An Open Letter To Content Creators: One 'Pirate' Explains Why He Infringes & How To Get His Money

from the the-power-has-shifted dept

We launched our Step 2 discussion platform last fall, just before the whole SOPA/PIPA fight heated up. It was just the first part of a much bigger planned program to better engage the wider community around here, with more parts rolling out as we move forward. The timing was interesting, and while we had intended to feature more content from Step2 on Techdirt early on, the SOPA/PIPA debate took precedence. However, even without us constantly tending to Step2 -- or even mentioning it -- over at Techdirt, a group of you took to it and have built up some interesting discussions. I wanted to highlight a few of the discussions there you might have missed over the past few months, starting off with one of the most popular ones on the site: An Open Letter To Content Creators from user Bobbi Smith, explaining "why he pirates." It's a long open letter, but if you want to understand the mindset, it's an important read for content creators.

I'm sure some will -- quite incorrectly -- try to summarize the point as one of entitlement, but if you read the details, it's actually quite the opposite. It's the story of someone who's sick of the sense of entitlement from big entertainment providers -- those who want you to pay top prices for mediocre content -- and then expect you to come back for more. If there's one key theme running through the discussion it's that control has shifted. The big gatekeepers used to have full control of the market, but now there's been a massive market shift: to the consumers. Smith isn't arguing that he "just wants everything for free" or that he feels entitled to things for free. Actually, he makes it clear that he willingly pays for things all the time -- when the content makes him "happy," when the offering doesn't try to limit him and when the price is reasonable.

If you read the full thing, you'll realize that the article is not a defense of piracy. It's an argument for how content creators can do better -- something that we've been seeing more and more content creators figure out. Content creators who understand this letter will recognize that it's not about piracy so much as about how to satisfy a market and make money doing so.


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    DannyB (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Too long. Isn't it easier to just summarize that evil pirates want everything for free and shutting down Google will magically drive people back to paying whatever the content middlemen want?

     

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Oh I commented there when it was posted. At the time I still bought stuff I really liked along with donating to the artists that had that channel. Now if there's no donation channel (or live shows or stuff that get the money directly to the artist) I simply won't give my money.

    It's really worth reading.

     

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    Miko, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    There's an implicit endorsement of piracy, however. The only reason content distributors (which is what I assume you meant by "content creators") care about how to satisfy a market and make money doing so is because piracy has shifted the balance of power away from their old model of not satisfying a market but making money anyway.

    Piracy should be endorsed for the same reason that the strike should be endorsed: not because it's good to have workers on picket lines instead of in factories, but because the threat of it often destroys the arrogance of those who would exploit them and protects them in the cases where the arrogance is too great to be destroyed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    listening to customers would be the best thing any of the content creators could possibly do but it will be the last thing any of them actually do. that's because they wont get off their high horse, wont accept that they dont know what's best for people and if they did, it would mean admitting that they have been wrong all along. punishing customers for finding a service that does what the customer wants a lot better than the industries do themselves is completely the wrong approach! the harm the industries have done/are still doing to themselves is phenomenal. calling customers 'pirates' that always want 'stuff for free' is not the way to win them back either, particularly when 90% are perfectly willing to pay but the content isn't available 'legally' when they want it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:28am

    "In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.

    Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe." - Gabe Newell

    But what does that guy know?

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re: (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻

    So, tell me--would an article about parachuting be an implicit endorsement of gravity?

    Or is it just somebody talking about something they do--something they do which happens to be consistent with reality?

     

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    MrWilson, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Only if content publishers (I loathe to refer to unimaginative greedy middlemen as "creators") want to live in denial of the fact that Google isn't powerful because it's Google but because Google is built on a concept that doesn't go away just because you kill the company itself. If Google goes down, especially over IP issues, other search engines will spring up in its place and those will evolve to develop defenses against whatever methods were used to kill Google. What are they going to do when search engines live on distributed darknets? You have to kill the internet to truly kill Google or any of the googles that follow it.

     

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    bob, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Let me get this straight. I can write an open letter asking the food companies to do better on calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do, I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want. They need to earn my money.

    Maybe the editors of Maxim or Playboy could write an open letter asking the women to "do better" at satisfying them and until then, they'll act like rakes or cads.

    Or maybe I can just write an open letter to cancer and ask cancer to do better or else I'll refuse to die. Yeah. That will work.

    So I can just write my own open letter and ask Bobbi Smith to "do better" and cough up more cash for my work. After all, that's the mechanism that's supposed to work. It's like a magic wand, only with text.

    What is fascinating is that there's little acknowledgement that there are living, breathing humans on the other side of the transaction. There's no acknowledgement that the creators need to eat, pay the rent, and purchase health insurance. Nope. It's all a focus on the consumer who is supposedly allowed to simply stamp his/her feet and if the hard working creators don't snap to it, the consumer will feel free to simply take it. Wow, that's a model of one spoiled brat.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Hey I think everyone "rise up" and take a stand against gravity. Those who are for it have to be taken "down."

    (I know it's cheesy but I couldn't resist.)

     

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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Intentionally misunderstanding the point doesn't change reality. You adjust to the market.

     

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    Rich, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    I see reductio ad ridiculum is alive and kicking.

     

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    bizarro bob, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:50am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Now, there you go again. Conflating theft with infringement. Please rewrite your comment. It's making my head hurt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Hah, this one was a classic.

    However, on a slightly more serious note...

    There's no acknowledgement that the creators need to eat, pay the rent, and purchase health insurance.

    No, the scenario is more like there's a creator that needs to eat, pay the rent and purchase health insurance and we consumers are offering many ways for them to take our money, but the creators are stomping their foot and saying, "No, you need to give me your money only in ways I dictate."

    That's not how the market works.

     

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    Grimby, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Why do I pirate? Because when I buy something through legit sources they make it a huge pain in the ass. Ok, so I wanted to play Mass Effect 3 and saw Gamefly had it on sale. So I convert my awesome client-free Direct2Drive account to a Gamefly account and buy the game. Once I've made the purchase I'm told I have to install their client to get the game.

    I download and install the client. It's a slow laggy piece of shit. Ok fine, I just have to use this to download and I'm play - shouldn't be more than a couple of hours on my connection. That's how it worked with D2D anyway. Nope, my download crawls and takes over 12 hours to download.

    Ok, so now it's been a full day since I've made my purchase. I try to install the game, now it's forcing me to install Origin - ok fine. I install Origin, enter my key and I get a generic error message telling me the install failed. There's no reason given, just a generic message. Ok, reboot my computer and give this a try again - still no good.

    So, I find the source files only to see the single giant zip file that Gamefly downloaded is corrupted. So after 20 minutes of screwing around with Gamefly again I can't figure out how to get it to allow me to re-download the game.

