Why The MPAA Can't 'Win The Hearts And Minds' Of The Public: File Sharing Is Mainstream

from the game-over dept

A few weeks ago we wrote about a new "digital music index" from London-based Musicmetrics looking at the popularity of file sharing by location in the UK. The results showed that the act of file sharing was mainstream, rather than a limited activity. The same group has now released a US version of its report, which more or less shows the same thing.
Americans downloaded more than 97 million albums and singles using BitTorrent during the first half of 2012, with Gainesville, FL named as the country’s “pirate capital” in an influential new report. Of the 97 million torrents downloaded across the USA, around 78 percent were albums and 22 percent singles. Assuming an album contains 10 tracks, the total number of songs downloaded would have surpassed 759 million in six months.
The report admits that not all of the songs being downloaded were unauthorized, but suggests that since many of them are, the characterizations are fair. Of course, just as we saw in the UK, all this really seems to show is how widespread file sharing is. It's not a marginalized effort hidden away from society, as some would have you believe, but something that a very large percentage of the population engages in on a regular basis.

A much more interesting (and relevant) report comes from Joe Karaganis who is teasing a larger new report that's about to be released concerning "copy culture" in both the US and Germany. The first tease discusses the attitudes of file sharers in the US about whether or not "it's reasonable" to do certain types of file sharing. And the results suggest that the MPAA's (and many politicians') belief that all they need to do is "educate" people is based on very little evidence. The key point is that, contrary to the assertions of some, the "moral" questions around file sharing are rarely black and white.
Karaganis explains that some seem to think that there are just two views of file sharing:
Let’s recall that there are two conventional ways of talking about the ethics of copying–both in relation to the theft of material property. First: that copying is not like theft because it is non-rivalrous–making a copy does not deprive the owner of the use of the good.  For short, call this the Paley position–the defense of digital culture as a culture of abundance.  Second: that copying is like theft because it deprives the owner of the potential economic benefit from the sale of that good (in the case of downloading, to the copier).  Call that the MPAA position–the defense of culture as a market that depends on the scarcity or controlled distribution of digital goods.
Then, he notes that copyright laws were really built up around a specific type of copying: commercial copying rather than personal copying. And the data above certainly suggests that the views of people on any sort of "moral" question change depending on the context. But... also (and this is important) based on age. The younger generation just seems to believe that basic sharing with friends and family should be seen as perfectly reasonable. The different ways of slicing the data certainly suggest that the blanket argument that "piracy is theft" is going to completely miss its mark in educational campaigns. People just don't buy it.
First, that strong moral arguments against file sharing mistake the structure of public attitudes. Not surprisingly, the public engages in many of the same negotiations of context as the law. For most people, like theft and not like theft are not diametrically opposed moral judgements about copying. Rather, they operate on a continuum. They depend on the context and scale in which copying takes place. Copying, our data makes clear, is widely accepted within personal networks, reflecting a view of culture as not only shared but also constructed through sharing. Outside networks of family and friends, in contrast, a commercial and property logic tends to prevail. Support for more active forms of dissemination and ‘making’ available’ through such networks is quite low. Support for commercial infringement–selling copied DVDs–is minimal.
No matter what sort of "education" campaign you create, you're not going to convince most people that constructing a shared culture is somehow immoral. Furthermore, the generation gap issue is significant, especially given that much of the "education" efforts are aimed at the younger generation which seems a lot less willing to buy the argument.
...there is a strong generational divide in attitudes, with 18-29 year olds far more likely than older groups to view a wide range of copying practices as reasonable. This shift is strongest in relation to sharing within networks of ‘friends’–a category that has become very elastic in the last few years through the rise of online social networks. Among 18-29 year olds, sharing with friends is entirely normalized and large in scale. On average, ‘copying from friends/family’ accounts for nearly as much of music file collections as ‘downloading for free.’ What are the reasonable boundaries of such a network? My siblings? My five closest friends? My 500 Facebook friends? Or the 5000 music aficionados who subscribe to a private file sharing network? This is where the rubber hits the road as people develop their own digital ethics. The law has not begun to address it, and educational efforts to convince people that sharing within communities is theft are likely doomed.
This, of course, is the point that we've been trying to get at for many, many years. No matter what your personal feelings are, you're not going to convince everyone else just by making a blanket moral argument that they just don't buy into. Instead, it's time to move to a more reasonable strategy (more on that shortly...).


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    Gothenem (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Hmmm

    Please, someone cue Average_Joe. He's gonna leap on this one. I got my popcorn ready.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:45am

      Re: Hmmm

      Him and all the rest of the ip maximalist trolls. It's clear that it's mainstream, it's clear that is a social norm. Now that we are at this stage maybe we could start discussing and testing ways to monetize this. If the music aficionados who share within their community will gladly hand you their money if you build a structure to support and enrich their community? You know, offer promotions, easy streaming, custom cloud storage of their musics, personal radios (ie: each user has a personalized online radio any1 in the community can listen to and it can be based on their listening habits).

      I'm just starting.

      Can we please drop the "piracy is theft" mantra and start working together to monetize on sharing?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:07am

      Re: Hmmm

      I'm disappointed in the shills. Maybe they were all flown away on a long weekend vacation, paid for with all the money their parent companies are making while crying poverty?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

      Re: Hmmm

      too funny... if this is such a foregone conclusion why you wasting time trying to convince people... in other news, Google has been making great strides in helping artists with their rights!

      Good to see Google doing the right things, and I can't wait to see more from them!

      http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/google-pro-artist-policy-changes-challenge-allega tions-of-net-censorship/

       

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    Bennett (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Unsurprisingly, people favour convenience

    What a surprise, people favour convenience. Downloading should be a good thing for music/film producers. Cut out the middle man, deliver content directly to fans, expose new fans to content. This is business 101. If these MPAA/RIAA fools were have the business people they think they are, they'd have Apple's market cap.

    For the trolls: Apple was almost bankrupt, they started selling music on the internet, and devices to play the music on. Anyone in the music/film business could have done the same thing by cutting a deal with a firm like Creative Labs who were producing portable MP3 players long before Apple.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

      Re: Unsurprisingly, people favour convenience

       

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        Karl (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:02pm

        Re: Re: Unsurprisingly, people favour convenience

        key word "selling"...

        Ah, goodie. The shill for David Lowery's personal gripe site rears its ugly head.

        You do know that site is a joke, right? It's full of absolute falsehoods, half-truths, appeals to emotion, ad hom attacks, and is generally a waste of time.

        Not to mention that his attempt to shame Emily White is based on behavior that the study in the article says is considered morally acceptable by 76% of the people in her age group.

        Much more accurate and respectable are the rebuttals by Jeff Price, Gang of Four's Dave Allen, Eliot Van Buskirk at Evolver, or Steve Albini.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Unsurprisingly, people favour convenience

          "You do know that site is a joke, right? It's full of absolute falsehoods, half-truths, appeals to emotion, ad hom attacks, and is generally a waste of time."

          perfectly describes techdirt!

