The Language Of 'Piracy' As A Spectacle

from the is-this-useful-or-not? dept

I've discussed in the past why I'm not thrilled about the use of the word "piracy," even as it has become rather standard for describing unauthorized file sharing. It's inaccurate, and is used by the entertainment industry to paint a picture of pure evil, where a more nuanced and accurate view might help. At the same time, with the rise of "The Pirate Party" in various countries, a group of folks have tried to take the word back -- but I still wonder if the name limits the party's upside, even as it may have enabled some of the initial attention (and vote-getting ability).

That said, Nancy Baym points us to an interesting analysis of piracy in the context of "language of spectacle", by Gabriella Coleman, and how that can help drive political messages and involvement:
But what keeps me interested in the politics of piracy is how it can speak the language of spectacle, which can be a powerful tactic and technique for broadcasting a political message. Here I'm just paraphrasing and cribbing the work of Stephen Duncombe, who has argued, I think quite persuasively, that we cannot rely solely on reasoned debate for building political programs. Duncombe does not argue that we must toss out rationality and truth seeking (these are absolutely necessary) but notes how on their own or if not clothed in some other cloak, they may not be enough to convey and compel, especially in this day of total media saturation. Or to put a but more poetically by him "Reality needs fantasy to render it desirable, just as fantasy needs reality to make it believable."

Much (though not all) of contemporary digital piracy follows the logic of spectacle. It builds and conveys a fantastical drama of right and wrong, of new possibilities, of freedom from the noose of the law; it signals and speaks to the thrill and fun in twisting, even breaking, existing structures and constraints; and provides a window into another way of acting/behaving. In many cases what it provides is a commons (and I will be exploring it in depth in my class next semester on the commons) and many folks, I imagine, turn to piracy simply for the free stuff, and a number of them come out of the other side transformed into copy fighters willing to engage in a politics beyond sharing stuff and waving the pirate flag.
It's an interesting thought, and it gets me thinking. Folks like Bill Patry make compelling arguments that the use of moral panics and folk devils with words like "piracy" distort the debate in negative ways, but Coleman suggests that by embracing that term, people may be able to build a stronger case on this particular issue. Which seems more compelling? Or is it a combination of both?


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  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 8:03pm

    timeliness

    I go back and forth on the 'piracy' moniker. It's a huge roll, but if it works it reclaims a big swath (this may be more important in europe.) OTOH, if it doesn't, it gives up everything.

    As we've seen with the local trolls, there's a big swath of people who have only a vague idea of what's actually behind a creative work. Unfortunately, I think that they outnumber those of us who are trying to get stuff out there. While I may be as comfortable with 'piracy' as the people who were lucky enough to work under very different rules, we have a volunteer army now who do nothing but naysay.

    This is why copyright needs to be be shorter than it was in THOMAS FUCKING JEFFERSON's day. You know, when they were making printing presses out of grape presses.

     

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    Jari Winberg (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    Piracy and pirate are positive words, well, when talking about file-sharing kind of piracy. Piracy shows how to use new and innovative technologies and pushes the world forward.

    Finnish Pirate Party has T-shirts which say things like "pirate, defender of freedom of speech, protector of privacy, demanding transparency". Pirates are defending the values that the anti-pirates are trying to take away from us.

    By starting to use terms like piracy and pirate, the media industry has provided an identity for pirates and united them. The table has turned, pirates are the good guys now.

     

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    McBeese, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 10:15pm

    Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Good thread and interesting article. Thanks for posting. You're sure to get lots of disagreement, but that's what makes it worthwhile to read. I love that the Internet is turning us all into a bunch of human compilers - we take in a lot of inputs - some good and some bad - and we parse them to make sense of it all.

    Here's my input. I use words like pirate, theft, steal,... because I am appalled that there is a large segment of society that believes it's ok to help themselves to someone else's property simply because they can and because it's their opinion that the existing laws are flawed. I think we need to use black and white descriptors of these criminals so that these criminals don't get an easy ride.

    I could easily buy a copy of the latest bestselling book, scan it, and put it on the Internet. Now it's an infinite good. Or I could buy it, read it and record it, and put an audio file on the Internet. Another infinite good. Does that give me the right to do it? Simply because I can? I hope people don't think so, because that leads to a slippery slope. If I can put your SSN and credit card out on the Internet, does that give people the right to use it? Doesn't that make it an infinite resource?

    Don't get me wrong, I despise the labels, the studios, the RIAA, and the MPAA. They are evil businesses that are screwing a lot of artists out of what they deserve and a lot of customers for what they don't deserve. Their business model is broken and it will put them out of business if they don't fix it. But I also despise scum who take what doesn't belong to them with a feeling of entitlement. These people are thieves. Pirates. They are the reason that innocent people are getting attacked by the RIAA/MPAA.

    The system needs to change. No question. Legitimizing theft through tolerance or acceptance is not the way to do it. If you think it is, don't whine when one of these punks uses your credit card 'because he can.'

    End of rant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "If I can put your SSN and credit card out on the Internet, does that give people the right to use it? Doesn't that make it an infinite resource?"

    You're comparing apples and grenades there. If I take your credit card number and use it, you are billed for what was bought. So in that case I'd be depriving you of something already in your possession.

    And of course with piracy you lose nothing; a whole new object is created that is identical to the original.

     

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    zcat (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:25am

    Re:

     

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    Tor (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:47am

    Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Another point here that the Anonymous Coward didn't mention is that there are different kinds of information. The most basic division is between published and unpublished - in the sense of "is this information available to everyone?". If you release a book it's published. If you write a diary it's normally not published.

    Just because some people mean that deliberately published works in digital form should be free to share for noncommercial purposes that doesn't mean that those people want to remove your control over what information to publish and what to keep private (like your credit card number of your diary).

     

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    Max Dunn, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:40am

    Overused and mis-used words lose their meaning

    I don't know whether it is the overuse or mis-use of the word (probably both) but I don't think "Piracy" or "pirate" now have anything remotely like the connotations or impact they had 10 years ago. Kids growing up today will see "piracy' in the context of warnings at the beginning of movies 100 times before they learn what a "pirate" is or was.

    Funny there should bubble up authentic "pirates" in Somalia, as if the word was replicated out of context so many gazillion times that some reactive force of nature compelled real pirates onto our screens as a last gasp before word and concept are forever muted from our collective vocabulary.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 3:43am

    Folks like Bill Patry make compelling arguments that the use of moral panics and folk devils with words like "piracy" distort the debate in negative ways

    Mike, you almost made me spit water on my screen. You are the ultimate in "moral outrage" story twisting, and you have the nuts to put something like that in a story?

    The logo for techdirt should be a llama.

    You don't think that terms like "sharing" and "previewing" aren't distortions of what is going on as well?

    Sheesh!

     

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    Svante Jorgensen (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 4:01am

    The good and the bad pirates

    I absolutely think that the term "Piracy" for copyright infringement was made up by the lables as a scare tactic, just like various governments like to use the word "terrorist" about people they don't like, so they don't have to come up with real arguments about why they are worse than the govenments, and their actions.

    But as opposed to "terrorist", I think that "pirate" have somewhat backfired, because most of the young generation (and a good portion of the older) commits copyright infringement regulary.
    It is not some dark-skinned muslim guys with strange costoms in far-away contries. It is you, me and the neighbors kid. And as hard as the labels try, it is very hard for many people to see the harm in infringement, as opposed to "terrorists".

    All in all I think, as Mike suggests, that "pirate" is both a help and a curse for the people standing up to the entertainment industry. But at time goes by, many of the kids that "pirate" today will be the political leaders of tomorrow, so time is in the "pirates" favor.

     

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    Svante Jorgensen (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 4:11am

    Re: Sheesh!

    "You don't think that terms like "sharing" and "previewing" aren't distortions of what is going on as well?

    Sheesh!" - Anonymous Coward

    So in your opinion nobody infringes on copyright to preview something before buying?
    And how do you imagine non-commercial copyright infringement without sharing? Are you saying that the people who upload don't share?

    Do you even understand what it means to give something you don't like a scary name, so you don't have to come up with arguments as to why it is bad?
    That is the topic of this debate.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Sheesh!

    My point is that one side calls it piracy (maybe too strong a term), but the other side dismisses it with pleasant terms that make it sound so nice and nonthreatening, like "sharing" or "previewing", or even "marketing". People who choose to use the super soft and friendly terms aren't any better than those on the other side. It's too bad that Mike doesn't understand that basic concept.

     

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    robin, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:29am

    history

    this guy, matt mason:

    http://thepiratesdilemma.com/

    wrote, on the whole, a very useful book, with a focus on the history of piracy. he presents the notion that "pirates" are folks whose needs are not being met by the status quo, whatever the field of human endeavour or activity.

    natch, every "pirate" culture grew into a dominant mainstream institution, which will eventually be the case here with digital goods.

    personal case in point, i'm connected to techdirt's servers through the capabilities of an o.s. that is free, and reading this story with a browser that is free.

     

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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "And of course with piracy you lose nothing; a whole new object is created that is identical to the original."

    Lose nothing? What about the potential revenue for the item that was illegally copied? Revenue that would be applied to covering the fixed costs of production and promotion? Digital files cost little or nothing to copy and distribute, but that is just one component of the costs associated with creating that file.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    IF YOU DON'T LIKE PIRACY GET OUT OF THE SHIPPING BUSINESS!!!

     

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    Dont Send Me To Jail, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Simple Question - Complex Answer

    Would it make me a pirate if I were to lend a book to a friend ?

     

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    kirillian (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 7:44am

    Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    I don't like those with such attitudes either, I'm afraid; however, I find them, first of all, to be few and far between in my personal experience (however anecdotal). More importantly, though, I would rather see millions of pirates get away with stealing than see many more millions of people lose the rights granted them by their own governments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    How sad indeed that so many who come to the defense of those who engage in illegal activity rationalize the offenses committed in manners as noted in several of the above comments.

    If calling an infringer a "pirate" creates a moral panic, then (as noted above) "sharing" of infringing content does likewise.

    To those who whine about draconian copyright laws, why not simply avoid them by not engaging in infringing acts? Or is conforming their conduct to law simply too inconvenient for those who feel entitlement to get whatever they want whenever they want, and the opinions/views of the rightholders are simply to be ignored because it exemplifies their greed and desire to stifle your cultural growth? If cultural growth is what you want, get off your butt and start being a creator versus merely a user.

     

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  18.  
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    reechard (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    fight party: pirate bootie mashups

    I too am a big fan of The Pirate's Dilemma.
    That said, pirate bootie is all about the copyfight.
    There is a legitimate market for bootleg mashups.
    Check out the Bootie SF "dance party" started in 2003.
    It has gone global (France, Germany), with recent one-offs in Beijing and Brazil.

     

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  19.  
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    reechard (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 8:41am

    Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    No, if the book is not protected by copyright terms

    No, if the book is "paper" (physical). Not (easily) copyable.

    Yes, if the book is "electronic" (virtual). Perfectly, infinitely copyable. Your friend could torrent it.

    More interesting questions, please. Such as "what if I make a fine art painting from someone else' photograph?" Not piracy, no "mass reproduction." The visual arts are quite pragmatic. No-one sues the makers of the perfect clay replicas of designer handbags.

     

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    Matthew Cruse (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    But that's the point, there is no proof that the "pirated" file + lost sale. Actually there is fairly conclusive proof that pirated copy has no effect on real sales, as seen by the fact that the most pirated files are the largest grossing products. In areas where file sharing has been blocked or reduced, sales have gone down also.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    answer: Not really, because you are essentially giving up all your rights and access and giving them to someone else (gift) which they will then return later as a gift. The key is that there is only one copy of the book.

    Now, if you photocopied the book and gave it to a friend, then yes, you are pirating the book.

    See how that works?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    "especially in this day of total media saturation."

    I think the exact opposite is true, truth plays a stronger role with media saturation. Before the Internet truth had nothing to do with media since most media is from mainstream media and mainstream media is full of lies and censorship. Now, thanks to the Internet, while the mainstream media still engages in censorship, they don't lie as much because they know they can't get away with it, because TRUTH plays a bigger role in the equation.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    Furthermore, I tend to ignore those who use anything but reasoning and logic, which is why I tend to ignore mainstream media since reasoning, logic, and truth is not, and was never, a part of their paradigm.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "Lose nothing? What about the potential revenue for the item that was illegally copied?"

    If it is wrong to take potential revenue, then it is wrong to compete in the marketplace. You can only potential in the competitive sense of the word.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Re: Overused and mis-used words lose their meaning

    Well, the definition of words change. Think of the word gay, it used to mean happy, now it means something different. Piracy doesn't have the same meaning/connotation it used to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    correction

    *you can only lose lose potential revenue in the competitive sense of the word.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    A potential loss is not a loss. You cannot lose something you never had.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    "Or is conforming their conduct to law simply too inconvenient for those who feel entitlement to get whatever they want whenever they want"

    First off, how is that any different then feeling entitled to a monopoly?

    Second, most anti-IPers generally do not have a sense of entitlement to get anything they want. For example, you can't take a copy away from someone else or copy something that is kept private.

    For me being anti-ip is about a more realistic standard of ownership, with property rights being in individual instances of the idea instead of the collective ownership BS spouted by copyright maximists.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    "To those who whine about draconian copyright laws, why not simply avoid them by not engaging in infringing acts? Or is conforming their conduct to law simply too inconvenient for those who feel entitlement to get whatever they want whenever they want, and the opinions/views of the rightholders are simply to be ignored because it exemplifies their greed and desire to stifle your cultural growth? If cultural growth is what you want, get off your butt and start being a creator versus merely a user."

