What's A Bigger Entitlement Mentality? Demanding Old Business Models Must Remain... Or Liking Free Stuff?

from the I'd-go-with-the-former dept

Apparently times are hard over at ECN Magazine. Rather than come up with compelling content to draw people in, its Technical Editor decided to pen the mother of all troll-baiting editorials. NSILMike points us to Jason Lomberg's recent rant on The Internet Entitlement Mentality, which I think may set a record for repeating pretty much every long-debunked fallacy about online content and business models, as well as how it describes those folks who actually understand basic economics, and how free works as part of an economic ecosystem. It's really not worth debunking all those points over again. Honestly, reading it makes me wonder if it's pure satire instead of troll-bait, given the number of old debunked cliches it tosses out. I mean, you name it, it's got it. Unauthorized access is "theft," the publishing and music industries are dying, other business models simply cannot fund stuff, paywalls will solve everything for newspapers, and suing music fans is a reasonable solution. It's all in there.

But as I read it, it again made me wonder which is the real "entitlement mentality"? Is it those who recognize what the technology enables and uses that to better share and spread culture and information? Or is it those who insist that business models should go back to the way things used to be, and that governments should change and enforce laws to prop up those failing business models? It seems like you could make a very strong case that it's the latter position that is the true "entitlement mentality."


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Matt (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    From a Publication that gives away the print version

    What is really funny is that this is in a trade publication that gives away its printed version. Maybe the editor should have talked to the publishing/advertising side first to understand his own companies business model.

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: From a Publication that gives away the print version

    What I've learned from studying authors:
    "It's easier to write prolifically about things you know nothing about. Writing upon topics in which you are an expert surprisingly poses a much greater challenge."

     

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  3.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    from a writer

    Very, very true.

     

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    mrharrysan (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    TAM...?

     

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  5.  
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    mike42 (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Be fair...

    He did say, "print and recording industries" and not "publishing and music industries." You have to give him that much credit.

     

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  6.  
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    Kcinsam Ekim, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Missing the point

    Once again Mike tries to claim that many subjects are proven false when he is just attempting to defend thieves and terrorists that are destroying the fundamentals of capitalism that this country was founded on.

     

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  7.  
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    Michial Thompson, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Couldn't you ask what is more indicative of the true meaning of "entitlement" that your own dribble mikee???

    I mean you are babbling about forcing companies to change their business model to suit your feeling entitled to free whatever?

    When you don't get what you feel entitled to for free you and your cronies just take it and then blame the companies for not bending to your demands...

    Kinda two sides of the same coin in my opinion.

     

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  8.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Well, it's ether the company changes to fit the times and the market or the times and the market change to fit the company. While you, Jason Lomberg, and TAM like to think that changing the world to fit one industry is the correct answer, it's not. And not only is it not the correct answer, it's impossible. So, now the options are change the company to fit the times and market, or fight a losing battle that will take the company down hard.

    You see, we're not trying to get anything for free, we're trying to save a dying industry. Why? I don't know, but there it is. If we really just wanted free stuff, we would let the industry die and have our way, but that's not the case.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Haha...cronies...that's a good one. It's like you actually think there's some huge conspiracy and a single head honcho running this massive "piracy ring".

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Missing the point

    Ooh, ooh, look at all those buzzwords! Are you training to be a politician?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Oh look michiall is dribbling! Hey michiall or is it michiaal or is it michiial, golly, your name is so hard to write properly!

     

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    Sneeje (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    What's dribble? Do you mean drivel, grammar-boy?

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Shhhhhhh, remember Rule #1 of Pirate Club.

     

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  14.  
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    Michial Thompson, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Chronno;

    Your actually quite wrong about what I say. I am all for the MARKET changing how things are done, companies that don't adapt will go away and replacements will come. BUT that gives noone the right to download or take what they are have not paid for as per the owners wishes. In the case of music, you are free not to buy it, but you have no right to download it unless the company wishes it shared that way.

