Crime And Punishment? 33 Months In Jail For Filming And Uploading Fast & Furious 6

from the seems-a-wee-bit-excessive dept

As a whole bunch of folks sent in, over in the UK, a guy named Philip Danks has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for camcording Fast and Furious 6 and then uploading it to the internet. As is all too often the case, the UK authorities more or less let the movie industry, in the form of FACT (the Federation Against Copyright Theft) run the entire investigation. FACT employees were involved in all facets, including controlling most of the interview after Danks was detained. If that seems... questionable, you have a point.

As TorrentFreak now notes, while 33 months may seem extreme, part of the reason for the long sentence was that Danks didn't seem to take the hint:
FACT report that following his arrest in 2013, Danks continued to both sell and distribute illegal copies of movies. He was assisted with uploading by Michael Bell, his sister’s former boyfriend. The Court sentenced Bell to a 12 month community order with 120 hours unpaid work.
That does seem particularly shortsighted if you wanted to avoid getting into further trouble. Either way, 33 months still sounds rather extreme. Skimming through UK sentencing guidelines, apparently camcording and uploading Fast & Furious 6 is criminally equivalent to a "series of assaults on children" or "protracted neglect and ill-treatment" of a child. That doesn't seem exactly equivalent. Meanwhile Fast & Furious 6 brought in $789 million worldwide, which makes it in the top 50 movies of all time in terms of revenue. It ranks 31st all time in terms of its opening week's performance.

Given all that, I'm curious how much "harm" Danks could really have done to the movie. Sure, it seems clear that he violated copyright law, and so it's legitimate to assume some sort of punishment is reasonable. But 33 months in jail when it's hard to see how any actual harm was done? How does that make any sense at all?

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 7:49pm

    Given all that, I'm curious how much "harm" Danks could really have done to the movie. Sure, it seems clear that he violated copyright law, and so it's legitimate to assume some sort of punishment is reasonable. But 33 months in jail when it's hard to see how any actual harm was done? How does that make any sense at all?

    Yes, Mike, the harm is difficult, if not impossible, to measure. So is the alleged harm when someone has their First Amendment rights violated, yet you don't call for a careful measurement of the harm there.

    Regardless, let me ask you this: Do you think that this guy did anything morally wrong? It's a simple and direct question. Can you give us a simple and direct answer? (I seriously doubt it, but I'd love to be proved wrong.)

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:01pm

    Camcording?

    Sorry, I just do not understand why camcording is so popular. It does not take long to get something with decent resolution (and probably no motion) via other means, and yes those too. But really. People buy what has to be low quality?

    To some degree it comes down to impatience. The 'I wan't it now' society, created by 'credit offers too good to be true' and overestimation of ones ability to pay or a turndown in the market taking your net worth out from under you. Marketers developed the 'I can get it now' (the thought of actual cost is often lost on the consumer) and exploit it all they can.

    Is this the same drive that gets people to camcord movies, just so someone else can see it, what a week earier, a month earlier, or since they are paying, going to the theater (an exercise I refrain from, I wait until after I have seen it on cable several times (ignoring the commercial,of course), then I might torrent something, but only because cable often edits things, and plays series out of order)?

    Oh, and I pay cash for everything. Not always the correct choice, but it is my choice.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:03pm

    The fellow made several mistakes.
    1&2.He was selling the cams and kept selling after his first encounter with the police.

    3.This was a criminal organization. He was in league with his brother-in-law. Excluding the theaters, the activity took place in two locations.

    I don't a problem with the caming or sharing of media, but selling others work is just wrong. Picking up ad dollars is ok in my book though. His activity and blatant disregard of the law after being warned, warranted the excessive sentence. The guy probably doesn't have a pot to piss in and lives in council housing.

     

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    Anonymouse, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:06pm

    Bloody pirates

    "But 33 months in jail when it's hard to see how any actual harm was done? How does that make any sense at all?"

    It is not supposed to make sense, it is supposed to make us afraid. This is not justice, it's revenge.

