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Why PROTECT IP Will Fail: Cultural Acceptance, Not Fear Of Punishment, Makes People Abide By Laws

from the you're-doing-it-wrong dept

Lawyer Ron Coleman has a post about the PROTECT IP Act, called "We're all infringers now," that's worth reading. While it covers similar ground to what we've said before, there's one line in there, towards the end, that is absolutely worth highlighting and repeating:
This new proposed law is a terrible way to try to solve [infringement]. Its passage would only drive the culture further yet from any respect for the rule of law as it applies to intellectual property. But if Big IP hasnít figured out yet that it is cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, that makes a free society a law-abiding one -- if Big IP doesnít understand what the de facto attitude of consumers regarding copyright has already become, and where it is already going -- then heck, maybe at this point the law professors and the rest of us should just let Congress already go ahead and give them enough rope.
This is the key point that many of us have been trying to drive home for years. It's the same key point that the SSRC report made in pointing out that "enforcement" and "education" are simply not strategies that work. And that wasn't based on theory. It was based on years and years of detailed research. And yet, to the industry and to the government there seems to be only one single tool in the box for dealing with the challenges of infringement: to scare people. But that only works if people are stupid. And we now have plenty of experience in recognizing that people don't culturally accept the claims of the industry on this issue, and no amount of threats and punishment are likely to change that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    One word: Prohibition

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    It's worked so well for the "war on drugs". Drug use has pretty much disappeared thanks to three strikes, long prison sentences and heavy fines.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    sehlat (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    But that seems to be the one the MAFIAA and most book publishers seem to subscribe to.

    Turn internet providers into their "copyright gestapo," use Homeland Security as armed muscle, and *of course* the people whose eyeballs they're stomping on will come flocking to them, waving money.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Only because the MAFIAA removed all other choices from the table.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Oh, they'll be waving something alright... but it won't be money. More like torches, pitch-forks, AK-47s.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Freedom

    it is cultural acceptance of legal norms, not fear of punishment, that makes a free society a law-abiding one

    Notice that he said "a free society". That's why they're working to take freedoms away. Then strong-arming, fear and force are much more effective.

    The RIAA and MPAA are two of the biggest threats to American freedom today.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Cultural Acceptance is right.

    It will be a carbon copy of the War On Drugs.

    Unreasonable harsh punishments, Institutional deafness to what "The people" think, etc...

    2.7 Trillion in profits from the drug war, for the private prison industry, civil forfetures, ...

    The new War On Piracy promisses smiliar profits for many more.

    Time for me to see how I can make my money in all this...

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Donnicton, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    You know, until I got to the end of the sentence...


    No, nothing, nevermind..

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    This is one of those situations where the copyright maximalist's position will change based on what they're trying to argue for.

    One day they'll say, "everyone is infringing our copyrights; we need stronger laws and enforcement!"

    But if everyone is infringing, then it's obviously socially acceptable and since the government is supposed to represent the will of the people, it should be the government's responsibility to legalize what is already accepted.

    In response to such an argument, the copyright maximalist will argue that "it's just a few bad apples," or something like that. But if it's only a few people, why are we wasting time and money and punishing the rest of the people with harsher, more restrictive laws because of a few people?

    Non-commercial copyright infringement is not only the norm for a lot of people, it's technically unavoidable according to the way the copyright maximalists depict it (which is more severe than the law actually states). They've said on various occasions that personal copies and back-ups are illegal (because they argue that since they say it isn't allowed, it is unauthorized and thus illegal, even if that's not how the law works). But more so, lots of artists leak or distribute their material unofficially even though official permission is not given, so even this leads to what the copyright maximalist considers infringement.

    It just makes sense to decriminalize it, like marijuana. Not because its good or bad, but because it does more harm to society to waste money and effort trying to fight reality.

    If everyone in the state department is a communist, is it really that bad that we have communists in the state department?

     

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  10.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Obvious things are.. not that obvious.

    O rly? It's obvious to any sane and intelligent man/woman. Sanity and intelligence seem to be in some sort of heavy shortage in politics and industry in general.

    Some things don't even need a law to govern them. Would you srsly kill some1 if it wasn't a crime today? I wouldn't. Laws are only useful when the majority of the ppl agree with them.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Obvious things are.. not that obvious.

    O rly? It's obvious to any sane and intelligent man/woman. Sanity and intelligence seem to be in some sort of heavy shortage in politics and industry in general.

    Some things don't even need a law to govern them. Would you srsly kill some1 if it wasn't a crime today? I wouldn't. Laws are only useful when the majority of the ppl agree with them.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    The artical is perfectly correct if people reject a law it becomes unenforcable. Governments should realise that they cant stop piracy this way. The Mafsaas should realise that the only way forward is to embrace it and change business modles.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Ur mom, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Have you checked out the website they launched with the announce of the new five strikes plan? Checkout the "facts" it's unbelievable

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    It's the same key point that the SSRC report made in pointing out that "enforcement" and "education" are simply not strategies that work.

