Dear MPAA: Stomp Your Feet And Repeat It As Many Times As You Want, But Infringement Is Not Theft

from the must-we-do-this-again dept

Ah, gotta love the MPAA and their gleeful sophistry. We wrote about how MPAA comms person and former Congressional staffer (note the revolving door...) Alex Swartsel went way, way overboard in attacking GigaOm's Janko Roettger for noting, accurately, that the entertainment industry's anti-consumer behavior, combined with a potentially worsening economy, could mean that more people switch away from authorized options for watching movies to unauthorized options. This is a pretty reasonable analysis, and it's hard to see how you could disagree with it. However, in the minds of Swartsel and the MPAA, anyone who even dares to acknowledge that unauthorized file sharing exists must be condoning the practice, and Swartsel wrote one of the more intellectually dishonest pieces we've seen in a long time, going after Roettger, pretending he was telling people that it was fine to infringe on copyrights.

We responded on a bunch of points, including Ms. Swartsel's repeated incorrect use of the words "steal" and "theft" to describe infringement. Swartsel has now responded, with a post so full of sophistry, you have to wonder if the MPAA might not be better off sending her back to remedial talking points training. It seems clear that Swartsel is jumping into a debate for which she is woefully unprepared -- though, of course that explains why the MPAA, yet again, has turned off comments on its blog. The main point of the blog post appears to be to simply repeat the words "steal" and "theft" so many times that readers are driven into submission. Of course, most people aren't stupid, though the MPAA seems to presume that's the case.

By my count, the post uses a form of "steal" six times and a form of "theft" another six times. That's a dozen incorrect uses of those two words in a mere seven paragraphs. Impressive.

Even worse, nowhere does Swartsel admit that she totally and completely overreacted and irresponsibly attacked Roettger for accurately reporting what's going on in the world. Instead, she doubles down on the this claim that merely stating what's happening means we all think that it's okay:
In other words: movie and TV theft is inevitable. Why? Because it’s easy to steal something that, in physical form, exists only as data, and easy to justify stealing it as a result? Because information wants to be free, no matter the cost it took to produce or its creators’ judgments about how best to disseminate it? Because anything is fair game once it’s on the Internet? Because if I rip a movie file off of a DVD or camcord a showing at a theater, I have created that movie with my own labor and can do whatever I want with the file, including posting it online and making money from ad sales or subscription fees? Because by stealing films and TV, or watching stolen films and TV, I’m just exercising my First Amendment rights to freedom of speech? All those are arguments we’ve heard before.
Oh gosh. Where to start? Notice how she intermixes the fact that making a copy and sharing is easy with the idea that people need to "justify" it. Poor Ms. Swartsel. No one ever shared a DVD with you? No one ever invited you over to their house to watch a TV show together? Sometimes "sharing" is just that. It's not stealing.

And, no, no one -- not me, not Roettger, not Torrentfreak -- ever attempted to "justify" the actions that are infringement. None of us said that it is "fair game." None of us said that "information wants to be free." None of us said that it's a First Amendment issue. It seems that, rather than respond to the actual points all of us raised, Swartsel and the MPAA are simply throwing out a ton of strawmen -- every false caricature she can come up with -- to describe the "scary" people who argue that maybe, just maybe, the MPAA is going about this the wrong way.
Mike Masnick wrote that we need to “adapt and deal with reality,” and actually, I think he’s right – depending on which reality we’re talking about. Is it the reality that the Internet and the explosion of mobile technology have opened up vast new ways for us to communicate with one another and for film and TV-makers to offer their work to people who want to watch it? Because as Julia blogged last month, there are “more options than ever before to get movies and TV shows online safely and legitimately” – we have a list on MPAA.org here, and the creative minds in our industry are working on even more as we speak.
And yet... and yet, as folks like Wil Wheaton recently pointed out, those efforts are still at about the 1997 level of fan friendliness. They still treat most people as if they were criminals who need to be limited and contained. For the most part, they do not offer the same level of convenience and user-friendliness of other options that are out there, even if they are illegal. Historical evidence has shown time and time again that what Swartsel thinks of as "theft" is not in any way similar to "theft," but is merely her industry's best customers expressing how they would like to be offered content.

And sometimes, indeed, the industry does get it right -- but it's usually with a lot of kicking and screaming as they're dragged there by a much more innovative tech company. Netflix, of course, is a great example. Yet, every other online movie offering is horribly limited. Things like only being able to watch a movie within a 24 hours period, forcing people to watch previews (and the silly FBI warning for something they paid for) isn't fan friendly at all. It just drives more people to unauthorized means.

And, as for Netflix, which actually does seem to be about as consumer friendly as they come (and has done quite well because of it), well, then along comes the MPAA and the Hollywood studios with plans to kill the golden goose, by doing everything possible to strangle it. They're ratcheting up the prices, they're limiting the selection (drastically). They're trying to demand further restrictions.

Honestly, it's quite easy to show that the MPAA and its member studios have done much more to drive people to infringement than any mere reporter who simply points out the reality of the market.
Is it the reality that some people do steal content online? Unfortunately, it’s clear that’s true – otherwise we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. But do “many, many people” really intend to engage in theft just to watch a movie or TV show cheaply or for free? We doubt it, particularly if legitimate, better alternatives are available; if they know it’s wrong; and if they understand it’s not a victimless crime.
Ah, my favorite bit of sophistry, which really shows that Swartsel is somewhat new to this particular debate. Look, the industry has been screaming about "education" and "victimless crimes" for decades ("home taping is killing music!"). And it's totally bogus and everyone knows it. Even bringing it up is an admission that you have no real argument. Both significant research and basic history show that this is not an "education" issue. Telling them "file sharing is bad," doesn't change anyone's mind. And these people are more than willing to pay, as is seen time and time again by study after study after study after study.

While Swartsel and the MPAA sit back and claim "but we are offering legal options!" they're totally missing the point (again). They're not offering the legal options that people want. In some cases they are, but every time they get close, they try to make those good services worse, and drive more people to alternatives. The people are willing to pay if given a reasonable option that doesn't treat them like a criminal and put ridiculous restrictions on them.

That's not "theft," that's frustration that the industry is so clueless that it can't offer a good service after all these years.
But if what Masnick means is that we need to throw up our hands and look the other way while people who had nothing to do with making a movie or a TV show steal and profit from it, that is a reality to which we do not care to adapt, period.
In what world does "learning to adapt" mean looking the other way? Seriously, if you're going to make ridiculously false statements about my position, at least make them appear logically consistent. I'm not saying throw up your hands. I'm saying stop being stupid and start offering services that don't treat people like criminals and which actually compete on value with the services that people want. It's not that hard, but if you're going to go around calling your biggest fans criminals a dozen times in the course of seven short paragraphs, I guess it's little surprise that you wouldn't be able to comprehend such basic things.


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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Will truth ever actually prevail?

    Why are we still having to talk about this? Time and time again the MPAA and the RIAA have shown that they do not and will not engage in an honest discourse. That they will always lie and distort to support an unsupportable view on reality.

     

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      Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:46am

      Re: Will truth ever actually prevail?

      Masnick still talks about this for a few reasons:

      He believes in it, and believes that constant discussion and debate can move things forward. Sadly, you can't say the right thing once, and be done with it. The impact fades away. New people show up, and need to hear you say it again. You have to say it over, and over, and over. The "I have a dream" speech wasn't MLK's first. If you're gonna effect change, you can't let up.

      It's fair to say that he derives some income from the discussion.

      And he gets some amount of satisfaction. After a decade or more of banging his head against a wall...the wall is slowly giving way. I don't have his patience, but I imagine it feels good to see some amount of progress.

       

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Grades

    All you trolls, take a lesson from Ms Swartsel.

    Her work is passionate, she obviously believes in what she's saying regardless of how deluded it is, and she smoothly mixes together lies and reality to form justifications with a skill normally only observed in preachers, pastors, and televangelists.

    A++ and a gold star for Ms Swartsel, that is some grade A trolling she's doing.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    A Few Things

    There are a few additional things I would like to point out here.

    1) She mentions that people are not just stealing, but profiting.
    ... including posting it online and making money from ad sales or subscription fees?
    She seems to be confused as to how most online services work. It is the users who generally upload or point to content and all the website does is offer a service or directory. This shows a pretty solid lack of understanding as to how most to all of them work. This lack of understanding falls perfectly in line with the statements they love to make in lawsuits and other posts.

    2) Also directly from the quote above in point 1, ad sales hardly ever generate any profit. They usually cover costs plus or minus a very small amount. Again, showing a basic lack of knowledge as to how websites tend to operate.

    3) The tags for her blog post includes "Rogue Sites" but the only sites she mentions directly are yours and GigaOm. I certainly hope that isn't their intention but it seems to me like they might actually be stupid enough to label you guys as Rogue Sites. They have labeled sites rogue sites for dumber reasons than that. (Especially when they seem to falsely believe that you guys are completely and unconditionally condoning infringement)

    4) She did state this as well:
    A major benefit of our new agreement with Internet Service Providers is that it will help consumers get more information about why copyright is important and the impact of content theft.
    Aside from calling it theft there (I believe Mike made the point well enough above) this is an incredibly misleading line in and of itself. It shows complete contempt for both consumers of content as well as all internet subscribers in general. That agreement is one of the worst agreements I have ever heard of. They won't tell us how their process works. They won't let you respond until you've been accused a lot. Your responses are limited to a small radio button list. And to top it off, they want us to pay just to say "I am not guilty of your false accusations". (This is not an exhaustive paragraph of everything wrong with that agreement)

    And they wonder why nobody likes them and customers are perfectly willing to move on into the digital age without them. Sheesh.

     

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      Skeptical Cynic (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

      Re: A Few Things

      Tofu you have been voted up for pointing out the WOW I AM OBLIVIOUS statements.

      I love you Man! circa 1995

       

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

      Re: A Few Things

      I don't know. Let us say TPB does generate shitloads of money with their ads and it covers all costs and generates profit (I don't think it's impossible for a mass portal like TPB). So what? They offer a SERVICE (indexing hashes nowadays) where you may PARTICIPATE (upload/comment) and provides easily available and somewhat trustful (if you know how to search) content which includes things like Pioneer One, A Lonely Place for Dying, Linux distros, open source stuff etc etc etc along with infringing content that SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE AS EASILY AND DRM-FREE BY MAFIAA.

      So yes, they are profiting because they provide a service that is exactly what I need. SERVICE. S-E-R-V-I-C-E. Not content.