     

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    jameshogg (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:07pm

    Re:

    A drug dealer can be in the moral wrong by using lack of regulation to mix soft drugs with hard drugs to keep customers hooked. They may also not check for I.D., foster other kinds of crime and violence, and encourage corruption among departments of justice, politicians and corporations (e.g. banks).

    Likewise, a pirate can offer deals no one can compete with as his own little "gateway". They don't have to put BBFC/PEGI ratings on films to protect kids from adult content, encourage money laundering, fraud, and have some pirates armed with sawn-off shotguns, and encourage corruption among courts who will not stop them, tech-utopian politicians and corporations (e.g. Google. And banks.)

    So the answer to your question can be "yes". But you're still going to have do a lot better than that.

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:10pm

    Re:

    "Do you think that this guy did anything morally wrong?"

    See my post below. The selling part, yep, absolutely (a word I hate) is immoral. The camcording part, just stupid, IMHO.

    I support 'artists' (AKA copyright holders rather than actual artists) by paying for cable, and allowing the egregious advertisements that come along with a paid service, which I happily ignore. So much for the advertisers marketing dollars. But I have no problem getting something already paid for in a format and time frame I want.

    The concept that some rights holder should get paid everytime I watch some video I recorded off the air (or got by another means after having watched it on the air) is just their greed speaking. Morally, I have no problem with this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:14pm

    Much Worse

    "apparently camcording and uploading Fast & Furious 6 is criminally equivalent to a "series of assaults on children" or "protracted neglect and ill-treatment" of a child."

    Is that all? Mike, surely you must realize that copyright infringement is much worse, morally and otherwise, than any form of child abuse could ever be. Won't you at least admit that? (I seriously doubt it, but I'd love to be proved wrong.)

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Much Worse

    I sorry, but is this a registered parody account?

    If not, we have registrations available for an insignificant portion of your total assets. Please submit proper documents in regular accounting practice form, along with your first born child and the fourth finder of your right hand (if you have a first born you must be married...right?).

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Much Worse

    Dear Editor:

    Finder does look like finger, but they are not the same.

    Anonymous Anonymous Coward

    BTW, I would fire you, but I cannot afford to replace myself just now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:26pm

    It is vital that hard core criminals receive jail time. Imprisoning people is not a cheap option but you have to balance the costs involved with the relative harm done, or the benefits to society of taking a criminal out of society . I'm confident that the average person in Britain would share my view on whether or not the Judge in this case used a sense of proportion.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:30pm

    And yet Stuart Hall indcently assaults young girls and gets 30 months.

    Nice to see the UK has some fucked up priorities.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:31pm

    Re:

    With all of the bullshit the Copyright industry pulls, they're in no place to preach about morals.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Camcording?

    It's because so many people are gullible to Hollywood's marketing machine that they feel extra special if they can see a movie before anyone else, even if the movie hits DVD in three months.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 8:56pm

    Re:

    No, the harm is not hard to measure when the First Amendment is infringed. Censorship is the same every way around, it keeps people from expressing their thoughts in order to concede to another interest. The First Amendment is a fundamental right that is inherent in everyone. Copyright, however, is not. It also infringes on the First Amendment because some people want to use censorship to make money.

    Do you think that this guy did anything morally wrong?

    I think he's an indelicate jerk that lacks any tact and basic courtesy. I don't think he did anything morally wrong. What he did was refuse to be censored. I think censorship for the sake of profit is the amoral act.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:02pm

    Re:

    You can't bring up morality until we've settled on the morality of continuous extensions of copyright length so that that it now lasts two lifetimes and has locked up a whole century of culture.

    You can't bring up morality until you we've settled on how Hollywood and the music business cooks the books and doesn't pay out royalties they way they should.

    The laws must command respect and businesses must behave respectably before you can start talking about the morality of what some kid does with a video camera in a movie theatre.

    If you think he deserves jail, then there's a lot more immoral people that need to be behind bars.

