The Legacy Entertainment Industry's Business Model: Charge A Ridiculous Markup On The 'Copy File' Command

from the pointing-out-the-obvious dept

Rick Falkvinge has a post up on his website highlighting how copyright is antithetical to the free market. We've pointed this out many times in the past, though for reasons I don't fully understand, some people still don't quite get it. Copyright is a government-granted monopoly privilege. In a true free market, you don't have monopolies (and you certainly don't have government's granting them). This doesn't necessarily mean that copyright is bad. It's just that it's clearly not a free market concept. It is, at best, a mercantilist concept of protectionism for the holder. Falkvinge digs in on this idea further, noting that copyright is, in many ways, also antithetical to the concept of personal property in that it seeks to limit what people can do with things they own:
When somebody buys something, no matter what, they own it. They have the right to do pretty much anything with it, they have the right to perform work on the object they have bought. Such work includes duplicating the object that you own; on a fair and free market, such duplication work is an offering like any other that competes with other people performing a duplication of the object in question.

In culture sharing, people perform this work for free for one another – duplicate files for one another – as a good social deed, just like helping anybody else out with your own time is a good deed. (The copyright industry tries to vilify this activity as somehow being immoral and unfair, which completely misses the positive social mechanisms of good people helping friends and strangers alike, and only makes the copyright industry appear absurd, anachronistic, and downright evil.)
He also notes where much of the confusion comes in -- which is that the legacy players "deliberately" confuse "the goods that they offer for sale with the service of duplication, which is a completely different kind of offering." And that leads to problems -- because the "markup" that the legacy players are trying to charge on the services of distribution are astronomical:
The competition in the copyright monopoly and culture-sharing field is about who executes the “copy file” command the most cost-efficiently. That is largely a pointless debate, as the cost of executing a “copy file” command is trillionths of a cent – nobody would buy it from anybody, as everybody can do it themselves. Claiming a legal right to charge a premium of a gazillion percent over and above the real cost of this service is absurd and macroeconomically counterproductive.
And what we're left with is a world that is not, in any way, a free or fair market, but one where there are inefficiencies due to government-granted monopolies.
In a fair and free market, competitiveness rules, and nobody has a monopoly – such as the copyright monopoly – on doing a particular kind of work, like duplication of a specific object. If somebody else can duplicate your original at a lower cost than yourself, then you weren’t able to compete and you’ll find yourself out of business. That’s called marginal cost – that competition takes place on the additional cost of every product once the investments are made, on the cost of duplicating an original – and that’s how the market works for all products in fair and free markets. It’s actually Economics 101.
So if we're going to argue over whether or not today's copyright system (or any copyright system) makes sense, it's important to recognize these basic facts. You can argue that copyright is good and necessary, but you can't argue that it fits into a free market system, because it doesn't.


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    John, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Mark up and protection of the copy facility used to have a little pragmatic sense when it takes a significant investment in printing, distribution etc for something physical and heavy. Also, due to this investment, copies were only a problem when there was an economic motive for copying on any scale that mattered.

    Now that copying costs zero and most copying has no financial motive, that strategy is simply going to be insane.

    This is why most people never even though about copyright in the old days. It almost never affected the public. It was just a fight between different distributors. That has all changed now. The public is the enemy now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Do you honestly think a guy running the Pirate Party would have any other opinion? Why not put up a "sky is blue" post as well?

    It's this dude that has it wrong, confusing copying with what is copied.

    Too bad really.

     

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      Tony MC (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      No, he doesn't. This is precisely what copyright industry is doing - charging us for copies of copyrighted material that they have a legal monopoly to copy.

       

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        bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        And so what? Car dealers have a legal monopoly on selling the cars in their showroom. It's called "ownership". If it weren't for the laws against theft, we could just waltz in and take them.

        If you're going to hang with the Pirate Party, be a real man and really run up the pirate flag. Toss away all of those evil government rules and boy it will be wonderful. If you're not sure about that, head to Somalia. It's a pirate paradise waiting for you.

         

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          MrWilson, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So many false equivalencies. Let me count the examples...

          1. Physical goods aren't the same as digital goods.

          2. Government-granted monopolies aren't the same as natural rights.

          3. The Pirate Party isn't the same as anarchists.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm almost positive that if copying a car was possible with a 3D printer just about everyone would do so.

           

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          SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If it weren't for the laws against theft

          Stopped reading there.

          I wish I could say you're too damn stupid to understand the difference between copying and stealing. The truth is much worse.

          You're deliberately confusing the two. And you can't stand other people aren't willing to do the same.

           

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            MrWilson, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not to mention that his assertion is wrong anyway.

            Absent laws against theft, people would come up with an alternative method of securing their possessions. They'd use security systems and build secure structures that prevent unauthorized entry and they'd use force(deadly or otherwise).

            And there is no security system or solid wall or armed security guard that can truly plug the analog hole.

            In fact, you'd have to have a law that made it illegal to stop people from taking your property for Bob's little moral vacuum scenario to mean that people would actually just randomly walk off with other people's stuff.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 6:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Absent laws against theft, people would come up with an alternative method of securing their possessions. They'd use security systems and build secure structures that prevent unauthorized entry and they'd use force(deadly or otherwise). "

              Did you actually think that one all the way through, or just type a superficial answer?

              It seems that under that scenerio, people would spend an inordinate amount of time trying to secure their goods, and an incredibly high amount of both effort and materials would be used to do so. Either that, or they would have to live in some sort of commune or similar situation where people have agreed to respect each other's stuff and to secure it from outsiders who might want to take it (not steal it, because there is no laws again theft).

              The real issue of piracy is one of lack of respect of ownership. It isn't a question of laws, it's a question of how people choose to live together, how we choose to respect each other.

              Without respect, you have a real mess on your hands.

              (Oh, and before some dimbulb comes up and says "that's what the **AAs are doing!", I would say that they are really only responding to the acts of others. If you want to give away your music, your movies, your software... go ahead. Just stop giving everyone else's stuff away and expecting them to just lay back and take it.

               

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                MrWilson, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:16pm

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

                Yes, I thought it through thoroughly. The absence of laws against theft would only create a vacuum that would be filled, as you say, with agreements, informal or formal, which probably would lead to something like a law. Only with a lack of scarcity and exclusivity does a natural property law not apply in the same way. Food will always be a scarce and exclusive good, so it will always be important to make sure people can't steal all your food without repercussions, legal or otherwise.

                "The real issue of piracy is one of lack of respect of ownership. It isn't a question of laws, it's a question of how people choose to live together, how we choose to respect each other.

                Without respect, you have a real mess on your hands.

                (Oh, and before some dimbulb comes up and says "that's what the **AAs are doing!", I would say that they are really only responding to the acts of others."

                You're only representing one side of it. You seem to accurately represent what the **AA's and IP maximalists would say on the matter. But the reason for the disconnect is that they (and possibly you) don't seem to recognize that there's another side where the general public doesn't feel like it is being respected. Both sides (if you want to overly-simplify it and boil it down to a convenient dichotomy) are playing by different rules and feel like the other side should know the rules and should be playing by them. Both sides feel cheated and betrayed.

                This pattern repeats throughout human history with various intensities. The IP wars are fortunately a relatively minor one compared to the costs of other ones such as Israel vs. Palestine or men vs. women.

                You speak of respect for ownership, but the inverse is that some of us feel that the **AA's are claiming ownership over something they don't actually and shouldn't own. Disney didn't create fairy tales, but they claim ownership of them (such as their depictions of how Alice looks in their animated movies even though their depictions are derivative of original, now public domain drawings). The IP maximalists claim ownership of the digital media, tell us we can't copy for personal use, tell us that mix tapes are stealing, tell us that our free advertising on behalf of their artists is theft even when it makes them money they wouldn't have made otherwise. They claim our cultural heritage as their own and want to charge again and again for the privilege of having songs stuck in our heads.

                And what's worse is that they lie about having artists' interests at heart instead of their own profit motive at heart.

                And even worse is that they lobby and push for legislation that affects people who aren't their supposed enemies. They undermine democratic processes and contribute to the corruption of our political system for their corporate gain out of the vilest of motives to betray the rest of society over - greed.

                Actual, important free speech has been silenced by people who are not the entertainment companies who lobbied for the DMCA, but that is the unintended consequence of such self-serving legislation. You can oppress people with the laws passed to appease self-serving corporations.

                This is the worst thing of all. If you want to talk about respect for ownership, let's have a serious discussion about how IP maximalist lobbying firms are actively "stealing" our representation in government from us. When we resolve that issue, I'm perfectly willing to talk about the much less significant issue of some greedy corporations making 500 million dollars instead of 550 million dollars.

                 

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      Qeruiem, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:36am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:27am

      So close, yet so blind...

      You're completely mixing up cause and effect, which is why you're apparently among those that still don't get it. My condolences.

       

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      [Ad Hominem]

      [Unsupported Assertion]

      [Concern Troll Closing Statement]
      A very astute observation. Clearly you have made a meaningful contribution with this post of yours.

       

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      The eejit (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      See this sentence?

      The competition in the copyright monopoly and culture-sharing field is about who executes the “copy file” command the most cost-efficiently.

      Bittorrent and other sharing protocols can perform this "copy file" command for the least cost to the content producers, and it is still not being fully utilized by content gatekeepers, which would reduce their costs to less than the cost of producing a master disc.

      It isn't about economics anymore. It's about control.

       

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      Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:49am

      Re:

      "confusing copying with what is copied."

      You mean the original or the copy? Or are you talking about the copy-essence here. The thing that is copied every time a copy is made, whether a copy of the original or a copy of a copy?

      I know that may seem like unnecessary distinction. That's sort of the point. You see, what you're getting at IS the problem with copyright and the free market.

      When form, when ether can be owned, what you're really talking about is hedging in people's freedom to share and express ideas, both existing AND new. That is what makes it not a free market. Stuff that isn't actually stuff cannot really be owned in a free market because what is supposedly owned is the freedom to produce and distribute. If you own the freedom to produce and distribute and have the power to say that I can't do the same, then that's not a free market.

      Nothing is being confused there.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:17am

        Re: Re:

        I think he was saying, sure you can sell a copy of the movie for 2cents and make a profit but you would be losing millions on the actual movie. At some point they have to make up the original investment not just the copies.

        So of course some one else can step in and sell your copies cheaper, they didn't have to pay for the movie actually being made. Or song or whatever.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But when is enough enough? twenty dollars, twenty thousand dollars, twenty million dollars, twenty billion dollars, twenty zillion dollars, twenty gazillion dollars....? My guess is never.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, but your actual investment is made up in a multitude of ways. Or are you saying let's make a movie and only sell it online? In which case, yeah, you might not make it back.

          However, like all investments, there's NO GUARANTEES. None whatsoever.

          Or should we start listing every single "sure-fire hit" that has flopped? Of which there are certainly more than a handful.

          If they can't make back their investment through theater showings, physical media sales AND streaming offerings/digital downloads... then they shouldn't be making multi-million dollar movies in the first place. Sorry to say.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes but isn't it their choice to deciede the price of a copy since they made the initial investment? If they want to sell a copy for 100$ shouldn't that be their choice? If it's too expensive let them fail and laugh at them later, but that shouldn't allow you to just take a copy for yourself because it costs you nothing.

             

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              Ed C,, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              but that shouldn't allow you to just take a copy for yourself because it costs you nothing.

              Yes, it does. The whole point of the free market is to make money by selling products and services that others can't, or don't want to, do for themselves. If your entire business model is predicated on making copies that others can easily make for themselves, then you need a new business model.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:49am

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

                The business model is predicated on making the ORIGINAL CONTENT that others can not easily make for themselves. They make the money back for that content by selling copies. Of course someone who didn't have to make the content can sell copies cheaper.

                It's always cheaper to make copies then to make content. When people said funnyjunk is just a dirty content aggregator stealing from creators and stealing their hits the mob around here stood right behidn ingram. When Warner says pirate bay is just a dirty content aggregator stealing thier sales everyone goes "oh boohoo Warner get a real job"

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:54am

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

                  "They make the money back for that content by selling copies."

                  Who ever said that's a viable business model?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:17am

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

                    Well selling copies is pretty much the business model for half the world.

                    Toys, food, video games, movies, news, music, hardware, tools, pills ect.

                    But the point here is industries that sell copies of things that are digital now have to compete with free. So its becoming a less viable business model but certainly it is still viable http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/story/2011-12-12/call-of-duty-sales/51851180/1

                     

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                      Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:45am

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

                      Yes, competing with free. Merely "selling copies" of popular content isn't a winning strategy. Providing convenience and a good customer experience is something that requires skills and labor, things that are hard to copy. That is a winning strategy. It's now companies compete against free copies, by providing something that can't be easily given for free.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:16am

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

                        So I should stop investing in making new movies and just work on making a nice website to give away copies of stuff other people invest in because because technology?

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

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

                          If that's the best plan your brain can think of, then yes.

                           

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                          Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

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

                          Let me make this really simple for you:

                          Look at pay services like netflix, itunes, amazon, steam, etc, etc.

                          Do they give a way copies for free? NO

                          Do they make money? YES

                          Can the digital content they sell be found for free elsewhere? YES

                          Do can pay services compete with free? YES

                          Can you compete with free too? YES

                           

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

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

                        You mean if I put my content on a closed system like an xbox or ps3 that makes it a lot harder to pirate. Surely that is all activision has done with CoD. 90% of their sales are for consoles if it was as easy to pirate on those as a PC do you think they would have made that much money?

                        I guess I should support Microsoft trying to close their OS instead of fighting it then, as a producer I will be better off in the long run.

                         

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                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:54am

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

                  No one actually stood behind the person you're saying they did. At least not for the reasons you think they did.

                  They took Inman's side when the lawyer whose name shall not be mentioned sent what was essentially a legally threatening letter to The Oatmeal demanding money for defaming Funnyjunk and whatnot. At that point, people took his side.

                  Seriously, you can't even get the easy to find facts straight on something like that, why should we even bother responding to anything else you say? Derp pirates herp derp thieves herp derp I'm unoriginal and can't respond without bringing up points nobody has yet made. (That's you, fyi.)

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:10am

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

                    Plenty of people took inmans side in the original dispute and plenty of people called funnyjunk despicable. You can feel free to fuck right off while I have a conversation with people who don't need to act morally and intellectually superior to people who have different view points.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

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

                      You made the misrepresentation and acted morally and intellectually superior, then when called on it you get all pissy and defensive. People around here stood behind Inman for one reason, only: He didn't go the lawsuit route. There are plenty of other ways to address these things than through the courts, something that Funnyjunk missed.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

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

                        "Derp pirates herp derp thieves herp derp I'm unoriginal and can't respond without bringing up points nobody has yet made. (That's you, fyi.)"

