It's Not About 'Free,' It's About Sharing

from the that's-how-it-works dept

Rick Falkvinge takes on the standard claim that file sharing is all about "just getting stuff for free," by arguing that the 'free' part frames the discussion totally incorrectly. Instead, he notes, it's all about sharing, and was never about the money. He explains by analogy:
In a future where the Earth has been poisoned to an extent where the water is a health hazard, cleanup efforts have been ongoing for a long time. For health reasons, there are laws that people may only drink the water from a particular company, Waterisnew, which enjoys a monopoly on water supply — and know to charge for it, too.

Then, one day, nature’s water is announced clean by scientists. But the laws are still in place. People rush out into the forest and drink from rivers, despite the fact that it breaks laws and Waterisnew’s monopoly.

Executives at Waterisnew are furious that people dare break their monopoly. Somebody asks, cautiously, if the price of water may be wrong? Could there be a business failure involved? If they charged less for the water, then maybe people would stop pirate-drinking water from clean rivers and go back to legal alternatives?

As illustrated, the question misses the point entirely. Just as the water had become decommercialized, so has making copies of bitpatterns.

People don’t copy because of a price tag somewhere else, entirely regardless of what that price tag says. People copy because they can, because it is associated with freedom and because it is in human nature to share
In fact, he points to some very interesting research on why people share, and it comes down to a simple point: it's human nature to share content. It doesn't actually cost anything and it builds a relationship and cultural bond with others. If you look at the reasons that people share, it's the reasons why people do all sorts of things: to connect with others, to entertain others, to "define" ourselves, to spread information, etc. Information has become a tool, not a product, and that's difficult for those who are used to selling it as a product to grasp.


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  1.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:06am

    To understand why people keep doing the thieving is obviously to anyone who ever bothered to look around, only executives and lawyers need research to understand why sharing is there and they probably need another one spelling out the why it will never stop.

    Probably because those people live in a world of their own in lalaland. Completely disconnected from reality and groups of people.

    They are trying to find a way to stop all the "thieving" which can't be stopped because to stop sharing is to stop humanity and all it has accomplished, but that is just a detail "it can be controlled" they say, "We will show you that it can" they keep saying, "Because the LAW".

    The law, funny word, it means nothing if you don't get society to respect it, specially when it is a law that no one, absolutely, completely no one respect it in all cultures, genders, age groups and religions, nobody respect that law, then it is obviously not a problem with the people that is a problem with whomever came up with that crazy rule and didn't bother to consult others about it, to see if they would agree to it.

     

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    Frost (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Cost and money is a hallucination we've invented over time that has very little if any connection to real world values. Virtually all the problems we discuss on a daily basis - pollution, patents, copyright related dreck and so on - are only money-system generated problems, not reality related ones.

    People would still create art even if they weren't paid to do so. They would still grow food. They would still play music. If anything, they would do more of those things if they weren't forced to spend their days standing in a McDonalds flipping burgers instead. We could easily meet everyone's needs in society today without making everyone wage slaves to "earn" it, and as a result we would even do away with virtually all the problems of the day - pollution, poverty, starvation, war and certainly there would be no more of these idiotic entirely man made "financial crisis situations" like the upcoming second great depression.

     

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    John Doe, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:25am

    It is not about free, it is about value

    I love music, but I don't value it enough to pay $1 or more per song. Especially considering there are literally many thousands of songs out there from the last 3 to 4 decades that I would like to have. Then throw in the movies and ebooks and the ole entertainment budget is stretched pretty thin. Additionally, most of the songs, movies and books have been around for a long time and people have made money off them over and over so to release them cheaply (or freely) into the digital world should be a no brainer.

     

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    Richard (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:26am

    Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    I recall Douglas Adams:

    “This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.” (Adams, “Prologue”, _Hitchhiker’s_, 1)."

     

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    Mr. Feasible, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    Sharing?

    I'm coming over to share your property. Make sure the door's open.

     

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    hobo, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Sharing?

    Property vs. ideas.

    Rivalrous vs. non-rivalrous.

    Physical vs. string of 1s and 0s held in a file on a computer.

     

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  7.  
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    John Doe, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Sharing?

    That is the problem with the way content creators think. They think that digital copies of their work is somehow still theirs. That somehow they get control over every copy of everything they ever do. I just wonder how much control they have over every other aspect of their life that gives them the idea they should have this kind of control over their IP? Are content creators control freaks by nature?

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    I'm sensing a trend inside America, companies keep pushing the bounds of the ridiculousness and people keep running from them, then the companies act all surprised when things turns from the garden of Eden to Fukushima wasteland.

    Quote:
    In the course of a year or two, Moffett has gone from insisting that cord cutters were an urban myth, to admitting there's a "perfect storm" brewing where rate-hike-weary users will be looking for cheaper options. One thing that Moffett has been right about (mostly thanks to wishful thinking) is the fact that as these losses grow, ISPs are going to start pushing harder on metering broadband (low caps, high per byte overages) in order to deliver investors the kind of growth they're used to. These price hikes aren't tied to any real cost of delivering service, but will simply be imposed to both cash in on -- and impede -- Internet video's growth.

    Source: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Mythical-Cord-Cutters-Make-Their-Presence-Felt-115615

     

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    hobo, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Sharing?

    I think the nature of the system provides a multiplying effect. Regardless of how one is by nature, if you grow up surrounded by constant fear and worry, it can be difficult to be calm and stable as one gets older.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    That's why The Rich do "charity"; they get public relations benefits, but they do NOT "give until it hurts". And write it off on taxes, anyway.

    But it's particularly easy to give away what belongs to someone else, and no matter how you try to finesse the point, "content" DOES belong to someone else, it AIN'T YOURS.

    I'm beginning to find your arguments quite flawed and stated practices (in the comments) reprehensible. I've always said and still hold that file sharing is justified by prices being so out of line (decades old material appeals to me) and copyright having been illegally lengthened, YET I can no longer "share" /new/ and /recent/ content with clear conscience. Fortunately, there's nothing current that I even bother with even for "free".

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    All analogies stink, especially when sheer fiction.

    "n a future where the Earth has been poisoned..."

    People, especially politicians and preachers, make those up to "prove" exactly what they wish to. Flaw is that it's easy to counter with another crafted "example". Horribly stupid practice, proves you're only loosely connected to reality.

     

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    Rob Stuart (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Sharing?

    Content creators are people, like you and I. Unfortunately, our traditional system raises people to expect total control of their work.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:27am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Open source says otherwise it is perfectly moral and justified to take content, distribute it, modify it and even sell it, it is to everybody to everybody.

    The concept of ownership of imaginary content is the very thing that it is unconscionable and immoral.

    So no I can share NEW and RECENT content with a clear conscience and I will sleep like a baby too.

    Things I wouldn't do is to take a physical product from a store, try to get in without paying for a concert or theatrical show, but to distribute books, movies and music?

    I have zero problems with it, well not zero, people should stop consuming the crap from crazy people and start consuming the crap from people who will not have a problem with that kind of behavior.

     

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    Rob Stuart (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Re:

    The flip side is ISP's and companies providing data delivery are in for a huge devaluing a la AT&T's collapse in the telephone market. The services they provide are not fundamentally worth the value (data) they provide in return.

     

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    John Doe, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    no matter how you try to finesse the point, "content" DOES belong to someone else, it AIN'T YOURS

    I've always said and still hold that file sharing is justified by prices being so out of line (decades old material appeals to me) and copyright having been illegally lengthened

    Contradict yourself much? First you say content is not ours to share, then you say you don't mind sharing some content because you can justify it to yourself. So if you can draw the line where you want to, why can't the rest of us draw the line where we want to?

    For full disclosure, I don't pirate anything, not music, movies, software, books, etc. But I do agree that copyright has been stretched way beyond the bounds of reasonableness and do not blame people for pirating as a form of protest.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    I dare you to live without it. You would fail.

