copyright infringement is not stealing. So, sorry, it's not theft. It may not be legal, but that's a different issue than what we're discussing. What we're saying is that there may actually be business benefits to it as well (which again, is QUITE different than your car example).

     

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  16.  
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    Hic!, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    If I steal somone's electric car, they are out the car itself as well as deprived of whatever use they might make of it while I have it.

    But if you copy and use someone's IP for your own (not commercial) purposes, exactly how have they been harmed? They aren't missing anything...

     

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    aReader, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    Slashdotted

    Slashdot has picked up this story from Techdirt. Mike, get ready for some slashdotting!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Good point about the canadian music industry there! There are far more musicians putting out high quality stuff right now than almost anywhere else in the world. This is precicely because artists can gain an audience without forcing them to pay $20 per CD for the chance to listen to something new. I don't know anyone who downloaded a Broken Social Scene or Metric MP3 and did not purchase a DC from one of those bands at some point in the future.

     

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  19.  
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    /., Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:37pm

    Hungry artists are motivated artists!

    Piracy is good! Think of all the great musicians, actors, and other artists who might never have done anything worth mentioning if they hadn't gone through their most productive "starving artist" phases.

     

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  20.  
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    Sam, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:46pm

    Ethics Shmethics

    Until the artists start seeing more of the money that *they generated*, I don't give a damn about IP, nor do I care whether the RIAA, MPAA, or any other AA goes under.

    Frankly, I want to pay the creators, not the extortionists. Until I can do that, then shut up about the ethics.

     

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  21.  
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    Marco, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    Noob. If I steal your car, I have your car, you have none. If I _copy_ a song from you, I have the song, you have the song too. Think about that a little before calling copyright-infringement theft.

     

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  22.  
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    Lizard, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    New Business Models Abound!

    I must admit, this new business model of "Steal the inputs, then sell the outputs" has a great deal of potential.

    For example, McDonalds could just rustle cattle (sorry...engage in alternative cattle aquisition methods) to avoid having to pay for beef! Pure profit!

    The costly rental of office space could be avoided by simply moving into a random stranger's home and setting up shop there. If they object, they clearly are TOOLS OF THE CORPORATE PIGS, and can be shot out of hand like the fascist scumwads they are.

    Fuel for vehicles, such as FedEx delivery trucks, can be siphoned from other vehicles. This should be referred to as an "unscheduled fuel transfer".

    Of course, the real savings come when you simply stop paying your employees, except for the few burly ones with whips and guns you use to keep the rest in lne. Should anyone complain, you simply say something logical like "Didn't you ever copy a cassette tape from a friend?" or "Don't you sometimes go past the speed limit?" Confronted with this proof that all laws are basically just FASCIST OPPRESSION which EVERYONE IGNORES, they will continue to work for you for free. You might also tell them that the old model of "do work, get paid" simply isn't viable in the Internet age and that, if they're starving, it's their fault for not being creative enough and finding new paradigms.

     

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  23.  
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    Jakob, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 2:35pm

    Mandatory Bill Gates quote

    "Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software," he said. "Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

    Bill Gates - 1998
    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-212942.html?legacy=cnet

     

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  24.  
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    Chance, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 3:11pm

    Re: New Business Models Abound!

    Not one of your examples is in any way analogous.
    In every one someone is deprived of something. Time, cattle (my fav), gas whatever. Someone has lost something in the person taking this action.

    I have seen NO proof, and in fact seen much proof to the opposite, that copying media in any way takes ANYTHING, a sale included, from the creator.

     

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  25.  
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    Smar Tass, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 3:37pm

    What's next?

    When is the rest of the world going to follow RIAA, MPAA and the software industry?
    Just imagine architects claming money from people entering the buildings they've designed.
    Once you're inside each step you make on the carpet you have to pay the carpenter.
    Every lamp illuminating the steps for you, the electrician get paid.

    ...

    Not entering the building? You better keep your eyes shut, since every "human" made object will bill you for looking at it. It's "art", so you have to pay for experiencing the look of an overfilled dumpster your eyes acidentaly swept past.