                        Yes this is how adults talk. My bad I shouldn't have been offended by some stating their opinion and responding to my statement in such a polite and factual manner.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

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

                          Late reply, but basically, the reason I stated that's how you come off is because that's how you're coming off. You're still going on about competing with people giving away stuff for free and saying you can't compete.

                          If that's the case, and you refuse to change in any sort of way, then I hate to say it but you need to find a new line of work.

                          I honestly can't make the point I've been trying to make any clearer. You can compete. There are multiple ways to do so. There are multiple other companies out there doing just that, competing with people offering their products for free. And doing so without sounding like you are.

                          Seriously though, you were the one who started telling me to fuck off, way before I did the herp thing. So really, who has been more adult like? The guy telling people to fuck off? Or the guy who's despite such silliness been trying to explain to you why you can make it and how you can do so and only after getting tired of your nonsense and irrelevant points said herp?

                          I'll let you figure that out. But of course I'm the non-adult here. /s

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

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

                            "Seriously though, you were the one who started telling me to fuck off, way before I did the herp thing."

                            Interesting:
                            herp thing time stamp: 9:54am
                            Fuck off timestamp: 10:10am and 11:32am

                            Its actually in direct response to your herp comment.

                            Listen man I heard what you were saying, I still hear it. A lot of other people have been arguing the same thing without personal attacks and without making me out to be a complete dipshit. So stop being defensive and maybe step back and look at this all objectively?

                            I get it you think the position I was arguing was stupid but; I mean I mistook one of your sentences to mean "it's my fault people don't like going to movie theaters" when actually you were just saying "where is the ticket sale money?" not commenting on the poor theater experience. Instead of saying that isn't what I meant you spend about 4 paragraphs calling me the biggest dipshit that ever lived.

                            You will never bring anyone around to your way of thinking with that attitude even if you are 100%-factually-no-doubt-absolutely-right. Stop trying to get internet cool points and prove your argument is the bestest and maybe act like I actually am another human being?

                            I'll leave you with a little Vonnegut on the subject: “profanity and obscenity entitle people who don't want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you.”

                             

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                  Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:15am

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

                  The business model is predicated on making the ORIGINAL CONTENT that others can not easily make for themselves.

                  WRONG! The business model is predicated on making copies of content. (And calling it "original" is mostly bull shit.) Business models are based on where the money is MADE, not were the money is SPENT. Yes, making content takes time, resources, and capital. No one is denying that. The problem is finding a business model, sources of revenue, that is based on actions that others can't easily do for themselves. Making copies used to be a good model. Even with a legitimate copy, one would still need specialized skills and expensive equipment to produce another usable copy. But now, something that once required an entire production plant can be done in software with a few clicks. Times change, technology progresses--if your business model is based on maintaining unsustainable revenue sources such as selling copies, you're digging your own grave.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:25am

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

                    Ok so I use to be able to make a video game, spending years and 6 figures to create it. Then because copying was a specialized and hard to do job I could pay a company(ies) to make copies and ship them around the world and sell them. The profits I made selling the copies of my game would make my investment back and help me fund my next game.

                    But now since copying is easy and can be done by anyone I should spend years and 6 figures making a game and then just let the internet spread it around for free and make my money back by begging people and selling knick-knacks? If I am really nice and spend lots of time on pr and customer service I can maybe make enough people like me that some of them will pay for my game that they already got for free? I don't work in customer service I work in content creation. 20 years ago you could make content and if it was good you would make money, now you have to make content, it has to be good and you have to somehow convince people that they shouldn't just go take the free content.

                    Just because people make cheap copies does that make it right? I can cheaply fire bullets out of my window all day long. So because I can I will and if someone gets shot well that's just the cost of living in a world were bullets are cheap and your walls are so thin. Your government granted monopoly on stay free of bullet holes means shit all to me. Oh then I can sell wall reinforcements!

                     

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                      BeaverJuicer (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:39am

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

                      To directly address your example:

                      Zynga.
                      World of Warcraft (lets face it, their money is not made from selling the software).
                      Gameloft.
                      All the free to play software in the various App stores.

                      So yes, spending years making something, and then giving it away CAN make you money, if you change your business model so it isn't based on something that can be done for and has to compete with free.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:41am

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

                        Zynga-rip off other games and/or make skinner boxes to get people addicted and sell them stupid microtransactions. So I should go for the lowest form of games? Pure derivative drivel using psychological tricks to con people out of money?

                        Warcraft-You're right they make their money from selling access to the game. So I just need better DRM?

                        gameloft- appears to be trying to sell me games

                        f2p- still sells something and tends to exist in the online only space. You get millions of people to play and some will like it and invest in having a richer experience and the people who don't play enhance the experience for the payers. But it doesn't work for single player or not always online games because then people can just download the micro-transaction content for free.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

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                          Warcraft makes money by providing a server service. You can download it for free, change the realmlist and play for free on private servers.

                          Takes about 2 minutes to setup. Instructions are easy to find online. What DRM is being forced for warcraft again?

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

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

                            Yeah and I think the pirate servers are only about a year behind on content updates, have a small fraction of the active players and are rife with bugs, duped items and other ways to cheat the experience.

                            One could play wow without paying blizzard but it's no where near the same experience. They are selling access to their software, the best, most updated, most popular, cleanest, truest version of their software. Hosting is probably the only thing the pirates can do just as well.

                             

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                              Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

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

                              And here's an example of how to beat us copyright infringers at our own game. I started playing WoW on private servers, but as the above comment says, it just wasn't good enough. So I gladly paid the price and got a superior service and superior gameplay, that the private servers were simply unable to provide.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

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

                                But it's superior because their code isn't available to copy, so yes I just need better DRM to beat the infringers is what you are saying.

                                 

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                                  Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

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

                                  No, the code is available to copy.
                                  What beat the infringers wasn't DRM. It was stability, ease of use, and a host of other factors. Every private server that I tried had lagging issues, or had a lack of other players etc.
                                  Blizzard didn't have these problems. They have what must be hundreds of servers, so very rarely was I unable to play. There are hundreds of thousands of other players at any given moment. I had access to all the latest content, as it was released, which the private servers are simply unable to do (each and every time a new patch is released, the private servers have to figure out a way to implement the new content). I could have waited for private servers to implement cracked patches, but I paid for the convenience.

                                   

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                              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

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

                              Ah ha! So Blizzard isn't selling the game, they're selling the experience of playing on their managed servers? Brilliant!

                              Note that they've taken something that requires a fixed/sunk cost that's incredibly cheap to copy, then given it away for free to add value to the limited service for which they're charging. As you've so clearly articulated, not everyone can provide the same level of service that Blizzard provides...and that's what costs money.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

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                                They can't provide it because the private servers can not copy the new content fast enough because of their DRM system. If it was easy to copy and emulate the server code and the pirate servers had the same code(game) then they would probably be in a different boat.

                                 

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                                  Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

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                                  Not really. The servers and ISP connection still cost money, and getting their imitation service up to snuff would cost a lot of money. Did you really think they get EVERYTHING for free?

                                   

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                              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

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

                              Weren't you trying to say the "original content" line wasn't true...? Why are you going out of your way to prove what you said wasn't true...?

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

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

                                ? is this in the right place.

                                Someone laughed at the term original content and went with the old everything has been done argument. So I conceded that yes everything is derivative of something, art is a journey yadayada. But I was talking about my specific output and if people want that they should give me what I think is fair value rather than take a copy because copies are free.

                                But I see no reason this has anything to do with WoW.

                                 

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                              Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 12:38am

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

                              Eureka!! He just described how to compete with free and earn a profit!!!!

                               

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                          Chris Hoeschen, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

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

                          Wait I'm lost, first ACs are complaining that they can't compete with free and that people are downloading their software they spent x * 100,000 dollars to make and not buying it from them. Then ACs are complaining that Zynga is ripping off other games AND making a lot of money while giving the game away for free. What way do you want it?

                          You bitch about not being able to make money the old fashioned way anymore (selling games for $30 - $50) and then bitch when another company comes into the market and figures out a way to give away their games for free and still make money. Seems to me you should be praising Zynga. After all if you follow their lead you will be profitable again.

                           

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                          Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

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

                          Sites such as Good Old Games sells single player off-line games without DRM. Practically every game they sell can be found elsewhere for free, yet they're still quite profitable. Of course, if you actually listen to what everyone has been telling you, you would know why.

                           

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                      Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:43am

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

                      Yes, yes and yes.
                      If you don't want to work in customer service, then you're not Connecting with Fans, thus not giving them a Reason to Buy. If you don't want to at least talk with your potential customers, why should they bother even attempting to think "Oh, he's a poor overworked game developer who needs money"?

                      Sell something else other than the game. Use the game as promotional material for other scarce goods. Use the game to for example promote figurines of the characters. Just continuing to cry "But I want to sell the actual game!" is just like the buggy whip guys saying "But I want to sell buggy whips" upon the dawn of the automobile age. The market has changed, move on and adapt. Or refuse to adapt and die. There are no other options. Reality doesn't have any other options.

                      If you are really nice, people WILL buy your goods. Not all the people who consume your goods will buy, but why are you chasing them anyway? Which would you rather do: focus on those who do buy, and continue to give them ever more reasons to buy...or ignore them, and focus on chasing those who don't buy and attempt to restrict your content as much as possible. When CDProject Red released Witcher 2, I bought it full price on release day, because they didn't include DRM. I could have gotten it for free, but I chose not to (at the time though I hadn't heard they were going to chase torrent downloaders). I felt that Red were being awesome and thus deserved my money.

                      And what's with your analogy of making copies versus shooting bullets? Its completely nonsensical. That's why I am very firmly on the anti-copyright side of the debate. It is entirely possible that copyright should be the law of the land for now until the end of time: the problem is that NOT ONCE have I heard a convincing argument in favour of it. All I have heard from a huge variety of sources (not just Mike) is that copyright is just plain wrong. They have explained in logical easy to follow ways why. You and your ilk DON'T. All we ever see from you are ill-thought out statements, that don't follow, that don't pass the laugh-on-sight test and attacks.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:44am

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

                        "But I want to sell the actual game!" is just like the buggy whip guys saying "But I want to sell buggy whips" upon the dawn of the automobile age. The market has changed, move on and adapt.

                        No it's not. People still want my game. I am not selling something antiquated and complaining that people have moved on. People want what I am selling but because technology has removed the barrier to get free copies people think its fine to take what I am selling without paying for it. I'm not trying to sell atari games to people with PS3s or boardgames to people with computers. My product is just fine, wanted and used.

                        Apparently though since technology has made it infinitely copy-able for free I have to start making action figures or something.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

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

                          People want what I am selling but because technology has removed the barrier to get free copies people think its fine to take what I am selling without paying for it.

                          I think you mean say is that people want what you are selling at the price point of $0.

                           

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

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

                        "And what's with your analogy of making copies versus shooting bullets?"

                        Yes it was silly. My point was: people seem to be arguing that they can make and give away copies because the technology allows them to. I can fire bullets at the rate of several hundred rounds a minute. Does that mean I should be allowed to?

                        Just because technology now allows people to freely distribute content doesn't make it OK.

                        Sure copyright laws are over draconian and companies are fighting technology in the stupidest ways possible. But that doesn't mean you are now morally free to take what they are selling, buy from someone who isn't an asshole don't rob the assholes.

                         

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                          Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

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

                          Your morals are your morals, you are completely free to abide by whatever morals you hold dear.

                          My morals are my morals. When copyright maximilists insist on infringing on my right to copy (which is a natural born right that everyone has), that's when I stop and think about it. By my morals, they are in the wrong. By my morals, I have the right to copy anything I see fit. The technology is there, everyone is using it and to start respecting copyright is to start disrespecting myself, to accept that my rights and what I hold dear are to be restricted at no benefit to myself, all so some nebulous other person may or may not be financially harmed. My morals say I am in the clear when I download something for free, and then later on pay because I feel the other person has earned it.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

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                            "The technology is there, everyone is using it and "

                            So it's ok as long as technology allows it? Nothing is real everything is permitted? Technology allows me to drive 140mph, shoot guns at a thousand rounds a minute, blow up buildings so these are all ok to do? Or do we have laws that are suppose to be a social contract we abide by? I don't drive full speed chucking pipe bombs out the window (well because I would feel horrible but for the point) because there are consequences that I might face. I know people are effected by my actions and I may face negative consequences so I drive close to the speed limit and try not to explode anything.

                            But you don't have to see me skip meals to pay bills or worry about the cops knocking on your door so you are fine saying "Yeah I played it and it was pretty good, spent about 20 hours on it but he isn't getting my 10$"?

                             

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                              Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

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

                              And here is where your attempts at a logical discussion fail completely.
                              Everyone agrees not to go around speeding chucking pipe bombs because there is real verifiable harm caused by it. No doubt about it. To say otherwise is to ignore reality.

                              I don't accept your claim of being harmed through unauthorized downloads because there is no proof of said harm. That's what your argument hinges on. You argue that when people download your game for free, you are harmed. Well, where's the proof? Show me that you are harmed when someone downloads. Go on.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

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                                I'm not going to stumble into the all downloads are lost sales trap but; If someone downloads my work INSTEAD of paying for it, plays it all the way through, enjoys it and is satisfied with the experience but doesn't feel morally obligated to pay me the fee I asked for in the first place. Then I have lost the money I should have made in exchange for that enjoyable experience.

                                I feel that as a creator I should have the right to place a monetary value on my creation. If you take my creation, enjoy it, get the full value from it and don't pay me you are denying me compensation for my work. That is harm.

                                It would be like someone's boss going up to them on a Friday and saying, "Well your work this week was OK and the client liked that report you did, but we really don't feel like we have to pay for any of it. See you next week!"

                                I understand that he is a contracted worker but we are suppose to be under a social contract aren't we? Isn't that what these laws are for? So when your morals and my morals don't mix we have a set of rules to follow that we both know and can abide by.

                                 

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                                  MadderMak (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 12:51am

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

                                  "but doesn't feel morally obligated to pay me the fee I asked for in the first place. Then I have lost the money I should have made in exchange for that enjoyable experience. "

                                  There! Right There! You lost a sale to me - I will pirate it. /hyperbole

                                  I feel morally obliged to pay what I consider a fair price - it was an AWESOME game - I value it at $10 because the soundtrack was crappy and it had no re-playability. You felt MORALLY OBLIGED to charge $80 for it with DRM up the wazoo and an always-on internet connection.

                                  Well sorry but Fubar that - I would have payed $30 on release day for a DRM free offline playable version. Oh look there is one... its FREE.

                                  So you sell 20,000 for $80 - go you! you missed another 1,000,000 sales at $5 (I would have bought copies for my friends so we can play co-op). go figure why YOU have a MORAL problem.