    I don't now about that. Consider anti-littering campaign (please, please don't be a litterbug), Smokey The Bear (only you can prevent forest fires) Anti-drunk driving campaigns, anti-smoking campaigns, seat belt campaigns, etc. I didn't bother reading the SSRC report but am aware that the above campaigns combined education and enforcement and achieved something of a desired effect. Piracy may be a tougher nut due to it involving financial gain for the people involved but I don't agree that it's futile.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    URL please

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re:

    link please

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Yeah, I was thinking about the penis waving as well. I want to know where I can line up to wave mine at the record and movie execs.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    Enforcement and Education worked in those cases because there was a moral backing to it. You are causing unnecessary harm to people, the environment, etc.

    Piracy doesn't hurt any entity that people really cares about. How is content creation going to stop when people want it? Are content creators suddenly going to... stop creating? Are they really not going to throw their hands up in the air and go "Welp... I can't write software or music anymore because all digitally recorded content created by me is freely distributed everywhere. Might as well become a plumber!"

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anon, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    See and that's where it doesn't make sense when you compare it to those other things:
    Litter prevention - benefits the public
    Preventing forest fires - benefits the public/safety education
    Anti-drunk driving campaigns - benefits the public/health education
    Anti-smoking campaigns - health education
    Sealt Belt campaigns - safety education


    where as:
    Anti-piracy "education" - aims to benefit a business model

    It doesn't belong in the same category as the other campaigns you mentioned. That's why it doesn't work. Everyone sees through its "educational" guise for what it really is.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Trolling Association of America

    Just you wait, the Wild West phase of the internet is coming to an end. And you freeloaders are not going to like the changes, because you'll have nowhere to hide your illegal activities.

    I tried to combine tired rhetoric with a complete failure to address the article; hope I did it right.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Anything that comes out MAFIAA I have for years never purchased new.I just wait a bit and buy it used and physical adding onto my library of books,films,and music.

    As far as digital drm files go you will never find opne on my drives.i will never ever buy anything that i do not own and is physical.

    if all physical products go away before i die (i am 55) then i will download anything i want to.

    FUCK OFF MAFIAA !!!!
    you needed money so go and sue another grandma

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Gov't regards "laws" as specifically TO make people into criminals!

    You can't rule free people. So every gov't keeps increasing the number of laws until IS a criminal, then the population is controlled.

    So this lawyer has a totally wrong premise about gov't and CAN'T understand the purpose of these new statutes.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Yeah, I was thinking about the penis waving as well. I want to know where I can line up to wave mine at the record and movie execs.

    i do a fair amount of waving here: http://thepiratebay.org

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Yeah, I was thinking about the penis waving as well. I want to know where I can line up to wave mine at the record and movie execs.

    That would be funny. A couple of thousand people on a hill like the scene from Braveheart.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    It doesn't belong in the same category as the other campaigns you mentioned. That's why it doesn't work. Everyone sees through its "educational" guise for what it really is.

    That's why they try to link it to other things, like terrorism and child pornography. And law enforcement goes right along with it because it gets them more money too.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Trolling Association of America

    not a bad start, now respond to this by calling me stupid and than attacking some regular poster at random. Then restate your disconnected opinion and challenge someone to disprove it.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    "Yeah, I was thinking about the penis waving as well. I want to know where I can line up to wave mine at the record and movie execs."

    MPAA
    1600 Eye St., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20006

    Beware the DC laws against insufficient exposure.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    sehlat (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    I don't purchase movies anymore, either, whether as VOD or DVDs [cough]Netflix DVD[/cough].

    I am all "ebook all the time." However, since the publishers went to war with Amazon and burned Fictionwise almost to the ground, I'm buying a LOT fewer eBooks, with Baen being my sole remaining "buy 'em by the bunch" resource.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Hmmm, whipping mine out there would get me arrested but,
    I'm thinking of a swimming noodle and some kind of photo-realistic sleeve that covers it so...well I think you get it.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    sehlat (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Gov't regards "laws" as specifically TO make people into criminals!

    They've already succeeded. It's been pointed out that in the modern era, you can't go through a typical day's activities without committing several felonies. If "they" want to come after you, they just pick one from Column A or one from Column B and voila!

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    known coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    If it were a group thing, couldnt it be considered free speech?

    think of it 1000 people outside the headquaters of the MPAA simultanioulsy pulling their pants down and waving their private parts at the MPAA. Saying

    "We wave our private parts at you, you silly english Kniggits"

    and let monty python sue us all.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Gov't regards "laws" as specifically TO make people into criminals!

    This is the most lucid thought I've ever seen you post. I concur. ;)

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Trolling Association of America

    You forgot a "the party is over" comment, but otherwise were spot on.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    Jordan (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    Don't forget all the congress people going into treatment rather than jail when they get caught.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making People Hate You Is A Lousy Business Model

    Would that also be a copyright infringement? :)

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

    Re:

    http://www.copyrightinformation.org/


    Quote:
    FACTS:
    Content Theft Costs America:

    * More than 373,000 Jobs
    * Some $16 Billion in Lost Wages
    * $2.6 Billion in Lost Taxes


    LoL

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    Re:

    http://www.copyrightinformation.org/facts

    There are more "facts" in there OMG.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Another fact they lost it:

    Litigation against consumers cost the industry 20 billion dollars.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 7:29pm

    Comments from other places:

    Quote:
    meluvcookies 07/09/2011 3:25 AM

    This should, sadly, surprise no one. In all honesty, I'm surprised that it didn't happen sooner.