           

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    BentFranklin (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    They can't win the hearts and minds because they are treating their customers like enemies.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:56am

      Re:

      That's the biggest problem particularly when it happens to paying customers. Copyright companies often hurt themselves with silly restrictions which is another big problem.

       

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      gorehound (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      I Boycott The Big Content and Intend on doing this for quite a long time.Maybe for my lifetime.
      I do not need nor care what MAFIAA releases as I will either ignore it or I might be a used physical copy of it.
      They the MAFIAA are CENSORED from my Wallet.
      Buy and Support Local & Indie Art please !

      Go To Hell MAFIAA.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re:

         

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          Karl (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          you boycott big content, but do you pay for small content?

          The last two CD's I bought were Lightning Bolt, and Gondoliers, both at the show they played together.

          So: yes. Yes, I do.

          The article you're referencing is a joke. It should read: "Neko Case MP3's on third-party websites come up in a DMCA-compliant search engine, and the search engine displays advertisements served by a fourth party, who also serves advertisements to millions of other websites, and whose clients include Macy's, Levi's, Princess Cruises, Skype, Yahoo, Marvel and Electronic Arts."

          But I guess Lowery thinks "exploited" has more truthiness.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            no - exploited describes how internet tech businesses profit from the illegal distribution of recorded music via advertising revenue and share none of the money with the musicians responsible for creating the audience that make the sale of advertising possible - is more accurate.

             

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:15am

      Re:

      They can't win the hearts and minds because they are treating their customers like enemies.
      I get the impression they're more for the movie special forces version; "Grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow". Problem is they've mistaken buying draconian laws that at best can be enforced on a fraction of the "problem" for testicles.

       

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      SleepyJohn, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

      Re: hearts and minds

      And their behaviour is so abhorrent that they fail even to win the hearts and minds of those who aren't their enemies. Ask a guerilla war expert what the chances are of winning with that attitude. And this is a guerilla war. And the MAFIAA has already lost it. With every vicious attack on the people's basic freedoms and culture these fools make their enemy bigger and stronger.

      We are witnessing the thrashing death throes of a creature stupid enough to stand in the way of an army of fire ants.

       

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    John Doe, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:50am

    People just don't buy it.

    People just don't buy it.

    I see what you did there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:50am

    'a more reasonable strategy' from the entertainment industries and their bought and paid for political and judicial helpers is to sue the arse off of as many people as possible, trying to scare people into stopping file sharing, when the way is to prevent it in the first instance by providing what customers want, stop lying continuously about who the law suits are in order to save and stop alienating those needed the most. these are what seem to be the biggest problems for the industries. accepting that their way is wrong, moving on and following the alternative and profiting from it.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    "reflecting a view of culture as not only shared but also constructed through sharing"

    As I've said before, art and culture are media of communication. You don't pay to learn new words or phrases that help you communicate with others, why should it be the same with learning to communicate via your own culture (and yes, it's your culture, not the content companies' culture - if it solely belongs to someone else, it's not culture). I'm not saying all art should be free, but I'm saying that money should not be a barrier to people speaking the same language. But you can't discuss this reason rationally with an IP maximalist because they speak the language of money in which every aspect of culture is just a commodity to be sold. Your likeness, your legacy, your catchphrases, your excrement, etc. are all just things that under the right circumstances can and should be sold for the greatest possible price. So when you try to communicate via your culture, they just see you as using their commodities without paying more for them.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Bob: Dude, I just bought this awesome Nickleback album from iTunes.

    Jupiter: I love Nickleback! Here's my USB drive. Make me a copy.

    Bob: Sorry, bro. That's theft. You'll have to buy your own copy.


    (Bob does not have many friends.)

     

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      MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:15am

      Re:

      Jupiter is clearly an imaginary friend. Real people don't like Nickleback. Bob doesn't even share with his imaginary friends. Sad.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      ...and Nickleback went back into the obscurity...

       

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      Jonesy, Oct 7th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      Bob does not have many friends because he still listens to Nickleback. Had he told his friend Jupiter that he bought an album that dripped with fewer gayness and less lame, maybe he'd be more popular. And for your information, Jupiter was being SARCASTIC. Like, "Oh my GOD, Bob, you got a NICKLEBACK record? Golly-Gee-Willakers, what a great thing to brag about! Sign me the everf&ck up and copy that awesomeness for me! LOL!"

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

      Re:

      people who think nickleback is cool, do not have friends, this much is true.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:17am

    Looking at the numbers, I don't see this as being any different than it has been for the last 30 or 40 years.

    Really, the only shift here is that at least 15% are willing to engage in criminal activity, and that the definition of "friend" has been stretched to include people you have never met on the other side of the world.

    Not shocking numbers. Why do you think there is a "hearts and minds" angle to something that is normal and not greatly changed?

     

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      MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      "Really, the only shift here is that at least 15% are willing to engage in criminal activity"

      If you go by what the IP maximalists consider legal, an average of 80% of the 50% (so 40% total) of the people surveyed are willing to engage in criminal activity. The RIAA has argued in court that "making 'a copy' of a purchased song is just 'a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy','" (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2007/10/sony-bmgs-chief-anti-piracy-lawyer-copying-music-you-own -is-stealing/).

      Also, you can sometimes have better friendships with people "you have never met on the other side of the world" than with the people in the "real world."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re:

        If you go by what true catholics think, every sperm is sacred.

        The reality is that if all you ever did was share with your family and your 2 or 3 real friends, nobody would give a rats ass. The real issue is that right now, people have 1000 people in their facebook "friends" and think they should share with them too.

        it's an issue of scale.

        Shall we blame the IP minimalists who think they should be able to use music of their choice as the main content for their movies, without considering paying for it?

        Keep up the strawmen... :)

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's actually not a strawman if the person in question did indeed make the argument. Check the provided link above for proof.

           

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          MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The reality is that if all you ever did was share with your family and your 2 or 3 real friends, nobody would give a rats ass. The real issue is that right now, people have 1000 people in their facebook "friends" and think they should share with them too."

          Can you draw up exact criteria that people should utilize for determining who is a real friend or family member that they're allowed to share with? Do ex-girlfriends count? What about friends from high school you never see anymore but talk to on Facebook still? Where do you draw the line?

          But that's irrelevant anyway because even only sharing with your family and a few friends, if done by everyone, would connect a significant portion of the online population via a few degrees of separation, so you're just making an arbitrary distinction that doesn't actually benefit your argument.

          "Sorry, Joe, you're two degrees away from my acceptable sharing social circle so I can't share with you directly, but your brother Jim is in my sister Susan's social circle and Susan acceptably copied all of my music and Jim acceptably copied all of her music, so you can get my music by acceptably copying all of Jim's music!"