    Gosh, darn, how exiting this copyright stuff is!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 3:43pm

    Re:

    the big difference is that if I copy your copy of MS Windows, you still have the use of your copy.

    that's the issue - our ideas on property ownership don't work with copyrighted works. They also don't work with fire, disease, etc.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 3:49pm

    Quote>Piracy *is* bad. If you decide to go steal someone's electric car, end up driving the neighboorhood kids to school with it, therefore eliminating a trip into your subdivision by a behemoth polluting bus, guess what? You're still a thief.

    Saying "but this is really a complex argument and I'm actually helping the environment with what I'm doing" is just a weak rationalization for your unethical, scumbag behavior.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 3:55pm

    "Piracy *is* bad. If you decide to go steal someone's electric car, end up driving the neighboorhood kids to school with it, therefore eliminating a trip into your subdivision by a behemoth polluting bus, guess what? You're still a thief.

    Saying "but this is really a complex argument and I'm actually helping the environment with what I'm doing" is just a weak rationalization for your unethical, scumbag behavior."

    This is a stupid analogy, and a stupid understanding of the issues. For better understanding of the differences between "real property" and "IP", (which isn't property all, except by very recent definition), Google some of the terms, and then read more than just the industry hacks point of view. It also wouldn't hurt to learn a little about copyright, especially it's history and purpose. Copyright, when passed into law, gave original authors limited and specific rights to profit from their works, but by no stretch of the imagination could such works be legally regarded as property. In fact, it was the intent of the law that such works would pass into the public domain when copyright expired. Copyright ended much sooner than it does now, and certainly could not be extended in perpetuity. There are sound reasons for different standards for physical property and intellectual "non-property" (Ideas and creative works). Confusing the two is exactly what the industry moguls are trying to accomplish, and it looks like you fell for it.

    Ignore my previous attempt to post. It came through severely cropped, possibly because I don't know much about html.

     

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  29.  
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    starving artist, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 4:13pm

    Why Piracy is Theft

    As an independent artist, if you steal (excuse me, "pirate") my music instead of paying me for it, you are taking my income. If I set a price of $10 on my CD and you pirate the whole thing off the internet, then you have just stolen $10 of potential income from me. You are using/enjoying the music without paying for it. That is theft.

     

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  30.  
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    ubelkatze, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 4:36pm

    Why not take that stand then?

    With this content industry monster growing (particularly the RIAA) and preying on the weak I personnally wouldn't be offended by being consider "part of the problelm".
    I believe they've realized that there is decreasing real demand for their products and they are making up alternative methods to get money. They're a ravenous monster because of their past success.

     

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  31.  
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    Mikester, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    you have just stolen $10 of potential income from me.

    wrong. you did not have $10 in your wallet that went missing, thus there was no "theft"

     

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  32.  
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    Celes, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 4:56pm

    Re:

    Sadly, even porn for the most part features better storylines than what they're coming out with in Hollywood these days...

     

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  33.  
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    Mytob, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 4:57pm

    I agree that all this piracey propoganda sure does only cover half the story. How can some ppl start up in places like china and mexico as they are so poor. Whats a few million copys of a program going to do to a multi million pound company? Sure helps the poor broke person out. Aslong as people arnt selling the copied software I dont have a problem.

     

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  34.  
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    Mike (profile), Jul 5th, 2006 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    If I set a price of $10 on my CD and you pirate the whole thing off the internet, then you have just stolen $10 of potential income from me. You are using/enjoying the music without paying for it. That is theft.

    Not so. "Potential income" cannot be stolen, because there's no evidence that it ever would have become income. If you start calling "potential income" theft, then you have to eliminate all economic choices, since they all involve taking potential income away from many parties and giving it to a different one. Potential income cannot be lost. If you're worried about a "loss" of potential income, it just means you're not doing a very good job marketing your product or coming up with a business model people want to buy into.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    """As an independent artist, if you steal (excuse me, "pirate") my music instead of paying me for it, you are taking my income. If I set a price of $10 on my CD and you pirate the whole thing off the internet, then you have just stolen $10 of potential income from me. You are using/enjoying the music without paying for it. That is theft."""

