US International Trade Commission Learns That 'Piracy' Claims From Industry Are Bunk

from the good-for-them dept

Could it be that folks in the federal government are finally starting to get the message that all of those "piracy" stats out there are complete bunk? Following up on the recent excellent GAO report noting that industry claims about "losses" from piracy were absolute fiction (the latest, by the way, in a very long line of smart GAO reports on topics of interest to those around here), apparently the US International Trade Commission held hearings where it heard from a bunch of folks explaining how inaccurate industry reports on "losses from piracy" are -- and furthermore, based on little actual evidence and don't take into account the additional benefits.

It's so rare to see the government ever actually paying attention to those who don't toe the "piracy is absolutely purely evil and destroying everything" line, that this alone is pretty impressive. Whether or not it actually gets through or leads to policy changes is another story altogether. But it's good that more voices are being heard.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Craig (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    It would help if...

    ...the US ITC would share its findings with other governments around the world, especially up here in Canada. Our current government (federal) is very business friendly to the point of ignoring silly things like actual evidence when it comes to piracy.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    sounds like a techdirt reader got into government. what they dont mention is that there is little proof of the benefits either.

     

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  3.  
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    Craig (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Proof of benefits

    How about the benefit of NOT LOSING MONEY?
    If the media corps were touting (just a number) $100 million losses, and, in fact, there is no evidence to support that, then an immediate benefit is that the media corps have a $100 million in the bank to share with shareholders.

    I'd say that is a HUGE benefit, and the proof is already there.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    how can i say this nicely? you failed basic math.

     

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  5.  
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    b.s., Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Your so full of it. How about this, the common argument always given to me about pirating movies is that it isn't stealing. Thats a bull shit argument. But, I will use that argument against you asshole.

    If there was no loss, due to there never was a sale. There is no benefit either.

    Fuck you asshole, if I found you was stealing profits from me by downloading my work without paying for it. I identify a few of you assholes and pay to d.o.s. your ip till you had lost all Internet connection. Then I would pay more out of my own pocket to have someone rob your house of all your belongings.

    fuck you pricks. You are the first cock suckers to bitch and moan when you think you are wronged, denied of fair profit. But you are the first mother fuckers to steal from others. How about this, we take from the Muslim world and cut off a finger/toe/body part for every movie/song/software you have downloaded and use/continue to use without paying for it.

     

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  6.  
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    Jeff (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    dude... take your meds... you're gonna blow an artery.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    So if there is little to no proof about the negatives and little to no proof about the positives it's a good thing there's ACTA and the Canadian DMCA. Why legislate through facts when one can just make shit up.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Perhaps you would be better off spending your money purchasing a dictionary and some sedatives.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    The counterpoint to industry numbers re losses would be to present another set of numbers believed to more realistically reflect losses.

    Unfortunately, all it seems is ever presented is that industry numbers are based upon simply wrong assumptions and are thus substantially overstated. However, when asked what would be a realistic number the refrain seems to be "I don't know, but I know their numbers are not."

     

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  10.  
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    DMNTD, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits - Thx for the proof.

    Well b.s. I think you are valuable proof of a "creative" person gone wrong! You value your work obviously WAY to much and need a ego check sir. As an inspiring comedian once said on a quote by another famous "creative". "They should have never gave you niggaz money!" Word.

     

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  11.  
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    RD, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Re:

    "sounds like a techdirt reader got into government. what they dont mention is that there is little proof of the benefits either."

