Harry Potter Will Conjure Up Big Sales, Despite Piracy

from the it's-a-magic-trick,-apparently dept

A few weeks back, Michael Moore's latest film, Sicko, was released and fared pretty decently at the box office, despite being available on P2P networks -- a situation one hyperbolic article described as "every film maker's worst marketing nightmare." That's a story that's played out time and time again, as the mere availability of pirated content hasn't held back the sales of legitimate content. Now, stories about the latest Harry Potter book being available on file-sharing networks are starting to come in, ahead of the book's release this weekend. This news isn't being met with the same level of media freakouts as when a reporter discovered Sicko online, with even the CEO of Barnes & Noble saying it "won't sell a single copy less" of the book despite it being available for free online. The biggest reason for this is the inconvenience of the pirated copies: they're huge PDFs, reportedly of low quality. To approximate the book-reading experience, users would have to print out all the pages, which could be time-consuming and expensive, while reading the book on a computer screen or monitor wouldn't be a lot of fun for many people. This draws parallels to other forms of piracy: for instance, while most new movies are available for free from file-sharing networks, plenty of people still want to pay to watch them in a theater, for a variety of reasons. Certainly there are people who will overlook any amount of drawbacks to get free content; chances are they wouldn't pay for legitimate content anyway. But there remains a large market of people who are perfectly willing to pay for content -- so long as content producers can provide them with sufficient value.


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    Haywood, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:43am

    Funny, that's my weak spot.

    Harry Potter is one movie I'll pay to see, & even pay the outrageous snack bar prices. I already have my tickets for the biggest screen I could find. What this proves is; if the content is good enough, people will still pay.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:54am

      Re: Funny, that's my weak spot.

      didn't it come out last week? would you still need to buy your tickets in advance at this point?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 5:03am

        Re: Re: Funny, that's my weak spot.

        Hey said, "I already have my tickets for the biggest screen I could find." Not, "I reserved tickets in advance."

        But in any case, I totally agree with you, Haywood. There are a number of movies that I would be willing to pay for in order to see because it's worth what I spend.

         

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        Haywood, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:42am

        Re: Re: Funny, that's my weak spot.

        I've gone a week after a release only to be told that the showing was sold out. I buy them on-line as a defense; never again be turned away. Plus, having them lets me get in line quicker. A good seat location is essential for a huge screen, I've had bad ones (near the front) and it sucked.

         

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    thecaptain, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:51am

    Its not really the low quality

    For myself, I intend to download the book asap.

    I've pre-ordered it and I'm getting the hardcover in a few days, however, I do love reading the pdf file on my palm.

    So this piracy will not affect sales.

     

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    John, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 4:59am

    Sorry

    What a stupid story. Obviously no one is handing out identical copies of the book so the whole premise that there are bootlegs of the book available is just ridiculous. The person that waisted their time copying the book page by page was a real fool. The book costs $18. So add up the time and money you have to spend to print a worthless copy or the discomfort of reading poorly scanned text for hours on a bright monitor and it's just not worth $18.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jul 18th, 2007 @ 5:34am

    Even Acknowledge by the Pro-DRM apologists

    Last night (7/17/2007) CNBC ran a segment on the financial effect of the availability of the unauthorized Harry Potter books on internet. CNBC had the usual crowd of intellectual property advocates. Surprisingly these guests said that the unauthorized copies of Harry Potter would NOT hurt sales. This was astounding to hear from the piracy doom-and-gloom crowd. One can hope that we are finally seeing an acknowledgment that piracy, while ethically bad, has not really adversely affected sales.

     

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    Geoff, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 5:56am

    Potter - Spiderman 3 - Shrek III:

    Three movies that were released in the "summer" of 07, in a time when the movie industry was reeling from record falling sales and those sales were lagging due to massive contraband downloading issues.

    Three movies with a virtual mass appeal; three movies that were sequels in a success factory; three movies that were quite entertaining and well made:

    Three movies that are now in the top ten grossing opening weekends, AND in the top 20 grossing movies of all time.

    The problem came to light in 2005 when the industry felt that downloading was killing their gross. Blockbusters like “Herbie: reloaded” weren't bringing in the billions they wanted and deserved! 2006's sequel to “The Fast and the Furious, a movie that appeals to all gear-heads and illegal street-racers apparently wasn't going to top E.T. at the box office, and that's because downloading is so prevalent.