    I now go into Origin and try downloading from there - but there's another generic error. I reboot my machine, still no good. So I uninstall Origin, reboot and reinstall. Now I'm able to download the game via Origin. 2 hours later it's done and installed leaving me no time to actually play the game yet.

    I bought the game 2 days ago and still haven't played. How is forcing me to install multiple shitty clients, both of which are labeled beta yet HAVE to be used to get the game. So, I'm also forced to be a goddamn software tester for these companies in order to buy a game. How does this serve me as a customer? It doesn't.

    Pirates were playing the game without issue while I spent two days just trying to get the damn game on my computer. This is why people pirate. It's nothing to do with not paying, it's all about the customer experience. The pirate customer experience is better than what the legit sources offer.

     

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    John Doe, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    There's no acknowledgement that the creators need to eat, pay the rent, and purchase health insurance.

    First, I will ignore your equating copyright infringement to theft as surely you know the different. There is no right to make a living. Our only right is to pursue making a living. The market will decide if we do or not. Right now, fighting the market is not a good way to make a living.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    tl;dr: make everything cheaper, make everything available.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    In your food company analogy... 1. When have the food companies ever attempted to strip away the public's constitutional rights? 2. There is plenty of competition in the food industry such that the free market takes care of that such that it doesn't have to be implicitly stated and the food companies know that.

    The other examples you use are just to idiotic to even warrant a response. Hell, my 5 year old daughter makes better arguments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    They need to earn my money.

    This might be the first thing you've ever gotten right in a post!

    I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want

    No, you wouldnt. To make your example work you'd have to walk in the store where the store owner would slap you in the face, call you a thief, put handcuffs and ankle cuffs while you shop and try to educate you why their apples cost $50.

    I'd bet you leave and walk down the street and pick up an apple from the infinite pile sitting there.

    Or maybe I can just write an open letter to cancer and ask cancer to do better or else I'll refuse to die. Yeah. That will work.

    Correct; also cancer wouldnt get paid either.

     

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    monkyyy, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    young one remember the wisdom of the internet, always pirate before u buy; we try very hard to make sure u learn this point w/o going through all this easily avoidable suffering

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    This article was apparently written specifically for you.

    1. Your content will always be available for free on the internet.
    2. Read #1 again and again until you really understand it. I'll wait.

    Now, you either listen to what your customers want and make money, or you continue to whine about the above fact until you go bankrupt.

    No doubt you are prepared to whine as a response to this post, too. So be it. I know you think file sharing is theft. I disagree, and you won't change my opinion by whining. You are not going to get my business by whining. You are not going to get me to tell all my friends about your work by whining.

    Adapt or get tossed into the dustbin of history.

     

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    Cowardly Anonymous, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:02am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Let me get this straight. I can write an open letter asking the food companies to do better on calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do, I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want. They need to earn my money.


    Ah, but the grocery stores do get complaints when a product goes away that people liked. At least where I am products have a way of reappearing after even a few of those complaints. The grocery stores are held to this standard.

    Or maybe I can just write an open letter to cancer and ask cancer to do better or else I'll refuse to die. Yeah. That will work.


    Since it won't respond to are entreaties, we attack it with the intent to destroy. The approach we take to cancer would be akin to burning down RIAA/MPAA offices, which isn't happening. Cancer is not a valid analogy.

    So I can just write my own open letter and ask Bobbi Smith to "do better" and cough up more cash for my work. After all, that's the mechanism that's supposed to work. It's like a magic wand, only with text.


    The RIAA goes even further. Rather than request your money, they demand it, with the threat of legal action hanging over your head.

    What is fascinating is that there's little acknowledgement that there are living, breathing humans on the other side of the transaction. There's no acknowledgement that the creators need to eat, pay the rent, and purchase health insurance. Nope. It's all a focus on the consumer who is supposedly allowed to simply stamp his/her feet and if the hard working creators don't snap to it, the consumer will feel free to simply take it. Wow, that's a model of one spoiled brat.


    So, someone tells you how you can get him to pay you money, and your response is that you need money? It's his money, if you want it, you have to earn it. It doesn't matter how much you need it.

    Take a closer look at his story, before he started file-sharing he had stopped spending any money at all on these industries. That is what you will be facing if you succeed in stopping file-sharing, a full on boycott. That means even less money to help pay for those necessities.

     

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    monkyyy, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    he knows nothing, pirates are clearly terrorists who if u give them what they want they will start using bombs rather then the internet to kill the economy

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    And just like my daughter isn't allowed to get her way by whining about something these children can't be allowed to get their way by whining about things either.

     

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    John Doe, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Love, love, love this quote!

    The question isn't whether I'll get your content in the format I want, the question is will you get my money in exchange for it?

    Power to the people!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    are you going to run to the government and force them to bring in legislation that makes people buy your content then? bit hard to do that when it isn't available, which is the main reason people look elsewhere in the first place. you having to eat and pay health insurance is irrelevant. you make customers wait for content, they make you wait to eat. simples!

     

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    jsl4980 (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    I don't get the complaint that pirates are people who feel "entitled" to have whatever they want, when they want it. The content distributors need to realize that the content is already available to the potential pirates in formats then want when they want it. When the distributors choose not to compete with reality that makes a potential consumer's choice to pirate or do nothing. If they don't have an option to purchase then of course they won't.

    The distributors need to realize reality - the content is out there and available. If you want to earn money then you need to offer a product.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    I really don't get that there are consumers who are willing to buy something, and that there are people who refuse to sell it to them. Forget about piracy for a second and please explain to me how this is an intelligent choice?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    so you signed a horrible deal with a publisher/distributer on your work and now you are upset with the customer?

    look, there are people out there every day who want to give you money. things like region locking, drm and release windows are preventing that from happening, so they get it elsewhere.

    do yourself a favor and get out of that model of business.

    oh and not all of us pirate. i'm much worse than that. if i can't get it the way i want, i don't buy it. and then usually forget about it. which means i forget about you.

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:23am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Considering the nature of the goods and what is happening this is more to the effect of this.

    I can write an open letter demanding Longhorn steakhouse build easier to get to locations and charge reasonable prices or I will cook my own damn steak.

    They have the option to ignore me and I have option to get same product a different way. I have not stolen their steaks by getting my own.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    This is spot on.

    The content is already out there. I could just take it but I am asking to buy it. And I get told to bugger off.
    WTF? You don't want my money or you don't care. I care and I asked. I want to pay for it. That's why iTunes is so cool.

    Really, is this too difficult to understand? At least there are people asking to pay. Instead of everyone saying the heel with the content Gate keepers and just get it with out paying.