    I congratulate you on combining some many logical fallacies into one paragraph. Let's see...

    1) Draconian copyright laws affect everyone who respects fair use, privacy, due process, etc. Not just those "engaging in infringing acts."

    2) Is that like how the industries want to change current laws because it's too inconvenient for them to worry about due process and civil liberties?

    3) Even ignoring that absurd argument that cultural growth only comes from creators, more draconian copyright laws STIFLE growth.

    Shill better.

     

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  30.  
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    What about, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Overused and mis-used words lose their meaning

    Does "file sharing" now automatically imply copyright infringement ?

     

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    errr, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    "Mike ..... You are the ultimate in "moral outrage" story twisting ....."

    Really ?
    You have never watched Fox News

     

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  32.  
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    Luci, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    Because 'pirate' is a term meant to scare monger. 'Share' is a proper descriptive term, though the act of 'sharing' may be an 'act of infringement.'

    As to avoid draconian copyright laws, the only possible way to do so is to avoid all copyrighted material. Which we all know to be impossible. With the way copyright continues to become more and more draconian, conforming to the law becomes increasingly impossible (or prohibitively expensive).

    And finally, your 'cultural growth.' There are many ways to grow culturally. The primary way is to 'consume' the art (music, movies, plays, books, etcetera ad nauseum) of another. There are creators who use snippets of many creators and works to make something new, yet people like you insist they made nothing. Well, we are starting to stand up, more and more, and defy people like you. Bleating sheep afraid to stand up for what is right, and work towards positive change.

     

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  33.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    "To those who whine about draconian copyright laws, why not simply avoid them by not engaging in infringing acts?"

    I don't engage in infringing acts and yet draconian copyright laws manage to infringe on me anyway. That's the whole issue.

    This site, and most of the sites commenters, are not defending infringement. We are protesting the damaging and over-reaching copyright laws.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Overused and mis-used words lose their meaning

    Well, gay /still/ means 'happy.' It just means something else, as well.

     

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    Dont Send Me To Jail, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    Ahhh, but isn't that a lost sale? and using their twisted logic, the author / publisher has been a victim of theft.

    Electronic vs paper books - shouldn't the electronic version cost less since there are more restrictions laid upon its use?

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sheesh!

    You mean like how some call copyright infringement stealing? Or thieving? Or supporting terrorism?

    I didn't think piracy was cool until I saw that Disney movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Pray tell. Just exactly how are these laws damaging you? Do they prevent you from choosing to not do business with those who hold rights in content? If you do choose to do business with one or more of those who hold rights in content, are they somehow denying you the right to life's necessities? If you are engaged in activities of the sort for which fair use clearly applies, are you actually being hindered by specious threats that prevent you from doing an honest day's work? Has your ISP threatened to cut you off from the internet because you are not engaging in illegal, infringing activity?

    Surely there must be more important issues you face daily that overwhelm the limitations imposed by copyright law.

     

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  38.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    The reason I used 'potential revenue' is because it doesn't make sense to assume that every stolen copy of a song or movie would have been a purchase. However, it doesn't make sense to assume the reverse either, that none of the stolen copies would have been a purchase. It isn't clear how much revenue is lost through stealing, but it is obvious that some revenue is lost.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Re: The good and the bad pirates

    Did you know that hundreds of years ago, when there were actual pirate ships sailing the seven seas, if a young man wanted to be treated like a human being and not like a slave they would have to join a pirate's ship.

    All the other ships would treat their crew like vermin. Not on a pirate's ship. Everyone was equal. No ranks. You would all share in the work and you would all share in the bounty.

    Hey, this sounds kind of familiar.

     

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  40.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Stealing isn't competing. Theft isn't competition.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: history

    That's nothing. I'm reading this on a cheap computer that was given to me, for free. I am accessing the internet via wifi for free.

    I am also leaving this comment, for free!

    I guess that makes me a freetard.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    And copying is not theft.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    What if you hand-copy the book? With your own hand? Make it look all stylish? Dot all the "i"s with hearts and such?

    Are you still pirating the book?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re:

    "1) Draconian copyright laws affect everyone who respects fair use, privacy, due process, etc. Not just those "engaging in infringing acts.""

    Thank you for enlightening me that fair use has been removed from our copyright law. Funny, it was there just last night. It must have stolen away under the cover of darkness. Privacy? The internet has such a pervasive impact on privacy that copyright pales in comparison. Moreover, the ones who seem most upset with what some appear to argue is a gargantuan loss of privacy due to copyright law are the ones who worry that perhaps they too might one day be caught with their hand in the cookie jar. As for due process, do you even understand the term? I think not.

    "2) Is that like how the industries want to change current laws because it's too inconvenient for them to worry about due process and civil liberties?"

    At least they pay heed to the law, which is more than can be said of the large majority of so-called "sharers" (a misnore if ever there was one).

    3) Even ignoring that absurd argument that cultural growth only comes from creators, more draconian copyright laws STIFLE growth.

    You are "enriched" by what creators do. Why not return the favor and create something yourself so that you too can contribute to societal enrichment?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Way to miss the point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't think that's actually possible. There is an art to shilling and maximalists aren't very creative.

    Probably because they're lawyers.

     

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  47.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Lose nothing? What about the potential revenue for the item that was illegally copied?

    Potential revenue cannot be considered a loss.

    Let me demonstrate:

    There is a deli and a pizza shop next to each other. I decide to get a pizza. Yet, as I walk towards the door, the deli owner offers me a coupon for 20% off on a sandwich, and thus I decide to get the sandwich.

    The pizza shop has now "lost potential revenue," but books no losses. It is not a loss. It was a failure to *gain* revenue through poor marketing. If the pizza shop had acted smartly, it could have countered the deli's offer.

    Same thing with file sharing. If the labels/movie studios/whoever, were smart, they would have embraced new business models that counter the effects of competition from the unauthorized sharing of their content.

     

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  48.  
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    logie (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    The perils of "piracy"

    Since it's the holiday season, you all might like a free book which contains a chapter unpacking the fundamentally deceptive character of the downloading = piracy claim. Free pdf can be (mouseover linky!) downloaded here. There's also lots of stuff about the other metaphoric frames addressed above. I know because I wrote it. ; ) Oddly, given my Creative Commons license, there are actually "pirate" editions for sale elsewhere on the interwebs. If you'd rather pay for it, or "pirate"it yourself, happy hunting!

     

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  49.  
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    Oh Please, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh please - where have you been, on Mars or under a rock.
    Everyones' rights have so been trampled that some people do not even recognise the loss. Have you heard of the three strikes proposals circulating bureaucracies around the globe? How about the ACTA? I suppose that you do not feel these items would impact you because you are not a pirate. Well, guess what ... you will be in for a big suprise. Guilty until proven innocent is not what I consider an improvement, but tha's jusr me - possibly I am in the minority here.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nope. For me, as an artist, it's the absurdity of locking down our shared culture for centuries that gets my goat.

    It's also the idea that my government values someone else's claims of piracy more than my claims of privacy.

    My government works for me, not for some multi-national corporate interests that are only invested in their fourth-quarter bottom lines.

    Draconian copyright laws prevent me from manipulating cultural artifacts from my own childhood, and I find that outrageous. Plus, I have plenty of time on my hands so I can write to my political class about these issues.

    I don't even need to spend money on a stamp. It's FREE.

    Outrageous!

     

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  51.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    To those who whine about draconian copyright laws, why not simply avoid them by not engaging in infringing acts?

    If it were possible, we would. Yet everyone infringes on copyrights accidentally probably hundreds of times a day. Technically you infringe on my copyrights just by visiting this site, as you have copied the page onto your computer hard drive without my explicit permission.

    Or is conforming their conduct to law simply too inconvenient for those who feel entitlement to get whatever they want whenever they want, and the opinions/views of the rightholders are simply to be ignored because it exemplifies their greed and desire to stifle your cultural growth?

    I do not encourage infringement, but when copyright laws get in the way of everyday activity, there is a serious problem. Furthermore, the only real "entitlement" I see comes from copyright holders who feel entitled to revenue they have no earned.

    If cultural growth is what you want, get off your butt and start being a creator versus merely a user.

    And yet, we see content creators sued for copyright infringement all the time. Creating new works is no escape. And that's a pretty big issue, don't you think?

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re:

    "As to avoid draconian copyright laws, the only possible way to do so is to avoid all copyrighted material. Which we all know to be impossible."

    I interact every day with material that is protected under copyright law. The law does not hinder me in the slightest. Perhaps your experience is different, but I rather doubt it.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    From Doug Morris, CEO of Univeral Music Group:

    "We didn't know who to hire," he says, becoming more agitated. "I wouldn't be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me." Morris' almost willful cluelessness is telling. "He wasn't prepared for a business that was going to be so totally disrupted by technology," says a longtime industry insider who has worked with Morris. "He just doesn't have that kind of mind."

    http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/15-12/mf_morris?currentPage=all

     

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  54.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    That is true. However, as I posted previously, I used the term 'potential' to mean 'hard to measure', because the correlation between stealing and lost revenue is not a one-for-one relationship. I apologize for the poor choice of wording.

    Having said that, I'm amazed by how frequently those who appear to be members of the entitlement society duck the real issues and hide behind arguments of semantics. Taking or distributing something that isn't yours against the will of the person or entity that owns the rights to that something is wrong. That is the underlying moral principle. Popular opinion that the labels, studios, and their henchmen are both stupid and evil (an opinion I share) do not alter that underlying principle. The fact that you may be both stupid and a jerk does not give me any right or license to do any kind of harm to you, however tempting it might be.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re:

    "To those who whine about draconian copyright laws, why not simply avoid them by not engaging in infringing acts?"

    Outside the Internet content is only available at monopoly prices. Cable infrastructure gets a government granted monopoly, the FCC grants monopolies on the airwaves, and the content on that cable gets monopolized by copyright. Hence independent artists can't spread their music and such outside the Internet and for the government to grant monopolies on both the distribution channels and the content on those channels while limiting the distribution channels of independent artists the way they do should not be tolerated. The result of our copyright laws (and other laws) is that almost everything that's conveniently accessible to the public is only available at monopoly prices (at least outside the Internet and they're working to do the same thing within the Internet). No one owes anyone a monopoly, and certainly not many years after the work has been created.

    "Or is conforming their conduct to law simply too inconvenient for those who feel entitlement to get whatever they want whenever they want"

    Copyright holders are not entitled to a monopoly.

    "If cultural growth is what you want, get off your butt and start being a creator versus merely a user."

    Try creating something, releasing it to the public domain, and finding distribution for it (outside the Internet). Good luck, the laws won't let you. You can't simply broadcast it via airwaves, the FCC will be at your house. and those who stole an unearned government granted monopoly on the airwaves and infrastructure from the public are unlikely to broadcast it unless you give THEM the rights to it (though more recently on the History channel there has been documentaries or whatever you want to call them, like American drug war, that they will broadcast that you can legally watch online for free). And they're working on doing the same thing to the Internet. There should not be a monopoly on distribution channels (ie: public airwaves and cable infrastructure) and on the content at the same time. It results in the nonsense we have now outside the Internet where everything that's available through those distribution channels is only available at monopoly prices. The people should not tolerate this.

     

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  56.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You can hide behind whatever semantics you want. Distributing or taking something (anything) that someone else owns the rights to against their will is wrong.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "That is the underlying moral principle. "

    No, the underlying moral principle is that NO ONE owes them a monopoly on anything. PERIOD. The government does NOT owe them a monopoly on anything and neither do the people. If we are to grant it then we should ONLY grant it to the extent that it benefits society as a whole. The same thing is true for physical property laws as well.

     

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  58.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Way to add value.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    I will resist the temptation to engage in a tit-for-tat exchange. Instead, let me make one simple point. If copyright was as ubiquitous a stifling of creativity as so many seem to believe, then how is it that so many works are continuously being created that inure to the benefit of society in so many various ways?

    Bear in mind, I am not defending the provisions of copyright law as they now stand, but only noting that its impact on our daily lives is far less than so many seem inclined to believe.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "At least they pay heed to the law, which is more than can be said of the large majority of so-called "sharers" (a misnore if ever there was one)."

    They're the one who made the law, the law is for them by them.

    and just because something is legal doesn't mean it's ethical. What if the law said thou shalt murder thy first born son? Or what if it says thou shalt not drink any water or eat any food.

    Just because something is a law doesn't make it right.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    And killing someone is murder except when it's manslaughter.

    I also hate hiding behind semantics.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    But, but, but then Some Corporate Trust can't make any money off of Some Dead Artist.

    And then we all lose.

     

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  63.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    What 'them' are you referring to? Do you know what a monopoly is? There are no monopolies in the music and film industry.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "Distributing or taking something (anything) that someone else owns the rights to against their will is wrong."

    No one owes them rights to something they presented to the public.

    What if I suddenly declare I own the rights to the moon. Now if anyone goes to the moon they're infringing on my right to own it. It's wrong, they're infringing on my rights by denying me the right to own the moon.

    Just because the government or you or I or some other entity claims that I/he/she owns something doesn't mean they OWE me or whomever what I/(s)he claims to own. There is a difference.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re:

    I know what I am about to say is a rather simplistic response to your comment, but:

    1. It seems one of your "beefs" with our system of laws is that in some instances it results in prices higher than what you would like to pay, and

    2. You feel some are locked out of distribution channels, an issue that bears no relationship to copyright.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    I know what a monopoly is. A copyright IS a monopoly.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If copyright only lasted one year you would probably see an untold increase in creative works being produced.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "1. It seems one of your "beefs" with our system of laws is that in some instances it results in prices higher than what you would like to pay, and"

    My problem with our current system is that's its not a free market system. If the prices were high in a free market I wouldn't mind, that's what economics of our resources and technology, the free market, dictate the prices should be. but they're high because ONLY because the government grants monopolies.

