Dismissing The Freeloading Myth

from the please,-let-this-go-away dept

A bunch of folks have sent in this column by freelance writer Anne Wollenberg claiming that there is no defense for file sharing and that free riders and freeloaders are simply bad, stop, end sentence. Oddly, looking over Ms. Wollenberg's own website, we find links to many of her works, including PDF files and jpg image files of writeups done for publications that don't have those writeups on the web. Some of those appear to be written up in magazines that require a subscription or a newsstand fee to view normally. Now perhaps she has permission to post these (or perhaps not), but even if she does, it certainly seems that she sees the value in having her works shared freely for the promotional value of her ability to write (not particularly well, mind you, but that's a separate issue). Yet, oddly, her writeup seems to ignore the concept of promotional value of works shared freely online. Update: In the comments, Ms. Wollenberg was kind enough to let us know that she has permission for all of those works on her website. That's great, even though we made it clear in the post that even if she does (in fact, we assumed she did), it does not change the fact that it negates much of the point she tried to make with her column.

Instead, she tries to lump all who file share into a single camp of people who are pure freeloaders. Of course, she even gets the basics of freeloading wrong, focusing on the sociological issues, but ignoring the economic research on freeloading and the value of commons and sharing. That's doubly odd considering that our recent Nobel Prize winning economist won that prize for her groundbreaking work showing that the simplistic thinking on "sharing" and "commons" simply isn't accurate, and that communities will quite frequently create models where sharing is seen as beneficial and other structures make sure that fair compensation occurs.

Now, I'm not one who believes that people should be sharing the files of those who don't allow it (and I don't participate in any unauthorized file sharing myself), but to write off the entire community as "freeloaders" without understanding what's actually happening and without actually understanding the economic research on freeloading seems like a pretty weak argument.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:40am

    It isn't ignoring the value of free work shared online, as much as pointing out that the author / rights holder should be the ones making that decision, not the readers.

    The writer chooses to make work available online, that is the writers choice. It would be different is someone was just ripping their work, and spreading it over torrents without permission.

    Mike, I thought you were smart enough to know the difference.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re:

    "It isn't ignoring the value of free work shared online, as much as pointing out that the author / rights holder should be the ones making that decision, not the readers."

    That's rather besides the point. The benefit is the same either way.

     

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    spaceman spiff, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:54am

    freeloaders

    Well, I think Ms. Wollenberg is herself a freeloader. After all, she is taking advantage of the "free" internet to promote herself. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me...

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:57am

    "(not particularly well, mind you, but that's a separate issue). Yet, oddly, her wrtieup"

    Beautiful typo, directly after (parenthetically) criticizing her skills.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    another Freeloading myth

    In addition to ignoring the cost of obscurity, free-haters also forget this:

    "...free licensed works might make more on average, due to the elimination of middlemen and other friction....In other words...fat cats cost more than free riders." -- Terry Hancock (of Free Software magazine, who wrote that in a conversation on facebook)

    Fat cats cost more than free riders. So true.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    He is smart enough to know the difference, and if you bothered to read and understand, you would know he put it into the article.

    To clarify, one is authorized and one is not. That's it. Nothing else.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Re:

    The writer chooses to make work available online, that is the writers choice. It would be different is someone was just ripping their work, and spreading it over torrents without permission.

    Mike, I thought you were smart enough to know the difference.


    I think one of the points that Mike is trying to make is that Wollenberg herself doesn't understand the difference between illegal downloaders and filesharers. The term "illegal downloaders" is mentioned in the headline, but in the actual article, she incorrectly uses "filesharers" as a synonym for "illegal downloaders".

    Mike understands perfectly well that there's a difference between an author/rightsholder publishing digital material and someone else doing the same thing illegally. What he's pointing out is the irony of someone saying that all filesharing is bad when she herself is sharing files.

     

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    Jon Renaut (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Faulty logic

    I think the real point of her article is faulty logic - she claims that free content necessarily leads to the end of all professional art. This is like saying jumping out of a plane necessarily leads to dying on impact.

    Saying that free content means no professional art is like denying the existence of parachutes. Having no professional art is ONE outcome, but it doesn't have to be the only one. People writing articles like hers aren't protecting the arts, they're whining about gravity.

     

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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:04am

    Hello,

    I'm the writer in question. First off, Anonymous Coward sums the point up entirely. It is about choice. The second commenter is wrong to say that this is beside the point and the benefit is the same either way because that is the copyright-holder's decision to make.

    Secondly, I do indeed have the right to post the work on my site. In some cases, it's not online so I have posted a PDF - with the relevant publication's consent. Either I hold the copyright, or I have been granted a license by the copyrightholder. And I haven't just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free so it's a really daft, invalid comparison to make.

    You say I get the basics of freeloading wrong by focusing on the sociological issues. Actually I am specifically talking about the sociological concept of the free-rider: someone who engages in behaviour that doesn't benefit everyone else and gets away with it because the majority are not engaging in that behaviour. An example would be a few people failing to get a vaccination - they are free-riding on the fact that most other people have been vaccinated. I was referring to a specific sociological concept.

    You say I don't understand what is really going on. Take the music industry as an example: there has been a 60% decline in jobs over the last five years, bands are being dropped as there's no money to promote them, some of the biggest labels are hanging on by a thread and people sit in pubs moaning about the price of albums when they have just spent more on beer and crisps.

    The point I was making is that it is one thing for people to decide to supply their content for free and allow it to be shared. It is not okay for people to take it and do so without the copyright owner's consent - then, as many commenters did on my original piece, complain about how much you hate the industry (fine, don't use the product then) and how all music is crap (fine, don't use the product then). The value of sharing to which you refer is not in itself enough to sustain entire creative industries.

    If you read the column you will see I have referred to the way some people indignantly assert their right to access culture because... well, because they want to.

    Anyhow, I would appreciate it if you would amend the above because it implies I have posted work on my site without having the right to do so - this is not true.

