Filmmaker Insists That Only People Whose Livelihood Depends On Copyright Really Understand It

from the oh-really-now? dept

A bunch of folks have sent over filmmaker Bevin Carnes' rant against "free culture supporters," claiming that they don't understand copyright. In some cases, she's absolutely correct. There are many free culture supporters who don't accurately understand copyright (though, I've found that they're often quick learners). But, the misunderstandings most certainly aren't limited to free culture supporters. In fact, it quite frequently appears that supporters of ever stronger copyright are quite a bit more confused about copyright... and that seems to include Carnes, herself.
I'm always baffled by how many people who've perhaps read about an issue for five minutes or so have immaturely lashed out at an industry they barely understand, just because they want something for free, and the owner of that something wants them to pay for it. Some, I suppose, are not simply acting immature, but are actually thirteen years old. Them, I understand!
I'm always baffled by how many people who've perhaps relied on an artificial monopoly for years or so have immaturely lashed out at basic economics and the basics of copyright law that they barely understand, just because they want to keep an old and obsolete business model, and the people who want to make use of what the technology allows want to push them forward into smarter distribution methods. Some, I suppose, are not simply acting entitled, but are actually really old and unwilling to change. Them, I don't really understand.
I'm amazed, for example, by how many supporters of the free culture movement have tried to tell me how the film industry works. That's pretty funny, I think, because I studied filmmaking in college, I've won a Student Academy Award, worked at two of the major studios, and am currently working as an independent filmmaker. I'm also an I.A.T.S.E. member who has seen my union benefits dwindle over the past 3 years. So I'm always puzzled when people who know next to nothing about how my industry works try to instruct me on how it supposedly works, and why it's not fair that they should have to pay anything for the work that I've created.
I'm amazed, for example, by how many supporters of ridiculous copyright levels have tried to tell me how basic economics and business model innovation works. That's pretty funny, I think, because I've studied economics, technology innovation and business models in college. I've graduated at the top of my class, advised some of the biggest companies in the world on these topics and am currently working to help such folks adapt and embrace these new things. So I'm always puzzled when people who know next to nothing about the economics of infinite goods try to instruct me on how they supposedly work, and why it's not fair that they should have to adapt to the times based on the changing market.
One of the favorite arguments seems to be about how "greedy" companies are for wanting to be paid for content. That's odd, because when a company in my industry profits, its employees get paid (and not laid off), and they get to pay their mortgage and feed their families, etc. When someone steals a song, that person doesn't have to pay a dollar or so (which probably doesn't mean much to him in the long run), but the power of the collective decision of millions of people not to pay all those single dollars destroys the American dreams of hundreds of hard-working people's families in the industry they've chosen not to support. Oh, and the pirate site owners get the sweetest deal of all -- they profit from the advertising they sell from putting someone else's work online illegally. Still think we're the greedy ones?
One of the favorite arguments seems to be about how new methods of distribution are destroying the industry. That's odd, because when those in the industry learn to embrace such methods of distribution, in combination with smart business models, they tend to get paid more, and they get to pay their mortgage and feed their families, etc. When someone sticks to an old and obsolete business model, and watches their organization fail in the face of a changing business model, that person doesn't offer up a real reason for fans to buy their product (which probably means an awful lot to fans in the long run), but the power of the collective decision of millions of people to really support the creators who embrace these new methods of distribution and business models helps massively promote the American dreams of hundreds of hard-working people's families in the modern industries they've chosen to build. Oh, and the whining content creators who don't want to adapt get the worst deal of all -- they come off sounding ignorant and uninformed, while they sit back and watch other content creators embrace opportunities, earn lots of money and gain the love of fans worldwide. Still think we're the "immature" ones?
So, I'm calling on you, anonymous downloader and free culture supporter, to step up and be an adult. Admit that perhaps you don't really understand the issues the way that people whose livelihoods depend on them do, and it probably wouldn't kill you to just pay that dollar when you want to download a song, or that $15 when you want to download a movie.
So I'm calling on you, named fillmmaker and obsolete business model and distribution supporter, to step up and be an adult. Admit that perhaps you don't really understand the issues the way that people whose livelihoods have been made much better by these new markets, technologies and opportunities do, and it probably wouldn't kill you to just adapt with the times and put in place a smarter, better business model when you want to create a movie.

Ok. Now that that's done, let me be clear: I don't necessarily agree with all of the points I made in response to Carnes specifically here. The point was to show how easy it is to make nearly identical points on the other side. What Carnes does, unfortunately, is conflate the idea that because she's a filmmaker, she knows copyright law and economics. That's not the same thing. She certainly understands how the film industry works today better than lots of people. But that doesn't mean that the film industry always has to work that way, or that the people she attacks in her column really just want stuff for free. As we've seen over and over again, filmmakers who have embraced sharing have done quite well by it. Perhaps she should look into that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    So, I'm calling on you, anonymous downloader and free culture supporter, to step up and be an adult. Admit that perhaps you don't really understand the issues the way that people whose livelihoods depend on them do, and it probably wouldn't kill you to just pay that dollar when you want to download a song, or that $15 when you want to download a movie.


    I rather die than to give a single penny to the f'ers.
    Die and rot in hell.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    and you're not entitled

    As Mike's mentioned so many times, price does not equal value. Just because you're in business, or working for a business, you're not entitled to make a living, pay your people or make a profit.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Why would anyone pay $15 for a downloaded movie? It would probably be cheaper just to buy the physical disc.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Jari Winberg (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    losing interest

    Every time I read comments like this from "professionals" like her, I lose interest in everything they do. Does that happen to anyone else?

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    "Filmmaker Insists That Only People Whose Livelihood Depends On Copyright Really Understand It"
    Except software developers. For some reason in these articles, software developers still never understand even though their livelihood depends on it.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    The Anti-Democratic nature of Big Media

    Those that view themselves as Media Moguls simply want to de-democratize the argument by claiming that the issue is somehow too complex or can't be understood by "outsiders". I also found the simpleminded portrayal of copyright reformers a bit interesting as well.

    Of course this isn't just about "free stuff" but also about my inalienable rights as well.

    It's mostly about artists but "freeloaders" are an easy distraction.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    "...just because they want something for free..."

    I'll withhold the epithets that come to mind whenever I see this bald-ass, insulting, condescending, overreaching, self-serving and ignorant clusterspank of a PRESUMPTION and just say that I'm sick to death of it and she's on my do not bother list as of right now.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Rich, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    As a software engineer of 20 yrs., I'd like to know what you think we don't understand?

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    RadialSkid, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    Same here. From my perspective, she torpedoed her own argument before she even made it.

    For a person who calls the other side out for "not understanding," she seems to have a bit of learning of her own to do, if that's even possible.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Infinite goods?

    people who know next to nothing about the economics of infinite goods try to instruct me on how they supposedly work...


    But what about those who don't think that content is an infinite good? What about those of us who know that the day is only so long, that the band members need to get paid, and that the landlord doesn't give anyone free rent.


    Only dreamers think they're infinite goods.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    What an incredibly snarky, rude, and arrogant response to an idividual who perhaps sits in a position where she sees what is happening to her specifically.

    People post comments such as the one quoted in the article, and the first thing that happens is that people frequenting sites like this immendiately jump down their throat and call them ignorant. How dare they rely on copyright law?

    The simple fact of the matter is that at this point in time it is copyright law that defines the legal rules by which business is conducted. If people here do not like the rules and those who use them, then go somewhere else and provide support to those who appear to share your values concerning copyright.

    In the meantime, try to show a little respect to the opinions of those that may happen to differ from yours.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    jezsik, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Best repost EVER

    How easy--and entertaining--it is to flip an argument like that on its head. Well done!

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    10 years, same question.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    TN, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: losing interest

    Yes, and the list is getting longer, the more I read this blog.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Dustin, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Only people whose livelihood depends on slavery really understand it.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Eugene (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    First of all, this is the internet. Snark is the name of the game, suck it up.

    Secondly, I actually found it interesting how perfectly mirrored Mike's response was. And that says something not about the content of the argument, but the argument itself. Namely that it's not coming from a legal or moral stance, but from a purely ideological one. It serves to highlight that this is the result of the ingrained traditions of the entertainment culture, rather than the result of evidence either scientific or social.

    And speaking as someone with experience in the entertainment industry, I can assure you that this is a problem of mindset that she shares with many, many people.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    zaven (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Missing the point of Copyright

    Forgive me if I'm mistaken but I thought the point of copyright was to "promote the progress." Not have people's livelihoods depending on it. I could be wrong though. Isn't that in some important document somewhere?

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anon, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re: Infinite goods?

    The content creation isn't the infinite part. The digital reproduction of content is the infinite good.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Ah, what a nicely useless appeal to authority and majority.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Infinite goods?

    Thank you for quite simply displaying your ignorance.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Just noted the source.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    "The simple fact of the matter is that at this point in time it is copyright law that defines the legal rules by which business is conducted."