    "2. You feel some are locked out of distribution channels, an issue that bears no relationship to copyright."

    The end result is that everything that's easily available to the public is available ONLY at monopoly prices (outside the Internet) and the ONLY reason for this is because of the laws in place. That's my problem.

     

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  69.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Understood. 'Potential' was the wrong word for me to use and a lot of people jumped on it. I should have used 'unmeasured' or something like that.

    If a 10000 illegal copies of a song are downloaded from the Internet, it is unreasonable to assume that all 10000 copies are lost sales. However, it is also unreasonable to assume that none of those downloads would have been a sale, so I stick with my argument that there is real lost revenue even if it is impossible to quantify precisely.

    Let me also be clear that I think the current business model is weak and that the music and film industries are their own worst enemies because of potential money that they're leaving on the table by refusing to open their minds to new business models.

    But that will never make it ok to simply decide to take something that isn't yours.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "2. You feel some are locked out of distribution channels, an issue that bears no relationship to copyright."

    Also, those who own the distribution channels (ie: the airwaves) do now have an inherit right to them. the government does not have an inherit right to regulate it. The government regulates it only because we the people delegate our authority to regulate it to them. We delegate it to them because we expect them to act in OUR best interest. If they are not going to behave in OUR best interest then we should revoke their right to regulate the airwaves. There is no reason for the government to regulate the airwaves if they're not going to regulate it in the best interest of those they are governing.

    and the same thing is true for infrastructure. No one owes anyone a monopoly on infrastructure and on the ability to build new infrastructure. If the government is to regulate infrastructure they should regulate it to OUR best interest, and I say they open it up to competition.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    A government-enforced monopoly!

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    err ... sp/Also, those who own the distribution channels (ie: the airwaves) do now have an inherit right to them / Also, those who own the distribution channels (ie: the airwaves) do NOT have an inherit right to them

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And I rather doubt what you just said.

     

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  74.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    The studios and labels own things because they produce them, not because they are granted them. If you produce something, you will own it and you will be pissed if I give it away against your will.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There was a book I once wanted that's out of print. I went to the local book store and couldn't find it. It took me a while to find it because they don't print it anymore. No one else can make a copy of an out of print book and post it on the Internet since it's still under copyright.

    When a book goes out of print the copyright on it should instantly be revoked and the book should enter the public domain.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "The studios and labels own things because they produce them"

    Society does not owe them a monopoly on anything and we should only grant monopolies to the extent that its beneficial to society as a whole, not just the plutocracy that controls our government.

    "If you produce something, you will own it and you will be pissed if I give it away against your will."

    If I produce a book and I make it publicly available (ie: even if I'm selling it) then the public does not owe me a monopoly on the information in that book. If the government is to grant such monopolies they should only grant it to the extent that it benefits society.

    The same thing is true for physical property. No one owes me ownership of anything and the government should grant "ownership" only to the extent that its beneficial to society. If a low is not beneficial to society then why have it?

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    sp/low/law

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "The studios and labels own things because they produce them, not because they are granted them."

    No, they own things because they are granted them. If the government didn't grant them a monopoly they wouldn't have one. It's not that society inherently owes them any such monopoly, society does not.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Thank you for enlightening me that fair use has been removed from our copyright law."

    Thank you for dodging the fact that the copyright industries continuously try to chip away at fair use.

    "Privacy? The internet has such a pervasive impact on privacy that copyright pales in comparison."

    Oh look, another logical fallacy.

    "Moreover, the ones who seem most upset with what some appear to argue is a gargantuan loss of privacy due to copyright law are the ones who worry that perhaps they too might one day be caught with their hand in the cookie jar."

    Oh, look, another one. Are you just reading from a list of fallacies or something? "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!" Can I install some 24/7 webcams in your house? After all, you must not have anything to hide.

    "As for due process, do you even understand the term? I think not."

    Yes. Here's a hint: Being kicked off the internet because a private entity accuses you of a civil offense routes around due process.

    "At least they pay heed to the law, which is more than can be said of the large majority of so-called "sharers" (a misnore if ever there was one)."

    Pretzel logic much? If "paying heed" to the law was enough for them, they wouldn't be trying to CHANGE the law. Also, "misnore" isn't the word you're looking for.

    "You are "enriched" by what creators do. Why not return the favor and create something yourself so that you too can contribute to societal enrichment?"

    I do. It just doesn't involve artificial monopolies. What have you done? Oh, wait, it doesn't matter, because it's an irrelevant argument.

    Try again next time.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If disease kills so many people, how is it that so many people are still being born!?!?!?

     

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  81.  
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    1st poster shill sucks, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    1st poster isnt creative nor an artist

    not only does he not understand creativity himself he must make money off the sweat buy sounds of his words

    yea see im VERY creative everyone whom knows me says so, ya know why i do it anyhting
    BECAUSE i enjoy it
    not once have you ever heard me whine about not being paid
    not being compensated in fact i get far more joy when people think what i have made , do or say, is shared

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You absolutely did not read the post you responded to, or you would not have responded the way you did.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re:

    "copyright maximists"

    It appears that both sides have their clever little pejorative terms.

     

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  84.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    What is all this silly talk about monopolies and government?

    A copyright is not a monopoly, it's ownership. Think of it more as a deed. Songs, for example, do not come out of thin air. They are written, performed, recorded, engineered, produced, and promoted. The copyright reflects the holders ownership of the material produced.

    The resulting song, to continue with this example, isn't 'published' or 'publicly available' any more than the stuff at Best Buy is publicly available. It's put up for sale. You want it - you gotta buy it. When you buy a copy of the song, you agree to the terms of sale. Nobody is forcing you to buy the song so if you don't like the terms, you don't click the "I agree" button and you don't buy the song. Simple.

    BTW, did anyone ever tell you that you have a very communist way of thinking?

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    I always love when you use the pizza shop example, because it isn't very relevant here.

    The lost potential income isn't that the money went somewhere else, but rather than the customer got the food from your store but didn't have to pay for it. If the guy is fed everyday for free, he will never be a customer.

    All the free stuff out there shrinks the potential market, which in turn shrinks real income.

    There are no business models that counter the effects of competition from piracy, just other related businesses you might be able to get into to make a living again. The solution to shoplifting isn't to give away everything in your store.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Copyright prevents others from making more of the object, thus calling it property is absurd.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, you would see untold increases in cover songs, movies using other people's characters and situations, and so on.

    Oh yeah, that and either movie ticket prices at $100 a head, or movies being made for nickles because nobody would take a risk anymore. Why make anything new when you can just use someone else's 1 year old product and market it without restrictions?

    Your assertion is absolutely idiotic.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I too, ran into a similar problem. I ultimately went to the secondary market, eBay, to get a copy of biography. In the eBay description it was stated that the book was in "new" condition, so I bought it.

    However when I received it, the book had big stamps inside and out, saying "Property of The King County Library System" and the due-date listing in the inside jacket showed that it had never been checked out.

    Now, this presented a problem because I was meeting with the person who the biography was about and wanted him to sign the book. I just didn't have the heart to bring the book and ask him to sign a book that had never been checked out and abandoned by a library.

    These are yet another use cases of a common problem. You may recall an ongoing situation where a number of publishers got together and complained to the EU about Google making books available.

    One problem is that people can't acquire the media through traditional routes, yet all too often, traditional routes are not setup to direct fulfill the media through traditional routes.

    Today, many publishers are still not online or even on Amazon and thusly, can't, or decidedly choose not to enter into the direct-fulfillment business. Yet, when Google or others enter into a space to fulfill a need, it seems that this method of servicing the customer is not sufficient. Only after more companies partner with third parties such as Google to get to the land of milk and honey of direct fulfillment, can you properly address this problem called "piracy". Making a book or media unavailable or the publisher makes a conscientious decision to make the book or media no longer available seems to make the secondary market.


    I eventually did meet the person who the biography was about, and instead of having him sign the book, I was able to get the Harvard Business Review to reprint a magazine with a strong article about him. This he signed. As our discussion continued, I felt inclined to mention the trouble I went through to get a reprint of his book, and how ironic it was that the only copy I could find came from his very county's library system. To which he replied "Wow. We used to give those books away at the stores. We must have given a few thousand away."

    A few months later, I received a freshly pressed copy of the book mailed from what I assume is his summer home in Switzerland. It was accompanied a very nice letter that I framed. Today, the book is still listed as "Out Of Print".

    Somewhat related, check out "Just Say Yes (Thin White Duke Remix)" by Snow Patrol and remixed by Stuart Price. It's an amazing remix which makes me wonder who is saying "No".

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "The lost potential income isn't that the money went somewhere else, but rather than the customer got the food from your store but didn't have to pay for it"

    No, the customers got it for free because they made their own pizza and thus never had to get it from that store in the first place.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "BTW, did anyone ever tell you that you have a very communist way of thinking?"

    Hehe. You do realize that you're also calling copyright communist right? It's based in that same thinking.

     

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  91.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Hmmm..., Mr Morris, I have a hi-tech bridge to sell you in Texas...

     

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  92.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    is there any way to make the threaded comments easier to follow? With so many sub-threads, it is really hard to follow some of the replies. Just an idea. :)

     

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  93.  
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    Esahc (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    +1

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's about as idiotic as locking up our shared culture for the benefit of a few. How long is it locked up for? Centuries.

    The system we have now is so sustainable! Especially in an era where everyone has a super-copying machine in their pocket.

    "We must restrict the public from making copies. This is a recording-free zone. You must have the proper license."

    For centuries. Good luck in the future.

    Oh, and artists will be fine if copyright only lasted one year. They're a creative bunch. They'd find a way to make money. The useless middlepeople? Not so much, right?

     

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  95.  
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    johnno23, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: The good and the bad pirates

    in a sense I agree with the sentiment.
    What I find strange is the amount of discussion about the usage of the word and the amount of time spent looking at the rights and wrongs of the torrent system for sharing and downloading. In all of this I think we are missing an important point
    P2P and torrents are a perfect distribution system that connects people on a global scale. It is this system that is under attack and Copyright Holders use illegality and Piracy as tools to rest control of it for themselves.
    The immense power of these institutions has always been to have control over who and what gets exposure and distribution. Outside of this were a few independents that produced literature film and music which was given freely or kept local in its distribution. The Internet and with usage of P2P has reversed this. Any individual now has the ability to create something and the possibility of gaining access to a world wide audience.
    I almost never see in the general press any reports of how useful this system is or how its potential is utilized.
    We are constantly reminded of the negative. The negative being only one aspect and is out of proportion to the overall scale and impact of P2P.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

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

    "It's about as idiotic as locking up our shared culture for the benefit of a few. How long is it locked up for? Centuries."

    Really? How many centuries? And, can you prove that?

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

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

    "Especially in an era where everyone has a super-copying machine in their pocket."

    Ah, but just how many is "everyone"? In fact, not "everyone" has such a machine, even in the United States.

     

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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Absolutely not. Copyright is about ownership. Communism is about the opposite.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

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

    Not yet. Give it time. Say hello to the future when you finally arrive.

     

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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    This is the most out of touch comment I've seen so far. The customers created nothing, they stole someone else's creation. The only analogy you might be able to defend is that the customer brought their own box to carry away their stolen pizza.

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:42pm

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

    Life of artist + 70 extra years. Will that ever come down? Is there a greater chance that the number goes up? Thanks to the lovely lobbying of corporate influence.

    There was a time when no such thing as copyright existed and art was still made, still created.

    Now, if we are to protect artistic work for a limited time by a government-enforced monopoly then might I suggest a reasonable amount of limited time. Say, one year?

    No? You think that's crazy? Well, so is life + 70 years. On an expression of an idea. Why don't we compromise?

    How about we abolish copyright and start over? Then we can stop arguing over what is and isn't right and what is and isn't wrong based on the laws that exist this very moment.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Analogies are like cars they just don't work without a little bit of gas.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    In the end, it doesn't matter, except to say it isn't a customer who chose "a" or "b" but rather someone who is no longer a customer at all.

    It is pretty basic marketing. If you give away your product to 20% of the population, your potential customer base shrinks significantly (even more than 20%, because the other 80% are less likely to want your product to start with). File sharing does exactly that, it makes 20% of the population into robots who are never hungry enough to buy your product anymore, so you are stuck trying to sell them t-shirts and miniputt games. Too bad they don't want that crap, they already got what they wanted and are leaving.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    No, copyright is about giving the government more control over how to allocate resources by having them grant monopolies. Free markets don't have monopolies and copyrights are a government granted monopoly. Copyright is closer to communism than it is to free markets. In a free market the government does not grant any such monopolies.

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: The good and the bad pirates

    "I almost never see in the general press any reports of how useful this system is or how its potential is utilized.
    We are constantly reminded of the negative. The negative being only one aspect and is out of proportion to the overall scale and impact of P2P."

    Because we all know that intellectual property and laws that benefit only the wealthy at public expense are the most important things on earth.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    We will win our war, our war on piracy. We will use our entire navy to do so. Our war against our own citizens who pay our salaries.

    We will win this war. Against an enemy that some might describe honestly as twelve years old. These children! These pirates employ children to fight for them!

    Despicable!