    Good. Then the benefit of the doubt falls toward the PUBLIC. When it cant be determined definitively one way or the other, the default is then ALWAYS toward the majority. Not to the very few who lock all our culture and creative arts up for hundreds of years, in DIRECT contravention of the Copyright Privilege in the Constitution.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:47pm

    Re:

    ding ding ding, another winner today.

    the basic problem is that nobody can deny that people are consuming / enjoying / collecting copyright material without paying for it. people spend hours and hours listening to 'pirated' music, movies, and tv shows. there is no denying the consumption.

    without the piracy, what would become of that time? would they sit with earphones on and nothing playing? would they sit in front of blank screens watching the dvd player logo bounce around the screen? would their home media players do nothing but play the default windows freebie videos in a loop, over and over again?

    if the material they are pirating is important to them, it is likely that they will, in some manner, pay to enjoy it. either by buying it, renting it, or enjoying it through broadcast tv, radio, or such. other material might not be so compelling, and might be filled by other, more compelling content.

    the question is out there, without any simple way to answer it. most people will agree that the number is not zero. just nobody will ever agree on that the number really is.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Or they do what I did, ditched the bastards and found alternatives free as in beer and speech.

    Jamendo FTW.

     

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  14.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re:

    "the basic problem is that nobody can deny that people are consuming / enjoying / collecting copyright material without paying for it."

    You realize that the thieving bastards do Shakespeare in the Park?

     

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  15.  
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    PRMan, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re:

    People only have as much money as they have.

    When I was younger, I had an Atari 800 computer and there was a vibrant Atari 800 pirating group at my high school. Kids traded disks, one kid let me borrow all his disks for a week while I copied them.

    I bought about 10 software packages for the Atari, and I can guarantee you that without pirating I still would have only owned 10 software packages, because I had no money and my parents wouldn't pay for anything.

    But, as a result of my pirating, I learned that Origin, EA, Lucasfilm and Activision made the best games. Once I had money, I bought games for my PC. Which companies did I pay the most attention to and whose games did I buy the most?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Nicolas Chartier? Is that you?

     

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  17.  
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    V, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    TV sets have a download link only in every corner of the world would you DDOS them too?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:36pm

    Re:

    So, if there's no losses, and no benefits, which is better?

    A) Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal teams and clogging up an already slow US legal system, with no change in the status quo. (Not to mention millions on lobbying expenses)

    B) Do nothing. And maintain the status quo. And save all that legal money.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Which companies did I pay the most attention to and whose games did I buy the most?" - sort of irrelevant. you would have bought games for your pc anyway, if you are into gaming. the net is exactly the same number of dollars spent on games. perhaps you chose x over y, but likely you would have read reviews or looked at gaming magazines before buying anyway. your exposure to ea or lucasfilm likely did not change your total dollars spent. so the advantage gained for one company would be to the detriment of others.

     

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  20.  
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    Craig (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    It's not math, it's accounting. If there is no loss, then there is no corresponding reduction in assets, ergo, you still have the cash. I suppose you've never heard of a balance sheet.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:44pm

    Re:

    I really don't see how that follows. If someone measures something immeasurable, I can know that their measurement is wrong without being required to provide measurements of my own.

    If one wishes to prove those numbers wrong, it is sufficient to prove them wrong. It would be useful to provide correct numbers in order to further the discussion, but that has nothing to do with whether the first set of numbers is correct or not.

    In addition, even a slight amount of research (do it here at Techdirt if you want) does turn up alternative sets of measurements without the flawed and repeatedly-debunked assumptions that discredit the methodology of numbers bought and paid for by the entertainment industry

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    You failed basic courtesy.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "you would have bought games for your pc anyway, if you are into gaming."

    This assumes that he would be into gaming if it weren't for all the piracy. and who are you to say what someone else would have done?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re:

    I have a cable/internet connection, it's all the same pipe, and not just any cable connection but one with hundreds of channels. I pirate television shows because I am too lazy to set up a DVR and, instead, use the internet as my DVR.

    So I pay for it.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    With the added benefit of pissing off the status quo as they think I am stealing their precious intellectual property.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re:

    "If someone measures something immeasurable, I can know that their measurement is wrong without being required to provide measurements of my own."

    But we can't let axioms get in the way of a bad (pro IP) religion.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re:

    "without the piracy, what would become of that time? would they sit with earphones on and nothing playing? would they sit in front of blank screens watching the dvd player logo bounce around the screen? would their home media players do nothing but play the default windows freebie videos in a loop, over and over again?"

