Techdirt Gear: Copying Is Not Theft

from the t-shirts-and-more dept

Limited Time Offer:
Support Techdirt & get a Copying Is Not Theft t-shirt, hoodie or mug!

Yesterday, we launched our latest Techdirt gear design: Copying Is Not Theft, available on a variety of products. Men’s and women’s t-shirts are $20, hoodies are only $35, stickers are $4, and this time we’ve added v-necks and long-sleeve tees for $22 and mugs for $14. Help spread the word that whatever people think about copying and piracy, you won’t swallow a false equivalency like “copying is theft”.

Still not sold? Well, perhaps these computer-generated composites of photogenic people wearing the shirt can convince you:

Something cool must be going on over to the left.

Seriously, whatever’s happening to the left must be just spellbinding.

WHAT IS GOING ON OVER THERE?

Also, after being challenged on Twitter, we decided it only makes sense to offer up the design for free as a vector SVG and a high-res PNG, just in case you want to steal copy it.

The Copying Is Not Theft gear is only available until Monday, September 5th so hurry up and order yours today!

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Comments on “Techdirt Gear: Copying Is Not Theft”

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26 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

If I’m a musician playing at a venue, I expect to be paid by my fans who show up to listen to me. If you enjoy listening to me, and I make my living this way, then you will pay me so I can continue to bring you entertaining music.

If only one of my fans show up to my performance and films me, then shares it with the thousands of my fans who would otherwise also come and pay me, then I cannot make a living and bring more entertainment to the world.

I can apply this to many forms of creating content. Please explain to me how this is not theft.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If only one of my fans show up to my performance and films me, then shares it with the thousands of my fans who would otherwise also come and pay me, then I cannot make a living and bring more entertainment to the world.

Hmm. If a recording of you playing is such that it makes others not want to comes see you live, then perhaps there’s a problem with your performance? I don’t know about you, but seeing videos on YouTube of bands and musicians actually inspires me to want to go pay to see them.

I know I’ve discovered many bands that way.

I can apply this to many forms of creating content. Please explain to me how this is not theft.

Theft involves you no longer having something you had before. You still have everything you had before. It is not theft.

“Not being able to make a living” is not theft. If you can’t make a living, it either means (1) that you need to change what you’re doing to get more fans willing to come see you or (2) you’re not that good. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say (2) is false. Thus, it seems that perhaps you should change what you’re doing.

That’s still got nothing to do with theft. It just means you have a marketing challenge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You’re FIRST mistake was for you to be “expecting” to be paid at all!

If that was your sole motivation for being a musician, then really you just shouldn’t be.

For some reason, we as a culture have developed this distorted mindset over the last several decades that everything we do and see and create and imagine needs some sort of compensation.

And don’t give some BS line about if no one got paid, then no one would create. Nothing pisses me off more than to hear people spout that off.

EONS before the concept of copyright and the like – music, art, literature, dance, etc were all being created… not because the artists were “expecting” to be paid, but because of their love of their art and their desire to express it. It is fundamental to how our culture evolved in the first place.

It should be about the passion – and not the paycheck!!

If you’re so upset that someone might appropriate it – then you should keep it to yourself in your mind and don’t bother to express it at all. That way it’s nice and safe!!!

Others will happily take your place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Obscurity is the biggest enemy to getting people to come and listen to you. No one is going to avoid coming to watch you just because they seen a video, quite the opposite, if they haven’t seen the video and they never heard of you they are less likely to come. If they seen the video and like you that’s what’s going to get them to come and see you.

That you must resort to such a twisted view of reality to make your point only demonstrates how little of a point you really have.

Artists have historically made almost no money from record labels, almost all of their money has come from separate activities such as selling merchandise, sponsoring, and touring. To say that people aren’t going to visit your concert because they seen a video of you is ridiculous and shows how weak your argument is, the exact opposite is true.

and to try and equate copying with theft is a pathetic lie and further reinforces your lack of legitimacy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“To say that people aren’t going to visit your concert because they seen a video of you is ridiculous “

No it isn’t. I watch videos because I can do it at home or wherever, on my time,, watch only the parts I like, can skip the rubbish parts, don’t have to park or pay to get there (I would already have internet so that is a sunk cost), don’t have to pay for tickets. I specifically avoid going to concerts, it’s a waste of time and money. I don’t think I’m unique either, occasionally bands appear locally that I might go to see but I can never find anyone else interested even people who have all their published stuff. I agree the musician may have a real problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“No it isn’t.”

Yes it is.

I don’t really go to concerts either but it has little to do with the availability of the content elsewhere like on the Internet.

and even if you’re the one exception you are a very very small small exception to the rule. Hardly makes for a good argument.

“I agree the musician may have a real problem.”

Yes, their biggest problem is obscurity, it has little to do with you not going to watch them because you can see them at home.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Plus you do realize that even before piracy and the Internet musicians hardly ever made their money from things like radio play and CD sales. They always made their money from things like concerts. and the trend is the more CDs that were sold and the more the band got played on the radio the more they can make from concerts.

So you’re wrong. Statistically and empirically so. The fact that the most you can come up with to back your claim is your personal anecdotes shows how wrong you are.

If you were right you would expect the musicians that don’t get plaid on the radio, never sold CDs, and don’t put their music on Youtube to get the most from concerts and by other means because now everyone is forced to see their concert to listen to them since they can’t hear them by any other means. But that’s not the case at all. The opposite is true. The fact that the most you can show to back your opinion is your anecdotal and very illogical opinion shows how lacking your argument is.

