Of Course Most Content Shared On BitTorrent Infringes; But That's Meaningless

from the who-cares? dept

I was going to ignore this, because based on what's known there's not much interesting or surprising, but people keep submitting the research done by a student of professor Ed Felten of a sample of some content available via BitTorrent (erroneously described as a "census" rather than a "sample") that suggested that 99% of what was available on this particular slice of the BitTorrentsphere was infringing. While there may be some legitimate concerns with the methodology, I have to say that my response to the original was: of course. So what?

Of course the majority of files shared on BitTorrent are infringing. And I don't see how it much matters if the percentage is 60% or 90% or 99%. I don't think anyone has ever denied that a ton of infringing content is shared on BitTorrent -- and, as some have rightly suggested part of the problem is that those who provide the content haven't done a good job making alternatives available, and that drives people to these potentially illegal options.

But what I don't get is the claim by industry lobbyists and lawyers that this somehow proves that BitTorrent needs to be stopped/fixed/held back/filtered/whatever. I read into it exactly the opposite. It shows what a piss poor job so much of the industry has done figuring out how to embrace the obvious demand that's out there, and how to leverage that smartly. The fact that so much is infringing should be a siren waking the industry up that it's time to stop fighting what people want, and start figuring out how to serve them. And for those who think this is evidence that BitTorrent needs to be blocked (wow) because so much is infringing, I'm wondering how they defend the legitimate parts that do get tossed out along with that. So just because NBC Universal is too clueless to figure out how to take advantage of a great distribution and promotion mechanism, people who want to use those tools and want to embrace better forms of distribution and marketing shouldn't be able to? That makes no sense to me.


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  1.  
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    Dementia (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:33am

    Of course it doesn't make sense to you Mike, you actually have clue, where as most of the entertainment establishment doesn't, and they really don't want one either.

     

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    :), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Copyright.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:55am

    I read into it exactly the opposite. It shows what a piss poor job so much of the industry has done figuring out how to embrace the obvious demand that's out there

    Every time I read something like this, all I can picture is a shop owner handing out a free t-shirt to every shop lifter and paying their taxi home, or a movie theater owner bringing free popcorn and drinks for the people who snuck in the back door.

    There will always be a huge demand to get something for nothing. Giving away your something for nothing leaves you nothing. It's sort of simple.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:07am

    So just because NBC Universal is too clueless to figure out how to take advantage of a great distribution and promotion mechanism, people who want to use those tools and want to embrace better forms of distribution and marketing shouldn't be able to?

    This is another point of discussion, but it is where there is a disconnect between the story and your perceptions of reality.

    With much of the content on the torrents being illegal (not just infringing, that is nice speak for "stolen" or used without permission), the problem isn't that some aren't using the service, but that people who don't own the rights to things are making the choices for the rights holders, which is just wrong.

    People have to learn to respect others. If NBC doesn't want their stuff on a torrent, you shouldn't put it there. If Corey Smith wants his album distributed on P2P, enjoy it. That is the right holder's choice, not yours.

    Nobody is telling anyone not to use a given protocol for distribution. What they are saying is that if the vast majority of the traffic and content is illegal, why should that be tolerated to allow a very small percentage of legal stuff to occur? Legal torrent holders would be wise to separate themselves from the pirate sites and the illegal torrent havens, and prove they are not illegal. If you hang around with thieves and hoodlums, don't be shocked if people mistake you for being a hoodlum.

    Mike, why doesn't Floor64 man up and run a torrent tracker for only legal stuff? Why not be a leader rather than just a commentator? Now is your change to lead P2P to the promise land, away from the illegal stuff, and to justify it's existence. Come on, you can do it! :)

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:07am

    Re:

    Until you get it through your thick skull that stealing is nothing like IP infringement, that will always mystify you.

    "Giving away your something for nothing leaves you nothing."

    Here's some movies being given away for nothing, legally:

    http://www.archive.org/details/feature_films

    See how many you can download before they're left with nothing. Or until you realise how stupid your statement is, whichever comes first.

     

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    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    If you actually read the piece on Freedom to Tinker than what you find is that most of the content in question is actually TV shows. Now most TV shows are available to most people for free at some point in time so BitTorrent is actually being used as a kind of global electronic equivalent to walking into the office in the morning and saying "Did anyone record ****** last night?"

    It would be interesting to analyse the data further to see how it correlates or anti-correlates with the availability of catch up services like BBC iPlayer (Apple stuffed there btw) for the programmes concerned.

    (Incidentally iPlayer is also a P2P service... so I don't know how you block BitTorrent without blocking iPlayer)

     

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    Bad Analogy Guy, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:13am

    Re:

    Every time hear or read a bad analogy, I think ... how stupid is that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:16am

    Criminals are roads?

    We will just have to shut them down then.

     

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    ethorad (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:16am

    Re:

    "why doesn't Floor64 man up and run a torrent tracker for only legal stuff?"

    Bear in mind that the RIAA seems unable to determine whether various youtube videos are infringing or fair use - and they presumably have access to all the master copies to check against.

    Plus with leaks of new releases, there's not even anything around yet to test it against.

    How is anyone else to determine whether something is infringing?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re:

    Paul, you are left with nothing to sell. The movie still exists, but the actual market price for it evaporates.

    I wish you would read comments a little more closely before jumping to conclusions.

     

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    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:19am

    Re:

    that people who don't own the rights to things are making the choices for the rights holders, which is just wrong.

    It may be but then the very existence of those rights in the first place is due to the people who became rights holders "making choices for" the public via political lobbying - which goes right back to year zero for copyright see

    http://questioncopyright.org/promise

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re:

    According to Mike, it is very easy to know what is legal. If stuff is in doubt, it probably isn't legal, and don't list it.

    So you can list Linux distros, Nina Paley's movie, and Corey Smith's music. A pretty complete tracker, no?

    Those who want to be legal and want to benefit from providing a legal service will find the ways to do it. Those who come up with excuses are just looking for ways to enjoy illegally obtained content and products.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re:

    Double cup of koolaid before I can read that site.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:23am

    Apart from...

    ...Merchandise, screenings, public appearance events and various other things continually mentioned here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:26am

    Re:

    "People have to learn to respect others."

    Precisely. People have been taken advantage of, and filesharing is their way of saying "enough".

    When a company respects its customers, they can only expect good things in return. Piss them off and this is what you get. Hope that makes sense to you.

    Also, get a life, loser.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Re: Apart from...

    Sorry, but anyone can produce merch at a low price, the public appearances aren't worth much in reality (except to the stars of the show themselves), etc. After all, if people are going to steal (judge's words) the content, do you think they will really worry about producing fake merch either?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry loser, but file sharing is just a way to steal (judge's words), it is disrepectful to the max.

    The customers are only pissed off because people have shown them how to steal stuff with impunity, such that they no longer value the products.

    Perhaps when you turn 18 and have to move out of mom's house, you will understand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    I have a quick anecdote that might help you understand this a little better.

    Recently I was introduced the the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. I knew there was a movie coming out and I heard good things about the show so I decided to check it out.

    I was able to watch season 1 on netflix via their video streaming service, but once that was done they did not have the remaining 2 seasons available. I checked hulu and the Nickelodeon website which turned up 3 episodes in the middle of season 3. Not very ideal when I still need to see season 2.

    I try google looking for other streaming sites that might have it with no success. So finally I go on a torrent site, search for it and in 3 seconds I have a torrent for the entire series being downloaded.

    You might call it pirating and say it's wrong, but I gave them a chance. I tried to go about looking for the content via legitimate sources but could not find what I was looking for. They have just lost out on ad revenue or any other kind of money that could be made by streaming the content.