    People would generate art out of boredom...and then share it (mostly) for free. But then, at some point, some idiot would start trying to make people pay him for his intangible infinite goods and start demanding restrictive protections on his "art" and ruin the whole system...again...

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and seriously, why is it such a crime for people not to spend money? These corporations act like it's a crime for people not to spend money and that by not spending money it will harm the economy and so laws need to be made to get people to spend more money.

     

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  29.  
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    RD, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ""Which companies did I pay the most attention to and whose games did I buy the most?" - sort of irrelevant. you would have bought games for your pc anyway, if you are into gaming. the net is exactly the same number of dollars spent on games. perhaps you chose x over y, but likely you would have read reviews or looked at gaming magazines before buying anyway. your exposure to ea or lucasfilm likely did not change your total dollars spent. so the advantage gained for one company would be to the detriment of others."

    Ah, good, so we can FINALLY lay to rest this idea that "piracy" COSTS (as in, LOSS) the Economy. Since the dollars just go somewhere else (YOUR words) there is NO net loss to the larger economy (and subsequent job losses). Thank you, you have just disproven one of the major arguments by the *AA's. Bet they wish they had their check back now...

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    "US International Trade Commission Learns That 'Piracy' Claims From Industry Are Bunk"

    TAM was right, there was more to this "industry claims are bunk" story and it shows that industry claims are even worse than what we had thought before.

     

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  31.  
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    Brian (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Wow, looks like angry troll is angry. Please go away.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    Re:

    Yawn inducing troll is yawn inducing...

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    I think that we're slowly learning that there are a lot of real bad marketing people out there that wish the marketplace guaranteed profit.

    Hey, BTW, is Techdirt Saves* already scheduled for next year?

     

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  34.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re:

    You're assuming that pirates aren't also the biggest consumers of paid media, as well. The likelihood is that these people, who are your biggest paying customers, have paid all that they can. Magically removing piracy would remove consumption, not add money to your pocket.

     

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  35.  
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    Guilherme Costa, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

    Stop this anonymous comments

    Its ridiculous. Wanna say something? Identify yourself. If not, your're just crazy people.

    Another thing... there has never been a better time for musicians. I know many people that once they give away their music as free download their sales at iTunes get bigger.

    Do you know Paulo Coelho? He gave away his books as ebooks in Russia. After that his sales grew more than 10 times.

    And I have to say. People who love Radiohead still buy their albums

     

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  36.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Show me a movie that failed because of piracy and I'll show you a movie that sucked.

    Oh, and just so you know, Avatar was pirated. Guess how much it made

    Moral of the story -

    Downloads doesn't equal loss.

    It's almost like saying Redbox is killing the movie industry. Kinda laughable.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >who are you to say what someone else would have done?

    Why, he's psychic-TAM of course. Obviously he gets to say what everyone else could, should and must have done, excepting the content industries!

     

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  38.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:19pm

    Re:

    Who is TAM?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    Re: Re:

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "so we can FINALLY lay to rest this idea that "piracy" COSTS (as in, LOSS) the Economy. Since the dollars just go somewhere else (YOUR words) there is NO net loss to the larger economy (and subsequent job losses). " it is true only in a very general way. the money goes somewhere in the economy, but not into gaming or music. perhaps it goes into stuff bought made outside of the country, and the money is gone. perhaps it is used for illegal drugs, and they money is gone. we do know that (a) the money wont cycle through the gaming economy and come out the other side as salaries, rents, and the like, and that (b) the gaming companies would see less income (loss of income).

    on a global scale, the loss is in the money cycling in the economy. but the real losses are for the industry, or the companies individually, who see their work pirated while that money goes for non-gaming related stuff. even mike has discussed how music piracy appears to have a direct relation with the number of additional entertainment choices out there. people may put their entertainment dollars in other places because they know they can pirate the music and movies. are you suggesting there is no loss for the music and movie industries as a result? even you are not so stupid as to deny the obvious.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

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

    I blame the internet.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    TAM had to stop posting because some Anonymous Cowards kept using TAM's own words against TAM. The price of having a profile, I suppose.