                                  PS - sorry for caps to lazy to learn html.

                                  PPS - I buy Steam games.. ONLY! Bought every game I ever was given a pirated copy of - that I actually played (not many maybe 5 in 20 years). And I do NOT buy ANY game over $40... I wait (years if needed) to buy at less than 10. So how much did I spend last Steam Sale - $700 plus change for over 30 games (gifted a bunch) some of which were in my wishlist - some my mates bought - and some that looked just mildly interesting but for $5 it was an impulse puchase (no buyers regret).

                                  So please dear gods fix your morality issues - it's not YOU that sets the "Fair Price" its the market (me)!

                                   

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                              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

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

                              I always love how people committing copyright infringement is analogous to murder.

                              They are both, after all, illegal.

                               

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                              Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 12:45am

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

                              "So it's ok as long as technology allows it?"

                              No, it was always okay. We gave up the right to incent production in the face of market entry barriers. But frankly it's just as you say, the barriers aren't there.

                              If the barriers aren't there, then the need for incentive fades. That's why it's okay. It was always okay, we made a deal to limit that right, but now the deal is becoming moot, so naturally we want our rights back.

                               

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                        designguybrown (profile), Sep 8th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

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

                        wow crazy.
                        You must have grown up in some sheltered and privileged existence where you have never dealt with real people. Like something right out of a idealized collectible plate - Norman Rockwell eat your heart out. You probably believe that the 50s were some ideal time when values were true and the american dream was some noble and virtuous thing. Crazy, i tell you. Almost like dealing with a 14 year-old teenager who believes that it makes perfect sense that everyone even the animals should be vegetarians. You must work for the government or some big corporation or university that your dad go you into.
                        Have you run the numbers on what sells and what a business model is? Real people don't care about customer service - they flock to walmart or buy things that make them appear better to their friends -then let it roll over and die when trends change. Only old people and loners value customer service about the product's inherent value to them. They will sell something at gouge prices if it suits their purpose then complain when they need to spend extra dime on an apple that they got cheaper the day before. People are scum. They will wax noble when their business is in line with the current trend but scream corruption when their industry, job, or investment goes south. Copyright law is unilateral and profit driven - there is nothing noble or pro-society, in the sense of being pro-'healthy'-meritocratic, about it. Have you ever worked for any of the big content providers? Would you say they are role models of good employers - fully participating in providing support for schools, libraries, and communities? Don't engage in corporate espionage or political influence? Provide a full range of stimulating and open content not driven by a small slice of profitable demographic? I would hazard to say that the world you think we should be living in is a drab and low content system with a very limited range of creativity and stimulation. But, i worry not, for the harder one holds to convictions in this world, the more likely they are to have their rigid existence shatter when smaller more dynamic corporations embrace the populist notions and shrug off old-school corporate protectionism - witness the social media revolution as corporations try to 'friend' their customers - harder when you victimize them. Customer service just became reputation and street cred - not very compatible with a business model that hates on sharing.

                         

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                      Gwiz (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:56am

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

                      20 years ago you could make content and if it was good you would make money, now you have to make content, it has to be good and you have to somehow convince people that they shouldn't just go take the free content.

                      Wasn't it about 20 years ago that it was the boom time for shareware software? There were free disks everywhere, from the supermarket checkouts all the way to your own mailbox and everywhere in between. The only difference now is that you don't have to produce those disks anymore.

                      And on a more personal note, I just spent $15 on Mount & Blade (original - not Warband), after I knew it would run on Linux and after I determined that the actual game play was something I would spend time on. Can't get that from the outside of a box or a review.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:47am

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                        Yes free AOL and netzero discs that allowed you to install their software that you then had to pay them to use. I and Paradox are both glad you decided to pay for mount and blade, I am sure they would also be even happier if X people were not playing their game without paying them.

                        That game also has a demo.

                         

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                          Gwiz (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

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

                          Yes free AOL and netzero discs that allowed you to install their software that you then had to pay them to use.

                          Yes, AOL disks were everywhere (the Engineering Dept. I worked for used to make an Xmas tree every year with those).

                          But, actually I was referring to actual shareware games and programs that were also everywhere in the 90's. Using sharing and copying has been part of software business models for quite awhile now.


                          That game also has a demo.

                          No not really. It's a full blown version that needs a serial key to continue past level 7. There are plenty of hacks out there, but I choose to support TaleWorlds directly (not Paradox, they are just a distribution partner not the developer) because I enjoyed it.

                          I've been burnt with demos before also. The demo looked really good and then the actual game play sucked once I purchased it.

                           

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                            Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

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

                            Same here. I bought the Mount and Blade pack when it was on sale recently on Steam. I actually like the games and wish to support the developers.
                            I didn't buy it because the government stated they and only they alone have the right to distribute M&B. I bought it because they're awesome games and I wanted to support them.

                             

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                      Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:36am

                      Business 101

                      But now since copying is easy and can be done by anyone I should spend years and 6 figures making a game and then just let the internet spread it around for free and make my money back by begging people and selling knick-knacks?

                      Um...no, not really. Sure, some people do make a LOT of money selling knick-knacks, but that model isn't for everyone.

                      If your business model can't support your production cost, then make games that your model can support or change your business model. You don't have to beg to get people to buy your product. What you're crying about is the fact that you can't compete on the price of making copies. If you're trying to compete on price and price alone, then you're business model is a failure. There are other things such as convenience and customer service that can't easily be given for free. Most people value their time and business relationships. If you can't compete with crappy websites that offer almost no convenience or customer support, then you're not really trying. Steam and Blizzard games can be had for free, yet they are making a LOT of money. Do you see them BEGGING? And if you think they're profiting by merely selling copies, you couldn't be any more wrong.

                      If you want to be successful in business, ANY business, find out what makes others succeed and others fail, what is driving their customer in or away, and do it better. Yes, that takes time and work. If you want a successful business, you're going to have to learn and work at it. If you want to focus on "creating content" without learning out how to run a successful business to support it, then hire someone else to handle business strategy for you.

                      I don't work in customer service I work in content creation.

                      The same goes for customer service, or any other aspect of business that's outside of your core expertise. If you care about your customers, the people who would willingly spend their hard earned money on you, then hire someone else to handle the service side of things. If you really don't give a fuck about your customers, then why give one good reason why they should give a fuck about you? Making good content, or even great content, isn't a reason anymore. There are plenty of others with content just as good or better who do give a fuck.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

                        Re: Business 101

                        "There are plenty of others with content just as good or better who do give a fuck."

                        That's fine then buy their content instead. I still don't see why it gives you the right to take mine. Fine my site isn't snazzy enough and I don't respond to tweets, then don't use my content. It's overpriced, then fine don't buy it.

                        Why does it suddenly become ok just to take it?

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

                          Re: Re: Business 101

                          Because you deserve it.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                            You deserve a kick in the balls but you could still get me arrested for doing it.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                              You can digitally replicate my balls and kick those all you want. I won't complain to the fuzz.

                               

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                              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                              Maybe I do. Yes, sometimes people do deserve a kick in the balls.

                              Sometimes you can root for a business to fail.

                              A business that spews such hatred for their customers are hard to root for.

                               

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                          Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

                          Re: Re: Business 101

                          There was an article recently about this method of thinking, of you preferring your content not to be consumed at all if people don't pay.

                          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120815/18483620066/stupidity-just-go-without-argument.sht ml

                          Read that and answer me this:
                          Are you actually, and I mean really, as in able to be verified, worse off if someone infringes on your work? IS there quantifiable harm?
                          Do you actually prefer to be completely unknown if it means your work won't be infringed? The only way for your work not be infringed is to not offer it at all. However, the obvious consequence of that is that you are unknown. You might as well have not created the work at all.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                            So you say my options are to not have my work taken or be completely unknown? That is a false either/or scenario. If those were my only options no one would have ever heard of any artist prior to 1995.

                            I am aware of the arguments that piracy is advertising, and some people demo, ect ect and I also know that not every download is a lost sale. But surely there is some harm, some people would have bought my work but didn't like the price, so instead of waiting 4 months and buying it cheaper they just take it. Or because I published through a major company that the downloader feels they are morally superior to. Or one of the many other justifications people use to take my work.

                             

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                              Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                              "So you say my options are to not have my work taken or be completely unknown? That is a false either/or scenario. If those were my only options no one would have ever heard of any artist prior to 1995. "

                              Yes, it is true. It is true because I looked at the world and saw that something was true - copyright infringement happens.
                              You cannot stop it. There is no method to stop it, short of locking down all equipment that could be used to infringe copyright, which is something that society would never stand for. Now that copying has become one of the easiest things you can do, no-one wants to stop doing it.
                              Knowing that truth, I then follow on from that and realized that I cannot expect to create a work, have people see it and yet expect it not to be copied and shared without my permission. There is no way for that to happen. In order for me or you to release a work and yet expect copyrights to be protected, society would have to accept massive restrictions.

                              When copying was hard, it made sense to sell copies of works. When copying is incredibly easy, it doesn't make sense to focus on selling the copy. Prior to 1995, I paid for all my copyrighted material, because I had no way of violating it, of copying easily. Now that I do have ways of copying easily, expecting me to pay for a copy is nonsensical. I will not give up my ability to copy.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                Because I can I will and fuck those it harms. What a wonderful world.

                                 

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                                  Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                  No, because you have not demonstrated proof of actual harm. You say you are harmed, but where's the proof?
                                  Take this hypothetical scenario. Say a person who has no knowledge of copyright at all, of our world, comes up to you and you introduce him/her to our world. You explain what you do for a living. You show that person all the technology that anyone can use to copy.
                                  You then say that you chose to base your livelihood upon selling copies. What would be the reaction of the other person?
                                  That person would obviously think you're insane. You deliberately chose to base your livelihood on something that is not true in today's world. In the past, selling copies was seen as a valued service, as only few people could copy. In order to get a copy, you paid them, otherwise the copy would not be made.

                                  Once you are able to prove to me that you are actually harmed through copyright infringement, then that is when I will come over to your point of view. However, for that to happen, harm must be BECAUSE of copyright infringement, and not due to a myriad of other possible factors. You must show that nothing else caused this harm, then we'll talk.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                    Isn't that the argument used by people refute global warming? "But it's cold out today and surely even if something is wrong it's not our fault?"

                                    Maybe your hypothecical man would think I am crazy. Maybe he wouldn't maybe he would say, "I wish we had thought of that, we all make cogs and sprockets for a living because no one can copy those for free. Life sure is bland but we all get paid well."

                                    But sure I'll prove the improvable, call it art and then never let anyone see it.

                                     

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                                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                      It's not art without an audience. True story.

                                       

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                                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:44pm

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                        Thanks for clearing that up, can you take a shot at this one that has been bothering me for awhile: if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it make a sound?

                                         

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                                printersMate (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                Prior to digital copies there weere various ways of consuming copyrighted work without paying the copyright holder,. A friend could lend you his/her copy. Friends met up at various houses to listen to records, and books could be borrowed from the library. Physical goods are also available second hand, which make the available withiout paying the copyright holder.
                                As a youth I would read two or libray books a week, but only buy, or be given two or three books a year. Actual sales of books probably accounted for under one percent of the readership, so payment for books at least was largely voluntary,

                                 

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                                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                  Sure I made mixtapes back in the day too. But spending the afternoon finding my favorite tracks and arranging them and actually recording them onto cassette was a labor of love. Now you can just bring over an external and dump everything you "own".

                                  But when christmas came around those albums that I had some tracks of on a mixtape were on my wishlist if i really liked them. I doubt many kids are requesting albums they already have on their phone as presents.

                                  It's the same but different.

                                   

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                          Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

                          Re: Re: Business 101

                          Did you feel that? I just found your computer and copied everything from it. Yet, you didn't notice anything? I mean, if my coping was actually theft or caused you any harm, surely you would have noticed something was missing or something was wrong? Except nothing was actually "taken" from you. You still have every copy that was in your possession, and everything used to create it. You have been dispossessed of nothing.

                          You argue that you didn't get paid, but you really didn't try to get paid, did you? Sure, you asked people to pay you for copies that they could just as easily made themselves, but that's lazy. You made the original copy, now you just want to sit on your ass and get paid for the next 70 years after you're dead. There's plenty of other ways to get paid for your work, but they actually require you to keep working to get paid. You know, like the rest of use in the real world.

                          Now, if I want to get paid tomorrow, I have to get up and actually do something to get paid. Then if I want to get paid the next day, I have to go out and get more work. Then the next day and the next. I don't get to work for a few years, then sit on my ass and keep getting paid the rest of my life work I did before. Why should you?

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                            No you are right I work on something for years and then get told I liked it, nice work, but not enough to pay for it. Stop making things i like and get a salaried job making cogs like everyone else. Corporately designed boardroom art is all I need. I mean why express yourself when you can follow activisions design document and make a nice salary like the rest of us.

                             

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                              Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                              Still missing the point. You could use your work to get paid, just NOT from idly sitting by and selling copies.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                You are missing my point, creating is not idle.

                                 

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                                  Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                  What do you do after the work is created?

                                   

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                                  Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:28pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                  And, yes I've already stated that creating content IS work. But the creation of content is NOT a business model. Even if illegal copying didn't exist, simply creating and hoping people will buy copies is NOT a business model either.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                    Right making something and sitting on it for life is not a business model but that was never what I argued. I advertise and do what I can (and employ who I can) to, hopefully, pique someone's interest. At which point they go download a copy. If I'm lucky they might decide to pay me.

                                    If I don't have a major publisher behind me who people feel morally superior to they might pay. If I come off as competent but not already too successful so I don't need the money people might pay. If I tick every box of what they think my product should be they might pay, and I mean both the work and the release package. (Seriously; not clever enough: no money, not cheap enough: no money, sound track was meh: no money; 98% awesome: no money)

                                    I know there are plenty of other models that work: micro-transaction, free with donations, long demo/short demo, crowd funding, pay what you want ect, but shouldn't that be my choice?

                                    If I want to create something and release a video or a short demo and tell you about it shouldn't that be my right? If that's not enough for you, fine. Don't buy it that is your choice. Why do you get to then take it and decide what it's worth? If my pitch didn't convince you, and websites didn't convince you and other people talking about it didn't convince you then don't pay.

                                    Go try a friends version, go to the library, go to a convention, depending on the medium there are always legal free ways to experience something. Or go use your time on one of the many other things that are out there. Everyone seems to agree that there are more works, in any medium, available to everyone. Forget about my product or wait till it is cheaper, or since we like playing in hypothetical; wait till the sensibly long copyright has expired. Then try it.

                                    Seriously, asking as a person not a corporation or copyright owner; the actual creator, do you have more rights to my work then I do? Because my medium is digital or easily converted to digital I have no say in anything. Technologies mere existence denies me any rights?