    So basically the company has every right to run their business their way, if you don't like it you don't buy their product. BUT that gives noone the right to just take it by downloading.

     

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    Simon, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    The market has changed, some goods that were scare have become infinite. You wish to artificially try and make them scarce again.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    In Canada a levy is paid on some blank media so it isn't quite true that "you have no right to download it".

     

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    Michial Thompson, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Infinite Goods is a bullshit statement, just because it can be copied gives noone the right let alone the justification to use it in a manner that the owner doesn't wish it used.

    Trying to claim there is no cost for "infinite goods" is about the most rediculous thing I have ever heard as well. Production, marketing and R&D still have costs, and have ALWAYS been the majority of the cost of selling something. The media and distribution process is the smallest cost involved.

    Noone has a right to force their will on anyone or any company. They have the right to consume a person or company's product but to simply take that product because you think their business model should change is wrong.

    So Yes if a company does not want to adapt their business model I am all for making their product scarce. Scarce means that they company makes nothing and will either adapt or go our of business. By pirating a product all you do is give the company reason to use the law to fight back.

    Copyright gives them the right to do what and how they want with what they own. That includes forcing themselves out of business. But infringing on that right only gives them a reason to fight back rather than adapt.

    Maybe if people that pirate used their brains and their wallets instead just taking these companies would get the idea.

     

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  18.  
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    zbeeblebrox, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    I take offense to your horrific abuse of the phrase "two sides of the same coin". Do you even know what that means? Even at its most basic, you at least need to be making a comparison to validate using it, which you're not. At it's most basic.

    Stop using metaphors. You're embarrassing yourself.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    "just because it can be copied gives noone the right let alone the justification to use it in a manner that the owner doesn't wish it used."

    Yikes, someone better tell EA then, since they just made that terrible "Divine Comedy" video game without asking Dante's permission.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We would not want anyone to find out that TAM is the mastermind behind all of the piracy.

     

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  21.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    "Couldn't you ask what is more indicative of the true meaning of "entitlement" that your own dribble mikee???"

    Keyboard Cat haz computter?

    "I mean you are babbling about forcing companies to change their business model to suit your feeling entitled to free whatever?"

    Mike has never to my knowledge advocated copyright infringement or forcing companies to change their business models. If you'd actually read his views you'd know that he has always stayed on the side of not infringing copyright, but merely states that those concerned by the effects of infringement would be better off looking harder for business opportunities than legal opportunities.

    "Kinda two sides of the same coin in my opinion."

    Wasn't that Mike's point? The argument against those 'taking' stuff for free conflicts with the argument against imposing unnecessary restrictions in the first place.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    hey Michial Thompson

    why do you share content? i've been to your house, you're a friendly guy, i read 2000ad on your bog, you gave me a drink, in fact you lent me The Master Baitor. you made me a mix tape before you shagged me. And all these things involved me not giving money to the original creator. I said you were kind, you said sharing was how your gran brough you up. Now i have a subscription to 2000AD, and love Jelly Babies. Funny how that worked out. Crap shag though.

     

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  23.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Sigh. Really? Do you really not understand that no one here is arguing FOR infringement or what you call pirating?

    Once more with feeling... the trend towards file sharing is a MARKET INDICATOR that people want freely sharable content and wish to pay for things other than locked-up content.

    Once those in the business of making money get that, they'll stop investing in lawyers and start investing in convincing ways for people to pay.

     

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  24.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    Trying to claim there is no cost for "infinite goods" is about the most rediculous thing I have ever heard as well. Production, marketing and R&D still have costs, and have ALWAYS been the majority of the cost of selling something. The media and distribution process is the smallest cost involved.

    I'm not sure if you're trolling or really haven't been paying attention. Are you familiar with the difference between fixed costs and marginal costs? Go look those up if you are not. Now realize that all those things you mentioned are fixed costs. The marginal cost of producing and distributing digital goods is zero.