    We understand which side we're on, against these pirates. The side of freedom and of good. These pirates stand for control and of evil. They force children to slave away downloading pirated booty.

    Despicable!

    And while we're at it, we must go to war with another menace. One that has been polluting our streets. We must go to war against the jaywalkers. Their flagrant side-stepping of the laws are most grievous. And let me finish with one final thought:

    Despicable!

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Why make anything new when you can just use someone else's 1 year old product and market it without restrictions?"

    Just because you require a monopoly to create anything new (though I doubt you even create anything new) doesn’t mean that you represent everyone and that we should hence grant you a monopoly.

    And people do create new stuff all the time and release it under creative commons licenses, which are designed to circumvent copyright. To suggest all innovation requires a monopoly and that no innovation will occur without a monopoly is a lie, in fact, it seems that intellectual property hinders innovation a lot more than it allegedly helps.

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "A copyright is not a monopoly, it's ownership. "

    No, a copyright is a monopoly.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "The copyright reflects the holders ownership of the material produced. "

    No, it simply reflects a government granted monopoly that society does NOT owe. Period. Nothing more.

     

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  110.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    “Songs, for example, do not come out of thin air.”

    People release songs under creative commons licenses all the time, and creative commons licenses are designed to circumvent copyright at least to some extent. Stop being dishonest, copyright is NOT needed to create new songs and society does not owe anyone a monopoly on anything.

     

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  111.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    File sharing does exactly that, it makes 20% of the population into robots

    Really? So now they're pirate robots? And 20% of the population are filesharing pirate robots? By the gods! What are the rest of us going to do? You know, the ones who aren't filesharing pirate robots?

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    We have to make something that can fight a robot who also happens to be a pirate, but what?

    I know! Cyborg ninjas. They retain their humanity while being able to escape in a cloud of dust. It's perfect! A little too perfect.

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "BTW, did anyone ever tell you that you have a very communist way of thinking?"

    No, I'm just more of a free market capitalist than you are and free market capitalism does not include government granted monopolies (copyrights). You're just a selfish tyrant who feel entitled to a monopoly that society does not owe you.

     

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  114.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    “Nobody is forcing you to buy the song so if you don't like the terms, you don't click the "I agree" button and you don't buy the song.”

    And the enforcement of contracts is something that should exist only to the extent that it benefits society. The government does not owe you the enforcement of a contract, including the enforcement of copyright, and if taxpayers do not want to pay for that enforcement then they shouldn’t have to. The government is the one who enforces agreements and they should only enforce agreements when the enforcement of those agreements are best for society since the government is supposed to act on behalf of society.
    For instance, if a contract says that that a hit man will murder someone provided they get paid $500, the contract will not be enforced if the hit man does not murder his victim.
    Just because there is a contract does not mean that society should waste government/taxpayer resources enforcing it, society does not owe you that and neither do taxpayers. You are not owed a monopoly, you are not owed the enforcement of a copyright agreement, so stop feeling like you are somehow entitled to it. If society is to have copyright laws and enforce them they should only do so to the extent that it benefits society.

    And if you don’t like the agreement between society and artists then don’t create art, it’s that simple. Others will create art and music perfectly fine without you, I can assure you of this, but don’t think that the government or society owe you a monopoly on anything.

     

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    copyright is nt ownership, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    ITS A RIGHT STUPID

    rights have limitations get it in your stinking heads people it was created to allow for a limited time an inventor to make a few bucks not have his great great great grand children do no more for society then leech off there work

    THIS IS UTTER sickness who the hell do you think you are anyone to tell me that a song created 100 billion years ago YOU OWN and ITS YOURS. you didn't dream it up you didn't keep making stuff you didn't contribute to society YOU ERADICATE A PIECE OF SOCIETY for your selfish aims
    PERIOD

    the whole thing was to put a few bucks into the guys pocket so HE/she/it could keep inventing and MAKE the WORLD a better place
    NOT put kids in prison, NOT give grandmothers 200,000 $ fines
    NOT have people arrested at birthday parties and due as much time as a murderer or rapist.

    YEA do realize that the tax cost of putting all this in motion far out ways the taxes collected by all the revenue they provide also?

    AND already your seeing the affects after ten years a DMCA madness, WHAT decent sci fi or adventure show has come out of the usa?
    Stargate sg1 you say? NOPE it quickly moved to less restricted Canada and even 50 year copyright is retarded

    i had an idea about somehting but cant cause the works are 30 years old ( funnier still the owners do nothing with the old work period )

    like i said copyrights with these stupid lengths a terms are because Americans outsourced ALLLLLLLL manufacturing to china and USA needs revenue based on the IP of it all.
    YUP double dipping us all. IF they didn't do that IP laws would be really not an issue nor have needed the expansions

    USA ECONOMIC terrorism is what this amounts to
    bribing our politicians making an utter joke of any democracy around the world

    actors and musicians utterly sicken me as do corporations and media that stand by them.

    think about it for a minute how are kids ever going to afford to learn if everything costs 100$ to buy

     

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  116.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "When you buy a copy of the song, you agree to the terms of sale"

    When you put a song in a store for anyone to have access to then you agree to the terms that society is willing give you. If society does not want you to have a copyright on that song then don’t create it, others will create songs without you.

    "Nobody is forcing you to buy the song so if you don't like the terms"

    Nobody is forcing you to create a song if you don't like the terms and the government should not enforce or create terms that are not beneficial to society as a whole and they do not owe you the creation or enforcement of such terms.

    “You want it - you gotta buy it.”

    You want to release it, you ought to have to release it under terms that are beneficial to society. You don't like it, then don't release it.

    "you don't click the "I agree" button and you don't buy the song. Simple. "

    You don't like the government not enforcing your ridiculous terms, don't release the song. Simple.

     

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  117.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Re: ITS A RIGHT STUPID

    "YEA do realize that the tax cost of putting all this in motion far out ways the taxes collected by all the revenue they provide also?"

    You ought to see the movie/documentary American Drug War. You can watch it for free online, I’m pretty sure it’s legal. Just youtube it.

     

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  118.  
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    copyright is nt ownership, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 7:38pm

    copyright is nt ownership

    "When you buy a copy of the song, you agree to the terms of sale"

    um#1 for a LIMITED TIME you the creator have the right its not to be a living its an incentive to KEEP DOING STUFF

    aha#1
    "Nobody is forcing you to buy the song so if you don't like the terms"

    UM#2 yes they are they are restricting me by caps and userbased billing that were threatened on the ISPS by legal threats of lawsuits of liability , as canuck courts last affirmation said
    IT IS THE USERS CHOICE TO GOTO A LINK FOR INFRINGING MATERIAL,
    NOTE there is also a cdr levy THEY MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO public way for you to put stuff on it so GUESS WHAT i'm a pirating and now i know they are a scam.
    ALSO ACTA effectively removes any ability to innovate on the internet unless your a HUGE RIGHTS DISTRIBUTION MODEL,
    that can bully govts lobby er bribe and of course get more stupid unpopular laws as the acta guy said if it were public it would not happen
    TELLS YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT is in it by whats not said don't it.

    “You want it - you gotta buy it.”

    I call it public domain , last i checked its free totally
    YOUR thoughts is on a rights for ever scheme that ruins societies advancement curve lessons kids ability to learn and in hte process you do it makes and destroys anything that was once called democracy that my grand father fought for ( WW1 , WW2 and north korea if you wish and yes i too served my country )

    "you don't click the "I agree" button and you don't buy the song. Simple. "

    BIG mistake very few EULA's get to court and most that do are tossed out as there terms are so outlandish as to be often illegal. Most of the Microsoft EULA's in canada are in effect illegal for example just no one can afford to challenge them. think of 50 lawyers in your life.....and coutner suits out the wing wang.

    99% of people i know never read those and just click
    or skip , which means YOUR not making sure they are properly agreeing, perhaps if people had to have you audio tape and listen to it you might get fewer sales ......


    now the other guys non quotes:
    When you put a song in a store for anyone to have access to then you agree to the terms that society is willing give you. If society does not want you to have a copyright on that song then don’t create it, others will create songs without you.

    -agreed its called putting enough monkeys in a room with type writers , it will get invented sooner or later.
    THIS is why copyright should be limited your not that special your only the 1st to come up with it, if we deny you someone else will come.

    Nobody is forcing you to create a song if you don't like the terms and the government should not enforce or create terms that are not beneficial to society as a whole and they do not owe you the creation or enforcement of such terms.
    -- yea why is govt involved , why is they putting big fines and such i thought capitalism was about the cheapest way to get somehting made with quality that will make a sale. Guess in regards to IP thats no longer the case and ill argue isn't capitalism nor democratic

    other two i discuss above

     

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  119.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 5th, 2009 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "The reason I used 'potential revenue' is because it doesn't make sense to assume that every stolen copy of a song or movie would have been a purchase. However, it doesn't make sense to assume the reverse either..."

    Yeah. OK. So let's not assume any potential lost revenue (I've 'pirated" a bunch of stuff, some of which (Dr. Horrible) I've later paid for, and some (Dollhouse) that I haven't.

    Neither of which would have gotten my dollars otherwise, but one of which did.

     

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  120.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    It's entirely accurate.

    The fact is when you pirate you create a copy that didn't exist before.

    And hey, someone did have to come up with the idea for pizza. Are we all stealing pizza because we're not paying royalties to the descendants of the chef who had such an original concept?

     

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  121.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:22pm

    Filesharing is not the only reason to engage in piracy.

    http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=135390&view=next

    When you buy a TV and it doesn't play your Bluray discs that you bought I bet that at least one pirate have been born that they.

     

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  122.  
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    McBeese, Dec 5th, 2009 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Yes. Go to the top of the comments and you'll see an option to select 'threaded'.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You lose the potential revenue for any item that is not purchased whether it is pirated or not. By that logic, the government should force everyone to buy CDs because otherwise they're taking away "potential sales".

     

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  124.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    And if you're a pirate robot that only works under the cloak of darkness, you're a ninja pirate robot. And if you bite other people and turn them into more of you, that makes you a zombie ninja pirate robot.

     

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  125.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    And don't get me started on zombie ninja pirate robot dinosaurs...

     

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  126.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Overused and mis-used words lose their meaning

    It does if you're Lily Allen.

     

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  127.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:10am

    Re:

    You realize that llamas are best known for spitting?

     

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  128.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:15am

    Re: Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    If you read it, the book already exists in your brain. That makes it a copy, and you've infringed on the content of the book. So unless you rip your brain out of your skull and give it to your friend as well, you've just committed raporism.

     

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  129.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pejorative? Descriptive most likely.
    What would you have us call you? "Rainbow pony-lovers"?
    You argue in favor of draconian measures:
    "To those who whine about draconian copyright laws, why not simply avoid them by not engaging in infringing acts?"

    Then you get pissy because someone says that's what you're doing?
    Pretty different from calling someone who copied something a bloody pirate. Arrrr matey!

     

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    copyright is nt ownership, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:56am

    copyright is nt ownership

    no communism is the following

    Communism is a social structure and political ideology in which property is commonly controlled.

    Pure communism" in the Marxian sense refers to a classless, stateless and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made democratically, allowing every member of society to participate in the decision-making process in both the political and economic spheres of life.

    NOW this sounds like copyright lobbiests and HOLLYWOOD

    "In modern usage, communism is often used to refer to Bolshevism or Marxism-Leninism and the policies of the various communist states which had government ownership of all the means of production and centrally planned economies. Communist regimes have historically been authoritarian, repressive, and coercive governments concerned primarily with preserving their own power."

    ALSO term oligarchy comes ot mind of soviet russia.
    An oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) (oligocracy) is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military, or religious hegemony. The word oligarchy is from the Greek words for "few" (ὀλίγος olígos) and "rule" (ἀρχή arkhē). Such states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy.[citation needed]

    Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group. Some city-states from ancient Greece were oligarchies. The combination of the words plutocracy and oligarchy make the word plutarchy.

    and go ahead look up those words then think aobut MPAA RIAA copyrights and intellectual proprty as opposed to intellectual integrity.

    FROM wikipedia about copyright
    Copyright is a form of intellectual property that gives the author of an original work exclusive right for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation, after which time the work is said to enter the public domain.

    see that part certain time it used to be a limited time and ya know its being said by scientists and others that the terms are HARMING the KIDS ABILITY TO LEARN.
    IT is slowing medical advances and i am hearing aobut crop issues on a simular venue called patents, both of which are simularly bad

    The concept of copyright originates with the Statute of Anne (1710) in Great Britain. An example of the intent of copyright, as expressed in the United States Constitution, is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    OH limited time i see so limited means past a normal human beings life time to be able to enjoy and advancement
    YEA that good for us all
    ill invent the cure for cancer and tellyou all to goto hell for 150 years
    HAHA thats sickening

     

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  131.  
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    copyright is nt ownership, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:02am

    copyright is nt ownership

    adlib it said GIVES EXCLUSIVE right not ownership
    for a time period supposed as lower down limited
    in nature i guess Americans can't count as
    95years + life of author is NOT LIMITED to a low
    scale now is it

     

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  132.  
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    Jeff, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How do you recover and fix a problem like that?

     

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  133.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    If a 10000 illegal copies of a song are downloaded from the Internet, it is unreasonable to assume that all 10000 copies are lost sales. However, it is also unreasonable to assume that none of those downloads would have been a sale, so I stick with my argument that there is real lost revenue even if it is impossible to quantify precisely.

    But it is also unreasonable to assume that the side effect of extra publicity for the song does not result in some extra sales that you would not have had. So the net effect on revenue could be either negative OR positive. The uncertainty is not just to the value of the "loss" but also the sign - i.e. it could be a net profit.