     

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  43.  
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    Faker Fakenstein, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Stop this anonymous comments

    Anonymity has a long tradition, not only in the arts, but also in the public square. Anonymity has been around a lot longer than the concept of piracy, otherwise, I happen to agree with you.

     

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  44.  
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    RD, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 9:10pm

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

    "are you suggesting there is no loss for the music and movie industries as a result? even you are not so stupid as to deny the obvious."

    Cant you read what I wrote? Oh thats right, I forgot, reading comprehension isnt your thing.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Stop this anonymous comments

    "Wanna say something? Identify yourself."

    So, what's your first and last name and be sure to give us enough information to uniquely identify you.

     

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  46.  
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    pays for some 0s and 1s and not others, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    People will pay for things they believe to be worth their money

    My two bits:

    Some people won't pay you for a recording of your song. Even if no one on the planet is willing to share the super awesome exciting song that everyone else is talking about with them, they don't feel it's something worth paying for.
    But if a favorite band of theirs comes to town, maybe they pay to see the concert, to be a part of an experience or enjoy live music.

    Some people won't pay you for a copy of your movie. They just don't feel it's worth the money.
    These same people might go watch a movie in a theater though, if they think a new movie will be fun to see with friends or a date. Maybe it's because it seems like a fun social activity that's worth paying money for.

    These same people might pay for nearly all of their video game purchases, because they read reviews and purchase games they enjoy. Clearly they've decided that the benefits of paying for a video game exist and either wish to support the people making the games or just want the additional features to work for them (the ones that are much more difficult to attain when pirating the same game, like online multi-player).

    I know these people, and I know a lot of them.

    There's no point to putting a price on the "losses" due to piracy, even if they exist. It doesn't change anything. People who pirate, will keep pirating, they might have to go a little further underground, but I can guarantee their perception of what is worth their money will not change.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Lol at paying to D.o.s your ip. Thats too funny. I would actually get a benifit outta that. I would get to visit you in jail.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 10:28pm

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

    I don't think TAM is psychic. Perhaps you're watching too many re-runs on the Syfy network...?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    The "loss" they're generally talking about is lost sales. There is no reduction in asset on their balance sheet equal to the 100m. They're just claiming that their income would have been higher.

    If I said that my income last year would have been 100m higher if only it wasn't for those blasted kids I would also have been lying. It doesn't mean that when I'm proved to have lied I suddenly become 100m richer. Only that I'm incapable of either telling the truth or coming up with vaild income projections.

     

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  50.  
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    Mike Raphone, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:20am

    The real objective of MPAA and RIAA.

    Collecting money for nothing. In the mid 80's David Ranada wrote a comprehensive article in High Fidelity Magazine on an effort by the RIAA to push through a scheme to prevent coping copyrighted material on cassettes. The National Bureau of Standards determined that the system distorted any music processed through the system and rejected it. The copyright control agencies used that rejection to convince lawmakers to pass a law, requiring manufactures of High Quality Cassettes to collect a fee to every cassette sold that was capable of High Fidelity recording. The fee was passed directly on to the copyright control agencies. Only voice grade cassettes were exempt from the fee.

    Then came the Music CD ROM. Manufactures of consumer CD recorders were required by lawmakers to equip them with circuitry that would only allow them to record on CD ROM's encoded to record Music. The copyright control agencies received the fees collected. In both cases fees were collected even if the media was not used to record copyrighted material.

    If one steps backs and looks at the big picture one will realize that the real objective of the copyright control agencies is to convince lawmakers to pass laws requiring Internet Service Providers to collect a fee from all subscribers for downloading music even if they never download music. If said laws are passed consumers will again be forced to pay something for nothing.

     

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  51.  
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    SomeGuy (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re:

    "if the material they are pirating is important to them, it is likely that they will, in some manner, pay to enjoy it."

    False assumption. If the material were sufficiently important to them to out-weigh or at least counter-balance the asking price, AND there was not suitable substitute at a better value-cost ratio, then they MIGHT choose to pay for it. The difference is that without piracy there's a GREATER CHANCE that the content is not consumed at all. You could write a brilliant story or shoot a brilliant movie, but what benefit is that to you (or anyone) if it's never consumed?