    So all business is conducted via copyright, and copyright DEFINES the rules by which business is conducted? I think you might actually be confused as to what copyright *is*.

    "If people here do not like the rules and those who use them, then go somewhere else and provide support to those who appear to share your values concerning copyright."

    We already have that place. It's called Techdirt.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    I have to say

    I understand the point of writing this post in a parody-like fashion. And adding the paragraph at the end to clarify your reasons was good. But I have to say, it almost reads as hostile. Are you getting bitter, Mr. Masnick? :/ I don't know if I can have a bitter man's babies.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re:

    What an incredibly snarky, rude, and arrogant response to an idividual who perhaps sits in a position where he sees what is happening to consumers specifically.

    People post comments such as the one in the post, and the first thing that happens is that people frequenting sites like this immendiately[sic] jump down their throat and call them ignorant. How dare they question copyright law?

    The simple fact of the matter is that at this point in time it is supply and demand that defines the market by which business is conducted. If people here do not like the rules and those who use them, then go somewhere else and provide support to those who appear to share your values concerning copyright.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Infinite goods?

    But what about those who don't think that content is an infinite good?

    What's non-rivalrous/non-excludable is not an opinion, it's a fact. If you "don't think" that these things are infinite, you are wrong.

    What about those of us who know that the day is only so long, that the band members need to get paid, and that the landlord doesn't give anyone free rent.

    All of which are scarce goods. No one claimed that time, salaries or rent were infinite goods.

    Why the strawmen, Bob? It's a pretty weak response.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    and for the film directors nomination of stupid award

    Bevin Carnes

    YAAAAA you are stupid maybe dumb cause stupid knows better.

    AND WHY, does this guy think he is entitled to work , let lone making money for 50 or more years off anything.

    SORRY EPIC fail. YOU do not try and convince anyone else that your right cause they do not or can not understand somehting.

    BAD very bad.....Only makes it worse as more and more people see HOW LAZY AFFECTS US ALL.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Bob, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    The digital reproduction of content is the infinite good.


    I'm not the one confusing them. I know that creation is expensive and that someone has to pay the bills to create the goods.



    And while distribution is cheaper, it's not really infinite. Bandwidth may not be expensive but it adds up. Only Google could subsidize YouTube long enough for it to become profitable.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    What an incredibly snarky, rude, and arrogant response to an idividual who perhaps sits in a position where she sees what is happening to her specifically.

    What an incredibly snarky, rude and arrogant comment to an individual who perhaps sits in a position where he actually understands this stuff.

    People post comments such as the one quoted in the article, and the first thing that happens is that people frequenting sites like this immendiately jump down their throat and call them ignorant. How dare they rely on copyright law?

    People post responses such as the one I wrote here, and the first thing that happens is commenters who live off of gov't monopolies like you immediately jump down my throat and call me snarky, rude and arrogant. How dare they rely on facts and reason?

    The simple fact of the matter is that at this point in time it is copyright law that defines the legal rules by which business is conducted.

    The simple fact of the matter is that at this point in time, it is basic economics that defines whether or not you will be a success in business.

    If people here do not like the rules and those who use them, then go somewhere else and provide support to those who appear to share your values concerning copyright.

    If the commenter here does not like the rules of economics and those who understand and try to explain them, then go somewhere else and bask in your ignorance.

    In the meantime, try to show a little respect to the opinions of those that may happen to differ from yours.


    In the meantime, try to show a little respect to the facts, knowledge and understanding of those who know better than you do.

    Seriously. I find it hilarious that you support ignorance and claim that it's somehow wrong to point out that something is ignorant... all the while attacking me for doing so. Hilarious.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Matthew A. Sawtell, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Considering historical examples... Carnes has a point

    Consider pre-Internet examples of "open content" - Chuck Berry's "Johnny Be Good" (other people claiming writing credit on his song during paperwork filing - thus cutting him out of a 100% share of royalities), George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" (He did even put the (c) on movie's opening credits - allowing every local and national TV station to play the movie ad nausem without paying royalites), Ms. Carnes has a point - in a rather windbagged Ayn Rann sort of way.

    As for the wise@$$ responses from the computer geeks - let's face it, the world does not revolve around vaporware, some folks still actually make physical things and expect to be paid for it.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    I'm not the one confusing them. I know that creation is expensive and that someone has to pay the bills to create the goods.

    Um, then yes, you are confusing them. We've always said that *creation* is a scarce good. But the work, once created, is infinite.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Considering historical examples... Carnes has a point

    Consider pre-Internet examples of "open content" - Chuck Berry's "Johnny Be Good" (other people claiming writing credit on his song during paperwork filing - thus cutting him out of a 100% share of royalities)

    That's not open. That's fraud.

    George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" (He did even put the (c) on movie's opening credits - allowing every local and national TV station to play the movie ad nausem without paying royalites)

    Again, that's not open. You're confusing things.

    As for the wise@$$ responses from the computer geeks - let's face it, the world does not revolve around vaporware, some folks still actually make physical things and expect to be paid for it.

    Um. Physical things are scarcities, so sure. No one said otherwise?

    Not sure what you're arguing against here.

    And who are you calling a "computer geek"?

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Of course only people whose livelihood depend on copyright think like that... Because those who do not believe on copyright will not let their livelihood depend on it!

    In other words, self-selection.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    > and it probably wouldn't kill you to just pay that dollar when you want to download a song, or that $15 when you want to download a movie.

    Paying for music and movies only support people who install rootkits on other people's machines or sue old ladies. It is better to do without music and movies than to pay for them. (Of course, there is an exception when you know the money you are paying will not go to these people.)

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Odd. I don't think of it as a straw man at all. It's the foundation of all of the mistakes that the P2P lovers make when they assume that the content will just continue to appear because it's infinite. It won't.

    One of the great advantages of copyright is that it gives content creators a useful surrogate for measuring usage. Splitting up the development costs between n people by creating n copies is only possible when free riders are constrained. Content creators were able to embrace libraries and personal sharing because the system split costs reasonably fairly.

    Oh sure, it's not perfectly fair. The person who reads a book 20 times might get more use than someone who gives up after the first few pages, but it's still a workable approximation.

    If we behave as if the supply is infinite and copying is okay, creators can't spread the costs around by controlling access to the work. Oh, there are still some other solutions. Rich kids have their parents. Some creators find sponsors. Some effectively sell ads. But a great model for spreading the costs among the users is gone.

    Unfortunately my cynicism about the other solutions is proving correct. We're not seeing the relative success of Radiohead or Cory Doctorow being repeated very often. The Internet makes it easy for these things to bloom if there's a real demand. But I just don't see the ideas taking off the way, say, Amazon or the iPod or any of the standard commercial ventures took off.

    The right model is not infinite goods, it's the ecology. People used to behave as if the number of fish in the sea are infinite. Some even still treat it that way. But the fish aren't infinite not and we're seeing a complete collapse of many fisheries because people still aren't ready to work cooperatively to nurture the ecosystem.

    So you can go on believing that the goods are infinite because the P2P networks nurture that myth, but the real world is behaving as if they're not. We're seeing a partial collapse of the news arena, just as we see collapses in other commons. The market for independent films has pretty much disappeared and Hollywood is largely devoted to making films that play well on the big screen with 3D glasses where they can still use the theater owners to enforce some semblance of a rule of law, the kind you quaintly refer to as an "artificial scarcity." Game companies are abandoning the PC platform and embracing the consoles where they have some chance to fight piracy.

    Even open source software is being slowly absorbed and dominated by the not-so-free world. Sun, one of the standard bearers who thrived for a bit while drinking the kool aid about infinite goods, was absorbed by Oracle, the company run by people who laugh at the ideas. Sun couldn't hack it, so to speak.

    So go on dreaming. Go on believing the crazy theories about infinite goods you learned when you got your good grades studying with the professors who love to dream along too. But wait until the kids discover that the knowledge is free on the Internet and they don't have to pay $200,000 for that big diploma. Then we'll see how many university economists continue to blather on about infinite goods.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, I'm a software developer who's depends on copyright the same way a musician or filmaker theoretically does, but somehow to these people who are claiming "you can't understand unless you are one of us", it never seems to count.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Your livelihood depends on fans, not copyright. Don't lecture us.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    If, according to Mike, economic forces drive the price of "infinite goods" (translation: easily copied goods) down to zero... then yes, it works out that people want something for nothing.

    You can say, "economic forces", but that's just people choosing how to spend their dollars.

    In thise case, they want the value (listen to music, watch movie, read book). But they don't want to pay for it. It's there. It's easily copied. There are no immediate negative consequences. So they do so.

    Insert whatever argument or rationalization you wish (greed, entitlement, "the man", whatever), the net effect is the same.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re:

    No...you do not know better than me. I approach these matters from the perspective of what the law "is" (whether or not I agree in whole or in part with a specific law is not relevant).