    On the otherhand they now have a new fan willing to promote the series, buy merchandise and see the movie when it finally hits the big screen.

    The series has been finished since the summer of 2008. There is no reason not to make this as easily viewable as possible to help promote the upcoming movie. Where is the sense in that?

     

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    Matthew, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:45am

    Re: Apart from...

    Wasn't the intention of copyright, as defined by the U.S. Constitution, to promote the creation of content for the benefit of the public? I won't deny that the "for the benefit of the public" part is being ignored a lot these days. Nonetheless, I think that there's some weight to the argument that the content itself has value. The Constitution doesn't suggest that content creators have a right to make money off of merchandise related to their content. In fact, it suggests that the founding fathers recognized that without some artificial inducement, content creators would not be rewarded for creating content, to the public's detriment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:46am

    Re:

    I have a quick anecdote that might help you understand this a little better.

    Recently I was introduced the the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. I knew there was a movie coming out and I heard good things about the show so I decided to check it out.

    I was able to watch season 1 on netflix via their video streaming service, but once that was done they did not have the remaining 2 seasons available. I checked hulu and the Nickelodeon website which turned up 3 episodes in the middle of season 3. Not very ideal when I still need to see season 2.

    I try google looking for other streaming sites that might have it with no success. So finally I go on a torrent site, search for it and in 3 seconds I have a torrent for the entire series being downloaded.

    You might call it pirating and say it's wrong, but I gave them a chance. I tried to go about looking for the content via legitimate sources but could not find what I was looking for. They have just lost out on ad revenue or any other kind of money that could be made by streaming the content.

    On the otherhand they now have a new fan willing to promote the series, buy merchandise and see the movie when it finally hits the big screen.

    The series has been finished since the summer of 2008. There is no reason not to make this as easily viewable as possible to help promote the upcoming movie. Where is the sense in that?

     

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  21.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Explain this then:

    http://www.archive.org/details/night_of_the_living_dead

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=i%3Advd%2Ck%3Anight+of+the+living+dead&keywords=night+of+the+living+dead&ie =UTF8&qid=1265118477

    Are you saying that none of those numerous copies are selling because the movie's freely and legally available online? What about the numerous cinema screenings that pop up every year - did nobody attend them?

    There's still plenty to sell, as long as you're not trying to make all of your profit from one avenue that's already replicated for nothing.

     

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    MCR, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Sample issues

    While I agree the percentage doesn't matter, there are several issues with how he classified the entries for his sample. First, how can 14% be unclassified, but all infringing (it's a larger group then music)?

    Second, all assumptions of infringement are "judgement calls" based on whether the content was in the public domain, offered for free, or user generated. I'm not entirely sure how one can be certain it doesn't fall within one of those three categories, but he doesn't list his process. I think there were more assumptions in this study then he's admitting.

    Finally, making a broad conclusion that 99% of all BT traffic is infringing, while admitting that your sample all came from one little corner (Mainline), is very misleading. Would everyone be okay if someone claimed that 99% of all dirt in Russia was radioactive, since 99% of the dirt samples around Cherynobl were?

     

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    Big_Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re:

    I'm wondering, Do you pay royalties every time you sing happy birthday or are YOU stealing that every year?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re:

    Richard, I think that if torrents were only used to view what has already gone by, there might be less of an issue. Except of course that the resale market on TV series (syndication) makes it clear that there is still enough value and demand to defeat even that argument.

    Further, torrents are often used to bring content into areas where it has not yet been shown. The UK, example, is about a full season behind on CSI, if I remember correctly. Australia is often out of sync because their seasons are reversed, etc.

    Torrents ignore national boundaries, which often means content ends up in a market before it is officially released. This can only have a negative effect on the value that broadcasters will pay for the rights to these shows.

    The BBC iplayer is a good example of the GOOD uses of P2P style distribution, as the rights holder is deciding what is out there, not the viewers themselves. The BBC doesn't show up at people's doors and take their cars or children, why should the viewers be able to tell the Beeb what to put online?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If all of those are available on torrent, the only reason people are paying it to get the physical packaging. The content no longer has all that much retail value.

    There are some that will always pay for it, in the same manner that some people will always pay for autographed crap and artificially scarce hoodies.

    What about the numerous cinema screenings that pop up every year - did nobody attend them

    For a few cult films, that is still possible. But most of the repertory theaters have long since dried up and gone away, replaced by video stores in the past and torrents today. You are pointing to something that is truly a buggy whip business now as a result of torrent distribution.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are showing your lack of attention to what Mike says.
    He has said a few times that it is very hard for people to tell.
    You would need people to actually look over every single instance. There is no magic bullet software to compare these things.

    Recall that some of the videos that Youtube is being sued over, the copyright holders put there themselves. "Hey if we put this on youtube, we can then sue them for it even though we put it there!" That's the big media for you. Never more than half an ounce of brains in their heads.

    And while we are talking about lack of brains, for the love of god learn the difference between infinite and finite goods. Countless times have you expressed your complete lack of understanding about the two.
    Every time you try to equate torrents to people shoplifting, you just look like a tardmonkey and it really makes it tough to take anything you say seriously. Your other arguments would hold much more weight without the infinite = finite goods attempts you make.

     

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    SureW (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    as the rights holder is deciding what is out there, not the viewers themselves. And this is the attitude that is wrong. You can't force people to something int he format the rights holders want and the consumer doesn't prefer. You'd be better off figuring out how to get it into the format and timing they want. I'm not sure of any business model that can willfully ignore consumer demand and I have little sympathy for such businesses complaining they can't make a good profit.

     

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    Yosi, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:03am

    Re: Sample issues

    Chernobyl is not in Russia. I guess geography is no longer mandatory in US schools. Do you know where is this "Iraq" located?

     

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  29.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your comments only act as support for torrents.

    You are correct that torrents ignore national boundaries. That is part of what is so great about them. You even mention that broadcasters will pay for the rights to these shows. Well, if they are paying then they should get them at the same time as everybody else. All you are expressing is support for Mike's argument that it is the distributors that are failing to serve a market. If a rights holder doesn't want their work out there somewhere, there is one easy solution. Never release it to anyone. Problem solved. This is the digital age. To release it somewhere and not expect it to be everywhere just makes them look like idiots.

     

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    MBraedley (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:07am

    They don't see the market

    I've been saying for years now (admittedly only to my friends and family) that if the networks offered legitimate, high quality torrents, I would use those instead of other sources. As long as they were free, didn't have DRM, and were available when the show aired, I'd have no problem with them. I could stand a "This torrent is brought to you by . Remember, is !" and maybe some other ads. Why would I prefer this to my current situation? I could easily set up RSS feeds and not worry about downloading a bad version. I wouldn't have to wait until the next morning to start downloading an episode. And I could drop at least my HD cable subscription.

    Sure, you're going to see people take these torrents, rip out the ads, and upload them to other sites, but for most people, what the networks would provide would be more than enough. Unfortunately, the networks are just too blinded by the current state of "piracy" to see that doing this could reduce it and make them more money. Hmm, making it easier for someone to pirate your content might actually make you more money.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Apart from...

    Once again, this assumes:

    1) That people value the original content or artists so little they they'll gladly rip them off regardless of what they do. The fact is, people copy because it's easy, conveniant and they realise the cost of reproduction is zero anyway, so there's no point paying for the ability to access.

    2) That file sharers and counterfeiters are all one in the same.

    3) That any fan of the show won't value original, official merchandise over cheap knock offs.

    Your argument is based on equating all file sharers as moral lacking counterfeiters who only care about saving a quick buck and don't value anything.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    Your argument is based on equating all file sharers as moral lacking counterfeiters who only care about saving a quick buck and don't value anything.