     

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    darryl, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Really Mike, scraping the bottom of the barrell much ?

    Do you or anyone else HONESTLY think that is what would happen if it was the case that there was only one supplier of water ?

    Do you unstatand that almost that exact senario has allready been played out, many times throughout history?

    Do you know or have ANY IDEA of what happens what that type of thing occurres ?

    Do you think peope share ? do you think they say "yes, I do not have enough water for myself, but here is some anyway, it is not enough to keep us both alive so we can share and both die, or I can keep my share and live".

    It always boils down to one thing, who has the biggest club, gun, knife or army who gets the limited resource and the one without the ability to defend themselves get NOTHING.

    Are people going to die if they do not get to share some movies or songs ?

    Will people die a slow death from starvation because their friends did not let them share acertain song ?

    Sometimes (most of the time), I have to question your grip on reality Mike.. as it appears logic or history have no meaning to you, as long as you can provide examples to enforce your own particular bias, and socialist adgenda.

    You would do far better if you were not so clearly biased and jaded and actually presented realistic comment that relates to the real world, and not some dream world you want to try to convey to your equally uninformed readers (mostly) who hang off your every word.

    this argument is so weak, I do not understand how you can repeat it. except that it speaks of your attitude, and lack of grip on reality.

    By your logic, if my house catches on fire the best thing I could do would be to set the house next on fire and that will mean I get a quicker response from the fire brigade !!

    The more fires you set, the more it will 'help' the community, and think of the great increase in employment you would achieve, house builders, fire fighters, insurance assessors, doctors and hospitles and funeral homes (I sure some of the houses you light up will have people in them).

    Lets convert that analogy from water to oil, what happens then, thats right the person or group (or country) with the biggest resources will come and TAKE IT.

    It wont be about laws or morals or what is right or wrong or what is best for society. It will be the biggest and nastiest group that will take it all.

    But you (should) be aware of this Mike, and if not I have to again question your grip on reality. Perhaps you should take a long break from TechDirt, and get out of the basement and experience what the real world is like.

    Then come back, and talk reality, you would gain far more respect, and your comments and articles would carry a great deal more authority and power. You opinion might even gain some respect !!!!!!

    Or you can keep doing what you do every day, live on google and as your web site correctly states dig up pointless and meaningless dirt.

    It is of course possible that you are here simply because this place is the only place for you to operate, it appears clear you are unskilled in well any field, and do not actually DO anything for a living.

    You write dirt and hope for some kickbacks from google, or the flogging of the occassional crystal ball !

    Get a real job Mike, even for awile... if you can considering the massive unemployment you have at present and your attitude you would rarly get past the first interview stage for a 'real' job.

    It really does show you are incapable of talking from experience, the only experience you can talk about is others that you dig up on Google ! second or third hand at that.

    it least you are a constant source of amusement, and a reflection of the 'American' attitude of "what is mine is mine, and what is your's is mine too".

    No wonder your once great country has gone to shit !
    With all your precious jobs going to other countries, all your precious IP and skills being closed down or going to other countries and living off the borrowings of those very same countries !

    You cannot work out that is a formula for disaster ? that is occurring RIGHT FREAKING NOW !!

    10% unemployment $14+ trillion dollars in dept and Mike is worried about who can download the latest lady Ga Ga song, and things he has a grip on reality :)

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    About sharing, you be wrong about your assumptions.
    Most if not all predators in nature that are lone wolfs didn't survive in history, from pre-historic monsters to today modern animals, the fact is cooperation is needed to survive, that is why you see wolfs, elephants, primates, gazelles, lions and other animals forming groups and those that form groups are a larger part of the eco-system than those that don't.

    Cooperation costs less in terms of energy and resources and it benefits the group as a whole more than if they did not, which is the contrary to what monopolies with imaginary boundaries that no one can agree on and creates so many different views of it, is.

     

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    alex (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: All analogies stink, especially when sheer fiction.

    I agree with you completely.

    "Let me illustrate by way of an analogy of a made-up situation where the bad guys in my story hold an oppressive monopoly on drinking water."

    ffs

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    That strengthens mike's point actually. Water is limited in supply, created content has no such limits. Meaning I'm not out of anything if I share a bit of code I've written.

    Also, if you'd bother to read mike's posts you'd see that he does have a real job.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    "it's particularly easy to give away what belongs to someone else"

    I share things I own too.

    ""content" DOES belong to someone else, it AIN'T YOURS"

    No matter how people try to pretend otherwise, it is when I buy it. Or at least, the copy I bought does.

    "I'm beginning to find your arguments quite flawed and stated practices (in the comments) reprehensible"

    Look in the mirror, most of us feel the same way about your half-assed points.

    "file sharing is justified by prices being so out of line"

    That's part of the justification by those who do it, but a long way from the whole argument.

    "copyright having been illegally lengthened"

    Sadly, it is legal. Morally unjustified and counter-productive, but legal.

    "I can no longer "share" /new/ and /recent/ content with clear conscience"

    Define "new" and "recent". What's the cut-off point in your eyes? 5 years? 10? 20? What if someone thinks the way you do but shares content over 2 years old because it's no longer recent in their eyes?

    "Fortunately, there's nothing current that I even bother with even for "free""

    Our tastes differ then. Or, perhaps, you keep company who feel the same way about sharing and you haven't discovered things you like because nobody shared it with you...

    Either way, that's no reason to ignore the faults in the system, nor write off the opinions of those who don't.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    ..and again the "I like corporate content so you *must* and there's no possible alternative anyone could like". Idiot.

     

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    darryl, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    tell that to openoffice.org, or bitkeeper or anything from google. And the thousands of other projects and great OSS concepts that went nowhere.

    What about RH ES ? and the vast amount of highly proprietary software that is used commercially on Unix/linux systmes ? (SQL ring any bells ?)

    as far as OSS is concerned ONE person OWN all of it, according to him, that is Richard Stallman.

    (appart from the large group of others who own their little bits of oss code as well).

    It is also very nice that you have a level of crime you will commit and not commit, I guess murder is out as well, but how about just stabbing someone?

    would you be happy if someone told you the ending of a movie you are waiting to see? he is just sharing after all!

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Without what?

    Music?
    Done.
    I found Jamendo.
    13 years without "buying" anything and the only reason I rip a CD today is because of the wife, which likes music I don't find appealing.

    Movies?
    Done.
    I found open movies, have you tried MIRO it can do searches based on licenses, is that great or what? Have you watched Sintel?

    Besides I do have over the air TV, so I can watch the reruns. I'm to old to go to the theater it annoys me because there is nobody there, there are no noise, there is no texture it is not fun anymore.

    Books?
    Done.
    I found Project Gutenberg.
    You will be amazed on how much people copy from the old books, almost everything you can read today was written by someone in the past.

    What else you think I can't live without it?

    LoL

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Plus, of course, the entire point was a direct quote from someone else. I love the fact that the regular morons round here always attack Mike even when someone else clearly said the thing they're criticising.

    "10% unemployment $14+ trillion dollars in dept and Mike is worried about who can download the latest lady Ga Ga song, and things he has a grip on reality :)"

    ...and here darryl is attacking Mike instead of worrying about those things. Why don't you go out there and create some jobs instead of writing barely legible rants, darryl?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    The flip side is ISP's and companies providing data delivery are in for a huge devaluing

    Not if they realize the business they are truly in (providing communication/access service) and work to make it both profitable for them and of value to the users at reasonable prices.

    I admit, the chance is slim, but some might figure it out before the next disruptive company who really understands comes along and wipes them out.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Sharing?

    The bits are mine...I can arrange them any way I please.

     

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    darryl, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    yes was a great book, but have you considered the four factor test for fair use of his works :)

    Mr Adams might come after you for his royalities !!!!

    Just say it is for educational purposes......

    (he might even send the bill to Mike !!)..

     

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  29.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    You realize that everything you said basically boils down to: it's expensive, but I want it anyway?