    They have the right to consume a person or company's product but to simply take that product because you think their business model should change is wrong.

    OK, fine, it's wrong. Where does that leave the recording industry? It doesn't change their choices at all. They can adapt to the situation by finding new business models, or they can go legal.

    I wouldn't have a problem with the latter, except that in that process they are trying to trample all sorts of innocent people in many different ways. If all they were doing was prosecuting/persecuting people who had actually broken the law, I would be content to see them ensure their obsolescence and irrelevance by completely alienating all their fans. But that's not how it's going.

    But infringing on that right only gives them a reason to fight back rather than adapt.

    Only if they're stupid. Nobody has yet come up with a scenario where the legal approach actually solves anything. Even if they have every right to do what they're doing, who does it help? Not the artists. Not the fans. Not society as a whole. So far there's no evidence it helps the labels or the RIAA. The only people who clearly benefit are the lawyers. So why would any business choose a path that has proven negative PR effects, costs a lot of money, and has no demonstrable benefit? I have to conclude they're stupid.

    Again, if they want to be stupid that is fine, just don't take the rest of us down with them.

     

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  25.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    "Infinite Goods is a bullshit statement, just because it can be copied gives noone the right let alone the justification to use it in a manner that the owner doesn't wish it used."

    You seem to have things backward, you justify your position and only then ask people to justify theirs. If what you've just said was correct then fair use wouldn't exist and newspapers wouldn't be able to print excerpts from books to review them, for example.

    "Trying to claim there is no cost for "infinite goods" is about the most rediculous thing I have ever heard as well. Production, marketing and R&D still have costs, and have ALWAYS been the majority of the cost of selling something. The media and distribution process is the smallest cost involved."

    Education, training and qualifications are great costs incurred by any lawyer and for the most part they don't expect to be paid more than once for work they've done. The music industry doesn't have to do things so differently to industries that manage without relying on copyright protection. As far as I am aware, if you buy a plant you are not forbidden from using its seeds to grow your own; despite the cost involved in breeding the original.

    "Noone has a right to force their will on anyone or any company. They have the right to consume a person or company's product but to simply take that product because you think their business model should change is wrong."

    Everyone is equal but some are more equal than others?

    "So Yes if a company does not want to adapt their business model I am all for making their product scarce. Scarce means that they company makes nothing and will either adapt or go our of business. By pirating a product all you do is give the company reason to use the law to fight back."

    As is constantly pointed out in the comments here, abiding by the law is a personal choice. If it were not a personal choice then we would likely be stuck with some damn awful laws still. Copyright lost the respect of otherwise law abiding people when it became apparent that no one in power has the slightest idea why copyright was introduced in the first place.

    "Copyright gives them the right to do what and how they want with what they own. That includes forcing themselves out of business. But infringing on that right only gives them a reason to fight back rather than adapt."

    Isn't that the very sense of entitlement Mike is referring to in the article? Why should you be entitled to a law telling me I cannot copy something which does not effect you more than I am entitled to a law telling you that all information must be shared?

    "Maybe if people that pirate used their brains and their wallets instead just taking these companies would get the idea."

    I can't think of a nice way to respond to the jibe about brains so I'll point out that you don't appear to be using yours all that much. Perhaps you could donate it to these mythical pirates who may be able to make more use of it.

    Personally I love spending money on music and all sorts of other things that I can get for free. The notion that people won't pay for stuff just because it is free is reliant on the notion that people don't have a real interest in what they are consuming. Those people aren't worth worrying about because quite frankly I don't want my wallet to compete with people who don't give a crap. If my wallet only had to compete with those interested enough to spend money on music without being coerced, I'd have less pointless pop music to wade through.

     

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  26.  
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    Henry Emrich, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    More idiocy from IP apologist trolls -- why does anybody bother "debating" them anymore?

    1. Do the 11 copyright-term extensions over the last thirty years constitute "the market" changing, or corporate interests MAKING the government change "the market" in their favor?