    Downloading IS a huge problem in the world, only because the motion picture and record company people have their heads stuck so far into the sand. Release what the people want…not what you want the people to see or hear.

     

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      Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      ASTROTURF.

      Movies have been mostly boring remakes, theaters don't make the 'experience' appealing, and huge home theater screens with 5.1 surround duplicate the view and sound. Plus, studios are releasing DVD versions soon enough that many people (me included) don't fee l the urgency to pay $50 buck to go out when I can wait 6 months and buy the flick for $15.

      Downloading probably costs less than people buyin one tickat at a megaplex, and then sneaking into two other movies as well.

       

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    Wags, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:11am

    Actually, the book was replaced as a series of JPG's taken from someone holding a camera above the book as they flipped the pages... some pages are unreadable, but it's still useful. I plan on buying my copy the day it comes out, so piracy didn't affect me at all.

     

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      Haywood, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      There are some pretty good ones out there, apparently typed. I have had the book pre-ordered since it was offered, and will buy more if she will write more. Still a seek peek was nice. It won't even interfere with reading the hard cover, mine have been read multiple times.

       

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    AngryYoung Man, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:20am

    potter is a fake

    i've been going to torrent sites and reading the comments. all indications are that this is a fake, a piece of fanfic dummied up to look like deathly hallows.

     

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    Brad, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:20am

    What's the point of this story?

    Is it that piracy is benign? That the publisher and author will make plenty of money -- in spite of piracy?

    "So long as the content producers can provide them with sufficient value."

    Do you mean that as long as the publisher's distribution method is significantly superior to pirated copies they'll still have a business? If so, that doesn't bode well for publishers or authors -- technology will catch up and online reading will get better.

    This site seems dedicated to apologizing for piracy, or trying to play it down as some sort of unavoidable irritant. Worse, many authors here demonize publishers of content (book or music) as being greedy when they try to protect their assets.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 7:48am

      Re: What's the point of this story?

      I agree with Brad. Techdirt is constantly pointing out how piracy does not hurt the industry and how they just need to "change their business model". That will solve everything.

      Besides, analyzing a few enormously popular movies/books from the effects of piracy does not say anything for the other 99% of media available, even if only 5% of that is "good" according to your standards.

       

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        SailorRipley, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:24am

        Re: Re: What's the point of this story?

        It is correct that this example "does not say anything for the other 99% of media available"

        However, it is the MAFIAA's position that

        1) every act of piracy (ie every download) is a loss in revenue.
        2) piracy is rampant.

        Let's say this were true...then it would be much more visible/detectable by looking at (analyzing if you want) "a few enormously popular movies/books": as this enormous popularity would result in a larger availability of pirated material and a large(r) group of piracy-capable (and willing) people, the negative effect of piracy on revenue would be much larger and easily detectable...yet it isn't...

        So even though looking at a few enormously popular movies provides no direct data on the rest of available media, it sure can confirm or disproof a general trend/statement.

        Which it does, it shows that piracy is costing the MAFIAA an arm and a leg is total bs.

        or as Carlo states: "Certainly there are people who will overlook any amount of drawbacks to get free content; chances are" (actually, I would even say: it's extremely likely) "they wouldn't pay for legitimate content anyway" I would add these people are only a tiny segment of all "potential" consumers

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re: What's the point of this story?

          "Let's say this were true...then it would be much more visible/detectable by looking at (analyzing if you want) "a few enormously popular movies/books": as this enormous popularity would result in a larger availability of pirated material and a large(r) group of piracy-capable (and willing) people, the negative effect of piracy on revenue would be much larger and easily detectable...yet it isn't..."


          For one, you are disregarding what most people have said about these movies, that they are "worth seeing" or "worth paying money for". Secondly, you state that if piracy is a problem, then with larger movies piracy should be "much larger and easily detectable", which implies that if the increase in piracy is not proportional to ticket sales, then piracy must not be a problem (or not costing them an arm and a leg).

          While it may be true some insight may be gained from looking at it from your point-of-view, you are still making many assumptions and extrapolations from popular movies concerning consumer habits (or "general trends/statements") when it comes to all other movies. I am simply pointing out the narrow range of data from which the conclusion of this article was reached, as true in other Techdirt articles (eg "this particular band put their music out on the internet for free and got publicity which made sales! thus, in conclusion, piracy is good for bands").

           

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      Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 10:58am

      Re: What's the point of this story?