     

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    jason, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    (he might even send the bill to Mike !!)..

    Somewhat unlikely, since he's DEAD.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    What about pirating as a form of convenience?

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    SQL produced by IBM to be a proprietary product?
    Or you are referring to MySQL the open source implementation sold to Oracle, that was imidiately forked and now has MariaDB with the original maintainers of the old MySQL?

    Or was you talking about the other one that people are using PostgreSQL.

    Did OpenOffice not got forked too, I believe they are calling it LibreOffice nowadays don't they, can anyone stop open source projects from being forked?

    Not even Richard Stallman can do that, that is why you get OpenSource and Open Initiatives.

    Does RHEL don't have several forks?
    CentOS, Scientific Linux, Yellow Dog and so forth.

    About the stabbing, depends, there are people like you I would feel inclined to stab repeatedly, but in the name of peace I would refrain from doing so, now would you be able to assert self-control and not lie, cheat or worst in the name of profits?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    He simply refuses to pay the extortionate demanded rate, and has sourced a way to get each copy at cost. That the cost to create each copy happens to be $0 is part of the reason why rates are considered extortionate to begin with...

     

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    darryl, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    then you will have no problems giving me all your money then ?

    do you actually believe what you are saying ? do you not understand that money is product and services.

    People do not seek money for the sake of owning money they seek it (work for it) because you can "exchange money for goods and services" (Homer Simpson).

    that means people are equally willing to provide those goods and services in exchange for money, so they in turn can exchange that money for more goods and services.

    and so it goes....

    A farmer is not going to grow 10,000 acres of wheat if he cannot sell that or get anything in return.

    He is not going to able to purchase the seed, or the machinary to perform that work because he has no money.

    Not everyone will work for wheat, I am sure the local supermarket where he lives would not give him items he needs to live in exchange for wheat.

    So he takes that what and converts it into something that he is able to use in exchange for goods and services. It's called money.

    It is what makes a civilised society possible.

    any hallucination is just in your head.

     

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    Rob Stuart (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah I totally agree.

    Step 1: Give extra value
    Step 2: Get more & better customers/fans
    Step 3: Profit!

    The cynic in me foresees them fighting that dirty 8 letter word: innovate.

     

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    John Doe, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    Yeah, so? The thing is, it is artificially over priced and I look forward to the day that the laws of economics catch up to it instead of the laws created by lobbyists.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Morons are offended everywhere, this is Darryl, he is in a category of his own.

    He never looks up who wrote anything, he never sees quotes he only have eyes for Mike.

     

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    John Doe, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    I would guess that next to cost, convenience of place, time, format and no DRM is a large part of why piracy is rampant.

    Speaking of convenience, I rent a lot of movies and nothing makes me madder than when I try to skip a preview and I get a message on the screen says that "operation is prohibited by disk"! Say what? Why should my DVD player give a crap what the disc says? Some of these movies have 15 minutes or more of previews that you can't skip. You can fast forward, but you can't skip.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    "We could easily meet everyone's needs in society today without making everyone wage slaves to "earn" it"

    You're basing this assertion on, what, exactly?

    Your entire premise is backward, you seem to think the root cause of all these problems is money. The reality is that we created money because that's the way we work, money exists because we structure our culture this way, not the other way around.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Did I mention I also share food?

    5 Kg(11 pounds) of potatoes I got this week from 4 plants.
    I'm going to send some to the church or some charity.

    Urban Homestead, that was a great idea.

    Curiosity: tatters(they call it that on the forums) don't mind soil conditions historically in Ireland that was the food of the poor and they didn't had money to make soil improvements, it grows almost anywhere and needs little to no water(2.5 cm a week), if you plant 4 plants every month you end up with a lot of mash potatoes, trust me.

    I was wandering how much food thousand of people planting at home could produce and donate?

    Crowdsourcing food could it work?

     

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    blaktron (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    It already has.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    It actually boils down to: it's expensive, what exactly am I paying for and why?

     

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    darryl, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    who wrote the article, who chose who to quote and who provided supporting comment, and who's freaking web site is it ?

    im skilled I can create jobs and write, I can also pat my head and rub my belly !!!
    I can even walk and chew at the same time !!!

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Yeah true, I apologise to morons everywhere for including such a unique individual in that bunch! But, it seems to be happening a lot recently, people either attacking Mike for a quote clearly marked as such or even attacking him for entire articles he clearly didn't write.

    Says a lot about the amount of thought that goes into the anti-Mike crowd's ideas round here... I welcome intelligent debate, but all we seem to get in disagreement here seems to be shrill idiots most of the time. A shame.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    I wish that would add a "stupid" or a "Written by an idiot" button.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Use something like K9Copy that allows you to swap the ad videos with zero length ones and burn the new one or save it in a folder in your HTPC(Home Theater PC).

     

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    blaktron (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Uhh, Mike actually usually posts about eroding American freedoms. I don't think he gives a crap about who downloads a Lady Gaga song, and I doubt she does either. And maybe if your 10% unemployment and multi-trillions of debt is a sign of a crappy system, why defend that crappy system to the core?

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    *wondering

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    I sort of think of this as a rather typical Techdirt view of the universe.

    Obviously, free in this case would be piracy. So rather than deal with the idea that there needs to be some self control in life, some respect for the rights of others, let's instead reframe the discussion and try to explain it as human nature.

    So it's no longer piracy, it's no longer giving away copies of something that isn't your to give, now rather it's a sort of hippie commune "sharing".

    I would hate to think of what our society would look at it we suspended all of the laws that go against some perceived sort of human nature. From taking drugs to killing each other, we have plenty of human instincts that go all the way back to the deep seated "fight or flight" mentality. Should we change the laws to allow this human nature to be somehow more important that the rules of our polite society?

    Techdirt wins again by attempting to re-frame the discussion into terms they like, because the truth hurts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    "Meaning I'm not out of anything if I share a bit of code I've written."

    Unless that bit of code you wrote you were going to get paid for writing, but once you made it free to everyone that person who was willing to pay you does not pay you.

    or if they ask you to write that bit of code just for them and they will give you $100, would you still write the code and let them have it for free, and give it to everyone else as well ?

    what if that 'bit of code' took 200 skilled people to develop and 5 years ? Those 200 people will not and can not work for nothing, they need to live and eat and all the rest.

    I still cannot believe the level of lack of understanding or concept of reality displayed by so many here.

    I am trying to work out if you are typical of all americans or your own special breed?

    But going to how your economy is going right now and the past 15+ years it appears that is the case.

     

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    Granville Raper, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    information has always been a tool

    I think that it was incorrect to say that information has become a tool. It's always been a tool, and as technology grew in the early years of the industrial age, people made it a product. from clay pots, newspapers, vinyl records, magnetic tapes, and optical discs were all physical mediums for transporting that information.

    Bit patterns on a network is like radio waves in the air, nothing prevents you from receiving that information and storing it for whatever reason.

    It's like hearing a sound, song, or beat and your mind recording it just to use it later. You can't un-hear something, only not remember it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    IE, jump through hoops to get ONLY what you paid for.

     

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    tom, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    you can't share?
    thats a shame, my favourite authors came from shared books, and now i buy them, my favourite music came from shared albums (back in the 70s and 80s) now i buy them. I continue to share music and books etc.. knowing that my friends may occassionally like what i offer and will buy and share back.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Yes, people share because they want to establish relationships with an untold number of unknown persons throughout the world they will never meet, with whom they will never have a conversation, will whom they willlnever "break bread", will whom they will never [fill in the blank].

    It is one thing to "exchange" things with a close knit circle of friends with whom you socialize and share common interests, and quite another to "exchange" with the world at large.

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Not really an apt analogy

    Three important misfires here:

    1. Copies of content do not occur spontaneously in nature, unlike the water in the analogy that eventually recovers from pollution;

    2. DVDs and CDs are luxury items, not a necessity like water;

    3. One can assume that the fictional laws against drinking water from rivers were instituted to protect citizens from injury, not (at least not primarily) to protect the water company from competition. In today's world, filesharing is not related to any harm to consumers from which they once needed protection, but no longer.

