Top Photographer On Why He Doesn't Care If His Stuff Is Pirated

from the why-can't-everyone-be-this-sensible? dept

Trey Ratcliff is an extremely successful photographer, who specializes in HDR photography. His blog Stuck in Customs is the top travel photography blog on the internet, with over a million views each week.

Naively, then, you might expect him to be a typical artistic fat-cat who regards every act of piracy of his photos as a personal insult that in a just world would be avenged by amputation of limbs and life incarceration at the minimum. Actually, he uses Creative Commons licensing for all his work, and has just written a wonderful post with the self-explanatory title "Five Reasons Why I Don't Care if My Stuff is Pirated - A New Way of Thinking", pointed out to us by Paul Newport, where he states:

All of my stuff is pirated. Everything from my HDR Video Tutorial to eBooks to Apps. Fine. It's all there on PirateBay and MegaUpload and all that stuff. Here are the reasons why I don't mind
He then goes to list five reasons that show a deep understanding of why piracy happens, and why it isn't necessarily so bad for those whose works are pirated. For example, Ratcliff points out:
Theft of bits are like the Tic Tacs that get stolen from the 7-11. It's the cost of doing business on the Internet.
That is, the actual loss is trivial (bits are practically free), and you learn to live with it because of the counterbalancing benefits. He also has a belief in the innate goodness of people:
Many people that pirate stuff now from me just don't have any money. But, they like me and want my stuff.
After all, that's why they pirate it. And if/when they eventually get their finances sorted out, they'll remember Ratcliff's generosity in allowing them to download his stuff for free without conducting a witchhunt as a result, and pay it back by buying from him. As he says:
Pirates are not cretins riddled with immoral behavior in every part of their life. These are all generally good people who would gladly support me, their friendly local neighborhood artist, if they could easily afford it. They can't now, but they will be able to some day...
He mentions another very practical reason not to dismiss pirates as the enemy:
Pirates have friends that have money. It's still word-of-mouth, the most effective friend-to-friend marketing in the world. If pirates like what you do, they'll tell their friends.
That's an important point: even if the pirates don't buy stuff now, they may well spread free publicity that drives sales elsewhere. If you vilify pirates, you are spurning an important part of your unofficial marketing department.

Finally, Ratcliff gives one central reason why he's not really that worried about piracy:

Last, and most important, as soon as I opened everything up, our business has grown and grown.
But he also notes:
piracy is not the reason that revenues are increasing, but they are not hurting revenues
The curious thing is, the same is true of the music and film industries, which continue to thrive despite all the online piracy, as Techdirt has pointed out in the past.

In other words, everything that Ratcliff says in his extremely wise post about photography also applies to music and films. But whereas he accepts the need for "A New Way of Thinking" as he puts it, and can even see that piracy is beneficial to him in many ways, the copyright industries cling to their traditional perspectives, and insist on fighting this "scourge" with ever-greater ferocity in the face of their continuing failure to expunge it Ė with huge collateral damage to the rest of us, as SOPA and PIPA make clear.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    B-but pirates!

     

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  2.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Cue OOTB, and Average Joe. They're up.

     

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  3.  
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    MrWilson, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    I'll try a few trollings:

    "Ha. Once again, Masnick shows his broadbrushing pirate-loving freetard colors, piratey piratey piratey. Wait, who wrote the article?"

    "But this only works for good artists, not for corporate middle man IP maximalists. How are they supposed to fuel their private jets with Creative Commons licenses?"

    "Stealing is theft, therefore copyright infringement is WRONG!"

    "Enjoy your world wide web wild west days while they last since SOPA is gonna put all you pirates in prison!"

     

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  4.  
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    Machin Shin, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Off to buy umm, something!

    You know, it might just be me, but reading things like this make me want to go buy some of his stuff. I have no freeking clue what it is he sells beyond vague idea that he takes pictures and yet after reading about him not being a jerk, like most are prone to be, I find myself wanting to support him. So I guess I'm off to toss some of my filthy pirate money at him. :)

     

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  5.  
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    Loki, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    It's always amusing how we keep hearing about how "pirates" are just people who want something for nothing, so their opinions don't matter.

    And yet, when the Trent Reznors, the Wil Wheatons, the Kevin Smiths, the Trey Ratcliffs, the Jack Shaffers - the people we keep being told are the ones being protected by the efforts of tougher and tougher copyright - keep coming out telling us how systems are broken, the efforts are actually hurting them, and the protections are entirely unnecessary, we seem to get sort of a "well they don't really know what's for their own good" attitude.

     

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  6.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Re: Off to buy umm, something!

    He's got great stuff on his own site on on Flickr as well. I've used it on my church's web site and in publications giving him full and complete credit for his work.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re: Off to buy umm, something!

    Its those lost sales the **IA is always complaining about. Its not that pirates burn the money when they download its just that they are free to give it to people who are not assholes.

     

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  8.  
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    Loki, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re: Off to buy umm, something!

    If this were 15 years ago, and I still had the same kind of disposable income I had back in those days I'd definitely go buy a bunch of his stuff (even if it's stuff I might not want myself, there are plenty of people I know I can give his stuff as Christmas presents).

