Modern Art: $5 Million Worth Of Unauthorized Downloads On A Hard Drive On Display

from the can't-be-too-many-songs dept

TheNextWeb has an amusing story about a new art exhibit, called 5 Million Dollars, 1 Terabyte which is, of course, merely a hard drive with some unauthorized downloads on it. There’s apparently a pdf file that lists out what’s on the hard drive, but as with the author of the article, I was unable to get it to open. Of course, given how the industry seems to value “infringement” these days, I would imagine it doesn’t need that many files to reach $5 million.

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Comments on “Modern Art: $5 Million Worth Of Unauthorized Downloads On A Hard Drive On Display”

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Still a Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Total Music Vortex is nigh

When I am doing research-type stuff, CRTL-F is by far my best friend when trying to search multiple electronic copies of books.

I remember that article. *Sigh* Scientific journals. I really wonder where all the money goes that they require.

Scientists (etc) submit papers for free, other scientists then review papers for free, Journal charges money.

Scientists use their submissions and editor status to try and get public or industry (and son on)funding for their research.

I think a UK body is trying to start a more reasonable setup. Unfortunately the current journals have high impact factors/pretty entrenched so it can seriously impede young researchers, with limited (or no) papers to their names, taking a risk submitting to practically unknown journals.

infinidiv (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The Total Music Vortex is nigh

I completely agree on those issues, luckily though the open access community is really growing. I remember talking to some people 1-2 years ago and having them disagree completely with my belief that open access would take off and likely overtake any but the very best journals. Lo and behold PLOS is now one of the biggest and I think their idea of publishing all well done research (in PLOS One and letting the commentaries and ratings decide what is most relevant) is going to replace the old system pretty soon… just have to wait for the non-internet generation to retire 😉

Still a Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The Total Music Vortex is nigh

Wandering over to the PLOS One website. I really like the open source possibility of research, now we just need to get everyone on a “sci-twitter” so people can get answers to experimental problems on the fly 🙂

I have to agree that the non-internet generation do hold up progress (somewhat) with regards to new innovations while select members embrace it wholeheartedly.

I can see social networking etc being particularly important with regards to informing the non-scientific public after different issues. Mostly newspapers and tabloid aren’t really qualified to explain new research, giving a case of Chinese whispers and lowered public trust in the scientific (etc) community.

Werner Van Belle (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 A little rant against open access

I really don’t understand why people need things like ‘open access’. Just publish your own stuff on your own site and keep the bloody copyright. After spending decades _paying_ journals to publish articles, it would be very unwise now to play in their hands again an embrace this ‘open access’ nonsense because now they can take your (or any other open accessed) work and advertise next to it, without your consent. I believe the better strategy for researchers to be:

a- keep the copyright over your own work
b- publish it on your own website. Don’t bother going through journals
c- prohibit the university (state funded body) from asserting intellectual property (so called) rights.

PS: these crude ideas were crystalized after spending 10 years in various research centra and I tell you: there is no hope for universities. They are filled with politics, not with content. They don’t create ideas, they inventorize them (badly) and the egos of the groupleaders are in inverse proportion to their value.

Shane C (profile) says:

Contents of the PDF file.

It opens up fine in Ubuntu’s Document Viewer:


Sorry about the formatting, I tried to align it from the PDF the best I could.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Contents of the PDF file.

Still perplexed on where they get the numbers from. Merely their market value? Certainly most of these must be registered with the copyright office and “worth” 150K per infringement

(and in the case of, say, NES/SNES/GBC/NeoGeo/etc ROMs, old PC games, and so on, the value is questionable because even Nintendo can’t figure out all the license-holders and cut deals with them to get them on Virtual Console, so the market value is more like $0 because nobody’s around to sell OR sue)

egghead (profile) says:

Re: Contents of the PDF file.

My main concern is with the prices of the font collections. $80k for 21GB of fonts, ~$3.72/MB? Of course, Adobe has to top that and have $20k for only about 71MB of fonts, ~$281.69/MB.

It really makes me wonder how those valuations were determined; and if from the companies themselves, it’s no wonder their software has so many unauthorized downloads. Maybe if they would restructure their pricing to reach more consumers, they’d see greater gains.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Contents of the PDF file.

Fonts are big money, and take up very little space.

A random sampling:
Adobe Font Folio 11 $2599.00
Agency Complete Family Pack $900.00
Neue Helvetica Complete Family Pack $961.00
Palatino Sans Complete Family Pack $640.00
Linotype Nautilus Complete Family Pack $670.00
ITC Designer Collection $1,299.00
Benton Sans Complete Family Pack $4,608.00
Ibis Complete Family Pack $2,592.00
Stainless Complete Family Pack $1,152.00

Looking at pricing for fonts, is starting to make me feel like the $699 buy in for Photoshop is a steal. I’ll assume though that the pricing is high because a lot of work went into these fonts, and they don’t sell a ton. Photoshop on the other hand, would sell a TON more if the price was more reasonable.