     

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    hfbs (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    What I kept thinking throughout reading that is "if the MAFIAA sees this and goes 'waaaaaahh! He's getting our stuff for free! We need to stop him!' then they should just remember - the power sides with the pirates. Not the creators. If you don't do things the way they want, that's your problem - they have control"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    They are spoiled self-centered little children that grew into spoiled self-centered big children who are too arrogant to see. Arrogance trumps intelligence. "None so blind as..."

     

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    jjmsan (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Bob,Please do better.
    That aside lets look at your argument.
    Food companies: You are allowed to make copies it is called gardening and except in the case of Monsanto they only charge you for the bandwith(seeds). Under the current situation on the internet you could not grow the food because they did oranges first.
    Maxim and Playboy. Women are asking you to do better. If you manage to you won't need the magazines.
    Cancer: I was unaware that people dying showed approval of the job disease was doing. Perhaps you have misinterpreted this and it is a disapproval of life?
    You can write Bobbi Smith and ask him to do better. Unfortunatly, you can't force him to. Yes people produce things and want to get paid. They cannot force people to pay what they want or say what it is worth to the consumer.
    If you cannot set the price you are stuck accepting what the person says your product is worth to him or her. Which may be nothing, the cost of disk space and download time or cash. Its different then what was, but hey that's life. Feel free to ask life to do better.

     

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    MarksAngel (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:33am

    That letter is really worth reading, and I totally agree with the authors comments. The letter should be printed off and sent en-mass to every body in the business who "matters".

     

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    MarksAngel (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Who says the creators have a right to make a living off their art work? It's not a right, consumers choose to pay for art if they like it, not because the artist says "HEY YOU HAVE TO PAY ME".

    The sense of entitlement in your post is horrifying.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re:

    What? Are you suggesting that Google is not the entire internet? That's just an attempt to make the internet seem more complicated. All content middlemen see through your misinformation. :-)

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    So going with your spoiled child thing here take a look at Hollywood. They have a movie but they are refusing to sell it for several months just because, well because that is what they want to do.

    That sounds a lot like the little 2 year old who will not let anyone else play with a toy. It is not that they are playing with it or want to play with it. They just don't want someone else playing with it.

     

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    Paul Stout, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    bob, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Let me get this straight. I can write an open letter asking the food companies to do better on calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do, I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want. They need to earn my money.

    ----

    Nope, you haven't got it straight...

    In the real world it means is that if a food company doesn't do better on calories/tasted/freshness/whatever then you just go to a competitor who does. It's called 'voting with your wallet' which, if it becomes widespread consumer unhappiness, is also called 'company either adapts to reality or goes bankrupt', and is the generally accepted practice of how to handle the situation.

    But, this example of yours, and mine for that matter, doesn't really matter as your example conflates physical objects with intangible objects, which are not the same things at all. A rather nonsensical thing to do as it ignores how the rest of the world views things, i.e. reality.

     

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    DCX2, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    And just like my daughter isn't allowed to get her way by whining about something these children can't be allowed to get their way by whining about things either.

    I agree entirely. These content distributors are just children whining about how they don't want to treat customers with respect and how they feel entitled to our money without providing the products and services that their customers are asking for. They're just whining to government to pass draconian laws so that the distributors don't have to mature their obsolete business models.

     

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    AdamR (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    "Let me get this straight. I can write an open letter asking the food companies to do better on calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do, I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want. They need to earn my money.

    Maybe the editors of Maxim or Playboy could write an open letter asking the women to "do better" at satisfying them and until then, they'll act like rakes or cads. "

    You would be correct if we could download food and women from the internet nice try fool.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Does anyone else listen to the band honey honey?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    EXACTLY.

    Furthermore, as I have asserted before this is also the reason they can't understand the difference between THEFT and SHARING. For the rest of us, we grew up and were taught at a young age that being considerate of others and sharing with them was a GOOD thing to do. And we were properly corrected when we acted selfish and pitched temper tantrums when we didn't get our way. They apparently were not. Yes I am saying that these problems are a result of one thing... BAD PARENTING. It's their parents fault for not raising them right!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Now who is going to give bob the spanking he desperately deserves. Oh wait... My bad... That's exactly what we are already doing. :)

     

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  44.  
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    PRMan, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    "1. When have the food companies ever attempted to strip away the public's constitutional rights?"

    Monsanto. With their patented corn. And by forcing the government not to label GMO products. And by...

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    First thing, the dude needs to learn to write concisely. That was a very long story to say very little.

    Second, Mike, you are really getting desperate - pulling 3 month old threads out of Step2 and trying to get people to look? Wow!

    Third, most of his views are in the range of "give it to me my way, give it to me cheap, and give me lifetime support forever on every device I ever own or think of owning... and don't use DRM!". It's a very long version of a Techdirt talking points memo. Are you sure that Bobbi Smith (with an I, like girl) isn't a made up character?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Although I agree with you that that is bad. How specifically is that related to CONSTITUTIONAL rights?

     

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    PRMan, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Not to mention pomegranates. I love pomegranates, but the stores have crappy tasting pomegranates that cost $2 each.

    So what did I do? I pirated pomegranates. Now I copy 150-200 FREE pomegranates every year, and that supermarket that won't listen to my complaints doesn't get one red (pomegranate-stained) cent. With just a little care for my pomegranate-copying machine, I am really sticking it to those dinosaur supermarkets that won't adapt.

    (I feel like such a thief.)

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Let me get this straight.
    Awesome! You really want to understand! This is such a change for you!
    I can write an open letter asking the food companies to do better on calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do, I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want.
    Aww.. there you go again, dashing my hopes. I was really hoping you wanted to understand the topic, but instead you throw false analogies again.

    Here's how you should have written it:

    I can write an open letter asking the food companies to do better on calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do, I'll feel free to grow my own food.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    I really don't get that there are consumers who are willing to buy something, and that there are people who refuse to sell it to them. Forget about piracy for a second and please explain to me how this is an intelligent choice?

    Among other reasons I think it's because to them it's a binary equation. There's "piracy" and "non-piracy" and nothing in between. The idea that turning a large block of infringers into customers is as simple as selling the product in a way people want simply doesn't occur because in their mind that's giving ALL "pirates" what they want. That's what you get for brainwashing yourself with the mantra "All pirates are entitled freetard thieves that should be shot without trial" 20 times each morning.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    Here are more examples;

    there is a tv show offered on HBO I really enjoy (discovered by pirating) I have basic cable and don't want to spend another $40 for that tier - not just the money but I don't want to add 100 channels of crap either. I can't buy into watching just that show - online or otherwise.

    I do have basic cable and end up watching 3 shows. I'm never home when the shows are on and often not sitting in front of the tv. I'm not interested in buying another box (dvr). Why can't I get what I want, when I want it on the computer too?