    And there's ALWAYS an alternative. Only teenagers and college kids ever complain about having NOTHING to do, and even they don't usually mean it. Just because someone's not consuming your content doesn't mean they're sitting on their thumbs staring into space. If they decide the value of your content isn't worth the cost to obtain it, then they'll just do something else.

    To assume that simply eliminating the ability to access your content for free means that those people (or even ANY percentage of those people) would then be paying to access your content is at best foolish and at worst gross arogance.

     

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  52.  
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    SomeGuy (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:44am

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

    "it is true only in a very general way. the money goes somewhere in the economy, but not into gaming or music."

    What says he can't spend money on OTHER games or music just because he DIDN'T spend money on THOSE games and music? You can make no claim on where or how he spends his money based on where or how he didn't spend it. It's even possible that after pirating Game A he turns around and BUYS Game A because it was THAT GOOD and he wanted to reward the people that made it. That happens, anecdotally, all the time.

     

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  53.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Magically removing piracy would remove consumption, not add money to your pocket."

    It might cause a minor boost to profitability, but the societal, tax, and incarceration cost associated would be far larger than the profits they would see. The labels and studios assume that all this reduction in profitability is caused by piracy. It is not, it is caused by competition from other sources, e-mail, texting, gaming, farmville (whatever the frak that is), social networking, web surfing, blogging, competition from others entering the market, and all the other things we didnt have 10 years ago.

    They are being eatten away at from within their own industries, and from external sources. If you chart it all out over time it is very revealing. Non interactive media (the labels and studios) are becoming less and less relevant to our daily lives. Interactive media is becoming more relevant. In the end, magically removing piracy will not make a bit of difference.

     

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  54.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Re: Realistic Numbers

    Oh, oh! I know, pick me! Pick me!

    "First, it's not my obligation to do a damn thing you tell me to."

     

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  55.  
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    hxa7241, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    'Losses' are really gains

    The whole 'losses' meme is a false way to look at it -- deliberately so, of course. The truth is more like the complete opposite.

    What is *actually* lost is monopoly privilege, and as anyone would acknowledge, a reduction in monopoly is a gain to the public. And the gain is straightforwardly obvious. It may be debatable how many users would have paid, or how much the promotion effect compensates. But it is clear that increased distribution gives people things they didn't have before.

    Attenuation of copyright means an increase in distribution, and that is good for the public.

    Since we still have sufficient production of items there is no need or reason to give increased support to companies. Whatever they lose is their own problem: they should adapt to circumstance by their own effort.

     

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  56.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    It sounds like you are starting to understand why those who say that piracy is killing them are idiots.
    You are either starting to come around to our side or contradicting your old arguments here.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    hxa7241, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    No, not really. The counterpoint is that the 'losses' angle is bogus: it is a business-led ploy to avoid the real question.

    The purpose of copyright is not simply to keep companies comfortably rich. It is to support production of public goods. But if production is sufficient anyway, there is no need for extra strengthening of copyright. And if companies are not profitable that is their own problem.

    Is production sufficient? Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf, in 'File-Sharing and Copyright', think so. And just ask yourself, do you have less music/films/books available to you now than before the rise of the internet and web? That seems a ludicrous thought. Production is doing well.

     

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  58.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    i dont think it was just AC's that were doing that.

    i did that a couple times, DH did that, ima fish, pretty much everyone did, hell... he even did that to himself on a few humorous occasions...

     

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  59.  
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    Craig (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    I was working on the assumption that they were talking about lost profits, not sales. :)

     

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  60.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "he even did that to himself on a few humorous occasions"

    I loved that! Trying to prove points and proving the exact opposite.