                                    The argument around here seems to be since it can be copied it should be copied. I think the creator should have some exclusive right to distribute their creation. With tangible goods you are offered something and based on the offer and the price you make a value judgement. If the result is positive you buy it. If the result is negative you buy something else. If it is digital a lot of people, a more than statistically significant amount of people, will just take it. Some of them will come back around and drop in a tip for some reason or another and a whole lot of people will not come back around.

                                    But isn't arguing that the creator should have no right what so ever because technology allows you to ignore their wishes just the extreme opposite, and just as shitty, as the legacy industrie's argument of we own all the content and dole it out to you plebs as we please?

                                     

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                                      MadderMak (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:06am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                      Dude - you said it yourself... "shouldn't that be my choice?"

                                      IT IS!

                                      Just choose as business model that makes you money.
                                      (surprise twist ending... you are NOT promised a living... no one is.)

                                      Just whatever your choice - if you make it for your reasons (not a PR guy, don't want to CWF, etc) - DONT blame piracy for your lack of income - you are responsible for YOUR choices. Choose something that works but requires you to do "X" you really don't want to - or choose not to "X" and hence not make as much money. Choose!

                                       

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                                      Donglebert the Lengthy, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 3:03am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Business 101

                                      "Why do you get to then take it and decide what it's worth?"

                                      In a free market, customer is always the one who decides what something is worth.

                                       

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                          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 12:59am

                          Re: Re: Business 101

                          "So it's ok as long as technology allows it?"
                          "Why does it suddenly become ok just to take it?"

                          It was always okay. We as a society gave up the right to copy in order to incent production in the face of market entry barriers. But frankly it's just as you say, the barriers aren't there anymore.

                          If the barriers aren't there, then the need for incentive fades. That's why it's okay. It was always okay, we made a deal to limit that right, but now the deal is becoming moot, so naturally we want our rights back.

                           

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                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 4:05am

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

                      Yes free is the ticket, you give your basic game for free, then add a few premium options the user can buy/unlock/rent for money.
                      Take a look at World of Tanks, they've done it properly.
                      They've got regular ingame currency earned from fighting battles (silver) and premium currency (gold) you get with € or $.
                      Premium gold can get you stuff you can't get with regular cash, like exclusive tanks, better upgrades, a temporary boost to exp & silver earned. Tank crews that start at 100% skill instead of 75%. Shells that more armor penetration & extra damage ...

                       

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                  Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:16am

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

                  "The business model is predicated on making the ORIGINAL CONTENT that others can not easily make for themselves."

                  Right, those were the conditions present when copyright started. It is NOT the same now. People CAN produce "original" content VERY easily now. So easily that the greatest barrier to production of new ideas today is the unavoidable similarity that any one person's new idea will have with some other idea out there, and the power of IP monopoly holders to suppress micro-innovation.

                  *I put quotes around original because it's really a loaded term.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:28am

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

                    "*I put quotes around original because it's really a loaded term."

                    Sure it's all been done before but if people want my version of "classic heroes journey" then why shouldn't they pay what I want them to. They can always go watch some other heroes journey if my price is too high, but no because they can they should be allowed to make a free copy.

                     

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                      SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

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

                      why shouldn't they pay what I want them to

                      Because I don't have to do what you tell to me do anymore. Not with digital content.

                      Now, if I really like you or what you've made, I will probably end up paying anyway. The rules have changed, why haven't you?

                       

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                      Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:05am

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

                      "but no because they can they should be allowed to make a free copy"

                      Not at all. We always had the right. Even Thomas Jefferson strongly felt this and opposed the inclusion of copyright and patents in our constitution and national laws. He felt they produced inefficient monopolies that reward stationary ideas of innovation and impede the progress of art and science rather than promote them.

                      The internet is just making that reality painfully clear.

                       

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                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:46am

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

                  No instrumental tracks, no mixing? I mean, what is original. In olden days they scratched something on a plate or band and sold it. The plate contained copies of the grooves that created unique sounds when put through a more or less complicated and expensive device.

                  Now the plates or bands with ripples are gone and the lack of those buggers as an excuse to buy is GONE when we are talking online.

                  Some people have to accept that the plates or bands are tokens of affection value and symbolic value as much as it was the art of the original creation.
                  In reality it was a mediocre quality COPY of an original recording ALL THE TIME! Only now, when the tokens are removed from the equation and people are seeing reality, the recorded musics subjective value can be seen and without the fashionable cover and other ways of making the buyer stand out to visitors, it is a problem that a lot of the real value in record sale was imaginary value and bound to a physical object. Without a way to flash cover-art to visitors (That one is actually close to impossible in the digital market!) and have a token to hold (Also impossible to replicate!), the value is considerably lower than what people are willing to give for tokens. We can only hope that the industry some day realise these facts and actually lower their cost and prices online for the first time since the CD came into existance 30 years ago!

                   

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                  Donglebert the Lengthy, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 2:52am

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

                  There's no craftsmanship in making copies - that's why people don't value them.

                  Whatever happened to showing films in theatres?

                   

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              Rick Falkvinge, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, that would be EXACTLY how a free and fair market would work, which is the entire point of the article.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Uh I don't get why you're saying what you just did in response to what I said. In no way, implied or otherwise, did I even remotely mention anything about taking a copy.

              I merely pointed out that there's no guarantee an investment will be recouped, and that if someone fails to monetize a product given all the various distribution methods then perhaps they shouldn't be in said business in the first place.

              Care to respond to what I DID say?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:59am

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

                "I merely pointed out that there's no guarantee an investment will be recouped, and that if someone fails to monetize a product given all the various distribution methods then perhaps they shouldn't be in said business in the first place."

                Then let them fail. Why does their failing to monetize properly give people the right to take the item for free. If something fails to recoup because it sucks fine, but what about the actual lost sales (surely 100% of downloads are not lost sales but a good % are people that could have drove down the block and bought the movie) keeping a movie from breaking even?

                My response was to you and the guy above you. Your point was that are not guaranteed to make their money. Mine was no they are not but they should be allowed to set the price and fail because no one wants to see it and/or no one wants to see it for that price. Not because people can find it cheaper on a different site and "fuck big content company anyway".

                 

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                  Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:25am

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

                  Mine was no they are not but they should be allowed to set the price and fail

                  You're failing to employ a critical distinction here. The micro-economic function of one company setting it's own prices are completely independent of copyright. Abolishing copyright today would not keep companies from being allowed to set their own price and fail thereon.

                  In a free market, the macro function of price is NEVER set by a single producer, and always determined by the market.

                  Your comment--that letting someone else sell for less undermines their right to set their own price--comingles these two distinct concepts.

                   

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                    Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:26am

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

                    1st para should have been in quotes.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:33am

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

                    Ok yes the price of a game or dvd is pretty standard. I am not saying that because I want to sell a dvd for 100$ everyone else has to. By I am arguing that if I want to sell my creation for 100$ no one should be allowed to sell that specific work without my permission at least for some limited amount of time.

                    "Abolishing copyright today would not keep companies from being allowed to set their own price and fail thereon." Sure it does, you make a movie and spend 600K on production. I then spend 50$ on blank dvds and 50$ on one copy of your movie and now I can sell an exact replica of your content for 50cents and make all my money back. No one will buy your 50$ copy if my 50 cent copy can be legally sold right next to it and a free one online. You can't sell at marginal cost of the copies and recoup your 600K but I only need to recoup 50$.

                     

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                      The eejit (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:22am

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

                      Why? IT increases efficiency in the iterative process of innovation, it also forces the best combination of marketing and invention, and if in doubt, you can always have someone else do one aspect of the abvoe with you.

                       

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                      Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:46am

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

                      If you already know that solely depending on make copies is a failed business model, then stop whining and start looking for a new model already. There are others who easily compete against free copies.

                       

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                      Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:09am

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

                      "No one will buy your 50$ copy if my 50 cent copy can be legally sold right next to it and a free one online."

                      Again, that's macro. Charge $50, but you will fail. I don't want you to fail. Learn how to build a better model.

                       

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                  BeaverJuicer (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:43am

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

                  If something fails to recoup because it sucks fine, but what about the actual lost sales ... keeping a movie from breaking even?

                  You mean like Return of the Jedi, which, if you ask the studios, still hasn't recouped?

                  I'd say ask your accountants, not the downloaders.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:50am

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

                    If I made Jedi I would be busy rolling on a pile of money and laughing manically and not care about people taking free copies of the stuff I sweat and bleed to create.

                     

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                      Kaden (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

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

                      May I see what you have sweated and bled to produce, please?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

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

                        I'd rather not see "creator of X calls the internet a bunch of assholes" on reddit because I have to sell me now to sell my work. So let's just say I am playing devils advocate.

                         

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                          Kaden (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

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

                          No wonder you want to kick everyone else's balls... you don't have any of your own.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

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

                            A chance to come out and talk to people freely, push my pov to the extremes to see what pushes back and a chance to interact with people who think very differently then me without consequence of personal attacks, yeah I guess I am just a coward good thing that's the default name here.

                            I guess I'll just hang out on sites were everyone agrees with me from now on since that is so brave. Also I am sure you share all your internet handles and hangouts with your boss and clients.

                             

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                              Kaden (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

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

                              "A chance to be a total asshole with no consequences".

                              FTFY

                              Yup... really contributing to the discussion, son.

                              And yeah, I'm Kaden everywhere; doesn't hurt a bit.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

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

                                Respectfully disagreeing is now being a total asshole. Hey look everyone this guy wants anonominity removed from the internet, get him!

                                Seriously you never say anything online you wouldn't say in front of your boss or clients? You either have an awesome job or are very boring.

                                Discussing things is how we learn. I wanted to put out my point of view(with the edges sharpened a bit) and see how the other side sees things, see a frame of mind I don't have a ton of direct conversations with and do so without it coming back to haunt m. Excuse me for being such a fucking horrible person.

                                 

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                                  Kaden (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:44pm

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

                                  I do have an awesome job.

                                  You, on the other hand are a nameless coward who wants to kick people in the balls. There's no excuse for that, Sparky.

                                   

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                            Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:13am

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

                            Not fair, Kaden. This guy has fully exposed himself here. It's been rough, and he stuck with trying to understand and learn. There are comments that show that he has.

                            He's got balls, they're just getting badly beaten by the dissonance between his past expectations and the reality of the internet market.

                             

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                      SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

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

                      Oh cry me a river.

                      I sweated and bled to create MANY things. Days and days and days. Some stuff is still in production and will be for years to come.

                      I'll never see a cent from it. I will never be able to compete with people who already have million of fans and supporters. I am introverted on top of being crippled with SAD(Social Anxiety Disorder). I do not and can not talk the talk or the do the work necessary to have an audience.

                      Sad story short. I will never have an audience, I will never have fans, even WITH a monopoly and royalties I will never have payment for my work. Period.

                      I've decided I don't really care. I will continue to put sweat and blood into something I never get anything back from, solely because I enjoy doing it.
                      I am one in millions who have both the same problem and conclusion. Some don't even need to have social problems to reach this conclusion. We have accepted we are not owed anything.



                      Tell me, what makes you so special? Making whatever you do isn't enough obviously. Why do you feel entitled to payment? In every other job out there nobody is entitled to payment. Yet for some reason, so many artists feel they are entitled to both payment AND control.



                      Why?

                       

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              Chris Brand (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sure, if they want to *try to* sell a copy for $100, that certainly is their choice, but why should everyone else be *prevented* from selling copies for $10, or $1, or $0.01, or free ? As I understand it, the answer is "because then the person trying to sell for $100 can't compete". Well, so what ?

              Of course until they sell that *first* copy, they have a natural (non-government-granted) monopoly, and I bet they could get certain people (the owners of movie theaters, for example, or TV networks, or billionaires wanting to impress their friends) to pay way *more* than $100 for that *first* copy, and likely even for the second, third, fourth and fifth copes. Which would tend to indicate that there are still plenty of business models that would work, even without any government-granted monopolies. Now if only somebody would write a blog with ideas on possible business models that don't rely on these government-granted monopolies...

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:09am

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

                "but why should everyone else be *prevented* from selling copies for $10, or $1, or $0.01, or free ?"

                Because they didn't have to invest in the creation of the original content. Sure copyright protection is far too long but shouldn't they have some window in which they can sell for what they feel is fair in an attempt to recoup the production costs?

                "and I bet they could get certain people (the owners of movie theaters, for example, or TV networks, or billionaires wanting to impress their friends) to pay way *more* than $100 for that *first* copy, and likely even for the second, third, fourth and fifth copes."

                An original print might make for an interesting collectors item but those parties lose interest fast if they don't think they can make money reselling the item. No network wants to pay a million for right to air a movie if its also legal to show it for free on the internet.

                 

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                  Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:30am

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

                  Because they didn't have to invest in the creation of the original content. Sure copyright protection is far too long but shouldn't they have some window in which they can sell for what they feel is fair in an attempt to recoup the production costs?

                  Yes, they are free to find business models that will recoup their cost. (Except buying politicians to force ridiculous laws.) Again, in a free market, they have to find sources of revenue that are based on activities that others can't easily do for themselves. Making copies is obviously no longer a viable option, but there are many opportunities that weren't viable before either. That's called progress, peanut.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:36am

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

                    "they have to find sources of revenue that are based on activities that others can't easily do for themselves."

                    The activities others can not do easily for themselves is making the movie, or album or video game. If I create something "original" that other people want why is that not enough? Why do I also have to find some unique way of convincing you to give me money for it instead of going to the internet for a free copy? Just because it's way easier for you to rip me off now?

                     

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                      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:55am

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

                      If I create something "original" that other people want why is that not enough?
                      Ah, the lament of penniless artists and musicians for hundreds of years.

                       

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                      Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

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

                      If I create something "original" that other people want why is that not enough? Why do I also have to find some unique way of convincing you to give me money for it instead of going to the internet for a free copy?

                      Again, you're focusing on the entirely wrong end of the deal, the "copy". If people don't know who you are or care about your product, they aren't even going to waste their time on it--even if they can get it for free! Now, if they do care about your product, they will try to spend the lest amount of time and money to get the best quality copy from a source they trust.

                      There are lots of factors other than money at play here. People are easily willing to trade some money for time, quality, and trust. First, don't waste people's time. Make your product easier and more convenient to find, to get, and to use. These all also count towards quality of service.

                      There's also the quality of the product itself. Make sure it works and is easy to use. One good way to do that is to make sure it's not buggy or has DRM. Both, in fact, diminish the usability and quality of the product, and having customers spend time and money on a defective product is an easy way to lose them. OTOH, free sites will remove the DRM, and sometimes release bug patches too--improving the quality of the product! Of course, there's absolutely no reason why you can do better.