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    "Theft of bits are like the Tic Tacs that get stolen from the 7-11. It's the cost of doing business on the Internet."

    Uh, hold on a minute...I understand what he meant to say, but stealing tic tacs is TOTALLY different from "stealing" music files.

    For one, if someone steals tic tacs, there is actual loss for the owner. We should be strongly against actual theft, but I believe that we should work towards relaxing Copyright (if not abolish it entirely...I'm still thinking if that makes sense).

    Let's not lose focus here.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Something must be done about people stealing tic-tacs, a new law is required.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:29am

    yes, lets not lose focus on people taking something they didn't pay for, abolish copyright blah blah, anything to justify your reason for not paying and only wanting for free

     

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  12.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    It's a metaphor for the layman, but it is a poor metaphor.

     

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  13.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    As I've pointed out large software companies, also IP intensive industries and fierce competitors, quietly deal with the problem in much the same fashion.

    People pirate, say Photoshop, but don't buy it cause it's so damned expensive and while The GIMP does most of what Photoshop does there are some things it doesn't do nearly as well. (The gap is closing, mind.)

    That's how I started off with the software and now I have Master Collection 5.5 and when 6 comes out I'll move on to that. All fully paid for. And well worth every penny.

    People pirate MS Office because they think they need to. Some move on to OpenOffice or its fork LibreOffice but MS knows, as well as Adobe does that one day enough of them will buy the product to have made it all worthwhile.

    Additionally the "pirates" often turn into late beta and release candidate testers because all that shows up on software "pirate" sites too and they unintentionally or intentionally feed back useful information to the publishers. Forums not "connected" directly to MS or Adobe are full of chatter about them before the company announcement is even finished. And don't think there aren't MS or Adobe employees watching those as well.

    Neither MS or Adobe condone piracy but they seem to feel it's giving them enough in the way of feedback and sales to tone down their formerly nasty statements about it and to join with the tech industry in opposing SOPA through CCIA and other organizations which says volumes.

    By the way, Creative Commons does not mean copyright isn't there. It means the licensing allows for a great many freedoms that IP purists find abominable while retaining the central copyright. Very roughly similar to what a GPL, Apache, BSD or other open source licenses do for software. Copyright is still there but the licensing allows for freedoms not found in traditional licensing for copyright.

    To an IP purist, of course, this just doesn't compute. How can you make money with Creative Commons or Open Source licensing?? Except people and companies DO. RedHat commes to mind very quickly.

    To give OOTB and Average Joe their due, they don't object to any of this nor do they seem to have an issue with it. They do know the trick of the tale is licensing not the actual presence of copyright. While they seem like trolls sometimes they aren't. Sometimes infuriating but they're not trolls. Just as some of us infuriate them. Or, in my case, provide a nice sleeping aide for Average Joe. :-)

     

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  14.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    I just want the corner cell on the top floor with southern exposure, wide windows, air conditioning and good circulation as well as a private bath and shower.
    And a multi-line phone, one blackberry and one android cell, good internet connection and cable as well as a 50" led tv screen/computer monitor with a top of the line gaming machine so I can edit up a storm of video, audio and still pictures of my own making. Sorta like I do now.
    That's fair, don't you think?

     

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  15.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    Yes, let's not lose our focus on people feeling entitled to dictate how other people can enjoy and share their own culture, stronger censorship blah blah, anything to justify your reason for trampling civil rights to avoid adapting to reality.

    Just because you can't think of way to make money doing art besides being in absolute control of copying doesn't mean we are the bad guys when technology and human nature point out the glaring flaw in that thinking. It's human nature to share ideas and knowledge. It's how we built modern society. Technology makes that altruism of information possible and more efficient. There's a whole segment of the art business that you can exploit to make money from that you completely ignore (no, not litigation). It's called, "selling your labor".

     

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  16.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re:

    Though retail store so include this on an accounting line (imaginary though definitely there) as a cost of doing business.
    Some one, some time, is gonna walk out with a microwavable sandwich and two tic tacs to wash down the taste!
    That's not condoning theft, which I don't do, but it is realistic and realism about how retail and all other points on the supply chain work.

     

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  17.  
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    jhonson, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Reason

    The reason given by the Trey Ratcliff is right.

     

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  18.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    (Rhetorical question follows be advised that the question may not be suitable for all audiences particularly those with minds closed tighter than a rusty steel trap)

    Tell me did you READ the link and understand what was said there? Or did you just engage the part of your brain that deals with ad homineum "insults" that have nothing whatever to do with reality?

     

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  19.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    I want you kidneys for free. Give them to me.

    Oddly enough, that doesn't work. Like your point. It's blunt.

     

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  20.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    Cue OOTB, and Average Joe. They're up.

    It's a total pirate-apology puff piece. But you knew that already, right? :)

     

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  21.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re:

    About a content creator who has planned for piracy in his business model and is succeeding anyway? So...what's your point?