    The article isn't about whether someone did something wrong or not. It's about the extreme punishment for a minor offence based on lousy laws dictated by a private company.

     

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  16.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Camcording?

    To some degree it comes down to impatience. The 'I wan't it now' society...

    Is that fair to lay blame at the feet of those people or is it the fault of an industry that refuses to serve people what they want because they think release windows create demand and, thus, more profit? If you aren't going to meet the demand of the market, someone else will whether it's legal or not. The responsible and mature response is to satisfy the demand before someone does it for you. The industry creates opportunities for infringement; they do it to themselves. Yet they ignore the most effective solution in favor of trying to threaten everyone to not do what they should be doing themselves so they can continue to ignore the demand from the market.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re:

    No, what he did was refuse to stop making illegal copies of works created by others and selling them to still others.

     

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    CK20XX (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Lousy, fuzzy, illegal copies that have no hope of stealing sales from the actual movie. Philip Danks is clearly something of a jerk, but I doubt he's actually done any harm.

     

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  19.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:23pm

    Re:

    So, having a copyright infringer take up space that could be occupied by a serial killer or rapist is the proportional response? What good has it done for society to separate this person from the rest of us? We can't even measure the harm he's accused of doing. How can we say then that we've prevented future harm from this person by locking him up? He has to have caused clear, measurable harm before we can say locking him up will prevent it from happening again? That's the same kind of thinking as, "We have no clue if he's done any harm, but we'll keep him locked up so he can't do it again."

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:25pm

    Re:

    I guess it's because a movie pirate never helped them try to censor the net. They also probably wanted Patrick Rock to not feel lonely, only for him to complain that his cellmate is "too old" anyway.

     

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  21.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Illegal doesn't equate to wrong. Aiding escaping slaves was illegal prior to the emancipation. Was helping slaves escape wrong? Should people obey laws that they think are wrong or harmful simply because they are laws? Should we not challenge laws we think are wrong? Think about that the next time you feel the urge to look down at someone simply because they broke the law, because laws are not infallible.

     

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  22.  
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    Ehud Gavron (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:34pm

    You can't say it didn't hurt the movie...

    If you bring into it "didn't hurt the movie" then you bring that as a factor into the punishment, and -- worse -- when you use worldwide sales as "proof" then -- sure -- didn't hurt THIS movie, but what about that wonderful tome Expendables Three.

    Better to leave it as a simple copyright case and not bring movie worldwide gross as a factor...

     

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    CK20XX (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    I dunno. A simple and direct answer honestly sounds kinda stupid in this case. Morality tends to be a continuum, not a binary, especially in areas of copyright that are morally reprehensible by lasting longer than a lifetime. Why don't you ask for something more thoughtful and insightful?

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 10:08pm

    "Fast & Furious 6 brought in $789 million worldwide, which makes it in the top 50 movies of all time in terms of revenue. It ranks 31st all time in terms of its opening week's performance."

    On paper the film is still $150 million in the hole, and they are going to get it back by suing pirates who stole that $150 million from them.

    Dude was selling stuff... thats bad.
    Dude got a stiffer sentence than people who have done much worse things to society... thats bad.

    What could have been a wonderful poster case for the insane expansion of IP crimes being overwrought has the legs cut out of it because idiot sold stuff.

    The other side will just scream about how he was selling these stolen things so we need more law, harsher sentences.
    People will lock onto that, rather than pay attention that the sentences handed out have moved on par to the Nuremberg trials.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 10:12pm

    So in essence FACT played good cop bad cop on a suspect even though they are not trained law enforcement, and that could be construed as harassment if they were allowed to interrogate him.

     

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  26.  
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    techflaws (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 10:46pm

    Re:

    Yes, Mike, the harm is difficult, if not impossible, to measure.

    So how can any punishment be appropriate?

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Question for you: if you park your car in a handicap spot, or park in front of a fire hydrant, what is the ACTUAL harm? Answer is that it is hard to determine - but that does not stop society from assigning a fine for that behavior. Proving harm would have to show the number of people with handicap parking who didn't get a spot at that time, or who chose not to drive because assholes park in the handicap spots, or the chance of rain on that day. The calculation quite simply isn't easy or straight forward.