                      Unlike DRM, bugs are not always avoidable. If you pay attention to customer issues, and get updates in a timely fashion, you can also build trust. Sure, that takes time, but if you focus on the quality of the product and customer experience, you can easily build trust.

                      Of course, money is still an issue too. Regardless of whether the transaction is direct or indirect, the customer is still trading something for the content. As long as the cost is low enough for the trade to seem reasonable, most people will make it.

                      Now, with all of this in mind, treat free sites as competitors. Like any competitor, look at their strengths and weaknesses, and do better. Finding a quality free copy from a source you can trust takes time. Some "warez" sites use various forms of malware to make money, which only diminishes the quality of their copy and people's trust in the site. Beating that isn't really all that hard. Build trust with a quality product and service that doesn't waste your customer's time and money becomes less of an issue.

                       

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                  Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:35am

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

                  You keep arguing under this premise of some astronomical cost of the original production.

                  These extremely high costs that your argument relies upon are not realistic to a free market. The costs of production in Hollywood for instance are grossly inflated by copyright and by monopolistic distribution channels. When the inflated price of the final product drops to match the actual costs of production, the movie producers will not be so willing to lay out 15 tables of swag and trailers of food and assistant-assistant grips.

                  I strongly suspect that way too much of the engineering talent that the US needs to improve its national economy is tied up in an inflated entertainment market.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:57am

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

                    I understand that not every movie needs to cost 256 million dollars but that doesn't make 50K cheap or a negligible loss. Usually movies are made on the cheap because that is what can be afforded. Clerks was made for around 30K not because that is all they could use but it's all Kevin Smith could scrounge together. If he had 500K to start with I am sure he could have found a way to use every penny of it.

                    But I don't disagree that budgets are often inflated. The large companies are often paying subsidiarys they own over-inflated prices for work they do just to fuck over the cast and crew.

                    But this is all beside the point. A large sum of money (whether that is 30K or 1 billion dollars) is used to make the movie. So when you say it only costs a trillionth of a penny to copy it you are not wrong but what about the initial investment? Of course a 3rd party can afford to sell(or give away) copies cheaper they didn't have to make that investment.

                     

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                      Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

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

                      Let me be frank about this. They don't have to make back their investment. I'm happy if they do. I could give a flappy fart if they don't.

                      There are thousands upon thousands of movies produced for next to nothing every day and their owners make them available for free online.

                      Feel free to scoff at low-budget/no-budget/home movies, but the cost of making movies, music, and print media are no longer cost prohibitive. Many schools and libraries will let you check out equipment for free. The point is there is NO LONGER A NEED FOR COPYRIGHT in order to reduce the barriers of entry to promote film, music, print, etc.

                      If you, or Kevin Smith, or whoever, wants to make a bigger budget film, I say, "Hell yeah!" That's great. But your business model needs to be able to compete with free. With or without copyright in play, this is the internet. You need to be able to compete with free.

                      Back to the topic at hand, your insistence that they should be able to recover their costs is noble and generous, but it is not compatible with a free market.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

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

                        I don't insist anyone has to make their investment back, I also know that I have to compete with people that make the same things far cheaper and no matter what the spend on it that it can be an absolutely amazing work of art. I don't mind competing with other people selling their work, my problem is with people taking my(or someone elses work) for free because they can.

                        My talk about investment is trying to get to the point this article makes. That its the content owners fault for not selling digital copies for pennies because hell it doesn't even cost pennies to make a digital copy. Well that is true but it does cost something to make the original that is being copied so I sell for dollars because I want to try and make that back, but because they can copy it for free people fell they are morally in the clear to do so.

                        My question is why does the fact that the technology makes it so people can copy also make it ok for them to deprive me of what I feel is a fair price for my work. If they don't want to pay it, as you say, they have plenty of other options for how they get their content instead of taking mine.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

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

                          Well, for the sake of our discussion, let's agree that it's not OK to make a copy of your file(s) without your permission. Let's also agree that since that copying capability is so cheap and ubiquitous, that it's going to happen whether your approve or not.

                          Given those two, I think the question you should be asking isn't a moral question, but rather a business question. In that climate, what do you need to do to make money?

                           

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                          Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

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

                          My question is why does the fact that the technology makes it so people can copy also make it ok for them to deprive me of what I feel is a fair price for my work.

                          Ironically, no one is depriving you the fair price for your work. It's YOU who chooses to not go where the money is.

                          You insist on sticking with a business model that you know doesn't work, yet you have basically stated that you have no interest in trying ANY other business models either!

                           

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                          SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

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

                          My question is why does the fact that the technology makes it so people can copy also make it ok for them to deprive me of what I feel is a fair price for my work.

                          Theoretical dollars. You assume because they figured out how to get it for free they would've bought it if there wasn't a free alternative available, and that they will never pay for it after getting it for free.

                          There's about a million articles, and comments, on this site debunking both assumptions and offering solutions. Why do the same questions keep getting asked over and over?

                           

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                          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:21am

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

                          Just for the sake of good business sense, just consider separating those costs in your mind. Compartmentalize here.

                          From a management accounting perspective, the initial cost are sunk the moment the product is made. The variable cost of each copy sold is minimal.

                          Find some other way to recoup just your fixed cost and excel in the execution on your copies or whatever else your ongoing revenue stream is built on. Mike's got GOOD articles on how to do this. There are links on the home page. Check em out.

                           

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                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:51am

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

                  So find a model that will work for you.

                  (The patron system jumps to mind as one example. There's a whole lot of people who'll pay to have art created by someone who's built a good reputation, even if they don't get exclusive rights to that art.)

                   

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                  Chris Brand (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

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

                  As far as I can see, nobody *had to* invest in the creation of the original content. They made a business decision to do so or not.

                  So essentially you want to grant people creating content a competition-free window wherein they can sell copies at an inflated price and not worry about competition. That's not an unreasonable argument in itself (although it would be really nice to actually hear it phrased that way by its proponents once in a while). It does run into an awful lot of practical problems, though - how long should the window be ? and how do we prevent people from competing anyway ? being the two biggies.

                  In practice, there doesn't seem to be any answer to the second of those, and apparently we're supposed to accept "essentially forever" as the answer to the first.

                  So this is the point at which people like me start to say that this "copyright" scheme of granting monopolies seems to cause more problems than it solves, so is it really necessary to distort the free market by granting these monopolies in the first place ?

                  Any argument that relies on "sell for what they [the content producers] feel is fair" is not a free-market argument - in a free market, you don't get to pick the price you feel is fair without everyone else having the ability to also sell for less.

                  (if I was selling that first copy to a TV network or billionaire, the deal would be along the lines of "pay me $gazillions, and I won't give anyone else a copy for a month", so its being legal to show it for free on the Internet is irrelevant).

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

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

                    " "pay me $gazillions, and I won't give anyone else a copy for a month", so its being legal to show it for free on the Internet is irrelevant"

                    No it's not because this is also in the no copyright world, so as soon as that airs it will be put online and the original buyer knows this.

                    "Any argument that relies on "sell for what they [the content producers] feel is fair" is not a free-market argument - in a free market, you don't get to pick the price you feel is fair without everyone else having the ability to also sell for less."

                    My problem with this argument is that I am not competing with others selling a similar product. It's not like I make a car(everyone loves car analogies right?) and sell it at X and you make a car and sell it at Y. Both cars being equal and yours being cheaper I go bankrupt.

                    I make content X and invest in its creation you take product X and give away/sell copies that you make for free. It's like I am competing with myself only my other self has no overhead and doesn't need food.

                     

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                      Chris Brand (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

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

                      Damn. I wondered as I was adding those parts whether it would detract from the important part of my argument, and sure enough, you ignored my second, third and fourth paras to attack the parenthetical part.

                      And yes you *are* competing with people selling exactly the same thing - the bitstreams are indistinguishable. If you choose to (try to) recoup your investment by selling copies, you're going to compete with other people selling copies. Who invested to make copy #1 is irrelevant. That's why "selling copies" is stupid (except for copy #1, where you have a natural monopoly). The key question is why should we distort our free market system to allow you to have a profitable business selling copies ?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

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

                        I addressed them as best I can right below here if you thread it. I don't know what an acceptable comprise for both of us would be or how to make everyone happy.

                        "The key question is why should we distort our free market system to allow you to have a profitable business selling copies?"

                        Where do you hide this free market? Are you afraid of showing it to the public because they will do what the want with it?

                         

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

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

                    "So essentially you want to grant people creating content a competition-free window wherein they can sell copies at an inflated price and not worry about competition. That's not an unreasonable argument in itself (although it would be really nice to actually hear it phrased that way by its proponents once in a while). It does run into an awful lot of practical problems, though - how long should the window be ? and how do we prevent people from competing anyway ? being the two biggies."

                    Yes, and I understand it has gone waaaaay too far into the industries favor. From this thread that seems to be the strongest reaction. Fair would be X years of protection but you took X+800000000 so you get 0.

                     

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                  SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

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

                  shouldn't they have some window in which they can sell for what they feel is fair in an attempt to recoup the production costs?

                  Would be great! But, unless you've got some way to recoup time spent it's not a fair trade.

                  I would love to have all that time back I wasted doing what I did. Well I never will. That's another reason why I keep doing it: I've already put much into getting where I've gotten. Now, I wish I had a different talent and the time back to spend it on something else.

                   

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              Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Yes but isn't it their choice to deciede the price of a copy since they made the initial investment?"

              No, it's their choice to decide the price of a copy because they were granted monopoly rights by the government for the purpose of promoting progress in arts and science.

              When the same monopoly rights impede that progress, and society terminates the contract, the entitlement feeling that the original investors have is called cognitive dissonance. They want a free market, but one that favors them.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:14am

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

                that's not a free market then is it?

                 

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                  The eejit (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:23am

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

                  Which is the point. They claim that free-market is the best economic solution for them, and yet refuse to apply true free-market principles to their fullest extent.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

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

                    In a free market people would take their money elsewhere and let mine collect dust while I go broke. My problem is with people taking their money elsewhere AND making themselves a copy of my product.

                    Feel free to ignore me and buy indie or invest in kickstarter but don't take my work.

                     

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                      The eejit (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

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

                      I don't. But then obscurity is a FAR bigger problem than free advertising.

                       

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                        SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

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

                        Bingo. All the monopolies in the world won't help you if nobody knows about your work into order to actually BUY it.

                        Unless you pass a law that FORCES people to buy, of course.

                         

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                      Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

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

                      See, this is where we need to fix your terminology.

                      The stuff of the work of art that can be copied exists in ether. It's not a physical thing. Copyright doesn't grant you ownership of an essential expression of an idea and somehow magically make a thing of something that isn't a thing.

                      So rather than an actual thing (like say, a copy of a movie), the ownership of a copyright is a right to control not an object, but everyone else's use of that which sufficiently resembles that object. It's essentially a tiny little snippet of slavery that you've carved out for yourself. If you're happy with that great, but know this. it is going away.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

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

                        I'm not happy with life+forever but I would like to be able to sell my creation for some amount of time before it's offered for free.

                         

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                          Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

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

                          I would like steak for dinner, but I think it's gonna be sloppy joes tonight.

                          Get off your horse. You haven't ever created anything. You copied, and maybe you modified. There isn't anything else anymore.

                           

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                      Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:28am

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

                      "Feel free to ignore me and buy indie or invest in kickstarter but don't take my work."

                      That's just it. No one took your work. They took a copy of someone else's copy (which usually that person paid for).

                      Stop failing to exist. Sell what people want that can't be copied. They will pay. I, even I, pay for things, even digital things.

                       

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                  Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

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

                  "that's not a free market then is it?"

                  That IS what I meant by "dissonance."

                   

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            Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If they can't make back their investment through theater showings, physical media sales AND streaming offerings/digital downloads... then they shouldn't be making multi-million dollar movies in the first place.
            See, that sentence is entirely too long... here, let me:

            If they can't make back their investment [snip] then they shouldn't be making multi-million dollar movies in the first place

            .. there.

            The point is that a film needs to be (generally) a profitable venture but selling the film itself does not necessarily have to be the bulk (or even a little bit) of that profit. By putting the middle you did in that sentence you lock yourself in to the studio legacy midset and deny many money making opportunities. Hell, even the studios themselves don't lock themselves in that tight - what's the ratio these days for profit from film viewing sales vs. profit from mechandising on a major film these days?

             

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            ahow628 (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Piracy killed Waterworld. :(

             

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          Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And once you've recouped your development costs anyway? Following your logic, then movies/songs/whatever that are just a few years old should not be enforced for copyright anyway, as they'll have been on the market long enough to recoup development costs.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I agree copyright protection is way too long.

             

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            JEDIDIAH, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:12am

            It's as if you read the history...

            > Following your logic, then movies/songs/whatever that are just a few years old should not be enforced for copyright

            Pretty much.

            The original copyright term was a mere 14 years.

             

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          Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well DUH! If selling copies to make back your original sunk cost is a losing proposition, especially when everyone with a "computer" can make copies for themselves, you sell something that others CANNOT easily copy. Even intangibles such as convenience and customer service are hard to copy because they require skill and hard work. That's how the free market works, peanut.

          And if "pirates" trading copies on crappy websites or torrents are doing a better job than you, then you're not even trying!

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And if "pirates" trading copies on crappy websites or torrents are doing a better job than you, then you're not even trying!"

            I'm trying to make back the million I sunk into this movie not trying to out compete someone for 2cent copies.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you're trying to make back that million I sunk trying to sell something the world does better, you might be doing it wrong.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again, so you can't make back your money at all? Not through ticket sales (and the whole, you know, unique theater experience), DVD/Blu-Ray sales (with exclusives that can't be digitally copied easily), etc.

              Wow. Then again, you deserve to fail and be ripped off. If you can't make back your money through the plethora of other ways, step aside and let someone else NOT make money off your product as well. (Because there's very little actual money in piracy. Lies and FUD notwithstanding. Before you say something, be ready to back it up with facts and citations. Otherwise, it's just your opinion and will be treated as such. Meaning barely paid attention to.)

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:06am

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

                Movie theaters suck, how is that my fault if I make movies I can't make your local theater a better investment.

                "DVD/Blu-Ray sales with exclusives that can't be digitally copied easily" So knick-knacks and trinkets? I make movies not posters, coasters and keychains. No content on the blu-ray can not be copied easily, it's all digital and you can get it for free the day the movie comes out if not sooner.

                "Because there's very little actual money in piracy."
                I didn't say there was. They are not making money but they don't have to because they didn't have to make the content in the first place.

                ". Lies and FUD notwithstanding. Before you say something, be ready to back it up with facts and citations. Otherwise, it's just your opinion and will be treated as such. Meaning barely paid attention to" So I ask questions and you act like an asshole but I am the bad guy?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:55am

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

                  I make movies not posters, coasters and keychains

                  Your premise is then that you make things people don't want to buy. And refuse to get into areas that people may want to buy. How is it the markets fault if you fail when you willingly do so out of principal or artistic integrity?