     

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  22.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Good for him. Seriously. It's the insinuation that anyone not doing the same must be stupid ("from the why-can't-everyone-be-this-sensible? dept") that bothers me.

     

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  23.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    I want to post a question to the copyright maximists and the average_joes and the out_of_the_blues (well not him, haven't seen him on here for about two weeks now) who visit this site.

    At the moment, the video game digital distribution network Steam is holding a Christmas sale and having its customers complete objectives e.g. get such a score in such a game or kill 50 enemies in this other game, and they're rewarded with either a gift, coupon or lump of coal. Well, I've completed one of the objectives and was rewarded with a copy of a game. However, it's a game I don't like myself so I thought, I'd gift it to somebody else.
    I then went on to one of my favourite forum communities, made a post saying "Come here for a free Steam game" and then after-ward, I had to take a step back to think. What I had just done was, functionally, completely identical to going onto a forum and looking for links to download copyright infringing material. The only difference was that the Steam game was authorized, other similar forum posts aren't.
    This ties into the new generation having grown up with little to no respect for copyright. Why should they be blocked from all this great culture? The new generation still hasn't finished growing up and still doesn't have disposable income of their own. They grew up along with Youtube, and using that to listen to their favourite songs and watching their favourite videos is as natural to them as breathing.
    So average_joes and other copyright maximilists...the question is...what is the functional difference between me posting a "Free Steam Game" post and me posting a few links? What is so unnatural and abhorrent about watching a video on Youtube for free? Why is it that you just don't give a DAMN about the collateral damage SOPA and PIPA will cause?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re:

    A poor metaphor indeed.

    It's because of "poor metaphors" like these that we get called "Pirates" and "Thieves" every time we try to question Copyright. It only takes one idiot spewing out "OMG! THIEVES!"-type comments to derail the whole debate.

    People need to realize that things work differently in the digital world. Any attempt to approximate the mechanics of "cyberspace" to the mechanics of "meatspace" (or vice-versa) will always fail miserably.

     

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  25.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    "People pirate, say Photoshop, but don't buy it cause it's so damned expensive"
    Precisely. I remember being in a computer chain store a few months back, and seeing a boxed copy of Adobe Flash and Adobe Photoshop on the shelf. Both for Ä1199/$1,568.39!
    Yeah, like I'm going to pay that much for software.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's stupid to try to swim against the tide. I'm speaking literally here: You'll drawn rather quickly if you try to do so.

    So, why shouldn't point it out to those that are unaware of it? Are you offended by facts?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    1 - pirate software
    2 - get a job or get visibility if you already have one
    3 - company license software

    happened to me

     

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  28.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If by the "tide" you mean a bunch of infringers who put themselves above others and take whatever they want without paying for it while consciously breaking the law, then yeah, I have no problem with people swimming against that tide. They can also choose to do what this photographer has done. I really don't care what people choose to do (that's their decision to make), but unlike you guys who think you know what's best for everyone I respect people's decisions either way.

     

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  29.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    but unlike you guys who think you know what's best for everyone I respect people's decisions either way.

    You respect that but you have no problem disrespecting everyone here, assuming (falsely) that we infringe and calling us all sorts of insulting names? I think you've called me a "fucking idiot" more times than I can remember.

    And when we have the gall to suggest to people ways in which they might be *better* off and make *more* money by using these things to their advantage, you claim that *we're* disrespectful?

    Wow. Just wow.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, by tide, I mean gigantic mass of water that tosses you around like a twig. You should look up the definition of literally in the dictionary...

    But if you really want to think of it as a metaphor, just imagine your entire "Intellectual Property" as the little twig, and the rest of humanity as the "gigantic mass of water". You can't win. You might as well let yourself float to wherever the tide decides you should go.

     

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  31.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And you good sir have just proven yourself to be blind, and not just blind, but WILLFULLY blind. We here at Techdirt are showing examples of people whose works are being pirated and yet are using workable business models that benefit everyone, and don't result in expensive lawsuits...and you just dismiss all of these examples.
    It shows that you are not ready for a debate and never will be. I admit that if a copyright maximilist shows me strong proof (emphasis on the word STRONG) that more and more enforcement of copyright is actually a good thing, then I will change my views accordingly, because that will be me looking at proof.
    Not you. You don't want to see proof. You don't want to see other people succeeding and condoning others pirating their own works. You have closed yourself off, put your hands over your ears and go "Lalala, can't hear you!"
    So, average_joe, show me proof that draconian copyright enforcement is a good thing. Join the debate here.

     

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  32.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    Damn you! I own the trees that made the oxygen you're breathing! Property taxes cost money, fertilizer costs money, water costs money! Pay me or stop breathing!

    PS I really do own 3 acres of trees!

     

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  33.  
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    Machin Shin, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    Indeed the Copyright needs "relaxing". It needs to be attacked with an ax maybe even a chainsaw to hack it back to where it should be. Copyright is supposed to help motivate people to create new content. Ok, so someone please explain to me why under any conditions a copyright should go on more than a few years after an artist death. Once the person has died your not going to motivate them to make anything else. I can understand giving the family the rights to it for at most 10 years and that is pushing it. Copyrights should not last more than 20 or 30 years for any reason. That is not causing anyone any motivation to create things. I would say having copyrights longer than 5 years is just encouraging people to try and ride the glory of past works.