    You approach these matters from a purely economic perspective, and it is, of course, difficult to argue against basic economics.

    The fact remains, however, that the law, whether you like it or not, confers rights upon persons such as this lady, and it is the height or arrogance for persons who are not the rights holder to say "My right, which is not sanctioned by law, is more important than your right, which is sanctioned by law." If the rights holder chooses to take an approach guaranteed to fail, then while it is likely a dumb move it is also her right to pursue same. If one does not like the limitations imposed by the rights holder using such an approach, there is absolutely nothing keeping them from taking their business elsewhere.

    Attack me if you feel you must, but I unwaverlingly stand by my original comment.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    "It's the foundation of all of the mistakes that the P2P lovers make when they assume that the content will just continue to appear because it's infinite. It won't. "

    It's the foundation of all of the mistakes that the pro-copyright crowd makes when they assume that content didn't exist before copyright. It did.

    "We're seeing a partial collapse of the news arena, just as we see collapses in other commons."

    Let me guess...piracy is to blame?

    "The market for independent films has pretty much disappeared"

    Since when?

    "and Hollywood is largely devoted to making films that play well on the big screen with 3D glasses where they can still use the theater owners to enforce some semblance of a rule of law, the kind you quaintly refer to as an 'artificial scarcity.'"

    Hollywood is going where the money is, just as they always do.

    You make it sound like Hollywood has been "gutted" by "piracy," and 3D movies are a last ditch effort to make *some* money from those greedy, nasty pirates. The only problem is that Hollywood's revenues have freaking EXPLODED over the past decade. They're making money hand over fist, by producing what people want to see. Problem? I don't see one.

    "Game companies are abandoning the PC platform and embracing the consoles where they have some chance to fight piracy."

    No. Game developers have embraced consoles because CONSUMERS have embraced consoles. And the reasons for that, mainly, are that console technology has nearly overtaken PC technology (consoles now are effectively mini-PCs), and also that consoles don't have to be "tweaked" to run the games.

    Remember: Developers don't pick the market, consumers do. Developers go where THEY go. And they're going more and more to consoles.

    "Go on believing the crazy theories about infinite goods you learned when you got your good grades studying with the professors who love to dream along too. But wait until the kids discover that the knowledge is free on the Internet and they don't have to pay $200,000 for that big diploma."

    Funny, I'm one of those who didn't bother with college knowing that knowledge can be obtained anywhere, and am better off for it. Keep your degree, I have no use for it.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Another User, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Not a whole lot of value if you limit that value, IE Limited number of installs, only plays on certain devices, can't backup, ect, ect. I decided not to buy digital downloads when I tried iTunes once and found out I couldn't play my iTunes purchased HD movie on my projector because it wasn't a recognized device. I can go though a lot of hoops and get it to work but I would rather have my money back but you can't return digital goods. I just now get the physical copy and get the digital copy by other means.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    Nina Paley (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Cartoons

    The cartoon she posted sucks. These IP cartoons are much better.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    The market for independent films has pretty much disappeared ...

    Holy stupid statement batman. Have you paid any attention at all to independent film for the last 5 or so years? Things are only getting better and better. I would go into a lengthy discussion but you are probably in a rush to go back under your rock.

    Oh, and theatres offer the scarce good of an environment. You can't have a personal screen that big or sound system that good unless you are rich. It is a very social experience that you cannot replicate at home. And PC gaming is also doing just fine. More and more games are continually being made. I don't know where you get your crazy stats that some things are dying off but I can assure you they aren't as I spend a bit of recreational time in all of those areas.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The fact remains, however, that the law, whether you like it or not, confers rights upon persons such as this lady, and it is the height or arrogance for persons who are not the rights holder to say "My right, which is not sanctioned by law, is more important than your right, which is sanctioned by law."

    I'd like to quote a great line that a commenter once posted on this very site...and sorry I don't know who to attribute it to:

    "Just because some senile, fat, bribed-to-hell-and-back men wrote it on a piece of paper and sat around and nodded at each other does not make it right, moral, ethical, or even
    logical."

    Only a coward blindly follows laws which he holds moral opposition to.

    And for the record? I don't engage in file-sharing. I do just what you said...I take my business elsewhere. That should make me no better or no worse than the "pirates," since neither of us pay these greedy, entitled copywhiners.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    jc (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I swear to god you can't make this crap up:

    ...it is the height or arrogance for persons who are not the rights holder to say "My right, which is not sanctioned by law, is more important than your right, which is sanctioned by law."

    One word: slavery.

    You are so ignorant I'm getting an actual headache reading your crap.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Odd. I don't think of it as a straw man at all. It's the foundation of all of the mistakes that the P2P lovers make when they assume that the content will just continue to appear because it's infinite. It won't.

    No one made that assumption. Hence: strawman.

    One of the great advantages of copyright is that it gives content creators a useful surrogate for measuring usage. Splitting up the development costs between n people by creating n copies is only possible when free riders are constrained. Content creators were able to embrace libraries and personal sharing because the system split costs reasonably fairly.

    If only there were any truth in the statement above. Tragically, there is none. Welcome to faith-based ignorance, via Bob.

    Your mistake, of course, is assuming that the business model is about recouping fixed development costs. It is not.

    If we behave as if the supply is infinite and copying is okay, creators can't spread the costs around by controlling access to the work. Oh, there are still some other solutions. Rich kids have their parents. Some creators find sponsors. Some effectively sell ads. But a great model for spreading the costs among the users is gone.

    We don't "behave as if supply is infinite." It's the state of the market. What makes me laugh are folks like you who pretend that what's happening isn't happening, and are then so stuck looking at a mythical past that never existed that they miss all the new opportunities created.

    Rich kids have parents? Ha! Someone hasn't been paying attention.

    Unfortunately my cynicism about the other solutions is proving correct. We're not seeing the relative success of Radiohead or Cory Doctorow being repeated very often.

    Someone's not looking very hard.

    The Internet makes it easy for these things to bloom if there's a real demand. But I just don't see the ideas taking off the way, say, Amazon or the iPod or any of the standard commercial ventures took off.

    Someone's not looking very hard.

    The right model is not infinite goods, it's the ecology

    This isn't about "right" or "wrong." It's about what's actually happening.

    People used to behave as if the number of fish in the sea are infinite. Some even still treat it that way. But the fish aren't infinite not and we're seeing a complete collapse of many fisheries because people still aren't ready to work cooperatively to nurture the ecosystem.

    That's because fish are not infinite. But digital content is. Why you skip over this key point is beyond me.

    So you can go on believing that the goods are infinite because the P2P networks nurture that myth, but the real world is behaving as if they're not.

    If the real world was behaving as if they were not, then you wouldn't be whining.

    We're seeing a partial collapse of the news arena, just as we see collapses in other commons.

    Which, if you actually looked at the history and the data has NOTHING to do with digital content online.

    The market for independent films has pretty much disappeared and Hollywood is largely devoted to making films that play well on the big screen with 3D glasses where they can still use the theater owners to enforce some semblance of a rule of law, the kind you quaintly refer to as an "artificial scarcity."

    Ha! This is so wrong it makes me wonder if you live in an alternative universe. The movie industry is doing great, and indies are thriving if you find the folks who embrace smarter business models.

    Game companies are abandoning the PC platform and embracing the consoles where they have some chance to fight piracy.

    Another myth that was recently debunked. You're full of 'em.

    Even open source software is being slowly absorbed and dominated by the not-so-free world. Sun, one of the standard bearers who thrived for a bit while drinking the kool aid about infinite goods, was absorbed by Oracle, the company run by people who laugh at the ideas. Sun couldn't hack it, so to speak.

    Oh wait. So one company with execs making bad decisions disproves an entire model? Well, then why don't you admit that the "newspaper" model doesn't work, because of the failures of Tribune, Knight Ridder, etc...? Come on, man, be consistent in your ignorantly ridiculous statements!

    So go on dreaming.

    If by dreaming, you mean accurately noting the economics at play, rather than sticking my head in the sand and pretending that the world is not what it is... then, okay.

    Go on believing the crazy theories about infinite goods you learned when you got your good grades studying with the professors who love to dream along too.

    Heh. When you have no real facts to back up your ridiculousness, you pretend I haven't been living in the real world, and actually doing this stuff. You make me laugh.

    But wait until the kids discover that the knowledge is free on the Internet and they don't have to pay $200,000 for that big diploma. Then we'll see how many university economists continue to blather on about infinite goods.

    Ha! Good one.

    Your ignorance is stunning. I feel sorry for you. Ignorance can be cured, but you appear to be willfully ignorant. Not much can be done about that.

    Good luck. You're really going to need it.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re:

    Haha Mike.
    You deserve a cookie after that blog post and reply right here. Very well done.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Rich, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That doesn't answer may question. You wrote, "software developers still never understand..." I, as a software developer, ask what specifically you think I don't understand about copyright law?