Alien Bard says:

Re: Re: Re: Contents of the PDF file.

Photoshop usually sells its older versions for a substantial discount just before they discontinue them. They also sell student versions much cheaper. I purchased mine for under $100. I still download and use the newer versions, but despite what the Mafiaa claim I enjoy having the legal version on the shelf and knowing I helped support a good company. If I used it professionally I would upgrade to the newer version as well.As I often tell people it is one of the few programs actually worth the seemingly high price. IMHO.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Contents of the PDF file.

“I still download and use the newer versions”

“I enjoy having the legal version on the shelf and knowing I helped support a good company.”

So helping them, one time, for under $100 justifies you pirating their later, much improved versions?

“If I used it professionally”
I read this line all the time as justification to pirate *Insert expensive software title here*

Then you tell people how it’s worth the high price, yet you didn’t and won’t pay the high price yourself?

I’ve never seen Adobe sell discounted older versions themselves. Each time a new version of something comes out, the old version disappears off of their site. I’m not aware of an Adobe Outlet.

At the same time, I truly do believe the stories about how Adobe tries, but not too hard, to keep piracy at bay. The stories about getting people hooked on it, so that when they (the kids) do finally get jobs in design, they will demand Adobe software to do their job properly.

Hell, I did it with my boss, only I had a legit version at home, and wanted the same thing at work, to do my job properly. Either pirated or legit, I still would have asked my boss to buy it for me at work.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Photoshop Lust

“Photoshop on the other hand, would sell a TON more if the price was more reasonable.”

Why bother paying even $10 for Photoshop? Gimp is free and it has a Linux version. Gimp costs you nothing to try. Get yourself familiar with Gimp and your tragic case of Photoshop lust will be completely cured!

Doug says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Photoshop Lust

Gimp’s interface is absolutely bizarre and a very real hurdle for pretty much everyone I’ve tried to introduce it to. None of my expectations from other graphics programs have translated to it at all; I was pretty much starting from scratch, and I still feel like I only know how to use about 5% of it. I’ve actually spent less time with photoshop than with Gimp but I know how to do way more in photoshop.

Shane C (profile) says:

Contents of the PDF file.

The PDF file opened fine under Ubuntu’s Document Viewer. That was the easy part. Reformatting for here, and getting it past the spam filter was a bit harder.

Imagine there is the appropriate “http colon slash slash” in front of the tinyurl.


Yea, the formatting still sucks, sorry. Best I can do.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Re: Contents of the PDF file.

Fortunately, it’s not yet illegal to be in possession of infringing copies (though I wouldn’t be surprised if it is, if there is intent to distribute).

I’d guess that the artist of this exhibit does not claim to have manufactured the copy/copies within it, e.g. “Some bloke in Marakesh gave it to me as a freebie when I bought a rug”.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Contents of the PDF file.

Fortunately, it’s not yet illegal to be in possession of infringing copies

Of course , if they are held in dynamic RAM, they are re-copied many times every second – so I guess it would technically be illegal.

(Posted just to make clear how nonsensical copyright law is – in the light of modern technology.)

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Contents of the PDF file.

They’ve thought of that one. Ephemeral copies are exempt.

This is why streaming is ok, but sharing is WRONG. Duh?

Of course copyright is nonsensical, but it’s very lucrative if you’re powerful enough to wield it effectively. Trouble is, because it’s lucrative most people think it can be all bad. This is probably why kids aren’t taught the unethical and uneconomic trade-off between monopoly and liberty in high school. Monopolies enrich a few at a hundredfold hidden cost to the majority.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Contents of the PDF file.

Yes, the corporatocratic state is in power at the moment and finds monopolies perfectly sound (though it’s having second thoughts about patent), but human beings (when they’re not busy trying to figure out why handing a $trillion from the taxpayer to the banks, or printing money to do so, is bad) do outclass the state in power terms, and so it’s this majority that needs to be educated, e.g. by TechDirt as to what is in its interest as opposed to that of the corporate state.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Contents of the PDF file.

The properties of the PDF file show it was created on Mac OS X 10.6.7 from Microsoft Excel, probably using some sort of built-in PDF generator (“Mac OS X 10.6.7 Quartz PDFContext”).

I am guessing the artist never even tried to open the PDF file on Windows.

As an aside: “terrabyte”? Really?

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