    Record companies know this very well - that is why some songs get "plugged" on the radio via payola - even though the amount of play is enough to get some listeners bored with the song so they don't buy it!

     

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  134.  
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    Azrael, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    And killing someone is murder except when it's in self defense.

    Semantics, good, McBeese, asskissing moron.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 8:32am

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

    Creative commons is mostly for people who don't want to profit from their work, and often because they apparently don't value their work.

    The existance of CC doesn't negate the need for copyright, it just shows that people can do things and share them without running into the copyright system, and that is their choice.

    As a side note, the term "monopoly" is fairly objectionable as well. It is rare that a monopoly is granted, in that no others can enter the marketplace. Example, there is no copyright on books about magic and evil (like Harry Potter) or Vampires (Twilight anyone?) or any other subject for that matter. The only control is over a collection of characters and situations combined as the works. I guess if you wanted to write Harry Potter books, well, there would be a monopoly, but that is such a narrow field that you can stand a little to either side and be totally free.

    Monopoly suggests there is no way around something, yet we have plenty of new things coming all the time. New music that isn't just sampling someone else's song, new books, new stories, new video games... there is no end to the creativity and no monopoly on video games, books, or music.

    Calling a copyright a monopoly is misleading and dishonest.

     

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  136.  
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    keith (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 8:46am

    Wow .... talk about off topic....

    134 comments ... only about 5 that I could count on topic to the article posted above...my hat off to the troll - fine work you have done on this thread.

    Mike,
    It is very much this sensationalist mentality that has slowly turned me off of the standard TV 'news' or listening to any politician/debate. I find it ridiculous that everything is either a catastrophe or miracle and needs immediate attention.

    For example, I had a friend who had the best stories - and at first they seemed amazing - but over time one would hear the same stories told a little differently, details would be different, places would change - it wasn't hard to figure out that they were, in fact, just stories and not true events. This eventually made it very difficult for me to pay attention when he told new stories, as I had no confidence at all that they were true. He had no credibility.

    Likewise, I have an complete lack of trust for 99% of mainstream news or when I read a press release from any of our elected politicians. I feel the sensationalizing of the issue hurts their credibility, and quite frankly, I'm tired of it.

    In debates the issues are not framed by the true goals or outputs, but by how best to convince the majority of people that it is something they want. Take the health care debate -- I think if you asked 100 people on the street what it means when our politicians say "We want to cover everyone" or "It is our moral duty to extend coverage to all" ... you'll get 100 different answers. The reason is simple, the discussion has been framed in a way that is vague and appealing, lacks details, and thus can be interpreted by those listening in a way they can agree with or support. So, people's expectations for implementation are very different than what is truly being proposed. I have talked to a number of people (and in reading comments on blogs/news sites) that think the health care bill is "Socialized Medicine" and will be "free" based upon our current taxes. This is very far from the truth. It would be interesting to see the results if the President would come out and say "I want everyone to be covered, and to do this we will require everyone in this country to go buy insurance. If you cannot find insurance on your own, you must pay the government for coverage at a price based upon your income and family size. If you fail to pay for insurance you will be assessed a fine through higher federal income taxes, and failure to pay income tax could result in jail time."

    The details matter very much for implementation, and I imagine they would garner much less support for the current bill if that is what was discussed.

    Which I think is the catch-22. If you discuss the details with 300 million people, you will have 300 million different solutions and probably never get the support needed. If you argue the concepts you can probably convince enough people it's the right thing to do, although though a form of deception. Deception being the willful allowance (and/or directed) of false expectations.

     

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  137.  
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    keith (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    brevity

    While moral panics can be used effectively to motivate/coerce/unite groups into action, when used indiscriminately it ultimately loses effectiveness and becomes a poison.

    IE - if you always cry wolf or scream that the sky is falling....there has to be balance or eventually no one cares.

    Unless it is by design. Foster general apathy and lack of interest in the population then just do whatever you want and blame the other guy....

     

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  138.  
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    Amazing, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Wow, you're right .... and after your post the quantity of on topic posts did not increase.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    134 comments ... only about 5 that I could count on topic to the article posted above...my hat off to the troll - fine work you have done on this thread.

    Sadly, there are a couple of kids on the weekend that come here and post most irrelevant stuff and try to get a rise out of people. It's too bad, because the question of the words of piracy is important.

    However, I do have to address your rant against universal health care coverage.

    If you fail to pay for insurance you will be assessed a fine through higher federal income taxes

    Taxes are not a "fine". The governement would give you the option of either (a) find your own coverage, or (b) be including in the government plan. The problem is that too many people don't have coverage, or cannot obtain it at a reasonable cost, so they "do without", which in the end costs we the people money. If you don't think it costs money, consider the number of people who go bankrupt each year because of medical bills. Guess what? When they don't pay, the hospitals lose money, and they build that loss into their future pricing for services, driving up YOUR health insurance. Basically, if you buy insurance, you end up paying for people that don't have any. It's a stupid system.

    It also means that people who might be able to work are not working because they have medical conditions they cannot afford to address. These people become welfare takers, food stamp eaters, and generally become a burden to society. Once again, we the people are the ones footing the bill.

    You are having the same problem that many people have on this site, the inability to look past the end of your noses to see actual cause and effect. You have to follow things to their logical conclusion, not just the sensationlist (and unsupported) crap that spews out of opinion mongers, blogs, and misleading statements by third parties.

    It doesn't matter where you get your news from, if you aren't going to think, you will just toe whoever's line you were listening to at the time.

     

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  140.  
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    keith (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    @139: Off topic.

    While you might disagree with my use of "fine" - the point was not a rant against or a discussion of the pros/cons of health care coverage.

    I am pointing out a very public example of moral panic being used to lead people to achieve a goal. Now, the merits of the goal, or if we agree/disagree with that is not in the scope of this post. We could point to others (WMD for Iraq, Global Warming, etc) if it makes you feel better, but the underlying principle is the same.

    The details have been wrapped in vague language designed to appeal and excite the most amount of people as possible, and the debate has been framed by comparisons to UK/Canadian/Socialist style health care ... neither which are representative to the actual bill going through congress.

    Again, the Catch-22 is if our reps (and the news) actually debated the facts/implementation policy it would be nearly impossible to gain enough support to make any type of change. Not only would people be bored to tears, they would disagree on the details.

    However, by distorting facts and creating moral panics (death panels, etc) the short term effect might be to motivate people to a goal, but ultimately it loses effectiveness because you either lose credibility if shown to be wrong, or people become numb to constant so-called catastrophes.

     

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  141.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:43am

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

    It's a government-enforced monopoly. It is neither misleading, because that's what it is, or dishonest.

     

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  142.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    In the "piracy" debate, both sides use terms that evoke negative views, from "thieves" to "copyright maximalists". In the end, depending on where you koolaid comes from, one is accurate and the other is derogatory.

    When it comes to distorting facts, you are at possibly one of the best websites for it. Mike is very talented when it comes to putting slant on stuff, picking at little things and blowing them up to way larger then life, and yet glossing over issues that might be negative to his personal views.

    Basically, if you use this website as your "source for copyright news" then you are sunk, because it is all one sided and certainly extremely negative.

     

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  143.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Having said that, I'm amazed by how frequently those who appear to be members of the entitlement society duck the real issues and hide behind arguments of semantics.

    I assume you mean the entitlement society of Hollywood that keeps having the gov't step in and back their obsolete business model up with new laws, because they feel "entitled" to keep their business model forever?

    Taking or distributing something that isn't yours against the will of the person or entity that owns the rights to that something is wrong.

    What about making a copy of something for yourself? There is no taking. There is only increasing the pie. In economics, that's a good thing. Limiting the pie is a bad thing. How is it possibly "wrong"?

    That is the underlying moral principle.

    Again, if the economics shows that the overall pie can be bigger, such that everyone can be better off, there's no moral question at all.

     

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  144.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    The studios and labels own things because they produce them, not because they are granted them. If you produce something, you will own it and you will be pissed if I give it away against your will.

    You don't gain ownership just because you make things ("sweat of the brow" fallacy). Most things in life you make, you do not own.

    And, most things in life that you own does not give you the right to stop others from making copies. That's the issue here.

    So, yes, it is very much because of the government granting a monopoly (which is what copyrights were called originally) that this issue is even here.

     

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  145.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    What is all this silly talk about monopolies and government?

    Because a copyright is a government granted monopoly. Always has been.

    A copyright is not a monopoly, it's ownership

    No, it's not. You cannot "own" an idea or an expression, but copyright allows you to block anyone else from using the expression. It is a monopoly right. We can debate lots of things, but that one's not debatable. It has nothing to do with "ownership" at all.

    Think of it more as a deed. Songs, for example, do not come out of thin air. They are written, performed, recorded, engineered, produced, and promoted. The copyright reflects the holders ownership of the material produced.

    No, the copyright is a monopoly right against anyone else reproducing the content. It has nothing to do with ownership.

    BTW, did anyone ever tell you that you have a very communist way of thinking?

    I'm curious as to what is "communist" about preferring a free market absent of gov't monopolies? I would think that a system that involves the gov't handing out monopolies seems a lot more like communism (in practice) than a free market system that many of us would prefer to see.

     

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  146.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    So on one side are thieves and on the other copyright maximalists.

    One side steals and the other is merely pro-IP.

    Got it.

     

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  147.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    And there is nothing negative about locking down our shared cultural heritage for centuries so a few legacy industries can make a little bit more money.

    The Great Gatsby will never enter the public domain. How is that not negative? That's like saying, "Shakespeare will never enter the public domain and we must have Some Corporate Trust collect from the general public for licenses just to recite Shakespeare in public. It's for the good of the public!"

     

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  148.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    In the "piracy" debate, both sides use terms that evoke negative views, from "thieves" to "copyright maximalists".

    Copyright maximalist is not a "negative." It's an accurate description. They believe that it is important to maximize copyright for their own benefit. I'm not sure why you would consider it negative.

    Piracy or stealing or thievery, however, are obviously presented negatively.

    So I would have to disagree with the premise.

     

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  149.  
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    What was the topic again ?, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    "the point was not a rant against or a discussion of the pros/cons of health care coverage."

    Well that's good to know, because I thought the topic of discussion had something to do with terminology used in debates pertaining to copyright infringement.

     

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  150.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

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

    Copyright means that by creating something first means no one else can make more of that particular object. That is a monopoly.

     

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  151.  
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    copyright is nt ownership, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    copyright is nt ownership

    remember that definition REMEMBER it
    no it should give THE CREATOR that right and for a limited time

    so is 95years plus life of author a limited time

    if so we need this applied to car warranties
    and any store that uses the phrase for a LIMITED time only now has to offer whatever for 95years plus life of the person saying it , OH corporations dont die
    hahahahahahaha

     

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  152.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Mike, thanks for making my point. IMHO, thief or perhaps shoplifter is an appropriate term, but you would find it objectionable.

    copyright maximalist is a negative term because the maximum would be "forever and ever", which isn't what anyone is trying to get to. It's an attempt to paint copyright supporters and the owners of copyright work as greedy.

    You don't even realize when you say it how it sounds, because you agree with it. It is pretty much the N-word of copyright.

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Way to dig up a 2 year old article.

     

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  154.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    I disagree. The way you use "copyright maximalist" seems to indicate, even if you did not intend so, that the vast majority of people who support copyright are "maximalists," meaning they want copyright to last "forever minus a day." I do not believe that to be the case.

    However, copyright destructionists might well think they are not being negative when they actually are.

     

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  155.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    The Great Gatsby will never enter the public domain.

    Prove it.

     

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  156.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You cannot "own" an idea or an expression

    Interesting. You really think so? So, if J.R.R. Tolkien had written the "Lord of the Rings" and never given it to anyone and never published it, that he still did not "own" it? You have a weird sense of ownership.

     

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  157.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    I'm curious as to what is "communist" about preferring a free market absent of gov't monopolies? I would think that a system that involves the gov't handing out monopolies seems a lot more like communism (in practice) than a free market system that many of us would prefer to see.

    In communism, there might be many producers, but the government supposedly assured that everyone owned the output of the few who actually produced. Theoretically there were no monopolies in communism since anyone could produce - though everyone shared regardless of whether they actually produced.

     

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  158.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    If you read it, the book already exists in your brain. That makes it a copy, and you've infringed on the content of the book. So unless you rip your brain out of your skull and give it to your friend as well, you've just committed raporism.

    I would suggest that you have the gist of the book, but to claim you have an exact copy in your brain is either bragging, or lying.

     

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  159.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    or maybe sarcasm ?

     

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  160.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 3:55pm

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

    Again, "locking it up?"

    You mean like you can't enjoy it? Like you can't buy a copy, like you can't watch the movie, or listen to the music? No, the only thing that it is locked up from is from people like you copyring it for free, giving it away, and duplicating it for yourself and others.

    It isn't like the material is locked up in a vault and you can't see it or read it for 190 years.

    In a discussion of the words of the copyright debate, "lockup" and "monopoly" are two terms most overused by the copyright destructionist side, and they are both pretty much outright lies.

     

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  161.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    All one has to do is wait. You don't think there will be another extension to copyright? Have you been paying any attention to the last 40 years?

     

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  162.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    I forgot about all the copyright maximalists that post about how they would like to see copyright reduced.

    It will never happen. Copyright will never be reduced. Look at the past 40 years. Look at how they're trying to increase the length of copyright in countries where it only lasts life of artist + 50 years. They want that extra 20 years, for what?