                  If those things are more important than you, you can just be happy being a starving artist.

                  If you want to make money, you might want to consider making things people want to buy.

                  It's really that simple.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:29am

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

                    People don't want to buy it because they can have it for free. Obviously they want what I made or they wouldn't go through the effort of finding, downloading and watching it.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

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

                      I sample plenty of things for free (legally or otherwise) that I don't want. So it's false assumption to say that everyone who tried something for free "wanted" it.

                      But, what I don't get is the focus on the customers who don't want to pay you and the dismissal of any suggestion on getting people to pay for things because you chose not to cater to them.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

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

                        I don't mean for that to be my focus. I am aware that all downloads are not a lost sale and am not arguing that either. People keep saying their are other models, or sell something tangible with the digital, hell someone even suggested we go back to patronage.

                        My point is if my model sucks then let me fail because no one buys my product. However if no one buys my product no one should get to enjoy my product. It's fine if you want to say, "you're an asshole I don't want to support you," or "I'll just go play f2p instead," or "I don't want what you are offering at that price." But I don't think its ok to use any of those as an excuse to just take my product.

                        How many of those things that you "sampled" did you enjoy? How many of those things you enjoyed did you not end up paying for? It's one thing to download a game play it for an hour and say, "I like this I'll buy it," or "eh its not for me Ill delete it." It's a whole other thing to play the whole game enjoy it and then never buy it.

                        The never buying it part is even easier for movies. Sure some movies you want to watch again and again but often even a movie you like you wont feel the urge to watch again for a year(s). So you watch it, enjoy it, your life is better for it but still I get nothing.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

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

                          My point is if my model sucks then let me fail because no one buys my product.

                          Agreed. That's how the world works.

                          However if no one buys my product no one should get to enjoy my product.

                          Alas, that's not how the world works these days. You can try to deny this reality all you want. You can say that's it's bad. But, you can't deny it doesn't exist.

                          You can either decide that it can be dealt with, or you can give up. The choice is yours.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

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

                            I'm not denying that it exists thinking we will all suddenly agree maybe its bad and everyone iin the world will stop. I am just trying to understand why people feel it is ok. Your response seems to be might makes right, I can't possibly do anything about it so suck it up and sell some action figures.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

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

                              I can't possibly do anything about it so suck it up and sell some action figures.

                              If that business model works for you, what's the problem? Everyone's job is to find a business model that works. Lots of factors affect this, not all of them under your control. If I want to make three legged pants, to hell with the fact that the market is very limited, I can either try to get people to grow another leg or figure out a different model.

                              Now, the is it "ok" question is a tough one to get your hands around. It's an interest conversation, but I'm not sure it'll lead to a better business model. It's philosophy; not practical.

                              The only reason it may matter is if you believe that someone who tried something for free would have paid for it. So it's worth discussing.

                              From personal experience, my view is that this isn't the case. If I hit a wall on something I'd want to check out, but, not worth paying for, I'd just go spend my entertainment time elsewhere. There are limitless options.

                              The "ok" question leads one down two possible paths.

                              1) You make no money.
                              2) You make no money and are slightly more well known which may or not make you more money.

                              Option 2 seems to be the objective best answer. Objective 1 seems to be what content producers would prefer.

                              The only reason people want option 1 is because they think option 3 exists - every just magically pays.

                              You have better chance getting table top fusion to work than option 3.

                              This is why we don't focus on the "ok" question that much. It doesn't lead to conversations that lead to ideas for revenue other than the "magically pay" option.

                               

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                          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:40am

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

                          "So you watch it, enjoy it, your life is better for it but still I get nothing."

                          You spend a lot of time on the internet for someone who gets nothing. I think your statement here is more emotional than practical. I can appreciate that.

                          But that ain't gonna pay your bills. Truth is I DO pay for stuff I like. So what if I only end up paying for stuff that's going to be in my personal library of works. That's all I ever wanted to pay for.

                          Should I have missed out on the learning and culture and experience because you feel entitled to be paid for it?

                          Just so happens I might turn around and repay the favor with a work of my own. I might just be grinding away on something right now. With a world of meaningful influences and nuance and insight that never would've even been a glimmer if I had to sit in your copyright bubble my whole life paying your toll on culture. Know this, I'm not gonna bet the farm on selling the copies.

                           

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                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:59am

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

                  "Movie theaters suck, how is that my fault if I make movies I can't make your local theater a better investment."

                  Again, you seem to fail to respond to what was actually said, instead making up in your mind what you wish I had said and then responding to that.

                  You make money off ticket sales. How so? Number one, people want to see the movie. People will pay to do so in a theater, which is an experience that can't be easily reproduced at home.

                  I don't know why the f*ck you're talking about making my local theater a better investment. Nor how you got that from what I said.

                  "So knick-knacks and trinkets? I make movies not posters, coasters and keychains. No content on the blu-ray can not be copied easily, it's all digital and you can get it for free the day the movie comes out if not sooner."

                  No, I didn't say knock-knacks and trinkets. But if you want to throw some of those in then have at it. As for the rest of your silliness... so you don't make posters for your movies? You don't make merchandise associated with them at all? Or better said, you don't have someone do that for you? Hmm. Then no wonder you might fail to make back your investment. You want your product to stand alone. Commendable, but in this day and age you need more.

                  As for people can copy it the day the movie comes out, no they can't. Not an exact copy. At least not a perfect copy. Which falls back to my "you can make money at the theater" bit. They can't reproduce what you are able to. So how then can selling digital copies (at a later date, not necessarily a year later but say a few months after the movie's released) hurt you? Make that, hurt you when you're already putting your product out there beforehand in the theater?

                  "I didn't say there was. They are not making money but they don't have to because they didn't have to make the content in the first place."

                  Which is irrelevant. Again, what you seem to be saying is that in no way can you monetize your product online/through streaming/digital offerings. That's what you're saying. Everyone else can give it away or make money off it, but somehow, despite being the one creating it, you can't?

                  [scratches head wondering just how bright or not you might be, as far as thinking this one simple thought through goes that is]

                  "So I ask questions and you act like an asshole but I am the bad guy?"

                  You haven't asked a single question. You've made nothing but comments that ignore or have no basis in reality. And were in no way replying to anything I have said.

                  Technically, if anyone is the asshole here, it's you. And yes, you are the bad guy. You can't think past the past and how it was, so you're stuck in a rut and mad that others are doing what you can't stop them from doing. The smart thing to do is... change. GASP! Sell your product in as many ways as possible. IN THEATERS! ON PHYSICAL MEDIA! AND THROUGH STREAMING/DIGITAL MEANS! You've been doing the former two for decades. So why is that last one hard for you to do? Have you heard of iTunes? Netflix? Etc. They can help. Look into them. And realize people want digital. Not putting it out there in said form isn't going to make you money. Shocking I know, but once you wrap your head around that things get a lot easier to figure out.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:32am

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

                    I'd address a few of those points but I don't really enjoy talking to you so again, You can feel free to fuck right off while I have a conversation with people who don't need to act morally and intellectually superior to people who have different view points.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

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

                      I don't enjoy talking to a brick wall, so back at you. The one point you kept missing, which I can't put any simpler is (for the sake of not continuing on the same path) why can't you monetize content digitally?

                      But yes, that's the best attitude to have. "I refuse to acknowledge or answer a point you make. Thus I will address another one I wish you made. Because you question me and point out how I am not understanding you at all, you can fuck off."

                      Oh, and fyi, I have yet to act morally or intellectually superior. You're the one who keeps going on about people taking things. If by intellectually superior you mean I keep having to explain things to you, then yes. It's not my fault you don't understand.

                      You can have a different point of view all you want, but if you're unwilling or unable to listen to or understand points I'm making to try and help you... well, yeah, I can see how you'd think I don't want to listen to you.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

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

                        funny how everyone else can express their disdain for my pov and/or my ability to express it without acting like an asshole, treating me like an imbecile or making personal attacks. But surely you are right its my fault. You are right how could I ever be so wrong and not see it. I think it was that last insult you used that finally opened my eyes.

                         

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              Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Have you tried Craigslist? You can make a lot of money selling stuff on there.

               

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          Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "At some point they have to make up the original investment not just the copies."

          Exactly, and when you build the rules of the market upon this premise, it's not a free market anymore.

           

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          Richard (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So of course some one else can step in and sell your copies cheaper, they didn't have to pay for the movie actually being made. Or song or whatever.

          The services of making the master and making copies are separate things and in a free market they would be kept separate.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

        Re: Re:

        Thanks for the talk everyone. I am starting to get snippy with people who don't deserve it (Sorry Rikuo) so I think I am going to call it a day. It's a little hard to have 20 people arguing with you, some of which have completely opposing worldviews, and having to express yourself clearly and succinctly over a forum. When clearly the back and forth of a verbal argument, or even real-time chat, would be better. So thanks.

        Some of you have made some good points worth sleeping on and some of you have given me a good insight into how the other half lives. Only one of you was a giant douche.

        I leave here with this, though I will be back to read the dangling threads: Support the people who make the content you enjoy and I will do my best to make getting my content enjoyable.

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And I apologize if I came across as snippy towards you. Thank you for the debate. I look forward to having another one. You are truly a rare person: one who believes in copyright, but is willing to come here to Techdirt, debate your position but without resorting to any of the usual shit that bob, darryl, average_joe and the others rely on.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I just can't stay away. Let me throw another argument at you because it's the closest real world analogy I can find but something I have never seen anyone argue.

            X makes a book. It gets published and on the day it's released I buy a copy and reprint it. Exact same book and because there is no copyright I can get it on shelves right next to the original. But since I don't have to pay the author, cover artist, typesetter or editors I only have to sell just above what it cost me to print, which is substantially cheaper then the original can afford to and still make a profit.

            This is a good thing and the original author should shut up and deal with and maybe make an action figure to package with the next printing?

             

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              Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 1:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "This is a good thing and the original author should shut up and deal with and maybe make an action figure to package with the next printing?"

              No, this is a VERY GOOD THING. It keeps our culture from choking on a glut of Britney Spears CDs. It keeps the market honest. It makes it so we get more of the stuff we should be spending money on, including the food and shelter and bills you worry about being able to pay, which do become cheaper in a more efficient market.

              Why do you keep focusing on the one non-copy revenue model you seem to hate the most? You've shown your disdain for the action figure idea over and over and yet you don't stop talking about it. You need free ideas more than anybody. I strongly encourage you to pirate. You might learn something.

               

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          indieThing, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 4:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I hope you do get back to read this. Anyway, as a long time game developer myself(25+ years), I've learnt that piracy is nowhere as big a problem as it's made out to be. The traditional rules of business still apply - make a good product, have good customer relations, make your product a reasonable price and easy to buy.

          If your game is good (we don't don't know what it is, so can't judge), and you still aren't making much in sales, then it's probably your marketing or availability of the product that is at fault.

          Other tips - does your game have a demo ? If so, does the game have a buy option on the menu ? Is there an ad supported version ? Can the player buy extras in-game ? Do you offer any merchandising ?

          Regarding marketing - You said you didn't answer tweets - why ? Are you interacting with the public at all ? If not, why not ? Has your game been submitted to review sites ? Do you advertise in game magazines ? Could you create a cut down flash version and give it away for free via companies like Mochi Media who will potentially get your game in front of millions of eyeballs (and make money off of ads) ?

          Regarding piracy, you're probably better off not busting a gut over it, you'll always have people who find a way to play for free. I've seen pretty much every game I've made pirated on a large scale, but you know what, in most cases I made good money. When in business, especially if small/medium size, you're far better off investing your emotional energy into things you CAN control and that will make your business stronger, such as good customer relations, better, more polished product etc...

           

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      SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      Did I honestly think a AC shill trolling on the Techdirt forums would have any other opinion? Why not put up a "sky is blue" post as well?

      It's this AC that has it wrong, confusing copying with stealing.

      Too bad really.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Unless and until we fix the influence economy in Washington, there is no such thing as a free market.

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    If somebody else can duplicate your original at a lower cost than yourself, then you weren’t able to compete and you’ll find yourself out of business.

    *entitlement built by American capitalism kicks in*

    But, but, but this the land of opportunity, not realism!

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:00am

    The internet routes around copyright

    I used to use Napster then WinMX then KaZaa then Limewire then Frostwire then Poison, then I stopped file sharing music altogether. Did the RIAA finally get through to me? Did I suddenly realize how illegal all that sharing was? Nope.

    I just started using Spotify and Grooveshark and listening to internet radio. But what about downloading new music, you say? Once I learned to record off YouTube, that solved that.

    The RIAA can cry about piracy all they want, but now the piracy isn't through the Pirate Bay or BitTorrents (I'm sure that's still going strong, but why bother); internet technology simply routed around the problem.

    Movies may not be as easy a solution, but in time people will innovate around the legacy players and open the gates. The gatekeepers can keep charging their excessive rents and pushing people to find new services if they like. In the end, the legacy players will just find that they are chasing market share instead of taking advantage of their formidable lead now and innovating ahead of the curve.

    Whatever they choose to do is fine with me. I'm going to watch Expendables 2 at solarmovie.eu while they work it out.

     

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      Fickelbra (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:37am

      Re: The internet routes around copyright

      You are such an evil person. How dare you step around the artificial scarcity imposed by the MPAA to limit consumer choice and maximize their profits through a government-granted monopoly? /s

      Good on you though. As the saying goes, "Good people break bad laws".

       

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    Michael, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    If only we could replicate foods, clothing, minerals, energy and materials as easily as copying a file on a computer. Then again, if somebody figured out how to do that, the government would seize the technology and keep it under lock and key. No question about it.

     

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      Rick Falkvinge, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:07am

      Re:

      You can't just replicate food! How will the chefs and cooks get paid? Think of all the lost restaurant jobs in the service sector!

      Thief, thief, thief!

      (Never mind that you just solved the world's starvation problem. What's that, compared to jobs in the service sect... uh, I mean, "thief, thief, thief!")

       

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      Fickelbra (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:38am

      Re:

      3D printers are actually a big step to that reality.

       

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        Ed C., Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re:

        Yep, replicators are really just 3D printers on the atomic/quantum level.

         

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        nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re:

        Yep, pretty soon printing you're own tools, toys or spare parts is going to be labeled 'piracy' and those who do it will be 'stealing'.

        Perhaps then the hyperbolic language that conflates 'stealing' with 'copying' is really going to be shown up for what it is.

        Finally the media and average Joe might actually agree and say, how can it be stealing if you still have the original?!