     

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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Also: I am not "taking advantage of the free internet". I pay for web hosting.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    I'm not freeloading, ma'am, I pay for internet access.

     

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    Surfpup (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    If I remember correctly, there's tons of posts on this very website showing examples of how the music industry is improving. Also, whining about file sharers doesn't help anyone. It's likely that the big labels have spent more money trying to combat piracy than they have actually suffered from piracy itself (if they suffered anything from it at all to begin with). Unfortunately, as wrong as it may be to illegally share/download things, there's nothing you can do to stop it.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:15am

    "Now perhaps she has permission to post these (or perhaps not), but even if she does, it certainly seems....."

    I am pretty sure that 'says' you might have permission to post them and then since its specualtion, offers the logical counter of....maybe not.

    It implies that you would enjoy a dinner with Mandleson.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    "The second commenter is wrong to say that this is beside the point and the benefit is the same either way because that is the copyright-holder's decision to make."

    You keep conflating two different things. A benefit is simply a benefit. The wishes or acknowledgement of the monopoly-holder have nothing to do with it.

    If I give an exsanguinating Christian Scientist a transfusion they may be pissed, but they still have benefited.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:16am

    "Illegal copyright infringement"

    From the linked article...
    "I wish you filesharers would just admit the truth: you don't want to pay. Instead, you bang on about how it's fine to pass copies around because you haven't removed the original, even though the basic tenets of copyright law are founded on the idea that infringement occurs if you copy the most important part of the work (copying all of it definitely qualifies)."

    Can you still call it a strawman argument if the arguer is blatantly ignorant of the actual facts instead of just purposefully setting up a premise based on facts they know to be false? Nobody is saying that illegal copyright infringement is "fine" because it doesn't remove the original. What people say and in fact the law says, is that illegal copyright infringement is not theft.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    "Take the music industry as an example: there has been a 60% decline in jobs over the last five years, bands are being dropped as there's no money to promote them, some of the biggest labels are hanging on by a thread and people sit in pubs moaning about the price of albums when they have just spent more on beer and crisps."

    Do you have a source for those claims? Everything I've read recently suggests that there are more opportunities in the music industry. Just not with major record labels. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just wonder which jobs you're talking about and whether you've considered the new jobs being created by new media.

    As for the majors losing money, it might be worth checking out this link I saw today through BoingBoing. There seem to be a lot of articles around about how badly major labels rip off their artists...

    http://www.toomuchjoy.com/?p=1397

    "The value of sharing to which you refer is not in itself enough to sustain entire creative industries."

    You are aware that file sharing has been prevalent throughout the history of media, right? Maybe it's never been as easy as it is now, but don't fool yourself into thinking this is either a new phenomenon or doesn't have hidden benefits. I remember photocopied pages and cassettes being passed around the playground when I was a kid, and the promised death of music due to home taping did not materialise... To support this argument, you have to assume that nobody who file shares will ever buy anything related to music - a demonstrably untrue position.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re:

    "I'm the writer in question. First off, Anonymous Coward sums the point up entirely. It is about choice. The second commenter is wrong to say that this is beside the point and the benefit is the same either way because that is the copyright-holder's decision to make."

    Cause is followed by effect, it doesn't matter if you want the cause to happen the effect will follow. If your works are out there for free you will get the benefits from it whether you wanted them out there or not.

    "And I haven't just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free so it's a really daft, invalid comparison to make."

    It's not our fault that no one wants to take your work. You put it up there for free so anyone who comes can take it. The number of people who take it is irrelevant to the article.

    "they are free-riding on the fact that most other people have been vaccinated."

    So, I'm a free-riding low life because I refuse to get the flu shot?

    "You say I don't understand what is really going on. Take the music industry as an example: there has been a 60% decline in jobs over the last five years, bands are being dropped as there's no money to promote them, some of the biggest labels are hanging on by a thread and people sit in pubs moaning about the price of albums when they have just spent more on beer and crisps." [citation needed]

    "Anyhow, I would appreciate it if you would amend the above because it implies I have posted work on my site without having the right to do so - this is not true."

    "Now perhaps she has permission to post these (or perhaps not), but even if she does..."

     

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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Oh for goodness sake. I didn't call anyone a lowlife. If you refuse to get a vaccination when others do, you benefit from the fact they have been vaccinated. Ditto if you illegally copy a product others are paying for. I don't know why you can't comprehend this. Yes, you are a free-rider if you refuse to get the flu shot.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Re:


    I'm the writer in question. First off, Anonymous Coward sums the point up entirely. It is about choice. The second commenter is wrong to say that this is beside the point and the benefit is the same either way because that is the copyright-holder's decision to make.


    That's not what you say in your article. You say that there is simply no defense at all for file sharing, even as many content creators are embracing it and using it to their advantage.

    Secondly, I do indeed have the right to post the work on my site. In some cases, it's not online so I have posted a PDF - with the relevant publication's consent. Either I hold the copyright, or I have been granted a license by the copyrightholder. And I haven't just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free so it's a really daft, invalid comparison to make.

    Right. As I said. Even if you do have the right, you seem to implicitly understand the value of giving away your works for free, even as you insist there's "no defense." Odd.

    It's an entirely apt comparison to make. You are giving away your works for free -- even works that are in magazines that people would need to pay for otherwise. Obviously, you recognize some promotional benefit to doing so. Yet, your article insists there is no defense for distributing information for free that otherwise would cost.

    You say I get the basics of freeloading wrong by focusing on the sociological issues. Actually I am specifically talking about the sociological concept of the free-rider: someone who engages in behaviour that doesn't benefit everyone else and gets away with it because the majority are not engaging in that behaviour.

    Right. And I was correct in saying that you do not seem to understand it, from either a sociological or economic perspective.

    You insist in your article that there are no benefits from freeloading, but that's simply not true -- as we discussed...