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only a coward blindly follows laws which he holds moral opposition to.


    If this particular commenter is who I believe it is, he has in the past admitted that he thinks the law equals morality. I presented a scenario where following the law would make everyone worse off, and not following the law would make everyone better off, and he claimed that following the law was the more moral solution.

    I simply can't comprehend a mind like that.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No...you do not know better than me

    In this case, I'm quite confident that I do. There are lots of people I encounter every day who do, in fact, know much better than me. But I'm pretty sure you're not one of them.

    I approach these matters from the perspective of what the law "is" (whether or not I agree in whole or in part with a specific law is not relevant).

    Uh huh. And you think the original post from Ms. Carnes accurately presented what the law is? Really?

    The fact remains, however, that the law, whether you like it or not, confers rights upon persons such as this lady, and it is the height or arrogance for persons who are not the rights holder to say "My right, which is not sanctioned by law, is more important than your right, which is sanctioned by law."

    First of all, it is not the height of arrogance to discuss such things... and I find it odd that you complain about *my* arrogance, but ignore her arrogance and blatantly false statements as a matter of law. Funny.

    If the rights holder chooses to take an approach guaranteed to fail, then while it is likely a dumb move it is also her right to pursue same.

    And, equally, it is my right to point out how dumb that move is, no? Why is it okay for her to act dumb, but not for me to say it's dumb? I find that position untenable. You are suggesting that I let dumb ideas go past unchallenged. I find that to be an immoral statement.

    If one does not like the limitations imposed by the rights holder using such an approach, there is absolutely nothing keeping them from taking their business elsewhere.

    You seem to be suggesting that I said people should violate this woman's copyrights. I said no such thing and I'm offended that you would misstate my position as such.

    Attack me if you feel you must, but I unwaverlingly stand by my original comment.


    You lie about me, you ignore her statements, you have been proven totally wrong and potentially immoral... and you stand by it?

    Gee... is it any wonder you don't sign your name to comments here (but do so on other sites when attacking me personally?).

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry Rich, I am bad at explaining. It isn't about what I think but what I think the filmmaker thinks. I was trying to say that the quote should be changed as such:
    "Filmmaker Insists That Only People Whose Livelihood Depends On Copyright [Except Software developers] Really Understand It"

    Not because I think that software developers don't understand copyright, but because every time someone brings up this argument to me and finds out I'm a software developer, they always say that doesn't count / software developers still don't understand copyright. I don't know why.

    Does that make sense? Sorry, I'm a developer, I'm bad at communication! ;)

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    mosaic user, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    history in motion

    Okay, as stated below, this is the someplace else. Not Techdirt specifically,but CyberSpace. (Had to say cyberspace to justify the user name) When the publishing industries wanted to duck out on paying royalties to English sheet music publishers,they went to New York,NY..and disrupted that industry by no longer importing sheet music,and so paid no royalities. Something very similar happened to the music industry when Rogue piano roll makers took up their craft while evading compenation to those musicians who were the rights holders under our system of laws at the time. Our beloved institutional Hollywood came about largely to evade the litigation around the patents and royalties due to one Mr Thomas Edison for use of his photographic, projection, and sound recording equipment. Don't be so surprised, or high and mighty that a new disruptive business model is based on an ancient business tactic. This is the somewhere else. Props to you though,for recognizing that all business has skeletons in the closet, and if they can keep them there, sooner or later, the new model will become the veneer of respectability.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    Qyiet (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Classic Logical Fallacy

    This is known as special pleading: You can't argue against me because "you don't know.. you weren't there man"

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

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > I simply can't comprehend a mind like that.

    TVTropes can: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LawfulStupid

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Another rationalization: I can't have the way I want it, at the price I want it, at the time that I want it.

    So that makes downloading it okay.

    Not saying that all of those things you mentioned are okay, or that we shouldn't complain about them and try to get things changed... we should. Just that they're not a valid justification for theft.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Patrik, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Cartoons

    Wow... I used to have some respect for you.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    If you're doing the work and then waiting for someone to pay you for a copy of that work, you're doing it wrong. If you want to get paid for the work you do, secure payment first. If it takes you 1,000 hours and $50,000 to live, then get someone (or many people) to pay you to create it rather than doing it for free and try to get paid after the fact.

    Did Michaelangelo do the Sistine Chapel without promise of payment? What would have happened if he had just done the job uninvited and then demanded to be paid every time someone saw it? What if a landscaper came to your house, landscaped your lawn, and then demanded that he/she/they be paid every time someone sees your yard?

    No, the proper business model isn't to create something imaginary and infinite, then sell it to as many people as possible. It's to get people to hire you to create. Want to make a movie? Get people interested in funding it and offer perks that encourage larger contributions. Communicate what you can offer people and what you need to create it. If it's worthy of funding, then people will support it.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re:

    When the cost to create something is $0 then that product can only rely on it's value. That value can be dropped to below $0 due to restrictions like DRM.

    For example, let's say that the value of a song on iTunes is $0.99 (it's not, but lets say it is). The DRM attached drops that value considerably, possibly down to $0.10. No one is going to pay for something that's price is over nine times the value. We take out the DRM and the value goes back up to $0.99 but iTunes decides that they want to sell it for $1.25. That price is $0.26 higher then the value and were back where we began.

    So it's not that people are looking for something free, they're just looking for something that costs what the value is, and it's just not being supplied right now by the big labels. So people find the path of least resistance and go about their day.

    This is where CwF + RtB comes in, give people more value for their product and people will gladly pay higher prices. This has already been proven.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Another rationalization: I can't have the way I want it, at the price I want it, at the time that I want it.

    So that makes downloading it okay.


    Nope. The argument is that not paying for it is OK.

    And it is. People shouldn't be forced to pay for things they don't want.

    Whether the person downloads it or not is irrelevant.

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Classic Logical Fallacy

    Can't you see she hurts when her profit growth slows?

    (Of course these self-entitled choads don't care that the median national income has been dropping since 2006, while the CPI keeps rising. She reckons she's entitled to be in that special percentile of greedy fucks at the top who helped drive the mean income up in the same time period.)

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    It's hard to convince someone they're not thinking rationally when they're not thinking rationally.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I think the OP is trying to say "get out of America" if you don't like it. I'd rather take the "I don't think this law is right nor fair, so I'll offer my opinion that it should be changed or removed" approach.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Re: I have to say

    His reply seems hostile, because her statements seem inherently hostile. She treats those that disagree with her as idiots and thieves. It's only natural that the tone of the source article, when mirrored, takes on the same hostility.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    His job depends on "pirate" technology...

    You might also like to point out to Ms. Carnes that the only market that could even possibly be effected by piracy, is the "secondary market." That is, the sale and rental of DVD's or Blu-Ray discs.

    That market didn't even exist until the 1980's. So, I guess nobody was able to make movies before then, huh?

    And it all started with the VHS tape. The same technology that Jack Valenti compared to the Boston Strangler. If it wasn't for technology that enables "piracy," that entire market wouldn't exist.

    Now, the indie movie scene started to become lucrative because it embraced this secondary market. Prior to that, you had to get your film shown in a theater to make any money whatsoever. The secondary market that "pirate" technology created enabled the growth and acceptance of the indie film.

    So if it wasn't for "piracy," she wouldn't have a job.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    Re: His job depends on "pirate" technology...

    Er, "Her job." Apologies for the inadvertent sexism.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just that they're not a valid justification for theft.

    Say it with me, kids: YOU CAN'T STEAL DIGITAL DATA.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Cartoons

    This cartoon pretty much sums up my opinion of the music industry.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    "No one made that assumption. Hence: strawman."

    That made me laugh.

    LoL

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Patrik, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You lost me. It's obvious that the person who downloaded the file *wants* it, or else why are they downloading it? (Actually in this example, they paid for it, which implicates that they explicitly wanted it) And why else would they be upset that they can't play it on all their devices? Obviously this proves that they *want* the movie or music.

    The only thing they don't want is to pay for it. Understandable. Also unethical. (I wish I didn't have to pay for the privilege to make music, so I understand the feeling)

    It's like buying cake batter mix and being upset when you get home and learn that you can't microwave it, so you steal a microwaveable dessert to make up for your original uninformed purchase.

    I understand that it's frustrating that iTunes is proprietary. As a musician, I HATE it. That's why I don't own an iPod or use iTunes. (Sansa Clip all the way, homies. FLAC only, please.) But please understand, that while your protest barely dings iTunes or the bigger artists they represent, the attitude you're espousing definitely gets picked up by people who use it to justify illegally obtaining music from small-time musicians who *really* do rely on those pennies to add up, many of whom are releasing music for free and are trying to work against and outside of the system.

    If you want Apple to know that you hate the proprietary nature of their business model, then take it up with Apple. Or better yet, take your business elsewhere. That is a clear message to send.