    Since IP apologists usually believe that they're "entitled" to the monopoly privileges mis-named copy"right" in perpetuity (or for as long a duration as they can buy from their cronies in Government), trying to debate with them is ultimately and completely futile.

    Either start by admitting the fact that the lobbyists for the copy"right" cartels have been "stealing" from the Public Domain every time they buy/bribe their way into a longer copyright term, or fail to do so, and demonstrate that you have absolutely no comprehension of what copy"right" actually is, much less the reasoning that was used to *excuse* it's existence in the first place. (advancing "Science and the useful arts", etc.)

    Also, either admit the difference between physical objects and intellectual "property", or fail to do so, and demonstrate your own willful ignorance. If you can't even understand the simple fact that COPYING something MAKES MORE of that thing, then you're either an idiot, or willfully dishonest.

    Of course, none of them will actually ever *do* any of the above, simply because doing so would fatally undermine every aspect of their misbegotten "thinking" in regard to these topics. Even admitting the EXISTENCE of the "copyright bargain" would require them to stop and consider whether buying longer copyright terms constituted a violation of that bargain.

    Admitting that copy"right" is -- intentionally -- the exception, rather than the rule -- would require them to admit that their all-precious monopoly privileges were *really* not about *them*, but are essentially a "bribe" from government, intended to incentivize creativity *for the benefit of the whole public* --- NOT simply to generate a passive income-stream in perpetuity for their descendants.

    But Y'know what? If they ever admitted *ANY* of those things, they would no longer be able to apologize for the Status Quo, or the multinational corporate "persons" who have BOUGHT our present sorry state of affairs.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's more indicative of entitlement than?

    They have the right to consume a person or company's product but to simply take that product because you think their business model should change is wrong.

    In Canada a levy is paid on some blank media. How is downloading a work wrong, in light of this fact? The Canadian version of the RIAA has collected over $600 million from the levy. But sharing is wrong? And the Canadian version of the RIAA has been accused of profiting from the sale of complilation CDs featuring Canadian artists which the Canadian version of the RIAA says that they'll pay up, eventually, to the tune of $6 billion.

    Which is more wrong?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Re: More idiocy from IP apologist trolls -- why does anybody bother "debating" them anymore?

    Corporate content owners don't give a shit about the public domain.

    But it's them stealers that are the bad guys in all of this.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    Who cares which is bigger. They're both wrong.

    What's really amusing about the argument above is that even if all those "pirates" got together and "voted with their money"...still nothing would change.

    The media conglomerates still make plenty of money off the people who don't care or have more money than sense(this would be like, 99% of the population of the planet).

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:51pm

    Re: More idiocy from IP apologist trolls -- why does anybody bother "debating" them anymore?

    You are obviously trying to make a point, but it is hidden behind all of the rhetoric.

     

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  31.  
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    Mr RC (profile), Jan 28th, 2010 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Missing the point

    If that's what he's really doing... then good on him... maybe people will stop defending the gov't and industry.. uh... I mean THIEVES and TERRORISTS... (cause that's essentially what they are these days)

     

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  32.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 12:34am

    Re:

    "Who cares which is bigger. They're both wrong. "

    I like free stuff. I don't download *unauthorised* free stuff, but I love the free music, movies, books and other content that's given away with the copyright owner's permission. In fact, I quite often choose such products over and above the content that's charged for. Oh, I buy merchandise and hard copies and other things if I like the content, but I don't pay up front if I don't have to.

    Please, tell me what's "wrong" about that?

    "What's really amusing about the argument above is that even if all those "pirates" got together and "voted with their money"...still nothing would change.

    The media conglomerates still make plenty of money off the people who don't care or have more money than sense(this would be like, 99% of the population of the planet)."

    Hmmm... now here's the thing. Your statement assumes that the number of "pirates" who download content is a very small section of the market. If so, why are they then being blamed for destroying the market?