          That's just an inefficient method of distribution, especially when it's based on the idea of pretending that doing it the hard way makes it acceptable. Would it be different if instead of sending my brother a copy of all my music, I sent him a list and he just downloaded it all himself?

          "Shall we blame the IP minimalists who think they should be able to use music of their choice as the main content for their movies, without considering paying for it?"

          Shall we blame the IP maximalists who think they should be paid for non-commercial uses of their content by an individual with an insignificant number of YouTube followers and an inability to afford the exorbitant license fees and an inability to navigate the licensing negotiation labyrinth just in order to experience their own culture?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Sorry, Joe, you're two degrees away from my acceptable sharing social circle so I can't share with you directly, but your brother Jim is in my sister Susan's social circle and Susan acceptably copied all of my music and Jim acceptably copied all of her music, so you can get my music by acceptably copying all of Jim's music!"

            Sounds like you just invented the new legal way of p2p'ing with mandantory "acceptable" proxies.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's an amusingly long post that misses the point.

            30 years ago, your friends were at school, work, whatever. You knew dozens of people, were friends with maybe a dozen, and really good friends with a couple.

            Now, that goal post has moved.

            It's not that people's habits have changed, they still do today what they would do before, but now they have a lot of "friends".

            Perhaps it's a good indication of the shallowness of the internet, that we have that many people we consider friends.

             

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              MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This isn't the case with everyone. You're over-generalizing. I'm as much of an introvert online as I am in the physical world. I make few, but strong friendships in either medium. My experience is that a lot of people are shallow regardless of their medium. The internet has just enabled people to do more of what they've already done - connect with other people, regardless of how deep or shallow the relationship might be. But the internet doesn't change anything. People still shared mix tapes with some people they knew well and with some people they didn't know well in the real world.

               

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    Casey, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    But.....

    File sharing won't pay the bills for MPAA members. We can justify the reason people fire share and the supposed lack of impact it makes, but that doesn't matter. Movies cost a lot of money to make. As dated as their business model is, it pays the bills when files sharing, donations, and advertising can't even come close.

     

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      MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:29am

      Re: But.....

      You're pretending that file sharing and paying for content are mutually exclusive. This isn't the reality. People don't only experience media via one method and many people who download also buy.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:57am

      Re: But.....

      i guess the MPAA bills weren't being payed before the 1970s since there was no way to buy recorded movies.

       

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      obvious truth, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:33am

      Re: But.....

      Are you kidding?

      Firstly, if you have ever worked on set, or in a post production house, you would understand that many of these movies hemorrhage money during and after production. Most could be made with 10% of the budget if they were run with any measure of efficiency in mind.

      Secondly, actor salaries are more grossly inflated than even those of athletes. This is where the majority of the money is going.

      Thirdly, Ad-revenue is on pace to dominate paid-for profit. It's why you've seen Youtube and Facebook become the goliaths that they have. It's why you're seeing a massive switch to free-to-consume, ad-based media (games, movies, TV). Getting people's attention is now move valuable than trying to convince them to pay for the media you're trying to get them to consume. As long as people keep buying tangible products, virtual products will continue on the *MUCH MORE PROFITABLE* trend that is ad-based consumption.

       

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        Casey, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: But.....

        1) Perhaps. But it doesn't matter, because they are not. It definitely wouldn't be 10% either.

        2) True. And this can't be changed because the actors/actresses have too much power over what they are paid. People want to see their favorite actors/actresses. Companies have to choke up the money.

        3) How much ad revenue would a movie get from ads on an internet service? Not very much. It would never pay for the costs. TV shows, possibly. But we see that the revenue made from over-the-air ads far exceeds that of internet advertisements per viewer at this time. That is one major reason why companies have been reluctant to support internet services. It will change eventually, but for now tv advertisements bring in the money.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2012 @ 2:58am

          Re: Re: Re: But.....

          I think you made a mistake on point 3. It looks as though you think someone is paying the studio to play the studio's advert. I know you don't mean that, but that's the context given by your statement.

          Also, I consume no television, radio, or newspaper/magazine content, so do not see adverts from these media sources. I'm not the only one, and there are more and more people like me every day. Perhaps it's time they embrace other strategies, because if they do not do so soon it will be far too late.

           

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        Ben S (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re: But.....

        Secondly, actor salaries are more grossly inflated that even those of athletes. This is where the majority of the money is going

        This is only true if you go for the major celebrity actors. If you aren't one of them, those movie studios feel perfectly free to rip you off. An example is My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which cost $5 million to make, grossed $368 million, a 6150% return, and yet the film "lost" money thanks to studio accounting methods, and the entire cast had to sue in order to get their share of the money, and get paid. It's not the paychecks of the stars that uses up all the money, it's the labels finding any method they can in order to claim more than their share, the same as with major record labels.

         

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      anon, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

      Re: But.....

      movie companies (that make good movies) make a fortune from cinema release and DVD sale and rental. dont cry for them.

       

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    crade (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    It would also probably help them win over the hearts and minds of people if they made a little more of an effort to hide how horribly corrupt and dishonest they are. It's pretty late in the game for such a move, but stil...

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Copying IS like theft...

    The EXACT purpose of copyright is to grant a monopoly! It's ALWAYS been easier to copy rather than create from scratch, EVEN if literally chiseling into stone, modern technology has NOT changed the basic reason: the WHOLE purpose of copyRIGHT is to PROTECT that investment of time and other energies to PROPERLY reward the creator. I don't think even you pirates actually (can) disagree with that...

    Now, as I've said here many times, and no one has to my knowledge ever even tried to argue the contrary, that's a desirable societal goal. But you're basically just saying to hell with ALL copyright. -- As I define it above: becomes tangled from there. Despite the obvious problems with Big Media increasing its terms and penalties, besides control, that I oppose, YOU, Mike, STILL don't have any actual practical alternatives to the existing mess.

    So here's an exercise for you. Music is not like movies is not like computer programs is not like books is not like computer data. As in your piece, distinctions can be made, and should be. So, how about a chart showing the inherent properties of those categories, how much it costs to produce, time, money, inspiration, distribute, and so on, along with your notions on how to PROTECT those INVESTMENTS...

    Leading me right to I'm STILL going to require you to explain how it's valid for you to totally neglect "sunk (or fixed) costs" for a $100M movie in your "can't compete" piece, so that you can claim marginal costs are all that matter. Because your notions are based on producing (or getting) widgets COST FREE, when it's simply not fact. -- Except as for "file sharing" sites which DO get valuable products for free. -- Here's a definition even more useful than whether copying is theft: "file sharing" sites making money off products they got for free IS piracy!

    By the way, belated comment on Megaupload case and Holder: YES, Mike, Holder has scored a victory, the sites are NOT distributing stolen content! That's all "law enforcement" can or should do, STOP piracy, and even though some of the process is troubling, it's one of the few times gov't is actually on the right side of morality.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:38am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Someone got all worked up and now I'm CAPS-blind ! Geeeeez

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:40am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      "the WHOLE purpose of copyRIGHT is to PROTECT that investment of time and other energies to PROPERLY reward the creator. I don't think even you pirates actually (can) disagree with that..."