     

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  34.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Good for him. Seriously. It's the insinuation that anyone not doing the same must be stupid ("from the why-can't-everyone-be-this-sensible? dept") that bothers me.

    Kind of like the constant insinuation that anyone who doesn't support stronger copyright laws is anti-artist and a pirate?

     

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  35.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re:

    yes, lets not lose focus on people taking something they didn't pay for, abolish copyright blah blah, anything to justify your reason for not paying and only wanting for free

    yes, lets not read the post or the linked article, piracy blah blah, anything to justify your rhetoric that totally misses the point

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't imagine why someone would think of you as a lying, disingenuous slimy sociopath, Masnick. It's not like you run a blog that willfully ignores all the negative aspects of piracy or something...

     

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  37.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not like you run a blog that willfully ignores all the negative aspects of piracy or something...

    Are you kidding? Techdirt is constantly covering the negative aspects of piracy: draconian legislation, dishonest rhetoric, anti-competitive lawsuits, fundamentally flawed industry studies, confused rants from past-their-prime rockers, erosion of the 1st and 4th amendments... the list goes on and on!

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice! You've obviously learned how to be willfully ignorant from the best!

     

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  39.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice! You've obviously learned how to be willfully ignorant from the best!

    About what, exactly?

     

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  40.  
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    Angus (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Techdirt is full of shit

    I have only replied on one other article of this blog so far, and it was to state that I, as an artist, support piracy and release all my works for free under a Creative Commons License.

    I will never forget the vitriol that was flung my way berating me as a pro-copyright, anti-free-culture selfish arsehole.

    And now this article, that blatantly opens with "you might expect him to be a typical artistic fat-cat who regards every act of piracy of his [works] as a personal insult that in a just world would be avenged by amputation of limbs and life incarceration at the minimum"

    SO many artists release their stuff for free under CC.

    Techdirt, pull your fucking head in and stop abusing the wrong people and praising the right people only when you think it will boost your web 2.0 presence.

     

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

  41.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Techdirt is full of shit

    Wait, I'm confused - you stated that you use CC and support piracy, and then you were berated for being pro-copyright? If so that certainly isn't fair - but that also doesn't sound right to me at all. What post are you referring to?

     

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  42.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re:

    May I have some of your air? I'll give you my CO2 in return!

     

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  43.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    Wait, are you saying that by downloading infringing copies of industry standard software to acquire skill and ability in it, so that employers who buy bulk licenses can hire you, is justifying their purchase? Madness!

     

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  44.  
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    Greevar (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Techdirt is full of shit

    It might be because your comments contradict your stated stance on the issue. I also don't see very much berating in the subsequent comments. I do see people pointing out the logical errors in your comment.

    A wee bit touchy me thinks.

     

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  45.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AS an actual diagnosed sociopath, you don't have a fucking clue what you're talking about.

     

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  46.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You respect that but you have no problem disrespecting everyone here, assuming (falsely) that we infringe and calling us all sorts of insulting names? I think you've called me a "fucking idiot" more times than I can remember.

    And when we have the gall to suggest to people ways in which they might be *better* off and make *more* money by using these things to their advantage, you claim that *we're* disrespectful?

    Wow. Just wow.


    Your punches just aren't landing, Mike. The point I was making is that you have no respect for people who chose to do anything other than embrace piracy with open arms. That's a stupid, narrow view of things. I respect those who choose to embrace piracy as well as those who choose to vindicate their rights. Unlike you, I don't hold it against people who fight back when their rights are trampled. But we all know you love piracy and hate copyright, Mike. No need to remind us of that.

     

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  47.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Techdirt is full of shit

    If you were any more contradictory, your paradox crumple zone would collapse. I honestly have no clue what your mesaage is.

     

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  48.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't imagine why someone would think of you as a lying, disingenuous slimy sociopath, Masnick. It's not like you run a blog that willfully ignores all the negative aspects of piracy or something...

    LOL! Exactly. There's no balance. No honesty. No objectivity.

    Techdirt: It's bias-and-prejudice for all!

     

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  49.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Um, pretty much every nation on earth has laws protecting intellectual property. That's the "tide" you're swimming against. If you want to change the law, then by all means work to that end. Until then, just accept that yours is the minority view. I don't like lots of laws. But you won't see me whining about them and breaking them like I'm above it all. That's what sociopaths do.

     

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  50.  
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    Eldakka (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    pretty much every nation on earth has laws protecting intellectual property

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

    Just because something is against the law doesn't make it bad or wrong.

    I break the law all the time. I foccasionally speed. Sometimes (say, on a deserted country highway) I change lanes without indicating. If it's say 3am in the morning and i get a red light in a deserted industrial estate, i'll stop and if no traffic will go through the red light.

    OMG all illgal, I am a horrible, bad person for breaking the law!