      As I reread the story and comments, I realize that the MPAA and RIAA may be right, in a sense -- downloadable copies do cost them sales.

      NOT DIRECTLY! If I can (for example) listen to more than the one cut off an album that got airplay, than I can decide if I want to actually buy it. More exposure does not always lead to more sales, just lets me screen out the crap.

      I bought several albums on vinyl, only to find that the one song I liked was the only thing worth the time to listen.

      Downloaded versions don't really compete, they help customers filter out crap by going around the official marketing.

       

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    Overcast, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:42am

    three movies that were quite entertaining and well made:

    You spell out the real issue there. It's not about piracy, it's about quality and the value of going to a show.

    Show prices are a bit on the high end of 'reasonable', but it's worth it sometimes. I guess show prices have never been *real* cheap - well since the 50's anyway perhaps.

    But the film has to give fans a reason to believe it's worth watching. The crowds can be a bit of a hassle on the weekends too - making it not just a 2-hour movie experience, but couple it with outrageous concessions it almost requires one to eat out ahead of time. I can get a whole meal for my family for what we would pay in concessions for some popcorn and a drink for four of us. Literally - the last time we got 4 colas and 2 large popcorns it was $25.00.

    Not complaining about price here, just stating a fact that going out to a movie is a 4 hour event.

    Am I going to go see 'Tom Cruise'? I think not. I want to see a *good* movie. Now if Tom Cruise is in a good movie, I might go (ok, bad example there, he ego will keep me away no matter what).

    But still - I'm planning on watching a movie this weekend - or let's say, I will see if there's anything good out. I've already seen Spidey 3 and Shrek 3. YES at the Theater.

    I go to watch a movie - but that's only half of it, it's really a family outing. The people who download the torrents - guess what - they don't care about going out to see that particular movie, nor are they going to pay for it - they'll simply wait.

    A tactic I all too often employ - just waiting for it to come onto cable. Very few movies indeed will have me *rushing off* to the movies. Mad Max 4 might, or perhaps something really good.

    But, if I'm annoyed with the junk at the theater - perhaps I'll just go Putt-Putt again :O

     

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      former Clearwater, FL resident, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 7:25am

      Re:

      "Am I going to go see 'Tom Cruise'? I think not. I want to see a *good* movie. Now if Tom Cruise is in a good movie, I might go (ok, bad example there, he ego will keep me away no matter what)."

      But how will Tom Cruise be able to pay off the Scientologists if no one sees his movies? He won't be able to free himself from the alien life forms inside his body.

       

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    Goldie, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 7:04am

    Insurance Policy

    It seems to me that Barnes and Noble (and Amazon, etc.) shouldn't be worried because such a huge number of the books are already preordered and paid for. Having a lot of these orders in would prevent them from losing money should the book get leaked. The group of people that have preordered the book and the group of people so desparate to read it as soon as possible that they are willing to read low quality .jpgs with the scanning person's hand in it probably have a lot of common members.

     

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    TechDirtSux, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 7:42am

    Once again, lame rationalizations on TechDirt

    So if money and profits are still made on a product, the fact that it is stolen by some is somehow okay?

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 8:04am

    to brad

    this site doesn't condone piracy. it states that piracy happens.

    i had a family friend work as the Store Manager for Wal*Mart. he said they had in their budget something like $30k a quarter or something for "lost profit" i.e. stealing and that was just one store. i don't see walmart hurting for business. (as it turns out, his store was the top store in the chain a few years ago)

    so yes, piracy happens. lost profits will happen. it's how companies deal with it.

    I don't see McDonalds taking employees to court for taking a chicken nugget or cooking 3 extra burger patties.

    so yeah, the problem isn't piracy, the problem is the raction to piracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    This site will never explicitly say piracy is okay. But every other article is about how evil the RIAA and MPAA is and how piracy does not hurt or even helps the industry. The argument that piracy "happening" is "okay" is the only argument presented.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:46am

      Re:

      1) the MPAA and RIAA ARE evil
      2) piracy is happening (whether you like it or not)
      3) unlike wild, unsubstantiated statements like "piracy hurts our bottom line" and "every download is a loss/lost revenue" all examples in the real world (and yes, often documented/reported on Tech Dirt) prove differently
      4) it can help the industry...again, examples have been reported on Tech Dirt and I could give several from personal (for example people recommending me) experience as well

      the main argument presented is that piracy rarely hurts and often helps "the industry".