    Imagine sneaking into a show without paying at the door (Bum Rush the Show, Yo!). You're not "stealing" anything tangible, and if the show's not sold out, you're not denying anyone else entry. But do you really think that's fair to the performers at the event?

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    Quick delivery via download? Easy backup solution because you don't have to rip it? Integration with other features such as movie reviews, cast info, and merchandising information?

    There's no inherent reason that physical delivery is better than digital. A person will pay for perceived value.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Cartoons

    Why "used to?" She's not wrong.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The fact remains, however, that the law, whether you like it or not, confers rights upon persons such as this lady, and it is the height or arrogance for persons who are not the rights holder to say "My right, which is not sanctioned by law, is more important than your right, which is sanctioned by law.""

    You say that like those people have a choice, they don't.
    The fact remains that anyone can copy anything today, that is not a dream or fantasy is just reality. Some people will just have to learn to live with it.

    Don't like it, find another planet to live in.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Patrik, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't understand this antiquated notion that only 3 dimensionally tangible objects can be stolen from a person. That's the *real* 20th century thinking in the debate.

    Stocks and bonds aren't tangible. Neither is a 401k. Or any pension plan. Time spent isn't tangible. Your identity isn't tangible. Nor is your credit (Isn't identity theft merely the copying of someone's legal identity?). The land your house is on is only property in an abstract sense (do you own only the land, or dirt? Or the area above the dirt where you exist? How high does your property extend into the ether?)

    And as an aside: we're constantly told how we're allowed to use things we purchase. I can buy pills for my brother who suffers from mild schizophrenia, but I can't take those same pills for the purpose of my inebriation, or allow someone in my care to do the same. All medicine works that way. I can drink beer in a public bar, but it's illegal for me to drink so much that I actually become drunk, as weird as that seems (public drunkeness laws may vary, I know). It's actually illegal for the bartender to serve me enough drinks to get me drunk. I can own a building and own a bar inside of it, but I can't operate after 4am (here in NYC, at least). And none of these restrictions make *economic* sense, but we don't allow something just because it's economically sound. Child labor is a great economic model, but it's abhorrent in practice.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:15pm

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

    It's obvious that the person who downloaded the file *wants* it, or else why are they downloading it?

    They may want the content, but they don't want the product.

    the attitude you're espousing definitely gets picked up by people who use it to justify illegally obtaining music from small-time musicians who *really* do rely on those pennies to add up

    Ah, the "justification" argument. "You can't say that, because bad people might hear you!"

    Let's flip this around. The attitude you're espousing definitely gets picked up by people who use it to justify suing grandmothers. Think of the grandmothers!

    Also, any small-time musician will know that obscurity is always a bigger problem than piracy. The fans of these musicians are more likely to buy their CD's (or whatever) even though they got the music for free.

    If you want Apple to know that you hate the proprietary nature of their business model, then take it up with Apple. Or better yet, take your business elsewhere.

    That is exactly what the "pirates" are doing: taking their business elsewhere.

    If too many people pirate your product, then there's something wrong with your product. You can either fix it, or live with piracy. Your choice.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

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

    @Karl - I noticed that you conveniently avoided responding to Patrik's final example of sneaking into the show. I assume that's because it's a good comparison and there is no good counter to it.

    "If too many people pirate your product, then there's something wrong with your product. You can either fix it, or live with piracy. Your choice."

    @Karl - have you turned in to an advocate of DRM while I've been gone? If not, what do you mean by 'fix the product' so people won't pirate it? Do tell.

    BTW, pirates aren't taking their business elsewhere. They don't engage in any business. They just take things that the law says they have no right to take.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Bob, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Holy stupid statement batman. Have you paid any attention at all to independent film for the last 5 or so years? Things are only getting better and better. I would go into a lengthy discussion but you are probably in a rush to go back under your rock.



    Here's what I've been hearing lately:

    "In the wake of several art-house-studio closures (Apparition, Warner Independent, Paramount Vantage) and mass layoffs, the indie world seems caught in a cycle of self-loathing. "

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/10/AR2010091006634.html

    "Disney shrunk Miramax at the beginning of October, getting rid of about 75% of the work force."

    http://www.getthebigpicture.net/blog/2009/10/30/miramax-president-leaves-amid-massive-lay offs.html

    And I could go on. The prices paid for films is dropping drastically and the NYT even ran an OMG piece about how Robert Redford couldn't sell his film until after he showed it in Toronto.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/movies/10toronto.html

    I share much of the enthusiasm for the cool things made possible by the new cameras and editing tools, but the huge supply is changing the dynamics of the industry. We can't sustain period dramas or large casts with the small budgets available. So, yeah, we'll still have some funny movies like "Clerks" come along, but even hits won't generate much of a surplus.

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

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

    @Patrik - VERY well articulated. Thanks.

    I especially like the point about identity theft. If I use your identity, I'm in no way depriving you of using it also. So therefore, it must be ok.

    If I use your credit card, I'm not preventing you from using it too. It's true that I'm using up some of your credit limit, but that's just like a music sharer eating into an artists revenue. It's all virtual, so it must be good. If you don't like it, stop complaining and find a new business model.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    Nina Paley (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Cartoons

    I'm always baffled by how many people who've perhaps thought about cartoons for five minutes or so have immaturely lashed out at an accurate critique they barely understand, just because they want something they agree with, and the maker of the superior cartoons wants them to learn something.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pay attention - the cost to create digital content is not zero.

    The cost to distribute digital content is less than for physical content, but distribution is only one small piece of the cost pie.

    James Cameron spent 100s of millions of dollars creating Avatar. He spent that money up front before distribution. If he can't charge for his work, using a predictable business model, he can't get financed and he can't make it.

    The cost of your car is more than the materials and the labor used to manufacture it. There is a lot of research and design work that also has to be covered.

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Someone's not looking very hard.



    You seem to run these celebratory articles everyone succeeds selling a few books by giving away digital copies or running the pay what you want deals. But when I look around, I don't see very many people following these leaders. So show me. I dare you to write a survey piece celebrating the "Top 10 Free Books of 2010" or the "Top Ten Disciples of Radiohead." Find 10 of these worth noting and bring us the news.

    I've been hopeful but I have to be realistic. Three of the restaurants from this NY Times article are closed. The authors blame "freeloaders".

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/us/21free.html

    This article says that giving away free copies did not increase sales.

    http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/005949_03242010.html

    Again, I don't see this as being very sustainable. It's a cute stunt. It might work for people who've got other forms of funding, but it's not going to be sustainable.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    Paul (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re:

    uhhhh.... right.

    The USER pays to access the Internet, pays for the bandwidth to download said movie, pays for the media on which said movie gets stored. All for the right to pay the same $15 for the same product less the cost of the disk and packaging, less the cost of physical distribution, less the retailer's cut to provide physical store space.

    I wonder why so many people DON'T think this is a good deal for the consumer?

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Bob got it exactly right. Your response was weak. Instead of addressing his main points, you respond to different ones that he wasn't making.

    For example, the 'fish in the sea' replies to content creation. If you blindly take free copies of content, eventually content creation will suffer. Today, the content creators feel the pain. Tomorrow, the content consumers will suffer because the content creators will have moved on to other things. YouTube and Justin.TV will be all your left with.

    If another business model emerges that enables content creators to get paid, then that will be great. Just like the model of fish farms helped to alleviate the problem of over-fishing. However, no such alternate business model exists right now and pirates are blindly over-fishing available content as though there is no problem.

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    Paul (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I got what you were saying on the first pass. Not sure why Rich didn't. Most likely just an honest mistake.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Thank you, but don't you know that everything I said was already debunked like yesterday? :-)

    I like the overfishing analogy and I'm glad I heard it from someone writing behind a paywall too. Oh well. I remember there used to be a book store in NY with the sign that said, "Wise men fish here." Sic transit gloria mundi.

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

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

    "I don't understand this antiquated notion that only 3 dimensionally tangible objects can be stolen from a person."

    It's not about "tangible" vs. "intangible." It's about "taking" versus "copying."

    Theft involves deprivation of ownership. If you are not deprived of ownership, nothing has been stolen from you. Period.

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re:

    You're missing my point, which I could have explained better.

    I don't pirate. I also don't BUY if I don't think something's worth the price being asked. Yet I (and countless others) get continually lumped together with those that do pirate.

    That's why my dander is up. If I don't buy, I must be downloading anyway, yet I am not. Presumption, an ugly one.

    Insult those who do pay for content and wonder why they hate your guts? Yeah. That's fricken' brilliant.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    Paul (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:45pm

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

    Nobody cares about identity theft unless something IS taken away from the victim, i.e. Money or Privacy or Liability.

    You steal my credit card, they you are stealing money from me (or the credit card company). You dig through my medical history, or personal life by hacking one of my accounts (My doctor's records or Facebook or my email), then I lose my privacy to the extent that you gain access to protected information. You use my name/badge to gain access to my company's work site, I am potentially liable for what you do.