    The law needs to be tempered with common sense. If its not hurting anyone else to 'break' the law, then whats wrong with it? Copyright infringement (not piracy, I don't cruise the high seas performing armed, forceful boardings of vessels and kidnap, murder, rob passengers) hurts no-one.

     

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  51.  
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    Eldakka (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Kind of like the constant insinuation that anyone who doesn't support stronger copyright laws is anti-artist and a pirate?
    I don't think that word means what you think it means ;)

    I.e. these people aren't insinuating, they are explicitly saying that.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hate copyright, or hate the egregious expansion of a right that is supposed to benefit ALL of the people, not just the creators, and especially not the middlemen?

     

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  53.  
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    Modplan (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Come back when you've read this:

    http://piracy.ssrc.org/

     

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  54.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All of them setup by people who think the way that you do. Mark my words average_joe. You are in the minority on this, and it is only a matter of time before your minoirty is removed from its current seat of power. As younger generations begin to take hold you will see your grip loosen. That is why you and people like you are fighting so hard to get as much control as you can now. You too recognize that your days are numbered.

     

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  55.  
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    Ben Finney, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    So let's not vilify.

    > If you vilify pirates, you are spurning an important part of your unofficial marketing department.

    So let's stop vilifying them: don't call them pirates.

    Copyright infringement is not violent, and copying is not theft. Ditch the smear name ďpirateĒ if we want a reasoned discussion.

     

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  56.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you're painting me with a broad brush. I couldn't care less if you get the votes and get the laws taken off the books. Good for you if you believe in something and you can make it happen in the appropriate way, i.e., the democratic, legislative process. I'm not at all threatened by the thought of less or even no copyright. In fact, if I had my way copyright rights wouldn't be nearly as broad as they are today.

    But until you do actually change the law, respect the law as it exists and stop violating other people's rights. Otherwise you're just another selfish sociopath.

     

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  57.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Um, pretty much every nation on earth has laws protecting intellectual property.

    Bolivia doesn't. It's doing pretty damn well for itself. Also, the rest of your argument hinges on a misnomer. People have been trying for a while to change the law.

    If you want to change the law, then by all means work to that end.
    It's rather hard to change a law that no one respects. Case in point, the DMCA exceptions is done every year and the EFF can't change the most egregious examples.

    Until then, just accept that yours is the minority view.

    Wow, Nixon has risen from the dead to talk for the silent majority. You can look at all of the evidence of people opposed to SOPA and say, with a straight face, that they are a minority?

    You claim to speak for film makers, publishers, gamers or the other groups where their "minority" view is that they all oppose this attack on the internet?

    But you won't see me whining about them and breaking them like I'm above it all.

    No, you just throw out ad hominem attacks at people when you don't agree. What else is new?

     

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  58.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That wouldn't happen. His brain would explode from being dead wrong on all of his issues with Mike.

     

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  59.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Unlike you, I don't hold it against people who fight back when their rights are trampled.

    Joe, that's EXACTLY what you are doing right now. You act as though those who want strong copyright and those who don't can just live in harmony, but that's ignoring the issue: the two sets of rights are often in conflict, as is the case with proposed stronger copyright legislation. What is the number one issue people here have with SOPA? That it will curtail the rights of others.

    So yes, it's clear which side of the debate Techdirt is on (did you expect otherwise?) but your attempt to make it sound like there shouldn't be any conflict, and like those of us who oppose stronger copyright are just being childish and selfish - well, that's more disingenuous and narrowminded than anything Mike's ever written.

     

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  60.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So your philosophy is "obey every law, no matter how unjust you feel it to be"?

    That's a disturbingly absolute point of view. Good thing not everyone in the world is like you.

     

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  61.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There are times when the law shouldn't be obeyed. This isn't one of them. Infringing whatever you want under some guise of proper civil disobedience is idiotic. Infringers are no better than shoplifters. But, yeah. Keep defending your lawbreaker friends. God forbid you actually stand up for the victims.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re:

    It's PROFESSIONAL software though...so as a hobbyist, you can't bitch about the price of something if it's meant for professionals. I'm sure there is another program out there that is way cheaper which is actually meant for people who just want to make things in their spare time. But honestly, the price was probably mainly due to the store...programs are usually cheaper elsewhere.

     

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  63.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one has to defend piracy to understand it's inevitable.

    Seeing as how copyright is abused by those that want control should at least expose the lie that infringement is the issue here. It's not.

    Odds are, Jamendo or the Internet Archive, who have nothing to do with piracy of the angry copyright holders like Universal and Sony, would be some of the first sites attacked with SOPA litigation. Even the DMCA is used and abused for no reason other than to eliminate competition.

    That's the problem here. No one is really going for piracy, merely to eliminate platforms for artists so they rely on inefficient alternatives.

     

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  64.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one has to defend piracy to understand it's inevitable.

    Illiteracy, hunger, and homelessness are inevitable too. As are theft, embezzlement, and fraud. So what? That doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything about it.

     

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  65.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You can. Learn to understand the differences and respond accordingly.

    Otherwise, make a mountain out of a molehill. The choice is yours.

     

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  66.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Techdirt is full of shit

    It's right here.