      Whether or not the RIAA and MPAA are evil is not even up for discussion, just look at all their FUD statements (even though they themselves know better) and the way they handle their lawsuits, nobody needs Tech Dirt to come to the evil-conclusion...

       

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      Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 6:02am

      Re:

      My issue with the RIAA and MPAA (and the corps they represetn) is that they are using bogus and/or inflated loss estimates to push for the legal ability to take away my rights to privacy, property, and fair use of purchased copyrighted material.

      I beleive their goal is to turn every piece of recorded media into pay-per-view, even CDs and DVDs.

      The piracy is a smoke screen for a legal embedding of a few non-essential businesses, and allowing them to overrule rights of private citizens.

      I do not download any inauthorized music or movies -- it is unethical to do so. But, the economic impacts have not been analyzed nor have all the factors been included in the so-called losses.

       

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    Sanguine Dream, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    Not worth it.

    Once there is a paperback boxed set of the Potter books I will get them because I have heard such good things. Now I know the paperback boxed set is going to take up to a year to release after the hardback but I'm still willing to wait becuase I also play video games and watch movies and tv so I'm not in a mad rush to get them. And besides I do not want to squint at a computer screen to read a free copy just to prove my "l337" street cred.

    Same thing with movies. I do not want to sit in my house to watch a downloaded copy of the latest movie because I actually want to get out of the house sometime (I intend to see the new Potter film this weekend in fact) and breath. Even if I owned some uber home theater I still can compete with the simple notion of going outside, well at least with today's technology.

    And one more thing. Is there minimum requirement on techdirt postings using the words "content" and "value"?

     

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    HPFan, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Of course it will

    Of course it will. I am on Chapter 5 of the PDF, but I am still definitely going to buy the book, I want a hard copy because it's easier to read. The PDF isn't impossible but sometimes it's hard to read.

    I went to my friend's apartment and 3 of us sat down and read the PDF on their big screen together. All of us are buying the book Saturday, my friend had pre-ordered it in the first place.

    I doubt millions of people want to read a crappy PDF with pictures of the book. The person who 'pirated' the book must have only had 10 minutes to do so, that's the only reason why I can think of on why it sucks so bad. He couldn't spend a day scanning it or taking proper pictures? The payoff would have been greater. Now he'll get caught and not even for being a good pirater.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:42am

    I'm really tired of the RIAA/MPAA acting as though just because there are downloader out there that they are justifyed in treating everyone like criminals. Does this mean:

    Just because some urban areas with a mostly black population have high crime rates the police should just treat all black people like criminals?

    Just because some white males are racist and joing the KKK minorities should just attack all white males in retaliation?

    Just because some child kidnappings victims are young girls does this mean the police shouldn't bother with making sure young boys are safe and put all their effort into protecting young girls?

     

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    Brian Carnell, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Completely Missing the Point

    "even the CEO of Barnes & Noble saying it "won't sell a single copy less" of the book despite it being available for free online. The biggest reason for this is the inconvenience of the pirated copies: they're huge PDFs, reportedly of low quality. To approximate the book-reading experience, users would have to print out all the pages, which could be time-consuming and expensive, while reading the book on a computer screen or monitor wouldn't be a lot of fun for many people."

    Well, I won't be buying a hard copy, so there's at least one. I won't be downloading the huge PDF either -- wait a couple weeks and there will be text versions freely available, as there are with all the other HP books.

    The problem is that Rowling won't let anyone offer an e-book edition of HP books, so those of us who prefer e-books (admittedly a drop in the bucket for HP sales) have no recourse but to wait for the pirated version.

     

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      Brad, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 11:03am

      Re: Completely Missing the Point

      "have no recourse but to wait for the pirated version" -- and steal from the author. It's the publisher's choice where and how to distribute their products. If they choose not to publish in your format, it in no way gives you the moral authority to just take it....

       

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    Todd, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 10:53am

    Okay, this article is about the book, not the movie. 2nd the copy of the book that was leaked is not PDF, it is actual JPEG photos of each page the book.

     

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    Brian Carnell, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 12:01pm

    Piracy of products not offered in a market

    Brad wrote,

    "have no recourse but to wait for the pirated version" -- and steal from the author. It's the publisher's choice where and how to distribute their products. If they choose not to publish in your format, it in no way gives you the moral authority to just take it...."