      Mininova went "legal" a while back. They still offer a service and I did use it once or twice after it got "legal" but when they got limited I didn't find what I want anymore. So yeah, move on. If, by any chance, I can never get my hands into the DRM-free content TPB and others offer it'll be good. I'll simply stop buying official goods because 1- I won't get in touch with many things I find via these 'illegal, rogue sites' and 2- if I can't get a freaking disc free of DRM crippling stuff, FBI warnings and audio watermarks then why would I even bother buying it? There are DVDs at home I never bothered to take out of the box, they were bought simply as means to show my support and I watch/listen/play the 'illegal copy'.

      And as TF guys pointed out, these "oh my god tons" of alternatives MAFIAA mentions are georestricted. Great! And Alex, go sodomize yourself with a retractable baton, you seem to be in need.

       

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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

        Re: Re: A Few Things

        I used to do the buy DVD and then only play ripped copy as well. Then I stopped buying altogether because buying meant supporting the horrible things they do these days. The most direct route I have to fighting them is with my wallet. Sadly, Netflix is going way down hill for me at the end of the month so I am probably going to be canceling that. =(

         

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        Another AC, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: A Few Things

        It is quite hypocritical to complain that 'pirates' are making so much money, and then on the other hand they don't copy the exact same model and make that money instead.

        If they don't because they think they can try and make more doing what they are doing then they are incompetent.

        If we assume they are competent, then that leaves us with the reason that they know it's not actually profitable. But in typical MAFIAA fashion, they like to believe that 2 contradictory things can both be true when it suits their needs.

         

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

      Re: A Few Things

      1) She mentions that people are not just stealing, but profiting.
      ... including posting it online and making money from ad sales or subscription fees?


      Aren't these the same sort of people who argue against freemium models (and for stronger copyright enforcement) because it's impossible to make a living with ad revenue?

       

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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re: A Few Things

        You know Tim, I do believe you are correct in that. That can be added to their rather large list of right hand left hand dissonance.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: A Few Things

          Her statement about educating folks on copyright conveniently cherry picks what they want someone to know about copyright - fair use isn't "allowed" or offered as a defense in their ISP agreement.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

        Re: Re: A Few Things

        @CLT

        No shit. You can't make money from ads if you actually paid to produce the film. If you got it for free you can. Is that so hard to grasp?

         

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          Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: A Few Things

          Kickstarter, Eventhub, the Sindel movie, and various other forms of entertainment disagree with you.

          Is that so hard to grasp?

           

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          WysiWyg (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:35am

          Re: Re: Re: A Few Things

          Ehm, so if you paid to produce a film, then the ad-agencies suddenly refuse to do business with you?

          I think what you mean is that if you paid to produce the film you can't turn a PROFIT on ads alone. But no one are suggesting you do that alone. All we're saying is that if there really are that much money to be made by offering your content for easy download, then why don't they do it and get a share of that cake?

           

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    Scooters (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    But wait! There's more!

    I want Ms. Swartsel to know this isn't limited to online availability, either. As one who just migrated to Bluray, I'm appalled at the level of restrictions a simple DVD player has just to start the movie, let alone play it.

    I contacted Samsung recently over their latest player and was told the FBI warning wasn't skippable at the behest of the MPAA (representing the major studios) as were other issues I pointed out, such as the requirement for having to "upgrade" firmware.

    In what reality, Ms. Swartsel, does one have to upgrade their software just to play a movie?

    When you don't upgrade windows, does all your software stop playing? When you start up any program on your computer, are you forced to view previews of other products or warnings?

    No? Then why force this stupidity on your paying customers?

    Anything coming out of your mouth is a waste of time, effort, and energy. Perhaps you quit criticizing others about "reality" when it's quite obvious who is not in this one.

    Good day,
    -Robert
    (Scooters is my cat)

     

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      Prisoner 201, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

      Re: But wait! There's more!

      This picture sums it upp pretty nicely.

      The problem is that a media executive looking at that picture would immediately go "If we just add a few more boxes in the bottom part, I'm sure sales will go up".

      It's like their brains are installed backwards.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

        Re: Re: But wait! There's more!

        That is on a video, because on audio you get a lot of chirps and clicks that you only understand what they are when you look at a spectrogram and see a barcode in there, when you don't get infected by some rootkit.

         

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      JMT (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:39pm

      Re: But wait! There's more!

      "...As one who just migrated to Bluray, I'm appalled at the level of restrictions a simple DVD player has just to start the movie, let alone play it."

      This is why I probably won't bother upgrading to Bluray. I keep hearing stories about how damn annoying they are to actually use. Way to ruin a great technology.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    I like how a fair amount of those links Mpaa suggested say that not available to those outside USA. Geo-locking is such a super thing. :(

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    I don't subscribe to Netflix because I know that the MPAA will eventually kill it.

    I don't subscribe to Hulu Plus because I am not going to pay to watch advertisements.

    I don't rent movies off of YouTube because I am not going to pay to watch a digital movie within an MPAA-specified window.

    I don't do the things that the MPAA wants me to do to support them because the MPAA doesn't want me to support them.

    If they have a problem with that, then maybe they should ask themselves who has the real problem.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Take that bitch down a peg.

    To the MAFIAA, in the infamous words of Wikipedia:

    [citation needed]

     

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    John Doe, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    So the MPAA (and probably RIAA) read this site

    That is good news indeed. I am putting both of you on notice, that as soon as your drastic measures start impacting me, especially financially, I will become the worlds greatest pirate. Currently I don't pirate anything. Not music, movies, ebooks, software, nothing. Zip, zilch, nada. But, if there is ever a fee levied on my broadband connection that goes to any royalty agency, I will pirate the living shit out of the industry getting that tax/fee/license.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

      Re: So the MPAA (and probably RIAA) read this site

      I would like them to know that for the last 5 or so years I have not bought one product that has to do with you or the small minded RIAA !!
      I either watch things for free by the free rentals I get for my friend's store or I buy it used.
      I will never go to a theater and own a great setup at home.

      Bottom line assholes:
      You will never get me as a paying customer.
      Now go and sue another Grandma.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:22am

      Re: So the MPAA (and probably RIAA) read this site

      Currently I don't pirate anything.

      It's adorable how naive everyone here thinks people are.














      Wait, I meant horribly twisted and dark. Sorry.

       

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        John Doe, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:22am

        Re: Re: So the MPAA (and probably RIAA) read this site

        It's funny how people think everyone is like them. If they steal, everyone steals. I have paid for every piece of software I have. Same with my music, movies and ebooks. I rent through Netflix and Redbox. I go see about 8 or 10 movies at the theater every year. I don't actually buy music, I listen to Pandora or the radio. So please explain to me how I am a pirate.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:00am

          Re: Re: Re: So the MPAA (and probably RIAA) read this site

          Don't waste your breath. AC exists in a parallel universe where everybody who doesn't accept the RIAA's every word as gospel is a thief. During one conversation he accused me of being a pirate *after* I'd linked to songs on my Spotify account and talked about the DVD label I loved buying from in the same thread. He won't listen, because reality undermines his ideas.

           

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      RadialSkid (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

      Re: So the MPAA (and probably RIAA) read this site

      I will pirate the living shit out of the industry getting that tax/fee/license.

      Don't. It only keeps their material relevant. Don't pirate, don't purchase. Use free alternatives.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Who say's who's a pirate?

    I don't get it. I really don't.

    I don't see any difference between Tivo'ing a show, and playing it back, and downloading it and playing it back.

    I pay for HBO..... Why can't I download a show from a torrent site, that airs on HBO, and watch it on my computer when I'm not at home?. Why is that wrong? They already have my money! Just because I happen to not be home when it airs, or want to watch it on another platform other than the TV, I'm a pirate?.....meh... Gaaaarr!?

     

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      The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

      Re: Who say's who's a pirate?

      Don't you mean ARRRRRRRRRRgghh!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

      Re: Who say's who's a pirate?

      What did you expect from people who live out of imaginary goods?

      Real common sense or imaginary rules that defy logic like in dreams?

       

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      WysiWyg (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:35am

      Re: Who say's who's a pirate?

      "I don't see any difference between Tivo'ing a show, and playing it back, and downloading it and playing it back."

      Neither do "they". "They" are not happy about Tivo.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Understanding media

    • When confronted with a new medium, people tend to understand it in terms of old media.

    • The people who are most adept at understanding an older medium are the least adept at understanding a new medium. Their intuitive sense of the older medium blocks them from sensing the new medium other than via false analogy.

        —Ideas from Understanding Media

     

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    Michael Long (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    "Poor Ms. Swartsel. No one ever shared a DVD with you? No one ever invited you over to their house to watch a TV show together? Sometimes "sharing" is just that. It's not stealing. "

    Sometimes it is. But Techdirt loves to call out the use of the words "steal" and "theft". Why? Because those words are loaded with negative connotations and are seen as biasing the argument.

    Instead, you talk about "sharing", another word loaded with connotations... and which tends to bias the argument the other way. Lending a book or a CD to a friend is "sharing". Watching a DVD with some friends may be sharing.

    Putting a hundred downloaded songs on a torrent server so ten thousand or so strangers can also download them is NOT sharing, and attempting to label it as such or frame it as such biases the argument just as badly.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

      Re: Lollerskates!

      Lollerskates!

      "Torrent Server"? Har har har har har!!!

      I will not belittle you, as you're doing a fine job of displaying your complete lack of knowledge.

      Go learn something, and then come back with an educated opinion.

       

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        Michael Long (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

        Re: Re: Lollerskates!

        Are there not hundreds, if not thousands, of sites (and as such, servers) on the Googleweb [sic] dedicated to storing torrent files? Are there not torrent search engines?

        If my intent was to "share" a hundred songs with 10,000 people, would I not need to upload the torrent files describing them to someplace like the Pirate Bay (and its servers) 's that other people could find them?

        Forgive my technological shorthand, as I assumed that someone with an education (or half a brain) would recognize it as such, and we could have an actual discussion on how both sides are attempting to frame the debate.

         

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          Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

          Name one place storing torrent files.

          Your knowledge of the technology is quite lacking.

          If you can't understand the difference between a tracker, a torrent file, and the "swarm", then there is no reason to help you in understanding the difference between "theft" and "sharing".

          ESPECIALLY when some of those studies indicate that the official offerings are not up to the demands of consumers.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

            Your knowledge of the technology is quite lacking.