    There are way better arguments to make than by trying to compare content owners to completely imaginary water monopolists. Stooping to these sorts of attacks does nothing to help the copyleft cause.

    HM

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Is not money, it is greed, the one that makes people do anything to get something else, even without money there would be other incentives to be greedy like power.

     

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    darryl, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Convert water to oil

    a really rich person or country says one day, "we are going to give away all oil products "share" it with everyone."

    The result !

    All the big oil companies go out of business, as they cannot sell their product at any price, and no one will invest in them and they cannot pay their staff or keep their factories operational.

    So they all go out of business Exxon, BP, Shell all of them will go, as will their processing plants, and employees.

    There wells and factories will have to be sold, the rich person or company will buy them.

    Then you have the situation where one person or a country OWNS ALL THE OIL WELLS and refinery plants.

    What happens next ??

    The company or country now states "we are now changing our policy regarding sharing, and we have decided to opt for a 'highest bidder' system".

    "we own all the wells and all the refineries and all the distribution networks" if you do not like our policy you are welcome to go elsewhere, if there was one."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    Copyright infringement is like using crack is like murder!

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    One hoop hopefully.
    Somebody has to do it, at least for the very first one.
    After that people will find it somehow.

     

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    John, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Unfortunately your farmer example is flawed. Food is a necessity, not a luxury. Entertainment content is a luxury, and is (or at least should be) created not out of a desire to generate profit, but as a way to entertain, and provide enjoyment and relaxation, or out of a love for the medium or for sharing a particular story. Profit is a byproduct of people enjoying that content. In my mind, we have gotten away from content created for enjoyment of a story, and relaxation, and have transitioned to an unsustainable model where profit is the driver, rather than the sharing of a good story.
    Historically we have had few people that can make a living as an entertainer, perhaps that's the norm, rather than the content bubble that we seem to be deflating from currently.
    On a separate note, anytime i can buy an old record on clearance for $1, and get around 10 songs for my dollar, or I can buy one of the songs off of iTunes for $1, can you guess where I'm going to spend the dollar? To me, there's a disconnect there, that perhaps the music industry needs to consider...especially when it comes to monetizing back-catalog music.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: Not really an apt analogy

    1) Of course it does, each and every individual capable of making a copy is producing spontaneously something that didn't before, trying to restrict how that happens is the unnatural part of it. Water on the other hand is a finite resource.

    2) True. Which makes the immense resources wasted to protect that crap even more ridiculous.

    3) Copyright doesn't apply only to entertainment. It applies also to software that probably will be driving your car in the future and assisting you in your old age, scientific studies, political speech and so forth. Copyright is a exclusion tool meaning it is good for censoring things. People know that and will use it for those purposes, to exclude competitors and censor others.

     

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    rubberpants, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Do you have any plans to create a blog of your own? You know, a place where the whole world could benefit from your insightful analysis and excellent grammar?

    You should think about it. I'm sure you could easily find a URL with violent terms in it, since you seem to be fond of those.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Yeah, because sharks, tigers, leopards, hawks, eagles, lizards, orangutans, opossums, etc all definitely went extinct.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    You mean like Blender?
    Quote:
    Blender Community
    Blender is a real communiy effort
    - Main income via DVD & Book publishing and donations.
    - 60-70 active developers and authors
    - 150-200 more irregular contributors
    - Hundreds of websites, including daily news
    - 20-50,000 people participating online in
    dozens of communities.
    - Professional users/developers mostly in
    small/medium enterprises and education

    Source: http://www.blender.org/bf/sig2011-BOF.pdf

    Somehow they all find a way to eat and live, could you explain how they do it please? since that goes directly against what you said there.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    Your truth doesn't hurt the pirates, because they don't care.
    They can do it all day long, all year forever and there is nothing you will be able to do about it.
    But that fraking nonsense of yours does hurt medicine, politics and commerce.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Wait a minute. If this exact same argument was flipped around, the general vibe I get from this place is that you guys would jump all over this bad analogy. To wit:

    In a future where the Earth has been poisoned to an extent where the water is a health hazard, cleanup efforts have been ongoing for a long time. For health reasons, there are laws that people may only drink the water from a particular company, Waterisnew, which enjoys a monopoly on water supply — and know to charge for it, too.

    Water is nothing like music. If I take your water, you don't have it. It's completely disingenuous to compare these two things. Molecules =/= bits. How could you have poisonous music? Try again, trolls.

    Or...

    Good god, you're going to compare people dying of thirst with infringement? That's like comparing murder with copying. Only a corporate shill would say such a thing. Enjoy your crumbling castle, asshole!
    People don’t copy because of a price tag somewhere else, entirely regardless of what that price tag says. People copy because they can, because it is associated with freedom and because it is in human nature to share

    Funny. I thought people copied because they were the primary drivers of the economy. It's all try before you buy, right?

    And I think it's hilarious that someone would claim "it's human nature to share" when we have an epic world history of people refusing to share. The bible was strictly the province of scholars at one time. The secrets of technology were once the province of tradesmen and scholars. Military secrets are heavily guarded. Some societies actually treated people as property and you can bet they didn't share that property (Yo! Can I borrow your slave for a minute?) You can't share your genes with any other species. In fact, the inability to share those genes is what defines us as a species. The refusal to share boils right down to human chemistry. You, yourself, are a closed system. It's what keeps you alive. Oversharing of one's self leads to diseases.

    This is classic confirmation bias. As long as the analogy enforces your worldview, it's spot on.

     

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  67.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    I've been 'living without it' for many years, now. I don't copy anything that isn't freely offered by the artists (and fuck the middle man, I'm sick to DEATH of the middle man).

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re:

    The only difference is scale which means nothing since most people cooperate to get things done.

    People share for example to get rid of unskipable ads, each individual remove their own ads and post the result so others can use it and since others do the same he can find what he wants and don't have to work as hard.

    People can collaborate to produce subtitles, you get a movie divide it into 5 min sections and spread it to hundreds of sub producers.

    People don't need to have an close relationship to others to appreciate the value of cooperation.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    it's particularly easy to give away what belongs to someone else, and no matter how you try to finesse the point, "content" DOES belong to someone else, it AIN'T YOURS.


    Here is a handy guide that might help you understand why you are completely wrong. You should take a quick look (it's very simple).

    http://tightmixblog.com/music-piracy-is-not-theft/

     

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  70.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re: Convert water to oil

    Except that this has nothing to do with the people being able to produce their own oil without the need for an oil company.

    Is like everybody starting to plant their own crops to produce ethanol or biodiesel and being able to produce enough for what they need and then some.

    How will that rich guy stop others then?

    Oh that is right he will try to claim a monopoly on the production of fuels.

     

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    Richard (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Mr Adams might come after you for his royalities !!!!

    If he did - it would be a miracle!

    (being dead and all...)

     

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  72.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    You have already failed when you compare behaviours we are taught as children are good (sharing) with behaviours that are aberrations (murder, poising oneself/suicide, and yes, taking some drugs are akin to suicidal behaviour). SOMEONE along the line, in most cases, paid for the 'content' that is being 'shared,' but now that's mystically transformed into theft. To give away something. And you wonder why we argue these points with you?

     

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  73.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Mr Adams might come after you for his royalities !!!!

    With all due respect to Mr. Adams...he is probably quite happy where he is now, considering he has been dead for 12 years. His estate might come after you...but unless he has become a Zombie, he won't be bothering Richard.

    My most favorite author in all the world, and that one paragraph means so much more to me than any other paragraph I've read before or since...It was, in fact, the longest joke grenade in my personal history...as I read that multiple times, and then five years later, swimming in a pool, staring down and a floating dollar bill in the pool, I got the joke. Ever since then, I've read his books on an almost yearly basis.