    And then there are PAL movies and tv shows that play in my computer fine but not on tv which is just stupid.

    Life is so much easier downloading and watching on my laptop that I don't think I'll ever go back to tv again.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Cancer is the Ultimate Paywall.

     

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    Wintermute, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    "Monsanto. With their patented corn. And by forcing the government not to label GMO products. And by..."

    Except I don't recall those in the Constitution. But even if everyone conceded these points (without arguing their constitutionality), it's still beside the point he was making. Bad copyright law obliterates several Constitutional rights by taking away due process and stifling free speech.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    It's not an implicit endorsement of piracy, just pointing out the truth of the market.

    I particularly liked the statement about piracy existing and the way to deal with it being to do a better job of selling your content, sell it how the customer wants, sell it cheaper, etc: "If you don't like it, then sit in your basement and create your content for your love of the craft instead of for profit. But if you want to sell it to me, you're doing it my way."

    Piracy is simply the market realization of empowered customers.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    WOW

    That letter was just as AWESOME as the We the Webkids manifesto. I just had to laugh about all the Industry Insiders who will read it and be pissed off because a consumer would dare to tell them how to run their industry.

    I can all ready hear the chorus of "..but..but.. stepping over dollars to pick up pennies isn't a business model."

    Mr. Smith does an excellent job of explaining how to get his money and quite possibly my money and probably a lot of other consumers' money.

    One thing I think he could have focused on is the massive back catalogs of movies and TV (especially TV). There is a ton of content that is just sitting in vaults, not being sold and not being aired. I'm thinking that counts as lost sales.

     

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    ECA (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    A market

    that aims at those 12-27, is missing the sale of products to 2/3 of the market.
    I know many people that WOULD BUY, certain products/movies/music IF' it was available.
    Insted of making REMAKES of REMAKES, let us buy our favorites, with the actors we WANTED..
    Spending TIME in the $5-10 bin, from 10 minutes to hours..isnt what we desire.
    There are hundreds of releases each year, from the major and minor studios, as well as OLD/wierd stuff, then there is the STUFF that will never get to a market NEAR YOU.. Stuff you can only find on the net.

    They have a great chance to re-configure and design their WHOLE system, but they wont take it. They GOT their PIE long ago, and dont remember from the PAST.. WHY FIGHT IT, JOIN IT, and MAKE IT.. THEN control it.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    1. while i understand your point, it is technically flawed, because...
    2. Big Food *has* tried to -and sometimes succeeded- in passing so-called 'food disparagement' laws; see: oprah, hamburger (if it hadn't been for her deep pockets and huge soapbox, it is entirely possible the texass cattlemen who went after her would have won their case)...
    3. IN THAT REGARD, Big Food is *just like* Big Media, in that they will use their bought-and-paid-for pols, to push for laws ENTIRELY to benefit themselves, having NOTHING to do with the common good (in fact, contrary to the common good)...
    4. similarly, Big Food has also gotten MANY other legal proscriptions enacted against free speech: you can't say your milk is BPH-free, 'cause that implies there is something wrong with BPH (well, there *IS*, but that is besides the point: IF i have free speech, WHY can't i say the milk i'm selling -or *whatever* product- is Venusian-free milk/whatever ? ? ?)...
    in short, they are BOTH entitled, arrogant, ANTI-PEOPLE conglomerations of fictitious legal entities we call 'persons'... *snicker*
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy

     

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    bjupton (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    DRM is moronic.

    I recall the stupidity of it when I bought the game Civilization 4. Played it a few times, then suddenly, it didn't work.

    Called tech support. They asked if I had put it in a disc burner, which of course I had. I had one optical drive on that machine, that read and wrote. They put DRM on there that would toast the disk if you tried to copy it, which didn't actually work correctly. They had a lot of paying customers who had $50 coasters.

    They graciously offered to send me new media if I sent them, at my expense, the bad disk.

    Screw that. I torrented that bad boy.

    If that makes me a pirate, then that makes them fraud artists.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    Yeah, Mike is getting desperate, uh-huh, you bet, no doubt about it, it's all Mike and his desperation, you got us all there.

     

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    Colin, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Or maybe I can just write an open letter to cancer and ask cancer to do better or else I'll refuse to die. Yeah. That will work.

    Why would you want to write to a malicious, faceless, uncaring entity that just feeds on people and tries to spread and spread without thinking of the damage it does? Why would you even try writing to the MP..I mean the RIA...I mean cancer?

     

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    blakey, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Its a really good article

    and should be read by everyone. Mainly because its whats going to happen and the sooner everyone realises this the better. Laws, blocking the internet, arresting people, will have no effect. People will always share, always have and always will. I found my favourite books sharing with my brothers and sisters, and cousins, and friends. Sharing is how we discover. It is natural.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    The Victory Garden

    > Let me get this straight. I can write an open letter
    > asking the food companies to do better on
    > calories/taste/freshness/whatever and until they do,
    > I'll feel free to just shoplift whatever I want.
    > They need to earn my money.

    No. But I am free to grow my own. I can even use the remains of what I buy from Safeway to create my own copies.

    I can make other forms of 'cheap knockoff' too. It's called cooking.

     

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    Simple Mind, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    Re: WOW

    Heck yes, the thing they are really missing out on by being stubborn is the long tail. I expected that by now we would be able to type "Macy's Parade, 1988" and have something pop up '$0.25' DL or Stream. Or "Super Bowl, 1978" and have it pop up '$2' DL or Stream. Perhaps if you stream it then the next time you stream the thing the fee is much less, like $0.1/hr. Why? Because you are paying for the convenience of not having to keep track of a personal copy. I am not willing to pay for something I bought again, but I am willing to pay for the added convenience of their cloud storage and their content tracking system. Provide services and provide content that is otherwise hard to find. Once a system is in place it will cost almost nothing to put up this content, so even if few people watch it is a win.

    Another great business model would be for them (hollywood? whoever they are) to buy IMDB and put a link next to everything that lets me DL or stream the show for a small fee. Again, it is the convenience of the service I am mainly paying for here, (and hopefully the breadth of service which is also something that pirate sites don't provide). I am already interested in the thing because I am looking it up on IMDB. Tap that interest and sell it to me on the spot! For unreleased stuff, provide trailers and alerts for when it is available to buy. And make things available within a week of theatrical (or immediately for tv show) release.