    You say I don't understand what is really going on. Take the music industry as an example: there has been a 60% decline in jobs over the last five years, bands are being dropped as there's no money to promote them, some of the biggest labels are hanging on by a thread and people sit in pubs moaning about the price of albums when they have just spent more on beer and crisps.

    Yes, let's take the music industry as an example. You seem to be confusing the *recording industry* for the music industry. The actual music industry is going through a massive success story. More money is being spent on music than ever before in history. More music is being created than ever before in history. More people are creating music than ever before in history and more people are making money due to their music than ever before in history. From the industry's own numbers in the UK (where I believe you are based) the industry itself is growing.

    The only thing that's not growing are the sales of plastic discs. So, yes, perhaps the labels, who rely on the sales of plastic discs are struggling and laying off people, but the makers of horse carriages laid off lots of folks too when the automobile showed up. But I think that we're all happy that the transportation market improved and created tons of new jobs. Same thing is happening in the music industry. It's just not coming from a small group of confused middlemen.

    The point I was making is that it is one thing for people to decide to supply their content for free and allow it to be shared.

    Except, you never made that point. You said there was no defense for file sharing.

    . It is not okay for people to take it and do so without the copyright owner's consent - then, as many commenters did on my original piece, complain about how much you hate the industry (fine, don't use the product then) and how all music is crap (fine, don't use the product then).

    I didn't make those arguments.

    The value of sharing to which you refer is not in itself enough to sustain entire creative industries.

    Heh. If you actually understand how to realize that value in a business model, sure it is. That's why those who are embracing file sharing are doing quite well.

    Anyhow, I would appreciate it if you would amend the above because it implies I have posted work on my site without having the right to do so - this is not true.

    I made it quite clear in my article that you likely had permission -- but that it made no difference to the point.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    Also: I am not "taking advantage of the free internet". I pay for web hosting.

    Heh. And all the "freeloaders" you complain about pay for internet access.

    Do you really not understand the difference?

     

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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:29am

    Oh, and people do "want to take my work" - but if they want to syndicate it, or hire me to do something else, they need to pay me. It is not there to be taken for free.

    I am not giving away work from magazines people would need to pay for otherwise. I am either linking to newspaper websites or providing PDFs of free customer magazines.

    And I know a lot of people who earn modest incomes from working in the music industry. Not overpaid stars, but roadies and sound engineers and managers. Guess what. They agree with me. So I will leave you all to your little deluded filesharing party.

     

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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:31am

    Also: I said I pay for web hosting. I do not promote myself for free on the internet; I pay for my website. Hosting, not access. Do YOU not understand the difference?

     

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    Jon Renaut (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    If the magazines are free, I suspect they depend on people seeing the ads so that advertisers keep paying the magazine. Aren't you, then, taking money from the magazine by letting people view the content somewhere else?

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    "Oh, and people do "want to take my work" - but if they want to syndicate it, or hire me to do something else, they need to pay me. It is not there to be taken for free. "

    Yes it is. Heck, even the article in question is available free of charge. The Guardian simply has a business model that takes that into account.

    By your logic, all your readers are parasitic freeloaders.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    "So I will leave you all to your little deluded filesharing party."

    Funny thing is, nobody's defending file sharing here. Just pointing out the flaws in the black-and-white picture you've posted here. Yet, instead of defending your position, you give up and insult everyone. You're not winning anyone over, except from the original AC poster who I assume is the contrary troll who just hangs around and tries to contradict all of the articles here.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re:

    Damn you beat me to that ...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:43am

    A quick look at the web site shows that it uses the JQuery library, which is distributed under the MIT or GPL licenses. Does that make it a freeloading web site?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    "I do not promote myself for free on the internet"

    Except, you do. The Guardian presumably paid for your article to be written, yet you get free promotion on their site. Mike presumably found your site through this article, which he then linked to on Techdirt, driving traffic to your site. Being a popular site, Google and other search engine will probably pick up on the article here, driving further traffic through your site.

    This promotion is unsolicited, yet you stand to benefit without spending a penny on anything but the relatively meagre cost of hosting your site. I presume you'll reject any advantage that comes your way, since you're so dead set against the idea of being able to profit through "freeloading"?

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    "Also: I said I pay for web hosting. I do not promote myself for free on the internet; I pay for my website. Hosting, not access. Do YOU not understand the difference?"

    Do you charge people to access your website? No. It's free. You are promoting yourself for free, and unlike file sharing it's costing you money to do so. So either you understand that there's some benefit to you in doing so, or you just made a very curious decision.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:47am

    Re:

    You use free to promote yourself. Not only that but you use free to promote yourself at a loss. So you must understand the value of free. To argue that file sharing is wrong and cannot be defended is denying that you yourself pay for hosting to promote yourself by giving away your works.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    Yes you did, just not in those words.

    Get a better comparison, not knowing the ups and downs of the flu shot makes you look like you don't know what your talking about.

     

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    BBT, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:54am

    whoop-de-doo

    So another stupid woman wrote another article about a subject she knows almost nothing about. Doesn't this happen every day?

     

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    Vic, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    Do you mean to say that while you hosting YOUR own website and pay for it, you access THIS website and post here for free?

     

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    Vic, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    Secondly, I do indeed have the right to post the work on my site. In some cases, it's not online so I have posted a PDF - with the relevant publication's consent. Either I hold the copyright, or I have been granted a license by the copyrightholder. And I haven't just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free so it's a really daft, invalid comparison to make.

    Oh my! Are you supporting those damn freeloaders? Cause they can now read those articles for FREE! And yes, it's exactly what you do: you have just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free. They are soft copies, but that is no different, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re: whoop-de-doo

    And she is now reaping the benefits of sharing her stupidity with the world.

     

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    Jim Kirk, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 10:31am

    Can I get a refund?