     

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  74.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    It's more like:

    "I have a limited budget, and these people over here are offering me what I want at prices I can afford, whereas these people over here are trying to rip me off mightily."

    Kind of a no-brainer as to how that's going to end up.

     

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  75.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sharing?

    +1

     

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  76.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    It is also very nice that you have a level of crime you will commit and not commit

    Everybody does, and so do you if you have any moral fiber to your being at all.

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    it's expensive, what exactly am I paying for and why?

    This is certainly even more true given loss of free use, DRM, and micropayments. It is almost like the industry wants to go to single-use (surprise, they do,) licensing so that they can charge you $1 for each use. At that point, you're buying entertainment you cannot enjoy, and it becomes useless. That is really the whole goal of DRM, as it doesn't prevent unauthorized copying, just unauthorized use. As soon as the company can figure out the carrot to get people to drop DVDs and CDs, they will switch to per-use licensing and jump on the gravy train for life.

    In other words, they are taking our culture and manipulating it so that they can sell us our culture back to us on a per-use basis for greed alone.

     

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  78.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    respect for the rights of others

    I respect the rights of others. Property rights over one's own hard drive, for example.

    So-called "intellectual property" law violates property rights, so I have no respect for it. Simple as that, really.

     

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    Ganar dinero, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Is not money, it is greed, the one that makes people do anything to get something else, even without money there would be other incentives to be greedy like power.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is not about free, it is about value

    Talking about "buying"(which you don't buy according to them, you just lease) and DRM did you see that Walmart is shutting down their MP3 service?

    How long until those servers holding the DRM information are also shutdown?

    Every DRM scheme is based on the assumption that others need to pay again and again and again under their terms and not the public terms.

     

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    MrWilson, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    "would you be happy if someone told you the ending of a movie you are waiting to see? he is just sharing after all!"

    I am tired of either uneducated or disingenuous people playing stupid semantic games.

    That's not "sharing" in the same meaning and context as this article is referring to and if you can't understand that, you shouldn't be participating in the commentary.

    Spoiling is different than sharing.

    Sharing exclusive and scarce physical objects is different than sharing infinitely reproducible 1's and 0's.

    Please point out where in the article it states that any semantic use of the term sharing is okay in every possible context or else stick to the context to which it is referring. Otherwise just admit that you have no argument against it and refrain from "sharing" with us.

     

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    Jeff Rowberg (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Are ideas ownable?

    I don't know if it's ultimately beneficial for either side to argue about the motivation for breaking a law (sharing, laziness, greed, whatever) as long as the law is still in place. Especially because the law has been in place for hundreds of years most of us have been conditioned to assume its validity and build our arguments (or business models) around it. If the law is valid, then breaking it for whatever reason will not gain you any sympathy from those who matter.

    I pose this question to challenge the foundation of IP:

    Is an idea an ownable thing? If so, what exactly makes it ownable?

    If ideas aren't ownable, then IP law is fundamentally invalid, regardless of how it is specifically applied, interpreted, ignored, or whatever.

    If ideas are ownable, then IP law in some form is necessary just as much as physical property protection law.

    My opinion is that ideas aren't ownable (link is a detailed personal blog post from three days ago). I am wide open to hearing solid, logical arguments to the contrary, but I believe the burden of proof here should lie on those claiming that an infinitely reproducible thing with no physical component can in fact be owned.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Did sharks, hawks, orangutans, eagles, leopards and tigers get off the endangered species already?

    The first ones to go it seems are the ones that don't cooperate in every extinction event.

    Case in point humans will kill every living thing before they die out if ever that occurs.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    Orangs are not solitary. Otherwise, good point.

     

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  85.  
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    Rob Stuart (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Just because something is against the law doesn't make it right.

    And disregarding a couple questionable laws does not suspending all laws. There is no slippery slope, society will not collapse, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Do you know what a thought experiment is? If you want to argue against you have to pick the relevant differences, not just say "Hey this one part of that isn't the same as reality." It is particularly amusing that you claim Mike has no grip on logic when thought experiments are mostly from the realm of Philosophy. So is Logic...

     

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  87.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    Quote:
    The refusal to share boils right down to human chemistry.


    So you came from parthenogenesis then?

     

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  88.  
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    MrWilson, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    "So rather than deal with the idea that there needs to be some self control in life, some respect for the rights of others, let's instead reframe the discussion and try to explain it as human nature."

    It's all a battle of human nature.

    IP laws do not respect the rights of others. They are specific curbs on natural freedoms. If you tell me a story, I'm naturally free to repeat that story to someone else. IP laws say, "this guy will stop making up new stories if he doesn't have a chance to make money off of his stories through keeping others from being able to repeat his stories." This is flawed however because he will always have the ability to make new stories in his own creative manner. People who repeat his stories can't make up the stories that he can make up. He always has that exclusive resource of creativity available to him, even if others repeat his stories. Further, the laws are pushed by the people who aren't making or telling the stories, but the leeches who've figured out how to make money off of other people's creativity.

    The problem is that IP laws are out of control. The greedy aspect of human nature has asserted itself in the middlemen, the business majors and lawyers, to pervert the laws into making copyright into property. If it's not exclusive and scarce, it cannot be property, and treating it that way is just denying reality for the sake of greed.

    The IP maximalists are the ones who have no self-control. As seen by their behavior, they will abuse an already corrupt system to their own benefit. They will employ lobbyists and "campaign contributions"/legal bribery to stretch their legislated monopolies into absurd lengths and they'll use creative lawyering and accounting to screw over the actual artists who create the works they monopolize.

     

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  89.  
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    MrWilson, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    Welcome to culture.

    If you have a problem with establishing "relationships with an untold number of unknown persons throughout the world [you] will never meet," you should stay off the internet.

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    "It is also very nice that you have a level of crime you will commit and not commit..."

    Ever get stuck at a red light that doesn't cycle? I can't speak for the laws where you are, but where I've lived there's no law or exception that states that I'm allowed to run the light.

    How long should I wait? An hour? A day? Until they get the light fixed?

    Until I get a ticket for blocking traffic?

    Lucky you, you've never had that happen. Millions of people have. If the light obviously isn't going to turn green, no reasonable person would deny you the right to treat the light like a stop sign and go when it's safe (I've actually been told to do that, by a cop), but it doesn't alter the fact that it's technically against the law.

    Now... you were saying?

     

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  91.  
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    MrWilson, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Not really an apt analogy

    "One can assume that the fictional laws against drinking water from rivers were instituted to protect citizens from injury, not (at least not primarily) to protect the water company from competition."

    I wouldn't assume that at all. The citizen protection angle might have been the way that the water suppliers wanted to sell their water monopoly. Maybe they also suppressed scientific research that proved that there were safe sources of water in the world other than their own.

    You're factoring out the significant chance that greed drives most political decisions. Also, the politicians making the laws likely don't understand the full implications of the laws they pass (especially when they aren't drafting the laws themselves often times).

    This fits quite well with the current state of laws relating to "intellectual property." Greed drives the legislation. Reality is denied in favor of obsolete business models. Disingenuous arguments are made that try to paint the unwanted, but natural behavior of the citizenry as a threat to their well-being - e.g. "piracy helps fund terrorism" or "drinking unauthorized water will kill you!"

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Re: Are ideas ownable?

    While others may point to what they consider to be attempts by so-called copyright/IP "maximalists" to the contrary, IP law is not about ideas. It is about specific expressions of those ideas.

    So, you can produce any number of romantic comedies, but you should not copy "When Harry Met Sally".

    And you can produce any number of better mousetraps to sell, but not if they embody the specific configuration patented by your competitor.

    One might argue that patents do have some aspect of an idea, in that it's not likely someone has actually built a device that embodies each and every claim of his patent, but the concept of a patent is that it protects a very specific set of claim elements, and not the general idea of "a better mousetrap."

    This is somewhat simplistic, but, as a direct answer to your question, the answer is "no".