            Take a look at some of the more advanced botnet command and control systems.

            If you wanted to share malware with 10,000 unwilling zombies...

             

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              Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

              What the hell?

              We're talking about songs and you move to botnets?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                We're talking about songs and you move to botnets?


                Ones and zeroes. Zeroes and ones.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:00am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                  No, this isn't po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.

                  Unless you want me to look specifically at something, I'm just going to have to ignore that.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:34am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                    ...look specifically at something...


                    From Wikipedia, “The Free Encyclopedia” :

                    “Notable distributed networks that use DHTs include BitTorrent's distributed tracker, the Coral Content Distribution Network, the Kad network, the Storm botnet, and YaCy.”

                     


                    ...I'm just going to have to ignore that.

                    Suit yourself.

                     

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          PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

          "Googleweb[sic]"

          sic? The only person using that term here is you, and it frankly makes you look even more stupid than you already do.

          "technological shorthand"

          If you're going to try talking in technical terms, you need to get the terminology correct. There's a reason why specific terms exist, and using the wrong term - as you did - implies you don't know what you're talking about.

          "would I not need to upload the torrent files describing them"

          No. There's other ways to share that don't involve torrents. If you choose the torrent method, TPB do not have to store the torrent file in order for you to use their search engine to find it. Even if they did, the torrent file itself is not infringing as it contains no copyrighted material - it just tells you where you can find it.

          Seriously, someone here needs to be educated, and it's not Lobo.

          "we could have an actual discussion on how both sides are attempting to frame the debate"

          Feel free. Although, if you think there's only 2 sides here, you're a fool and need to educate yourself on the actual debate.

           

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            Michael Long (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

            Where to begin?

            I (from an editorial standpoint) sic'd "Googleweb" because it's an inaccurate but irreverent ] term for the Internet that someone "without an education" might use. Doing a personal [sic] should let you know that I recognize the fact, but used the term anyway. This is accordance with standard usage by the CMS, and the AP Stylebook.

            Next, from the Pirate Bay FAQ, "The Pirate Bay is the worlds largest bittorrent tracker. ... To be able to upload torrent files, write comments and personal messages one must register at the site."

            Continuing, "Only torrent files are saved at the server. That means no copyrighted and/or illegal material are stored by us."

            To repeat: Only torrent files are saved at the server.

            Yes, there are other ways to "share", but to get them out to to my hypothetical 10,000 strangers, your 100 torrents are going to need to be seen on a site like TPB or via a similar search engine. I doubt you're going to go to the time, trouble, or expense to sneaker net a CDR or thumb drive to 10,000 strangers.

            And while there are many sides to the debate (more like a continuum, really), TFA itself contrasts the MPAA's efforts to equate infringement with theft, while Mike attempts to ridicule their position and portray it as simply "sharing" among a few friends.

            Thus there's the MPAA side, and Mike's side. Theft. "Sharing."

            Their side. Mike's side. One. Two.

            Now, since you apparently can't even count to two, go out and get a ****ing education yourself.

             

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              PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

              "I (from an editorial standpoint) sic'd "Googleweb" because it's an inaccurate but irreverent ] term for the Internet that someone "without an education" might use."

              Yet, nobody here uses it. I've seen similar terms on other sites, but this tends to be (apart from the AC troll/s) an adult forum. Your attempt to mock detractors by acting like a fool makes you looks like, well, a fool and it adds nothing to the conversation.

              "This is accordance with standard usage by the CMS, and the AP Stylebook."

              I'm no journalist, but isn't such usage meant to be when you're actually quoting someone, not making up a strawman?

              "I doubt you're going to go to the time, trouble, or expense to sneaker net a CDR or thumb drive to 10,000 strangers."

              In that case, educate yourself on the other methods of transferring to mass audiences. Torrents have recently been popular due to convenience, not because they serve a unique function.

              "while Mike attempts to ridicule their position and portray it as simply "sharing" among a few friends."

              OK, this is apparently too complex for you, so let's try this again. The article (again, TFA? Hardly adult debate) is a direct counterpoint to an article so one-sided that any criticism is almost guaranteed to appear to be the exact opposite. In reality, there's many opinions and the fact that the article presents a direct counterpoint to said biased position does not mean that nuance in these comments is not possible. Whether or not you agree with Mike, there's many other positions to the one you're arguing with, some held by people you're arguing with (such as myself).

              "Now, since you apparently can't even count to two, go out and get a ****ing education yourself."

              Yeah, resorting to swearing and insults at the end of a rant is a surefire way to further a discussion...

               

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                Michael Long (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                A surefire way to further a discussion???

                "... makes you look even more stupid..."
                "... someone here needs to be educated..."
                "...you're a fool and need to educate yourself..."
                "Hardly adult debate..."
                "Your attempt to mock detractors by acting like a fool..."
                "... In that case, educate yourself..."
                "... OK, this is apparently too complex for you..."
                "Yeah, resorting to swearing and insults..."

                For someone who's seemingly dedicated to adult discourse, you manage to spend quite a bit of time insulting your opponent.

                "I'm no journalist..."

                Sigh. Look up self-sic. To wit: "While chiefly used in text that is not one's own, occasionally, a sic is included by a writer after his or her own word(s) to note that the language has been chosen deliberately, especially where a reader may naturally doubt the writer's intentions."

                There. You've learned something new today.

                "In that case, educate yourself on the other methods of transferring to mass audiences."

                Insults again. But the point was not about whether or not you're using BitTorrent or Limewire [RIP] or some other form of distribution technology.

                The POINT -- which you've continually failed to address -- was how the varied sides in the argument are using language loaded with specific connotations in order to frame their respective arguments.

                Theft implies criminal and immoral activity. "Sharing" implies desirable behavior; all sweetness and light and ponies.

                Despite the fact that "sharing" itself is a continuum that goes all the way from loaning a book to a friend to the mass distribution of material you don't own -- via whatever means -- to thousands of complete and total strangers.

                Now. If you'd like to address the point, and if you can manage to avoid loading every paragraph with an insult, then feel free to do so.

                Otherwise...

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                  Oh dear...

                  "For someone who's seemingly dedicated to adult discourse, you manage to spend quite a bit of time insulting your opponent."

                  Maybe I should turn down the rhetoric, but you're hardly making your own case. I mean, saying someone's acting like a child in response to them acting like a child hardly reflects worst on myself...

                  "There. You've learned something new today."

                  But, isn't that still meaningless if the people you're attacking have said nothing of the sort themselves? For example, I've seen many pro-IP people type "loose" instead of "lose", but if I attack you by saying "loose [sic]", surely that's silly unless I've seen you do that?

                  "But the point was not about whether or not you're using BitTorrent or Limewire [RIP] or some other form of distribution technology."

                  Unless i missed something, all you've mentioned is torrents and then tried to defend your misrepresentation about how torrents work? What did I miss?

                  "how the varied sides in the argument are using language loaded with specific connotations in order to frame their respective arguments"

                  Wasn't that the focus of the article above? Maybe Mike could have offered other alternatives, but the focus is on how we paying customers are tired of being called thieves because we don't pretend it's 1997 any more.

                  "Theft implies criminal and immoral activity."

                  No, theft implies depriving another of property, which does not apply to the duplication of infinite digital goods.

                  "Now. If you'd like to address the point, and if you can manage to avoid loading every paragraph with an insult, then feel free to do so."

                  You first, please.

                   

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                    Michael Long (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                    A [sic] in quotes or as part of a repeated comment is an editorial comment on an error. A self-sic is not a quote, but a editorial comment by the individual in question that he has misused a word... deliberately.

                    "Maybe Mike could have offered other alternatives, but the focus is on how we paying customers are tired of being called thieves..."

                    Partly. But the MPAA was ranting about people who illegally downloaded commercial content for free, and called them thieves.

                    Mike, however, immediately jumped on the rant about illegal downloads with, "Poor Ms. Swartsel. No one ever shared a DVD with you? No one ever invited you over to their house to watch a TV show together? Sometimes "sharing" is just that. It's not stealing."

                    Again. It's not theft, it's not not stealing. Those are bad words. It's "sharing". It's not about distributing content to thousands of strangers, it about "sharing" with a friend. It's SHARING....

                    It's about how the Republicans and Democrats each choose their words in order to frame the debate. Where letting a temporary tax cut expire is suddenly framed as "raising taxes!"

                     

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                      PaulT (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 2:01am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                      " a [sic] editorial comment by the individual in question that he has misused a word... deliberately."

                      Yes, but you're the one who introduced a stupid word into a discussion, a word that might have been used by a 12 year old. I could bring in a lot of stupid words myself and say [sic] after them, that doesn't make my comment intelligent in any way, which was my criticism of you. Try to debate based on the words or ideas people use, don't bring a strawman into the argument, else it gets derailed (here, for example).

                      " But the MPAA was ranting about people who illegally downloaded commercial content for free, and called them thieves."

                      ...which since nothing is actually stolen (as the MPAA still have access to the original), it's the wrong word to use and is only there to incite an emotional response. Which is what was being criticised.

                      As for the "sharing" debate, that's really a different thing, but it's the sticking point for a lot of people. People have been "sharing" by copying for a long time - making a mix tape for friends or copying entire albums, making a copy of a VHS or taping programs from HBO to give to their non-subscribing friends. The only thing that's changed is the scale. But, people still see this activity as sharing in many cases...

                       

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                      Gwiz (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 10:38am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                      Again. It's not theft, it's not not stealing. Those are bad words. It's "sharing". It's not about distributing content to thousands of strangers, it about "sharing" with a friend. It's SHARING....

                      How about both sides use the correct terminology:

                      Copyright Infringement - a violation of the rights secured by a copyright, usually a civil violation.

                       

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                        Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 11:17am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

                        Copyright infringement is the infringement of a privilege, a state granted reproduction/communication monopoly.

                        Copyright annuls people's right to copy (and a few other liberties), to leave it by exclusion in the hands of a few.

                        If someone violates your right to privacy (a burglar), you can call a policeman.

                        If someone infringes your privilege, it is not illegal and a policeman should ignore your grievance. It's up to you to hire a lawyer to sue the infringer.

                         

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          indieThing (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

          Let's not forget that torrent files contain no infringing content. They are just links to where bits of the required data is held.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Lollerskates!

          If your intend to share you could upload a torrent file to somewhere or you could just post a magnet link anywhere.

          magnet:?xt=urn:btih:2c734949e128fc498e40efbce728b5d2d84e4a2b&dn=sita+sings+the+blue s+official+dvd+ntsc&tr=http%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%2Fannounce

          There you see I'm sharing a DVD movie right now, is that not marvellous?