    And that is just the start of what they could be doing to both make money and provide service to happy satisfied customers. It isn't hard to make services that can compete with pirate sites on convenience and breadth and depth of content and usability. I know I would hang out there. And then it becomes social and you (hollywood) win. Everybody wins in this scenario. Sure some people will still DL without paying, or share something they DLed from you with a friend. But that will be insignificant noise in a thriving ecosystem. The social stigma will become a negative towards those that take without paying once you (hollywood) make it easy for people to pay you and get whatever they want. There will be no need to bring law into the matter. As it is now, the social stigma is against you (hollywood) for acting like crybaby poopyheads. And it is going to keep getting worse until you change from your antagonistic selfish ways and play nice with the other kids in the sandbox. And if you would just try that, suddenly everything becomes unicorns and rainbows for everyone. Or continue kicking a temper tantrum off in the corner and the rest of the kids will just go outside and play without you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    It actually says quite a bit, however I will admit that it does end up being a little repetitive in repeating the same basic argument over and over. But there is a REASON. The "but... but..." BUTT PIRATES in the Content Cartels DO NOT LISTEN so you like little children you have to repeat yourself over and over.

    (And NO that was not a typo. They ARE BUTT PIRATES.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: WOW

    I agree. They could offer an EXTREMELY large comprehensive library of archived material available on demand in a live stream at a reasonable subscription rate and make a killing with much lower risk, maintenance and production costs. Many people would gladly pay and use it over unauthorized methods of access for the following reasons.

    1. Convenience. It would be easy to find what you are looking for whenever you want to watch it.

    2. Reliability. When you get it from there you wouldn't have to worry about whether it's incomplete, corrupted, or infected with some sort of malware.

    3. Artist Support. People actually WANT to support the artists that make the stuff they enjoy. If the people distributing their content weren't being such greedy bastards they wouldn't have such a PR problem.

     

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  65.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Google will never be shut down; Google is Big Search, the bane of governments and studios. If it didn't exist, they'd have to make it up.

    And what's up with calling big things 'Big'? Big Food, Big Blue...if radio shock jocks formed a union, would it be called Big Assholes? If The Society Of People Named Richard met in Illinois would headlines scream "Big Dicks Overwhelm Chicago"?

     

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  66.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    "There's no acknowledgement that the creators need to eat, pay the rent, and purchase health insurance"

    If you read the whole post you'd find that he does acknowledge that, more than once. But he also acknowledges that the "gatekeepers" most often do everything in their power not to pay the actual creators.

    So, not that you'll get this, the creators are the musicians and songwriters. Occasionally when you get a producer with the skill of a Bob Rock or a Sir George Martin then include them as creators. The machinery, technicians, microphones, sound deadeners, cords and the girl who brings in lunch are NOT creators. The labels most certainly are NOT creators. Movie studios haven't been creators since their founders, movie makers, died and the studios got turned over to lawyers and accountants.

    Now to the point you seem to find most offensive. When you enter retail there's really one rule "the customer is always right". When the customer decides your price is too high there's a perfect right to take their business elsewhere. When a customer feels you're doing something poorly she has a perfect right to point that out to you. When a customer feels ripped off he has a right to complain, notify the BBB, write letters to the editor and other forms of protest and communication and you, as the retailer, have little choice but to defend yourself or shape up.

    In short, if you want to sell me something I have the right to tell you to do better.

    You, also, obviously missed, that the Smith has made that as a result of downloading from file sharing sites or colleagues s/he is spending MORE on entertainment than before frequently buying the previously shared material. Smith also points out, as do Mike and others writing for this site that that kind of behaviour is NORMAL for file sharers.

    Smith also points out what many (most) users of DRM'd material feel is that they've had enough of that. Most know or soon will should they ask how to crack 99.999% of DRM anyway so why bother when all it does is irritate the consumer, you know, the person you want to buy your movie/song/book etc to the extent that many feel they won't buy your output no matter what.

    "It's all a focus on the consumer who is supposedly allowed to simply stamp his/her feet and if the hard working creators don't snap to it, the consumer will feel free to simply take it. Wow, that's a model of one spoiled brat."

    And just who else should the focus be on? It's the consumer you want to buy your work, after all. It's the consumer who has the right to tell you, as a creator (which you more than obviously are not) to shape up, snap to it or they'll not buy from you. They MIGHT, as Smith says, download, but they won't buy. Ever.

    Remember the customer is always right, even if that means the "creator" doesn't make a sale. So sad, too bad, that's how the free market works.

    Smith's post focuses not on downloading but on just HOW to sell into the Web market and makes a number of valid points, none of which you address. Not that I expected you to, and not, I suspect, that you read the entire post. If any of it.

    The mere fact that you, and others, trying to make the sale continue to say "you'll get it my way or not at all" shows just who the spoiled brat is. It also demonstrates just who is suffering from terminal entitlement syndrome and it certainly isn't Smith. A look in the mirror will tell you who it is.

    And no, there is no analog to theft of a physical object like a grapefruit and downloading a file. If I take a grapefruit from my local Safeway there is a material good missing and one less for the store to sell. Sharing a file doesn't involve the removal of a physical object from anywhere. It copies what is already there, something computers do very well. They have to otherwise they wouldn't work. The original is still there. Waiting to be copied or sold to someone else.

    At the end of the day a retailer, be it a member of the RIAA, MPAA or anyone else has the inalienable right to dictate terms of a sale or what the consumer can do for their personal use at a price or terms the consumer dislikes. The consumer will find the product elsewhere. Or a similar one. That is their right.

    If the creator can't buy another bag of Frito's makes no difference at all. If some label exec can't afford his favourite hooker any more makes no difference at all.

    Too bad a spoiled brat like you and the people you represent can't get that through your collective thick skulls.

     

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    JaDe, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    They stifle free speech. Now if you want to label your milk as coming from cows that were not treated with rBGH, you also need to add a disclaimer saying something like "The FDA has found no significant difference between milk from cows that have been treated with rBGH and those that were not."

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    So what you're saying is that the content owners will never stop pirating. OK throw the pirates in jail, lets seem them steal content from behind bars without access to the internet.

    I have so many problems with his ENTITLEMENT it makes me sick to my stomach. This quote stood out:

    Many content creators will think this is unfair. "I created the content, I get to control distribution and formats." No, you are wrong.


    Actually it IS their right, it has been their right BEFORE the internet even existed. The internet is not some magical realm where existing laws cease to be applicable. It is a communication medium, a transportation mechanism for data. I can copy lots of things, I could copy everything that any internet service provides and call it my own, but it wouldn't make it right.

    Another point in his message was this gem in the paragraph immediately following:

    This is exactly what the internet did: it took control away from you and gave it to me.

    No, the internet didn't do that, YOU made a conscious decision to break the law. The internet is a tool, just like other tools that can be used for good and evil (crowbar, brick, car, gun, dynomite, etc..) Piracy was possible without the internet, you just feel safer now than before, because you think people can't see what you're doing.