    The people that want to claim that this crime is "Identity Theft" are the same people that want to deny that something WAS stolen. A Bank wants to claim I lost the money taken from my account because my "Identity" was stolen rather than admit that their bank was robbed because their security sucks.

    "Identity Theft" isn't a crime sans SOMETHING being taken that isn't just a copy of some of my information.

     

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

  89.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

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

    I especially like the point about identity theft. If I use your identity, I'm in no way depriving you of using it also. So therefore, it must be ok.

    This is why I don't use or recognize the term "identity theft." Your identity is not being stolen, your MONEY is being stolen, either directly from your bank account or line of credit. Note the deprivation of ownership.

    If I use your credit card, I'm not preventing you from using it too. It's true that I'm using up some of your credit limit, but that's just like a music sharer eating into an artists revenue.

    Actually, it's not just like that, given that the first is a tangible loss and the latter is not.

    There's a difference between using someone's credit card without permission and completely using up his credit (therefore directly costing him money) versus a completely non-quantifiable theoretical "loss" based on downloads without purchase. The reason I say "non-quantifiable" is because you have absolutely NO way of knowing how many people who download would not have purchased if denied the opportunity to download, how many would download AS WELL AS purchase, or how many would download and influence acquaintances to purchase based on positive feedback.

    No matter what pro-industry propaganda and spin you want to put on it, calling copyright infringement "stealing" is tantamount to calling abortion "murder" when it's not illegal ("murder" being defined as the UNLAWFUL taking of a human life).

    Theft is theft, and copyright infringement is not. Period.

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    I've been hopeful but I have to be realistic. Three of the restaurants from this NY Times article are closed. The authors blame "freeloaders"


    Physical goods != digital goods.

    This article says that giving away free copies did not increase sales.


    Maybe because it wasn't a very good book? Maybe there weren't enough extra reasons to buy over the online version? Judging by the site, not very many of them appear to be at all.

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    Nick Dynice (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    ...not very many of them appear to be *good* at all.

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    Paul (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    As a software developer myself that developed a bit of very interesting code for a project, my story is kinda interesting. That code was very, very useful, and really deserved to be developed further, but after a year the company I was working for decided it was "good enough". The code got tied up with the client, and mostly unavailable to me going forward.

    I took a contract on a similar project. I re-wrote the same bit of code with many added features and tools for yet another project. Then that one was done. And again the code gets tied up with the client.

    In the end, I had nothing. So I wrote the code yet again but this time put it into an Open Source project. At my current job, I have the unique opportunity to use my code, but if I leave yet again, I will have my code to take with me.

    What software developers understand is that software gets developed regardless of copyright. That is because almost everything we do ends up as work for hire. And yet the code gets written anyway.

    Now with software, there is a huge amount of potential if you write a sufficiently complex and sufficiently useful piece of software even if you open source it. That is because you get to continue to work with that software, and sell your services to different companies as long as what you are working on is open source. If it is closed source, you run into all sorts of other problems even if you do complete re-writes of what you know how to do. I was lucky due to the nature of the contracts my work supported.

    All of this to say, there are ways software is very different from say movies and music. There are ways we can use free distribution to leverage our work that don't make sense with media. None the less, there are many ways to leverage media using free distribution that don't make sense with software.

    In the end, you sir are "dreaming" as you say. The idea that Sun's failure == Open source failure simply demonstrates how uninformed you are about Open source. There are many reasons that the CREATORS of software are protected by open source, and it is these reasons that are going to continue to drive the development of open source regardless of how many corporate stooges "dream" of the demise of Open Source.

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Howard, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Kudos on the fine writing, just a wonderful piece.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

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

    I noticed that you conveniently avoided responding to Patrik's final example of sneaking into the show.

    Okay, here's my response: I've been a doorman for a couple of rock venues, and on occasion, the promoters have encouraged me to let people in - either for free, or for a significantly reduced price.

    I've also performed for both venues with a set door price, and venues with a "suggested donation." I've always made more money at the venues with a suggested donation. (Caveat: It's never been very much money.)

    have you turned in to an advocate of DRM while I've been gone? If not, what do you mean by 'fix the product' so people won't pirate it? Do tell.

    It's right there in Michael Long's post: give it to them "the way I want it, at the price I want it, at the time that I want it."

    Obviously DRM is exactly the opposite of that. And I'm not just talking about DRM, either:
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4032/4369403959_fe90464b27_o.jpg

     

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

  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

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

    Hey! What are you doing? Taking copies? That ain't right!

     

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

  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:18pm

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

    I tell people I'm Brad Pitt all the time! I totally took his identity! Ha! Brad Pitt is doomed!

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Ars gratia artis.

     

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

  99.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Warner, Paramount, and Miramax are /indie/ firms?! Wow!

    You know, when you name HUGE corporations and discuss their lay-offs, you aren't talking about indie films. I'm just sayin'.

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:44pm

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

    Identity theft Isn't stealing someone's identity, it's using someone's identity to steal from them.

     

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

  101.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:55pm

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

    Oh, yeah:

    BTW, pirates aren't taking their business elsewhere. They don't engage in any business.

    I guess that's why every single study on the purchasing patterns of "pirates," has shown that they legally buy far more content than non-"pirates"?

    These aren't "freeloaders," they're dissatisfied potential customers.

     

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

  102.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Infinite goods?

    McBeese claimed:

    If you blindly take free copies of content, eventually content creation will suffer.

    Except it hasnít suffered yet, in spite of all the free copies on the Internet. Indeed, content creators are making more money than ever.

    Making these sorts of false claims makes us wonder what youíre on about.

     

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

  103.  
    identicon
    kqwdghgqw, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    He he, Mike you're funny!

    You claim you have an MBA, and yet you STILL don't seem to know what a monopoly is...

    And you constantly talk about using a better business model than licensing, but NEVER suggest what that is.

    Entertaining though, keep up the ingnance....

     

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

  104.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

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

    "The reason I say "non-quantifiable" is because you have absolutely NO way of knowing how many people who download would not have purchased if denied the opportunity to download, how many would download AS WELL AS purchase, or how many would download and influence acquaintances to purchase based on positive feedback. "

    You are correct that it is not possible to quantify the loss in terms of an absolute number. However, laws and courts take 'reason' into account all the time and it is not reasonable to assume that the amount of lost revenue from file sharing is zero, therefore there is a loss. Consider this example: I carry a wallet with me and it contains cash. I have no idea the exact amount of cash in it. If I'm robbed and the thief makes me give him all my money, he is not going to be let off the hook simply because I can't specify exactly how much money he took. His intent and his execution of an act that is against the law will be sufficient to nail him. It's the same with illegal file sharers, as it should be.

     

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

  105.  
    identicon
    qergej, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    True, infanticide is a reality too, and since its easy, that should be legal too.

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    etyjrm, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Coase debunked Hotellings "marginal cost" ideas over 60 years ago.

    Mike's a straw man.

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    mermaid, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:42pm

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

    What studies "on the purchasing patterns of "pirates""?

     

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

  108.  
    icon
    Nick Dynice (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Re:

    Monopoly: The exclusive right, granted by the government to a creator or "rights holder" in the example of copyright, to exploit their specific work such as music, movies, photographs, etc.

    Copyright Clause: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right (aka a monopoly) to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    The business model prescribed by Techdirt: Connect with fans and give them a reason to buy. It's all over the place. If you can't figure out any examples from this solution you are not creative enough to be in the creative business.

     

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

  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    The cost of creation can be very high, the marginal cost can be zero; if you can't make back the cost of creation by selling (a pretty normal idea), where do you make it?

    If you can't make money, whats the incentive to keep producing?

    Even iStock chumps are learning damn quickly that there are only so many suckers out there buying this weasle word crap.

    You're definitely the one confusing them Mike, seriously, if it didn't affect so many peoples livelihoods it's be funny.

    Everything in the world has its value protected by some law or other, to some extent, even life itself, if it didn't there would be no value, and we would still be in the dark ages.

     

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

  110.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, free everything! I didn't want that Mercedes anyway, even if i did use it for an undisclosed period...

     

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

  111.  
    identicon
    SkidMark, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH AH AHAH AH AHA HA AH AH AH AHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HA HAH AH AH AH AH AHAH AHA .... aaaaah... thats funny...

     

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

  112.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Yeah, Rental cars should just be unlimited use, its so unfair how they expect to be paid every time you want to "Borrow" their car..

    Its really easy to steal a car, it should be legal to.

     

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

  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In a single word about Ms. Carnes' understanding of copyright law as it applies to the situation she writes about, the answer is "yes".

     

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

  114.  
    identicon
    lolipaloooza, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    you use so many words to say nothing and back it all up with nothing... really, this if a funny website...

    STRAW STRAW STRAW...

     

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

  115.  
    identicon
    SnowWhite, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re:

    He he Mike, You haven't shown that you know anything at all, you're funny.