    HM

     

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    Reverend Dak (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    "Dude, you have to hear this awesome song."

    "Cool, play it."

    "No, you have to buy it first."

     

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  94.  
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    Reverend Dak (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Actually, you bring up an interesting subject. In lots of cases it's not the actual artists that sue for infringement, but the estates.

     

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  95.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    In a world...

    Am I the only one who heard the first paragraph in the voice of the late, great Don LaFontaine?

     

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  96.  
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    Jeff Rowberg (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Are ideas ownable?

    @Hugh,

    Let's expand the term "idea" to also include "knowledge" and "pattern" to be specific, though I would contend that all three of these are different names for essentially the same thing viewed in different lights. "Specific expressions of ideas" are just more of the same thing, are they not? Of course nobody would say that the general idea of "a better mousetrap" is not ownable, but why should the specific idea of "a better mousetrap that is better by virtue of the neutrino-converting catalyzing cheese-like mouse magnet" be ownable? It's still just an idea. If you build it, then I am wrong if I steal the product you built. But why am I wrong if I figure out how it works and then build my own?

    Let's assume you come up with an idea for a better mousetrap. Let's also assume that I happen to independently come to the same conclusions that you did about the design flaws of the currently available mousetraps, and so by a surprising (but certainly not impossible) coincidence, we think up the same improved design.

    Why on earth, under any justification whatsoever, should either of us be prevented from turning this idea into a physical product under any circumstances? Yet if one of us manages to get a patent, that is exactly can happen to the other one.

    The origins of ideas are very difficult to identify (often even for the true originator of any idea to define in a useful way). I additionally contend that whether an idea is original or copied, a patent is still an unjust license to control other people's property (which is the reality of saying they cannot produce anything that is the embodiment of a specific configuration).

    The same logic applies to copyright. You say I should not copy "When Harry Met Sally", but you don't provide a reason for this. The specific, defended reason is what I'm looking for.

     

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    Jeff Rowberg (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Are ideas ownable?

    Drat, that sentence should read: "Of course nobody would say that the general idea of "a better mousetrap" is ownable."

    That was a very bad typo.

     

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    Viln (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Re: It's in human nature to share when doesn't COST one.

    You don't control ideas... nor do the people who have them. No one owns information except that which enters their head... similar to sound or sight or the way something feels. The very thought of owning these things is ludicrous.... you may be able to control or contain them as one does a dog with a fence, but control is merely a form limitation and manipulation. Ownership is like money, it is a meaningless concept unless someone else thinks the same way you do. Society almost universally agrees with ownership of objects, and somewhat generally agrees with ownership of space... but each day more and more begin to question ownership of information and question the status quo reality they've been taught by the capitalist world in which they live.

    Taking, stealing... these are concepts that by nature require someone to have lost what was gained. You're using the term "give away" in the same way... except what's being given was never stolen, because what was gained did not cause a direct loss. "Potential sale"? That's a bullshit term, overused and overblown by a ridiculous factor. Potential sales are ruined every day by the millions due to everyday conversations, newspapers, comments on a webpage.... if what you're selling is nothing more than a physical copy of information, you're selling the copy... NOT the information.

    Should artists be paid for their work? Absogoddamnlutely.

    Movies will always make money because people want to see them on large screens with fantastic sound. As long as theaters improve their technology they'll be attractive to most of the population... they may lose the technophiles with the $4500 home theater setup. They may need to spend more money to provide a cleaner more comfortable atmosphere and more service (like director's hall, only actually USEFUL and not an extra $3). If there's a downturn in profits, movie economics will adjust themselves... people who make tens of millions of dollars to do something others would love to do for thousands will adjust to lower contract demands, because that's the way economics works.

    Music... that's easy. Artists can and will continue to make large amounts of money by live performance. In fact, the people who hurt the most as a result of file-sharing are the blood-sucking middlemen of the entertainment industry who contribute NOTHING to the arts but advertising hype and finding new ways to persecute and gouge their customers.

    Art: ask yourself this, how many people with an interest in art choose not to go to museums because the paintings they want to see are available on a website? Perhaps museums will need to offer more value to attract more people, more details, history, interaction with the artist.

    Books: that's a tough one. I want writers to be paid, because I want them to to be able to devote time to researching and writing. With the advent of e-readers it's hard to point to any real natural form of control or added value an author can provide that might result in profit, but I'm sure others can if they give it serious thought. I can only repeat the fact that people respond to well-made goods and services. If they like a band or author or artists they will try to get to know more about them and their work, and will go out of their way to support them if you correctly channel that positivity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    I see. Torrents are a great conversation starter.

    Maybe they should be make them into a Broadway play. Now that would be culture.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re:

    You said: "IP laws do not respect the rights of others. They are specific curbs on natural freedoms"

    Me: It's a wonderful fallacy, it's the "cart before the horse" mentality that makes you forget how things work.

    The dreaded IP might not exist without the property right that the law has created with copyright. We as a society valued more that people are encouraged to create rather then having their life's work taken from them for nothing.

    If you think it is natural right to give something away, you are correct. That natural right however only really applies to what you completely own or create yourself.

    Property rights (such as land) is a completely artificial construct. Human nature is to go wherever we want, to walk where we like, and to sleep wherever we are the most comfortable at night. We have chosen as a society to grant exclusive rights to individuals over land and the buildings on them. That isn't natural at all, but we do it.

    It violates you natural freedoms. Why are you not complaining about that, and instead you are paying a mortgage?

    IP laws aren't out of control. I would say that the abuse of IP is fairly far out of control, which is what is pretty much causing the laws to look out of control. It's like speeding, an officer writing you a ticket isn't speeding laws out of control, it's your self control that is the issue.

    If you want to fix the system, fix the system. But don't piss all over the people who create the very content you enjoy, it's pointless. You are taking your speeding ticket out on the cop, and he has nothing to do with writing the laws, he is just enforcing them.

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: Sharing?

    feel free to make a replica of anything i own

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    you can certainly hit the space bat a lot

     

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    Zot-Sindi, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    holy fuck dude why don't you just come out tell us you have a huge unquenchable hard-on for mike? i mean good gracious every single post you make just about mentions his name or addresses him in some way, i've seen fetishes but this is ridiculous

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Convert water to oil

    every sentence is not a paragraph. please link your sentences together until you have finished expressing a complete thought or idea, then move onto a new paragraph.

    I know your still reading the Dick and Jane books and they don't have paragraphs in them. Maybe ask your mom if you are ready for Goosebumps or something so you can see how they work.

     

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    MrWilson, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You seem to limit culture to very strict definition.

    Culture is everything communicated between people, whether you like it or not or consider it culture.

    Torrents are great conversation starters sometimes. Have you read through the comments on torrent sites? Sure, some are trolling or pointless (like here, or any comment thread), but there is actual discussion going on and sharing of culture.

    Having culture is like having an attitude or having a personality - everyone has one. Everyone participates in culture, even if you don't like what they do. Bittorrent is culture. Remixes are culture. Fan fiction is culture. Copyright violation is culture. Being a greedy IP maximalist is a part of culture.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    You're the one who lacks understanding. Linux for example employs a lot of paid labor yet still can be gotten for free.

    Further I cannot lose money I never had in the first place.

     

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    Any Mouse (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As has been demonstrated, pissing on the system is pissing on the middle men, not the creators. Artists, writers and musicians all existed long before copyright, and will exist long after it is gone. Anyone who says they would never have created without IP aren't true creators. (Of course, most of the crap that comes out these days from these corporate hacks isn't worth the paper their contracts are printed on.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    That's the gist of what I said, yes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think this has been debunked a long time ago. While the "artists" might have still be producing some content, without the middlemen to help them actually get the products to market, they would be the unknowns, like the garage band down the street or the painter with a room full of his own work nobody has ever seen.

    Everyone uses "middleman" as an insult, but they are facilitators. There are websites that do some of the work, in some small ways now, and they are the current middlemen - the people who get between the people and the artist and make it possible for the two to "meet", especially in a business sense.