    The reason that file sharing of copyrighted material has become so widespread is because of the ludicrously high prices we were expected to pay for movies, music and software. Ok so the prices have dropped somewhat now but it's a little like closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

    And another thing.....on many occasions I have paid for music, movies or software only to find that they really weren't worth the high prices, perhaps if we were able to get a refund on such merchandise there would be less of a market for file sharing.

    Many use file sharing as a way of first filtering this expensive, low quality rubbish from the content that it is indeed worthy of our money. Having said that I think the cost of music, movies and software is still way too high and that's why some people don't buy them.

    Another thing that should be considered when spouting off spurious percentages about music industry decline is that there's the small matter of demand and supply. There are so many more 'artists' producing content now that there's bound to be less of a demand for some and more competition for all.

    All of these factors and many many more need to be considered before making any kind of definitive statement on the wickedness of file sharing.

     

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    Not Again, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Does it really need to be repeated?

    File Sharing is not necessarily copyright infringement.

    The term "file sharing" is misued so often that it is now meaningless without context and many times there is little to no context from which to infer its intended meaning. There are many different things this term could be referring to. For example, your browser shares files with hosts and you are presented with a web page. Certainly this is can be called file sharing and as far as I know, it is not illegal, nor is it infringement. Also, getting your email from a server could be called file sharing. Etc ... Even bit torrent sites host non infringing material, so just the act of joining a swarm does not imply infringement.

    So, referring to those who share files as free loaders is being a bit simplistic is it not? Certainly the discussion was about those who infringe upon copyright, but that was not the terminology used. These days, almost everyone shares files and it is not infringement to do so because that is how the internet works.

     

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    alex, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Re: whoop-de-doo

    Maybe she can be in Dan Bull's next song.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:32am

    A note for Anne Wollenberg:

    Don't let the people here depress you. If you spend a little time reading the site, you will discover a significant number of the posters here expect everything for nothing, they want to tell you how you should run your business, and they want to tear down everything existing and replace it with, well, nothing but t-shirt stands.

    They don't respect your rights as an author to do business in your way. It comes down to the type of post Mike often makes here, "smart-dumb", where he looks at your business model and calls you dumb, and looks at the people giving into the freeloaders and pirates as "smart". Don't let it get to you, it's an attack mentality that makes this place into Masnick-land, which has little connection to reality.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    "you will discover a significant number of the posters here expect everything for nothing"

    Maybr for some people here. But how about all the distributors who expect to be granted monopolies? Do you really not see the sense of entitlement coming from copyright maximists?

     

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  41.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    A note for Anne Wollenberg:

    Don't listen to this guy, read the sight for yourself. You will see that he's full of shit. But you don't have to take my word for it, I actually have the history of this sight at my back (and history in general).

     

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  42.  
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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Anonymous Coward: ha, great post.

    To those complaining about the price of music and film: don't be ridiculous. You probably spend more on beer and crisps, or printer cartridges, than you do on music. I don't think the price of a cinema ticket, for example, is very much given it will buy one lunch for one person one day on the film set.

    To the person who wrote this piece: if you could remove the defamatory comments, that would be grand.

     

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  43.  
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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:43am

    And for those who speak of copyright maximists: if you don't want to buy their product, go and make another one.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re:

    Site, not sight.

    Heil grammer!

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    How does that address my point at all?

    The fact is that copyright maximists expect to control even copies they didn't create simply because they made the first one. They clearly feel entitled to a monopoly.

    It's like finding a spoon's worth of gold and then claiming ownership of all gold.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Why the constant use of the word "share" as a generic term?

    It is misleading and wraps up P2P is a nice, warm, and fuzzy blanket.

    "Share" is something one does when one has the right to do so. "Illegally distribute" is something one does when one does not have the right to do so.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:49am

    So this whole damn argument is pedantry? If she find/replaced "file sharers" with "copyright infringers" everything would be fine?

    Why not focus on what she's trying to say instead of the specific way she (admittedly incorrectly) said it?

    Such as, what the hell is all that about vaccination? Not taking the prick is stealing! =P

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    'Illegally' notes only that it is against current laws, it does not prove a lack of morality for the act in question.

    Example: It was once illegal for women to vote in America, but no one today would argue that women voting is wrong.

     

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  49.  
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    John Rambo, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Internet pirating exists because of people like me. Why? Because 90% of everything out there is shit. It allows people to try before they buy. Yes there are people who will try and not buy, but that's something everybody is going to have to get used to unless the whole world is to be run like China. I am an artist but I also have a real job, because being an artist/author/musician isn't a real job, it's a privilege.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    Because the meaning of words is important. You need to clearly express what you mean because otherwise you could send a very different message than what was intended.

    Saying 'infringement is wrong' tries to sway people away from sharing unauthorized files and would send the message she's trying to convey, but 'file sharing is wrong' sends the message that it is wrong to use file sharing apps even if you are the original author.(which was the original stance on copying when printing devices were first invented)

     

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  51.  
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    Dave, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    To the person who wrote this piece: if you could remove the defamatory comments, that would be grand.
    Look out everyone... here comes the lawsuit for expressing your opinion....

     

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  52.  
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    Dementia (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    Secondly, I do indeed have the right to post the work on my site. In some cases, it's not online so I have posted a PDF - with the relevant publication's consent. Either I hold the copyright, or I have been granted a license by the copyrightholder. And I haven't just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free so it's a really daft, invalid comparison to make.

    Since the way a browser works is that it downloads information to your computer, stores it in a temporary file, then displays it, you have, in fact, handed out "loads of copies for free".

    Thanks, have a nice day.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Works Made For Hire

    Scanning through the comments, it seems that there might be some misplaced anger that Anne was able to better negotiate the ability to self promote her "works made for hire".

    It would be interesting if this could be an IP norm- where works made for hire, allowed creators the ability to use their works in a way that allows for self promotion. The problem as I see it, is that a creator currently has to fight for this right.

    This should be an explicit right for the creator, not seen as a "nice to have" that has to be explicitly negotiated in a contract somewhere.