          You don't even need a tracker, thanks to DHT, although those are included in there just for performance sakes.

           

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      In that case I think the proper word is "infringement" but that word has too many letters for the mainstream media. It is not stealing or theft (or sharing).

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      Torrent Server? Pardon me while I beat myself to death with my keyboard......

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Pardon me while I beat myself to death with my keyboard......


        Laugh all you want. But the poor guy is incapable of understanding a non-broadcast model. It doesn't fit into his worldview. So it doesn't exist.

        In “social engineering”, the most leveragable point to exploit a victim is where his model does not conform to reality.

         

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      Anonymous Poster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

      Re:

      Technically, it is sharing.

      It's illegal, too, but so is smoking a joint, and potheads share those all the time.

      The point of calling out the words "steal" and "theft" is because the two words are not just "loaded words", but because they are inaccurate. Answer this little quandry for me: when someone torrents the latest Lady Gaga single, what precisely is being stolen, from whom is it being stolen, and (most importantly) what do they do to get what is being stolen back?

       

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        crade (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re:

        It's not really sharing for one of the same reasons it isn't theft. Sharing requires you giving something away, it requires sacrifice, copying is not sharing, it's copying. Windows called their access points "share"s though, and making files available to others became "sharing" them. It really don't mean the same thing as sharing a peice of cake.

         

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          Anonymous Poster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Good point, thanks for the insight.

          Semantics aside, I'd still like my original quandry answered by the clueless schmuck at the top of this particular comment thread. :)

           

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm sharing with you my counterpoint to your counterpoint. See, I still have it and now so do you. No sacrifice necessary.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          See comment titled "Understanding media"

          You are thinking about sharing in the old medium. Sharing is not limited to tangible goods.

           

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          WysiWyg (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are the first person I have ever even heard of that has that definition of "sharing".

          If I share a piece of cake, it usually means that I eat one part of it and the person I share with eat another part. We both get cake.

          What would you call it if I "shared a cab" with someone? We both got the ride, and most likely we both ended up paying less than we would otherwise. To me, I don't see any sacrifice there?

          And how about sharing an experience, such as a movie? We both get to see the movie.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/share

          I'm afraid sharing doesn't require sacrifice, just that people share something, in the case of filesharing everybody shares the workload to distribute that file.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:33am

        Re: Re:

        Technically, it is sharing. It's illegal, too, but so is smoking a joint, and potheads share those all the time.

        Agreed! Thank you!

        From now on, all pirates are going to be ok with sharing their money with me when I take it without them seeing me do it or knowing who I am. And I promise to give it back, so it isn't stealing. Awesome.

        Thanks for the permission!

         

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          WysiWyg (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well if you "share" my money in the same sense that I would "share" a movie, that would mean that you are making counterfeit money, which is a whole other ball of yarn.

          But sure, if you want to make copies of my money, I don't care. As long as you don't blame me when the feds come breaking down your door that is.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Huh? Paper currency are copies. CDs and records are copies.

            They all come from an original master source.

            You haven't really thought this through, have you?

             

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              WysiWyg (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A; Currency is NOT identical copies. Ever heard of serial numbers?

              B; What is your point? I have no problem with anyone making a copy of either a CD or money. I would have an issue with anyone claiming that it's the original, i.e. someone trying to sell someone else's music as if it was their own or trying to pass off counterfeit money as real money.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The sharing money analogy of yours doesn't really work does it?

              LoL

               

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          PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ...all this time and you still haven't got the difference between copying and theft. Sad, yet you think you're clever somehow.

          Oh, and to answer your "point" - yes, feel free to share my money if you find a way to copy it in the same way as music files are copied (e.g. I still have the original). If I'm without the original for even a millisecond, then yes it's stealing. No "pirate" has ever left a record label without a copy of the original, so it's not stealing. Thick skull, get that through it.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      Why because of the scale of it?
      It is still sharing no matter what you want it to call it.

      And people just know it, this is something you will not change and it doesn't really matter how you want to frame it, people just know it is not wrong that is why they will keep doing it until the end of days.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:45pm

      Re:

      " Lending a book or a CD to a friend is "sharing". Watching a DVD with some friends may be sharing.

      Putting a hundred downloaded songs on a torrent server so ten thousand or so strangers can also download them is NOT sharing, and attempting to label it as such or frame it as such biases the argument just as badly"

      Ok, except in your attempt to chase those 'hundred downloaded songs' people, you are sweeping up and punishing the majority of legit, paying customers.

      I have a friend that lives several states away. We both play WoW. We decided we wanted to make a video taken by us, in-game, and mash it with original music we made.

      However, because of your nonsense, and pushing ISP's for monitoring/filtering/throttling etc, a simple collaboration effort that is original, and doesn't infringe on you people in any way has made a simple project that shouldn't have taken more than a couple of days take over 2 weeks just to get the in-game videos to each other. You are stealing my time, and hindering my efforts for something I'm not even going to be selling!

      I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan. Guess what. Your nonsense and noise of piracy just pissed me off enough that I was willing to NOT pay to watch it in the theater...or on DVD when it comes out.....nor did I download it or pirate it. I'll just go without, thank you.

      Eventually, others will get to that point too. Then what?

      Your move.

       

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      identicon
      akp, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      This, a hundred times this!

      "There are DVDs at home I never bothered to take out of the box, they were bought simply as means to show my support and I watch/listen/play the 'illegal copy'."

       

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      fb39ca4 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

      Re:

      Yes, it is sharing. The internet allows us to share in much greater amounts than before, by the thousands. Anyways, Techdirt is obviously biased against the MAFIAA, so why would they not use it?

       

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      John Robinson (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:15am

      Re:

      But Techdirt loves to call out the use of the words "steal" and "theft". Why? Because those words are loaded with negative connotations and are seen as biasing the argument.


      I'm not sure the problem is the negative connotations associated with those words. The objection everyone has is that both "steal" and "theft" are completely, blatantly, unquestionably incorrect descriptions of what happens when media is pirated.

      It's as good as me using a bunch of science to clone someone and then be accused of murdering the original. How does that logical leap occur?

      Theft is a crime, no doubt. It also has a definition that makes it possible for people to be prosecuted for it. Copying is not theft. The two just aren't related.

       

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        Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:52am

        Re: Re:

        To really understand what's going on you have to drop down to the rights of the issue.

        One either violates a right, or one infringes a privilege (disobeying the annulling of a right).

        Theft is the violation of an individual's right to privacy (to exclude others from the objects they possess/spaces they inhabit), by invading it & removing a possession. However, invading someone's privacy to make a copy of their diary and remove/communicate it without, is an equivalent violation.

        So, a burglar copying an author's private manuscript could indeed be said to be stealing the author's intellectual property - an act of IP theft (a violation of the author's exclusive right to their writings).

        Naturally, once an author, Shakespeare say, has sold or given you a manuscript or copy thereof, you are at liberty to do whatever you want with your own possession, e.g. destroy it, or make and sell as many further copies as you fancy (as you might copy a basket or vase). There is no rights violation in doing so.

        In 1709 Queen Anne annulled this natural right of individuals to make & sell copies of their possessions (relating to literary/graphic/printed works). The privilege of 'copyright' was thus created (annulling the people's right to copy, for some arbitrary period, e.g. 14 years from publication).

        To disobey this privilege of copyright is an infringement. It violates no right of the individual. On the contrary, it is a liberty and right that the individual is born with, but prohibited by law.

        So, applying 'steal' or 'theft' to copyright infringement is to attempt to elevate the assertion of a natural liberty contrary to privilege into a crime. Similarly, when people claim copyright is a right (as if a natural or human right, as opposed to a legislatively granted quasi-right) this is to pretend a right is being violated, rather than a privilege being infringed.

        This is why natural rights aren't taught in school - they undermine the state's interest in derogating from the people's rights in their own interest (obviously with pretexts that privileges are in the people's interest).

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 6:22am

      Re:

      It is sharing on a large scale.

       

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Copyright & rights

    The ironic thing is, while the cartel are busy hyping copyright into a human right, their corporate state is busy redefining human rights as illegitimate interference in 'democratic' government.

    Oops.

    If only people learnt the difference between an 18th century state granted privilege, and a human right - self-evident in Homo Sapiens since half a millions years BC or thereabouts... until the Stationers' Guild persuaded Queen Anne to enact her statute of 1709 annulling everyone's right to copy, to share and build upon our own culture. See http://culturalliberty.org/blog/index.php?id=276

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:43am

      Re: Copyright & rights

      Everything was fine until my human right to repeatedly kick Crosbie Fitch in the balls was interrupted by some silly laws.

      I say, "Abolish the laws that prevent me from from repeatedly kicking Crosbie Fitch in the balls until he's writhing on the ground, crying like the weak little manchild he is!"

      He wants a law he doesn't like repealed, I want a law I don't like repealed.

      It's my human right, you see. I possess two legs, and I'm trying to assume he possesses two testicles.

      Human right, bro.

       

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        Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:59am

        Re: Re: Copyright & rights

        Anon, you may only have a human right to 'kick me in the balls' if it is a proportionate/necessary defence against my initiation of lethal aggression against you.

        The human right to life is a natural law, so is the human right to liberty. We cannot abolish human rights, we can only abolish laws. We should not abolish laws that recognise human rights, but we should abolish laws that derogate from them.

        Therefore we should repeal the privilege of copyright that derogates from the individual's human/natural right to liberty.

        It is not a matter of 'like'. Human rights are determined by nature, not referendum.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re: Copyright & rights

        "I say, "Abolish the laws that prevent me from from repeatedly kicking Crosbie Fitch in the balls until he's writhing on the ground, crying like the weak little manchild he is!""

        Regardless of whether or not that was censored (and I don't believe it was - Akismet does tend to err on the cautious side sometimes), take a moment to think. Consider how that makes you look. Akismet may have prevented you from looking like a complete idiot with an IQ of around 50. Sadly, such protection isn't good enough for you, and you have to prove it.

        Really, is this the best the pro-IP crowd have to offer? Sometimes, I'd hope for at least a quick volley of debate with someone who's passed puberty.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:48am

      Re: Copyright & rights

      -Edited to get past Mike Masnick's censoring filters-

      Everything was fine until my human right to repeatedly ki*k Crosbie Fitch in the ba*ls was interrupted by some silly laws.