    Which, I may add, lots of studies have shown is just flat out wrong. This includes at least one study commissioned by the RIAA type folks themselves.
    Haha.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "file sharing is just a way to steal (judge's words), it is disrepectful to the max."

    As has been explained time and time again, it's not stealing. The judge is wrong, and so are you.

    "The customers are only pissed off because people have shown them how to steal stuff with impunity, such that they no longer value the products."

    The customers are pissed off because the music industry is stuck in the middle ages: ridiculously high prices, outdated distribution formats, terrible treatment of artists, customers can't test before they buy, and last but not least endorsement of legislation to take away personal freedoms. It's our duty to hate them, and to dislike pretentious pricks like yourself.

    "Perhaps when you turn 18 and have to move out of mom's house, you will understand."

    Is that so? Maybe it's your mom's house that I need to move out of. If I'm not 18 yet she could be arrested, you know!

    As for who the real loser is, it's definitely you. Who spends all day stalking a blog owner, sitting there waiting for him to post something so he can just contradict everything he said? If he isn't paying you as a "groupthink prevention mechanism", you're most definitely the most annoying half-person I've ever seen.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:13am

    "This can only have a negative effect on the value that broadcasters will pay for the rights to these shows."

    So, service the damn market. If you can't make a direct deal with a TV station in Australia, make Hulu or your equivalent available to them. Don't refuse them service, or force them to wait a year, and then complain when your potential customers go elsewhere. If a legal option is available, most would use it, but no such thing exists for most content. Make a deal to service the people who don't watch online, then off the rest a reasonable and legal option.

    "The BBC doesn't show up at people's doors and take their cars or children"

    But they can fine you for not paying them. (if you live in the UK, of course), and not everything they show is available online (especially movies and American imports).

    "why should the viewers be able to tell the Beeb what to put online?"

    The BBC is a wildcard exception to the rule because of their unique funding model. Every other TV company can simply change the way they do business to accommodate the rest of the world that they're not servicing. Easier said than done, of course, but regionalisation is a thing of the past.

     

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    McBeese, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:14am

    It isn't Complicated

    "With much of the content on the torrents being illegal (not just infringing, that is nice speak for "stolen" or used without permission), the problem isn't that some aren't using the service, but that people who don't own the rights to things are making the choices for the rights holders, which is just wrong.

    People have to learn to respect others. If NBC doesn't want their stuff on a torrent, you shouldn't put it there. If Corey Smith wants his album distributed on P2P, enjoy it. That is the right holder's choice, not yours. "


    Exactly. Well stated.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: Apart from...

    Copyright enforces the ability to decide outside access to a work. This was during a time when the only ability to widely distribute easily and efficiently was the printing press, which may have been too expensive and prohibitive for artists to set up, giving all power and economic incentive tothe already wealthy who would more easily be able to start and maintain that kind of distribution.

    When technology makes it as easy and cheap as it is today to distribute works, this need to protect the ability to decide access is drastically lessened, as now most money leaves distribution (due to distribution of the work itself becoming a commodity). This in turn leads to ways artists can use this to make money by more easily distributing works, in turn gaining attention and driving value by creating a larger audience for reduced cost, meaning increased ability to continually make money from live shows and anything else affiliated like the artists personal time or official merchandise.

     

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    MBraedley (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:17am

    Re: They don't see the market

    Wow, plain text fail. That fake ad quote should read "This (network) torrent is brought to you by (sponsor). Remember, (sponsor) is (slogan)!"

     

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    Kingster (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:24am

    I bet...

    I bet that 99% of that illegal content is on Windows or OSX systems. The other 1% is on Linux. I know. We should shut down Microsoft and Apple because their software is hosting the majority of the shared illegal torrents. And then, we should shut down Cisco and Juniper, because they made the hardware that allows torrents to work. Ooh! Then maybe we should shut down the Dell, HP/Compaq, Gateway, IBM, etc., hardware divisions, because their hardware is hosting likely all of the torrents out there. Crap! We can shut down Oracle and the Apache Foundation too, since their software lets the trackers work so well...

    Yeah.

    I wonder, are those the same lawyers/judges/lobbyists that wanted to go after the gun industry for deaths that they "caused"? Christ. How effing stupid are people???

     

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    Big_Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Apart from...

    Matthew, We are not suggesting that artists not get paid in fact we all think they should perform more so we can see them live. And if I want the a tangible CD with the case full of pictures then it should cost. (and they should make a profit on the materials used as well as the effort to create it) But to charge $0.99 each for something that is in fact an endless supply called .mp3 doesn't supply and demand cover this? If the supply is high (in this case infinite) and demand is low (taking about just one file) shouldn't it be cheaper the a penny less then a buck? What we get is called an industry standard why not charge a penny for music that hasn't seen the billboard charts in a few decades and $1.99 for the top 10 of the week? Hell, run specials (10 free downloads with the purchase of a Tangible CD) Sell the entire album on a gig flash drive. (a usable item AND the music) The notion people think the artist should not get paid is wrong. What should be shouted loud enough for everyone to hear is "We know MP3 files are free, for you to make, why are you charging us as if we are getting a CD with it?"

     

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    JAC, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    TAM - the content never had any retail "value." It had a retail price, but not necessarily any value. The industry taught me that price and value are not equal with pricing models where a TV series sells for $50 or $100 at release but is available 2 months later for $15 or $20 (something which happens frequently at Target.) Or how about albums which can be purchased in a store for $8 on sale but cost $10 on iTunes for a digital version because of fixed pricing.

    I almost understand your moral outrage, but you are a terrible debater / advocate. You make weak arguments and when people call you out - you insult them.

     

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  41.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:44am

    But then.. I just downloaded a linux distro via Torrent - so there is in fact, plenty of legit data there too.

    Doesn't even matter - Napster was 'done away with' and we ended up with Gnutella and Limewire, those too were mostly 'done away with' and now we have torrent.

    So in fact - copyright pressure does in fact seem to further technology.

    Peer file sharing technology, perhaps at least.

    So go ahead - take down Torrent, maybe it's time for something newer and more secure anyway.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    AJ, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Lets make some money!

    File sharing is not going away, we all know it. For every lock thats created, somone can break it. No one says it's right, no one says it's fair, but it's not going to change unless the media companies give the people what they want, and remove the "need" behind sharing in the first place.

    Give your customers what they want, how they want it, and in so doing make as much money as possible. The formula is there, you just have to figure out a way to make the math work.

     

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  43.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:50am

    "File Sharing" existed long before Torrent and the internet, it was done on Cassette and 8-Track.

    Anyone want to guess how much content on Cassette tape was most likely in the same boat - illegal?

    I suspect 90% + if not more.

     

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  44.  
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    Mr RC (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    *slow clap*

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Al Gore, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:00am

    LAST WARNING

    If you content stealers don't behave, I'm going to have to unplug the Internet.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually the products were over-valued to begin with. Meet customers half way with a combination of price and convenience and you might be surprised that they will buy.

    TAM, you seem to miss the fact that bittorrent provides a ton of convenience. Customers get what they want, when they want it and in a format that works for them. The restrictions on when, where and how customers get content are removed. The music and movie industries generally do not provide anything remotely similiar to that level of convenience. Its not about price its about usability. A horse and carriage are fine but not too many people are buying them, cars do a much better job for us these days. Region encoded DVDs, encrypted content, DRM and the like are all fine but do not serve customers well. Bittorrent is not the problem, limited access and limited choices of what is avilable to purchase are the real problems for music and movies.

    Mike's point is valid, bittorrent is a technology, by itself it does not harm/steal anything. The way people use bittorrent points to an underserved market. The music and movie industries would be way better off figuring out what their customers actually want rather than trying to sue them into poverty. Reading through TAM posts I can see the problem that the industry has blinders on and does not care what customer really want - that is a recipe for failure.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    AC, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Apart from...