    Not exactly. You have everything you had before I "stole" your music. On the other hand, if I share that music with a few friends, and they in turn share it with a few more, many more people have heard your music than would have otherwise. If your music is any good, some of those people will want to buy their own copy. This is exactly how our music industry got huge in the first place. If as an independent artist, you want your audience to grow, (You do, don't you?), you won't find cheaper exposure. On the other hand, maybe you expect people who have never heard of you, or your music, to fork over $10 for a CD. THAT is the music industry business plan in a nutshell. Go for the contract, because you won't get anywhere any other way. Good luck if no one knows who you are. Oh, even if you get a recording contract, don't count on getting rich. You won't, until AFTER the publisher does, if then. Oops, he's already rich. Plus, he'll own your music, even if he never releases it to market. Now that is what I call theft.

    Today, because demand for the music companies massed-produced, un-inspired and un-inspiring product is down, like a previous poster pointed out, they want a new way to extract profit. They don't care if it comes from people who would not willingly pay their price. That's NOT a free market.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Ha ha

    Actually, piracy has made Bill Gates the richest man in the world.

    It works like this: in microecnomics, any economist will tell you that competition for a good depends on price, all other things being equal. Some goods are substitute goods, while others are perceived as inferior goods.

    And that's how we buy our pasta sauces, frozen pizza, TVs, dishwashers and video cards. It depends on features and performance vs. price.

    But when it comes to the piracy of an OS and application software (but not games), piracy changes all the rules. Because piracy, you see, removes the ability of any competitor to actually compete in the market place based on price.

    You don't have a case of Word vs. Wordperfect, you have Word and that's pretty much it. The fact that Wordperfect is cheaper will not avail them in the marketplace. They can even GIVE IT AWAY - it won't matter. People will either buy Word, or they will pirate Word. In no event do they buy Wordperfect, as it is percevied as an inferior good.

    We have seen this time and time again. Where there is a consumer software application that fills a need and is perceived as the "leader", it takes over the market - it dominates it completely and crushes all competition until there really is only one real application choice.

    Pirating Word caused Microsoft a loss yes - but not *nearly* as much as it caused Wordperfect/ Novell/ Corel etc to incur a loss.

    At a certain point, when your competition has been destroyed, the greatest opportunity costs of piracy is cannabalism of your own lost sales. At that point, your biggest untapped potential customer is the one who is already using your products - they just have not paid for them.

    Bringing them into the fold without alienating them is a difficult dance, but one which Microsoft is playing fairly well.

    Bill Gates may hate piracy and always has since the days of his first BASIC program for the Sinclair being pirated. But it also made him the richest man on earth because as long as you have the perceived "best" good in the marketplace, piracy detroys your competition with utter ruthlessness.

    Moral of the story: When it comes to application software (as distinct from games) piracy inevitably leads to monopoly.

     

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  37.  
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    noobh8r, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:36pm

    Re:

    @noob:

    >Piracy *is* bad. If you decide to go steal someone's electric car, end up driving the neighboorhood kids to school with it, therefore eliminating a trip into your subdivision by a behemoth polluting bus, guess what? You're still a thief.

    Yes, comparing the theft of a tangible object like a car, with the 'theft' of "copyrighted" objects like software, is a very valid argument. Its the same thing, right.

     

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  38.  
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    Michael, Denmark, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 1:42am

    Physical vs intellectual property

    To me, there is a difference between downloading an mp3 file ffrom a peer2peer network without having the CD (yet), and going out and steal a mint new Porsche.

    One has had a lot of expenses making that particular copy, the other does not actually lose the money they spent on making it.

    If you could "clone cars" somehow, and "copy" it without hurting the original in any way, damn right I'd be having a Porsche.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 4:06am

    Stealing cars

    If you could double click on your friend's brand new Porsche and get an exact version for yourself, wouldn't you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 5:05am

    The econiomic benefit of piracy is real, and actually is much the same as ordinary competition. People arguing that IP 'theft' costs companies a lot of money, could use the same argument against competition, which also reduces their bottom line.