    The calculation of harm (or benefit as some here would claim) to piracy is hard to prove mostly because there are so many moving parts involved, and such a big audience that losing 1 single ticket sale at each showing at each theater wouldn't seem like much. Would it be more or less than a major snowstorm or a hurricane in Florida?

    This case isn't complicated. He went in, intentionally cammed the move, and distributed it. You have to be pretty much morally bankrupt not to realize it's an issue.

    33 months for that is pretty reasonable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 11:18pm

    Re:

    I think anyone watching F&F6 twice just to get a cam of it is beyond moral judgement and should simply be sectioned for the good of himself and the community.

     

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    WTF, Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 11:46pm

    In general any crime that involves the supposed loss of profit to a large corporation is punished far more heavily than petty crimes like murder rape child abuse and the like.

    If the populace of the (laughingly referred to as) the civilised world have not noticed this then what hope is there for Justice and other mythical states like the constitution with all it^s meaningless amendments and inalienable rights.

    Laws as opposed to rules are written and passed into being regardless of whether they are legal themselves.

    Sheeple are sheeple and will never change Individuals are shunned on the most part and are boat rockers and wave makers, yet the sheeple want to watch movies and listen to songs etc that extoll (for entertainment) the outsider, the misfit, the anti social as the one to aspire to.

    They (the people) read of real crimes such as those I referred to earlier as 'petty' and then sit down with their overspilling buckets of popcorn, litres of coca cola, buckets of chicken and watch for entertainment films and TV shows about rape murder child abuse etc, WTF There is no hope for the human race it is led by profit materialism and is hell bent on destruction off it's members and it's planet

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:12am

    Re: Camcording?

    in the age of the internet, an artificial delay is unwelcome

     

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    Mr. Oizo, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:29am

    Re:

    Ach you moron, you asked the same question 2 years ago. He did answer, and then you went silent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:36am

    Re: Bloody pirates

    Good morning, this is the london corporate police, thankyou for understanding the message.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Amen

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re: Bloody pirates

    Good morning, this is the london police again, dont forget, intimidate, warn, and condition, but one out of four is not so bad, but be aware there will be consequences the next time, compliments of your loving corporations, thankyou.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Bloody pirates

    Good morning, this is the london corporate police here requesting your details in order to arrest you for impersonating the london corporate police, thankyou

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:59am

    Corporations are people dont you know, victims of a heinous crime of potential profit, why dont you people just "leave britney alone"(refrence)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 1:03am

    Re: Camcording?

    ...which is why I would argue that it's a service issue, rather than a criminal issue.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 1:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not when you look at what other crimes you'd have to commit to get that kind of sentence.

    'Skimming through UK sentencing guidelines, apparently camcording and uploading Fast & Furious 6 is criminally equivalent to a "series of assaults on children" or "protracted neglect and ill-treatment" of a child.'

    While a punishment is reasonable, and certainly considering he was selling the video, to put copyright infringement at the same level as assaulting children as far as punishment goes is ridiculous. One of those is a hell of a lot worse than the other, and it isn't the copyright infringement.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 2:59am

    the truly disgraceful thing is that, atm, there are still trials going on in the UK concerning several celebrates involved in sex scandals with children. so far, if my memory serves, the longest sentence so far has been given to Stuart Hall, and is for 30 months. i am at a loss as to how that despicable crime can be treated as being lesser than sharing a fucking movie, regardless of whether it was for money or not! i am also trying to figure out how it was even remotely possible to know that Danks had the movie downloaded 700,000 times from him. was there a ratchet counter in operation here? this also shows to me how far up the entertainment industries and Obama's ass the UK government is. there isn't a single other thing that is on the internet that has been given so much publicity, so many new laws for it's 'protection' and all paid for by 'the people'. if it cant' be seen what is going on here, wait a bit longer until there is no way back and see that all these laws are meant for the governments, via the entertainment industries, so that every single person on the planet can be tracked as to where they go, what they say, who they converse with, when and everything else. it's getting more how they want it every day and once in, we wont be able to do a thing about it. why do you think there are so many 'trade deals', all introduced by the USA? they want to be top dog, taking complete charge of the 'net. wont be much longer, just wait and see.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 3:28am