    As for the "rap that comes out these days from these corporate hacks", it continues to be what people are pirating the most, it is the most desirable, it is what they listen too, what they watch, and what they take their fashion and lifestyle cues from. What you are saying is that the masses are stupid, ignorant, and buying pap. Do you honestly feel that way? Or can you accept that your narrow definition of "good" doesn't line up with the general population?

    I didn't see any lineups for Sita Sings The Blus. I did however see a huge lineup for the Smurfs movie. "Crap", yeah... well, the people love it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Property rights are hardly an artificial construct. The concept of ownership of physical goods, especially land, is extremely common in nature in both other primates and animals in general. We call it territorial behavior. Property rights are nothing more than the legal extension of this frequently recurring natural concept.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Selling culture

    If you look at the reasons that people share, it's the reasons why people do all sorts of things: to connect with others, to entertain others, to "define" ourselves, to spread information, etc.

    Of course, this has nothing to do with the internet or the digital age. It's the way things have always been. It's why art and culture are valuable.

    Information has become a tool, not a product, and that's difficult for those who are used to selling it as a product to grasp.

    On the contrary, they grasp that just fine. They're simply used to people having to pay them money in order to connect with others, entertain others, spread information, and - most importantly of all - to define themselves.

    The big media companies are not just "used to selling it as a product." They very much believe their role is to be the owners and arbiters of human culture. They view the world's identities as their serfdom. What they are most afraid of - and what they are getting - is the usurping of that throne.

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    actually, it seems to be good marketing more than stupidity. I used to listen to that "corperate hackery" until I learned to see past the marketing and see that you could get better stuff from more indie sources.

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    From the article: "(...)People copy because they can (...)" That is exactly what is being said about the looters in GB: "They do it, because they can."

     

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    Sum One, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Sharing?

    "I'm coming over to share your property. Make sure the door's open."

    As long as you put it back when you're done with it, I have absolutely no problem with sharing my material possessions with you. Hell, I just loaned my lawn mower to the bloke next door because he can't afford one right now.

    Those who wish to outlaw sharing, a truly essential part of human nature that is at its core an act of compassion and kindness, must be profoundly selfish and greedy to have become so myopically blind and uncaring. I feel truly sorry for you because it must be hard to feel any kind of virtue or worthiness about yourself. Doing nothing, despite knowing I have the power to help others, would leave me feeling so ashamed and depressed that I would never be able to look at myself in a mirror again.

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Not really an apt analogy

    Actually, the hypothetical itself said it was for "health reasons", which is why I made the assumption.

    HM

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Well, it all sounds great and all... but what I have seen in the last couple of years is: -Mainstream music is doing just fine, maybe even better than before -Marginal music styles are suffering. I have no idea what is there to be done, but read this article by a drummer and label owner I very much respect, Chris Cutler: Collateral Damage http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/6715/

     

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Are ideas ownable?

    Actually, I would agree that "knowledge" is, for these purposes, essentially the same as an "idea". Nobody controls what you know. Even if you are prohibited by patent law from building the Neurtrino Mouse Zapper, nobody can take whatever knowledge you have of it away from you. I'm not sure what to make of "pattern" (like a sewing pattern?), and propose we put that aside.

    Regarding justification, that's been clear for over 200 years (though not agreed by everybody, especially here) - by granting a patent to the first invetor of a new doohickey, we provide incentive for inventors to create more and/or better doohickeys than they would if such incentive did not exist. Similar justification (again, not all consider it to be necessary) exists for copyright.

    But the line is drawn at expression - not ideas. Anybody can write a comedic story about the relationship of a neat freak and a slob. But you can't copy "When Harry Met Sally" or "The Odd Couple". Create your own that is a different expression of that idea.

    For patents, yes, "expression" is perhaps a bit more fuzzy, but the concept of a patented invention is that you have taken the idea ("hmm , what if we used neutrinos to zap mice?") and boiled it down to a specific embodiment that is arguably capable of being converted to an actual working device.

    There is an old Twilight Zone episode in which the main character travels back in time and starts throwing out ideas to a machinist, with the idea of "inventing" them first and raking in a fortune. To this character's chagrin, the machinist tells him he can't build what is being described without more substance and instruction. Perhaps that serves as an example of the idea-expression dichotomy of patents (though it's actually a copyright concept).

    HM

     

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  118.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    Problem is that logic breaks down horribly when you start comparing sharing bits to other things like growing food.

    For example, if I grow a seed from some apples I bought from the store and feed starving kids in africa with them* would you commend me for this or condemm me for pirating fruit and cuasing the poor farmer to suffer lost sales?

    Plus, you only pay workers a one time fee for labor they do for you, they don't get to collect monopoly rents for life.

    *For those who may take the post the wrong way, I'm not actually saying it's exactly the same as sharing bits on internet.

     

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  119.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The difference is that you can protect land, you can fence it, that doesn't happen with imaginary property you can't protect it and nobody can come up with clear goals of what those property ares there are no clear boundaries so there is no sensible laws possible, no constructs that could possibly make sense.

    But instead lets start trying to destroy human nature lets create laws that enforce the individualistic and hedonistic tendencies of people and hope for the best right.

    When sharing is viewed as bad, I want you to go tell the poor children why they are dying and why people don't give a shit.

    http://www.helpapoorchild.com/

    Tell them why they can't listen for music for free or watch a movie for free, why they shouldn't help each other and how they should pay for everything they ever see, listen or use.

     

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  120.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Gah, somehow firefox flipped to the wrong article. Still, there's some odd leaps of logic on the page you linked to, and the thing about plumbers at least fits my second point.

     

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  121.  
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    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Did you see the lineups for Sintel?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRsGyueVLvQ

    There it is free.
    Big Buck Bunny also free.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSGBVzeBUbk

    Now have you watched The Battle of Los Angeles that is nasty, I doubt even the people who produced that crap would want to watch it, damn I could do better VFX and the SyFy Channel pay them LoL

    Mockbuster Factory(a.k.a. The Asylum)

    The impressive part is that the producers of that crap never lost money, there is a market for even incredibly bad stuff.

     

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  122.  
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    IronM@sk, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Sharing?

    No problems. You can come and make a copy of my new speakers if you like. I'll be cooking sausages on the BBQ also. If you want some, feel free to make copies of my sausages and I will cook them for you.

     

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  123.  
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    MrWilson, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a wonderful fallacy, it's the "cart before the horse" mentality that makes you forget how things work.

    "The dreaded IP might not exist without the property right that the law has created with copyright. We as a society valued more that people are encouraged to create rather then having their life's work taken from them for nothing."

    That's absolute bullshit. Did cavemen paint on walls because they wanted to charge admission to their cave? Of course not. They painted because they wanted to communicate something. That's what art is - a medium for communication. But IP maximalists can only see it as a product. When you only speak the language of money, the sharing of what you see as a product will look like theft.

    "If you think it is natural right to give something away, you are correct. That natural right however only really applies to what you completely own or create yourself."

    That only applies to exclusive and scarce physical objects that are privately owned. The first guy to invent the wheel didn't own the concept of the wheel. He didn't even own the expression of the wheel in the particular design that he made. He only owned the actual wheel he made. Anyone else seeing that wheel could have reproduced it without his permission, because they copied the idea into their memory when they saw his wheel. This is what happens today, only the technology allows for more accurate copies and more ease of sharing.

    But beyond that, you should stop talking. Using your own claim that you can only give away what you created or own, the words and phrases that you use weren't created by you and aren't owned exclusively by you. the language you speak is a part of the culture as much as copyrighted works. You also aren't allowed to tell anyone stories you didn't make up yourself. Repeating what a friend said to you to someone else is also off-limits. In fact, you're better off just going to live in the woods alone if you want to avoid sharing things that you don't own or didn't create yourself. Your entire existence is about the use and sharing of things you don't own and didn't create. And more to the point, if you can't share anything you don't own or didn't create yourself, all the middlemen would be out of a job because they aren't creating the art themselves.