    See http://kmself.home.netcom.com/Rants/piracy.html

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 6:07am

    This entire article is complete BS.

     

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    Anon, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    Well, if you compare theft (i.e. removal) of physical objects with copyright infringement (i.e. copying) of data objects, then you are obviously not interested in a rational discussion.

     

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  43.  
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    *sigh*, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 7:21am

    Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    How so, you know for a fact that I had every intention of purchasing your music to begin with?

    Perhaps I don't even know who you are? I happen to grab a copy of your song from a friend and say "hey, this guy is pretty good", you suddenly have a potential customer.

    Of course, if I then goto the store, but wait, the **AA isn't jacking you yet, so your not in the store. So I'll goto your website, but wait, your treating me as a criminal by default, so why the hell should I bother buying your crap when you insult me at the start.

    So I'm stealing money from you? Prove that I had every intention and ability to pay for it from the start. I didn't reach into your pockets and yank $10 from them, you did it yourself with your attitude.

     

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  44.  
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    YouFool, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 7:25am

    Re: Ummmmm....What?

    Ummm that whole comment about stealing PCs. Isn't that basically Microsoft's general business practice when developing new "features" for their OS?

    Funny how so many of these companies bitch about their IP rights while they trample the rights of others without a care. Just know that your a puppet for big industry hypocrites.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 7:28am

    TV, Video, Radio, and computers are all just different ways of playing information. Whether that information is visual, audio, or tactile it's still down to the barebones nothing more then information.

    Physically, video is nothing more then a very specific arrangement of pixelized or phosphorescent light. Songs are merely a complex arrangement of distinct and common audio sounds reproduced from electrical 1's and 0s. Its still basically information.

    Theft of information is a stupid concept because more then one person can "think" of the information. If I were to recite the star spangled banner, word for word, then I have STOLEN the information according to common concepts of intellectual property. People who have memories and voices can be just as much physically a recording device as any tape player.

    Really the only ones who make money off of these intellectual laws are lawyers? Why? Because they are the masters of re-arranging information to suit their needs.

    In a world of purist IP law, you would not be able to say a word because every single word would have been patented, copyrighted, and trademarked. This may be an exaggeration, but how close does a society have to move towards this before the exaggeration becomes the reality?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 7:28am

    TV, Video, Radio, and computers are all just different ways of playing information. Whether that information is visual, audio, or tactile it's still down to the barebones nothing more then information.

    Physically, video is nothing more then a very specific arrangement of pixelized or phosphorescent light. Songs are merely a complex arrangement of distinct and common audio sounds reproduced from electrical 1's and 0s. Its still basically information.

    Theft of information is a stupid concept because more then one person can "think" of the information. If I were to recite the star spangled banner, word for word, then I have STOLEN the information according to common concepts of intellectual property. People who have memories and voices can be just as much physically a recording device as any tape player.

    Really the only ones who make money off of these intellectual laws are lawyers? Why? Because they are the masters of re-arranging information to suit their needs.

    In a world of purist IP law, you would not be able to say a word because every single word would have been patented, copyrighted, and trademarked. This may be an exaggeration, but how close does a society have to move towards this before the exaggeration becomes the reality?

     

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  47.  
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    starving artist, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 8:20am

    "Physically, video is nothing more then a very specific arrangement of pixelized or phosphorescent light. Songs are merely a complex arrangement of distinct and common audio sounds reproduced from electrical 1's and 0s. Its still basically information."

    And the human body is nothing more than carbon and water with a few other elements mixed in. Thoughts are nothing more than electrical impulses. There is no such thing as original thought, creativity or beauty.

    Give me a break.

     

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  48.  
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    Counsel, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 9:41am

    Re: Sometimes...

    Actually, what if those people who learn to use pirated copies of windows, photoshop, etc. enter business but still don't pay for windows, photospho, etc. or, worse yet, just become sources of spam, phishing, etc...

    My grandmother always said, "Two wrongs don't make a right.."