    Now his threat:
    And I'm not going to feel bad about any of this because according to my credit card statements, I spend about $2,500 a year on entertainment. A $200 per month entertainment habit that is unequivocally fueled by file-sharing. Yes, I download more than $200 worth of content a month, but if you take away my file-sharing, you'll lose the money I'm putting into the market. That was definitively proven during my pre-Napster days.


    File sharing isn't causing you to spend more, your addiction to content as the result of the changing world and your maturing age are causing you to consume more content. If your file sharing was taken away you would spend MORE money on content, not less. You have proven you are addicted, its obvious from your quote, "Yes, I download more than $200 worth of content a month".

    Have you ever even considered all the free stuff the studios DO put out? The trailers, the clips, the interviews, etc... Yes, it's promoting the film, it's giving you something for free for you to make a decision whether it interests you or not. Viewing the entire work to determine if you like it is like taking the entire sample tray at the food court. You're welcome to sample a piece not the entire thing.

    This view is so common around here I wish I could use a BOLD typeface:

    But when you write an ebook, and all you have to do is hit 'copy' to make another sale, you have no business charging $7 each. Remember before when I said I'm not downloading to try and stick it to you? In a situation like this, I'm downloading because you're trying to stick it to me.


    They can charge whatever they want, do you really think it costs Bently $300,000 to make a car? Do you really think it costs $1 to make a pack of gum? When you purchase consumer goods, you are not paying for just the cost of manufacturing those goods. You are paying for the raw materials, the labor, the market analysis, the advertising, the packaging, the markup for the retailer, etc... These same costs are there for creative goods, except the costs are significantly higher for things like talent (the actors, the director, the musicians, etc..) which would be considered "the labor". Just because something costs nothing to duplicate does not mean that the cost of production is zero. You are acting as if the actors, directors, grips, audio technicians, cinematographers, etc.. were not paid. You fail to realize that these are expenses that have already been paid out. The reason you are being charged is to recoup those expenses and hopefully gain a profit. I realize there are instances where enormously popular works have yet to show a "profit" and that may be the result of shenanigans - probably through setting up some "production" company that consumes all the profit. Regardless, ignoring the upfront production costs is ridiculous.

    Entitlement Alert:
    And if you try to inject DRM to prevent me from doing what I want, you will have ruined your reputation and I will never buy from you again. Instead, I will only download your content for free.

    So you're taking one thing you dislike about the delivery mechanism of a product and boycotting ever buying from that company again, and telling them you will STEAL their product instead. I can find tons of things I hate about many products, but I would never take the unethical and illegal road to obtain a product because I didn't like a limitation of the delivery mechanism.

    Thsi is ENTITLEMENT to the max:
    Most music listening is not done sitting in front of the computer clicking "Play Preview," waiting 30-seconds, clicking "Play Preview," waiting 30-seconds, etc. We all listen to music while driving in the car, working out, partying or browsing the internet. I can download your entire full-length album in unrestricted mp3..."
    I can STEAL A CAR but it's still ILLEGAL. Previously this pirate claimed that he wanted Hulu on his phone, and his music on his phone. Guess what, my phone allows me to shop for MUSIC on my phone and provides me with 1 minute previews to songs. If a record company CHOOSES to market it's songs by offering entire length previews you should be grateful, but you should not DICTATE how a company markets its products. I can't demand that I should be given a 1 week test drive for a car by going to the lot and taking one.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    As has been pointed out many times over theft requires loss of possession.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    And the laws that made file sharing illegal did not exist until they were illegally BOUGHT by the industry via bribery and political corruption.

     

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  71.  
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    hothmonster, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly, we all know that Google bought the internet from AOL in 1998.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻

    You would fit in well at rockpapershotgun.com

    They love a good pun thread over there. If I were you I would head up there when you are not bogged down.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Hey everybody come quick, Bob is commenting without actually reading the article again. Fucking classic Bob.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    All of which misses the point.

    The point is that this is how pirates think. You don't have to like it, you don't have to agree with it, but it's a reality nonetheless. It's not going away, and it can't be stopped.

    What you call statements of entitlement are actually points demonstrating how copyright holders can make money on their stuff even in the face of piracy. They are countering the usual, and hilariously untrue, argument that people just pirate "because they want free stuff".

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    Actually it IS their right [referring to control of their content], it has been their right BEFORE the internet even existed.

    Yes, that's true. Only in so far as they're fine not making money for it. As soon as you want to make money from it...the market takes over.

    This has been true before the internet, before mail order catalogs, before recorded music, before "talkies" before printed money.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    I can't demand that I should be given a 1 week test drive for a car by going to the lot and taking one.

    If you're going to make these tangible goods analogies you have to complete the analogy.

    If you went to a car dealer and demanded a test drive and they say no. Odds are you're not going to buy from them.

    So far the analogy holds true to what the article is saying. You'll take your transportation budget elsewhere.

    However, if you walk down the street and there's an infinite supply of the car you might want and no matter how many you take no one ever is without that car if they don't want.

    Perhaps you'd change your mind.

    And if you're the dealer you have two choices:

    1) You can willfully ignore the reality down the street of what you're competing with and sit around bitching about why no one is buying your cars. Or..

    2) Do whatever every other sane business does and listens to their customer and determines how to get their money.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    And besides, I don't think the MPAA/RIAA need MORE money.

    "But they need to eat, pay the rent, purchase health insurance and SUE EVERYONE!"

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Love that last line, though it does bring up something I've always wondered: How exactly does shortening the name Richard, cause it to change to Dick?

     

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  79.  
    icon
    atomly (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    Whoa, that's a bit of a jump there. I agree that the open letter is a giant rationalization and a fundamental misunderstanding of the market-- particularly the whole, "I'll buy your future work," as an attempted justification, but to even begin to compare piracy of digital content to shoplifting is disingenuous at best, which is to say nothing of your attempt to make him sound like he supports misogyny.

    If you own a store and I shoplift from you, I'm stealing a product that you paid for, essentially transferring your capital to me. On top of that, you can no longer sell the product to anybody else, depriving you of future revenue, thus making it impossible to ever recoup your capital expenditure.

    If I "steal" digital content from you, your position does not change at all, except in the hypothetical, in that you can argue (though no way 100% prove) I am less likely to purchase the product in the future. You still have every chance of recovering your capital expenditures, because you have not lost any real assets in this process. If I turn around and share the file, it could be argued that there is a network effect, but again you still have to prove a causal link between not downloading and purchasing.

    If you think about it, the "piracy" model is no different than the radio or television model from a user's perspective, except that they're in control of the content/programming schedule. Why should people think it's bad to download television shows when they're used to seeing them for free on television their entire lives... likewise for songs on the radio? Do you really think that people were less likely to purchase a record because it was played several times a day on the radio?