     

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  54.  
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    TDR, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Just a thought, Mike, but maybe it might be a good idea to have a list down the side of the main page (or somewhere on the main page) a list with links of as many companies and artists of all sizes who are thriving via new business models and technology and CWF+RTB practices as you can think of, and any others that people here in the comments can think of, too. The list would be labeled as such, of course, to indicate what is is. It would be a pretty long list, I'd bet, but it would present quite a clear and undeniable picture of just what's really happening today just with the sheer number of people/companies doing just what you're saying they should do and doing well because of it.

     

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  55.  
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    Benjie, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Look whois talking

    She should go speak to old people at nursing homes and severely disabled people. Should invoke a good response.

    Rich people are also free loading. Most don't contribute near enough for how much they make.

     

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  56.  
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    Josh (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    And if I could pirate lunch and printer ink the same way as digital media, I would.

    On a side note, I feel like stating the obvious. Piracy != Lost sales. For example, in my junior year in high school, me and my classmates all played a pirated copy of Halo a lot. Consequently, when I had some spare cash I went out and BOUGHT a copy. Had I not already loved the game from playing it so much, I would not have bought it. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Just think about it.

     

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  57.  
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    Skout (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Wow, sounds like you struck a chord, Mike.

    First, file-sharing isn't necessarily unauthorized distribution. There's so much stuff being traded online for free that by pointing the finger at every person sharing files and calling them a criminal (or saying there is no defense for it) is ludicrous.

    For the illegal activities that ARE going on, there are PLENTY of defenses for it. Just as the recording and movie industries have defenses for their own crimes. There's always a defense for crimes. Whether you accept them or not is your business.

    As a file-sharer, let me inform you that I *do* go to movies, I *do* buy music online, I *do* rent and buy DVD/Blue-ray movies, and I do buy computer games on- and off-line. I am a customer. To be honest, I am a vexed, abused, irritated, and displeased customer, and when people like Anne (and the recording industries) refer to me as a criminal, it really pisses me off.

    We pay to see the movie in the theater, we pay to see it again on PPV, and again to see it on our supposedly-premium cable channels, or to rent the title on DVD/Blue-ray. We pay to own our own copy, and even then, they're trying to restrict us from recording images to watch at our leisure.

    Some people wonder why I'm so passionate about this topic. I myself wonder why so many people are not.

    The part about all of this that really saddens me is that with each post here, including my own, we only further garner Anne's utter garbage mentalities more attention.

     

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  58.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Oh, and people do "want to take my work" - but if they want to syndicate it, or hire me to do something else, they need to pay me. It is not there to be taken for free.

    Ah, so this is a case where the freeloading benefits you. That is interesting. Where the copyright owner thinks that freeloading and sharing files benefits themselves it is called promotion. But when one believes illegal file sharing is freeloading and a substitute for a scares good, it is immoral.

    The point of Techdirt is to tell the world that trying to exclusively monetize non-scarce goods is a fools errand. Anne, you see this by sharing your works for free so you can get hired. We want the content industry to stop policing and prosecuting what right now is referred to as infringement, and spend their time developing scarce goods that are better free non-scarce goods: Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, and Findability.

    Just because soemthing is illegal does not mean one automatically needs to attach morals to it or believe it is sound economically. Laws are man-made constructs that can be changed.

     

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  59.  
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    Nate (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    Re:

    To those complaining about the price of music and film: don't be ridiculous. You probably spend more on beer and crisps, or printer cartridges, than you do on music.

    Just so you know, I don't drink, eat crisps, or own a printer and I still end up paying more for music this year anyway: $36 to Pandora.

     

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  60.  
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    Anne Wollenberg, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    Re:

    Disregard that, I suck cocks.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Granted monopolies? They own the rights, why shouldn't they have a monopoly on their own stuff?

    That's like saying you shouldn't have a monopoly on your kidneys. Share them around with everyone now!

     

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  62.  
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    Citizen Dave (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    What is "the business"

    jobs going... bands out of work... cats and dogs living together...

    Don't know about the US, but in the UK more money is being spent on music this year than in ANY previous year.

     

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  63.  
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    Valkor, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Grammar, not grammer.

    Heil spelling!

     

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  64.  
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    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    and you still dont get it and never will, but its ok...

    those unable to adapt to new, bigger, more dynamic markets either die or shrink to the point of being a non-player...

    And for each that is unable to adapt, that creates another position for the rest of us to fill and monetize...

    we just have to keep an eye on them from passing stupidity at the law level, eventually they will go away...

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Lucky for the Halo people that the game was difficult enough that you didn't get bored of it before you got money, otherwise they would have been SOL.

    Even if you hadn't loved the game, you still would have played it to find out you didn't love it, which means you benefited from it for free. That isn't advertising, that is just piracy.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    Let me add this:

    Dismissing The Freeloading Myth

    I love the title. It's another one of those "smart-dumb" things, because in only 4 words, Mike manages to completely ignore reality and attempt to change the world in his (mental) image.

    Anyone who has ever looked at a torrent site knows that there are very few seeders, and many more peers. What are peers? FREELOADERS. They aren't going to see, they are just going to let people take a little from them while they download the thing, and then they turn off the file so it isn't re-seeded or peered.

    Mike might also want to mention the ad click through rates on Techdirt, which are net for a page about 1 - 2% typically. That means 98% of the visitors are some sort of freeloaders.

    Heck, I never clicked on an ad here, so that makes me a big freeloader.

    So freeloaders aren't a myth, they are real. It's just that they are an inconvenient truth that lowers dramatically the value of "FREE!" marketing.

     

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  67.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Granted monopolies? They own the rights, why shouldn't they have a monopoly on their own stuff?"

    Because it starves the public domain, the enrichment of which is the nominal reason for granting that monopoly in the first place.

    But that's really a different argument.