    @TAM

    Stepping back a moment, if you look at the struggle between the IP holders and infringers, every time the IP holders find a way to inhibit people from accessing non-authorized content, people find another way. It seems, at least to me that this is a losing battle for IP holders. Taking that into account, is the money better spent suing the dickens out of people, or coming up with ways to generate alternate streams of revenue. I do of course recognize that the devil is in the details, but it seems to me that finding a way to capitalize on "free" content would be a much more worthwhile pursuit.

    analogy coming...

    if your boat continually springs leaks, is it better to patch the leaks or replace the hull? How many leaks will you need to patch until you have spent as much as a new boat?

    I of course am a layman, and have no answers, but I can't help but wonder if the IP holders take that into consideration.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Is this your way of saying 'no, it's my way, only, and any intelligent debate on the topic doesn't exist because I'm right and you're wrong, wah wah wah'?

     

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  49.  
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    Another AC, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, loser. Copyright infringement isn't theft (supreme court judges trump your judge).

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Sample issues

    In most American's minds, Russua and Soviet Union (defunct) are the same thing. Tone it down, Napoleon.

     

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  51.  
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    robin, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:39am

    Re: "legal" torrent sites

    ...why doesn't Floor64 man up and run a torrent tracker for only legal stuff? Why not be a leader...


    http://wiki.vuze.com/w/Legal_torrent_sites

    uhm...because he actually wouldn't be a leader, but rather a market follower.

    all kinds of fun stuff going on out there behind your blinders.

    People have to learn to respect others.


    oh really? you mean like this:

    Sorry loser,
    You are an idiot troll, aren't you?
    asspick troll.
    troll
    ...and your an arsepick.
    Have a nice day troll.
    liar.
    Ooo, look, stinky troll bait.
    nice comeback, son.


    (n.b. i know full well that wasn't the gist of your statement, but it does suck when someone else twists your seemingly innocent words around no? People have to learn to respect others. is,as we know, code for i believe big content must continue to earn as much as they have and in the exact same manner )

     

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  52.  
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    Michial Thompson, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:41am

    Terminology is wrong

    mikee;

    99% of what is PUBLICLY available may be infringing, but Torrent's aren't just used for public downloading of files.

    I frequently use torrents to distribute large files between my servers. I have a number of servers located in Data Centers, but my office is still running on a t1, so I seed from my office, then send the torrents out to all the servers to download the files. That way All of the machines work together and pretty much all complete about the same time for the download.

    THIS is where the real power of torrents come into play, and the MAIN reason that banning or legislating torrents is a problem.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Haven't done a good job making available? *cough* iTunes.

    Satisfying customer demands isn't profitable when customers demand "free."

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:58am

    In regards to the fact that studies show that copyright thefts buy more content than normal law abidding citizens. Someone has to buy the content that others are stealing I mean downloading.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Except of course that the resale market on TV series (syndication) makes it clear that there is still enough value and demand to defeat even that argument."

    Sorry, the TV shows have no value once they're distributed for free. This guy named The Anti-Mike told me so!

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "People have to learn to respect others."

    "Sorry loser"

    "Perhaps when you turn 18 and have to move out of mom's house, you will understand."

    Oh, you're so fun.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Re: It isn't Complicated

    Not really.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    Umm, you are aware that iTunes sells overpriced low quality files, used to be infested with DRM everywhere, and doesn't even offer plenty of tracks?

    Right, I thought so.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:04am

    Re:

    TAM, you're an idiot. The more you post, the less credible you become.

    I'm completely boggled why you seem to favor the entertainment industry's practices. You seem to be very content with having content locked up in expensive offerings or protected software which rarely is consumer friendly.

    Tell you what, genius. The next time a CSS layer prevents my DVD player's ability to read my legally purchased DVD, I want YOU to buy me a new player.

    When software I purchase conflicts with other software and renders my PC completely useless, I want YOU to come to my house and fix it.

    When my music library suddenly vanishes because a business no longer wants to support their offerings, I want YOU to buy me every damn song I had in that library.

    For you see, idiot, I don't download. I've never downloaded a song, TV show, movie, or software illegally. I pay for what I thought I owned.

    So, to quip your idiotic analogy back at you, I picture that very shop owner taking back the milk, eggs, and bread I legally purchased and that's after I couldn't open the damn packages because the security (protected by law, no less) prevented my hands from doing the work.

    I picture the movie theater owner stopping the movie half way through only to say "We're no longer going to support this format and we're shutting down our projectors" despite the fact I paid for the ticket.

    Do you honestly think, as a PAYING CUSTOMER, I appreciate these tactics being done to me?

    So take this as advice when I tell you to shove your rhetoric up your ass, you pompous idiot. Come back to me when these businesses start treating us as customers, rather than criminals.

    Oh, and I stooped down to your level of communication to condescendingly tell you off, given it seems to be the only way you seem to communicate, idiot.

     

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  60.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    It's more like a star-trek replicator making a copy of a T-shirt at the shop, then the transporter relocating them home. Far less cost and interference on one's daily life. There is a difference between physical goods, and digital/virtual goods.

     

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  61.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's funny that you mention physical goods as artificially scarce, where virtual goods aren't?

     

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  62.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I owe my soul to the company store..."

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re:WTF

    So what you are saying is after someone looks for content via "legitimate sources", and can not find it, they are free to obtain it how they see fit?

     

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  64.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Re:

    What about when customers demand cheaper prices for older stock, complete international availability, no regional release windows, no DRM on any content and compatibility with all players and operating systems?

    Torrents already offer all of this, iTunes absolutely does not. The content industries have chosen not to offer these, hence they lose custom.

     

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  65.  
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    nunya_bidness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    Nice try, but I think you are way off base. More like 90% recording was done for personal use from the original "purchased" source.
    1. 8 track recording, virtually non-existant, very poor quality.
    2. Cassette recording done in real time from original source, nice to make tapes for the car, not duplicating, too slow.
    3. Cassette to cassette "sharing", each generation loses too much quality to go very far.
    4. Neither have any archiving ability.

     

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  66.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:06am

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

    JAC, goods have both a retail price and a value. They are not tied together as a hard pairing, but they are elastically connected.

    Value helps to create the retail price. Something that has no value will likely have no good retail price, as nobody will want to own it, purchase it, or use it. Value is in the end part of "demand", see Supply V Demand.

    The problem is when there is infinite supply, no matter what you put on the other side the effective price is zero. The value may be higher than zero, but the longer the price remains at zero and the supply remains huge, the more likely the demand is satisfied, which elastically pulls down the value as well.

    There will always be some sort of personal value to things, as in "I value Trent Reznor's music", but the longer it sells for nothing, the more likely that people will assign it less actual value.

    As for price differences, if I go to supermarket A, Coke is 1.99 cents for 2 liters. In the store across the street, it is on special for 99 cents. Things are just like that.

    Actually, I don't insult anyone who doesn't insult me first, except for RD who has insulted me enough in the last year that he earns it, that and all his anonymous postings. He is so transparent!

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Time to get the NRA involved

    I'm thinking that if Bittorrent gets blocked because 90% of the pirating is done with Bittorrent then the NRA should start worrying. Can't that same argument work with guns? 90% of the murders are done with guns, so ....

    Bittorrent doesn't pirate... People pirate.

    Guns don't kill people... People kill people.

    One and the same to me :)

     

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  68.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re:WTF

    Customer: "I want to buy your product"

    Media industry: "No, I won't sell it to you"

    Customer: "Why not"

    Media industry: "You're in the wrong country / I don't want to sell it yet"

    Pirate: "I'll give it to you for nothing, right now"

    Customer: "OK, cool. I wanted to pay, but since you won't take my cash, I'll take the free version."

