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peopleagainstheft

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  • Apr 16th, 2014 @ 4:30pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think cars are too expensive, so i'm just going to take one. Seriously - if you think GoT is too expensive - don't watch! It's not one of the basic necessities of life. If the HBO bundle is too expensive - people won't take it - and HBO goes out of business or drops its price. But the whole premise here is that stealing is ok if you don't like the price. How can a market work like that?

  • Jan 18th, 2014 @ 2:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    Mike you are missing the point about "property" - which to lawyers does not involve "tangibility" (you have a property right in your bank account - it's not tangible). Indeed, money itself is "artificially scarce". In copyright you can own the copy, but not the right to make new copies. A book is a good example - so the right to make copies is "scarce" and therefore has value. The market decides that value - if a million people will pay $1.00 for an ebook version, that's worth a lot of money.
    For those confused about innovation - remember that ONLY the innovation is compensated. The Beatles sang Buddy Holly songs - but if you want Buddy Holly, instead of their version, they don't have a right to get paid. The value is in the addition only. Lord Kames would have benefit from over 200 years of development in practical development by economists and lawyers.

  • Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:05pm

    Cast logic aside!

    Mike, have you ever studied logic? Just because total box office went up doesn't mean box office (and home video) wouldn't be higher without piracy. Studio revenues are affected by a lot of things - you're only isolating one input. The GDP of the united states is growing even though there are burglaries . . . does that mean burglaries are not a problem that should be addressed? Dumb argument.
    And the studios did not stand in the way of home entertainment - that's another piece of the mythology. The studios objected to the inclusion of a time-operated recorder in conjunction with a playback device. Turned out no one bothered to program their VCRs anyway because the technology was awful, and they were used as playback devices, which is what the studios wanted anyway.
    Why don't people on this site check your facts or your logic?

  • Aug 6th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    (untitled comment)

    A majority of people surveyed believe you can increase government spending and cut taxes at the same time. A majority also probably believe in santa claus. Free stuff is always popular - right until it disappears because no one makes it anymore. What happens when ad blockers eliminate the economics of google and facebook?

  • Apr 11th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    So True

  • Jan 17th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    fun but stupid

    Typical argument - state a premise that the other side actually wouldn't make, and then attack your own premise as stupid. In fact, artists are saying "if you want to make movies at home, great! If you want to start your own restaurant, great! Just don't ask me to do all the work for you and then claim you have a right to what I did! You didn't slave away in the kitchen - you're just stealing food and telling me i should be happy."

    The movie industry is saying don't take food from restaurants without paying for it.

    Should chefs work for free? (you aren't saying that chefs are only in it for the money are you??) Or do you just have the superceding "right" to have someone make your dinner for you? If you don't like the terms to watch movies, then go out and make one of your own.

  • Jan 17th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    fun but stupid

    Typical argument - state a premise that the other side actually wouldn't make, and then attack your own premise as stupid. In fact, artists are saying "if you want to make movies at home, great! If you want to start your own restaurant, great! Just don't ask me to do all the work for you and then claim you have a right to what I did! You didn't slave away in the kitchen - you're just stealing food and telling me i should be happy."

    The movie industry is saying don't take food from restaurants without paying for it.

    Should chefs work for free? (you aren't saying that chefs are only in it for the money are you??) Or do you just have the superceding "right" to have someone make your dinner for you? If you don't like the terms to watch movies, then go out and make one of your own.

  • Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:05am

    really - the internet is bigger than content

    That's the best you can do? by that standard GM is bigger than you so let them have all your money. "Rights" are about protecting everyone - powerful or not. Balance is about having respect for individuals as well as the bigger picture. The slave trade was bigger than any one individual - so it should trump the rights of individuals? Yikes!

    And the more movies/less movies item is equally absurd. It's fantastic that low cost movies are being distributed that could never be economically distributed before. But people spent $50 million to see wreck-it Ralph notwithstanding. The internet should allow BOTH - big and low budget - and let people invest in content if people want to see it. Lack of IP protection prevents that investment and ONLY the low budget survives. Artists want an internet that encourages both - not ONLY free, but also supports commerce between willing ticket-buyers and willing producers that's not destroyed by the everything MUST be free folks. That's a stronger network, not a weaker one, and one that's more powerful for everyone, not one that grows by sucking the lifeblood out of creators for the sole benefit of consumers.