        But it's going to happen, when 3D printers hit mainstream it's going to happen...

         

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      Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      Replicate clothing?? Little children in developing countries work really hard to make that clothing! Think of the children! They would be out of a job!!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    "In a true free market, you don't have monopolies (and you certainly don't have government's granting them)."

    The first part is definitely NOT true, but the second part (no governments granting monopolies) is definitely true.

    The fact is monopolies happen in the free market. Heck, it's LEGAL in some companies for a big business to decide to sell a product (like Steel) at a loss for a year or two in order to drive all their competitors out of business, and then start charging 5 times as much as their most expensive competitor was charging. This is called dumping, it's been used before to successfully wipe out all competition in the free market, and it's still legal in some countries.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      Yeah, it seems to me that monopolies are free market. The only way they don't exist is through government action. (Although, it's possible that my gut-definition of monopoly is a business that's grown so big the government has to interfere on behalf of consumers).

      However, government granted monopolies are not free market.

      As at least one poster has said, it's not clear that a totally free market is good for society. Most regulations would be considered anti-free market, correct? And yet I think that everyone would agree that at least some of those anti-free market regulations are good for society. (Much argument can be made over exactly which ones are good but nearly everyone has at least 1 they like).

       

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        Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

        Re: Re:

        And it would seem to me that the OP favors perfect competition over strict laissez faire in his/her description of a true free market.

        I think either would be preferable to arbitrary government imposed monopolies.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

        Re: Re:

        "However, government granted monopolies are not free market. "

        The stupidity here is that the government doesn't grant monopolies. That is an anti-copyright shill way of looking at things.

        It's about on par as saying your ownership of a car is a monopoly on cars. It's not. It's at best an exclusive control of a single car, which doesn't stop anyone else for having a car, driving a car, or enjoying a car.

        Copyright grants control (aka ownership) of a thing for a given amount of time to the creator, to do with as they see fit. They can give it away, they can sell it, they can license it. But control of say a song doesn't mean that they have a monopoly on the music market.

        The whole monopoly thing is a total crock, a falsehood that nobody seems to want to correct.

         

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          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 2:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Holy shit, dude read up. The US Constitution frames copyright as an artificial government imposition negotiated for the promotion of progress in the arts and sciences.

          The entire premise for the copyright/patent clause is that the right to copy, redistribute and modify and and all ideas falls squarely in the public domain. Copyright is a limited lease of the public domain.

          You don't own your copyright. The public rents it to you. The price is the promotion of progress. So your ass better get promotin' or we're gonna evict.

           

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Nit picking

    That is largely a pointless debate, as the cost of executing a “copy file” command is trillionths of a cent – nobody would buy it from anybody, as everybody can do it themselves.

    If that's all you're trying to sell, then yes. But millions of people are happy to pay services like iTunes that provide something additional, like convenience.

     

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      Fickelbra (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:53am

      Re: Nit picking

      And there are also a great number of people who are not happy to pay services like iTunes that in effect are giving you the right of RENTING music and not actually owning it or having the right to do what you want with it.

      Some argue that it is in their Terms of Service, and they are right to that point, but then again I also find it shady and disingenuous that the button says "Buy" in iTunes. Buy and rent are two different words entirely. I would wager the vast majority of iTunes users are also unaware that they essentially have no rights to any of their collection should they die, iTunes go belly up, or any other kind of BS happens in the future regarding Apple.

       

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      Caleb, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

      Re: Nit picking

      I've never understood what convenience iTunes offered. I have over the years tried to help my mother with her iPod, but, since she owns two computers with different music collections, she has never been easily able to keep a complete library on her device, and accidentally plugging it into the wrong computer can delete all of her music if the settings decide to change without warning, as they frequently do after any kind of update.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    In the end it's all about recognizing that digital goods are infinite and monetizing on the real scarcities which may be availability, exclusivity (natural not artificial), connection between fans and artists and so on.

    Copyright should be strictly limited to commercial uses of protected works. Offering a service that allows sharing with virtually no obstacle is not profiting from said works but from the service. Netflix is a good example. It built market share by offering content at sane prices. Now that it is established all it has to do is keep offering good content. And there's clearly a lot of offerings outside the MAFIAA scope.

     

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    NW Barcus, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    What is this "free market" you speak of, and where is it located?

    'Cause if we've learned anything from "the big banks heavily involved in questionable activities that brought the world to the precarious economic conditions we're still living in today" (quoting from the post following this one) it's that the "free market" isn't free, and it isn't self-regulating. Even Greenspan himself has admitted that, though anyone with any insight into human nature surpassing that of a nine-month-old would have recognized that long before "irrational exuberance" (and just plain straight-up financial fraud) managed to loot trillions of dollars and bring the world economy to its knees.

    Appeals to some mythical ideal "free market" are about as realistic as a Bigfoot sighting, and equally credible.

     

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      Jason, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      Fair enough. Forget true free markets.

      I'd settle for a market where the exchange of money worked to improve the mobility of scarce resources instead of putting a hard freeze on ubiquitous ones.

       

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    bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

    See that shirt on your back? The only reason I can't take it is because the government will put me in jail. The car that you're not using right now is going to waste, but the government's laws on property insist that I can't just share it without asking your permission.

    You go on and on about how intellectual property is different, but most of the differences aren't as absolute as you say. Why don't you just take it to an extreme and claim that rape is just a government granted monopoly on our bodies that the government alone gives to us? You probably are willing to bastardize the ideal of a free market by claiming that in a true free market we would be able to have sex with anyone we want whenever we want because the government monopolies on our bodies wouldn't exist.

    Face it. You're misrepresenting the ideal of free markets and few if any people cling to your portrayal. Most of the libertarian folks are big believers in property and believe that giving people ownership brings many benefits. If you want to call it government-granted monopolies, that's your business, but most free market people I know like the benefits no matter what they're called.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:15am

      Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

      You go on and on about how intellectual property is different, but most of the differences aren't as absolute as you say.

      bob, there is a big difference between intellectual property and other properties.

      Property laws came into existence because the majority of society decided that we should settle our differences concerning property through a court system instead of with guns and swords.

      The difference between intellectual property and other properties is that you no longer seem to have that majority backing intellectual property anymore. The proof of that is the fact we are having this discussion at all. If there wasn't a huge swath of the population disregarding intellectual property laws, we wouldn't be talking about this now, would we?

       

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        bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:41am

        Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

        The majority doesn't believe? Just because you read some astroturfing here?

        The same majority-driven legal system that passed the anti-theft laws also passed the intellectual property laws.

        Why don't you go hang out in some bad neighborhoods where they're having a "discussion" about the physical property laws.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          Again falling back on because laws are there it must be right.

           

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          Gwiz (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          The majority doesn't believe? Just because you read some astroturfing here?

          No, bob. Like I said, if there wasn't a large group ignoring intellectual property laws, you wouldn't be here bitching about piracy, would you?


          The same majority-driven legal system that passed the anti-theft laws also passed the intellectual property laws.

          True. Then time has marched on and things have changed. Like Probation. Which was repealed because the majority didn't respect the law.


          Why don't you go hang out in some bad neighborhoods where they're having a "discussion" about the physical property laws.

          I've worked in some of the worst neighborhoods in the US slinging cable, bob. The majority there still believe in physical property laws also, from what I have seen. Yes, you have some punks who don't, but it's by no means the majority. It's the same in the upper class neighborhoods, except the rich punks breaking the law have Mommy & Daddy's 6 figure lawyer to bail them out.

           

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          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 2:19am

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          Laws against theft predated democracy by thousands of years.

          Laws creating copyrights emerged in feudal Europe as a way of giving the crown control over the printing press. The first copyright law didn't give diddly shit to the creator. Only the publisher was awarded a copyright. As well as the right to act like private police on anyone who printed anything unauthorized by the monarchy.

          If you think today's legal system is driven by majority, you're more hopeless than you sound.

          One word: SuperPAC. Did you shudder? You should have crapped your little lemming pants. Majority my ass.

          When the Pirate Bay when down, the European internet saw a 35% drop in traffic. All of the pirates were still reading the news and making their bob-face in online forums (specifically freaking out over it). Incidentally, Sweden's majority had already ruled and their laws allowed them to ignore copyright. It was US pressure that overrode Sweden's democratic position on copyright. You really think you're in the majority on this?

           

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          MahaliaShere (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          No. Why don't you share with us a link to your work? I personally would like to know so I can avoid it in every possible way. I don't want to buy it, download it, stream it, or read it. What's the problem with that? Don't you think I should be able to actively avoid doing business with someone? Or is this what you're truly afraid of--that people will bypass your content completely?

           

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      JEDIDIAH, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:19am

      Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

      > You go on and on about how intellectual property is different,

      Of course it's different. Creative works are not finite. They are not fixed in time and space. They do not obey the limits of physics.

      All of our ancient notions of copyright are based on those material properties of property.

      Artistic megalomania has other problems too. It interferes with other rights that we actually care about and have gone to the trouble to describe as such. IP maximalism attacks things like personal property rights and free speech.

      You can see the examples here daily.

      They say that possession is 9/10ths of the law.

      Well with creative works there isn't any.

       

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        Gwiz (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

        They say that possession is 9/10ths of the law.

        That outdated notion has been updated in the US. We are now up to 9/11ths of the law, which basically says the government can revoke any right they wish too as long as it's to fight terrorism.

        By the way, that saying has roots in an old Scottish saying, but really has not been a significant part of US law (with the most notable exception concerning the Hatfield-McCoy feud).

         

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        bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

        Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

        Sorry. Creative works are finite. You can't snap your fingers and create a new one. It takes hard work to create one and every person working to create the work must obey the laws of physics. They can't work more than 24 hours a day, they can't create sets by snapping their fingers and they can't simply wish things into being.

        All of these things must be paid for. Asking each person who enjoys a copy to kick in their fair share is a reasonable model.

        And bud, IP maximalism protects your free speech-- if you actually go to the trouble of expressing yourself. But it's not free speech to steal someone else's words.

         

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          Modplan (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          Creation of something knew is something scarce and something you can sell. Once created and released, it can be copied easily, cheaply and quickly. Also Bob, asking people to kick in their fair share is a donation. Pretending the modern PC doesn't exist as you use it to download the film and suing people who don't conform to your delusion is called IP maximalism.

          And no Bob, the ability cite, quote, remix or parody are not benefited by IP maximalism. In fact, fair use is the exact opposite of that, y'know, being exceptions to a copyright holders control an' all.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          Asking each person who enjoys a copy to kick in their fair share is a reasonable model.

          Not a bad model, really. We just disagree widely on what a "fair share" is.

           

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          SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          You can't snap your fingers and create a new one.

          Hey check it out I snapped my fingers and made this in 5 seconds!!!

          Don't worry, it's CC-BY-SA you can pirate it all you like!

           

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          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 2:22am

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          "But it's not free speech to steal someone else's bullshit."

          See what happened there?

           

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          Jason, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          "You can't snap your fingers and create a new one."

          Actually, if you install the right software, you can totally do that.

           

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      Ninja (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:23am

      Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

      Fail again bobby? Don't u get tired? None of the examples you gave behave like digital goods, in all cases you deprive the owner of his property. If you could copy the t-shirt AND share then it would be okay. Your example is not about sharing it's about taking away.

      Bobby bobby, the rape example is also not good because the great majority of the people agree that rape is bad and should be punished harshly. Just a hint but sharing files is seen by the majority of the population as a normal and acceptable behavior. If you doubt it just walk around asking people what they think about a guy raping a girl and a guy copying his favorite band cd to give to a girl. I'm fairly sure the reactions will be quite different but I might be mistaken, maybe in your neighborhood ppl think that copying a CD is worse than raping, who knows. A better example would be the Govt forbidding abortion. Then it's the Govt trampling with the women rights over their bodies.

      Most of the libertarian folks are big believers in property and believe that giving people ownership brings many benefits.

      That's because of what has been said ad nauseam: physical properties can be taken away, digital goods can only be copied. And while we are at this property discussion and you seem to love it, why can't I have full control of the DVD I bought? Why should it have copy/region/whatever restriction if it is MY PROPERTY, physically speaking inclusive? You are oh so wise and versed in free market, care to answer me? (now bobby, don't be all slippery as you normally are and address all the points, yes?)

       

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        bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

        Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

        It has nothing to do with copying. You're not wearing any of the shirts in your closet. Why can't I borrow them? Most cars are parked 23 hours a day. Why can't I drive them? A majority of people I know believe that it's okay for someone to loan a shirt or a car to a friend? If I take your car from your driveway while you're sleeping, I'm not depriving you of anything. Heck, you won't even notice that it's gone. I promise I'll have it back before you're gone.

        So why stop with drawing a line between digital and non-digital things? The whole everything-should-be-free vibe works with physical goods too. So why don't you stand by the courage of your convictions and encourage everyone to take anything that's not being used?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          Most cars are parked 23 hours a day. Why can't I drive them?

          Sounds like an awesome idea for a service.

          But you'd probably price the hourly rental at the cost of buying a new car so as to not pillage new car sales and kill the service.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          "It has nothing to do with copying."

          Yes it does.

          "ou're not wearing any of the shirts in your closet. Why can't I borrow them?"

          You can, as long as he lets you. Otherwise, it's theft. Because you are depriving him of a physical product. Meaning he no longer has access to it. The same DOES NOT and WILL NEVER apply to a copy (be it a song, a movie, a t-shirt, or a car... which can now be made using a 3D printer).

          "Most cars are parked 23 hours a day. Why can't I drive them?"

          You can drive them. However, again, if you take it without permission you have deprived the rightful owner of said vehicle. Thus you have committed ACTUAL theft in the eyes of the law, which is a criminal offense and will be prosecuted as such.

          "If I take your car from your driveway while you're sleeping, I'm not depriving you of anything."

          Yes, you are. You may not be depriving him of something with him being aware of it, but he has been deprived nonetheless. (P.S. You suck with analogies.)

          "Heck, you won't even notice that it's gone. I promise I'll have it back before you're gone."

          Promises mean nothing. The law on the matter is that because his car has been taken without his explicit permission then you have committed theft. Even a child taking the family car can be prosecuted for theft, should their parents press charges.

          "So why stop with drawing a line between digital and non-digital things?"

          Because there's a difference.

          "The whole everything-should-be-free vibe works with physical goods too."

          It does work, unfortunately the reality of life isn't as such. Until things change to "it's all free", not all things will be free. And physical products still need to be made, and the production of them is still required. Digital products can be easily reproduced and at marginal cost. That's the big difference. When we can replicate a car at the push of button... then we'll talk about the comparisons you're badly trying to make.

          "So why don't you stand by the courage of your convictions and encourage everyone to take anything that's not being used?"

          blah blah blah.