Like I said, your argument is ridiculously illogical. Not only that but this isn’t a matter of one unsupported opinion vs another. It’s not a matter of taste. You can’t argue this on the basis of your alleged personal preferences. It’s a matter of my opinion is supported by a ton of empirical evidence and yours is only anecdotal if even that. Your opinion is illogical and the evidence supports the opinion that’s based on good logic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Who is going to sell more tickets. The artist that got 500 youtube hits or the artist that got 500K youtube hits. The artist that doesn’t get his music played on the radio, doesn’t sell CDs, and doesn’t put his music on Youtube or the artist that gets 500K youtube hits and gets his music played on the radio.

This is common sense. Using the logic given by the pro-IP shills around here the artist with 500K youtube hits will not sell out while the obscure artist that no one saw is going to sell out. Their logic is ridiculous on the face of it and the evidence very much backs this fact.

That they must resort to such desperate and baseless hypotheticals to try and make their point shows how lacing their opinion is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If Michael Jackons, the Eagles, or any other famous band didn’t sell CDs and were never on the radio or television do you honestly think that would help/have helped them sell more concert tickets?

Lets look at more modern bands with a strong Youtube presence during a time they toured or still do tour.

Imagine Dragons, 21 pilots, and the Arctic monkeys, with songs in the hundreds of thousands of hits and even over half a billion hits on some (and perhaps billions of hits if you count up all hits across all songs for at least one of those artists if you choose the right one).

Do you honestly think these artists would have been able to sell as many concert tickets if they had

A: Never got played on the radio or on television because they refused

B: Refused to have their music on Youtube

C: Refused to sell their content on CDs or via MP3s (or whatever your favorite downloadable format might be).

Absolutely ridiculous. That you must resort to such a desperate and ridiculous argument to make your point again shows how lacking your point is.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No it isn’t. I watch videos because I can do it at home or wherever, on my time,, watch only the parts I like, can skip the rubbish parts, don’t have to park or pay to get there (I would already have internet so that is a sunk cost), don’t have to pay for tickets. I specifically avoid going to concerts, it’s a waste of time and money. I don’t think I’m unique either, occasionally bands appear locally that I might go to see but I can never find anyone else interested even people who have all their published stuff. I agree the musician may have a real problem.

Yeah, that must be why all those musicians lost all their money when radio played their songs for free and it meant that no one went to their concerts ever, because why would they…

Oh wait. That’s not what happened.

Anyway, based on your attitude, it sounds like you wouldn’t have gone to see this musician NO MATTER WHAT, so it’s not like the internet is influencing you here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Anyway, based on your attitude, it sounds like you wouldn’t have gone to see this musician NO MATTER WHAT, so it’s not like the internet is influencing you here.”

I am saying the internet IS influencing me and I’m the one to know. THIS musician is irrelevant, I’ve gone to concerts in the past but NO LONGER. Same with my spouse (before we ever met, and who has a huge collection of music), same with my kids and their friends. So I am clearly saying that it’s not just me, I know others with this view and who did attend concerts in the past. We’re actually big music fans and ‘consumers’ and afficianados of the whole music scene incl own instruments and buying equipment for literally decades. Shouting at me and calling me illogical isn’t going to change facts. If you want to regard me as an outlier and out-of-date go ahead but I bet you’d have to eat your words if you visited our house and saw our collections. My kids (20s) have stopped going to concerts in the past couple of years, and I’ve never discussed that with them. Attacking the messenger isn’t helping the situation for musicians. I’ve noticed a trend and I’m saying what is my and others direct experience. Bury your head in the sand if you like.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I am saying the internet IS influencing me and I’m the one to know. THIS musician is irrelevant, I’ve gone to concerts in the past but NO LONGER. Same with my spouse (before we ever met, and who has a huge collection of music), same with my kids and their friends. So I am clearly saying that it’s not just me, I know others with this view and who did attend concerts in the past.

Anecdotes are not data. Data shows more and more and more money from more and more and more people attending live shows:

http://www.statista.com/statistics/306065/concert-ticket-sales-revenue-in-north-america/

Shouting at me and calling me illogical isn’t going to change facts.

No one’s shouting. They’re just telling you that your individual experience is not reflected in the wider world.

I’ve noticed a trend and I’m saying what is my and others direct experience. Bury your head in the sand if you like.

Okay!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: So Techdirt has no problem if anyone creates a copy of this site

I love the fact that numerous people seem to think they’ve got the ultimate ‘Gotcha!’ argument with something like this, only to have it fail utterly time and time again.

“Oh yeah, well what if I copied your stuff/site, bet you’d feel different then!”

“Nope, knock yourself out.”

“That’s what I- wait, that’s not what you were supposed to say! Stop going off script!”

Bob (profile) says:

Copying is Not Theft

Even just considering the legal aspect, copying is not theft. It would be classified as infringement if you don’t have the right to copy it which is a totally separate crime than theft. One’s civil, one’s criminal. So the design is accurate, copying. is. not. theft. You may consider this a technicality but if you ever commit a civil crime and get caught, I have a feeling you’d care to make that distinction.

Anonymous Coward says:

>>>If I’m a musician playing at a venue, I expect to be paid by my fans who show up to listen to me. If you enjoy listening to me, and I make my living this way, then you will pay me so I can continue to bring you entertaining music.

If I was that one fan who paid to see you, because I enjoyed listening to you, and as your FAN I recorded your performance and shared it on you tube, even if everyone hated it, I would still be your Fan. I would also still be your Mom and I would pay to see you again next time even if I was the only one there.

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