     

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

  116.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:41pm

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

    Once again, you're attempting to compare theft and copyright infringement. It just doesn't work.

    A more correct analogy would be if you owned a restaurant, and a competing restaurant across the street opened. You suspect that you may be losing some business to the competing restaurant, yet you have no idea how much...and unlike with your wallet analogy, you may actually be BENEFITTING. File-sharing is much the same.

     

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

  117.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

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

    Glad you found it so amusing, mermaid.

     

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

  118.  
    icon
    MadderMak (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    "Everything in the world has its value protected by some law or other, to some extent, even life itself, if it didn't there would be no value, and we would still be in the dark ages."

    I call bullshit. Value does not require protection by law to exist. Value is instristic to the perceiver.

    You fail.

     

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

  119.  
    icon
    MadderMak (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Hmm... you fail.

    They get paid in advance to supply a physical non-infinite good.

    That's twice now...... :)

     

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

  120.  
    icon
    MadderMak (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re:

    In fact.. I think the proponent here just urged us all to support and take up Piracy (Piracy as in "emotionally loaded non-legal definition of willfull and deliberate copyright infringement for personal gain" as opposed to "Yaaaarh! Land- Ahoy"

    Oh the Irony, oh the humanity! (Laughing my socks off that even the copywrong steadfasts are recommending willfull & deliberate infringement)

     

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

  121.  
    icon
    MadderMak (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And just where did the AC above say that?

    No-where. Nice strawman.

    And the response remains as the AC above said...

    "The fact remains that Infanticide (anyone can copy anything today,) exists today - that is not a dream or fantasy is just reality. Some people will just have to learn to live with it.
    Don't like it, find another planet to live in."

    I know I know... don't feed the troll.

    You Fail Sir (3rd time now ... :)

     

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

  122.  
    icon
    MadderMak (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 10:25pm

    Re:

    Why don't you just pick one random name and stick to it.... we all know who you are (in the metaphysical sense not the absolute).

    Why dont you pay the Insight bunch to help you develop that business model? Oh wait - you expect him to give it to you for free! What - give valuable expensive business models away! But that will cause everyone to stop making business models - Oh Noes!

    Hoist. Petard. Fill in the blanks. Epic Fail (again)

     

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

  123.  
    icon
    MadderMak (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh and thanks for the game of Tag.
    You're "it" next time.

     

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

  124.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:06pm

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

    What studies "on the purchasing patterns of "pirates""?

    Various and sundry, done in different years and in different parts of the world:

    A study released this week by Jupiter Research reports that about 34 percent of veteran file swappers say they are spending more on music than they did before they started downloading files.
    - Study: File sharing boosts music sales

    Digital music research firm The Leading Question found that they spent four and a half times more on paid-for music downloads than average fans.
    - Downloading 'myths' challenged

    A newly study commissioned by Industry Canada [...] finds what many have long suspected (though CRIA has denied) - there is a positive correlation between peer-to-peer downloading and CD purchasing.
    - Gov't Commissioned Study Finds P2P Downloaders Buy More Music

    Researchers monitored the music download habits of 1,900 web users age 15 and above. Over time, the study found that users who downloaded music illegally from P2P file-sharing sites like BitTorrent ultimately made ten times as many legit music purchases than the law abiding users.
    - Study finds file-sharers buy ten times more music

    There are probably more out there, and I'm betting you'll find most of them if you search Techdirt.

    There are some studies that the industry claims show that "pirates" buy less music. But those studies' methodology is usually very flawed; and when they're not, the industry misrepresents what they actually say.

    For example, a recent IFPI report (PDF) claimed that a study they commissioned from Jupiter Research shows that "pirates" don't buy more music. But when the people at TorrentFreak asked Mark Mulligan (from Forrester Research, the firm who actually conducted the study), he told an entirely different story:
    Mulligan has his hands tied and couldnít say much about the findings without IFPIís approval, but we managed to get confirmation that paying file-sharers are the music industryís best customers. "A significant share of music buyers are file sharers also. These music buyers tend to be higher spending music buyers," Mulligan told TorrentFreak.

    One interesting tidbit I learned from the TorrentFreak article: "the group that makes up the music buyers category actually includes the buying file-sharers" (emphasis mine). If that's true, then talk about rigging the data!

     

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

  125.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    "In the wake of several art-house-studio closures (Apparition, Warner Independent, Paramount Vantage) and mass layoffs, the indie world seems caught in a cycle of self-loathing. "

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/10/AR2010091006634.html

    "Disney shrunk Miramax at the beginning of October, getting rid of about 75% of the work force."

    http://www.getthebigpicture.net/blog/2009/10/30/miramax-president-leaves-amid-massive-lay offs.html


    I love how Bob's definition of the indie film market seems to only include the major studios weak approximations of indie film studios.

    Hint for Bob: the majors pretending to be indie aren't indie.

     

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

  126.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:23pm

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

    Sigh. Why must we re-debunk the dumbest arguments on the planet everytime someone new discovers them and doesn't bother to think through them.

    I especially like the point about identity theft. If I use your identity, I'm in no way depriving you of using it also. So therefore, it must be ok.

    Identity fraud (not theft) is defrauding companies through presenting yourself as someone else, and something very scarce (money) is actually LOST.

    If I use your credit card, I'm not preventing you from using it too. It's true that I'm using up some of your credit limit, but that's just like a music sharer eating into an artists revenue. It's all virtual, so it must be good. If you don't like it, stop complaining and find a new business model.

    Again, when real money (a scarce good) is lost, then that is an issue.

    Your mistake (and Patrik's) is to falsely assume that anyone said that only *tangible* goods are the issue. We said *scarce*. A tangible good is scarce, but not all scarce goods are tangible (see: time, reputation, attention, access, etc.).

     

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

  127.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:27pm

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

    Hi Patrik: first off, the other day you called me a liar for not posting links to books that I had posted. I responded and pointed out where I had, in fact, posted the links. You never responded. Why?

    I don't understand this antiquated notion that only 3 dimensionally tangible objects can be stolen from a person. That's the *real* 20th century thinking in the debate.

    Do not confuse scarce with tangible. All tangible goods are scarce, but not all scarce goods are tangible. I believe that's where you are making your fundamental error. You think when we talk about scarce goods, we mean only tangible. We do not.

    Stocks and bonds aren't tangible. Neither is a 401k. Or any pension plan. Time spent isn't tangible. Your identity isn't tangible. Nor is your credit (Isn't identity theft merely the copying of someone's legal identity?). The land your house is on is only property in an abstract sense (do you own only the land, or dirt? Or the area above the dirt where you exist? How high does your property extend into the ether?)

    And yet all those things are scarce. We're talking about the difference between scarce goods and infinite goods. You are trying to pretend we're only talking about tangible goods. We are not.

    And as an aside: we're constantly told how we're allowed to use things we purchase. I can buy pills for my brother who suffers from mild schizophrenia, but I can't take those same pills for the purpose of my inebriation, or allow someone in my care to do the same. All medicine works that way. I can drink beer in a public bar, but it's illegal for me to drink so much that I actually become drunk, as weird as that seems (public drunkeness laws may vary, I know). It's actually illegal for the bartender to serve me enough drinks to get me drunk. I can own a building and own a bar inside of it, but I can't operate after 4am (here in NYC, at least). And none of these restrictions make *economic* sense, but we don't allow something just because it's economically sound. Child labor is a great economic model, but it's abhorrent in practice.

    I have no idea what this means or is supposed to tell us, other than, gee, regulations exist. From that we are to conclude that all regulations must be good? I assume not. What we can conclude is that regulations do exist and they are there to serve a purpose.

    However, if that purpose is not served, is it not a good thing to point to the problems with those regulations?

     

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

  128.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    You seem to run these celebratory articles everyone succeeds selling a few books by giving away digital copies or running the pay what you want deals. But when I look around, I don't see very many people following these leaders. So show me. I dare you to write a survey piece celebrating the "Top 10 Free Books of 2010" or the "Top Ten Disciples of Radiohead." Find 10 of these worth noting and bring us the news.

    Your mistake is you seem to think that I'm suggesting that "free" is the answer. I am not.

    I've been hopeful but I have to be realistic. Three of the restaurants from this NY Times article are closed. The authors blame "freeloaders".

    Um. Pay what you want restaurants go exactly against what I talk about. Offering scarce goods for free is a bad idea.

    This article says that giving away free copies did not increase sales.


    Indeed. That's a give it away and pray strategy, which I've also pointed out isn't a good one.

    You really seem to stop your mind at "free" and don't bother reading what I actually write, huh? Free is only a component of what I talk about. It's about figuring out which things should be free *and* on top of that coming up with products actually worth buying, which are directly made more valuable by the free part. In other words, give it away and pray or pay what you want scarce goods aren't good examples. They do the opposite of what I suggest.

    And yet, because your brain stops at "free" you seem to think that's what I recommended.