     

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  61.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    To my shame, I worked at Wal-Mart for a significant time period, but I expect that most retailers do this as well: A store wide inventory is performed once a year, and anything "missing" is generally categorized as shrinkage, and is counted as a loss on the books. I don't claim to know anything about the way the music/movie industry does their book-keeping, but I wouldn't be even mildly surprised to learn that they have an inordinately large shrinkage line item. Furthermore, I would bet money that shrinkage reduces your tax liability in some manner. In this way they could theoretically be claiming "theft" as losses. I sure wouldn't put it past them.

     

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  62.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Awesome, thanks, first time I've gotten to use the new "report" button!

     

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  63.  
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    BigKeithO (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I miss TAM... He was entertaining.

     

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  64.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Proof of benefits

    Especially with their massive history of creative accounting in order to not give any money to any artist other than huge acts.

     

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  65.  
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    gorehound (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Boycott all Corporate Studios

    I would make sure to boycott all these major studios.They are screweing with us and need to have a big lesson.Stop buying new corporate krap and find that used.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

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

    I mean, he's sometimes right about the whole, "there must me more to this story" bit. Sometimes more to the story does surface and it shows the exact opposite of what TAM had thought it would show.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Tom Sydnor, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    That "excellent" GAO report is the real "bunk," Mike

    Mike, have you noticed that whenever you start praising some report as “excellent,” it turns out to be a deeply flawed piece of nonsense that you were misreading? So here, for your edification, is an accounting of your latest errors. First here is a link to a blog post summarizing them:

    http://blog.pff.org/archives/2010/06/why_copyright-industry_cost-of-piracy_analyses_are.htm l

    And here is a link to a paper that dissects them in detail:

    http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/pops/2010/pop17.10-Punk%27d_GAO.pdf

    As always, I am happy to do what I can for your benighted readers, and I look forward to hearing your defense of the “positive economic effects” of crime. I am sure it will be almost as persuasive as your defense of the “effective freedom” so generously bestowed by Vietnamese Communism.

    --Tom

     

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  68.  
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    hxa7241, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 4:06am

    Re: That "excellent" GAO report is the real "bunk," Mike

    I read the summary, and it simply pushes the corporate view.

    It entirely avoids the fundamental fact: copyright is not the natural order of things, neither would it make sense to be so -- copyright is a government granted monopoly. It is effectively a subsidy, paid by the public, supporting a particular sector of companies.

    The question in such an arrangement is whether the public is getting sufficient in return. The purpose is not to help certain companies be profitable. It is to encourage creative production so the public has plenty of cultural goods available to it. So is copyright, through its corporate users, doing this good? Clear evidence is notably lacking, and actually the opposite seems ever more apparent.

    Why should everyone pay subsidies to a few companies if we aren't getting anything much in return? We shouldn't. Since the public seem not to be getting a gain from copyright, they owe companies no concern in their losses.


    Your website for 'The Progress & Freedom Foundation' says, in the about page, its mission is: "based on a philosophy of limited government, free markets, and individual sovereignty", and that it is interested in: "Advancing a market-oriented approach to Internet policy issues that minimize government control and regulation".

    Copyright is of course the exact opposite of these. It is a blatant departure from the free market, and a substantial involvement of government. But this contradiction is easily explained on viewing the supporters page, where various companies who benefit are to be found.

     

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  69.  
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    Tom Sydnor, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    You read a whole page, gee that must have been challenging

    hxa7241,
    Your views are juvenile and error ridden. Let me enlighten you.
    First, you say, “copyright is a government granted monopoly. It is effectively a subsidy, paid by the public, supporting a particular sector of companies.” This is called missing the point: all property rights are government-granted monopolies, (a.k.a. “exclusive rights”) to the use (or some uses) of valuable resources. Market-oriented economists from Milton Friedman to Richard Epstein to Posner and Landes all acknowledge that a copyright is a “government granted monopoly” in precisely the same sense as any legally protected property right. I corrected TechDirt ignorance on these basic points long ago. Here is the link:

    http://weblog.ipcentral.info/archives/2008/11/techdirts_backf.html

    Your tirade against “government granted monopoly,”( a.k.a., legally protected private property rights), leads to your next error: you find market economics and copyrights incompatible. Newsflash: property rights (aka “exclusive rights to uses of a valuable resource” or “government granted monopolies”), are indispensible predicates to what economists call “market competition.” Consequently, if you want to use market mechanisms to encourage the private production of expression, then you need to grant tradeable exclusive rights in expressive works. Granted, you could produce expressive works through some system of cross-subsidization, (e.g. artist selling t-shirts), but then, you are using market mechanisms to encourage production of t-shirts—expression is just a not-very-efficient means to that end.