    Re: Re:

    Is that not what I said?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:05am

    Re:

    Stuart hall has friends in government that talked the judge into a lesser sentence.
    Also he's rich.....
    in the UK the length of sentence is inversely proportional to the value of your wallet.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:06am

    Re: You can't say it didn't hurt the movie...

    "but what about that wonderful tome Expendables Three."

    We discussed that already. It was fairly clear that piracy didn't harm the movie, the fact that it sucked as much as a black hole is what harmed the movie.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:07am

    Re:

    Given hollywood accounting, every film in the top 100 is hundreds of millions in the red....no film in history has EVER made a profit according to the RIAA, therefore this guy is the only film-profitable business in the history of ever.....

    By hollywood's own logic he just increased the entire industries entire profit total for 2014 by a factor of infinity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:08am

    Re: Re:

    edit: MPAA not RIAA but i bet the recording industry is claiming that no album has ever broken even too....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re:

    So, having a copyright infringer take up space that could be occupied by a serial killer or rapist is the proportional response?

    Ummm, no. It's not like theres now not enough room to accommodate the rapist; or that the serial killer had to be sent home to make room for this jerk off. But good just trying to obfuscate the issue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    good *job* .....fucking auto spell

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:46am

    Re:

    I agree about the disparity. But to be fair, it is not "sharing". It was sales for personal enrichment. And his brazen, "fuck you" attitude probably made the situation worse.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re:

    "You can't bring up morality until we've settled on the morality of continuous extensions of copyright length so that that it now lasts two lifetimes..."

    but who will think of all the zombie creators who will not create because of copyright expiring ? ? ?

    (might have something to do with the undying taste for brains, too...)

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is reported evidence was presented at trial showing he received income from his sales of copies, and there was an economic loss sustained by rights holder as a result of his actions.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One does not necessarily automatically lead to the other. You can't just toss out that the rights holder suffered a loss without evidence. This isn't a zero sum game. It's very possible that some of the people who paid this guy for his copies went to see the movie in the cinema or bought it on (legit) DVD/Blu-ray.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re:

    See my post below. The selling part, yep, absolutely (a word I hate) is immoral. The camcording part, just stupid, IMHO.

    Are you saying the morality for you turns on whether the infringer profits financially? How is camcording a movie and distributing it over the internet to thousands of people morally justifiable?

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re:

    With all of the bullshit the Copyright industry pulls, they're in no place to preach about morals.

    I’m not preaching. I’m just wondering how some people view this guy’s infringement as morally justifiable. Your answer just dodges the question. Why not engage the issue directly? I know Mike won’t do this, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your comment was ambiguous. I took it that you meant the judge made a proportionate response.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re:

    No, the harm is not hard to measure when the First Amendment is infringed. Censorship is the same every way around, it keeps people from expressing their thoughts in order to concede to another interest. The First Amendment is a fundamental right that is inherent in everyone. Copyright, however, is not. It also infringes on the First Amendment because some people want to use censorship to make money.

    You’ve just declared that “the harm is not hard to measure when the First Amendment is infringed,” but you haven’t even begun to show us how to measure that harm. I understand that First Amendment rights are different in kind than copyright rights, but my point is that the harm is hard to measure with both. And despite the fact that the harm with the First Amendment is difficult to measure, people (yourself included) have no doubt that it’s very real. Why accept one on faith but not the other? That’s the point I’m getting at.

    I think he's an indelicate jerk that lacks any tact and basic courtesy. I don't think he did anything morally wrong. What he did was refuse to be censored. I think censorship for the sake of profit is the amoral act.