    Media industry: "The pirates are stealing from us!"

    Few potential customers think that this particular situation is morally wrong. They may be wrong in your eyes, but they did attempt to do the correct thing before going down the piracy route. If the industry had wanted to accept that person's money, there would not be a problem and both parties would be happy.

    Now, you can argue the ethics, but when what you literally have is a person having their money turned down before they turn to piracy, the industry loses the chance to scream that "piracy" is taking away their custom. You can argue all you want about whether the free version should be there, but ignoring customers' demands is clearly not the way to run a healthy business. What money is lost if you've literally refused to take it?

    Easy way to fix this problem: service the demand from people who actually *want* to pay you money.

     

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  69.  
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    DocMenach (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:29am

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

    The problem is when there is infinite supply, no matter what you put on the other side the effective price is zero. The value may be higher than zero, but the longer the price remains at zero and the supply remains huge, the more likely the demand is satisfied, which elastically pulls down the value as well.

    Hey Anti-Mike. Thanks for perfectly illustrating Mike's point about how people like you do not understand the economics of infinite goods. In your mind having that infinite good drops the price to zero and then nobody makes any money. That is exactly where your misunderstanding is. You can still make lots of money from an infinite good with 0 price. The 0 price does not mean that the value is 0, or that the consumer will view it that way. The infinite good with 0 price can easily be used to make money in numerous other ways, as has been illustrated over and over again here.

    You also ignore the fact that the selling price of music has been kept artificially high through the use of monopoly rents. There is no legitimate reason why MP3s should cost the same on a per-track basis as music on CD did when CDs they first came out. There have been myriad advances that have made the production, distribution, and promotion of music much cheaper, yet the recording industry insists on controlling the price that it is sold for to keep it artificially high.

    You can try to continue to whine, kick and scream about how infinite goods are terrible, but that doesn't remove from the fact that they are, in fact, infinite goods. You cannot change that. It is impossible to take something that is inherently an infinite good (pretty much anything that can be digitally distributed) and try to artificially make it a scarce good. You just need to figure out how you can make money from the infinite good.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    JH, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Turn off the Internet

    You know the Internet has a lot of infringing content on it...we should just shut it down.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    customer: i want to buy your daughter
    parent: she is not for sale
    customer: why not?
    parent: i do not want to sell her
    criminal: i will kidnap her and give her to you
    customer: cool,i was willing to pay, but...
    parent: my child was kidnapped
    customer: you should have sold her when you had the chance

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Squire Headlong, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    @AC (47)

    Yes, this is reason and sense. But I think there is a solid economic cause of corporations holding on to copyright. It is a monopoly, and that means unnaturally inflated revenue and profits. Surely no corporation would voluntarily surrender the luxury of monopoly. The alternative business models probably don't offer any comparable built-in bias. The alternatives are good for the public, but corporations don't care about that, and governments limply acquiese to corporate wishes. So plenty of file-sharing is good: it seems the only thing that will force changes.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Matthew, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    Why? For the same reason that a CD with music on it rightly costs more than a blank CD. Economically speaking, the cost of creating content is a sunk cost and the cost of reproducing it will dictate the price. By pure economics, the cost of the content will drop to zero.
    Copyright is supposed to reward the creation of content, though. Not live performances. Not CD's with pretty liner notes. Not bonus flash drives (although I have to admit, I really like this idea.) You're burdening the content creator or his/her agents with extra hoops to jump through to realize the reward that copyright is supposed to guarantee for content that the public wants. (Please observe that I AM NOT arguing that income should be guaranteed for every bit of content generated just because it exists but rather in proportion to the public's demand for that content.)

     

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  74.  
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    AJ, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    Customer: I want to make a copy of your daughter
    Parent: she is not for sale
    Customer: Just a copy, you can keep the original and it will be exactly the same as before i copied her.
    Parent: Why don't you have kids, and leave mine alone
    Customer: Because i couldn't possibly make a child as stupid as this one.....

     

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  75.  
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    nunya_bidness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    good point

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    The boat is made of gold. Gold does not leak. Therefore, I am not on a sinking ship.

     

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  77.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    At what point in a file sharing operation is the original owner of the content left without their original copy? Stupid arguments are stupid...

     

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  78.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    Weird. TAM spends so much time bashing my post he doesn't even admit that yesterday he insisted I would never write about this story at all, because I "ignore" anything that doesn't agree with my world view. Funny that he wouldn't admit his own false claim since he seems to spend so much time bashing others. I wonder why....

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    The Larry Sanders Show. Go look for it on DVD on Amazon. There's the first season but they made so many more, where are they? I want to give them money but I can't find the other seasons on DVD? Why is that? I want to give them money, don't they want my money?

    Oh, nevermind, found a torrent, I'm good.

     

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  80.  
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    Leanne, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:02am

    I live in Canada - a lot of shows that air on the cable networks in the States either don't air here or air so far after the run has ended in the States that it's pointless to watch 'cause everything has already been spoiled by internet sites. Plus, most of the really good shows from the UK don't air here at all. I can't watch them on the internet streams because you have to be in the country of origin to view them. I'd love to watch stuff on NBC.com or ITV's site but I can't so for some things, I'm forced to turn to downloading the torrents as there is no other option available. There are some shows in the UK that I can't even find a region 1 dvd for it to even buy the show so what else is there to do? If they want to curtail illegal downloading then they need to provide people with another option!

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Jon B., Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Why is there only ever one troll on this site at a time?

    I've seen at least three (not naming names), but they've all been in succession. As soon as you start asking where that one guy went, this other guy shows up.

    Either they're all the same person, or worse, they're all Mike's alter ego. I just can't see it being the latter, though. So, why is there ONE guy who's really interested in trolling this site?

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright is confusing. Piracy is plentiful.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:03am

    I think Mike's point here is less about whether copying bits and bytes is theft. I think the point is more that these same studies indicate that demand exists for media delivered over the Internet. Give people a high-quality, legal, fairly priced alternative and many will buy it.

    Shopkeepers shouldn't hand out T-shirts to shoplifters, but they shouldn't be surprised if people people break in when they're the only shop in town selling something people want and refuse to sell to anyone who wears a shirt with a penguin on it. (NetFlix, Amazon Video, I'm talking to YOU! Linux support NOW!)

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's our TAMMY!

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    TAM was born a company man and will die a company man.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    The owner is never left without the original, but if the intention is to "sell" copies, and someone obtains one without purchasing it, then that is theft. I do agree however, Stupid arguments are stupid...

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: It isn't Complicated

    Copyright is confusing. Some artists don't care while others do.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    One cannot take a principled stance without getting paid.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    AJ, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Copying machine

    Scanner, copymachine, digital camera.. etc.. all these things can make a copy of something.

    If we can invent a way to copy something, we will. We will make millions selling the devices to do so (CD burner, DVD burner, tape recorder, camera.. etc..) but then we are going to get upset when you copy something of ours....

    I'm sure someone is thinking " Just because we sell you a gun doesn't mean you can shoot someone", but were not talking about life and death here, were talking about making a copy of something.

    Can the content/media guys really be so stupid as to think they can make millions selling the products that do what they fight so hard against us doing, and that people will take them seriously?

    Really!?

     

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  90.  
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    mike allen (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re:

    one day TAM may get a transplant I suggest replacing his brain with a sinclar ZX81 it will be better.

    If you give away music free you sell your fans something worth having like a working gutar amp or full colour clossy book of your life or dinner with their fav band. get it just one name trent reznor.
    pass the scalpel nurse.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    MCR, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Sample issues

    I don't think I actually stated that Chernobyl was in Russia. I asked a hypothetical question. I guess reading comprehension is not in your wheel house. Nice try though.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    And that's why coppyright infringers are dragged into a court of law and charged with theft.