     

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  163.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Actually, I would say that those who support copyright are, at worst, reformers. Is that a bad word too?

    There are maximalists and reformers and abolishionists. As an artist, I am an abolishionist. I don't think it's a negative word at all. I will even accept destructionist because the only thing being destroyed is the livelihood of middlepeople. Artists will be fine without copyright.

    They were before and they will again.

    What's the opposire of a destructionist? A creationist? Is that what pro-IP is? They create things? Really?

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Right, because the past has no bearing on the present.

    Got it.

     

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  165.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    Ever met someone who's best described as an autistic savant?

     

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  166.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

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

    And the opposite of a destructionist is a creationist? So you create things? Make things? Like an artist?

    Can I see your work? I'll be happy to show you my work, as an abolishionist or destructionist. I've been an artist my entire life. How long have you been an artist?

     

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  167.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 4:48pm

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain

    In the United States, all creative artistic human expression produced before 1923 is in the public domain. Shakespeare is not locked up. It's free to use.

    Steamboat Willie? Not so much. Hey, where can I buy a copy of Song of the South, you know, that Disney movie that Disney doesn't sell?

     

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  168.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 5:42pm

    "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."

     

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  169.  
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    winterfreez, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Overused and mis-used words lose their meaning

    But let's face it, I can count on one hand (probably) how many times in my life I've used the term "ass" to actually refer to a small stubborn horse... Sure it still means something else, but it's like saying the highschool class president is a polotical position. Only technically.

     

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  170.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

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

    Lockup is a minor exaggeration, monopoly is accurate.

    Copyright does prevent anyone but the copyright holder from making more of the object in question. That is a monopoly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Actually, copyright has been extended only to the extent that it is more in tune with the actual life of the product in question. Today we listen to music that is 40 years old (and still actively purchase it) and watch TV shows that are almost that old. We enjoy movies some more than 60 years old, and continue to purchase them. There is no indication why they should be in the public domain, considering there is still public demand for the product.

    Further, and this is the key, there is no indication of a benefit of putting it in the public domain, if anything it would likely lead to stuff being used in horrible mashups and other uses that would kill whatever value is left in the products (and value, I mean desire, not money).

    All the copyright minimalist talk, and rarely is there any indication of true benefit.

     

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  172.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Mike, thanks for making my point. IMHO, thief or perhaps shoplifter is an appropriate term, but you would find it objectionable.

    It's only objectionable because it's wrong. Factually wrong. It's not a question of opinion. It is flat out wrong.

    copyright maximalist is a negative term because the maximum would be "forever and ever", which isn't what anyone is trying to get to. It's an attempt to paint copyright supporters and the owners of copyright work as greedy.

    Well, first, Jack Valenti claimed copyright should be "forever, minus a day" and I heard the head of BMI claim the same recently. So, yes, people are pushing for that.

    And I still don't see how it's a negative. For people who genuinely believe that copyright is a good thing, why wouldn't they push for it to be maximally good?

    There are certainly some people in the middle, but when I use the term I am referring to those who push for it to be maximized. It's not negative, it's descriptive.

    However the term "thief" or "shoplifter" is clearly a negative term that is inaccurate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Copyright will be rendered obsolete in the near future. Good luck.

     

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    Dohn Joe, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    "Terrorist"

    Tom Clancy once mentioned in an interview that "Terrorist" was a word engineered (developed and tested) by the CIA to illicit a panicked response from the public.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:08pm

    In copyright the term "buy" is wrong.

    There is no buying with copyright.

    There is only renting :)

    Copyright should be called "Uses monopolies" because that is what copyright does. It regulates how others can use things through the mechanins of a imposed monopoly. Not a earned monopoly like Google or Mircrosoft or the telegraph monopoly and even those monopolies are not well received.

    Copyright is like a tax monopoly like the Chinese "Salt commission" or the British "East India Company".

    And it is a true monopoly in the movie and music industries that have a handfull of players that control the majority of smaller fronts(indie lables).

    Copyright is a "Coercive monopoly" not a "Monopolistic competition".

    Copyright is not a "Contestable market".

    Copyright works great in countries that have no real enforcement capabilities like Taiwan(China), South Korea, Japan, Russia and other places. In those places they never go after consumers because that would open up a feroucious response to it, either people would go looking for alternatives or if they could not find those they would just break the law.

    Filesharing is not something that happens because people are evil and don't like to pay for things is the natural market response to a bad monopoly that just ask from the market more then it can bare.

    The end result will be that it will be taken away completely like all the other monopolies that came before and that didn't behave as expected. There is no political will that can change those rules, once a majority of the population is discontent unless they become extremely oppressive it will not be able to sustain itself and those who are on the same side will find themselves vilified in public much like the catholic church is vilified to this day.

    Greed know no barriers it will. It functions exactly like a cancer.

     

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    McBeese, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You've GOT to be kidding. Did you really post that or was your account hacked?

    We aren't debating 'ideas' or 'expressions' here, we're debating commercially produced products. Get real.

    A copyright isn't a government granted monopoly, it is a government enforced rule of trade - like many others. A copyright isn't like a patent. You don't need to apply to a government agency for some bogus review, you simply need to assign it to your work, whether it be your music, your video, your software, your photography, or your literature. You can't do that for an idea or an expression, you actually have to produce something.

    Please don't be one of those who hides behind semantics as a strategy to defend a weak point. A copyright is not government granted and it is not a monopoly in the modern use of the word. Do you really want to make this a silly argument over words? Sure, I guess I have a government supported monopoly on my house. In Texas, that means I get to shoot you if you try to infringe the monopoly on my house. I also have a government supported monopoly on my car. I also have a monopoly on the software I developed today. C'mon, that's not the issue and I'm pretty sure you're smart enough to understand that (not so sure about Mr. Communist).

    You didn't understand my communist reference? Really? Really? Capitalism is about free market and ownership. Communism is about entitlement and sharing 'for the good of society'. There are no copyrights or patents needed in a communist society.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    We aren't debating 'ideas' or 'expressions' here, we're debating commercially produced products. Get real.

    If we were discussing products, then there would be no issue, but the issue is that copyright is being used to ban others from making use of expression. Which is exactly what the law allows.

    Even if we were talking about commercial produced products, there is no law against copying a competitor. In fact, that's exactly what a free market is about: that if someone has a good idea, competitors will show up.

    Why are you so against a free market?

    A copyright isn't a government granted monopoly, it is a government enforced rule of trade - like many others.

    A copyright is very much a government granted monopoly. That's exactly what they were called by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in discussion the clause that allows for copyright, and any HONEST discussion must admit that they are, in fact, a government granted monopoly. You are being dishonest if you think it's not a monopoly.

    A copyright isn't like a patent. You don't need to apply to a government agency for some bogus review, you simply need to assign it to your work, whether it be your music, your video, your software, your photography, or your literature. You can't do that for an idea or an expression, you actually have to produce something.


    It doesn't matter if you need to apply (and, as you hopefully know, for many years, you DID need to apply for a copyright). It's still a gov't granted monopoly. The fact that the '76 made it easier than ever to get that monoply doesn't change the fact that it is a government granted monopoly.

    And, yes, it is for the expression. In fact, copyright law is quite clear, that it covers the expression.

    Saying that it does not suggests you are unfamiliar with copyright law.

    Please don't be one of those who hides behind semantics as a strategy to defend a weak point.

    It is not semantics. It's being accurate.

    A copyright is not government granted

    Whoa. Ok. I don't care where you stand on this debate, but that's just wrong. I mean, ridiculously wrong. You have no credibility at all if you think that copyrights are not gov't granted. What the hell do you think Title 17 is?

    it is not a monopoly in the modern use of the word.

    It absolutely is. It lets you exclude everyone else from the market for that product. That's the modern definition of a monopoly.

    Do you really want to make this a silly argument over words?

    No. I don't. But you need to be accurate, and so far it looks like you don't know what copyright is.

    Sure, I guess I have a government supported monopoly on my house.

    Yes, but property is rivalrous and excludable -- which means that such rights were set up even in the absence of governments, because you could build a fence around your property and shoot people (as you note). That's different with an expression.

    I also have a government supported monopoly on my car.

    Again, physical property is different, because it is rivalrous and excludable.

    I also have a monopoly on the software I developed today.

    Yes, but only because of Title 17 of US law, in which the government grants you a monopoly. Without that, you have no monopoly should you have released the software.

    You didn't understand my communist reference? Really? Really? Capitalism is about free market and ownership. Communism is about entitlement and sharing 'for the good of society'. There are no copyrights or patents needed in a communist society.

    Yes, really. Your reference to communism makes no sense. If capitalism is about free markets, it would not involve gov't granted monopolies. And, you do realize that the entire purpose of the copyright and patent system is "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts" which is a lot like "for the good of society...."

    Patents and copyrights, by their nature, are anti-capitalistic. They remove the free market, and artificially inflate prices via a monopoly mechanism. Now, you can make an argument that they are necessary to "promote the progress" but you cannot accurately claim that they are a part of the free market. They are not.

     

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    McBeese, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You don't gain ownership just because you make things ("sweat of the brow" fallacy). Most things in life you make, you do not own.

    Excuse me? I have made lots of things and I owned all of them. Houses, companies, software, etc.. What are you talking about when you say "most things in life you make, you do not own." Please don't respond with "ideas" or stuff like that.

    And, most things in life that you own does not give you the right to stop others from making copies. That's the issue here.

    If somebody wants to re-write the copyrighted software I've developed based on common thinking, they should go for it. But if they think I'm going to let them clone my software, that's my decision because I own my work.

    Same applies to music. If an artist inspires you, you should create your own content. But you should not feel free to clone lyrics, music, or digital production. That is stealing.

    Understand my perspective?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 11:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    But you should not feel free to clone lyrics, music, or digital production. That is stealing.

    Dude?

     

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    McBeese, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 12:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Mike,

    Here's my last comment on this thread.

    The business models for the music and video industry are badly broken. That is both reflected and exacerbated by the actions of the RIAA and MPAA. I think that's something that we probably agree on. The sad thing is that the need for a new business model isn't bad news, it's good news. I'm convinced that the opportunity in the new world is a lot greater than it ever was in the old world, as is often the case with disruptions. I'm driving a new business based on that conviction.

    With this blog, I think you can play a pivotal role in educating people and steering things in the right direction but I think you need to stop hiding behind word play and take a clear personal stand. Otherwise, why should anyone listen to what you have to say?

    I think I'm clear. I think the business models are broken but I think unauthorized file sharing is both illegal and wrong so I don't do it.

    You write that you think the business models are broken and that you don't personally engage in unauthorized file sharing, yet everything you post here says you see nothing wrong with file sharing and in fact it is almost a right of every citizen. So do you abstain simply because file sharing is illegal and you're afraid of getting caught, or do you abstain because you think it's wrong?

    I think you need to tell us where you stand. In no more than one sentence and with no weasel words, just like I did.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Excuse me? I have made lots of things and I owned all of them. Houses, companies, software, etc.. What are you talking about when you say "most things in life you make, you do not own." Please don't respond with "ideas" or stuff like that.


    The person who made my computer does not own it. The contractors who built my house do not own it. The workers who built my car did not own it.

    The labor is meaningless. Whoever owned the *supplies* owned the final product.

    So if someone owns the supplies for making a copy of a product, why shouldn't they own that copy?

    If somebody wants to re-write the copyrighted software I've developed based on common thinking, they should go for it. But if they think I'm going to let them clone my software, that's my decision because I own my work.

    In response, I quote Thomas Jefferson, and will leave this conversation. From your responses, it appears you are unfamiliar with the law, with economics and with history. I see little value in discussing things with you further until such times as you choose to educate yourself:

    "Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." -- Thomas Jefferson

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    With this blog, I think you can play a pivotal role in educating people and steering things in the right direction but I think you need to stop hiding behind word play and take a clear personal stand. Otherwise, why should anyone listen to what you have to say?

    I have taken a stand. Many times.

    I think I'm clear. I think the business models are broken but I think unauthorized file sharing is both illegal and wrong so I don't do it.

    Yes. I also believe that unauthorized file sharing is illegal, and I do not participate in for that reason. Whether or not it is "wrong" is a moral question, and I have pointed out that there is no reason for a moral question when the economics show that everyone can be better off if they properly embrace what the technology allows.

    I think that file sharing is an incredible method of distribution and promotion -- especially for those who embrace it. I think that there is no way that it is going away, so your feelings on what is "right" or "wrong" are meaningless and a total waste of your time and my time.

    Instead, let's focus on ways to embrace this undeniably useful technology -- and how people are using it and want to use it -- to build better business models.

    Then who cares about the moral questions. If everyone's better off, what's the issue?

    I think you need to tell us where you stand. In no more than one sentence and with no weasel words, just like I did.

    I have done so many times. I see no reason to use weasel words and do not do so. I have found that the only times people accuse me of using weasel words is when they disagree with me, and want to believe I have said something I have not. I am clear in what I believe. I am clear in what are the facts. In the discussion above, you made many factual mistakes. It was not a debate on semantics, it was a discussion on you being inaccurate in your description of things, which resulted in your faulty analysis of the situation.

     

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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 1:09am

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

    Again, "locking it up?"

    You mean like you can't enjoy it? Like you can't buy a copy, like you can't watch the movie, or listen to the music? No, the only thing that it is locked up from is from people like you copyring it for free, giving it away, and duplicating it for yourself and others.