      Um, the Constitution disagrees with that... "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..."

      "Now, as I've said here many times, and no one has to my knowledge ever even tried to argue the contrary, that's a desirable societal goal."

      We've already covered this. The amount of time and money that a creator puts into developing a work is a business decision and an artistic choice. It is irrelevant to the audience. Multimillion dollar movies have flopped (Waterworld) and movies made on the cheap have done really well (Paranormal Activity). The amount invested is irrelevant. The market determines success and reward and it doesn't necessarily correlate to the amount of money spent on production. I've seen fan films made for substantially less than Hollywood productions that are more impressive and interesting.

      "But you're basically just saying to hell with ALL copyright"

      Some of us are saying that. Not all of us. Don't pretend that everyone here that you consider a pirate actually share the exact same opinions. We all agree there's something wrong and we have several different opinions about what could fix it.

      "I'm STILL going to require you to explain"

      Aw. "Require..." That's so cute. Are you going to refuse to take your afternoon nap if mommy doesn't give you the attention you demand?

       

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        sporkie (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re: Copying IS like theft...

        Partially quote == Douchebag at work.

        Full quote is:"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

        Could possibly parse "properly reward" as not exactly equal to "exclusive Right", but really?

         

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          Greevar (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:42am

          Re: Re: Re: Copying IS like theft...

          No, that would not be in line with the goals of the original statement. The reason they say "exclusive right" leaves the transaction between the artist and audience completely subject to negotiation. It allows both to determine what is acceptable terms for the exchange. To mandate a particular outcome of the interaction between artist and audience would force on all a particular form of exchange that would likely conflict with the desires of both parties. What you suggest would limit choice and would actually hinder the stated goal.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Copying IS like theft...

          The disagreement wasn't over 'properly reward' the disagreement was over "the WHOLE purpose of copyRIGHT" which is not to protect but 'to promote the progress.'

           

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          Kaega (profile), Oct 7th, 2012 @ 1:45am

          Re: Re: Re: Copying IS like theft...

          That may be a partial quote, but it's the only part that addresses his point.

          The original poster was referring to the "purpose" of copyright. The purpose was "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". The rest of the quote is merely the method they planned to approach it by.

          Read the question before correcting the answer.

           

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        MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re: Copying IS like theft...

        And if you couldn't tell from the snowflake icon, I forgot to sign that comment.

         

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      MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Here's the thread from over a year ago in which we discussed the issue of why the amount invested is irrelevant (hint: cost does not equal value...): http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110228/11122813301/ice-boss-its-okay-to-ignore-constitution-if-it s-to-protect-companies.shtml#c142

       

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      Ninja (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:51am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Oh, ootb returns! Takes very strong and real facts to wake up the king of the clueless huh?

      You ask about alternatives but you'll simply ignore any that is presented to you because they were proposed ad nauseam. And here you are, repeating the same tired stuff you've been saying (and being systematically addressed by multiple persons) over the years. We know you don't care about alternative business models. The only thing you care about is the untrue mantra of piracy is theft. Carry on, it seems the world is moving on without you.

      Pitiful.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:55am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      "the WHOLE purpose of copyRIGHT is to PROTECT that investment of time and other energies to PROPERLY reward the creator. I don't think even you pirates actually (can) disagree with that..."

      First off, stop assuming people who have problems with how ridiculous copyright and copyright laws have gotten are pirates. We aren't. Not all of us.

      Secondly, the purpose of copyright, as originally enacted, was to promote the progress of science and the arts. It does so by allowing those who create a limited term monopoly on their works.

      It's purpose is NOT to protect the investment of time and other energies NOR to properly reward the creator.

      In fact, you seem to be saying that copyright = automatic guarantee to get back whatever you invested into creating. It doesn't do that, nor has it ever. To put it simply, there are no guarantees when you create that you will ever profit, even with copyright. So you're completely misunderstanding the purpose of copyright.

      "But you're basically just saying to hell with ALL copyright."

      No one has said that, this argument you have in your head is flawed from that point on. People DO have a problem with the "limited" part of copyright now being Life + 70 years (+ X more years when Mickey Mouse is due up to enter the public domain).

      Also, people have a problem with copyright enforcement. Not necessarily enforcement of one's copyright, but enforcement that then begins to encroach on our personal rights.

      "As I define it above: becomes tangled from there."

      Yes well, as you define copyright is not even remotely correct. So it would become tangled from there. You're building an argument around a flawed view and then just running with it from there. Of course things will get confusing for you.

      "pite the obvious problems with Big Media increasing its terms and penalties, besides control, that I oppose, YOU, Mike, STILL don't have any actual practical alternatives to the existing mess."

      Ha. So obviously you don't even read anything on this site. Otherwise you'd see that Mike does nothing but present ideas of all kinds to help copyright holders, as well as ideas from himself and others on what needs to be done to fix copyright as it has become.

      "So here's an exercise for you. Music is not like movies is not like computer programs is not like books is not like computer data. As in your piece, distinctions can be made, and should be."

      Did you even look at the chart above? It has nothing to do with any of that. It just shows how various age groups feel about sharing. Period.

      Wtf are you on? I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of fucked up right now but despite that I can still read and understand things. What's your excuse?

      "So, how about a chart showing the inherent properties of those categories, how much it costs to produce, time, money, inspiration, distribute, and so on, along with your notions on how to PROTECT those INVESTMENTS..."

      You can't chart something like that. It'd be all over the place. Would you include independent films? Only big budget ones? Etc.

      Also, as I pointed out above, there is no guarantee you'll get back any investment. That you feel a need to harp on about protecting said investments poses a problem. Namely, you want a guarantee where none can be had. Lest I need to point you to the numerous Hollywood "blockbusters" that have flopped horribly. Despite huge budgets and A-list actors/actresses.

      As for protecting/enforcing the rights of copyright holders. Well, it's simple. Stop being douches. By that I mean, give the people what they want, in a timely manner, DRM-free, reasonably priced and as easily as possible to acquire, without any restrictions for availability (global or otherwise).

      Bam. Piracy problem solved practically over night.

      "Leading me right to I'm STILL going to require you to explain how it's valid for you to totally neglect "sunk (or fixed) costs" for a $100M movie in your "can't compete" piece, so that you can claim marginal costs are all that matter."

      That thing Mike talks about, he's coming at it from the perspective of the average person. YOUR SUNK COST MEAN NOTHING TO ME. I don't care what you spent to make something. Neither does anyone else. All we care about is the end product and how easy (and cheap) it is to distribute, and what we need to do to acquire it. Period.

      As for the rest of your gibberish, I won't bother dissecting it. Your arguing about something that wasn't even in the article, and all from a flawed premise/misunderstanding of things to boot. So there's no real way to help you understand anything.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: Copying IS like theft...