    In short, if you think that Milton Friedman, Richard Epstein, Kenneth Arrow, and Posner, Landes, and many others are all betraying the cause of free markets by strongly supporting copyright protection, your quarrel is with them, and market economics generally, not me.

    Next, you say “copyright is not the natural order of things, neither would it make sense to be so.” Let me acquaint you with basic American History. Copyright protection predates the Constitution; copyrights and patents are the only private civil rights expressly mentioned in the original Constitution; and America has always had copyright protection since the first American copyright Act was drafted by members of the First Congress like James Madison, and signed by President George Washington. How wise you must be to be so much better at perceiving “the natural order of things” than Madison, Washington and the rest of the Framers.

    And by the way: as a system of cultural production driven by private producers and private audiences, copyrights have been stunningly successful. If you deny that, it is merely the triumph of ignorance over reality. The United States is now the world’s leading producer of a vast array of expressive works mostly because copyrights enable us to invest more, on average, in the work of our creators than other countries—by investing more in expression, we tend to beat out those who invest less. Those investments are driven by copyright protection.

    Finally, please note that it is not clear to me that you did manage to read the entire one-page summary of my paper. None of your random observations are in any way relevant to the issues addressed in my paper. If you wanted to read a different paper, one not focused on the logic and meaning of the GAO report at issue, that is not my problem.

    Thank you for your thoughts. --Tom

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    hxa7241, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Re: You read a whole page, gee that must have been challenging

    > "all property rights are government-granted monopolies" ... etc.

    This glosses over the clear, hard fact that copyright is doing something rather different. Copying is not the same as removing. Copyright restricts my freedom to copy, it doesn't disallow me from removing ideas from someone else -- indeed, what law could? does 'removing ideas' even make any sense?

    Copying *adds* something: if the original is good, then it creates *more* good. This is not something that, in itself, makes sense to restrict. Since copying removes nothing, and only adds to the total good, a restriction of it obviously cannot be justified in the same way as a normal system of property.

    Posner, Landes, you, and anyone of any education would know this.

    And the proposition is that copyright restrictions are justified by increasing incentive to produce -- which is perfectly reasonable. But it is something that can only be proven by evidence and practicality. I hardly made a tirade, I simply establish the question and suggest it hasn't satisfactorily been answered in favour of copyright. I may stand on the public side, which I expect is unorthodox, but the essential point is conformant with standard thought. The introduction to Landes' and Posner's 'An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law' speaks of both public good and the basic trade-off.

    A refutation requires evidence. Though that is not sufficient. A system that supports corporations in invading the privacy of the public, telling them what they can and cannot do, and even suing them, is clearly not serving the public well.

    I wouldn't deny the monetary success of media companies: with monopoly support they really ought to be successful. But is the trade-off effective and practical, is copyright suitable to circumstances and serving the public? That is ultimate question because it is the only justification of copyright restrictions. The answer is substantially no. The system and corporations must change and adapt, or fail the public, and in time, fail themselves.

    > "it is not clear to me that you did manage to read the entire one-page summary"

    I read enough.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Tom Sydnor, Jun 21st, 2010 @ 6:59am

    The difference between self-edification and self esteem

    How wonderful it must be to see in yourself wisdom exceeding that of George Washington, James Madison, the other Framers, Mark Twain, Nobel-Prize-winning economists, Milton Friedman and leadings scholars of law and economics like Posner and Epstein. But I’m not sure that I see it.