     

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  68.  
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    CrushU, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    "Anyone who has ever looked at a torrent site knows that there are very few seeders, and many more peers. What are peers? FREELOADERS. They aren't going to see, they are just going to let people take a little from them while they download the thing, and then they turn off the file so it isn't re-seeded or peered."

    I must hand it to you, you make it very easy to dissolve your arguments.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Why? they only allow the downloading to occur while they are downloading (usually with a low 5k a second limit) and then turn off as soon as they get what they want. They would set that to 0k, but then they wouldn't get anything back.

    If it wasn't for the force, they would be absolute freeloaders.

     

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  70.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Re:

    "Anyone who has ever looked at a torrent site knows that there are very few seeders, and many more peers. What are peers? FREELOADERS."

    Wow. You really don't understand how torrents scale, do you? Although, I must admit, I'm amused at your choice of examples.

    "So freeloaders aren't a myth, they are real."

    I don't believe the *existence* of freeloaders was in question.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You clearly don't understand the difference between property and regulatory power.

    A book is property, an object you have.

    Copyright allows you to prevent other from making their own copies if you made the first one, thus making it regulatory in nature.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "That's like saying you shouldn't have a monopoly on your kidneys. Share them around with everyone now!"

    You really don't see the difference between retaining objects in your possession and preventing others from making more of the object?

     

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  73.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Freeloading is a market externality that can and should be ignored. You can choose to be a victim of freeloading, or you can figure out how to leverage the inevitable.

    George Lucas tends to ignore Star Wars most fan generated sites and content. He knows this is a futile and would offend his fans. Are they freeloaders or just consumers of culture? They pay money for VHS, and then DVD, and then Bluray special editions, toys, new film experiences, etc. Sure, some may download illegally, but they are not the target market at the time they felt motivated to download, so no lost sale.

    Sometimes you need to share files in order to further disperse culture.

     

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  74.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My kidneys are a scarce good. Digital files are abundant, the price people will pay gets pushed to zero. See the difference?

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't p2p apps have a no share option?

    And I know you're wrong because while downloading ubuntu 9.10 there were somewhere around 30,000 seeders and about 15,000 leachers(peers as you called them)

    Sure it is a legally redistributable ISO but it is still an example of the file sharing community contributing back to the network.

    Also, if no one reseeded then the peer networks would never have became as successful as they are today.(no seeders = no download)

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Re:

    I am an artist but I also have a real job, because being an artist/author/musician isn't a real job, it's a privilege.


    It IS a REAL job for a lot of people although for a hobbyist like yourself, I do see how that could be an uncomfortable fact to deal with.

    Why not just be honest and admit that your talents are either too insufficient or unmarketable to sustain you professionally?

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "My kidneys are a scarce good. Digital files are abundant, the price people will pay gets pushed to zero. See the difference?"

    Scarcity(or lack thereof) is not a valid reason to grant a monopoly. Having your entire business model being sustained by having people pretend an object is scarce is not something to be proud of.

     

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  78.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Re:

    "The second commenter is wrong to say that this is beside the point and the benefit is the same either way because that is the copyright-holder's decision to make."

    Actually, the decision is society's. Copyright was intended as a social contract to provide a limited monopoly to encourage the creation of copyable works, not as protection for a natural right. Though it may not be so in practice, your decision on copyright issues is supposed to be at the sufferance of society in general.. file sharers included.

    "You say I get the basics of freeloading wrong by focusing on the sociological issues. "

    Yes, that pesky individualism. Let's first address this gem:

    "someone who engages in behaviour that doesn't benefit everyone else and gets away with it because the majority are not engaging in that behaviour. An example would be a few people failing to get a vaccination"

    I notice how you say does not benefit everyone as oppose to harms anybody, those scoundrels! With that logic I should be careful about writing if I was you, I'd hate for you to get penalised for writing something that didn't benefit everybody. Moving on from your poor choice of words, if those who are refusing to be vaccinated have isolated themselves anyway and pose no threat to anyone then you might have a closer analogy to file sharing.

    "You say I don't understand what is really going on. Take the music industry as an example: there has been a 60% decline in jobs over the last five years, bands are being dropped as there's no money to promote them, some of the biggest labels are hanging on by a thread and people sit in pubs moaning about the price of albums when they have just spent more on beer and crisps."

    Which could be to do with file sharing. Or not. Or puppies may be eating all the merchandise. None of it really detracts from the laws of economics which show that any artist who is genuinely in demand can benefit from the efficiency of file sharing. If they make the effort to adapt. If they don't then they will lose money because that is what happens when you refuse to meet demand.

    File sharers are potential customers, potentially better customers than neo-conventional ones. I think buying CD's are a waste but won't buy mp3's, why should I settle for either when artists can reduce waste by offering uncompressed files as an alternative to CD's.

    The irony of the situation is that the biggest harm to getting people to pay what they actually value something at has been the copy as a commodity model with its artificially high prices. Few people see value in artists now because the record companies have been teaching them for the last 50 or so years that the value is in the medium not the artist, they did this partly through the absurd artificial pricing models for their CD's.

    To sum it up, economics. Read Mike's book.

    "The point I was making is that it is one thing for people to decide to supply their content for free and allow it to be shared. It is not okay for people to take it and do so without the copyright owner's consent - then, as many commenters did on my original piece, complain about how much you hate the industry (fine, don't use the product then) and how all music is crap (fine, don't use the product then). The value of sharing to which you refer is not in itself enough to sustain entire creative industries.

    If you read the column you will see I have referred to the way some people indignantly assert their right to access culture because... well, because they want to."

    When I have a contract with you or some sort of reciprocal relationship with you then I may be obliged in some way to respect your wishes. Having neither of these things, and reading a book not being any sort of relationship let alone a contract I do not feel any obligation towards you or any other writer.

    There are two possible reasons I could consider for your position. The first is the law, I dismiss this because frankly the law is a joke and I'm the sort of person who makes choices and then weighs up the lawful consequences rather than putting the law first. The second is moral choice, I have no problem applying the principle of universality to my decisions and thus hypocrisy is avoided.