    Since the publisher doesn't offer an e-book version for sale, how am I stealing by downloading a text version? Can you point me to the lost e-book sale in there somewhere, because I'm not seeing it?

     

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    ranon, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    the real issue

    The real issue with the Harry Potter book was not the lost sales due to piracy. (That is currently negligible and will remain so until someone comes up with a better way of reading a book from a computer than printing it out, or staring at the screen.)

    The real issue was actually the story. What happens to Harry Potter. Does he die? How does he kill Voldemort. Is Harry a horcrux? etc.

    Obviously keeping that a secret was impossible as shown by the spoilers on the link.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 12:45pm

    Since the publisher doesn't offer an e-book version for sale, how am I stealing by downloading a text version? Can you point me to the lost e-book sale in there somewhere, because I'm not seeing it?

    it's stealing because you posess a work of copyrighted material w/o paying for that right/license.

    if you were to purchase the hardbound book, and then make an electronic version for yourself, that's a bit different. but since you are in posession of a (C) work w/o paying, it's illegal.

    just like having an mp3 of a song that isn't available for legal download.

     

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      Brad, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 2:01pm

      Re:

      You're getting the benefit of the author's work without paying for it. At minimum it's copyright infringement. The "since I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I get to just take it" argument is crap.

      That's like saying you get to steal audio books because you can't read.

       

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        reed, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 3:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Anonymous said:

        You're getting the benefit of the author's work without paying for it. At minimum it's copyright infringement. The "since I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I get to just take it" argument is crap.


        On getting a benefit without paying for it, What if I shared the book in a library. Isn't this taking away from the authors possible profit?

        In this case, what if the publisher does not offer it in a format you use such as an Ebook?

        What if you had a sight problem and you needed an electronic file you could easily increase in size in order to read easily?

        Would you be breaking the law by downloading a digital copy if you had bought the book? What if you then lent the electronic copy to a another vision impaired friend who used a text reader because he couldn't see at all? This is obviously piracy, but if you were to lend him the book you bought it isn't?

        You can go on and on with this stuff because you are not taking into account the most important principle. Once something is digital it has no real worth therefore you cannot claim damages. While I am sure many people disagree with this stance the reality is it is just a that data is a bunch of ones and zeros.

        What worth is your hard drive without a computer or an OS and applications to run the data on it? How long before you hard drive crashes and you lose all you data? Even if you were smart enough to back up everything how much time will you lose restoring stuff? Does this effect the value of digital works?

        If data has a "worth" so to speak it cannot be defined easily.

        Here is how I think of it, if you are a oil painter and you paint desirable paintings you can copy popular paintings you have done in the past. Each new copy takes hours to produce and requires expensive materials. Each copy has a real value because it took time and energy to create it.

        Once you digitize you art though, you could make thousands of copies without any real effort at all. What is the real value of a copy that took no effort to create?

        So the only real solutions in my mind is to either accept that the majority of digital information has no real value therefore it cannot be the source of torts in the law or prevent media/art from reaching the Internet altogether. The later seems impossible without completely restructuring how the Internet works and ending any freedoms we may take for granted.

        Personally, I think sacrificing our freedom on the Internet is not worth catering to the interests of big business who are the primary claims makers in this process so far.

         

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          Brad, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 11:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Once something is digital it has no real worth therefore you cannot claim damages."

          You couldn't be more wrong. Delivery format most emphatically does not speak to value. You're confusing distribution method with product. You ask "What is the real value of a copy that took no effort to create?" shows how off-base you are. The CONTENT OF THE BOOK took a lot of effort to create and the author and the publisher of that book (who took a risk to publish the book) are due whatever proceeds they can earn from selling it. Are the plans for nuclear weapons worthless because they're digital? The fact you can copy it digitally does not make the content worthless.

          You're contention means that all media, software, art, photography etc. is all worthless because it could be duplicated digitally.

          I think your post accurately reflects the bias of this site in general.

          If you want to live in a world where there are no protections for intellectual property, then you need to engage in only businesses that produce goods that can't be reproduced digitally. You should be a farmer.

           

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            Reed, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 12:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Brad Said:

            You couldn't be more wrong. Delivery format most emphatically does not speak to value. You're confusing distribution method with product. You ask "What is the real value of a copy that took no effort to create?" shows how off-base you are. The CONTENT OF THE BOOK took a lot of effort to create and the author and the publisher of that book (who took a risk to publish the book) are due whatever proceeds they can earn from selling it. Are the plans for nuclear weapons worthless because they're digital? The fact you can copy it digitally does not make the content worthless.