    Why is the word sell in quotations?

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Copying machine

    That's what I love about Sony. On one hand, part of their company purchases content from artists to sell and another part of their company sells machines that copy content.

    It's so confusing!

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    because i felt like it

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    just me, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:22am

    what if

    At what point in a money counterfieting operation is the original owner of the content left without their original copy?

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think TAM is really a Techdirt shill. What better way for Mike to get more comments going, especially in support of Techdirt. Who really has the time to comment so much and get anything else done? Only a paid shill, paid by Techdirt.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Trails, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    Every time I read something like this, I get this image of fried chicken... with ice cream and... chocolate sauce. My God, it's a fried chicken sundae!!

    My vision and yours are equally relevant.

     

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  98.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    The problem always is the same: There are limited ways to capitalize on free content, but the content still costs a fortune to make. That initial fortune has to be recovered, or the content cannot be made again in the future.

    It's one of the reasons broadcast television is such a good medium. The costs of adding viewers in an area already served is nil. There is no marginal costs, but there is what I would call "marginal benefits", in that ad rates are charged based on the viewership.

    Internet broadcast or distribution is a fail because there is a cost to add every new viewer (trackable). One new stream requires server resources, bandwidth, network center, etc. Essentially, the internet doesn't scale on this stuff very well. What it means is that a large part of your ad income goes to pay only for distribution.

    So you go to a free distribution model, but you have no way to know how many people are seeing something, and no way to set ad rates, because there is no way to know how many people are actually seeing something. So for advertisers, it is a little bit of "give it away and pray", as they have no simple way to track viewership levels or response.

    I think they keep "patching the hull" because they realize the replacement is like the Emperor's New Clothes. There isn't anything there that they can see, and nobody is doing much that is convincing them that nude is the new business suit. Until that happens, there will be plenty of patches, plenty of bondo, and plenty of bailing.

     

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  99.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    Internet broadcast or distribution is a fail because there is a cost to add every new viewer (trackable). One new stream requires server resources, bandwidth, network center, etc. Essentially, the internet doesn't scale on this stuff very well. What it means is that a large part of your ad income goes to pay only for distribution.

    Yeah, a fail ...like ...er...Google...

     

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  100.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    "Why? For the same reason that a CD with music on it rightly costs more than a blank CD."

    Except that it shouldn't - it costs less because a blank CD (end user writable) is more expensive to make than a bulk printed CD.

    Ultimately the problem is this.

    Music used to be distributed on physical media that were expensive to make. Royalties to pay for content were effectively a tax on the physical media. They were usually a fairly small tax too - typically the artist got 2%.

    This situation persisted at least until the early years of the CD (unless the record industry were lying when they said that CDs would cost more than vinyl because of higher production cost.)

    The fact that this could not last first became apparent when CDs started to appear as giveaways on the sides of cereal packets. Suddenly you realised that the CD couldn't have cost even a couple of pounds to make - so buying them for £10 must be a rip off.

    Now once the item is this cheap you can't tax it for royalties anymore. People don't notice a 2% tax. They will put up with a 40% tax. But when the tax is 80% of the total price they rebel. When it is effectively 100% - as for mp3s they rebel big time.

    Basically you have to find a different revenue stream because the old one is broken and can't be repaired.

    Trying to charge people for making copies when they can do it in their own home in private for nothing makes no sense.

    It's like charging people for using air to burn coal (or even to breath) because you need to raise money to stop global warming - it has a certain inner logic - but it will never work in practice.

     

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  101.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    What it means is that a large part of your ad income goes to pay only for distribution.

    Distribution is zero cost if you use p2p.

     

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  102.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: what if

    side effect of money having no Inherant meaning. it's only value is in it's scarcity, which is (at least theoretically) carefully controlled in relation to the actual quantity of goods and services floating around it's primary area of distribution.

    counterfeiting money is more akin to stealing a Percentage of someone's original. money exists only as a measure of value, representing a percentage of the total possible wealth in a system. as you pump more into the system, the percentage value (not just price) of every unit goes down.

    on a tangentially related note:
    money is infinitely transferable debt. it's a note saying 'X owes me y value in goods or services' where X is essentially 'someone, somewhere in the system' and y is the current value of the currency times the amount of the currency you have.

    basically, money's an entirely different creature from both infinitely reproducible digital goods and finite physical goods. It's an... abstract good? heh.

    money isn't really a thing. it has no inherent value, only illusionary value. (the illusion is useful, so we pretend it's real, but it's still an illusion)
    counterfeiting damages the illusion.

    so... yeah, lots of text saying 'never, and immediately, and it's not really relevant anyway'

     

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  103.  
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    nasch (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re: what if

    At no point. Which is of course why it's called counterfeiting and not theft. Not sure why you even brought it up.

     

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  104.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Richard, I think that if torrents were only used to view what has already gone by, there might be less of an issue.
    I don't know whether that is true or not - the research didn't specify.

    Except of course that the resale market on TV series (syndication) makes it clear that there is still enough value and demand to defeat even that argument.

    TV channels have schedules to fill so they need to buy programmes. Many schedules are more than 50% repeats - when you exclude live repoertage (news+sport). As far as the TV channel is concerned the only important thing is whether people will watch. I have often watched shows or films on broadcast where I have A) Seen it before (even MORE THAN ONCE) AND B) got a recording of it sitting in the cupboard. Oddly I rarely watch the recordings - but when the canny scheduler finds the right moment to put the programme on - then - strangely - I watch. Filesharing is unlikely to alter this state of affairs. If having a tape or DVD in the cupboard doesn't affect my watching having a torrent on my computer won't either.

    Further, torrents are often used to bring content into areas where it has not yet been shown. The UK, example, is about a full season behind on CSI, if I remember correctly. Australia is often out of sync because their seasons are reversed, etc.
    Torrents ignore national boundaries, which often means content ends up in a market before it is officially released. This can only have a negative effect on the value that broadcasters will pay for the rights to these shows.

    We're supposed to have a global market these days. The rest of commerce accepts this. For some reason the entertainment industry is living in the 1930's.

    The BBC iplayer is a good example of the GOOD uses of P2P style distribution, as the rights holder is deciding what is out there, not the viewers themselves.
    In the case of the BBC the rights holder is ultimately the viewer. They pay for everything via the license fee and the governing body (The BBC trust) is supposed to act on their behalf.

    The BBC doesn't show up at people's doors and take their cars or children, why should the viewers be able to tell the Beeb what to put online?
    Because they pay for it via the licence fee. I would have thought that was pretty conclusive.

     

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  105.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    "customer: i want to buy your daughter
    parent: she is not for sale
    customer: why not?
    parent: i do not want to sell her"
    customer: Then why are you advertising her on TV? and how come you sold me her sister last week? and you sold her to 20 million people in another country last year and you told the government that you wouldn't have any children unless there was a law that allowed you to sell them multiple times over?

     

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  106.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Nope, lying again

    "Actually, I don't insult anyone who doesn't insult me first, except for RD who has insulted me enough in the last year that he earns it, that and all his anonymous postings. He is so transparent!"

    Uh, just for the record, I never post anon, ever, but it has occurred a couple of times (and I mean a couple, as in, 2) that the submit got hit before I put in my name while I was editing a reply. And those werent even in response to you, so once again, you are wrong.

    As for insulting you in the "last year", a) you havent been posting for a year and b) I know for a fact I havent been responding to your posts for more than a few months, because I moved late last year and it was AFTER that time that I started seeing your shilling garbage. Lie #2.