        "Leading me right to I'm STILL going to require you to explain how it's valid for you to totally neglect "sunk (or fixed) costs" for a $100M movie in your "can't compete" piece, so that you can claim marginal costs are all that matter."

        The so-called "sunk (or fixed) costs" are nothing of the kind!
        "Hollywood accounting" is so screwed up that, according to the studio, AVATAR still hasn't broken even!

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:57am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      The worst aspect of copyright is clearly that it has inspired you to string together a series of words into what you think is something coherent.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:16am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      The public shouldn't be taxed to guarantee you a return on your investment. If you can't make your money back, then perhaps you need to find something new to invest in.

       

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      Greevar (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:33am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      OOTB, you're way off base. Your comment makes some pretty hefty assumptions that are just not true.

      1. The artist's investment must be protected.

      This is false. If you invest finite time and labor into something that results in an abundant good, which you attempt to market as a scarce good, you completely fail to realize that you're not marketing what is truly of value: Labor. If you invest significant time and effort into an expression, then it would make sense that the labor is what you should be selling.

      2. Such protection is a desirable goal.

      This is also false. The goal is to provide an encouraging incentive to compel an artist to create, but it is not restricted to monopoly control over speech, and art is very much a form of speech because it transmits the ideas of the artist to the audience. The goals of business can be met by other means. There is more to "sell" the audience on than the completed expression. Since art is speech, and speech is used to form relationships, it's logical to conclude that an artist can leverage the relationship they form with their audience and the hook for making that connection is the art itself. You create a desire in your audience to continue that relationship, which is the point where you offer things that are not abundant (e.g. your time, attention, opportunities for more intimate interaction, and things I can't yet imagine). You see, the business of art isn't a product industry, it is a social industry. It's a business of forming connections and creating a desire for more.

      3. Music is not like other mediums.

      Wrong again. As I said previously, all art is speech. If you're selling speech, then it is immaterial what personal investments were put into the creation of that speech. You're trying to imply that the labor involved in certain forms of speech make them distinctly different, and that they require protection because of those investments. However, you fail to comprehend that, to the audience, the art you provide them is just a message you pass on to them through your expression. The message does not impart what investments you've made in the expression, the ideas are the only thing that reaches their minds. You'd have to create the art around informing the audience of the effort and time put in, which would fundamentally change the expression to something very much divergent from the original thought you were trying to express. It might also get a bit recursive and tedious.

      4. It's moral to oppose infringement.

      You think this is true because you hold to the above false assumptions. I put it to you that infringement is not immoral, that copyright itself is immoral because it censors free speech and freedom of speech is a right that we hold above all other rights, even property. It holds back the progress of culture for the limited benefit of granting a few the power to exploit the common culture of human kind. It goes against the human instinct to share and propagate knowledge and culture, for it is by this unhindered sharing of knowledge that we lift each other up to greater achievement. For we are but "dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants." What came before is the foundation on which we build what is to come. If our cultural foundations are exclusively held by a few, we will have nothing for which to build upon. Copyright is a theft upon our culture; it takes away our culture and makes it unavailable for our use. It is possible and feasible for an artist to make a satisfactory living without selling a single copy of their works, nor hold exclusive rights to distribute, so long as they form relationships that people want to invest in.

       

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      Lord Binky, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:33am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Copyright is just a tool to apply while it's useful to the public, and should be applied to the largest degree of benefit to the public. Since it is a given that copyright is always most useful for the copyright holder, their opinion should matter the least when weighing the degree of copyrights that are necessary.

      So what if I spend a billion dollars making something that's easy to copy? I have the result of my billion dollars of effort, what I do with that is a seperate issue.

      If I spent a billion dollars to come up with the idea for turning a rock into a pet or turning rocks into food, it doesn't matter. If I spent a billion dollars on developing a pet rock, then someone sees it and starts to pick up rocks and sell them as bets, you'd think it was stupid to spend your money on that idea and to suck it up and quit crying that someone copied me. Yet, if I developed food from rocks, you may desire or want that I SHOULD be rewarded for that effort, but there is simply no inherent right that I should be rewarded, just like there is no inherent right that I should have to share, so if I boohoo that someone reproduces my work that I put so much effort into, I should similarly be told to suck it up and quit crying.

      It's pretty damn childish to think that you inherently deserve a right beyond the physical nature of it. Not to say it isn't highly beneficial to be granted monopoly rights, but that doesn't mean it is deserved, or even earned.

      As for this economic bit, investments are a gamble no matter what. Copyright just makes it easier to predict returns on an investment, but in no way should investments have a right to be protected from risks. Yea, everyone would like their investments to be protected somehow, but mitigating risks aren't a right, it's just a good idea for the investor.

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:20am

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Holy fucking shit...

      I had honestly thought hasn't_got_a_clue had died.


      That, or had been re-incarnated as one of the other trolls.

       

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      Adam, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Eh, some what like, but not really.

      A) Copying what you already own the rights to is nothing at all like theft. You wouldn't have purchased a second copy purely as back up anyway, so there is no monetary loss to the owner.

      B) Copying to sample before purchasing a hard copy (such as a CD or DVD): Just makes a process easier that's already been used for a long time, such as listening to a friend's copy or waiting for a song to come on to the radio.

      C) Downloading to increase convenience, because the copyright owners won't sell it to you in the format you want: technically illegal, morally grey. If you are firm on never purchasing content with DRM in any form, even when you can't find a downloadable form of something you want badly, but do purchase content when it's in a downloadable non-DRM form, then you are pretty much good to go in my books.

      D) Refusing to ever buy any content and always downloading it is the closest to theft, in the form of lost sales, but no item has been removed from the content owner, and the copies are not being sold for profit (which was what copyright was originally about, so that people wouldn't sell copies of your work with out having to pay you for the right). This should not be done.

      SO just remember, copying/downloading is situational. And content owners are better off just selling it as DRM free content. They avoid the expense of DRM research, development, and implementation, and make more sales over all.

      and DRM is always broken quickly, thus making content available online. Which means people who are going to DL the content will do so anyway, making money spent on DRM a resource draining waste with no real benefits. It's literally just throwing away company money.

       

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      Karl (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Paywall Bob! Long time no rant.

      the WHOLE purpose of copyRIGHT is to PROTECT that investment of time and other energies to PROPERLY reward the creator. I don't think even you pirates actually (can) disagree with that...

      Not only do we disagree with that ("pirates" or not), so does Congress and the Supreme Court.

      The WHOLE purpose of copyright is to "Promote the Progress of Science." It is not to "protect an investment," but to "serve the cause of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts" (Twentieth Century Music v. Aiken). "The sole interest of the United States, and the primary object in conferring the monopoly, lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors" (Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal). "The copyright law, like the patent statutes, makes reward to the owner a secondary consideration" (U.S. v. Paramount Pictures).