  • Oct 29th, 2012 @ 7:09am

    (untitled comment)

    Most of these "insightful" comments miss the point entirely. In order to sculpt the moon, for example, you need to find people who want to pay you for that. Copyright doesn't give you money - the desires of people to pay you for your work give you money. All copyright does is let you license it to willing buyers. So, as to the $100 million movie, if no one wanted to go, copyright doesn't make them. And lots of movies fail. But if people do want to see, say James Bond, failure of copyright will keep that from happening.

    As to Leibowitz's comments - again you are disregarding all the important distinctions. Copyright is not all about "stronger" vs. "weaker" except in slogans. Leibowitz might say, for example, that fair use ought to be broader in some areas, or copyright term should be shorter. But he also believes, strongly, in enforcing the core right of creators to control copying and distribution of their works, because that is how the free market decides whether their works are valuable.

  • Oct 27th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    (untitled comment)

    David - they are and that's why your example doesn't make any sense. If you copy something that you don't have the right to copy, you are interfering with the exclusive right of someone else - just as if you wrongfully entered your neighbor's house and watched television for a week, or borrowed their car. All of them are "trespass" or "theft" under the law - interference with property.

    abc - actually copyright protects limited rights, such as the right to make a copy or first distribution. It generally doesn't make the act of distributing a copy illegal if no copies are made and therefore there is no theft. However, "file sharing" is often about making lots of copies and so isn't secondary distribution. People do talk about "digital first sale" - where the original disappears when the copy is sold, and there are a lot of people who like the idea. If the technology could be made to work so that only the original is shared (or online, a new copy is made and the old one deleted) - it might well be consistent with the rights conferred by copyright. By the way, all property has limits. You can't build a munitions plan in your house, for example, and in some neighborhoods, you even have to build something the neighbors think attractive. That's not unique to copyright.

  • Oct 27th, 2012 @ 7:06am

    (untitled comment)

    That's a giant leap, Michael. The MPAA and RIAA (and the directors guild, the songwriters association, the AFL-CIO, etc) start from wanting an internet where obvious and eggregious theft is not allowed. I don't know if they want to control the internet - but no one would ever let them - but how do you defend, say, kim dot com or the pirate bay in kim's case trying to download all of YouTube so he can sell ads, telling people that he is taking stuff down when he isn't? The pirate bay just ignores (or thumbs its private parts) at takedowns. So we just need a way to get rid of dirtbags while protecting reasonable privacy - just like we do offline where a court can order a wiretap on the mafia but can't do it without reasonable cause? As you say, the problem is not copyright, it's finding its reasonable limits so it's not abused, but still works.

  • Oct 27th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    (untitled comment)

    Real Michael - actually, um, we do put policemen on the street to protect your house, your car. We have courts to protect your private property and your bank account and your right to get paid on payday. It's called the rule of law and it's why the United States is not, say, Somalia. It also works because most people are respectful of others rights, so you don't have to have a policemen in everyone's house. Why do you rail against copyright maximalists - maybe some exist but I haven't seen any. Let's see what you have to say about "copyright middle of the roaders" who just think copyright of reasonable extent ought to be respected?

  • Oct 27th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    (untitled comment)

    Geez . .. by that logic, Mike everything should be free so there is more money for everything else. Mercantilism is the OPPOSITE of copyright, sir. The point is that private property creates the underlying rights needed for investment and competition - and then the marketplace does its ruthless work. creators (not the creative industries . . . think movie makers, writers, journalists, etc etc) invest their time, and in some cases their lives, to making things without any knowledge of how they will be received . . . and then normal people decide if they are good or not or whether they are worth the money. It's telling that the solution proferred to life without copyrighted is a compulsory license or government funding and THAT is mercantilism. I want to know how this professor - who apparently never read an economics 100 text - decides that music now is better, or ignores film, television, newsgathering, and all the other arts that depend on both (a) functioning free markets and (b) the natural right of a human being, even an artist, to decide how his or her work should be exploited by the world.

    On the question of "theft" - you misunderstand the concept. Theft of a car has to do with taking your exclusive right to use and sell your car . . . not the physical thing. So, too, illegal copying interferes with a persons exclusive right and is entitled to be called theft.