    Incredible.

     

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

  129.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    For example, the 'fish in the sea' replies to content creation. If you blindly take free copies of content, eventually content creation will suffer.

    Except... every study we've seen on the subject has shown the exact opposite.

    Why must you make up stuff to support your position when the facts show you are wrong?

    However, no such alternate business model exists right now and pirates are blindly over-fishing available content as though there is no problem.

    Bizarre, then, that content creators are making more than ever before, and we highlight business models that work all the time.

    Do you really not pay attention?

     

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

  130.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:38pm

    Re:

    You claim you have an MBA, and yet you STILL don't seem to know what a monopoly is...


    I love people who accuse me of getting something I've clearly gotten right "wrong," and don't bother to explain what I got wrong. Oh, please, do tell...

    And you constantly talk about using a better business model than licensing, but NEVER suggest what that is.


    Must we break out the links to all the explanations?

    I'll just start with two. Then will you admit you were wrong?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070503/012939.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/2 0091119/1634117011.shtml

     

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

  131.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Coase debunked Hotellings "marginal cost" ideas over 60 years ago.


    Ha! Ah, the cluelessness of people who don't understand economics.

     

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

  132.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    The cost of creation can be very high, the marginal cost can be zero; if you can't make back the cost of creation by selling (a pretty normal idea), where do you make it?


    In selling scarcities that are tied to the zero marginal cost good. Perhaps you haven't learned how markets are interconnected, but it's a good place to start.

    If you can't make money, whats the incentive to keep producing?


    Fallacy 1: "you can't make money." We already debunked that, so we don't even need to respond to the latter half of the sentence.

    Even iStock chumps are learning damn quickly that there are only so many suckers out there buying this weasle word crap.

    I have no idea what you are saying here.

    You're definitely the one confusing them Mike, seriously, if it didn't affect so many peoples livelihoods it's be funny.


    Wait, me explaining what's happening in the market is affecting people's livelihoods? I had no idea I had such power.

    Try not blaming the guy who's explaining to you the path out of the hole you've dug yourself next time.

    Everything in the world has its value protected by some law or other, to some extent, even life itself, if it didn't there would be no value, and we would still be in the dark ages.

    I had no idea the love of my wife and son (which I value so much) was protected by law.

    And the idea that something needs to be protected to have value is simply wrong.

    Furthermore you seem to be confusing value and price.

    Finally, the claim of "dark ages" is pretty silly, especially since the IP rights you so desperately (and wrongly) cling to as a crutch didn't come about until long after the dark ages.

     

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

  133.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2010 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In a single word about Ms. Carnes' understanding of copyright law as it applies to the situation she writes about, the answer is "yes".

    Really? You want to stake your career as an IP lawyer on the claims that Carnes makes in the post? Really? Think carefully (and no wonder you won't post under your name). You'd be laughed out of your profession.

    Ms. Carnes' understanding of the subject is clearly not even close to accurate.

     

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

  134.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:30am

    Re:

    Yep. The primary reason why I have never bought a legal download is the price. Coming in a very close second is the DRM. I'll stick with my cheaper DVD that I can actually play on the devices I own, thanks very much, or get the "illegal" download I'm allowed to play in my region...

     

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

  135.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 1:56am

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

    Do you need a case study?

    LoL

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of this news for you, but the pirates are the market, otherwise the industry wouldn't be so freaked out, they are the ones more prone to "buy" anything from the industry, the others don't care.

    Also it helps to call your potential customers thieves and liars, that will bring in a lot of sales don't you agree.

     

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

  136.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 7:39am

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

    Ms. Carners' "rant" (as you call it" does not go into the substantive provisions of copyright law precisely because she recognizes, and rightly so, that there are portions that complex. What she does go into is her personal perception of what mass distribution of illegal content via P2P is having a significant impact on those within the industry with whom she is familiar.

    You, on the other hand, spend almost the entirety of your "reply-rant" telling her all the reasons she is wrong based upon the economic considerations you so regularly promote here. At no time did I read anything from you criticizing here understanding of basic copyright.

    Her point "The law requires payment for content". Obviously, a lengthy discourse into those few defenses that may pertain was not a proper subject for her article.

    Your point "You are shortsighted and doomed to fail because you rely on copyright, and anyone with even a modicum of training in economics can see right through the horrific and consumer unfriendly law known as 'copyright'".

     

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

  137.  
    identicon
    Steve, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re: Infinite goods?

    Hi Bob,

    Digital content is an infinite good, unlike physical content which is a finite good.

    If you have a CD and you sell me that CD, you no longer have the CD. That CD is finite, as in the number of available CDs are limited.

    If you have a digital album hosted on a server and you license a copy to me, you still have the the digital album and you can license it to anyone who believes that the digital albums value is equal to or greater than the price you want for it. that digital album is infinite, as in the number of available licenses are not limited.

    Now for your 4 questions:
    But what about those who don't think that content is an infinite good? - Not all content is an infinite good, but when it is it doesn't matter what you think.

    What about those of us who know that the day is only so long? - The length of the day and the time of that day the consumer devotes to entertainment are finite, BUT that is what content creators are competing for. As a content creator you are competing with every other content creator to fill that time and it's the overwhelming amount of content competing for that finite time that pushes the value of that content down. It's basic supply and demand, the demand for entertainment (the amount of time any one customer is looking to fill) is small, the supply of entertainment (television, radio, music, books, the internet, movies, gardening, hiking, etc.) is huge.

    What about those of us who know that the band members need to get paid? - Band members only need to get paid for their performances if they have no other sources of income and can not acquire the money they need in any other way. I would agree with you if you said that the band members would like to get paid for their performances.

    What about those of us who know that the landlord doesn't give anyone free rent. - Landlords have been knows to allow building superintendents to live in an apartment for free. The fact that the content creator needs money does not give the creator the power to set the value of their content, only its price. If the content's value (set by the market and the consumer) is lower than the price the creator set then it will not sell and the creator should find another way to pay his or her rent.

     

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

  138.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    The cost of creation can be very high, the marginal cost can be zero; if you can't make back the cost of creation by selling (a pretty normal idea), where do you make it?

    you cut costs. if you can't cut costs, then get out of the business.

    If you can't make money, whats the incentive to keep producing?

    there are plenty of reasons to make things that have nothing to do with money. if none of those reasons satisfy you, and you are disappointed with the money that you are making, then get out of the business.

     

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

  139.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Nice worthless comment!

     

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

  140.  
    identicon
    dave, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    thanks

    thanks mike. this has been a great discussion (mostly) on both side. cheers!

     

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

  141.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, why not approach it from a purely artistic perspective?

     

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

  142.  
    icon
    Paul (profile), Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

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

    yeah, well, I used tons more words to say the same thing.

     

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

  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    The nerve! Doesn't this person realize that only the people who oppose copyright "really understand it?"

     

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

  144.  
    identicon
    Patrik, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cartoons

    Yes, I'm sure you know *exactly* how informed I am about cartoons.

    And please, I make sample-based music for a living (and a moderately decent one, at that), I've been arguing about IP since long before the internet crept into the debate. I've been giving away music online and encouraging derivative works since long before the CC License was a glimmer in Larry Lessig's eyes, so it's silly for you to make assumptions about what I "agree with". But I know that that is par for the course on the internet.

    You Said:
    "The cartoon she posted sucks. These IP cartoons are much better."

    ^^^ I simply thought your response was crass. That's all. Your cartoons, which I am familiar with and wasn't referring to, don't suck, though I think they're a little naive and fairly derivative in style of the work of Crumb or any number of Mad Magazine's artists (see, that's a critique). I was referring to your behavior.

    I was only implying--admittedly unclearly--that you might want to raise yourself above such petty antics as claiming another's work "sucks" in order to promote your own. But whatever, you don't *have* to be nice, lord knows I'm not. But I also don't have to pay any attention to you or your work if I decide I don't like you as a person (a lot of people dislike Wagner because of his behavior, statements, and political views), which is also no big deal. The world keeps on turning. I'll keep getting traffic from and distributing more music by posting here. Carry on.

     

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

  145.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Infinite goods?

    Funny, I know a ton of people who make music, write news, write stories, and even make movies that *cost* them money. They keep doing it and work a job so they have money to do it.

     

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

  146.  
    icon
    Eugene (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    Re: Considering historical examples... Carnes has a point

    Hey! Romero did not do that intentionally, and that rule was retarded anyway. I don't see how that has anything whatsoever to do with "open content"

     

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

  147.  
    identicon
    Matthew A. Sawtell, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Considering historical examples... Carnes has a point

    Oops on the George A. Romero bit, that should have read, "He did NOT REMEMBER TO even put the (c) on movie's opening credits" - so it was not "fraud" by the stations, just a very costly mistake by George.

    As for this story - funny how that how Cook Source episode came out to back up Carnes too:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/web-decries-infringement/

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This