      I say, "Abolish the laws that prevent me from from repeatedly kicking Crosbie Fitch in the ba*ls until he's writhing on the ground, crying like the weak little manchild he is!"

      He wants a law he doesn't like repealed, I want a law I don't like repealed.

      It's my human right, you see. I possess two legs, and I'm trying to assume he possesses two testicles.

      Human right, bro.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:01am

      Re: Copyright & rights

      -wow, the censorship is strong with this one.

      Anyway,

      Everything was fine until my human right to repeatedly kick Crosbie Fitch in the balls was interrupted by some silly laws.

      I say, "Abolish the laws that prevent me from from repeatedly kicking Crosbie Fitch in the balls until he's writhing on the ground, crying like the weak little manchild he is!"

      He wants a law he doesn't like repealed, I want a law I don't like repealed.

      It's my human right, you see. I possess two legs, and I'm trying to assume he possesses two go*nads.

      Human right, bro.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:06am

      Re: Copyright & rights

      *Real* censorship. Right here on this blog.

      Thanks for the ammunition, little man.

       

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        Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:19am

        Re: Re: Copyright & rights

        Censorship on this blog?

        What do you mean?

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Copyright & rights

          Ask Masnick. He applied specific speech filters to prevent me from posting the beat down you deserve.

          Pure censorship.

           

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re: Copyright & rights

        *Real* censorship. Right here on this blog.


        It's called a spam filter. Not censorship. If you do things that look like a spammer, the spam filter catches it. And we review it every few hours for false positive and clear them. Your little diatribe was posted. As is this tantrum of yours.

        https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=11941754300&story_fbid=190144344386208

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Copyright & rights

          What exactly would make *anything* in that post look like spam?

          More of the BS I've come to expect from you.

           

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright & rights

            What exactly would make *anything* in that post look like spam?

            More of the BS I've come to expect from you


            Ask Akismet. They provide the spam filter we use. It uses a variety of hueristics, and decided that your comment looked like spam.

            Perhaps people on other sites submitted posts about kicking people in the balls as spam.

            And, I would kindly ask you to not accuse me of lying. What incentive would I possibly have to lie about this?

             

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            ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright & rights

            More of the BS I've come to expect from you.

            Dude...lighten-up. Take some meds. I get trapped from time to time myself by this system. If you weren't so rabid to stick it to someone, you're post will get approved fairly quickly and you are right as rain.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Day 11:

    So, I managed to chase away that Lucky Charms leprechaun one more time. He had a fortified position under my front porch stairs, so I sent in a wombat to chase him out. That was three days ago.

    We can hear him out there at night, trying to find another way in. The noises he makes are terrifying. I don't have his lucky charms, and I don't know why he thinks I do. If one of us can't get out soon to get supplies I fear this might end in a bloodbath.

    Oh my God, I think he just killed my dog.. Who let the dog out!! Turn that light off he can see us!! ......

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

     

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    Loki, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    My favorite line"
    But do “many, many people” really intend to engage in theft just to watch a movie or TV show cheaply or for free? We doubt it, particularly if legitimate, better alternatives are available;

    As I have never engaged in file sharing, I suppose I could feel insulted at the implication I might be a thief (ignoring the clearly mandated distinctions that infringement and theft are NOT the same thing). I suppose in her world I would still be guilty of being an "accessory" for merely being critical of her/MPAA positions (even desite the fact that I am equally critical of some of the reasons people fileshare, because in her/their world there are only TWO possible sides and if you aren't 100% with them, you are 100% against them).

    However, I find it hard to take seriously someone who genuinely thinks (or at least pretends to think) that making people pay MORE money, for LESS service, LESS options, and LESS flexibility is in any way a BETTER alternative.

    Such a person is clearly irrational. In different times such a person would quite likely be branded a lunatic and confined to a mental institution.

    Funny how I've been reading Techdirt for years and nothing I've ever read here has made me even the least bit inclined to spend countless hours browsing Pirate Bay, but I can read the MPAA mouthpieces for five minutes and not go see a movie for a year.

     

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      MondoGordo, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      Depends how you define your terms ... it's undoubtedly better for the content provider's bottom line to charge more and provide less at least in the short term and especially if he can force you to pay for it on his terms.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      I disagree with everything you're saying. Whichever 50% of each side you agree with, I'm against.

       

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    Fickelbra (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    I wish the MPAA would realize that if they were to make a service that allows me to stream new content; hell, even relatively new content (a matter of months rather than years), I would be willing to pay upwards of 50 bucks for a streaming service to provide this. I'm here, I'm waiting, but until I can have the same convenience that is Netflix legitimately for more current programming, consider your new stuff pirated.

     

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    vastrightwing, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Here is how I understand your definitions

    Dear MPAA,

    I want to be sure I have your ideas clear:
    1) Copying any form of entertainment for any purpose equals theft.
    2) Sharing any form of entertainment equals theft.
    3) Distributing any form of entertainment equals theft.
    4) Watching entertainment on a DVD where the content travels more than 100 yards equals theft.
    5) Doing anything the entertainment industry doesn't like is a copyright violation or is infringement.
    6) There is no difference in the words infringement and theft.
    7) Sharing equals copying and therefore sharing equals theft.
    8) Copyright grants only movie industry titans the ability to distribute and copy. Therefore copy only equals theft if you are not considered part of the giant movie industry.
    9) Watching content not authorized for a particular geo-location equals theft.

    I would love to understand the difference in meaning between infringement and theft, if there is a distinction from an entertainment insider. My opinion is that the distinction only occurs when you own/control the copyright of any content.

     

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    Harrekki (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    AMMO

    I am waiting for them to say that "discussing, conversing, or other acts attempting to explain a movie/ show/ or other works covered by the MPAA are a theft of our product, and will not be allowed. If you hear a co-worker, boss, employee or friend attempting to explain what a piece of work is about, politely interrupt them. Remind them that their actions are illegal, and can land them in jail. then promptly call the MPAA with the contact information for said person, so we may speak with them regarding the dangers of discussing a show without proper licensing fees. it's for the artists and good for the country. "

    Some will laugh and call it ridiculous, but I have found out about shows and movies I am now a HUGE fan of through channels that the MPAA wants to shut down. I feel like the industry would be better suited to dismantle the MPAA, hire the more progressive people who are creating such "infringing networks" and ask them to have a go at it. Call it the "Association for Modern Movie Offers (AMMO)" and just start signing progressive artists and labels. Seems the easiest way to get rid of the MPAA.

    The current mode of operation hasn't been working out so well.
    I actually feel bad for these people (not monetarily, they get plenty of bribes (the MPAA calls them jobs), but they are fighting REALLY hard for a reality that just passed them by in the 90's. it's sad. it's like watching an old man trying to relive his glory days by buying an expensive car which he knows will outlast him.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

    With his inter-site trolling. But his boilerplate ranting doesn't add anything or convince anyone. And we're still for more advice than "You idiots in the industry must come up with something better! We want our entertainments NOW!"

     

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      jackwagon (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

      Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

      I'm not Mike, but here's something. Most people want a service very similar to Netflix but with content that doesn't suck and a fee that is reasonable.

       

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      Anonymous Poster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

      Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

      Why should Mike do the industry's work for it?

      He's telling the industry what it needs to hear: if you screw over consumers, they're going to turn to places that don't screw them over to get what they want. If the industry tried harder to give consumers affordable options with few (if any) limitations on where/how/when to consume their product, then consumers would likely flock to it.

      Netflix -- you know, before the MPAA started strangling it -- is a great example of this. It's affordable, it's easy to use, and it has few restrictions; consumers flocked to it in droves. Now that the MPAA is forcing Netflix to hike prices -- and is potentially withholding content from the service to get Netflix to jack up the rates further so that they can squeeze more money out of Netflix -- consumers are starting to second-guess their Netflix subscriptions.

      The very thing that started driving people towards legal content is now becoming the very thing that is starting to drive those same people away from legal content.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:46pm

        Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

        Nobody, including the MPAA, is "strangling" Netflix.

        They want to move out of the plastic disc biz and go exclusively to streaming, so that means obtaining a bunch more licenses. And hopefully someday having a balance sheet that justifies their stock price.

        Their streaming plan is still ridiculously cheap for how much you get.

        Tough to figure out why someone like Mike Masnick isn't using it.

        What does he use?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

          Extremely cheap?

          I wouldn't pay them even if it was for free not counting the horrible experience that they provide to users everywhere.

           

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          Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

          "They want to move out of the plastic disc biz and go exclusively to streaming, so that means obtaining a bunch more licenses. And hopefully someday having a balance sheet that justifies their stock price."

          Now read your sentence a second time.

          Then think about this. What does the consumer want? Do they want to have DVDs? Do they want to have streaming?
          Do they give a damn about how much your licenses cost?

          If the answer to the last question is "no", then you need to figure out what consumers DO want.

          Now if I recall, you're the same AC asking for receipts. Please stop stalking Masnick. It's very unhealthy to your well being.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

            You're not making any sense. Streaming is how people are going to consume these types of media in the future.

            As near as I can tell Netflix is offering people as much as they are currently capable of delivering.

            What exactly are you complaining about?

             

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              Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

              Netflix might want to move out of the DVD market, but it's still valuable to consumers. What I'm pointing out is moving towards what people want, in tangible goods or access to content, will do far better than this belief in more licensing deals. What Netflix wants to do may be opposed to what the consumers want. Right now, I believe the price hike will have more people looking for an alternative to Netflix's DVD scheme along with Hollywood's DVDs for $20 in Walmarts. The next alternative is piracy or other forms of entertainment.

              I would predict Netflix might stagnate soon, because Hollywood wants to extract tons of money out of them for content.

               

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              PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

              "As near as I can tell Netflix is offering people as much as they are currently capable of delivering."

              ...apart from the massive restrictions on them as to which content they're allowed to stream and where they're allowed to stream to, of course. But, don't let facts get in the way of your argument.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:12am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                They can stream whatever they want, as long as they get a license for it from the people that spent the money to create it.

                They could be streaming new releases *right now*, but decided to instead strike a better deal for all 9 seasons of "Roseanne".

                And by the way, all of you people's complaints here about Netflix sound incredibly measured and logical, and are sure to turn the tide of public opinion in your favor...

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                  "as long as they get a license for it from the people that spent the money to create it"

                  Indeed, which is the sticking point. They're not allowed to stream to me because I'm on the wrong patch of dirt. Other content is restricted depending on the licence holder being willing to licence it for a reasonable fee - many are either unwilling to licence at all (e.g. new releases, selected seasons of shows) or they simply ask more than Netflix can reasonably pay.