    First, you posit a fundamental difference between “copying” and “removing” that is mostly inane. For possessors of exclusive rights in trade goods, what matter are sales, not copying or removing. If removing, (aka shoplifting) prevents a sale, that is a wrong and a harm. If copying (aka filesharing) prevents a sale, the same results follow. That is why no one—not even Lessig—was willing to testify under oath in Tenenbaum that file-sharing is not harmful. Even Lessig understands the fallacy in the distinction that you find so dispositive. In truth, it is neither entirely irrelevant nor particularly important.

    Next, you say, “I wouldn't deny the monetary success of media companies: with monopoly support they really ought to be successful.” You have the facts, the economics, and the law wrong. Media companies fail routinely: it is a relatively difficult business that generates pretty average profits for investors. You fail to perceive this because you do not understand that a legal monopoly (an exclusive right) need not confer any economic monopoly (market power). All Nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States have so held, but since you are already outwitting so many other luminaries, no doubt you know better than the entire Court too.

    Beyond that, I have nothing more to say. You wish to play make-believe by refusing to concede the fact that the copyright system has been far more successful and creating lots of works that lots of people really like than any other system of cultural production in history.

    You claim that the case for copyright just has not been made. The list of persons and institutions disagreeing with you would include every Congress in U.S. history, many Nobel laureates, every advanced democracy during the past 150 years, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization (copyright protection is a condition of membership). Persons agreeing with you include Kim Jung Il and Fidel Castro. Here is a link to Castro’s views, which echo your own:

    http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/pops/pop15.5freecultureanalys.pdf#page=13

    Perhaps you and Fidel are just wiser than virtually every modern advanced democracy and international institution throughout the past hundred years. But there are other ways to explain why you could fail to perceive what so many others have.

    I have nothing further to say. Good luck. --Tom

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Gunnar Atli Thoroddsen, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

    Re: The difference between self-edification and self esteem

    Wow, talk about shouting from an ivory tower.

    Tom, you seem to have a few facts straight but why won't you let them do the fighting for you? Seriously, calling someone a commie and naming a few founding fathers isn't debating, thats just plain old hassling.

     

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  73.  
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    younotme, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 9:34pm

    come on

    lets supose the people that deserve the money get it.. and that most of these copyright asshole are wholesome and genuine.. right. now why do we use the name pirate, and or ninja.. because they take whats not theres.. we all know we are cheating somone.. who? i dont know who.. if i didnt fel like my wallet was being taken from me everytime i go to the movies i wouldnt care.. id pay the fucken fee.. but there is a whole lot of money grubbing douchbags in the movie industry.. and those dochebags make more money then the people with the ideas, the people who actually came up with the plots.. yes im technically stealing so what.. i would have to care about some over payed, lobbying assholes, whos only goal is to make more than last year.. eat shit movie exutives

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    younotme, Jul 16th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    come on

    lets supose the people that deserve the money get it.. and that most of these copyright asshole are wholesome and genuine.. right. now why do we use the name pirate, and or ninja.. because they take whats not theres.. we all know we are cheating somone.. who? i dont know who.. if i didnt fel like my wallet was being taken from me everytime i go to the movies i wouldnt care.. id pay the fucken fee.. but there is a whole lot of money grubbing douchbags in the movie industry.. and those dochebags make more money then the people with the ideas, the people who actually came up with the plots, those stories.. yes im technically stealing so what.. i would have to care about some over payed, lobbying assholes, whos only goal is to make more than last year.. eat shit movie exutives.. to be honest if i felt like it was honest business somthing tangable, there would be no question in my mind.. pay the man.. till then

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    liddad, Aug 8th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    Ninjavideo is back!

    NinjaVideo Forum is still open and as amazing as ever! And now, our new store is open!! We have some amazing, fun, and straight up stylish designs in shop, so be sure to check it out! This is one way that you can contribute to the defense fund, and support Ninjavideo’s fight. So promote us in style and snatch up some primo threads.

    To Visit the Store: http://www.cafepress.com/NinjaVideoStore

    To inquire about custom orders/designs contact us here: http://www.saveninjavideo.net/?page_id=157

    You could save ninja!

     

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


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