      And, in the words of Congress: "The Constitution does not establish copyrights, but provides that Congress shall have the power to grant such rights if it thinks best. Not primarily for the benefit of the author, but primarily for the benefit of the public, such rights are given." (H.R. Rep. No. 60-2222)

      But you're basically just saying to hell with ALL copyright.

      Strawman alert! Please let us know where Mike, or anyone who writes for Techdirt, has advocated for copyright abolition. They haven't, and are not. Some of the commenters here have, but they don't speak for everyone else (including me).

      Saying copyright laws should be based on empirical evidence, or should reflect social mores, is not saying "the hell with ALL copyright." It makes you a reformer, not an abolitionist.

      Here's a definition even more useful than whether copying is theft: "file sharing" sites making money off products they got for free IS piracy!

      Except they are not making money on "products they got for free." They do not "get" any "products." They provide services to users, and when they do make money (most don't, or make very little), they make money from those users. If they are ad-supported, they make money when users click on those ads. If they sell subscriptions (most don't), they get money when users pay for those subscriptions.

      But unlike iTunes, Amazon, Tunecore, or CD Baby, they do not charge money to content producers to use their product. On the other hand, most do not pay content producers, either. A small minority - like Megaupload - did pay users who uploaded content. But that could be - and was - used by content producers, to the same degree as it could be used by people who uploaded pirated material. Of course, after the Megaupload fiasco, the few that did pay users stopped doing that altogether.

      YES, Mike, Holder has scored a victory, the sites are NOT distributing stolen content!

      Except that neither the Megaupload seizure, nor the blocking of The Pirate Bay, resulted in any decrease in the amount of file sharing. As is made clear in the post that you are commenting on.

      If "stopping piracy" is the goal, it is a failure.

       

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      Milton Freewater, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      I agree with pretty much all of your post except its title, and here, it looks like even you don't agree with your title:

      "Here's a definition even more useful than whether copying is theft: 'file sharing' sites making money off products they got for free IS piracy!"

      I'm surprised that Karaganis didn't recognize the obvious line in the sand his data seems to show - for-profit unauthorized distribution is not merely "copying." The public gets that, including you and me.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

      Re: Copying IS like theft...

      Have you ever played Bioshock before?

      "Gregory, don't come whining to me about market forces. And don't expect me to punish citizens for showing a little initiative. If you don't like what Fontaine is doing, well, I suggest you find a way to offer a better product."

      Granted, Rapture is supposed to be an Objectivist/Ayn Rand paradise, but then again, modern-day America IS like that.

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    Why The MPAA Can't 'Win The Hearts And Minds' Of The Public

    Because they have no hearts or minds.

     

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    Mike Shore (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    How long until the US adds itself to the Special 301 Report?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:07am

    "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

    Just to try and nail down at least one major distinction: sharing music you like with friends and family is indeed NOT theft, BUT Megaupload, Rapidshare, and even Pirate Bay, all making money through advertising, that IS theft.

    Now, Mike, I'd like a CLEAR statement whether YOU support "file sharing" sites making money off copyrighted content. -- I MUST pre-load the question with this (being facts, I've no choice): that MOST of the content on those sites is copyrighted, and it's their only actual draw. They've an indirect method of getting money by way of advertising, but that doesn't make it legal or moral.

    Of course you're going to ignore or waffle, though possibly you'll make an unequivocal condemnation knowing you're just putting text on a screen, have NO concern whether someone else is losing actual money invested. -- That's SO revealing in your "can't compete" piece: you set aside ALL "sunk (or fixed) costs" right in your premise! You are focused on grifters, NOT on producers.


    [Ah, nothing like me with a few facts to bring out Anonymous Cowards with ranting ad hom. Nothing else here, actually, since the few regular dissenters seem to have left. Just a dwindling number of regular pirate. One of the ACs above writes like Dick_Helmet: "I'm kind of fucked up right now". Classy. I've also noted Mike is using scatology again. What a swamp.]

     

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      The eejit (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:24am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      No , stealing shit on the high seas is piracy. Any other meaning is propogandist talk.

      There are four simple solutions for most IP problems:

      1) No middlemen permitted to hold IP (so no "labels/studios hold the copyright", no Intellectual Ventures crap etc.)
      2) A much shortened length for IPR to actually apply;
      3) Personal use copying to be made fully legal;
      4) Fair use is the default position of the law.

      99% of the problems with IP go away at that point.

       

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      MrWilson, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:25am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      "Just to try and nail down at least one major distinction: sharing music you like with friends and family is indeed NOT theft, BUT Megaupload, Rapidshare, and even Pirate Bay, all making money through advertising, that IS theft."

      If making money off of someone else's hard work is theft, then capitalism as a system is built on theft. Also, the entire content industry is built on theft based on middlemen making money off of the hard work of the actual artists.

      Now, OOTB, I'd like a CLEAR statement about why you think you get to demand Mike's responses to your tirades? What obligation does he, or anyone, owe you?

      "MOST of the content on those sites is copyrighted, and it's their only actual draw."

      Due to revisions in (American) copyright law, most content anywhere is copyrighted. That is irrelevant to the appeal of the content. Star Wars isn't more interesting just because it's still under copyright.

      "...NO concern whether someone else is losing actual money invested."

      If we're referring to Hollywood movies being downloaded, it's actually by design that they "lose" money that is invested in them...

      I love that last paragraph. So full of self-importance and bravado. Ah, OOTB, the last of the great trolls... Where did he go? Gone are the glory days of fighting the good fight with those dirty pirates. Making an impact on file-sharing by attacking people on a blog. That'll show 'em! Knowing is half the battle!

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:31am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      Just to try and nail down at least one major distinction: sharing music you like with friends and family is indeed NOT theft, BUT Megaupload, Rapidshare, and even Pirate Bay, all making money through advertising, that IS theft.


      Ok, let's pretend I buy that argument. Where is the "line in the sand" between the two? How do you differentiate them?

      Is the USB manufacturer also a thief because they profited when you purchased the tool you used to share with your family? What if you share long distance with your family using Rapidshare?

      Obviously, you seem to see something that makes Pirate Bay different from burning a CD for Mom. What is it?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:41am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      "BUT Megaupload, Rapidshare, and even Pirate Bay, all making money through advertising, that IS theft. "

      So in your world anyone who makes money through the use of advertising is stealing?

      I wonder if Google's aware of that.

      "[Ah, nothing like me with a few facts to bring out Anonymous Cowards with ranting ad hom. Nothing else here, actually, since the few regular dissenters seem to have left. Just a dwindling number of regular pirate. One of the ACs above writes like Dick_Helmet: "I'm kind of fucked up right now". Classy. I've also noted Mike is using scatology again. What a swamp.]"

      Yes, I am kind of fucked up. I was out late, I got home later. I had maybe 2 hours to pass out, wake up, shower, and come to work. I am hungover. What does that have to do with anything though? Or what does it matter if I am? I was still able to point out the flaws in everything you said and refute most of your generalized statements.