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    Funny you should say that. The human body is in fact nothing more then an arrangement of carbon and water with a few other elements mixed in. Thoughts are really nothing more then electrical impulses.

    Concepts such as originality, creativity, and beauty are abstract in nature. Yet we constantly tie them to physical mediums such as a sunset or a particular hue of color or a uncommon way of arranging flowers.

    Even my "electrical impulses" which may be contrary to yours are still unique and original from what your thoughts are.

     

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  50.  
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    Alex Blume, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    I'm an independent artist as well, and the MOST challenging aspect is getting my music out there for more people to hear. I don't care if you copy my stuff like mad, because a small percentage of the people who then hear it and like it (who probably wouldn't have heard it otherwise) will buy my merch and come out to see my shows. Indepent artists have nothing to fear from copying, and everything to gain. Only the RIAA and the huge artists with their lock on current (and fading) music distribution/advertisting/dissemination methods fear copying, because it highlights that their distribution methods aren't the only game in town anymore, and perhaps there is a lot better stuff out there than the garbage on the radio and the cable music stations.

     

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  51.  
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    Michael, Denmark, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 11:59am

    Rational discussion

    Well if the good sides of piracy (extra exposion and expanding the user base for applications etc) outweigh the bad: POSSIBLE loss of revenue, then take a look at competition.

    Microsoft could just as well sue, say, Apple for competing with them, cause every sold copy of MacOS for intel means one sale less for them. Ergo, they LOST the money for sure, right? It would have been a guaranteed sale if Apple hadn't gained a customer.

    For long I havent been able to afford the programs I wanted to use the most. So what do you do? By pitating I am not makign anyone lose any money, or support time. But now, when fiannces are on the up, guess what? I am buying the apps I use, and am putting aside money for Vista for when it comes out.

    The assumption that every prate copy out there equals a lost sale is not logically valid, as many of thos epeople might be pirating cause they can't afford otherwise. It doesn't make it right according to capitalist law, but to me it's morally defendable, as the copyright holder has nothing physical stolen, nothing they have spent tiem and effort of producing..its a digital carbon copy.

     

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  52.  
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    Zamrod, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    >As an independent artist, if you steal (excuse
    >me, "pirate") my music instead of paying me for it, >you are taking my income. If I set a price of $10 on >my CD and you pirate the whole thing off the >internet, then you have just stolen $10 of potential >income from me. You are using/enjoying the music >without paying for it. That is theft.

    Of course, even if you think that is theft (which it isn't), you'll be happy for it when the I show up to one of your concerts or performances and pay a $10 fee to get in because I like your music. And bring my 4 friends with me. Thus making you more money than you would have if I bought your CD.

    Or, 6 months from now, when I decide to go on a road trip and realize I can't play MP3s in my car and decide to buy a copy of the CD anyways.

    Or when one of my friends asks me who made the song I'm listening to and then buys your CD because he likes it.

    Or when you release your next album and it sell way more due to the popularity of your first album.

    Plus, just the good will and popularity you get when there are a lot of people who might have had a barrier (i.e. money) to listening to your music get to hear it anyways.

    Those are all the ways that piracy is MAKING you money. Versus the 10 dollars you might be losing due to a sale of your CD.

    I don't have hard figures, but it is my belief that for every $10 dollars someone loses due to piracy, they gain $15 in other sales, and free advertising.

     

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  53.  
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    starving artist, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    Not everyone can generate the up front investment to put their day job on hold and go out on tour, especially after sacrificing their savings on album production costs. If the CD does not generate revenue due to the fact that it's being pirated everywhere, it doesn't matter how many fans you have. If no one pays for the first CD there will not be a second, due to a lack of funds. Funds that would be there if everyone who enjoyed the CD purchased it legitimately. I guess the artist should still thank you -- or better yet apologize to you -- for not being able to compensate you for your generous marketing help.