    In a way, content distributors at this point have no business model except for providing artificial scarcity.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    I would say it's more like the stomping feet of one really big economy driving demograph, and it best be listened to.

     

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  81.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re:

    That so totally misses the point that I think you hit another country with that shot so I can't be bothered to pick it apart. One statement struck me as really really funny in a disconnected from reality kind of way:
    So what you're saying is that the content owners will never stop pirating. OK throw the pirates in jail, lets seem them steal content from behind bars without access to the internet.

    A great plan. That might even actually stop "piracy" (well probably not in Europe since the European Court of Human Rights largely considers removing internet access from a prisoner to be inhumane but there you go).

    Except for one small thing.... The US usually has about 1% of it's population in jail or around 3 MILLION people and the system is groaning at the seams. According to a quick search about 80% of the US population uses the internet and industry figures claim about 16% of US users are "pirates" of some kind.

    So in summary your wonderful plan is to lock up around FOUR MILLION people on top of the 3 million the system already can't cope with.

    Were you going to write a cheque for the difference? Or is your plan to let out all the violent offenders to make way for the clearly far more heinous "crime" of infringement and shoot the rest?

    If not, try re-reading the article and connecting it to reality.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

    Re:

    Boring!

     

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  83.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

    Re:

    OK throw the pirates in jail, lets seem them steal content from behind bars without access to the internet.

    Stopped reading there. The second you call it "stealing," I know right away nothing else you typed is worth the time to read it.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:03pm

    iPirate

    Dear Hollyweird.

    I bootleg your tv shows cause Of many reasons outlined below.

    1 bit torrent downloads are faster than ITunes. 6 minutes to download 2 1/2 men episode on bit torrent

    2 you take forever to sell tv shows I like. Example Boardwalk Empire I want to buy ASAP not wait half a year.

    3 your formats do not work on my DVD player. MPEG DIVIX, XVID OK?

    4 many shows are just not available anywhere else

    5 I live outside the USA, I would like to watch shows when they come out instead of waiting the 2-5 years before it comes out on satellite. (like the tv show 'the unit'

    6 I have worked in hollyweird. I know your attitudes, and you are really unpleasant people to deal with. You don't pay your bills on time. You cheat your suppliers. Why should I give you 40 dollars for a digital download?

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    You remind me of a Calvin & Hobbes comic where Calvin complains about having to deal with homework and grades. "Why should I need to work for everything? It's like saying I don't deserve it!"

    Fail to work to make options attractive - or available, for that matter - to consumers, and you won't deserve the perks of doing so.

     

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  86.  
    icon
    explicit coward (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:18am

    Re:

    "I have so many problems with his ENTITLEMENT it makes me sick to my stomach."

    I have so many problems with your ENTITLEMENT it made me vomit right away.

     

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  87.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: Oh I get it, all you have to do is ask people to "do better"

    "There is plenty of competition in the food industry such that the free market takes care of that such that it doesn't have to be implicitly stated and the food companies know that."

    By the opinion of these mental giants, I stole from the restaurant industry when I cooked my own meal last night. Oh, and that time I skipped breakfast? Some orange juice and jam manufacturers went bankrupt because of me...

     

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  88.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:12am

    Re: Re:

    "That's why iTunes is so cool."

    Unless you want some Pink Floyd or AC/DC, then you're still told to bugger off. Want to check out that new Metallica album in Spotify before you part with your cash for a blind buy? Bugger off. Already own the album but want that extra track that's only available on the repackaged version? Bugger off. And so on...

     

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  89.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re:

    Hey give him credit where it's due. In his moronic rant, he at least managed to correctly identify the author of the article this time...

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:28am

    Re:

    "give it to me my way, give it to me cheap, and give me lifetime support forever on every device I ever own or think of owning... and don't use DRM!"

    Apart from the lifetime support strawman, yes. Those are pretty much the criteria I've ever demanded - I don't recall being stopped from opening a book because I'm in the wrong country or being prevented from playing a CD because I used the wrong brand of CD player. I don't demand support for the Megadrive cartridges I bought 25 years ago, but I sure as hell demand that the single player game I bought last week still works when I'm not online. You're also damn right that I demand reasonable pricing.

    If you don't offer me that, you lose my money, because you're not offering me a product I wish to pay for. I think you might be starting to understand, even though you still clearly understand why these things are important.

     

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  91.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:30am

    Re: Re:

    don't understand, rather...

     

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  92.  
    icon
    explicit coward (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Already own the album but want that extra track that's only available on the repackaged version?

    So let's go with the "real-world-car-analogy" as it is so popular.

    You bought a car which has a cd-player in it. A year later the same car comes out with a cd-player that can also play mp3-tracks. And now imagine you had to buy the new car instead of replacing the cd-player in your old car...

    Everybody on this planet and their dogs would call such an idea INSANITY. But the entertainment industry insists on THEIR RIGHT (aka entitlement) TO DO IT THEIR WAY OR NO-WAY.

    ...

     

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  93.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:01am

    Re:

    "So what you're saying is that the content owners will never stop pirating."

    Freudian slip, perhaps?

    "No, the internet didn't do that, YOU made a conscious decision to break the law."

    Yes, you mental giant you, that's exactly what he's saying. He took control. Doesn't matter to him if it was illegal or not, he still has control.

    "If your file sharing was taken away you would spend MORE money on content, not less."

    Sadly, your take on reality is false. Many pirates have bought content they would never have paid for without having previewed it first. He's literally saying that he spent MORE, not less, after he started pirating. But, your arguments would never have a foothold if you couldn't make moronic false assumptions about the buying habits of others, would they?

    "They can charge whatever they want, do you really think it costs Bently $300,000 to make a car? "

    I don't know. Never bought one because they're too expensive. Does that mean I'm stealing Bentleys now?

    "So you're taking one thing you dislike about the delivery mechanism of a product and boycotting ever buying from that company again, and telling them you will STEAL their product instead."

    Apart from the theft idiocy, OK let's not do that. Remove the second part. I'm still not buying your product. Still think piracy is your problem?

    "Guess what, my phone allows me to shop for MUSIC on my phone and provides me with 1 minute previews to songs."

    Can you buy any song you want, in any format you want, from any outlet you want, at a competitive price? Didn't think so.

    "If a record company CHOOSES to market it's songs by offering entire length previews you should be grateful"

    Oh yes, glorious corporate gods! I'm so grateful that you choose to actually let me see what I'm buying first!!! I bow down to your divine wisdom!!!

    Moron.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

     

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

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻

    I got that from my dad. He's the absolute WORST about that.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re:

    "So what you're saying is that the content owners will never stop pirating."

    Freudian slip, perhaps?


    Good point. I actually missed this the first time. So he actually admits that people OWN the content they purchase. Good, then what gives you the right to tell me how to use the property I legally purchased?