      So as I said, what's your excuse? Also, no, I'm not Dark Helmet. Notice how you said "Dick_Helmet" though? And you say the rest of us are writing ranting ad homs. I've yet to see anyone go off on anywhere near a rant, besides yourself that is.

      Also, file storage sites make money off of the service they provide. Namely, cloud storage. You have presented no evidence to support your claim that most of the content on said sites is copyrighted. Which is a loaded term because anything created under the sun in the United States is automatically covered by copyright. This comment right here. Covered by copyright.

      What you mean to say is "MOST of the content on those sites is copyrighted content that has been illegally uploaded/downloaded without prior authorization of the copyright holders". And again, proof?

      You've yet to present anything in the way of facts in anything you've said. In point of fact, your comments thus far are you stating your opinion and trying to present it as fact. It's not, nor is you ADDING CAPS making it so.

      out_of_the_blue, much like bob, you need to get a clue.

       

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      A Monkey with Attitude, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:50am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      But neither Mike, nor any one else has a reason to reply to you as you start off with a fractured premise/view point/strawman.

      It would be like arguing with a brickwall, but less fun, and even less intellegent points as replys... whats the point when you will not even acknowledge any issue with your own view point?

      I have found most people asside from the trolls and asshats are open to new ideas, and do not take their side as the end all be all perfect view with out any area open to change/advancement/or complete rewrite (i know my views of patents has undertaken fundimental changes from various discussions on this very site, and I am an actual Engineer and Inventor)

       

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      sad truth, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:42am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      OOTB, you sound like an entitled child.


      There exists NO RIGHT TO PROFIT.


      The act of PUBLISHING a work is, by definition, to make said work AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. (I used caps in case it makes thing easier for you to comprehend, since you appear to have great difficulty in this regard)

      Once information is published, the control is lost. It is up to the author to ***convince*** the public that it has ANY kind of monetary value. If the public agrees, they will compensate the author. If they do not agree, they will not compensate the author.

      Do you honestly believe that you can mandate profit purely because money was invested into a work? That's horrifically sad and I hope you can come to your senses sooner than later. It must be embarrassing to be so ignorant of reality.

       

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      Tim K (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:04am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      that MOST of the content on those sites is copyrighted, and it's their only actual draw

      And you are full of shit, but that's not new. There are plenty of artists who would like to argue with you about that. There was plenty of draw to MU other than piracy, that's not to say there wasn't a lot of it on there, but it was not the only reason to go there. And as others said, how is making money theft?

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:32am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      "Now, Mike, I'd like a CLEAR statement whether YOU support "file sharing" sites making money off copyrighted content. -- I MUST pre-load the question with this (being facts, I've no choice): that MOST of the content on those sites is copyrighted, and it's their only actual draw. They've an indirect method of getting money by way of advertising, but that doesn't make it legal or moral. "

      It's clear now.
      Hasn't_Got_A_Clue and Average_Joe must have had horrible sweaty sex and produced a vile new life-form, that I now dub "Out_Of_Average_Joe's (Fill It In Yourself)".
      The evidence is right there. We can see the nonsensical arguments, the unnecessary capitalisation of random words...and the demand that Mike answer a completely loaded question, a question that by its wording shows that no answer will ever be accepted.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      Long time no rant, out_of_the_blue.

      If you're so assured that opposing copyright infringement is moral and the counterpart is immoral...

      Then surely, you must know that you are currently infringing on the copyright that average_joe has on asking Mike loaded questions, correct?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      Finally. I'd wondered where all the trolls were, today. You just get back from the picnic or something?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      Then why do insist on dwelling in the swamp ootb?

       

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      John, Oct 7th, 2012 @ 10:01am

      Re: "File sharing" sites making money IS piracy!

      You have pointed out one of the massive failings of copyright as is. It is not about the money really.

      There is nothing in copyright that forces the holder to be reasonable and simply take a cut from different possible streams including indirect ones such as advertising. They usually want to shut people down. Only google got away with this because they can afford endless stupid court battles. Same reason apple ended up with itunes when napster was shut down even though they offered pretty much a blank cheque to the music industry via venture capital. Music industry wasn't interested in a deal.

      Why on earth isn't there a legal piratebay with an copyright industry tracker where you can download for a couple of quid (a reasonable cost, not one based on shipping physical goods to shops taking a cut too)? Torrents are the most efficient distribution system for large files, infact the distribution is paid by the users even!

      Copyright allows killing off any startups and plays into the hands of the giants like google and apple. It is totally stupid and anti competitive.

      They could have been first but are too stupid.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    MAFIAA's credo for decades:

    "If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:53am

      Re: MAFIAA's credo for decades:

      The problem is that we've paid them good money for far too long to either let go or to finish the job. They can be depended upon to do neither yet they continue to squeeze and twist with nary a stroke nor a choke.

      Somehow they feel solely entitled to control and disseminate the culture of the planet. They've been outclassed.

       

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    T, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Avengers

    A month after the Avengers was released in theaters a...friend found a copy online to download and watch at home. I was also with him the day he bought the Avengers BD/DVD comboat Target. Getting unauthorized copies does not preclude people from buying it as well.my...friend just wanted to watch it sooner. ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Everybody shares, even average joe

    i bet he has a book shelf (a file server) with files (books), some may be his, some his family's, that he encourages family and friends to borrow and read. Thus depriving artists of sales. But he knows it spreads knowledge and encourages sales. Just like our parents and grandparents did. There is no age limit to sharing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Nice graph

    Maybe instead of justifying theft you should be checking your graphs for obvious errors and inconsistent calculation of "average."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Rapidshare

    Rapidshare is a really bad example, or the actual extreme to which copyright maximalists wil go in order to stamp out any legal file sharing.

    Rapidshare has an aggressive anti-infringement policy, DMCA agent and is not popular in the pirate community.

    Rapidshare has given the copyright lobby everything it could want, except backdoor access to all user uploaded accounts along with unsupervised deletion privileges.

    If Rapidshare has not done enough, I frankly want to know what could be enough to function as a legitimate file sharing service while satisfying copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    the total number of songs downloaded would have surpassed 759 million in six months

    And every single one of them is a lost sale! Each one worth $.99...er, $19.99...I mean $150,000!

    No wonder the economy is lousy!

     

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    People have been "file sharing" for decades. Back in the day it was called "mix tapes". I remember buying boxes of Maxell XLIIS cassette tapes and recording my friends records and CDs back in the 80s. I also remember buying a ton of music and going to plenty of concerts.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Observation

    They also have a breakdown of the Top Metro Areas by Downloads Per Capita..

    What I find interesting is that these seem to be mostly college towns. Which makes sense. College students do not have a lot of disposable income after tuition, books, housing, food, beer and condoms.

    However, quite a few of these people will have plenty of disposable income 5-10 years from now, after they enter the workforce. These are future customers and should be treated as such.