    Lastly, I shall exercise my liberty with one of your statements: "If you read the column you will see I defend the way some people indignantly assert their right to restrict culture because... well, because they want to."

     

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  79.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm defending file sharing. Admittedly with a wee bit more eloquence than you might find on somewhere like torrent freak where I can't even stand to glance at the comments. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the gems on the Guardian comment page. My favourite so far is:

    ""If illegal downloaders had their way, people in the creative industries would be forced into boring jobs and amateur art"

    Y'know, that's possibly the best justification for filesharing I've seen."

    Brilliant!

     

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  80.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hitler, not spelling.

    Heil Godwin!

     

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  81.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    Re:

    If you don't want me to read your book, don't write it.

     

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  82.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sadly, the biggest reason people do not upload is because upload bandwidth is at a premium. I am not certain whether this limit is artificial or technical but having a download speed of 20mbit and an upload speed of 768kbit does make me wonder if ISPs aren't taking the piss.

     

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  83.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:16pm

    Re:

    Personally, as a consumer, I have no problem with freeloaders. I suspect that freeloaders are not given to good taste, less money being spent on crap means the money I spend on stuff I like can be more effective in increasing the market share and encouraging more stuff I like.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 7:48pm

    Re:

    We call that irony. And you a troll. You know, like him/her.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ISPs do it that way in part because your internet traffic should look like that. You should be downloading pages and pages of stuff, and sending back short commands. A home internet connection isn't made to host a server.

    The no-share option, if it exists, often leads to capped downloads or other slow service.

    As for the numbers that the AC quotes for Ubuntu, look at it this way: That is 45,000 people out of how many billion on the planet? How many total Ubuntu installations? Those numbers are depressingly low. That would barely cover the community of rabid fans.

    With the crashing price of bandwidth, it would seem foolish to use slower distributed file transfers anyway.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 8:42pm

    Here's a free load

    Your whole concept of freeloader is crap.
    Next thing you'll be bitching about is the multitude of homeless eating at soup kitchens.
    Give it up and join the real world.

     

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  87.  
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    Joe P. (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Re:

    Well, it only makes sense that the roadies and sound engineers and managers you know agree with you, not because you can only be friends with people who have the same opinions as you do, but because it is common for like-minded people to group together on the basis of those principles.

    In addition, you criticize those who complain about prices, stating that they are spending just as much on beer and chips. People have limited amounts of money to spend and they have to choose how to spend it. If they spend it all on beer and then download the music they aren't taking money from the music industry, they just aren't giving it any money either.

    As an example, say I am a fan of books and music, a new CD and a new book come out at the same time. I want both of these products but can only afford one. After hearing a couple songs from the CD on the radio I decide it's not worth my money so I buy the book. Then proceed home and download some of the songs from the CD that I do like.

    I didn't take money away from them because I had no intention to buy it anyway. The difference is making the product valuable. If the product is valuable people will buy it. Creating a connection to the consumer is also important. I have frequently bought things that I have gotten little use out of to support the makers.

    The common argument is that music downloading doesn't equate to stealing in the same sense as, say, shoplifting because I didn't remove the product from the market. This is one (admittedly feeble) defense, but in addition to this is the difference between stealing and just not buying.

    Infringing on the copyright of musicians and then distributing that material is (in my opinion) morally wrong but it is in no way the same thing as stealing. In some cases you're using something you wouldn't have bought. Then, as a result, you may even decide to buy the next CD, or go back and buy it to support the musician. The positives outweigh the negatives.

    I understand that this is just based on one example and there are many other types of cases and reasons for taking the music. Many of the people may just be downloading as much music as possible, entire discographies, or even downloading things they would have otherwise bought. I am also aware that this isn't the rock solid argument (or a rock solid argument at all) that will change your mind about filesharing. However, I hope you will stop making generalizations and grouping everyone who downloads a song together as the same kind of low-life destroying the music business, because it is a fallacy.

    This is getting lengthy (I'm aware of my wordiness) but I promise this is my last point. We are not some "deluded filesharing party." We are a community who discusses laws, economics and business models. Another poster said "They don't respect your rights as an author to do business in your way" (speaking to Anne Wollenberg). We are open to people using many business models, it is merely discussion towards the goal of building better business models that can be more beneficial for everyone involved. It is Anne Wollenberg who denounces alternate business models when she claims that there is no defense for filesharing, failing to exclude legal filesharing used as a legitimate business model.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Luci, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    Actually, I spend more on medications than you spend on, well, anything, I'll bet. I don't buy music. I will occasionally buy something branded with the bands I like, but the music? Nah.

    And those vaccinations? Keep in mind that some of us either cannot afford them (they aren't free) or cannot have them for reasons medical. Not free-loaders or free-riders or whatever you wish to call them.

     

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  89.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 12:39am

    Re:

    Anne, I can't help but notice that you ignored all of the more reasonable points made by the regular commenters here and instead made posts agreeing with the one annoying troll whose schtick is well known round these parts.

    In case you wish to answer a few serious points, please answer these:

    1. You use free software on your site. Does that not make you a hypocrite when complaining about "freeloaders".

    2. In the same way, you are using free marketing techniques such as linking to 3rd party copies of your articles, Google, links from sites you have written for and other things you have not paid for. The fact that you pay for webhosting does not mean that this is not "freeloading" by your definition, just as the fact that a "pirate" has paid for an ADSL connection does not absolve them of their "freeloading". How do you reconcile this with your claims?

    3. You use free content (i.e. articles you have written that you do not personally charge the end user to read) to advertise your work. How do you consider this a positive, yet claim that similar copies that appear in places you haven't authorised are damaging? How does your implicit approval affect whether or not you gain a positive result from free content?

    4. You attack people who claim price as their motive for "freeloading", by making some silly assumptions about what they do with their personal life.