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    puttputter, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    If you go to an apple orchard and pick a bunch of apples, there are bound to be some rotten ones in the batch. Consuming content is the same thing. Not everyone is going to love every song on an album. Some apples are better used to making pies instead of eating and some content is better suited to unique musical or artistic tastes. We still need to respect the integrity of the content produced and compensate both the artist and producers. There are discerning ways to consume content and still get what we want. Jay-Z once said, "everything I drop, out of the question, stop the guessin it's hot." Unfortunately not everything is as hot as hov.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    bshock, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    someone says it all at last

    The attitude in that open letter is 100% mine.

    If you argue with it, you're simply missing the point and deserve to lose business.

    My interpretation of the bottom line:

    1) Remember that when it comes to entertainment, I have the power now, not you.

    2) If you want my money, stop screwing with me.

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes we will send the violent offenders to Europe.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re:

    The second your refused to admit it is stealing I knew you were a pirate.

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    rltomkinson, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    RE: "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem."

    While I agree with that to an extent, if it stays a service problem for a long enough period of time, as with downloadable music, it eventually becomes a pricing a problem because the consumer base gets used to getting the product for free and it is hard to get them to pay just because it is "the right thing to do."

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    crucible, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    The problem I have with so many legacy industries is that they have lost sight of the fact that it's about making it convenient for the consumer to consume their particular product rather than convenient (and disproportionately lucrative) for them to provide it. The entertainment industry are the MASTERS of said inversion of priorities. Hence the massive infringement going on...and growing as more and more people discover they no longer have to put up with the same old bullshit.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    File sharers enrich each other's lives by making freely available the knowledge they possess to others.

    The Content Cartels attempt to take away our constitutional rights and civil liberties and rape and pillage the artists they are contracted to represent.

    Now you tell me which one better fits the description of a "pirate"?

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And how much are you planning on paying the people Europe to take them?

     

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  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    I think Bobbi Smith & Mike Masnick are wrong and misguided.
    Someone who "file shares" (a.k.a. steals) intellectual property, and in the same breath writes an open letter to the industry from which he is stealing is - odd, to say the least, hypocritical, to say a bit more.

    Its the same as someone seeing a Porsche. They feel the pricing & distribution model of Porsche is not fair. After all, the number made per year is limited compared to other cars. They also mumble under their breath that its just a mediocre car. So, they decide to steal one. As the stolen car is now parked in their garage as they have driven it home, they decide to write an open letter to Porsche headquarters, scolding them about their bad pricing model and manufacturing & release policy - they need to make more cars per year!

    The scenario sounds so absurd when we apply it to physical properly - but it is no different with intellectual property.

    Ok - I'm sure someone will argue that a car is physical property, vs a movie is digital, if I'm making an electronic copy - the original is still intact and nothing is "stolen". This type of argument is complete nonsense. When you buy a car - you are paying for a physical device. When you buy a Movie - you are paying for intellectual stimulation that the movie provides - laughter, sadness, adrenalin, etc. *That* is what you are paying for, and *that* is what is being stolen - period. You can degenerate the movie, say it was mediocre, and not worth paying for - but the fact of the matter is - it was good enough for you to download and watch - so all that is irrelevant.

    The *only* proper response to not agreeing with the movie industries pricing and release practices is to:
    1) NOT infringe on their content
    2) NOT purchase their content
    3) send them letters as to why you are not consuming their content.

    Mike does have one thing right - Infringing on their content helps their business.

    Infringing on their content just has them laughing all the way to the bank.

    1) As their sales numbers indicate the infringement probably *helps* their sales, not hurts. and
    2) Since infringement is boosting their sales via viral (free) marketing & distribution of their content, which people buy anyway - they have no pressure at all to change their business model - why would they since things are going so well for them right now.
    3) They get to stay on a high moral horse, and point the finger at those infringing as the reason why we need SOPA and other measures to solidify their position & business models against illegal activity.

     

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  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    you are paying for intellectual stimulation that the movie provides - laughter, sadness, adrenalin, etc.

    And who are we 'stealing' this intellectual stimulation from? Who are we depriving of this?

    No one.

    Got back to analogy camp.

     

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  107.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Mar 10th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wrong. I'm a free culture/Creative Commons advocate. It's like the pirate mentality, without being stuck on the tit of cartel-produced content.

    In short, I'm your worst fucking nightmare. Nice to meet you.

     

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  108.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 10th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re:

    Sadly there is no "bat-shit insane" button. I'm also wondering if I now theoretically need to generate a cheque and send it somewhere in payment for the laughter and sadness generated.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Stealing means an object is taken from someone and deprives them of said object. To put it simply, THEY NO LONGER HAVE IT.

    Copy != Depriving/Stealing

    The second you refused to make that rather obvious distinction and used the word "stealing" you revealed your bias and clueness nature.

    Oh, and I'm not a pirate, and I agree with the guy who you replied to. Not everyone is a pirate. Some of us are normal people who pay for the content we enjoy, but we also are rational and able to acknowledge the distinct difference between depriving someone of something (theft/stealing) and making a copy (which leaves the original intact and in fact creates one more of the product).

     

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  110.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re:

    You know, if you'd said I create a machine that makes a 1:1 copy of the Porsche and drove home my copy, you'd have been okay. Once you deviated from that and went right for stole a Porsche, which deprives the dealership of an actual item, thereby resulting in a genuine lost sale, you were completely off your rocker as far as making a valid point and comparison.

    Bobby and Mike both are more correct than you appear to be.

     

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  111.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    I tried to read it without seeing the entitlement and I couldn't

    Every critique he had about the way media is sold in this country is spot on. I pay the same for an ebook that I do for a paperback and it is ridiculous. I can't easily put my digital copy on my movie on my NAS, my laptop and 3 portable device for my exclusive personal use, also crazy.

    But the theme throughout was feed me content for free to wet my appetite and then I'll become a paying customer. He says that he downloads to avoid getting burned by bad content. But then he unapologetically admits that he only paid for 1 out of 4 albums from an artist he liked. He justifies it as the first three he found made him like the guy so that's why he bought the 4th, and the artist should not lament the 3 lost sales because if not for the downloads he would not have bought the one he did. If he did not have a sense of entitlement then he would have found a way to go back a buy the 3 albums he liked, or paid for the 4th one 4 times to fairly compensate someone for 4 products he enjoyed.

     

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  112.  
    identicon
    Jerry, Jun 25th, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    "And who are we 'stealing' this intellectual stimulation from? Who are we depriving of this?"

    You would be depriving it of yourself if you hadn't stole/bought the movie. Someone is offering you to make you laugh if you would pay him to do it.

     

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


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