            You're contention means that all media, software, art, photography etc. is all worthless because it could be duplicated digitally.

            Reply:

            Delivery over the internee is not the real point. The point is the value of works once they are digitized. While people may pay a dollar for a bunch of one and zeros in the form of music it does not reflect the actual value of the digital work unless of course you define value as what people are willing to pay (I don't).

            My original point stands What is the value of this type of data really? Until we can answer that without huffy and puffing about profits and losses we will get nowhere in this new digital age.

            Your argument seems to be that just because you digitize information it has not lost its worth. This may be true if you destroy the original and then be sure no copies are made, but this is not how the digital age works.

            What is the cost of copying digital information? Once you have been payed for your work do you seriously expect to make money from seemingly no effort? That would be like using a color photo copier to make money.

            All media is not worthless just because you can digitize it, but if you do the value of the digital copy cannot be anywhere near the actual work especially once it has been duplicated.

             

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              identicon
              Brad, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again you confuse the content with the delivery media.

              When you buy a book, a small portion of your dollars go to pay for the physical aspect (paper, ink, binding, etc.) the rest pays for the content of the book.

              Using digital methods to remove the cost of the physical book doesn't remove the value of the content itself. Repeat after me -- "I'm paying for the content, not just the physical form of distribution."

              It's the same for music, software, etc. It doesn't cost MS $500 to package MS Office. You're not paying for the box and the plastic CD -- you're paying for access to the product.

               

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                reed, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 10:25pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:Confusion is fun

                Brad said:

                When you buy a book, a small portion of your dollars go to pay for the physical aspect (paper, ink, binding, etc.) the rest pays for the content of the book.

                Using digital methods to remove the cost of the physical book doesn't remove the value of the content itself. Repeat after me -- "I'm paying for the content, not just the physical form of distribution."

                It's the same for music, software, etc. It doesn't cost MS $500 to package MS Office. You're not paying for the box and the plastic CD -- you're paying for access to the product.

                Reply:

                On your point about value I do not believe the majority of the money is for the IP rights. The majority goes to sellers and re-sellers and any middle men along the way. In fact I think that the actual raw materials and manufacturing costs exceed the amount that is given to the original creator of the art/media.

                Once you have removed the physical copy you end up with a situation where the owner can make money without the work and materials that originally went into copying. This removes so many people for the economic process it isn't funny. Now are you going to seriously sit back and say that the digital content has the same value a physical copy of an original? Obviously it cannot have the same value due to many reasons. So back to the original point how do we define how much digital content is actually worth?

                On you point about paying for the "content" I have heard of a micropayment concept that could work for the digital age. Here is a layman's example of it.

                http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-6/icst-6-full.html

                And on reference to paying several hundred dollars for Microsoft software (so old stuff new package) I will pass. That is another freedom that has been created in conjuction with the Internet. Freedom to use a free operating system and free applications. In the end I hope freedom will win out on the Internet and our privacy will be respected regardless of what big conglomerates want. Freedom to choose forces business to adapt and trying to limit it, even for seemingly correct ideas like protecting IP is a mistake in the end.

                 

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                reed, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 10:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:Confusion is fun

                Brad said:

                When you buy a book, a small portion of your dollars go to pay for the physical aspect (paper, ink, binding, etc.) the rest pays for the content of the book.

                Using digital methods to remove the cost of the physical book doesn't remove the value of the content itself. Repeat after me -- "I'm paying for the content, not just the physical form of distribution."

                It's the same for music, software, etc. It doesn't cost MS $500 to package MS Office. You're not paying for the box and the plastic CD -- you're paying for access to the product.

                Reply:

                On your point about value I do not believe the majority of the money is for the IP rights. The majority goes to sellers and re-sellers and any middle men along the way. In fact I think that the actual raw materials and manufacturing costs exceed the amount that is given to the original creator of the art/media.

                Once you have removed the physical copy you end up with a situation where the owner can make money without the work and materials that originally went into copying. This removes so many people for the economic process it isn't funny. Now are you going to seriously sit back and say that the digital content has the same value a physical copy of an original? Obviously it cannot have the same value due to many reasons. So back to the original point how do we define how much digital content is actually worth?