  • Sep 18th, 2012 @ 6:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    This is nuts. Remember that copyright is how artists and journalists and artists and writers get paid. Censorship is when you cut off how artists and writers get paid - somehow thinking that someone's desire to hit "forward" or avoid paying $0.99 for a track trumps someone's 10,000 hours of practice and years of hard work to create something for all of us to enjoy. But if you actually understand that, then you say "ok, nothing's perfect, but let's try some stuff that's reasonable and deters piracy." The slippery slope argument has been so overused it's akin to saying we should ban matches because someone might light a house on fire. How about saying that making piracy just a little more difficult is not a bad step, but we should guard against it going too far.

  • Apr 8th, 2012 @ 5:58am

    (untitled comment)

    it's hard to imagine lawmakers stepping in - the rule is in a good place (although there will probably be litigation interpreting the opinion). The point is that under the rule YouTube tried to push - a site operator could say "we need someone to post the following six movies to fill our our portfolio" and still claim the safe harbor. Now the court is allowed to see if a site operator's conduct went beyond just operating a site to actively encouraging infringement. It's the same line that a hardware store crosses when it gives hammers to a customer to go break the windows of a competitor - not every sale of a hammer is a neutral act, you have to look a little further to see what else was done.

  • Apr 8th, 2012 @ 5:58am

    (untitled comment)

    it's hard to imagine lawmakers stepping in - the rule is in a good place (although there will probably be litigation interpreting the opinion). The point is that under the rule YouTube tried to push - a site operator could say "we need someone to post the following six movies to fill our our portfolio" and still claim the safe harbor. Now the court is allowed to see if a site operator's conduct went beyond just operating a site to actively encouraging infringement. It's the same line that a hardware store crosses when it gives hammers to a customer to go break the windows of a competitor - not every sale of a hammer is a neutral act, you have to look a little further to see what else was done.

  • Apr 7th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    what you're missing

    Actually, Viacom arguement that if you can prove that a site operator is intentionally inducing content (so called Grokster inducement) you must have "knowledge" was adopted with three variations - none of which should matter in practice. First the knowledge requirement now has an objective component (what someone reasonably should know), willful blindness has been expressly incorporated into the law (you can have knowledge if you intentionally try to avoide knowing about copyrigth infringement) , and the requirement that there be no financial benefit/right and ability to control can be satisfied by grokster inducement (Google and the judge argued that specific knowledge of specific infringement was required). These are not "copyright maximalist" kinds of arguments - the law has now moved sensibly to the middle (which is all Viacom wanted) - neutral service providers are safe, but if there is strong evidence of a business model built on infringement (say, MegaVideo or early YouTube), then there is liability. If you believe the creators are entitled to any practical protection at all under copyright, that's a pretty reasonable test.

  • Jan 10th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    (untitled comment)

    This is the problem when copyright gets reduced to soundbites. Ask any jazz musician whether they can play the work of Jelly Roll Morton - and of course the answer is "of course". Performance rights are generally subject to blanket licenses in the US and virtually every performance hall and jukebox has an ASCAP & BMI license; recording licenses are similarly easily available as "mechanicals" - also by compulsory license. The only thing NOT easily available in music would be the actual recording - but of course, those are easy to find for low rates, too (no incremental cost if you have Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, or pay to own on itunes, amazon). So exactly HOW is the culture being harmed? Why shouldn't the heirs of the founder of jazz receive their royalties when we enjoy his masterful work?

  • Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Moral Panic

    Moral panic is a polemical screed. Patry was a good scholar until then. Read piracy by Adrian johns or free ride by Robert Levine.

  • Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    It is true that metaphors matter, but the nonrivalrous good concept (you still have it when I take it) and the "monopoly" concept are both uses that discriminate against creators. Take "monopoly" which brings up images of AT&T and google. The right term is "exclusive right". You have an exclusive right to your post under copyright law, but I don't think ou are a "monopolist". Similarly with the "nonrivalrous good" concept Larsson misuses. It simply is beside the point. For example, if i take your car tonight and return it tomorrow, you still have it, but I've violated your exclusive right to drive your car. The point is that all property rights are about a bundle of rights (the right to sell your car, to drive it, to modify it, and so on) not about the physical object. So it is with expression -- the person who creates it is given the right to decide what to do with it, and interference is a violation of that exclusive right. If that interference is the meaning of "theft" than an unauthorized transmission of your work is just as much theft as interference with your right to decide what to do with your stuff.

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