    I have a feeling I'm going to find myself doing the same things I did ~20 years ago (networking with local individuals for share parties. Then it was music, now, I suppose, it will be everything else.

    P.S. I am sad that the federal government is so blatantly beholden to deep pockets. Wouldn't it be nice if things worked more like democracy and less like a plutocracy?

    Source:http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Comcast-Verizon-throttle-six-strikes-Obama,news-11 799.html

    Quote:
    Gene Vincent
    Jul 7, 2011 - 7:04 PM

    AFAIC my Internet connection is like my phone. It's nobody's business what I do. If I'm doing something wrong "get a court order" and wiretap me and make an arrest. How is the Internet any different than my phone? Does Verizon check what people are doing on the phone? No way, it's against the law to listen in. To me this is a no brainer. How does an ISP have any right to check what I do? That's up to the law. Bandwidth checking? Fine. Anything else is BS. AFAIC.

    Source:http://www.betanews.com/article/Major-ISPs-strike-deal-with-music-movie-industry-ov er-copyright/1310063788

    Quote:
    excalpius - 6 hours ago

    They don't have to...

    Comcast IS NBC/Universal now
    Time Warner BROTHERS Roadrunner
    etc.

    There is an inherent conflict of interest between the content creators and content distributors now.

    Source:http://www.neowin.net/news/why-do-isps-now-support-six-strikes-plan

    Apparently in every other forum out there people are united in one voice about this issue.

    It is not welcome.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Obvious things are.. not that obvious.

    most people wouldn't in the normal course of events, but some would, and then some who wouldn't otherwise would in revenge/retaliation/perfectly reasonable 'prevent it from happening again' logic...

    which leads to people who had close ties to the origional murderer following the same logic... and few are rational enough to keep it to only the person responsible (which most people would Probably accept, if grudingly, if there was evidence. not all, but most) but usually go after a whole bunch of people they see as having some connection to it...

    and you end up with feuds, which can rapidly escalate into wars ...

    so... basically, without an over all law on the subject, you'd end up with the same basic law coming into effect either officially or sort of just by general consensus anywhere you had a tightly bound group with decent leadership... and an utter mess everywhere else.

    and then you've got the issue that corporations are STILL large entities with a lot of money. without legal constraints preventing it you'd quite rapidly end up with a lot of their hostile takeover type manoeuvres being a lot more... hostile.

    bullets are faster after all. and who's going to object to you dumpting waste in any meaningful way when you control your own armed forces and the surrounding area? maybe someone down stream could organise a large enough force and fight a War over it...



    that said, any law that does not have general cultural acceptance is going to be ignored and thus completely pointless, it's true. the problem is that that cultural acceptance, or it's lack, Can be a fairly local phenomenon. ugh. my explaination's getting tangled. hopefully someone better at explaining gets my point.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jul 11th, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    Re:

    You more or less had it until the last line. Along the same lines, you could just as well say that "if everyone in Congress is a corporate sellout, is it really that bad that we have corporate sellouts in the Congress?" Historically, you could just as well insert slavery, genocide, or any other deplorable act that was considered "commonly acceptable".

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 10:31pm

    Re:

    Piracy may be a tougher nut due to it involving financial gain for the people involved

    Whose financial gain?

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 12th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Trolling Association of America

    Dang, I had a feeling I was forgetting something!

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 12th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Trolling Association of America

    OK, let's see...

    HothMonster, like that big white thing in Star Wars? As in a big lumbering stupid beast? Makes sense. You probably smell like it too. I'm sick and tired of you and Marcus Carab apologizing for thieves. The sheriff is coming to town, and you'll have nowhere to run.

    The party's over.

    ----------------------

    My capitalization is probably too good, but otherwise I think it's coming along nicely! Did you like my mixed metaphor?

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 12th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re:

    Did you just compare copyright infringement to slavery and genocide?

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Jul 12th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    An Limewire caused 90 trillion in damages. RIAA said so.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Jul 12th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Your analogy doesn't work. My analogy was that the scare tactic and catchwords that these people are using regarding copyright infringement is comparable to the scare tactics of McCarthy.

    No one is scaremongering about Congressional corruption. We know that a lot of our elected officials are corrupt.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jul 13th, 2011 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    WTF? I didn't mention copyright, or make even the faintest reference to copyright, and yet you came to the conclusion I was making a statement about copyright?

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jul 13th, 2011 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, I clearly did not say anyone was "scaremongering about Congressional corruption". If you perhaps tried to READ what I said, you would have noticed that I was merely pointing out that your LAST LINE, as written, was a horrible argument that doesn't support anything.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 13th, 2011 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    MrWilson argued that copyright infringement should be legalized because it's so widely accepted. You pointed out that slavery and genocide have been widely accepted too. So if you weren't talking about copyright, what were you talking about?

     

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


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