    And as for insulting you first, well all I can say is, do you know the story of the boy who cried wolf? Do you know the LESSON of that story? Well, I better spell it out since you ALWAYS get the lesson wrong in any of these discussions anyway:

    When you establish a pattern of abusive, lying, manipulative behavior, you lose the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt, and you gain the dubious distinction of having not only your opinions invalidated, but your audience turns against you and lashes out at the FIRST sign of the garbage that pours from your mouth. Even if you HAD a point, no one cares anymore because you have lied and abused them so much before.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    But, but, but P2P is stealing!

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:48pm

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

    I shill for the arts on Techdirt for free.

     

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  109.  
    icon
    Josh (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Piracy 101

    It does not matter if piracy is morally wrong or illegal. The napster generation was given incredibly poor service when it came to music and so they pirated what they wanted. By the time services like the iTunes store and Hulu and the like came around the mentality was already set. "Check the legal sources. If you can't find what you want easily check the illegal sources. If you still can't find it then too bad!"

    Technologically speaking the pirates will always be ahead of those seeking to combat them. Laws and policies enacted to prevent piracy will be actively ignored and technology will be created to make it harder and harder to track down.

    Piracy has become very easy and so long as it is easier to pirate than to find a legitimate source for the content, piracy will spread.

     

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  110.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike, considering you ignored it for 72 hours, and then (by your own admission) only wrote about it because I pushed you about it, I don't think I have much to apologize for.

    However, I will give you credit for once again coming up with a clever way to try to make me look bad. Too bad it also makes you look petty.

     

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  111.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    Actually, there is only one troll on here right now, he posts as anonymous, tracker1, and a few other names that he makes up on the fly. Funnier yet, he answers himself and pats himself on the back.

    I suspect it's RD (because he rarely posts when the anon is ragging on me), but what can I do?

    It's too bad that people are more interested in debating me as a person, and not at debating ideas.

     

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  112.  
    icon
    Josh (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Well if it makes you feel better I think that the comment boards are far more interesting with your dissenting opinions even if some of your comments are trollish.

    It helps to keep this place from becoming an echo chamber and certainly makes some of these threads much more entertaining to read.

     

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  113.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    Nope, lying again redux

    "I suspect it's RD (because he rarely posts when the anon is ragging on me), but what can I do?"

    Nothing, since you are wrong. I dont post anon, ever. If I ever did, it was an error. Mike can verify with my IP, if he really wanted to.

    "It's too bad that people are more interested in debating me as a person, and not at debating ideas."

    Are you SERIOUS?? Dude, listen, you are the WORST person EVER on this site for making personal attacks and AVOIDING debating the ideas! You ALWAYS duck the issue and take a side argument or a strawman and claim "victory!" You are in your own Big Media spin zone, where you accuse everyone of the very thing you yourself do, as if that PROVES you are in the right! WTF? Do you even bother to think before you post, or do you just lash out blindly at whatever you can take the opposite stance on regardless of how much of a hypocrite it makes you look like? Because you look like a hypocrite.

     

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  114.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Nope, lying again redux now with more lying!

    "It's too bad that people are more interested in debating me as a person, and not at debating ideas."

    Also, need we pull past comments that completely disprove this? The "ideas" have been debated to you COUNTLESS times, more often than any attacks (which, by the way, you instigate most of) and even then, YOU DONT DEBATE THE MERITS, YOU are the one who ducks the issues.

     

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  115.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re:

    I was going to ignore this

    I "ignore" anything that doesn't agree with my world view

    Case rested.

     

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  116.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Complete utter liar TAM!

    "I was going to ignore this"

    I "ignore" anything that doesn't agree with my world view

    Case rested.
    ------------
    WTF? Are you a retard? Seriously, seek help, because not only do you have no reading comprehension, you are now flat-out, no question completely and utterly taking a quote out of context to rest your "case." Its not even remotely defensible.

    Mike was NOT saying "I ignore everything that doesnt agree with my world view." Lets take a look at the WHOLE quote and see just how much of a pile of shit lying shill you are (emphasis mine):

    "Weird. TAM spends so much time bashing my post he doesn't even admit that yesterday ***HE INSISTED I would NEVER WRITE ABOUT THIS STORY AT ALL, BECAUSE*** I "ignore" anything that doesn't agree with my world view."

    Try reading that again. If you still think it "rests your case" then its time to leave the internet and stop wasting everyone's time. You are done, you have no valid argument anymore, no matter what you say.

    The TAM Who Cried Wolf has cried wolf for the last time.

     

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  117.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: "legal" torrent sites

    i know full well that wasn't the gist of your statement, but it does suck when someone else twists your seemingly innocent words around no?

    Not at all. What is annoying is people who take words out of context and attempt to jam them down your throat. In each case, the items you quote from me are answers to a very annoying troll who just wants to get into a fight, or to people who have called me equivalent things. I don't start it, but I sure don't let them get away with it either.

     

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  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Compared to you, Mike looks pretty.

     

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  119.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: "legal" torrent sites

    Still waiting for you to answer this question:

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20100127/0622237940#c501

     

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  120.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, considering you ignored it for 72 hours, and then (by your own admission) only wrote about it because I pushed you about it, I don't think I have much to apologize for.

    Wow, dude. Tone down your ego. Didn't post it because of you at all. Posted it because a bunch of folks who I *respect* asked me for my thoughts. Only saw your comment after I posted it.

    Get over yourself, buddy.

     

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  121.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    Never happen

    "Still waiting for you to answer this question:"

    He wont answer. He has no real argument. The only argument he has is....argument. And rethoric, invective, lies, and misrepresenting facts. And when that fails to get anyone to agree with his pro-copyright-is-absolute-forever corporate shilling, he launches personal attacks and/or paranoid "everyone is just out to get me!" whining.

     

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  122.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re:

    It's too bad that people are more interested in debating me as a person, and not at debating ideas.


    Stop, stop. You're making me laugh. I've spent nearly a year debating your ideas. I've proven time and time again that you are factually incorrect on history, on economics, on the law and on statistics. I have tried to engage with you. I have assumed that you weren't a troll even when a friend in the industry pointed out who you were and your history.

    Lots of people here have quite clearly been up for debating ideas with you. And yet, when they do, you call *them* trolls, insult them (or me) personally and then disappear.

     

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  123.  
    icon
    ranon (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:48pm

    Looking Back

    looking back right from Napster, Grokster etc there have been free (or very cheap) ways to distribute music. The music industry has, in every case, managed to stop them or mangle them beyond recognition.

    The music industry has now set it's sights on p2p (pirate bay). While pirate bay may have won some victories, the music industry will keep on coming with one thing or the other until it shuts it down.

    A student of history will also see that this is the pattern for all the other services. They fight for a while, win a few victories but ultimately loose.

    The reason the music industry fights so hard is that it feels (rightly or wrongly) that it's survival is at stake. It will keep on fighting until it is able to generate the same amount of revenues through another model or is replaced by another industry altogether.

     

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  124.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's why TAM is really a shill paid by Techdirt.

     

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  125.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Further, torrents are often used to bring content into areas where it has not yet been shown. The UK, example, is about a full season behind on CSI, if I remember correctly. Australia is often out of sync because their seasons are reversed, etc.

    Sorry in advance, I am going to trip someone's profanity meter. TAM as an Aussie that's the stupidest fucking thing (out of a veritable plethora of stupid things) you've said.