           

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          Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          " If I take your car from your driveway while you're sleeping, I'm not depriving you of anything. Heck, you won't even notice that it's gone. I promise I'll have it back before you're gone.

          So why stop with drawing a line between digital and non-digital things? The whole everything-should-be-free vibe works with physical goods too. So why don't you stand by the courage of your convictions and encourage everyone to take anything that's not being used?"

          And if I wake up in the middle of the night because of "insert emergency here" or "working hours during the night"...you have now deprived me of my property. It's a scarce physical object that is mine. You have taken something that I own, a physical product that is tangible and takes up space and not allowed me access to it.
          And no, we don't espouse everything-should-be-free. We (or at least I) espouse any digital content should be free. See? You're putting words in our mouths, then arguing against what we DIDN'T say.

           

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          SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          ...Are you really STILL getting physical and digital things mixed up? Of all the things to pretend to be, WHY pretend to be a total twazzock fuckwonder who can't tell the difference between copying/stealing and physical/non-physical?

          Why the fuck do you complain about people stealing your (potential) payment? Whoever's paying you to say this shite's obviously paying you pretty damn well, and NOBODIES stupid enough to try and deprive you of it.

           

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          btrussell (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          "Heck, you won't even notice that it's gone. I promise I'll have it back before you're gone."

          Then, even if charged, it would be joyriding, not theft.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:26am

      Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

      wow, really? Rape this o

       

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:30am

      Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

      You go on and on about how intellectual property is different, but most of the differences aren't as absolute as you say.
      When you can point your replication gun at me and have the shirt on your back while leaving one on mine, then we'll talk. Until then I marked your post funny because there's no "hilarious" button... 2nd inadvertantly funniest post this week. Thanks

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:52am

      Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

      bob, why is it you refuse to understand that property law makes sense when applying to physical objects but not when it comes to ephemeral things like songs and movies?
      Oh and why trot out rape again? If I'm against enforcing copyright, I must be against enforcing laws against rape?
      (here's something you might to want to think about. Two of my sisters were raped. I'm supportive of laws that seek to punish the rapist. I'm also against copyright. In my mind, there is no dichotomy simply because rape and copyright are two completely different concepts.)
      Oh and the only market people you know are the copyright maximilists. They're not free market. Otherwise I would have the freedom to offer content that's sitting on my hard drives for free to anyone I choose.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

        Shit man. And this is one example of why I think bob and his trolly friends should be punched in the nose when they put copyright infringement and rape in the same level. I know a girl that was raped and it's pretty damaging to their mental and physical health. I also think they should stop using the children to advocate their copyright agenda, child abuse is very serious and again not even remotely near the copyright bullshit.

         

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          SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: WRONG-- property itself is a government granted monopoly

          When your problem is the equivalent of spilling a drop of your morning coffee on the floor you've got to hyperbole that SOB to the high heavens to make anyone take you seriously for whining about it.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    The only reason I can't take it is because the government will put me in jail

    But, if you saw me shirt, liked it, but couldnt afford it, I wouldnt put you in jail if you made an exact copy of it and wore it.

    Why don't you just take it to an extreme and claim that rape is just a government granted monopoly on our bodies...

    Why don't we make that claim? Because it's ridiculous, of course.

     

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    Chris Hoeschen, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    You can't legislate morality. When will people get this? Haven't you learned anything from prohibition? If the people don't believe in the law they will work around it.

     

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      bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      Uh, actually you can. What do you think the laws on the books are all about?

      And you're right about people's belief in the law. There are people on Wall Street, in bad neighborhoods and everywhere in between trying to find a way around some law. And what do we do? Do we give up on regulating Wall Street? Do we give up on putting thieves in jail? Do we toss up our hands and utter some platitude about legislating morality? Nope. We usually keep the law and keep putting people in jail.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    This is the difference where media thinks this is money they WOULD be getting if there were no piracy vs. how much money they COULD be getting if they just offered what the willing-to-pay consumer wants.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      And if the media companies think the pirate sites are making so much money off of very little investment (think pirate bay), they, since they are already spending the money to make the film, could easily duplicate the pirate bay, offer their torrents and add more money to the bottom line with very little investment.

      To me it seems like a no brainer.

      Or is it that these sites don't make any money, but you don't want the public to find out thus negating the need to jail and fine so heavily. Therefore, it is no longer an economic problem but that of control more than anything.

       

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    printersMate, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    While copyright worked when it only covered books and other printed matter, it was not necessary to ensure the creation of new works. Some of the most significant literary works were produced without the Authors being protected by copyright, and they include :
    paradise lost John Milton
    The pilgrims progress by John Bunyan
    don Quixote Miquel Cervantes
    The works William Shakespeare
    Copyright was invented by the Printers/Publishers when parliament was eliminating a mandatory licensing scheme for book, which gave the printer/publishers sole rights to the works that they licensed. Copyright was a sleigh of hand, which gave the printers sole rights to the works that they published.
    As many stories on this site show, copyright is not needed for authors and performers to make money. A question mark exists for large budget films, but it may be possible to fund these through kick-starter or the like.
    The MAFIAA believe that they need a long copyright to get a return on their investment, but the real problem is that their members are being made redundant by the Internet, particular in the music industry. Their efforts to deal with piracy via lobbying for laws, pushing for treaty terms that grant them powers to shut down sites and remove content on demand is threatening the Internet as we know it.
    If the MAFIAA gain there desired control over the Internet, financed by the Internet service providers, then very little traffic will move on the net without their say-so. The Internet could be reduced to a shopping channel, and entertainment feed to controlled consumer devices. This will likely include all personal computers and the software that they run. Doing so is the only way that they can gain control over all copies of works that they own the copyright for.
    Given their attempts to block audio and video recorders, they are likely to eventually push for cloud storage only, and try to ban removable media altogether. I can't remember where, but I saw a report that a study showed that removable media accounted for more piracy than the Internet.
    From a cultural perspective, copyright maximalism is based on the mistaken belief that creators of works actually create totally new works. This has never been the case, as they build on and retell stories of the previous generations. Also, culture is a shared experience, and often a participatory experience. This has been partly realized in the mandatory licensing of venues, and for cover works in the music industry. However the greed of the collection agencies is threatening the use of these licenses. They are being priced out of reach of small venues and pubs that provided a space for new band and performers to perfect their art. The Internet also allowed performer to develop, bay allowing distribution of performances, and importantly feedback from listeners.
    Transforming and building on existing works is often the starting point for new authors. An audience is desirable for their development, once they have gained the rudiments of their craft. This can be blocked by excessive use of copyright, especially if a contentid like system is applied to written works.
    Another cultural danger is that works that go out of publication are locked up by copyright terms for a long period, which may be arbitrarily extended by the MAFIAA. This effectively removes works from a culture, and could become landmine for new works, especially when the concept of a derivative work is applied.
    Finally, treaties like ACTA, and TPP, which force strong protectionist measures on other countries are likely to backfire on the USA. This especially applies where it forces the price of knowledge out of reach of the poorer countries. This along with pricing life-saving medicine out of reach can only stir up antagonism towards the USA.
    Technology had changed copyright from a mostly harmless nuisance to dangerous basis for control of the Internet and greatly slowing or preventing development in poorer countries. The major beneficiaries are the publishers, rather than the creators or the public. It should be eliminated as a danger to society because as long as it exists, the publisher will push for stronger laws, and more control over devices and services until they regain control over most of the content available to the public.
    P.S.
    I notice that the discusion is dominated by a the conceot of a business model and I have to ask :
    Does a business model trump fredom of speech, and access to knowledge?

     

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      bob, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      Okay, a few folks wrote some books before copyright existed. Do you know how many books are published these days? Hundreds of thousands a year and most of the authors are hoping that copyright will enable them to make a nice living on their work. Oh, there are a few rich people like the Earl of Oxford cranking out some text, but trust me, Amazon is chock full of books because of copyright.

      You take away copyright and it becomes a rich person's game. Who do you think wrote Shakespeare's plays? Some son of a shopkeeper? I like the Earl of Oxford theory. Back in those days, the rich were the ones who could afford to write plays.

      So go back to your utopian dreams. Why don't you move to Somalia and live without the nasty umbrella of government. See how well that works for you. They're not going to be harshing your cool "sharing" vibe with all of those government created monopolies. Let's see how long you last.

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Do you know what enabled the production of hundreds of thousands of books? Technology, and the people now able and willing to use them. Guess who's been fighting against this technology? The copyright cartel. They have fought every technological advance that makes it easier to create content, tooth and nail.
        Many of the people I am fans of make great use of Youtube and similar video streaming sites for their work. This is a piece of technology that allows anyone to communicate anything (minus child porn of course). This is a piece of technology that is under constant attack by the cartels. Nothing Youtube does is good enough. When it does massive collateral damage (Hugo Awards, DNC), you and your ilk shrug your shoulders and say its alright, as long as your copyrights are 'protected' (they're not, your work is already out there and the damage being caused actually does nothing at all to protect them. Its collateral damage with literally no benefit, to anyone).
        That is why I oppose copyright. Those who embrace it attack everything and everyone that does not bow down to them. For a copyright maximilist such as yourself, societal and technological progress must be retarded if not stopped completely, all for the sake of protecting your copyrights. If the maximilists had their way, the PC and the internet in general would not exist, as they would be deemed infringing devices and vetoed.


        Which is more important, bob? Societal and technological progress...or the enforcement of copyright? You can't have one with the other. You have to choose, and 99.99% of the people on this planet will choose the former.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re:

        So you think copyright and not the technology that broke down the gatekeepers that allows more people to publish is why there are more books published?

        Ridiculous.

        But, hey, maybe I'm prejudging your incredible argument that you must be still formulating and will post soon.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Also...there's plenty of art in somalia....

          People have been making art since the dawn of time. People will always make art. People blowing ink on their hands in caves weren't thinking of copyright, they were thinking of expression. People will always want to express (the slightly more evolved can do so with bringing up rape all the time).

          The only difference is with today's technology more people's expressions can be found. Versus limited to localities or basements.

          To think that no one but the super rich made art in the past is either a very narrow view of art, a lack of knowledge in art history, or a very damning view of humanity.

           

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        printersMate (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re:

        I picked a few examples to illustrate that copyright is not necessary for the production of cultural works. You have not addressed my main point, the danger of copyright to the freedom of speech, and the transmision of ideas reuired for cultural and scientific growth.
        I think that strong copyright is slowly leading to establishing the prerequisites for totalitarian state, an effective mechanism for censoring published information.

         

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        SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Is "move to Somalia" the new catch phrase of the month?

         

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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Meaning of freemarket

    This post depends very much on how you define completely free market. If by free market you mean a completely free market such that there is no government regulation of the market (though there may be laws criminalizing non-market activity such as theft or murder) then you are right that copyright has no place at all since it is a creature created by statute and given form by regulation. Though I'd point out that monopolies can certainly arise in a free market if there are natural barriers to entry and a fair bit of regulation now is about about preventing and regulating monopolies.

    Now, if by free market you mean a market that is largely free and with minimal regulation (we can argue about how much regulation is permitted before we draw the line, but it is clearly distinct from a concept like communism where the state controls most of the means of production) then we can easily accept that a copyright is a reasonable regulation on the market that creates monopolies only on very specific products. After all, it does not give anyone a monopoly on books, only on the specific book to which they created and someone else is free to compete by creating a new book, even a new book on the same topic.

     

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    printersMate (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    I see nobody mentioned the real irony of the MPAA complaining aboout piracy, their members set up in Hollywood so that they could pirate movie technology using film. They did not like paying a license to Edison to use his patents.

     

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    designguybrown (profile), Sep 8th, 2012 @ 6:58pm

    Wake up, you're ALL missing the point

    Frustrating.
    Everyone here tries to claim some kind of moral high ground. BS.
    If you were in the recording industry you would want to preserve your income stream whether you deserve it or not. You are all, likely, living in a rich world country, yet you monopolize the world's wealth rather than redistributing it, spiting the idea that the net happiness of the world would go up.
    The big fallacy of this post and (with all due respect) this blog, is that there seems to be some ridiculous assumption that people in general are good. They're not. They are greedy, lazy, and stupid - and I am one of the worst. But that does not mean they're evil, they are just self-interested (to put it politely) and it is only the position that they find themselves in (luck) that determines how that self-interest manifests itself. So why don't we just throw up our hands and say, what's the point, it's just a slow spiral to the bottom as we fight each other and complain about the government, RIAA, etc. Because, amazingly, there are many industries that realize this and there is even one force out there that not only overcomes this self-interest, but feeds it and is fed by it. So how do you pull anything good out of a society that is made up of greedy, lazy, and stupid people? You play to that in them and then improve the world behind the scenes without them knowing it. And this is what technology has been doing for ever - it is the only reason that we have survived as a society. Technology addresses and even promotes and is even supported by technology. For example - greed? technology increases the income you get by getting more productivity out of any service or product you provide without doing anything (maybe a small upgrade investment). laziness - technology automates many tasks and creates increased productivity for time spent. Stupid - technology removes us from most of the understanding and details of the work we do yet somehow we cant still get ahead - like how our cars work, etc. Just don't' tell people this, let them believe they legitimately worked for it.
    So, its time to get away from this notion that we as copyright violators have some kind of high moral ground - we just happen to find ourselves on the wrong side of the content supply-demand curve (we want and at present do not have) - like most people in african countries.
    So, do the content providers through copyright have some moral high ground in saying what we are doing is wrong - yes. The free distributing of content is removing wealth from the system. Many could argue that this is lining the pockets of the wealthy more than it is being re-distributed. So what? Consumption raises all boats, even if it raises the greedy one's disproportionately more, society in net benefits. Consumption breeds technology which actually gets us to a world worth living in - post-scarcity. But we will not get there by choosing to devalue products. Corporations are under no obligation to be fair and just with their pricing. They don't charge the amount they need plus a profit - they charge as much as the market will bear - they will gouge if possible. And despite this, is this improving the world, of course. As prices go up so does people's desire to make themselves more valuable - work harder, get a raise, get a promotion, start your own business. It is the aggregate value of all the people in the country that matter, because that turns the wheels that push progress. Consume, Innovate. Consume. Innovate. wash and repeat. Soon technology will take us past the need for artificial scarcity, because we will start to be so good at creating our own content. Ding. ding. So don't rag on content providers fro being capitalist evil pigs - beat them at their own game. Get a better job, buy their crap any way, and use it to learn and better yourself and create your own content. Everybody wins. The concept that goes unrealized: everybody wins. However, if you can't' afford the content because you're in the midst of bettering yourself then ok take, but don't pretend what you're is noble. Bottom line point: better yourself first, complain about content providers and copyright second. Takeaway message: more worldwide wealth (read: human career worth) is the end goal -until post-scarcity society, that is.

     

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