    So, I'll give you a different reason and let's see if you can answer this: there are several DVDs I wish to buy that have never been released in region 2. I can easily import the DVDs from the US, but my primary DVD player (an XBox 360) will not accept region 1 DVDs. I can hack the device to play said legally purchased content, but doing so will result in me being removed from XBox Live. Yet, the "pirates" will allow me to obtain copies of said movies that will play on my legal devices with no alteration. If I choose to "freeload", it's because the entertainment industry have left me with no legal choice.

    Can you not see why this is a problem? Forgetting the pricing argument, can you see how windowed releases, region coding, artifical device restrictions through DRM and the like are causing many of the industry's problems? If not, please explain how they can possibly be beneficial and not directly encourage the behaviour you're railing against. As I've mentioned on this site many times before, I am constantly prevented from legally buying content because I'm in the "wrong" country for the content I wish to obtain (I'm English, currently in Spain). The entertainment industry gets little sympathy from me when I've constantly having my money refused for arbitrary and unecessary reasons.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 4:01am

    Re:

    Anne, how is stating that they believe that you do not understand a particular idea defamatory?

    "I don't think the price of a cinema ticket, for example, is very much given it will buy one lunch for one person one day on the film set."

    A cinema ticket plus transport to and from the cinema costs more than half of my weekly spare budget. I use filesharing to check out a product before buying, as I am on a small budget, and I want to waste as little money as possible. Some of these I can trace back to a leak. Some of these ARE ACTUALLY PUBLISHED BY THE RIGHTS HOLDERS. Are these rights holders free-riding?

    "Take the music industry as an example: there has been a 60% decline in jobs over the last five years, bands are being dropped as there's no money to promote them, some of the biggest labels are hanging on by a thread"

    Please bear in mind that approximately 4/5ths of all statistics are false in some manner. I would expect that someone using a sociological argument would not simply parrot some lobbyist's false statistic. Yes, the recording industry has lost the majority of its workforce, but that's because people are willing to publish, and it is easier now to publish than ever before.

    "An example would be a few people failing to get a vaccination - they are free-riding on the fact that most other people have been vaccinated."

    You claim that not taking the flu shot is akin to illegal downloading. How is this? There can be deadly side effects in rare cases from any vaccination.

    And technically, a free-rider is someone who rode on the bus into Alabama in the late 50s/Early 60's in the old 'Jim Crow' section, not someone who is sharing files.

    You ARE, however, right on something: sharing alone will not sustain the creative industries. However, creative use of that sharing will.

    "Oh, and people do "want to take my work" - but if they want to syndicate it, or hire me to do something else, they need to pay me. It is not there to be taken for free."

    What is with this entitlement kick people have? Are you going to connect with your fans? Are you giving them a reason to buy your works?

    You are aware that by publishing YOUR work in an unsecure environment, that information can be shared with a large number of people, if A.N.Other chooses.

    "Also: I said I pay for web hosting. I do not promote myself for free on the internet; I pay for my website. Hosting, not access. Do YOU not understand the difference?"

    Logical fallacy #697: Paying for web hosting and letting people access your works for no cost does not entitle you to bitch at us for looking at your works. We, as consumers, pay for access to the Web. WE see your article, that costs a few minutes of time. That's a minimal cost-effect transaction. What about that is so hard to grasp? It's almost as though your brain froze up at Cost=0.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    music tax, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 5:09am

    Re:

    "if you don't want to buy their product, go and make another one"

    You assume I need some sort of "product", which I do not. Do I still have to pay?

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Tinjk, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 5:52am

    Problem Solved

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Tinjk, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 5:54am

    Guys, I think the movie The Ring showed us the dangers of copying media and not buying from a legitimate source.... (which i watched on a pirated copy - oooh get me!! In fact, she probably will...)

     

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  94.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "ISPs do it that way in part because your internet traffic should look like that. You should be downloading pages and pages of stuff, and sending back short commands. A home internet connection isn't made to host a server."

    What garbage. The only non technical justification they have for such a lousy upload speed is the potential for abuse with DDoS attacks and the like, which if they did their job properly would be rather easy to police against in the first place. You seem to be saying 'it's like that because that's how it is', which is a great way to not progress.

    "With the crashing price of bandwidth, it would seem foolish to use slower distributed file transfers anyway."

    Uh, you seem to have that the wrong way around. With the crashing price of bandwidth it would be foolish NOT to use distributed file transfers, the more bandwidth available to each individual connection increases the effectiveness of file sharing exponentially. With all the complaints about server bandwidth and having to fund things through ads, that can almost entirely solved through peer to peer. In fact the technology is there to have an entirely distributed web thus moving the hosting costs away from the content providers to the consumers.

     

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  95.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    "And for those who speak of copyright maximists: if you don't want to buy their product, go and make another one."

    Fortunately, I can 'make another one' pretty easily these days.

     

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  96.  
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    Nina Paley (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    "If you don't want me to read your book, don't write it."

    Quote of the day!

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Mike Caprio, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 8:44am

    Re: Faulty logic

    It's extremely faulty reasoning simply on the basis that art pre-dates copyrights. I'm sure all the artists from the Renaissance who were paid for their work would be dismayed to know they weren't professionals.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, ms. Wollenberg pretty much contradicted herself there. 'going and making another one' is what piracy is all about.

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:11am

    typo

    Meant 'go' not 'going'

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re:

    My art skills do sustain me professionally. I teach it. But if my kid told me she wanted to be an artist, I would encourage it as well as push her to learn a real trade. It's no different than telling me she wants to be a rock star.

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    Joaquin, Feb 27th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Secondly Enzyte , I do indeed have the right to post the work on my site. In some cases, it's not online so I have posted a PDF - with the relevant publication's consent. Either I hold the copyright, or I have been granted a license by the copyrightholder. And I haven't just taken it and handed out loads of copies for free so it's a really daft, invalid comparison to make.

     

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


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