    "It violates you natural freedoms. Why are you not complaining about that, and instead you are paying a mortgage?"

    I'm paying a mortgage because the land and the house I'm in the 30 year process of purchasing from the bank are exclusive and scarce. They are tangible property that I can and do exclude others from using, unlike the things I say in the real world or online that can be shared by those who hear/read them without my permission.

    "IP laws aren't out of control. I would say that the abuse of IP is fairly far out of control, which is what is pretty much causing the laws to look out of control. It's like speeding, an officer writing you a ticket isn't speeding laws out of control, it's your self control that is the issue."

    If cars could travel 90 mph safely due to some brilliant new technology, but the speed limits were never updated to reflect this reality and in fact were even reduced to slower speeds despite the fact that almost everyone goes 90 mph anyway and the cops still ticket based on the old speed limits because they might otherwise lose revenue if they didn't, you might have a more accurate analogy.

    "If you want to fix the system, fix the system. But don't piss all over the people who create the very content you enjoy, it's pointless. You are taking your speeding ticket out on the cop, and he has nothing to do with writing the laws, he is just enforcing them."

    I would love to fix the system. Please provide a legitimate and practical strategy for overcoming the extensive corruption in our political system that doesn't involve having extremely deep pockets. Grassroots campaigns can only go so far and (as in the case of the Tea Party) can get hijacked by corporate interests and have their original intentions subverted by the very forces of corruption that they oppose. Nobody is pissing on the people who create the very content I enjoy. I support the artists on Jamendo from whom I download my music. And they let me share their music with anyone else I choose without fear of a lawsuit.

    But more to the point, your analogy fails in another respect. Being upset about the extremely absurd IP laws is being upset at the people who support them, who write more and worse laws, who corrupt the system with their lobbyists and lawyers, who continue to deny the reality of how culture works, who are motivated only by greed.

     

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  124.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Are ideas ownable?

    Quote:
    But the line is drawn at expression - not ideas. Anybody can write a comedic story about the relationship of a neat freak and a slob. But you can't copy "When Harry Met Sally" or "The Odd Couple". Create your own that is a different expression of that idea.


    No its not, ask Cameron about the Terminator and what he thinks about Harlan Ellison.

    There are no clear boundaries at it is open to interpretation where those lines are, so the dichotomy of idea/expression is meaningless, since nobody can agree what constitutes a clear separation of the two.

    People sued and won lawsuits because of 3 notes taken from a music even though the 3 notes were modified and resemble little the original sounds.

    Photographers sue and win on the basis of composition which means you can't do the same thing on a different subject so expression is not a factor.

     

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  125.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Convert water to oil

    That's what the music and movie industry tried to do. The people innovated and invented new distribution methods.

    In your scenario the people would convert to solar or other innovative replacements.

     

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  126.  
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    Jeff Rowberg (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Are ideas ownable?

    I meant "pattern" in the sense of a particular arrangement of knowledge. A sewing pattern would qualify, as would a tile pattern, or a pattern of words to represent a slogan or speech or book, or a pattern of notes and words to represent a song. It is all just knowledge, or ideas, in some particular form. To me, it ceases to be an idea and becomes property (subject to protection) when it is built into something tangible that can no longer be duplicated merely by communication. In contrast, it does not become property simply by the particular arrangement of ideas, however specific, because it can still be duplicated entirely, without harming the original or losing any quality, merely by communication. A patent, even in its complete detailed form, is still just a collection of knowledge. As a set of instructions, a patent can be used to create valuable property, but a patent itself is still just knowledge (a.k.a. idea, not property, not ownable). A "specific embodiment" is more of the same.

    The justification given for IP law has always been, as you point out, to create an incentive for people to create. In some cases, I'm sure this does its job as intended. But even ignoring the fact that it is frequently abused as well, just because a particular law accomplishes its stated goal doesn't mean it is necessary, or right.

    For example, let's say there was a similar law that would automatically award me $100k of government funding for obtaining a patent. It would presumably have to be an original idea to be granted (ha! right!), so it is arguable that such a law would be useful for promoting innovation. People would be trying to invent new things all the time to get in on the action. Even though this incentive would certainly drive people to create, it would be a very wrong way to do it, even though it is basically the same thing taken to more of an extreme.

    For a more relevant example, government subsidization of particular industries also usually has the same kind of justification: to encourage people to enter that (presumably useful) industry because they get free help that they would not otherwise get. Or, in other instances, subsidies used to prop up weak industries that are deemed by those in charge to be too important to lose. In both of these cases, as well as with IP protection, is a distortion of the market. Government loans and subsidies are instances of people who think they are smart, giving taxpayer-leeched funding to individuals and companies who were not able to get funding from private investors--ostensibly because said private investors didn't think it was a good enough risk.

    A good idea does not need a patent to succeed. It does not even need a patent to come into being in the first place. If you think an idea is really great, and you can't afford the research/materials/whatever to build it yourself, then pitch it to a VC company under an NDA. If you can convince them of its value, then your funding problems are solved and you can go about your merry way creating your product. If not, then you can try again, or save your own money, or abandon the idea. It should not be an option to obtain a government-granted monopoly just to help you succeed at the expense of everyone else (and patents are certainly granted at the expense of everyone else who would like to compete).

    I would also argue that it should not be illegal for me (or anyone) to directly copy When Harry Met Sally, because that is still the assertion that an idea (a very specific one comprising the whole story) can be owned. It would, however, be idiotic of me. Anyone who was aware of the original would spot my version as a complete rip-off, and all the work I put into it would be basically wasted. Why would I even try? It wouldn't get me much money, it wouldn't open up any new book deals, and it would hurt my reputation.

    Now you've made me want to go watch The Twilight Zone episode you mentioned though. :-) Rod Serling and his friends did have some really novel and thought-provoking stuff to say about all kinds of topics.

     

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  127.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    Chicken....Egg?

    Early culture didn't have common forms of 'money' they exchanged goods/services of value for other goods/services of value. From a logistical perspective the introduction of some form of exchange medium (that could be agreed upon and valued by all) was the next step. I can trade my service to my 'boss' for some scraps of paper with an agreed upon value, I can then trade that paper for the food and clothing I need to survive. It lets me exchange with people when I might not have otherwise had the appropriate 'good or service' that the person was looking for.

    Some day (hopefully) we will have a society where all individuals basic needs are met (food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, etc) and we are free to concentrate on the important things in life, rather than spending our life trying to accumulate larger and larger piles of little green scraps of paper.

     

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  128.  
    icon
    BeeAitch (profile), Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Nothing acttually costs anything, so...

    any hallucination is just in your head.

    Oh, the irony of this statement coming from Darryl!

     

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  129.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Re: What a stupid and pointless and inaccurate analogy !

    Do you or anyone else HONESTLY think that is what would happen if it was the case that there was only one supplier of water ?

    Do you unstatand that almost that exact senario has allready been played out, many times throughout history?

    Do you know or have ANY IDEA of what happens what that type of thing occurres ?

    Do you think peope share ? do you think they say "yes, I do not have enough water for myself, but here is some anyway, it is not enough to keep us both alive so we can share and both die, or I can keep my share and live".


    You really don't have any reading comprehension, do you?

    The point isn't about whether people would share if there was only one source of water. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. The point is about whether you can force people to continue to pay for water from a single company, when clean water is abundant and free.

    What if the governments of the world all passed laws requiring everyone to wear a breathing helmet so that they could monitor how much air people breath and charge them for it? Would you wear such a helmet and allow private companies to charge you for something that is, for all intents and purposes, infinite and free?

     

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  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not really an apt analogy

    Reminds me of what the TSA is inflicting upon the citizenry these days.

    It's for your own good! [oh, and these other dudes are making big bank off selling invasive and ineffectual equipment to the gubmint, but still...] it's for your own good!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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