                On you point about paying for the "content" I have heard of a micropayment concept that could work for the digital age. Here is a layman's example of it.

                http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-6/icst-6-full.html

                And on reference to paying several hundred dollars for Microsoft software (same old stuff, new package) I will pass. That is another freedom that has been created in conjuction with the Internet. Freedom to use a free operating system and free applications. In the end I hope freedom will win out on the Internet and our privacy will be respected regardless of what big conglomerates want. Freedom to choose forces business to adapt and trying to limit it, even for seemingly correct ideas like protecting IP is a mistake in the end.

                 

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

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    GoblinJuice, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    I don't want to sound like a troll, but I don't give a rat's ass about Harry Potter.

    The whole thing is just... gay.... Gayer than a gay man... walking down San Francisco's Castro St.... wearing a pink, goddamn tutu. =)

    Again, not a troll... just tired of the Harry Potter crap.

    Jesus. What ever happened to kids playing Grand Theft Auto?

     

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  •  
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    Jenny, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 7:16pm

    want Harry Potter things to sell

    We have a lot of Chinese customers at our website at acb2b.com. They are interested in Harry Potter things, toys, books, decorations or so. If you have such things in quantity, you can publish your information at our website and find the possible buyers abroad.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 4:56am

    Re:Reed

    while true that a library shares books, they pay a price to do so. they purchase the books for the purpose of lending out. look at movie rental places. they pay around 200 bucks for each copy of a film. why? because they purchase the rights to do so. i'm sure libraries pay a higher price because those books will be read by many people.

    as for personal loans, that's ok, because only one person has the book at a time. if you started making copies and giving them to your friends, that's illegal.

    you do raise an interesting question about buying the book, then DL an electroinc copy. i want to say that's quasi-legal, due to the fact the book isn't available in that format, but you do own a true copy.

    but as for digital content having worth, take a look at itunes. that's all digital content. and people pay for it.

     

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    Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 10:24am

    The concept behind IP

    THe basic idea of IP protections is to allow incentives for creative people to create new things. Then, once created, they are allowed to limit who uses the results of their creativity, and under what terms -- within another set of rules around fair use of each copy of that creation.

    I don't buy a book for the paper, ink, and binding. I buy a book to be taught, or informed, or entertained. Ms. Rowling and her business associates made a decision not to release her book in certain formats. No one has the right to a free copy, beacuse they made that decision.

    However, I believe fair use would include scanning the book and placing the resulting file on an electronic device for ease of reading -- as long as I retain the purchased copy and never let more than one copy (original or reproduction) be in use simultaneously.

    This would be a very interesting court case, probably decided no very narrow margins by the facts. Even if I acquired the electronic copy from another party (downloaded, as long I have purchased one copy and don't share -- it may still be covered by fair use.

    IANFL, so this is all speculation. ANy lawyers around know of a legal precedent or ruling?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Brad, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 11:28am

      Re: The concept behind IP

      I think you're right here. If you've purchased a copy of the IP (book, music, etc.) then you should be able to access that IP from any device you own personally.

      But you should not then be able to give copies of the IP to others (unless you give all copies, including the original so that you no longer have access).

      That's the definition of "sharing". I let you borrow my lawn mower -- and while you have it, I do not.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Brian Carnell, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    VCRs

    "it's stealing because you posess a work of copyrighted material w/o paying for that right/license.

    if you were to purchase the hardbound book, and then make an electronic version for yourself, that's a bit different. but since you are in posession of a (C) work w/o paying, it's illegal."

    This is, of course, exactly the argument that the movie and television industry tried to make against the VCR. What is the episode of 24 that I Tivo-ed and then burned to DVD? It is a copyrighted product that I didn't pay a single cent to the owners of said copyright.

     

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      reed, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 2:25pm

      Re: VCRs

      "This is, of course, exactly the argument that the movie and television industry tried to make against the VCR. What is the episode of 24 that I Tivo-ed and then burned to DVD? It is a copyrighted product that I didn't pay a single cent to the owners of said copyright."

      On a side note congress was very serious there for awhile about banning VCR's altogether. It was actually testimony from Mr. Rogers that swayed congress into not banning the VCR. He argued that a family should be able to tape his show in the morning so they could watch it with their children in the afternoon.

      On your comment about not paying, you did pay if you have cable. Besides they make money for the advertisements so in reality you are paying for a program that was already paid for through your cable service. Paying for commercials? Yes thats the true secret of cable. Now you wonder why the industry hates those TIVO's that let you skip them :)

       

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


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