    So intentionally violating other people’s rights is not morally wrong? Is this your rule for all rights held by others, or only for certain ones when it suits you?

     

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  55.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's not the point. I was trying to point out that prison is meant for people that are a clear threat to society if allowed to be free and that putting this person in there does nothing to mitigate the speculative harm he caused.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Illegal doesn't equate to wrong. Aiding escaping slaves was illegal prior to the emancipation. Was helping slaves escape wrong? Should people obey laws that they think are wrong or harmful simply because they are laws? Should we not challenge laws we think are wrong? Think about that the next time you feel the urge to look down at someone simply because they broke the law, because laws are not infallible.

    You absolutely should challenge the laws that you think are wrong. But how is copyright so wrong that you’re morally justified to violate other people’s rights so you can download some movie? I’ve having trouble getting from slavery to some movie. Walk us through it?

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    You can't bring up morality until we've settled on the morality of continuous extensions of copyright length so that that it now lasts two lifetimes and has locked up a whole century of culture.

    That just sounds like a cop-out. We can discuss the morality of copyright and the morality of violating copyright right now. No need to pretend like we can’t discuss it all.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re:

    Ach you moron, you asked the same question 2 years ago. He did answer, and then you went silent.

    I wish Mike would discuss this issue directly and honestly, but sadly, he will not.

     

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  59.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright is censorship. It gives people the power to tell you what you can't express so that they can make money being the sole source of that expression. It has chilling effects on all sorts of expressions that are just as valid as any other. Profit should not be a consideration when determining whether or not censorship is acceptable, because it's a dangerous path to more censorship (i.e. perpetually extending copyright terms).

     

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  60.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If there was a right provided that allowed corporations to seize your entire sum of assets if you complained about them, would you feel the least bit morally conflicted about violating that right? Would you feel that you are deserving of punishment for refusing to respect that right?

    That's the kind of harm copyright causes. It prevents you from certain speech and expressions so someone else can offer it to the market as a scarce good. Just because a law provides rights to people, that doesn't make it any more wrong to violate that right when that right also infringes on your inherent rights. The harm seems pretty clear to me.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As long as copyright effectively lasts forever, (nothing that will be created in your lifetime from now on will ever be available for you to do anything creative with), the side of the copyright proponents has no right to argue morality in any form.

    Considering the extent to which culture and knowledge is locked up, copyright infringement is morally perfectly acceptable to at least mitigate some of the damage copyright inflicts on society.

     

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  62.  
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    Dave Xanatos, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    With the RIAA, the albums can make tons of cash, but the artists are so in debt to their labels that the label never has to pay royalties.

     

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  63.  
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    Doc Sheldon (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 8:42am

    I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    Morally wrong? Yes. He stole intellectual property from others. That those "others" happen to me a huge conglomerate rather than some sweet little old lady doesn't alter the nature of the crime or the act.
    If he camcorded it for his own viewing, I'd say "no problem", as he paid to view it. But since he was deriving profit from the theft, I can only see him as a thief.
    Given that he knew he was caught and under investigation, and continued to peddle his stolen goods, that clearly qualifies him as an incredibly STUPID thief.
    The length of the sentence is questionable, since so many elements enter into it. As many have said, it's difficult, if not impossible, to determine what financial losses, if any, were suffered as a result of his crime. But many precedents exist as guidelines to arrive at a level of loss. I would "assume" (yes, I know that's a dangerous practice) that the court assumed that the copies sold by him resulted in those buyers not purchasing a cinema ticket to view the movie. A reasonable assumption, in the absence of any better yardstick.
    The issue that concerns me the most is that law enforcement allowed the plaintiffs to participate in the investigation and interrogation at ! That, in my opinion, should have resulted in him walking away clean.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You don't engage the issue of Prenda directly.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, selling something one does not own is illegal, and there are plenty of laws about that.

    Sharing, on the other hand, has only laws promulgated by the copyright industry. Note I say the copyright industry, not the creative industry. They are two different things, despite the serial shotgun weddings. One deserves support, the other derision.