    He has this idea that he needs copyright when it makes no sense.

    Look at the thread and come to your own conclusions. I still believe the CC-NC license does pretty poorly at advertising him and the fact is, he still has that Dragonball cover exposing the poor understanding of copyright debates. But hey, what do I know? He can't find a platform to upload his songs because Universal might take it from him.

     

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  67.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And for the longest while, Adobe programs have been the programs you want to learn how to use if you want to work professionally in the photo-editing/animation/whatever fields.
    Sure, I can learn how to use GIMP, but that's a completely different program than Photoshop, with different controls and a different interface. It's like saying to me you can learn to drive a large eighteen wheel truck by learning to drive a 4 wheeled car. They may both be similar vehicles/programs but training for one doesn't equate to training for the other.

     

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  68.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Case in point - My best friend is a professional animator, but growing up and especially throughout college, he obviously had no money and even if he had, wouldn't have been able to afford the exorbitant fees for all the high end software like Autodesk, Maya, XSI or Adobe. In order to learn how to use them, he had to pirate them. It's a vicious circle: they want you to pay in order to use the programs, but he wouldn't have had any money until he learned how to use them and worked with them professionally, which wouldn't be able to happen unless he already had the programs and learned how to use them.

     

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  69.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re:

    Happened to my best friend. How else is one supposed to learn how to use industry level software?

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's funny how disrespecting copyright is such a minority view and that's why you need harsher laws, to deal with this minority view?

     

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  71.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:54am

    I think Trey is totally wrong. First off, thereís no guarantee that anyone will know who created the stolen work. Unless your name is on the image, and not removed by someone, then no one will know.

    And a thief is a thief. It you donít have the money to pay for something, why make it my problem by stealing from me? And if stealing tic-tacs from the convenience is okay, then maybe stealing a case of Pepsi, or a couple cases of candy bars is fine too. Stealing is stealing, and itís wrong. There are lots of things I want but canít afford, but I would never think of stealing them.

    So far, Iíve tracked over $1,000,000 worth of illegal downloads of one of my ebooks (http://www.thecreativescorner.com/2010/03/23/your-copyright-is-useless/). I DO NOT consider that okay, or just part of doing business. Itís theft, and I would gladly put all of these thieves in jail. And to date, not one of these thieves has come forward, apologized, and paid for what they have stolen from me.

    Thereís no reason to justify illegal behavior. And taking my money, that puts food on my table and a roof over my head, will not be forgiven.

    Jeff

     

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  72.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Off to buy umm, something!

    Giving him credit is nice, but if you used his work without his permission, you're in violation of the copyright law.

     

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  73.  
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    Terry Sorenson (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Trey Ratcliff is a nobody

    Any of your maggot copyright infringers who think he's setting an example are just fooling yourself. Keep praying to Jebus because we will find you and fine you.

     

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  74.  
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    tsavory (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 11:07pm

    Re:

    sorry to hear that people have not supported you and as you say taken from the money that puts food on your table.

    Just wondering if you think its ok to shut down a site such as rapidshare down because others have taken from you?

    I would hope that you would say no because if they take down sites like those well that one in particular it shuts down my means of distribution of software and scripts that I create and they pay my bills. Using this site allows me to save on the bandwidth and storage fees. Granted I can buy server space and pay for extra bandwidth but that cuts into my money.

    Sites like rapidshare, megaupload, fileserve and many others are meant for file storage and distribution are not designed to be channels for infringement even though many use them for that and they try to get rid of any they find. But as everyone that listened to the markup they are some of the sites they want to block.

    Now I am not saying that piracy is a good thing or a bad thing it is just something that happens and yes I think that something needs to be done to a degree but don't cut off my income because others have stole from you. Go after the ones that uploaded the infringing material and those that downloaded it but leave me, my legal content, and affordable distribution channel alone. I NEED to eat and stay warm same as you do.

    So please keep the eye on the ball censorship in never a good idea.

    PS your link to your 1,000,000 dollars stolen from you is a 404 page. Might want to find the real page if you want to use it to prove a point.

     

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  75.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    Hi Tsavory,

    Sorry about the link, I fixed the issue. Try this again http://www.thecreativescorner.com/2010/03/23/your-copyright-is-useless.

    I have no problem with the storage sites you mentioned, as long as they check every document uploaded to their site for copyright infringement before posting it. If they decided to run a business where anyone can upload anything, then they need to have something in place to be sure they aren't allowing copyright infringement. That's just part of running their business properly. If they can't, then shut them down.

    In my fight against those who allow my ebooks to be illegally downloaded I've managed to have pages removed from sites, posters banned and some sites permanently removed. But now that places like Torrents are only viewable by paying members (which definitely makes them in violation of copyright law because they are financially profiting from copyright infringement) I can no longer see if these sites are letting people download my work.

    If the government would get involved with enforcing the copyright laws, instead of leaving it up to the little guy to fight large companies, things would be better. I mean, the government does charge to register a copyright so why not spend some of that money to enforce the copyright laws that they are in charge of?