     

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    Human # 3,084,246,070, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Charge us all extra and divvy it up to artists

    Just add a $5-$10 surcharge to anyone with an internet connection. Keep track of the downloads of all the media and pay the artists/copyright holders ASCAP style.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

      Re: Charge us all extra and divvy it up to artists

      Hmmm. A combination of the ole "assume everyone's a criminal" with a dab of total internet surveillance. That'll go over well.

       

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 6th, 2012 @ 4:19am

      Re: Charge us all extra and divvy it up to artists

      So what your suggesting is we hand another middleman money for them to manage and maybe .005 cents of every dollar might go into a fund that might be dispersed to the artists.

      How about instead we add a $75 surcharge to every $100 of income the cartel membership earns and pay that money to the artists who actually made the work instead?

       

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    El Xetto (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Too Little, Too Late

    As someone just about to slide into my second half-century, but young (immature?) at heart, I have to say that in my opinion the MPAA is coming to the party about forty years too late. Digital music sharing got started in earnest, if I recall correctly, somewhere around the initial Napster days circa 1998, but I was doing the equivalent of downloading music, in great quantity for the time and equipment, starting with recording songs off the radio onto a little battery-operated reel-to-reel tape recorder at age eight or nine, in 1971 or 72 -- almost EXACTLY forty years ago.

    In addition to taping songs played on the radio, I taped the record collections of everybody I knew or met -- friends, relatives, my local public library, my high school radio station, and more. I would sometimes call up radio stations and ask DJs to send me a particularly special or hard-to-find song on tape (they always did). In high school, when friends and I got jobs at the radio stations, I'd often sit there at night dubbing the stations' own music libraries with their own equipment. You name it. And NOBODY CARED. (Oh, and in those days you could freely sing/play records at parties and in bars, too, without having to pay anybody royalty fees.)

    Granted, as one person I didn't have much impact -- I was the only person I knew who did this, originally because I didn't have the money to buy records and later because I'd developed the habit and worked up the techniques to a fine art. I rarely GAVE copies to anyone else. But to this day I still have the 200+ cassettes, 20+ reel-to-reel tapes, and a few hundred actual records (given to me; what, BUY them?!?) I amassed between 1972 and 1998 when I switched to MP3 downloads. (And, okay, I did buy a record OCCASIONALLY; but oh, how I remember my fury when I arrived at the store one day to buy a new 45, only to discover the price had gone up from 75 cents to 84 cents and that the money in my pocket (about 78 cents) was no longer enough!)

    So yeah, this sort of stuff has been going on in at least SOME circles for at least four decades (somebody already had, and gave me, that original tape recorder...). I remember, upon hearing my first MP3 and being amazed at the sound quality, INSTANTLY thinking to myself, "Well, the genie is out of the bottle NOW." And once he's out, good luck getting him back in; one really is better off just directing one's efforts toward living with the consequences.

     

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    Animus, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Just maybe

    Did anyone else have a thought that this copyright war stuff was invented by a secret government service to divert the masses attention from real problems in economics? :)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

      Re: Just maybe

      That is a given. Look at the shiny stuff over here, not at the wholesale raping of the average human beings ability to make a living going on over there.

       

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    Adam, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    I remember when file sharing first hit mainstream when I was in school, and I did it, my Mom would get upset and tell me it was illegal and stealing. Of course, she's perfectly willing to load up every CD my Dad has ever bought (probably >1000), and put it on everyone in the extended family's iPod, and sees no problem with that. I try to point out that both activities are equally illegal, and she doesn't react well to that.

     

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    For this one, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    In Russia they do this thing with "take our money by default and give it to some content creators" thing by taking % of digital media prices and giving it to the copyrighters organization. But as there is no real objective metrics of artists popularity/downloads/etc they probably just "appropriate" chunks of the money as a form of legal blackmail. There were even cases when content creators were penalized for distribution of their own content.

     

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    identicon
    For this one, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    In Russia they do this thing with "take our money by default and give it to some content creators" thing by taking % of digital media prices and giving it to the copyrighters organization. But as there is no real objective metrics of artists popularity/downloads/etc they probably just "appropriate" chunks of the money as a form of legal blackmail. There were even cases when content creators were penalized for distribution of their own content.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    The graph contains an error: in the section "Upload files to websites where people can download them", the bar with the value 19 is shorter than the bar with the value 12. What's the correct data there?

    Also, I don't think this really matters, but the study was for music files, so I'm wondering why the MPAA (rather than RIAA, IFPI, and PROs) got singled out for this article. I could see the MPAA going "well, maybe that's how people feel about music, but our studies show that the public is much more respectful of copyright when it comes to movies and TV."

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 6th, 2012 @ 10:59pm

      Re:

      The graph contains an error: in the section "Upload files to websites where people can download them", the bar with the value 19 is shorter than the bar with the value 12. What's the correct data there?

      There was a typo on the graphic. The heights were correct, but that last number was 9, not 19. I alerted Joe, who put up a corrected graphic.

      Also, I don't think this really matters, but the study was for music files, so I'm wondering why the MPAA (rather than RIAA, IFPI, and PROs) got singled out for this article.

      Mainly because it's the MPAA pushing the line these days that an education campaign can win...

       

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    bshock, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Sharing isn't theft...

    Sharing is culture.

    Is it any surprise that the grotesque -- and grotesquely wealthy -- monstrosities complaining about it don't understand this? They wouldn't know culture if they were standing in the middle of it. And they are.

     

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    Frank, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    As long as folks are paying to download movies, they can download all they want. Can't wait for the Pirate Bay to get shut down. It's killing my dvd sales.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

      Re:

      You do realize TPB is just a drop in the bucket. There is only one way to stop piracy and that's kill every single bit of technology on the planet and drive our asses back to the stone age.

      Now I would much rather download a movie before I buy it. Why? Because I don't want to waste 20$ on a piece of shit.
      Most products can be returned for a number of reasons.
      Can you take a movie back? Nope you're stuck with it and here in America if something fucking sucks you get a refund.

      People get lured in from a 90 second trailer that consist of the best parts. Even then once they get to that part in the movie and learn the story leading up to it they realize it was not that funny/cool/sad/happy...

       

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    Silver Fang (profile), Oct 5th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Copyright was originally a matter for the civil courts. When did it become the domain of the DOJ for them to confiscate domain names, search people's digital media at border crossings and basically become the MAFIAA's enforcer?

    I would say have a five-year maximum of copyright, not this author's life plus 70 years BS. That was at Disney's behest and should be done away with immediately.

    Also, all personal, non-commercial use should be allowed. An anime fan who wants to make an AMV of Naruto with Slipknot or whatever playing in the background shouldn't be penalized for doing so.

     

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    LB, Oct 6th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Mobile popup EXTREMELY ANNOYING!!! Tried to close it three times and it maximized!!!

     

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    Looky, Oct 7th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    The main point in refusal of modern copyright strategies that they weren't supposed to be applied to products of culture. That's all there is to it.

     

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