                  In other words, Netflix are capable of delivering more than they currently are, but cannot due to licence restrictions. That doesn't mean there's not a demand for more or than Netflix's own business model cannot support more content.

                  I have no idea what you mean by the 2nd paragraph, but I'm sure it was a point in your eyes, somehow.

                   

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                  Jay (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:45am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                  "They can stream whatever they want, as long as they get a license for it from the people that spent the money to create it."

                  And yet again, as I said above the consumers won't care. They'll look for ways around restrictions.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:22am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                    "All licenses for everything should be discarded. People should be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want."

                    When you people stray into anarchinistic society mode, is when you immediately lose the debate and just start looking like delusional entitled children.

                     

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                      Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:38am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                      Well, actually, it's the other way around.

                      People are born with their liberty, and copyright supporters are the 'delusional entitled children' wailing because the magic of Queen Anne's 18th century privilege preventing people from copying published works has been revealed as a sham.

                      You are not entitled to prevent mankind sharing and building upon its own culture. Whatever Queen Anne said, and whatever James Madison repeated.

                      Individuals are born with inalienable liberty. Governments and their lobbyists cannot have it otherwise - for very long.

                       

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                      Jay (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                      "When you people stray into anarchinistic society mode, is when you immediately lose the debate and just start looking like delusional entitled children"

                      Right... Because the NET Act, DMCA, and other copyright enforcements have really helped the bottom lines of Warner, Sony, and Universal.

                      I guess you've already lost the argument.

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:19am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                      At least they do work for a living and are not the ones trying to extract rents from every use of something with questionable laws that enable true entitled children mentality.

                       

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                  Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:17am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

                  That is what I find it absurd.
                  The only thing Netflix should need to do is buy one copy and be able to open up their business and not have to pay the producer of said crap any more.

                  I don't see Ford trying to extort money from taxi drivers do anyone see any other industry doing this to people who paid them once?

                  And that crap about life + 95 years that is not protection that is welfare.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

          It can be cheaper than cable is, they pay producers $0.020 cents a month per subscriber.

           

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      Zot-Sindi, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

      Re: Mike is SO pleased that he's been noticed and named!

      And we're still for more advice than "You idiots in the industry must come up with something better! We want our entertainments NOW!"


      what, too lazy to spend 1 minute using the built-in site search feature to find the many pages of advice on this site?

      i figured, industry shills don't want to see the advice, even if you handed it to them they still don't want it, it's their way or the highway. i take the highway

       

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    Paul, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Movies on Android

    I was excited to see movies available on the Android Market (I should have known better) but you can tell the prices are being determined by the studios. They want $3.99 to 'rent' a movie to watch on the tiny screen of a phone ... $3.99! Why are the studios SO stupid? I'd pay *maybe* $1.99, but 99 cents seems more appropriate for the screen size of a phone. They are so. very. stupid.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    "Steal" and "theft" is true for sites that charge premiums and/or run ads.

    As I've said before, what gives those sites value is the content they get elsewhere; it's a dodge to say "users" upload it and the sites can't police it -- they choose not to because profiting. The big ones are in Germany. I'm not going to name them -- lest some of you people actually don't know -- but they have massive collections of all kinds of content, and I continue to be amazed that they haven't been taken down. Appears to be a seriously wacky obstacle in German law.

     

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    threeWishes (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    One Wish For Each

    Dear MPAA, RIAA and Congress,

    Stop being stupid.

    Thank you for your time.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

      Re: One Wish For Each

      dear user: please pay for your content. thank you.

       

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        jackwagon (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re: One Wish For Each

        No problem. Stop treating me like a criminal when I do. Thanks.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: One Wish For Each

        dear user: please pay for your content. thank you.


        Excuse me, bud.

        The vast majority of video “content” that I've watched over the past few years has been Congressional hearings and the like. Even then, I prefer reading transcripts 'cause I can process info fastest that way—and I have a perpetual backlog.

        For the most part. I DO NOT WANTZ YOUR PRODUCT. I wish that most of the “content” industry would just fall off the edge of the earth, and leave me in peace. Mostly, I wouldn't care about your stupid war with the file-sharers. Except that you seem determined to make me your enemy.

        So fuck off and die already.

         

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        onlyThree! (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: One Wish For Each

        Listen mister, there were only three wishes and you didn't get one... Besides, you've been rubbing that lamp for far too long now anyhow.. So hows about you just put some lotion on your calloused palms, light a candle, find a good beat on Jamendo and go fuck yourself.

         

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        AR (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re: One Wish For Each

        "dear user: please pay for your content. thank you."

        Dear MPAA & RIAA

        Give me content worth paying for. Thank You.

         

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          Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:59pm

          A reply from on high?

          Dear consumer,

          It comes to our attention that you have asked for content worth paying for. We respect your right to view movies legally through our channels, since those are the only official channels. We have ignored the internet for so long, we continue to believe that it does not exist while we take everyone's idea of what is available and try to force you into what we offer.

          However, we are fighting a war similar to terrorism. The rogue sites continue to pop up faster than they can be taken down. We lose money to ad supported sites, depriving the artists that we continue to screw over in our pursuit of the all mighty American dollar. We do this to protect you and your children. We also do this to protect our artists and producers who stay up late nights to give you the newest and flashiest explosions that money can buy.

          Although you may not understand your safety all too well, this method of copyright enforcement continues to grow with our decreasing profit margins. Once we have taken away streaming, making Hulu and Netflix ineffective, we can provide you even better services such as regionalization, windowing, and higher prices for digital goods.

          We thank you for your patience. The content will be well worth paying for, at prices that are 10% over 100% what is needed.

          Sincerely,
          MPAA/RIAA - Your overlords.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re: One Wish For Each

        Screw your affiliate fee's.

         

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

      Re: One Wish For Each

      Dear threeWishes -

      Thank you for inquiring about our latest jobs program. As a loyal constituent of [insert state], we are pleased to see you exercising your right to communicate with our interns.

      As you are well aware, today's citizens face many challenges, both at home and abroad. As part of our 5-part, 8-committee bi-partisan plan to Fix America, we are hard at work addressing our current "unemployment surplus."

      Thanks once again for your support on [insert current bill number here].

      Sincerely,
      [Sign here]

      {Todd -- please look over and use Madlibs to fill out boilerplate before sending. Also, forge my sig. (The stamp is in the bottom drawer.)]

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Day 13:

    My dog Levi was killed by the Lucky Charms leprechaun. That was two days ago. Since then the noises have stopped.

    I tried to warn her it was a trap, but Sarah finally went out to try and take care of Levi's corpse. She made it halfway across the lawn before everything went wrong. Real wrong.

    He seemed to come out of nowhere. Mike fired a few shots from the front doorway but he just moved way to fast. Unnaturally fast. And I swear I could here him laughing.. Sarah hasn't returned and Mike is freaking out.

    The power is out now. We are completely cut off...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    We doubt it, particularly if legitimate, better alternatives are available; if they know it’s wrong; and if they understand it’s not a victimless crime.

    Yes, it would be nice if a better alternative was available.

    If that part of the sentence was true the second part would not be relevant.

    So, start focusing on the first part of the sentence.

    Trying to "educate" us to accept and pay for inferior products isn't going to work out well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Day 13: Part Two

    It's getting dark and Mike has lost it. He's going out to find Sarah and there is no talking him out of it. He has the only gun.

    With the power out and now the water out too, the rest of us are getting anxious. Katy can't stop crying and it's riding on the rest of us. It's getting dark now.

    Mike went out about ten minutes ago. We all heard the shots and the ensuing silence. Mike had the only gun. The leprechaun is making the noises again... Soon it will be pitch black...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Day 16:

    Chaos has ensued. "Lucky" is in the house.

    I don't have the lucky charms. I don't know why he thinks I do. I don't even know what they are.

    After we realized Katy was missing, we tried to fortify the house, but it was too late. He was inside. Hiding in the dark.

    Now I'm the only one left.

    I've set a trap, and now I wait....

     

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      myopic digital bookworm, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

      omg. this cliff hanger is making me bite my lip into a configuration only Sylvester Stalone could reinact. do go on....

       

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    Makoto (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    An Existing Example

    Instead of the MPAA making such blatantly false statements, they could take a look instead at some similar issues in the realm of Anime distribution. For years, the only way to get anime conveniently was through illegitimate fan-subbed groups. The reaction to these groups was mixed; at first, some industries tried to shut them down, and others embraced them. Overall though, I think that it's evident to see that instead of treating fan-subs as criminal infringement, these studios and this industry not only embraced this, but also started to offer more legal avenues to view popular shows.

    As an example, one of the most prolific fan-subbing groups was taken down by ICE this past February, even though their main infringing activities ceased when the very shows they were subbing were offered through a legal channel. And this was easily 3-4 months after the fact. In a twist of irony (or poetic justice, take your pick), this group also strongly encouraged fans to buy the anime/manga when it became available in their area. What's even more convincing: When the option to get the shows offered in a legal capacity arose, they strongly encouraged people to get active in that, too - and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of this new, legal avenue.

    Now, the Anime industry is doing very well, and it hasn't alienated its fans (to this extent). Maybe, just maybe, the MPAA could take from this example and learn not to treat its fans like criminals, and offer legal, more convenient ways to get their product out there.

    ...Although I think from the looks of things, you'll need to get someone that knows the difference between "stealing", "theft", and "infringement" in a position of power first.

     

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      Jay (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:10pm

      Re: An Existing Example

      A few things to add.

      1) The manga/anime business makes $2 billion dollars annually (link - It's old though...)

      2) Fan subbers do well to gauge the popularity of manga. The larger a group, the more likely you have people here in the US that are fans.

      3) The industry has a hard time translating, and doesn't always get the cultural references. Link

      4)Not sure if it was this February. Seems it was in 2009. Link

      5) Funny that some of them use the pirated versions rather than do their own work. Link

      Might as well hire them and pay them for good submissions.

      I would think the industry may get better if you offered a monetary incentive to the best team that does a good, speedy job.

       

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        Makoto (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: An Existing Example

        A few things to add.

        1) The manga/anime business makes $2 billion dollars annually.

        2) Fan subbers do well to gauge the popularity of manga. The larger a group, the more likely you have people here in the US that are fans.