     

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  54.  
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    Asmo, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Why Piracy is Theft

    I'm an independent artist as well, and the MOST challenging aspect is getting my music out there for more people to hear. I don't care if you copy my stuff like mad, because a small percentage of the people who then hear it and like it (who probably wouldn't have heard it otherwise) will buy my merch and come out to see my shows. Indepent artists have nothing to fear from copying, and everything to gain. Only the RIAA and the huge artists with their lock on current (and fading) music distribution/advertisting/dissemination methods fear copying, because it highlights that their distribution methods aren't the only game in town anymore, and perhaps there is a lot better stuff out there than the garbage on the radio and the cable music stations. And there you have it. In terms of free publicity, piracy is the biggest source of advertising many people will ever get. Indie films, uncensored originals, new music from artists that haven't made it big yet etc. Seriously, if you see a crap quality screener of a really great movie, are you likely to keep watching the crap or go see it at the theatre, buy the DVD? Or, you could live in a country that won't see the release of a TV series for months. You download, watch, then buy the box set when it comes out. Or, as per Alex's comments, you get new artists that don't have contracts (or don't want to tie themselves to a corporation that will take most of their profits) and are happy enough to see their product spread around in the hopes that a percentage will buy. Casting a wide net as it were. I know it's all rationalisation, but seriously, radio has been broadcasting "free" music for a long time. All you need is a recording device and your in. Of course, the quality isn't great, but isn't that one of the major complaints of the RIAA/MPAA? Quality of the pirated product is inferior = Why haven't they tried to kill radio? Perhaps because it's a great way to get people listening to new songs in the hope of snagging new customers? In a world where advertising is expensive and every layer of management/production over the original artist shaves (sometimes gouges) more money out of the pocket of the person who's art is for sale, a free advertisment where the artist does not have to pay for web serving, bandwidth costs etc sounds pretty damn good. Then you get word of mouth, blogs etc where people rave about a new artist... I hear that any publicity is good publicity ; ) Additionally, you cannot claim that loss of potential profit is "theft", because it's not. The "loss" incurred by piracy is a virtual amount because you can never be sure that if the person had to pay for the item, they would. In Starvings example, he/she is assuming that people who copy the music as MP3's would actually buy it if they had no other choice. What is more likely is that people wouldn't bother paying for music from an artist they don't know. @Starving Artist: I sympathise with your plight. Seriously, you put in the hard work to create your music and others are listening to it without paying you your due. Why don't you take advantage of that? Release a few MP3's with a short blurb on the end "if you enjoyed this track, pls visit http://starvingartist.com if you're interested in purchasing" and see what sort of business you get from that. If nothing else, your getting your stuff out there, and the more people that download, the more chance you have of getting sales from the "try before you buy" crowd.

     

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  55.  
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    Asmo, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 4:48pm

    ZOMG

    Sorry, forgot breaks X |

     

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  56.  
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    nextyears model, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:58pm

    it's about control, not about greed

    It's just mind-blowing to watch people bend over backwards to justify theft. I'm as left of center as many others, but stealing, no matter what economy you're in, no matter what your politics, is just wrong. Artists, software publishers, and anyone else who creates something, should be allowed to control who they require to pay (those that are willing) and those they decide to give *their* property away to (students, teachers, the poor). Making an argument that consumers should make that choice themselves is just rediculous -- and it's stealing. If, instead, you're ok with your own stealing of other people's property, toil away on something you really care about for a few weeks or months, then send me your address and leave your door unlocked. If I judge you to be someone I can justifiably steal from, or I find some other bazaar social calculus that justifies me stealing something that's yours, I'll take it. And don't dare complain about it.

     

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  57.  
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    Anon, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 3:32am

    Still not getting it...

    "If, instead, you're ok with your own stealing of other people's property, toil away on something you really care about for a few weeks or months, then send me your address and leave your door unlocked. If I judge you to be someone I can justifiably steal from, or I find some other bazaar social calculus that justifies me stealing something that's yours, I'll take it. And don't dare complain about it."

    ok.... now how about i take months of work to create something, toiling away on my little project, and then decide to give you an exact copy that in no way detracts from my own version, so you can enjoy it as much as i do...? Would i have a problem with that? no...

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2006 @ 8:36am

    Piracy created Hollywood - they moved west to avoid Edison's patents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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