    Have Fun,
    Jeff

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dude, I saw your numbers on that page. You clearly don't know hoe to use the internet. If you honestly believe you 'tracked' all those fake downloads and malware links, then I pity you.

     

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  77.  
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    tsavory (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Sorry about the link, I fixed the issue. Try this again http://www.thecreativescorner.com/2010/03/23/your-copyright-is-useless."
    Thanks for the link.
    Interesting article and I can feel your frustration I am not against you on wanting something done. I am willing to go though and see if we can find out what went wrong on a few levels let me take this part of the article and explain a little on it so that maybe you can understand how and why the attempts at this site did not work.

    "One of these sites claims to put all removed books into a database. When a new book is uploaded, it is supposed to compare it to everything in the database, and if there are any matches, the manuscript will not be posted on the website. So far, this site has posted my book on five separate occasions. I guess their database doesnít work very well."
    Most these sites add hash tags and file names to these databases to try to stop file from being re-posted and it does stop those that just re-upload it but the problem with this is that people 1 change the name a bit and 2 add something the zip file that contains the infringement this changes the the hash tag oops then it no longer meets the infringing material that was sent with the original DMCA they have no way of knowing what the new hash or file name is till they are informed.
    If you have any technological way of making it so they would know I am sure places would like to hear it even if not I know I would love to have this wonderful insight. As it sounds like a idea to create software and make money blocking others from infringing.

    "I have no problem with the storage sites you mentioned, as long as they check every document uploaded to their site for copyright infringement before posting it. If they decided to run a business where anyone can upload anything, then they need to have something in place to be sure they aren't allowing copyright infringement. That's just part of running their business properly. If they can't, then shut them down."

    Ok let us go on to this section you have about checking every document I am sorry I don't want my privacy invaded by tearing apart my .exe files apart and exposing the source code to the script that is supposed to check every file. I keep my business records backed up though my computer an external hard drive and I also encrypt the files rar them up password the rar file and zip the rar file with a different password before uploading and no way is it feasible for any company to check into these files. not to mention the quantity of files being uploaded to sites like this its just plan and simply impractical to expect them to check every file being uploaded.

    "If the government would get involved with enforcing the copyright laws, instead of leaving it up to the little guy to fight large companies, things would be better. I mean, the government does charge to register a copyright so why not spend some of that money to enforce the copyright laws that they are in charge of?"

    Yeah sure it costs to register a copyright but the 30-35 dollars (don't remember what it was that the wife paid to copyright her book) that it cost will not go very far covering any kind of enforcement.
    This is why you find a way to offer your work in a super convenient way. I know that my wife's and my work will be infringed all I can do is hope that its easier and at a reasonable enough rate for them to get it legally.

    Now I understand your thing of help me fight these big guys you can also turn it around to help me defend against these big guys for those that are not big enough or the technology is just not there to prevent. either way as with everything else the little guy loses trust me I know and wish there was a way to change it. but can't invade peoples privacy or censor people to do it as that counter productive and leads down a very dangerous road.

     

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  78.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Ok let us go on to this section you have about checking every document I am sorry I don't want my privacy invaded by tearing apart my .exe files apart and exposing the source code to the script that is supposed to check every file. I keep my business records backed up though my computer an external hard drive and I also encrypt the files rar them up password the rar file and zip the rar file with a different password before uploading and no way is it feasible for any company to check into these files. not to mention the quantity of files being uploaded to sites like this its just plan and simply impractical to expect them to check every file being uploaded."

    They don't need to go to all this trouble, just visually look at the document being uploaded. The sites that had illegal downloads of my ebook clearly showed my copyright notice, and a paragraph saying it was copyright protected. If someone sees a document, written by Jeff Colburn, but submitted by Joe Schmuck, then it's a pretty safe bet that it's copyright infringement.

    One guy even bundled my book with over 100 other books, that included authors Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. And this bundle appeared on 3 different sites that I know of. Since almost no writer has 100 books to their name, any idiot could tell that this was copyright infringement, if they bothered to look.

    For my blog I have to approve every comment. I've gone through over 7,000 posts to see what's real and what spam. If I can do this, so can these other companies.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff

     

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  79.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Dude, I saw your numbers on that page. You clearly don't know hoe to use the internet. If you honestly believe you 'tracked' all those fake downloads and malware links, then I pity you."

    I didn't track anything. The pages I went to on these sites showed how many times that document had been downloaded. I still have copies of those pages showing the download stats.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Copying bits is not theft.

     

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  81.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    Re:

    Using what someone else has created, (art, photography, writing, music) whether it's digital or not is theft, and the person that does steals it is in violation of copyright law.

    If you want something for some project of your own, then create it yourself. If you can't create it, then buy it from someone who can. If you can't create it or buy it, learn to live without it.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff

     

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  82.  
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    tsavory (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "They don't need to go to all this trouble, just visually look at the document being uploaded. The sites that had illegal downloads of my ebook clearly showed my copyright notice, and a paragraph saying it was copyright protected. If someone sees a document, written by Jeff Colburn, but submitted by Joe Schmuck, then it's a pretty safe bet that it's copyright infringement."