        Reasons #1 and #2 tie in together rather well. More popular content => more profit. I'm not certain of any recent numbers regarding the industry in this day and age, but I'd say, give or take half a million, that's pretty close.

        3) The industry has a hard time translating, and doesn't always get the cultural references.

        I've experienced that before, but it's becoming less of an issue nowadays.

        4)Not sure if it was this February. Seems it was in 2009. Link

        I was referring to Dattebayo, a prolific fansubbing group (despite their demeanor) that subbed two of the three most popular Anime titles, until they pushed the industry to stream them on Crunchyroll. They really were shut down this past February by ICE.

        Come to think of it, Mike has posted about this issue before back in 2008.

        Hopefully, someone from the MPAA takes a hint.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    This reminds me of a music "Scotty Doesn't Know"(Lustra)

    "The MPAA doesn't know that the content and me Do it in my van every Sunday it tells them it's in church but it doesn't go Still it's on its knees and the MPAA doesn't know!
    Oh the MPAA doesn't know! So don't tell the MPAA! the MPAA doesn't know! the MPAA doesn't know! So don't tell the MPAA!"

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

    'None of us said that "information wants to be free." None of us said that it's a First Amendment issue.'

    Well some of us did say that, but she's connotating people whom desire to use existing works to express themselves in remixes with the kind of people who download movies to watch for free and pretending they are one and the same.

    People who want to do remixes would argue that "information wants to be free". Not "free" as in money, as Swartsel thinks, but "free" as in liberty.

    Nobody who downloads content that is normally paid for says this, she just cleverly and dishonestly mixed the two together. Straw man indeed Ms. Swartsel.

     

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      nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

      Re:

      Well some of us did say that, but she's connotating people whom desire to use existing works to express themselves in remixes with the kind of people who download movies to watch for free and pretending they are one and the same.

      I think you mean "conflating".

       

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    Meh...., Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Parse words all you like. Getting something of value for nothing is stealing. Monetizing it for personal gain is also stealing. Take comfort in your "sharing" illusion if it helps you sleep at night. Alex and her MPAA colleagues along with other serious players are going to stuff PROTECT IP and Felony Streaming up your asses. Along with five strikes, the life of a freetard is going to get more difficult.

     

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      Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:27pm

      Re:

      "Parse words all you like. Getting something of value for nothing is stealing."

      No parsing is necessary. It isn't stealing if the the act creates more of something rather than transferring possession. Stealing takes something away from the owner; it doesn't leave more where there was less. Stealing creates loss. Nothing is lost when you copy. Copying is not stealing and passing it on is not stealing. There is a word for that though, it's called communication. When you receive an idea and pass it on it's communication, but when it has a price tag attached to it, it's stealing? You can no more "steal" it as you can spoken words from the air. Call it what it is, an infringement on a legal privilege granted by a majority vote of our representatives. It is not stealing.

      Art is a relationship between the artist and the audience. The artist communicates his ideas to the audience through his art. Nothing is lost in the process, but something is gained for the artist and the audience. If you can equate communicating with stealing in the eyes of the law, I'd love to hear it. Your misuse of the word is a travesty.

       

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      JMT (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:32pm

      Re:

      Yeah, this friendly, customer-focused attitude makes me want to run out and buy music and movies right now...

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:07am

      Re:

      Parse words all you like. Getting something of value for nothing is stealing.

      Right on. I'm handing your IP address over to the police, since you just admitted you "stole" this website.

      Alex and her MPAA colleagues along with other serious players are going to stuff PROTECT IP and Felony Streaming up your asses.

      And this is proof of what, exactly? To me it seems like a lobbying organization with too much power about to get a dangerous law passed because it's too clueless to adapt to the times.

       

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        Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:10am

        Re: Re:

        Mike,

        Don't forget to book'em for breathing air for nothing. That's stealing.

        And don't forget to have 'em pay for their mother's love. That's of great value, but they didn't pay!! Assuming, of course, they received it.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Mike,

          Don't forget to book'em for breathing air for nothing. That's stealing.

          And don't forget to have 'em pay for their mother's love. That's of great value, but they didn't pay!! Assuming, of course, they received it.


          Derek, if you're going to be a smarmy suck-up, please use better analogies.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Mike,

          Don't forget to book'em for breathing air for nothing. That's stealing.

          And don't forget to have 'em pay for their mother's love. That's of great value, but they didn't pay!! Assuming, of course, they received it.


          Derek, if you're going to be a smarmy suck-up, please use better analogies.

           

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            Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Meh (appropriate name) made the assertion that taking something of value without paying for it is stealing. Derek and Mike aptly pointed out the logical fallacy of that line of thinking by using examples that clearly covered by that argument.

            "Getting something of value for nothing is stealing."
            It is logical to argue that air is valuable and people get it every day for free; by the merit of the previous argument, isn't that "stealing"? I submit, that the analogies are not only acceptable, but quite applicable.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              @Greevar

              It is logical to argue that air is valuable and people get it every day for free; by the merit of the previous argument, isn't that "stealing"? I submit, that the analogies are not only acceptable, but quite applicable.

              Really? Are you too so desperate to curry favour with Masnick that you will engage in such gross intellectual dishonesty? Tell us Greevar, who owns the air? Who created it? How many jobs are involved in the making of air? Unlike movies or songs, air exists without any human inputs or capital cost- are you so stupid that this fact is lost on you? I think not. Instead it simply reveals that you are one of Masnick's pet monkeys, shamelessly promoting his piracy apologist point of view. And you wonder why the MPAA and other stakeholders steamroll legislation? That's easy, you are zealots and extremists incapable of reasonable compromise and discourse.

               

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                Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:13am

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

                You don't have a logical counterpoint to my argument, so you resort to ridicule? How intellectually honest of you!

                Meh's point didn't say anything about jobs, creators, nor ownership. It's completely immaterial to the subject. Meh's statement doesn't set up the criteria that the thing being had must involve someone's property or occupation. It was a simple illogical supposition that getting something valuable for free is stealing regardless of whether it is owned or involved in someone's employment. I find it fascinating that you believe that if you receive something that is integral to someone's job for free, that it's stealing. How do you reconcile samples then? It's a valuable thing that is had for free that is part of how someone earns a living. Is that stealing then? They're giving permission to have the sample, but Meh didn't say permission modifies the rule. No, you're just using irrational assumptions that only make sense if you don't bother to test them under logical scrutiny. Meh's statement is a poorly thought out argument that applies illogical and irrational assumptions which doesn't account for the fact that some things are had for nothing that are considered valuable, but do not constitute stealing. It attempts to establish a broad and dishonest definition of stealing to justify the criminalization of those that share files online.

                But judging from your comment, I can tell that logical reasoning is far beyond your grasp.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 11:32am

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

                  @Greevar

                  How do you reconcile samples then? It's a valuable thing that is had for free that is part of how someone earns a living.

                  Ummm, they're called trailers.

                  And stop trying to salvage your weak argument by moving it from the practical discussion at hand to the abstract. BTW, you failed to address the AC's points about air.

                   

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                    Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

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

                    "Ummm, they're called trailers."

                    That makes no difference. Are they valued? Yes. Can they be had for free? Yes. Then by the logic of Meh's argument, it's stealing.

                    "BTW, you failed to address the AC's points about air."

                    No I didn't: "Meh's point didn't say anything about jobs, creators, nor ownership." The question was irrelevant and without merit. But nevertheless, I'll waste my time explaining it to the hopelessly clueless: Air is valued and air is taken for free. So under the logic of "Getting something of value for nothing is stealing", people everywhere are stealing air. The point of this (which you have completely missed in a pursuit to discredit me by any means) is that the statement Meh made is illogical and proven as such easily by a very simple example. Thus, applying such a philosophy to digital art is ludicrous because it's absolute thinking that fails under the slightest test of logic.

                    Perhaps you should get some air yourself? But remember, you're stealing!

                    "And stop trying to salvage your weak argument by moving it from the practical discussion at hand to the abstract."

                    Oh, you mean pointing out how a completely flawed absolutist statement fails the rigors of logic when put to a simple test? It's not abstract, there are many other examples that would point out how hopelessly false Meh's line of thinking is, I just chose the most obvious one. You assume far too much and ignore far too many facts in your support of your illogical arguments. Meh is wrong, plain and simple. I gave a valid example that proved the statement was flawed, accept it and move on. You're just too inundated with cognitive dissonance to see past your own ego.

                     

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                PaulT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

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

                OK, let's try a better analogy: water. People get hired to clean and filter water so that it's fit for human consumption. Yet, water is also available for free. Also, some people bottle spring (or "spring" in some cases) water and sell tat for a premium, and some people lap it up.

                Are the people who get the free water "stealing"? What about the spring water companies: are they "stealing" from the standard piped supply because they're not making the money from the extra usage? Are you saying multi-million dollar industries don't count because it rains?

                It's, yet again, down to a business model. The fact that the idiots who hire someone as clueless as you don't get it does not mean that nobody here who disagrees with you is not correct. You are literally killing the people you're trying to protect with your idiotic, prehistoric, unworkable arguments that make as much sense as trying to sell oil to Saudi Arabia or seawater to the British.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

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

                  Interesting analogy. Piracy is like bypassing the water meter and tapping into the line and getting something that you're supposed to be paying for, for free. You could still drink scummy pond water or run off (analogous to non-copyrighted content) if you chose, but former is what people really want.... particularly if they don't have to pay.

                   

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                    Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

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

                    "Piracy is like bypassing the water meter and tapping into the line and getting something that you're supposed to be paying for, for free."

                    No, that's not it. "Piracy" is like ignoring the city water altogether and getting it from an uncontrolled source of water (e.g. river, lake, pond, rain barrel, etc.).

                    You seem pretty stuck on that "taking something that should be paid for" line of thinking. Water is free, if you want to make the effort of finding your own access to it (like from the list above) and purify it. You don't pay for water from the tap, you pay for the system that transports the water to you. There's a difference.

                     

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                    PaulT (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 1:38am

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

                    Hmmm.... I find it quite telling that your response to me concentrates solely on losing the low margin crap and doesn't consider the higher quality bottled aspect that people are willing to pay a premium for, at greater profit. This does seem to be your industry's attitude, doesn't it? Short-sighted and stupid, but we can't have people having anything for free, can we?

                    (Oh, and before you take this analogy too far, remember that it is a flawed analogy as water is a finite resource)

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:52am

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

                    Copyright is no better, people have to put up with a welfare law that gives useless people life + 95 years of extortion powers and not only that it enables those creepy people to ignore ownership of goods and charge people who already paid again and again and again.