    You also unwittingly suggest one of the points often stated in these arguments - that the "pirates" are also customers. Few people download 100% of the content they consume illegally, and many have been shown to spend *more* on content than they would if they didn't download.

    If these people wouldn't have a negative effect on the industry if they stopped spending money, then how is "piracy" such a big problem? Why should we be changing laws, accepting all the flimsy lawsuits and violations of personal freedom if removing those people would have no net effect on sales?

     

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  33.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 3:11am

    Re: Re:

    I like free stuff. I don't download *unauthorised* free stuff

    Good to see you understand the difference and don't fall into Mike's trap. He knows that the vast majority of P2P and torrents are trading illegal content, and doesn't care. He's too busy trying to paint the content producers as fools to really care that what he really supports is widespread piracy.

    If this was only about legal free stuff, there wouldn't be much of a discussion.

    The problem is that a whole generation is growing up thinking they are entitled to take anything they want for free, without any fear of repercussions. Try to take even a little bit of it away, and they turn into 4chan anonymous mobs and trying to take down anyone who suggests otherwise. It's absolutely stunning to see the level of entitlement these people have.

    The effects aren't entirely felt yet, but in the long run, content production will suffer. Everyone enjoys the content, but fewer and fewer people are truly willing to pay. It's short term gain, long term fail.

     

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  34.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 29th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: More idiocy from IP apologist trolls -- why does anybody bother "debating" them anymore?

    'You are obviously trying to make a point, but it is hidden behind all of the grammar.'

    Fixed that for you.

     

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  35.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Stealing from the public domain

    If not for recent acts of government and market corruption, people interested in getting stuff for free online would not need to violate the law. There would be large amounts of public domain works that could easily overwhelm the current P2P networks. Big Content would be stuck competing with their back catalog all on Pirate Bay and all legal and free.

    This is the result of a single industry having the laws changed to suit them.

    OTOH: Big Content still has to compete with their back catalog once people already have bought their copy.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Stealing from the public domain

    Or illegally downloaded it.

     

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  37.  
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    Henry Emrich, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Exactly

    Answer the question:

    1. Does 11 copyright term-extensions constitute having GOVERNMENT skew "the market" in their favor?

    Yes.

    And Y'know what? That's ultimately the point: TAM and other corporate shills keep trying to spin this as in an issue of whether monopolists (oops, I mean "rights-holders") should get to "authorize" such distribution or not, but given the fact that the monopoly PRIVILEGE of copyright was ALWAYS intended to expire --- NOT be granted in perpetuity -- it follows that those granted such privileges would only be able to "authorize" anything DURING THE PERIOD IN WHICH THE MONOPOLY WAS IN FORCE.

    Expiration of monopoly means you don't get to "authorize" a DAMN THING. That's what the "public Domain" is. You can consider it "unfair" that the State doesn't grant you (or your corporate pay-masters) perpetual monopoly, but that's just too goddamn bad.

    I mean, seriously: 11 extensions in 30 years, the first TEN of which were done in such a way as to keep the very public whose "domain" was being enclosed in the dark? You can't expect ANY even halfway-sensible person to continue taking such monopoly privileges seriously, let alone think they're actually worth preserving.

    The bottom line is: the only persons who ever really benefited from copyright were the multinational corporate "persons" involved in the publishing and recording "industries".

    Ten term-extensions before the FIRST one even expired? Bullshit.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Exactly

    Eleven (11) extensions of copyright terms since 1976?

    Citation?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The problem is that a whole generation is growing up thinking they are entitled to take anything they want for free.."

    A whole generation eh? Is it like something out of Dawn of the Dead? Like, the whole world over, there's kids roaming the cities and towns in packs taking everything, stripping whole continents clean of products like a swarm of piranhas with legs. Noone can teach them the truth! Noone can control them! ARE THEY EVEN HUMAN??????

    The only word that can possibly be used to describe anyone who believes that EVERY SINGLE CHILD is growing up thinking they can grab everything for free is... dickhead.

     

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