    Now I just ask you this question as I do not know your situation here all the way but it was uploaded title.doc or title.epub or title.zip(title= the title of your book)? Or uploaded as somename.zip, sometitlename.zip see adding it to a zip file puts it in a new layer so its not as simple as look at the file. Or are you talking about a page that had info and a link to a file? not sure we are on the same page here. I am thinking more towards file hosts like rapidshare and rereading it is sounding like you are talking about your book put in viewable text that you load though a web page? If the last one is the case such as I would think scribd.com would be then that's a different matter and I can't speak on that as I know not what kind of privacy issues they they would have trying to look at the document or tools to prevent they would try to use to help block content.

    "One guy even bundled my book with over 100 other books, that included authors Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. And this bundle appeared on 3 different sites that I know of. Since almost no writer has 100 books to their name, any idiot could tell that this was copyright infringement, if they bothered to look."

    Now got a bundle of 100 books so it for sure was a zip or rar file which adds the extra layer so looking at the file does nothing unless it says stolenbooks.zip because that what a file storage sees not what is in them and they can't till how many files are in a rar or zip file.
    And wow sorry to tell you I have almost 800 physical books not counting about 400+ ebooks many were free and many paid for. Free books get 100's of them from places like smashwords.com not that most good ones are free but hey that's where we published our books(well my wife's) So because they have 100 books in a zip file that its illegal.I can zip up my free and purchased books and store backups of them as long as I don't hand out the backups or the orginals.
    oh and here is a link you can grab a few free ebooks if you want Look it over. More than 8400 free books that site alone. Now I can't swear none are infringements.

    "For my blog I have to approve every comment. I've gone through over 7,000 posts to see what's real and what spam. If I can do this, so can these other companies."

    file storage sites and big linking sites are closer to 7000 a day and they use scripts to try and block what they know are to be infringement. It is not perfect but some have been making progress.

    Now just as an example of something I have done to help me fight and at least get a little bit out of those that may steal my work I have been known to make a post to rouge sites saying hey I see that you are looking at this software/book whatever and since you are here instead of at my site means that you feel its not worth x amount so I am willing to give you a break and let you have it for y. you would be amazed at how many end up buying it at the y if not the x amount just to support someone who is willing to work with them. Just an idea I know it should not have come to that but hey I still get a little bit out of it.

     

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  83.  
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    tsavory (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    let me clearify this part "as long as I don't hand out the backups or the originals or links for other to download them."

     

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  84.  
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    Jeff Colburn, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Now I just ask you this question as I do not know your situation here all the way but it was uploaded title.doc or title.epub or title.zip(title= the title of your book)? Or uploaded as somename.zip, sometitlename.zip see adding it to a zip file puts it in a new layer so its not as simple as look at the file. Or are you talking about a page that had info and a link to a file? not sure we are on the same page here. I am thinking more towards file hosts like rapidshare and rereading it is sounding like you are talking about your book put in viewable text that you load though a web page? If the last one is the case such as I would think scribd.com would be then that's a different matter and I can't speak on that as I know not what kind of privacy issues they they would have trying to look at the document or tools to prevent they would try to use to help block content."

    People who purchased my book took the PDF and uploaded it to Scribd and Torrent sites. Depending on the site, you could view the first few pages, or the entire document, before downloading it.

    As for the 100+ book bundle, it was a ZIP file. But the download page contained a list of all of the book titles and their authors. I contacted all the famous authors (Bradbury, etc.) and told them where they could find these files of their books. Several contacted me and said they passed the info along to their lawyer or publisher.

    Storing books on these sites, like you do, is fine. These people were offering the zip files as downloads.

    Your idea of offering a lower price is a good one. I'll have to look into doing that.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff

     

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

  85.  
    icon
    tsavory (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well depending on privacy policy's the owners can't look at the documents unless given the DMCA notice so even though it is frustrating not much past turning in individual infringements not much can be done without lawyers and I wish it was not so.
    But the fact of the matter is that people will still steal others work and give it away and I would support a bill that would stop the infringements and none of these as of to date will. Or even slow them down with out taking away mine or anybody else s rights to the legal aspects of such sites by censoring us.
    Please know that I truly do feel you frustration and know how it can hurt the pocket book. But I am not willing to have any freedoms or liberties taken for money. I have my wife and kids the rest are material things that can be replaced till freedoms and liberties are taken.

    I hope that all this gave you a bit of insight around why things are from a hosts perspective and maybe a way to cut back a bit on your losses. Its been a good chat and seemed a bit productive.

    Thanks for not calling me a pirate loving freetard because we on opposite sides of the fence. I am like many here that don't like piracy but are positive that the way these bills are written will be worse for all of us because we will still have to deal with the infringes but then we will have to deal with those that WILL abuse SOPA or PIPA as they are just to badly written right now.

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    rs1, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Right on

    questioncopyright.org

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Ratt on the Cliff, Feb 21st, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    This guy DOES care if his stuff is pirated. He tells everyone on his website blog all about it. What a contradiction to how he acts in life. What else do you lie about Trey?

     

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


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