    What, we can't watch Heroes in summer ? Do satellite signals reverse polarity depending on the season ? I think you'll find the main reason any one country is behind the US is simply :
    a) They're generally made in the US.
    b) They then release it to themselves first so they don't have to wait.
    c) They apply some ridiculous geographic window to delay release overseas.
    And just to refute the "behind US"
    d) Most Aussies download Heroes the day after it's aired in the US (after being uploaded by US citizens most likely) and are no longer interested in it when it airs "properly" here. The station that shows it airs it at varying times during the day, and week. Neither the Aussie broadcaster, nor the creators are actually doing the best thing for their product.

     

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  126.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, you claim I falsely claimed you ignored the story, but you only saw my comment after you posted - even though I made the comment BEFORE you posted.

    I have nothing to get over, I am not in the wrong.

     

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  127.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "legal" torrent sites

    Sorry, which question? Can you restate the question in english, rather than using links to comments that have no context?

    Thanks.

     

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  128.  
    identicon
    just me, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: what if

    It was just an example, sort of, explaining how leaving an original in place does not make it ok to obtain illegal copies. So file stealing should be called counterfeiting?
    No matter how you spin it, its wrong.

     

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  129.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:WTF

    did you even read the original comment?

     

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  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "legal" torrent sites

    You said:

    "The Canadian numbers also vary greatly depending on the questions asked. There are a couple of things in play, such that file traders are often not the account holders (but their underage children), or that people just don't want to admit they trade files. So it's hard to tell."

    Where do the Canadian numbers vary greatly on the questions asked? Scroll up, the context is right there.

     

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  131.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "legal" torrent sites

    "Sorry, which question? Can you restate the question in english, rather than using links to comments that have no context?"

    Fine, since you wont bother to click ONE link that takes you to YOUR OWN COMMENT, I'll put it all in here for you:

    Link to original article and comment:
    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20100127/0622237940#c501

    YOU: Mike ran two different "surveys" from the UK which came up with vastly different numbers. The Canadian numbers also vary greatly depending on the questions asked.
    -----------
    REPLY: The Canadian numbers also vary greatly depending on the questions asked.

    Where?
    -----------
    So there you are, a straight question. WHERE are the numbers that vary greatly that YOU (yes, YOU) brought in to the conversation in an attempt to undermine the point? These are your own words now, so there is no whining about "attacking" you or "taking out of context" (ha! which YOU do all the time, talk about hypocrisy). Time to put up or shut your worthless cakehole once and for all.

     

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  132.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, you claim I falsely claimed you ignored the story, but you only saw my comment after you posted - even though I made the comment BEFORE you posted.

    I know this may comes as a shock to you, but I do not read all comments on Techdirt as they come in. I saw your comment only after I posted this story.

     

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  133.  
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    ChuckRunyan (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re:

    The fact that a not for profit can gather things and let them be downloaded for free is not the point.

    Some artists will produce their art just because they want to or are driven to. Others need to make a living.

    I presume you don't hand your pay back to your employer. Why should an artist who chooses to try to make a living off of their art not be paid, as well?

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    specious comparison

    "I presume you don't hand your pay back to your employer. Why should an artist who chooses to try to make a living off of their art not be paid, as well?"

    One is not like the other, you are comparing two different types of things.

    One is job: You were hired, you put in X-hours per week and get paid for that time (hourly or salary), subject to how well you do said job.

    The other CAN be a job, but is usually seen in this basic context: You create music, record it, and try to sell it. Now, unless someone is paying you to MAKE all this (like a job) then what you are REALLY doing is trying to MARKET your product. This is COMPLETELY different than someone who goes to a 9-to-5 job. And no one fricking OWES this person a living because of it. HE (the musician) decided to try his hand at selling his music. There is no "he is owed" in this equation. Its market-driven: You make something that someone is willing to pay money for. Maybe he does a CD, or he does it through live performances, but he isnt OWED anything. If he isnt good, or makes weirdo-crazy music that appeals to almost no one, then he will not make much and will starve. But he

    IS

    NOT

    OWED

    a living because HE CHOSE TO BE A MUSICIAN. He can only market his skills and music and hope someone (employer, band, or consumers) IS WILLING to pay what they think he is worth.

    Get this notion of "aritsts are owed a living" out of your head, its not accurate and does not apply as it does to the general working class. And if it does, then *I* want to be paid for the next 40+ years plus 70 past my death for all the office and computer work I do for every company I work for. Whats that? That isnt the same thing? Yes, thought so.

     

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

  135.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "legal" torrent sites

    -----------
    So there you are, a straight question. WHERE are the numbers that vary greatly that YOU (yes, YOU) brought in to the conversation in an attempt to undermine the point? These are your own words now, so there is no whining about "attacking" you or "taking out of context" (ha! which YOU do all the time, talk about hypocrisy). Time to put up or shut your worthless cakehole once and for all.
    -------
    An entire day and nothing, yet you continue to spew your bile in other posts, but you ignore a simple, direct question that you deny anyone ever asks you.

    So now we know. You have nothing to say, no answers, no valid argument.

     

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

  136.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Re: what if

    Try a little reading comprehension. At no point did I say that it's not wrong, just that it's a world away from actual "theft".

    People like you should start trying to frame your arguments using facts rather than twisting language to try and make things sound worse. Deal in facts, and then we won't have to argue about semantics.

     

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

  137.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If all of those are available on torrent, the only reason people are paying it to get the physical packaging. The content no longer has all that much retail value."

    If nobody wants to buy the content, why would anybody want to buy it, let alone numerous companies offering the same product? The answer is that they all *add value* instead of relying on the content alone. Which is exactly what we keep arguing the content industries should do instead of sitting and complaining about"piracy".

     

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

  138.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 3:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Apart from...

    Yet another dumb argument from our favourite troll... What are you arguing about here? You seem to be assuming that free content is the only alternative to the current system, and that with that in place only the original supplier can possibly offer the content for download. That's disingenuous at best, and foolishly binary thinking.

    There's no direct costs if people are downloading the content from 3rd party sources, which there's no real reason not to allow (if the content is not tampered with, at least) if the content is being given away for free. ZERO. That's the cost of distributing content if you do it properly. You also blather on about ad revenue, and yes such revenue would be affected if you allow 3rd party downloads and the only ads are hosted on the site itself. That's why you set your business model up to have multiple sources of revenue, and not depend on just one income stream - the reason why the recording industry is failing is because they depends too much on one source of income.

    On the other hand, people WILL pay for content if it's offered to the in the correct form. The issue with the current system is that it's based around blocking access to a majority of people - excessively high prices, regional access blocks, limited content availability, DRM, etc. People will happily pay for a legal system that offers the convenience of P2P, but that system is yet to be offered in most places. The success of services like Hulu and Netflix show that there's definitely a market for legal alternatives.

    Oh, and:

    "The costs of adding viewers in an area already served is nil."

    You might be forgetting about the huge infrastructure that's necessary to broadcast in the first place. That has maintenance, staffing, upgrade and upkeep costs in the same way that internet distribution requires some overhead. Funny how you ignore that...

     

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

  139.  
    identicon
    just me, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: what if

    At no point did I say you said it's not wrong, I said it's wrong, no matter how you spin it. I believe we are arguing about opinions, and, as a matter of fact you do not know what kind of person I am, but you seem to me to be trollish in some of your comments. Techdirt is for arguing, not for facts :)

     

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

  140.  
    identicon
    Paul Keating, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    I would like to know more about the percentage that is valid. How big is that in terms of size (terabytes?). That is the issue. People will always use tools for improper purposes. Case in point would be the Internet as a whole - we don't go around arguing that email should be banned because people use email to (illegally) spam, spook and hack. Nor do we get rid of cars because the vast majority of people (illegally) drive too fast.

    The one overriding theme in Techdirt that I agree with is this: Few examples of bad behavior being "corrected" via punishment exist. Most successful changes in behavior are attributed to channeling it into a positive (legal) framework.

     

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


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