    Lawrence Lessig often mention the example of documentary films. They commonly consists of hundreds of clips from different sources and the producer often secured just a time limited right to use them (like a couple of years). If you want to release such a documentary film the transaction costs in trying to resecure the rights is often so big that it's often impossible to use the works today, assuming that you can even find the rights holders. See wikipedia on tragedy of the anticommons.

    That's one example. But the most serious problem is of course the copyright term. Can you believe it that one of my favourite authors where born in the late 1850's and her works are still copyright protected. If copyright is a matter of personal rights to the works that you produce, then how can dead people enjoy the copyright to works? And if it's not, then what good does it do to society to have such a system?

     

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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    This reminds me of when a friend of mine sent emails to political parties in my country and asked about their views on copyright terms. One response was that "The fact that Shakespeare's and Mozart's works are enjoyed still today illustrates why we need a long copyright term".

    Btw. do all these Shakespeare school play "mashups" indicate to you in any way that there could be some benefit of having works in the public domain?
    And many people enjoy music that's many hundred years old. Should that music be protected too according to your argument since there is still a public demand?

    I view it like this: copyright is the way the public pays for the perceived benefit of getting access to more culture. If we pay too little, then assuming that money is the primary motivation and there is a lack of alternative busines models, less great works would be produced. But if we pay too much, then works will be unnecessarily restricted and that will be bad for culture too (eg. new artists will not be able to build upon the works of earlier artists). If I write a song today, that song will be protected by copyright for around 130 years. The marginal benefit for me at 130 years protection is close to zero, while the marginal damage to society in terms of the work being less accessible doesn't decrease as much over time (assuming that the work remains popular).

    Why should the public pay more than necessary by granting overly restrictive access control to creators?

     

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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Ok, let's try to get some perspective on this. If I write a song today it would be protected until the time my grandchild's grandchild's first grandchild is born at around year 2140. Looking back historically instead, one of my favourite authors, whose books are still protected by copyright, was born at the time the railways were introduced here in the late 1850's. During just two copyright terms you go from early industrialisation to a future that would look like science fiction to us.

    Even without the silly talk about "forever minus a day", if you view the current copyright term from a human perspective it pretty much lasts forever. I mean, can you even imagine how people will live their lives in the year of 2140? Will we manage not to destroy our planet through pollution and wars? Will we have started to colonize other planets? What will the living standard, technology and economy look like? It's almost impossible to imagine.

    I think it's quite fair to call the copyright regime of today and its supporters maximalistic. It's not a pejorative term, just descriptive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    The people who build your house or computer were paid in FULL for their work - essentially, they did work for hire.

    When you buy a book or a CD, you aren't doing work for hire, you are buying limited rights. It's very different, and trying to compare the two is sort of stupid. At times, I really wonder if you got your degree or not. It's such a simple concept, and yet you try to ignore the reality over and over again.

    Heck, Jill Sobule cheaped out at $75,000 to make a CD. So if you want the full rights, like your house or your computer, you would have to pay her something like $150,000 to get it, because she has to make a living too.

    Since most people aren't going to pay that sort of money for a CD, we have a system of limited rights which allows you not to own the song, but have the rights to enjoy it.

    It's such a simple concept. When I realize that you don't understand it (or are purposely being ignorant), that the rest of your guru stuff is a house of cards, built on a flimsy foundation.

    It's a basic concept. Get this one wrong, and the rest of your stuff is meaningless.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    (1) 130 years, while long, is not "pretty much...forever." Long time yes, but not even a miniscule fraction of forever.

    (2) There is a TON of building on prior works. 3,000 recorded versions of "Yesterday" prove that it happens. Of course, 2,999 versions still FAIL to be innovative over the original, but that is irrelevant.

    (3) I support copyright. Based on an array of studies, copyright does provide a benefit. Does that make me a copyright maximalist? Hah. I personally think copyright is excessive. I think 14 to 20 years, maybe even 10, would be more appropriate. Yet, I feel like I get lumped in with the teensy percentage of people who support the "forever minuse one day" version of copyright. Yes, they would be copyright maximalists. How many of these people are there? Probably very few in comparison with copyright destructionists.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 6:03am

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

    How long have I been an artist? Probably for about 40 years, give or take. What does that have to do with anything?

    Incidentally, the opposite of "copyright maximalist" is not "copyright minimalist," at least, based on the comments on this site and againstmonopoly.org, the opposite is NO COPYRIGHT, which would be the destruction of copyright. Copyright destructionist. It fits.

     

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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    I think you failed to adress Mr. Masnick's point. His argument was that you do not automatically own what which you produce ("sweat of the brow" fallacy). Labour does not imply ownership - if labour to plant a tree in my neighbour's garden I cannot claim ownership over the fruits since I don't own the land. If you support the theory of homesteading then labour can sometimes be an indication of ownership, but it is not the fundamental reason why something is regarded as owned. Most often ownership over something is explained by you owning the parts with which it was assembled/constructed or by contracts with other people. Mutual contracts do not suffice to create a copyright system though since they are not transitive and hence do not apply to people not part of the agreement.

    Of course one can still argue for the preservation of copyright laws, but it's hard to escape the fact that it's basically a utilitarian system - restricting the freedom to spread and use certain cultural expressions in order to promote a public good.
    Personally I don't have any problem with limited parts of our legislation being influenced by such utilitarian ideas as long as no single individual's rights is seriously violated. However, with a copyright protection that can last up to 130-150 years I think it's quite clear that there are no marginal benefits in terms of increased incentives to create whatsoever. Surely such a system cannot even be described as being for the public good. The first thing we need to do is the shorten the copyright terms.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    They were before and they will again.

    Ah, yes. The faith of religiion.

     

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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    "(1) 130 years, while long, is not "pretty much...forever." Long time yes, but not even a miniscule fraction of forever."

    Any finite number is a miniscule fraction of an infinite number. However, that doesn't change the fact that 130 years corresponds to 5-6 generations, so from a more antropocentric perspective (which I think is reasonable in this case), I stand by more previous description.

    "(2) There is a TON of building on prior works. 3,000 recorded versions of "Yesterday" prove that it happens. Of course, 2,999 versions still FAIL to be innovative over the original, but that is irrelevant."

    Are those 3,000 versions legally recorded you mean? I think that's just a miniscule fraction of the total number of recorded versions of "Yesterday" (I have recorded one myself too btw). I think there are lots of innovative versions. A better example of a common song with many nice innovative interpretations is perhaps "Over the rainbow".

    "3) [...] I personally think copyright is excessive. I think 14 to 20 years, maybe even 10, would be more appropriate"

    I'm not sure why you're feeling like you are being lumped together with maximalists if you want to restrict the copyright term to 10-20 years. That's about a sevenfold decrease compared to what it is today. I would call you a strong supporter for copyright reform. My own idea about copyright reform is quite similar to yours. And I think there are actually many members of the pirate party here in Sweden that feels the same way but joined the party in order to fight for civil liberties and against mass-surveilance and wire-tapping laws. In fact the term "pirate" is nowadays somewhat ambigious. If you join the pirate party in order to stand up for civil liberties and reduce the copyright term (to say 15-20 years) but do not file-share yourself, are you then a pirate? Difficult to say.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "But you should not feel free to clone lyrics, music, or digital production. That is stealing."

    No, you still have those lyrics, music or digital productions when someone 'clones' them. That is copyright infringement.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Any finite number is a miniscule fraction of an infinite number. However, that doesn't change the fact that 130 years corresponds to 5-6 generations...

    The definition of "generation" is something that is poorly defined. However, I provided a web site below that suggests a good working number is 3 generations per century. Thus, 130 years would be approximately 4 generations.

    http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=11152

    Are those 3,000 versions legally recorded you mean? I think that's just a miniscule fraction of the total number of recorded versions of "Yesterday" (I have recorded one myself too btw). I think there are lots of innovative versions. A better example of a common song with many nice innovative interpretations is perhaps "Over the rainbow".

    You may well be correct. However, Mike recently discussed that the optimum number of creators to copiers & imitators is roughly 2:1, or, more precisely, 7:3. Obviously, if the paper provided as evidence is accurate, there is a non-optimal amount of copying/imitating/"innovating" of "Yesterday." It appears there is the same situation with "Over the Rainbow."

    While you may think that many of the 3,000+ recorded versions are innovative, there were an insufficient number of people who thought similarly to make the other 3,000+ versions economically significant.

    I'm not sure why you're feeling like you are being lumped together with maximalists if you want to restrict the copyright term to 10-20 years.

    Probably because in the copyright destructionist viewpoint, or what appears to be the copyright destructionist viewpoint, there are two kinds of people in the world: those evil and vile people who want "forever and a day" and nice, kind, good, right-thinking people who want the total elimination of copyright.

    In reality, I suspect that vast majority of people either fall in the the camp that they do not care about copyright at all, or, if they thought about it, would prefer copyright be reduced (I wanted to use the word significantly, but without some further discussion that word adds no real meaning).

    I do not consider myself a pirate. I do not file-share. I do believe there is a purpose to copyright. I do believe that copyright should be reduced, similar to what you stated.

    Interestingly, my support for copyright has actually been increased by Mike because so much of what he provides in the way of studies, such as the paper regarding the ratio of creation to copying/imitating/"innovating," seems to indicate that copyright serves a beneficial purpose, though it appears to be way too long for optimal societal benefit.

     

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  194.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You are talking about the difference between a legal term and a cultural belief. Many people consider unauthorized copying to be stealing. That makes their belief neither correct nor incorrect, only a belief. You may try to convert them to a pure "legal" viewpoint. Good luck with that.

     

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  195.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "You are talking about the difference between a legal term and a cultural belief. Many people consider unauthorized copying to be stealing. That makes their belief neither correct nor incorrect, only a belief"

    It is not about what anyone believes it is, it is about what it is in reality.

    The reality is that making an unauthorized copy of a work is not the same thing as stealing it.

     

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  196.  
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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    Whether it's four or six generations doesn't really change the fact that year 2140 is an unimaginable science fiction society to us living who live in the year of 2009, but except from that you are probably right about the length of generations.

    "Probably because in the copyright destructionist viewpoint, or what appears to be the copyright destructionist viewpoint, there are two kinds of people in the world: those evil and vile people who want 'forever and a day' and nice, kind, good, right-thinking people who want the total elimination of copyright."

    I have almost never came across that view. There is lots of frustration with all the conservative people who have never really thought through the implications of today's copyright system, but those who have a more informed opinion, like yourself, are practically always met with respect in my experience. I don't think it is primarily the pirates who polarize the debate, but rather the media and conservative people who try to accentuate the conflict and make it easier for themselves by painting it all in black and white. In fact, if you are a supporter of copyright I think the only way to save it long-term is to try to make the system more well-balanced (strive for "optimal societal benefit" as you put it). Btw. I think "copyright abolitionist" is a more neutral term for describing those who want to get rid of copyright.

    The only thing that really makes me doubtful about my support for (a shorter) copyright are the attacks on civil liberties carried out in the name of copyright enforcement. Those negative side-effects have to be taken into consideration too when you evaluate the societal benefits.

     

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  197.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Your quote from the letter by Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson (which, by the way, expounds on his personal views) is misleading in suggesting that Jefferson was predisposed to reject the notion of intellectual property...in this case patents, but also by analogy copyrights.

    Jefferson was drawing a distinction between natural rights and rights conferred by law. His letter goes on to say in the following paragraph that he does support governmental grants, but with the important caveat that they be limited in term, at which point the subject matter of the grant would be free for the practice by all.

    See: James Boyle's "The Public Domain" at Chapter 2.

     

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  198.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    The reality is that making an unauthorized copy of a work is not the same thing as stealing it.

    You dare to make a mockery of my upbringing and beliefs? News for you. The reality is that I, and millions more, firmly believe that taking an unauthorized copy of a work is exactly identical to stealing it.

     

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  199.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    I have almost never came across that view.

    Tor, that viewpoint is expressed in comments on this website frequently, at least, it appears that way to me. Less frequently, though it seems to be increasing, the posts also seem to be establishing that position.

    As for copyright abolitionist versus copyright destructionist, I will start using the former when people who use the term "copyright maximalist" begin using the term more carefully to point out that the term is applicable only to an extremely small minority.

    The only thing that really makes me doubtful about my support for (a shorter) copyright are the attacks on civil liberties carried out in the name of copyright enforcement.

    I have mixed feelings about the enforcement of copyright. There have been what appear to be egregious enforcement. The laws need changed to eliminate the ability to enforce in that way.

    Yet, people also need to understand that making illegal copies is against the law.

     

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  200.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "The reality is that I, and millions more, firmly believe that taking an unauthorized copy of a work is exactly identical to stealing it."


    Again, It doesn't matter what anyone believes. The fact is they are demonstrably separate acts.

    With unauthorized copying you make a new copy that is identical to the original, thus whoever made the original still has it.

    With theft you take a copy from someone else, thus they no longer have it.

    They are clearly not identical.

     

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  201.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Everyone used to believe the earth was flat, did believing it make it true?

     

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  202.  
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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    "As for copyright abolitionist versus copyright destructionist, I will start using the former when people who use the term "copyright maximalist" begin using the term more carefully to point out that the term is applicable only to an extremely small minority."

    I see your point, but at the same time I think it is useful to have a term that highlights the fact that support of the current copyright term is practically an extremist position. As I see it a moderate position is to support 10-25 years of protection if you view copyright as something that is supposed to maximise the public good, and no longer than lifelong protection if you view it as a natural right. So I think I take "maximalist" less literally than you do and think of it more as one end of the spectrum (excluding the few people who are completely nuts and want eternal copyright).

    Feel free to provide suggestions if you can think of a good word that also encapsulates this feeling of taking an extreme position.