                    People are not supposed to pay more than once that is ludicrous and nobody is going to do that, more if people bought anything it is their right to use it in any way they see fit even for commercial purposes without having to pay the producer anything.

                    The gravy train of affiliate fee's is coming to an end get use to it.

                     

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:52am

        Re: Re:

        "Parse words all you like. Getting something of value for nothing is stealing."

        Right on. I'm handing your IP address over to the police, since you just admitted you "stole" this website.

        This is a pretty stupid statement, even for you Masnick.

        "Alex and her MPAA colleagues along with other serious players are going to stuff PROTECT IP and Felony Streaming up your asses."

        And this is proof of what, exactly? To me it seems like a lobbying organization with too much power about to get a dangerous law passed because it's too clueless to adapt to the times.

        Dangerous law? Perhaps dangerous to the future of freeloading and those parasites who monetize content belonging to others.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's dangerous because you are not considering every implication of how the law could be used. You only have a one track mindset, and refuse to budge out of it, or attempt to understand from any other point of view.

          It's OK, tho. Soon enough the rest of society will tire of supporting the lost cause that is your business model, and you will have no one left to shout at.

           

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          Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Illogical assumptions that ignore the facts are without merit. Such are your comments as thus.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      Just because you don't get affiliated fees doesn't mean the world ended it.

      If you charged $0.020 like everybody else maybe you get paid, but not at $9.99 a pop.

      Also what is with that crap of life + 95 years? and that crappy law that says you can ignore ownership and charge people for doing business with stuff they paid already?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

    We are still left with the basic issue:

    Those who pirate get something for nothing, without permission, without rights, and without compensating the true owner.

    You can say it's not theft, but it is still not right.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:22pm

      Re:

      You can be accurate and call it infringement. Alleged infringement even, since until it's proven, it's all accusation.

       

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      JMT (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:03pm

      Re:

      Actually those who pirate these days are just hoping to get the ransom money for the ship and cargo.

      Those who commit copyright infringement may well be getting "something for nothing, without permission, without rights, and without compensating the true owner", but that's only because the true owners (often not even the creator) are doing such a terrible job of meeting the demands of their customers.

      If you think you'll win this battle by relying on a right/wrong argument, you're going to lose. It's basic supply and demand economics that has made illegal file sharing so popular, and the MPAA, RIAA, etc have failed utterly in responding to that.

       

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        Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:41pm

        Re: Re:

        But moral relativism is the only card they have to play!

        Seriously though, it's not even about supply and demand. It's about being oblivious to what you're selling. It isn't copies. I've said it before, labor is the thing that artists are selling. But it's more than just that, it's a dialog you have with your audience. It's building a relationship with them and forming a community around your ideas. They come to you to communicate through your art. Then, you find ways for them to help you keep that line of communication going.

         

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          Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes Greevar, well said.

          Without copyright an artist exchanges their intellectual work for the money of their fans (who consider the production of that work equitable to the amount of money they offer for it).

          Art for money, money for art.

          The market for copies at monopoly protected prices has ended.

          The market for intellectual work continues.

          We do not have to help publishing corporations understand this because they have a fiduciary obligation not to understand it - as should by now be obvious.

          We have to help artists and fans understand the new disintermediated market, where the exchange is of work for money, not 'work for advance + 1% royalty upon recoupment' + 'money for copies that cost <1% of retail price' (with the intermediaries ending up with 99% of revenue).

          Of course, not all artists are commercial, but for those who are, future income does not rely upon copyright.

           

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            Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I agree, but with one caveat:

            "Art for money, money for art."

            It's actually the act of creating for money and money for the act of creating.

             

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              Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sure, but you can always provide the longer version should people need clarification.
              Art: 4.a : the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects; also : works so produced

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:57am

        Re: Re:

        @JMT

        Those who commit copyright infringement may well be getting "something for nothing, without permission, without rights, and without compensating the true owner", but that's only because the true owners (often not even the creator) are doing such a terrible job of meeting the demands of their customers.

        So you are really so entitled that because you cannot be entertained in the manner you prefer, you believe that is justification to take anothers property without out due compensation? You might wish to reflect on that.

        If you think you'll win this battle by relying on a right/wrong argument, you're going to lose. It's basic supply and demand economics that has made illegal file sharing so popular, and the MPAA, RIAA, etc have failed utterly in responding to that.

        Obviously the right/wrong argument has no sway with those with a defective moral compass. And the demand for free entertainment will always outstrip the demand for paying for the same good or service. That is why organisations are pushing for laws to correct the situation.

         

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          Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Only a fool, or someone with a weak argument, leverages morality in what is plainly an economic issue involving terribly flawed business models. If you don't provide the consumers with the service they demand, they will go to your competitor to get it. Legality is completely immaterial. Competition is competition regardless of the laws. If "criminals" are doing a better job than you, then you need to do a better job than the criminals to win your customers back.

          "Obviously the right/wrong argument has no sway with those with a defective moral compass."

          Moral relativism for the win!

          "That is why organisations are pushing for laws to correct the situation."

          Putting duct tape on a gaping hole is not going to "correct" the situation when what you really need to do is redesign and rebuild the whole structure. Nice try, but you lose. Collect your door prize and go.

           

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          JMT (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "So you are really so entitled..."

          I made no mention of what I think I'm entitled to, I simply described an economic reality that you seem to be completely blind to. That's your loss, not mine.

          "Obviously the right/wrong argument has no sway with those with a defective moral compass."

          Copyright infringement is widespread and growing, despite every attempt to stop it. Technology always moves far quicker than the law, so this trend will continue. So how much more bigger does it need to get before you realise that it's actually your moral compass that's pointing in a different direction to the majority?

          "And the demand for free entertainment will always outstrip the demand for paying for the same good or service."

          Here's a crazy idea. Instead of offering the same service than those offering free entertainment, why not offer a better service. People will always pay more for something better if it's within their means.

          "That is why organisations are pushing for laws to correct the situation."

          No, they're pushing for laws that they incorrectly think will restore the control they used enjoy but which technology has taken away.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 1:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Here's a crazy idea. Instead of offering the same service than those offering free entertainment, why not offer a better service."

            It's worth noting, of course, that they haven't even tried offering the *same* service yet. Pirate sources currently have more efficient delivery, mostly higher quality product, quicker release schedules, a choice of file format, and access to a larger catalogue, all without DRM or regional restrictions. Yet, legit sources can still make money - imagine what they could make if they simply offered the same quality service as the pirates!

             

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          RadialSkid (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "But it's clearly against the law! That's why we need these NEW laws!"

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 8:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And why do you feel entitled to get money again after you sold anything to someone?
          Why do you think you deserve a monopoly for life + 95 years?

          Why do you think you deserve respect for taking away venues where people who work for a living need it and can't have it because of your supposed rights?

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:53am

      Re:

      Are you going to charge them the same fee's you offer to affiliates?

      No, then screw you.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      Now explain to everybody here why you or anyone else deserves life + 95 years of a monopoly?

      Explain what makes you deserving to extract money from people who bought the product once and use it for commercial purposes?

      I don't see IBM charging fee's from their customers for using their servers to build commercial business?

      I don't see the pharma industry charging doctors for use of their medicine in commercial establishments do you?

      Why the fuck are you entitled to such a thing?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:45pm

    "...if they know it's wrong..."

    As a result, of course, of anti-"songlifting" propaganda in the schools, PSAs, etc.

    She's living in a dream world. The MPAA's propaganda is so artless and heavy-handed it's like trying to convince somebody to stop smoking pot with a showing of Reefer Madness. Believe me, you've never seen hysterical giggling till you've seen a bunch of potheads watch that movie.

     

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    chris, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:23am


    Actually I thought Miss Swartsel did a pretty good job. Let's see:

    "its creators’ judgments about how best to disseminate"
    Creator is a much stronger word than "artist". She also implies that the artist has control over the distribution and that they are the same person as the copyright holder.

    "or watching stolen films and TV"
    This is pretty subtle. She is implying the existence of separate law that prohibits viewing of movies obtained by a 3rd party through copyright infringement.

    "more options than ever before to get movies"
    While mentioning quantity, quality is silently ignored. Translation: As long as we provide lots of options, you should be happy. Do not worry about issues like portability and restrictive contracts. I also noticed that the words "offer" and "get" are used but the words "sell" or "buy" are not used anywhere.

    "online safely"
    Do you know the dangers of those online movies? Be afraid. Be very afraid. Use our approved website list and trust no one else.

    And the big one:

    "theft"
    The average person just can't relate to having their copyright holdings infringed upon, but almost everyone can understand if not personally relate to theft. It's just a much smarter word to use when defending her position.

    I also thought it interesting that it is possible to physically steal a movie, but I don't think that's what she had in mind. Throw in another point for conflating shoplifting DVDs with copyright infringement just in case.

     

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    Bum, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    The mainstream big-budget movie industry as we know it these days is a massive heap of shit. Instead of producing interesting, quality content they keep throwing more and more money into films (the average cost of film production has absolutely SKYROCKETED over the last twenty/thirty years, most of which goes towards the grotesquely high salaries of celebrity actors and towards 'bigger and better' eye candy and special effects), kicking out gimmicky crap like 3D, and remaking old films and turning existing properties into films, more resembling investing in products than creating enjoyable art. In the same way that the indies will probably take over the music industry, and still make a good profit doing it, I'd wager we have a new day coming for film - instead of the latest overblown Michael Bay crap we will have a lot more slickly made yet modestly budgeted films, especially with how cheap digital cinematography and CGI are getting. And those guys won't NEED an MPAA.

     

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    Atarivandio, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    To the wonderful MPAA and RIAA

    F$@^ you MPAA and RIAA.
    When your actors and workers start making minimum wage like my whole family, and state for that matter, I might give two s%&ts. 25,000,000 for two hours of yada, yada, & yada. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Two f&^king hours. At least give us the junk we like, how we like it. If you want to equivocate buying movies from netflix to buying smack behind K-mart, then I think you need to reevaluate your urge to do the deal in front of the world. Privacy is key (at home). Price is key (one low monthly rate). Quality is key (being consistent). You all are none of these so I think I'm sticking to my K-mart back-lot guy. lol

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    One thing she said is true

    "that is a reality to which we do not care to adapt, period."

    I definitely believe that part.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 8:02am

      Re: One thing she said is true

      Thank God they don't want it.
      That big piece of rock hurling towards them doesn't care either.

       

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