    Btw. I think Mike Masnick used the word in the more literal/strict sense, but then again I don't think he used it to describe anything else than the extremely small group of people whose views I call nuts above.

     

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  203.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:49am

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

    I support a length of copyright that lasts one year. I guess that does not make me a copyright destructionist. So, in my case, it does not fit.

    Things are going to get worse before they get better.

     

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  204.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow .... talk about off topic....

    I do not even know how to respond to this.

    Good luck to you in the future.

     

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  205.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    The person who made my computer does not own it. The contractors who built my house do not own it. The workers who built my car did not own it.

    The labor is meaningless. Whoever owned the *supplies* owned the final product.

    So if someone owns the supplies for making a copy of a product, why shouldn't they own that copy?


    The labor was not meaningless, that's ridiculous. The workers sold their labor to the manufacturer in the form of some kind of employment or contractor agreement. If the manufacturer fails to pay the employee/contractor, they are absolutely able to stake a claim on their portion of the ownership of the final product. It is not uncommon for trades people to put a lien on a house until they are paid.

     

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  206.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    You misunderstood mike's point.

    In mike's example you made a computer. The fact you created it does not entitle you to continue to own it after it is sold, yet we see the 'you create it, you own it' argument used by pro-ipers all the time.

     

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  207.  
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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    There are two separate issues here:
    1) Whether labor implies ownership of what you produce even if you do not own the parts with which it was constructed (no, it doesn't)
    2) Whether breaking a contract can lead to sanctions (yes, it can).

    These are two completely separate matters.

     

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  208.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    Basically, Mike is attempting to take narrow circumstances (work for hire) and apply it globally. It's very typical of his bootstrapping techniques.

    Basically, if I make something for myself, I own it. End.

    If I make something for someone else as work for hire, they own it.

    If I buy something, I own it within the limit of the rights granted at the time of purchase. Example, I can own a house, but be limited be a servitude or community regulation in the deed.

    Basically, the real world trumps Mike's vague attempts to re-write the law.

     

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  209.  
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    Tor (profile), Dec 7th, 2009 @ 11:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Piracy, Stealing, Theft, Evil, Greed, and other emotional descriptors

    "Basically, if I make something for myself, I own it. End."

    It depends on whether you owned the parts. If you borrow a couple of things from your neighbour and use them to build a machine for youself, then it's still not yours despite your labor.

    "If I make something for someone else as work for hire, they own it."

    Not necessarily. Normally the employer owns it because you have written a contract to that effect or he is the one who owns the parts with which it was built. But when it comes to immaterial production like producing a film or writing software then it varies from country to country whether the rights to the resulting work are owned by the employer or employee.

    So, to sum it up ownership normally follows from mutual contracts or from ownership of the parts from which something was built. Labor does not, in the absense of those other two things, imply ownership. Basically it's the old fallacy of assuming that correlation implies causation. Just because labor is often involved when something is produced doesn't mean it's the cause of ownership.

     

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  210.  
    identicon
    Freedom is Freeloading, Dec 8th, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Because 'pirate' is a term meant to scare monger. 'Share' is a proper descriptive term, though the act of 'sharing' may be an 'act of infringement.'


    No. "Share" is not a proper descriptive term for industrial-size levels of copyright infringement.

    You and your ilk wish to hang the distinction (legal or linguistic) between "stealing" and "infringement" on the sole fact that with one, there is deprivation, and with the other merely copying.

    But the reverse isn't true because when it comes to describing the EXACT SAME THING, you conveniently make no such distinction between the legitimate sharing of physical items (which reduce the sharer's stock) with digital copying (which reduces nothing) and does not represent anywhere near the same level of altruism.

    In short, you're hypocrites.

    All the other ships would treat their crew like vermin. Not on a pirate's ship. Everyone was equal. No ranks. You would all share in the work and you would all share in the bounty.

    Hey, this sounds kind of familiar.


    Familiar to what exactly? I hope you don't mean copyright infringement. Freeloaders certainly do "share" in the bounty, but they definitely don't "share" in the work required to produce the bounty. That's why they're freeloaders. Or parasites. There is no symbiosis when a mosquito sucks your blood -- even if you don't notice it happen, even if the blood that's taken is infinitesimal to your reserves and irrelevant to your overall well being -- that doesn't negate the parasitism or make it a symbiotic relationship.

    And yet, we see content creators sued for copyright infringement all the time.


    No, you see content REGURGITATORS sued for copyright infringement some of the time. It is only natural that original voices be given precedence over those who rely on said original voices in order derive derivatives.

    Taking or distributing something that isn't yours against the will of the person or entity that owns the rights to that something is wrong.


    Exactly.

    Copyright holders are not entitled to a monopoly.


    Actually, in most countries we are. In the United States for instance, we are entitled to this monopoly by congress and the constitution. It is you, the freeloader, who lacks entitlement to the hard work of others with no recompense for their efforts.

    If copyright was as ubiquitous a stifling of creativity as so many seem to believe, then how is it that so many works are continuously being created that inure to the benefit of society in so many various ways?


    To be realistic, not very many people DO believe that. Only in a few obscure internet caves like this one do fanatical zealots of that mentality sit in any appreciable number ignorantly mistaking their own crowd-sourced flatulence for fresh mountain air.

    And killing someone is murder except when it's manslaughter.


    Indeed. It is truly reprehensible how often the simple act of manslaughter is mislabeled "murder" by some errant reporter or grieving family member.

    What if I suddenly declare I own the rights to the moon.


    Well, you would likely be thrown in a zoo where people could come from miles around to peer in through the bars at someone too stupid to craft even a mediocre analogy. Additionally, although you would be housed alone, your cage would be equipped with a few strawmen for company as that is apparently the kind of company you like to keep.

    If copyright only lasted one year you would probably see an untold increase in creative works being produced.


    Rue the day. You think all the sequels and remakes Hollywood makes now are annoying?

    If copyright lasted a year, you would indeed see an untold increase in creative works being made in the short term. Unfortunately they would be made, almost universally by amateurs and you would likewise see a parallel untold decrease in professional output. A decade later, whose coattails would the hacks have left to ride? There would be no "coattails" left untattered and unsoiled. The parasites would have to plunder ever-deeper into the archives to find anything fresh to suck the blood from.

    yea see im VERY creative everyone whom knows me says so, ya know why i do it anyhting
    BECAUSE i enjoy it...


    Dear god...

    Apparently, Techdirt needs an age requirement.

    And perhaps a spam requirement seeing as how the vast majority of posts in this thread were written by a single anonymous poster replying to everyone's individual syllables.

    not once have you ever heard me whine about not being paid
    not being compensated in fact i get far more joy when people think what i have made , do or say, is shared


    It is easy to give away for free, what no one wanted in the first place. You haven't whined about not being paid because no matter who you whined to you would only be met with their uproarious laughter.

    The resulting song, to continue with this example, isn't 'published' or 'publicly available' any more than the stuff at Best Buy is publicly available.


    Indeed.

    I almost never see in the general press any reports of how useful this system is or how its potential is utilized.


    That's probably because it's primarily being used for infringement. Even to such a degree that the words "bittorrent" and "piracy" are synonymous for most people off the street. Go look at any of the big torrent sites top searched/downloaded lists. What do you see?

    Linux distros? World of Warcraft updates? Industry rejected and subsequently self-published novels? Creative Commons music? Indie movies financed with credit cards?

    ...

    LOL

    There was a time when no such thing as copyright existed and art was still made, still created.


    Via patronage (not T-shirts). Which occurred during a time where there was little use or infrastructure for copies much less their subsequent monetization. This was also a time when many of the best artists died with nary but the clothes on their back. Many of them were also forced into other pursuits out of economic necessity. Who knows how much more brilliant art we could have had, if those same artists had not suffered so much opportunity costs in having to divide their time with day jobs?

    Stargate sg1 you say? NOPE it quickly moved to less restricted Canada and even 50 year copyright is retarded


    Wow. Just. Wow.

    As a side note, the term "monopoly" is fairly objectionable as well. It is rare that a monopoly is granted, in that no others can enter the marketplace.


    Copyright is a monopoly in the same way that Coca-Cola is a monopoly. Copyright is not the kind of monopoly that excludes market competition, on the contrary, there is AMPLE competition in EVERY copyright-centered industry. Copyright serves only to exclude competition from itself. just like Coca-Cola. Or any other brand.

    The key point, that copyright abolitionists love to ignore, is that there is a VAST difference between having a monopoly on cola and having a monopoly on "Coca-Cola".

    Again, if the economics shows that the overall pie can be bigger, such that everyone can be better off, there's no moral question at all.


    Similarly, who would want to ride a horse when they could ride a unicorn? I don't understand why people still ride horses when they could just as easily be riding unicorns!

    Not all artists would be better off. In fact, judging by your usual, oft-repeated examples, very few of them would.

    Copyright does prevent anyone but the copyright holder from making more of the object in question. That is a monopoly.


    Except it's one that does NOTHING to negate competition from similar products.

    Again, there is a VAST difference between having a monopoly on making movies and having a monopoly on Harry Potter.

    This is the distinction copyright abolitionists gleefully ignore out of either idiocy or deception.

     

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  211.  
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    Tor (profile), Dec 8th, 2009 @ 2:07am

    Re:

    "Copyright is a monopoly in the same way that Coca-Cola is a monopoly. Copyright is not the kind of monopoly that excludes market competition, on the contrary, there is AMPLE competition in EVERY copyright-centered industry. Copyright serves only to exclude competition from itself. just like Coca-Cola. Or any other brand.

    The key point, that copyright abolitionists love to ignore, is that there is a VAST difference between having a monopoly on cola and having a monopoly on Coca-Cola"


    I agree that there is a difference. But by comparing copyright to trademarks you highlight an important aspect. Trademarks are not granted because of some idea that a producer has a natural right to exclude others from using certain terms to describe their products. Rather it's based on the idea of consumer protection - we want to know what it is that we are buying and by giving exclusive rights to certain brand names we give incentives to companies to produce high quality products since the quality will be associated with the brand. So the foundation for trademarks is:
    1) to stop companies from doing deceptive advertising by describing a product like something that it is not
    2) to give incentives for increased quality for the public good

    Copyright is very similar. The reason we grant authors an exclusive right (I don't think the word "monopoly" is wrong, but as you point out it's of course a more narrow monopoly than the ones one normally thinks of) is because this is believed to create some societal benefit (promoting progress and the useful arts as the US constitution puts it) - not because there is some kind of natural right. The exclusive right is just a means to an end. If there were a better way to promote progress and a vivid culture we would/should of course choose that instead.

    The most important reform today is in my view would be to reduce the copyright term to an historic level. It doesn't make sense to protect works up to 150 years like today.

     

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  212.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 8th, 2009 @ 3:28am

    Re:

    You and your ilk wish to hang the distinction (legal or linguistic) between "stealing" and "infringement" on the sole fact that with one, there is deprivation, and with the other merely copying.

    But the reverse isn't true because when it comes to describing the EXACT SAME THING, you conveniently make no such distinction between the legitimate sharing of physical items (which reduce the sharer's stock) with digital copying (which reduces nothing) and does not represent anywhere near the same level of altruism.


    First, it is not based on "the sole fact" that in one case there is deprivation and the other there is not, but BECAUSE THE LAW SAYS THEY ARE DIFFERENT.

    I recognize that you, as a movie industry employee might not recognize this, but the law is quite clear. It's not theft.

    As for the claim that sharing "depletes," you have an odd definition of sharing. In most places, sharing is the idea that you and others get to enjoy the same product. That qualifies both in physical product sharing and infinite goods.

    I'm sorry whoever raised you never taught you this basic fact, but given your obnoxiousness around here, I guess it's not too surprising.

    Apparently, Techdirt needs an age requirement.

    Heh, or a reading comprehension test.

    So, not everyone makes a lot of sense. Your point?


    The key point, that copyright abolitionists love to ignore, is that there is a VAST difference between having a monopoly on cola and having a monopoly on "Coca-Cola".


    Never ignored that at all. Not sure why you would suggest otherwise, other than a weakness in your own arguments. Never said that copyright grants a monopoly on the wider market, but on that product. All of the discussion is based on that idea. I figured it was obvious, so I'm sorry if you were unable to comprehend that basic point. I'll try to dumb down future posts for your sake.

    This is the distinction copyright abolitionists gleefully ignore out of either idiocy or deception.

    Heh. Or, we get it, assume it's obvious and focus on what it means. The only "idiocy and deception" seems to come from folks like yourself: industry folks so hung up on a dead and obsolete business model that you can't comprehend basic economics.

    Again, for a reasonable price, we're more than willing to give you a lesson. Give us a call. I'll even give you a discount.

     

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  213.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    There was a time when no such thing as copyright existed and art was still made, still created.

    Via patronage (not T-shirts). Which occurred during a time where there was little use or infrastructure for copies much less their subsequent monetization. This was also a time when many of the best artists died with nary but the clothes on their back. Many of them were also forced into other pursuits out of economic necessity. Who knows how much more brilliant art we could have had, if those same artists had not suffered so much opportunity costs in having to divide their time with day jobs?


    A bunch of people died. It was one of the many drawbacks to living in the past. I don't think any artist will starve today, unless they're doing something wrong. Say hello to the future for me. Good luck.

     

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  214.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 2:43am

    Re: Simple Question - Complex Answer

    yes, you would be filthy pirate scum. you have no right to lend that book - or to sell that book to your friend.

    once you read it, you should burn it. if you want to read it again, buy it again.

     

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