    One also has to look at the data where sales sometimes improve as sharing (AKA the product in the minds and on the tongues of consumers) increases. I say sometimes because sometimes the product sucks and no amount of either protection or sharing will improve that products income, and sometimes we have incomplete data.

     

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  66.  
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    Aaron (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:30am

    Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    He stole intellectual property? You mean, the people who produced the movie don't have copies or masters of it anymore, and now they can't distribute it anywhere because their copies of it are gone? Because otherwise, "stole" is a word that doesn't seem like it could possibly apply to intellectual property.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How about this: I believe it's immoral to support corporations who actively subvert our democratic processes by buying legislation and politicians, especially when the profit-motivated laws end up being used by other parties to suppress other types of speech completely unrelated to entertainment. So paying for a movie that ends up funding groups who are further corrupting the government "of the people" becomes complicity in their corruption.

     

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  68.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But how is copyright so wrong that you’re morally justified to violate other people’s rights so you can download some movie?

    Copyright isn't really rights, just statutory privileges. I don't consider it to have much if any moral weight.

     

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  69.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    33 months for that is pretty reasonable.

    Wow, I didn't expect even Whatever to defend this sentence.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The harm to first amendment rights isn't hard to measure because it's not a quantitative offense. It's 0% harm or 100% harm, like how you can't be "sorta pregnant." Quelling first amendment rights anywhere undermines them everywhere because it makes the case that it's okay to do so. Similar to how gay marriage strengthens the concept of marriage because spreading the right means you will have more parties interested in defending the institution. Everyone has an interest in supporting first amendment rights, from civil rights activists to Westboro Baptist crazies. Violating copyright may, but not always, slightly, unnoticeably, harm the ill-gotten profits of unethical corporations who actively subvert democracy for the the sake of their own profits.

     

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  71.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    And yet Stuart Hall indcently assaults young girls and gets 30 months.

    There isn't a wealthy and powerful "young girls" industry lobbying the government.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He probably likes the idea that the dirty pirate will have to be social with the other people in his immediate proximity for 33 months instead of antisocially staring at a glowing screen.

     

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  73.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:22am

    Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    The issue that concerns me the most is that law enforcement allowed the plaintiffs to participate in the investigation and interrogation at ! That, in my opinion, should have resulted in him walking away clean.

    If I understand correctly, that's an established aspect of UK law: private parties can choose to fund and participate in criminal investigations. Seems absolutely bananas to me.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Saying that he won't discuss the issue doesn't work if he actually has discussed it but you simply continue to refuse to acknowledge that. Putting your fingers in your ears is not the same as someone not saying something to you.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:46am

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

    "It is reported" modifies the entire sentence, with the latter number reported as being 2.3M pounds.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To be fair, it was worded ambiguously on purpose given that I presumed there was no way in hell any sane rational being would consider the sentencing proportionate. But I do tend to forget how many non sane people are enabled by computer technology.

    I've just googled creationism, 9/11 conspiracy and also used the search terms Obama and radical marxist kenyan socialist together and have been fully reminded.

     

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  77.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Yes. The pricetag does make a difference.

    > Are you saying the morality for you turns on whether the infringer profits financially?

    That was once a very clear distinction in copyright law and it actually makes some sense. A price of ZERO represents infinite demand that cannot be compared to potential losses where the publisher is charging ANY amount of money.

    Infinity just doesn't relate to anything else. It's a mathematical absurdity invented by to make equations solvable. It doesn't have any connection to the real world.


    On the other hand, if you are selling something then you are "stealing customers". That's a real an quantifiable harm. It's the only part of this can be reasonably argued constitutes some harm.

    Harm versus no harm is a very reasonable place to draw a moral line.

     

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  78.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:13am

    That box with the button...

    > This case isn't complicated. He went in, intentionally cammed the move, and distributed it. You have to be pretty much morally bankrupt not to realize it's an issue.
    >
    > 33 months for that is pretty reasonable.

    No, not really. Mike provided some nice examples that show how this isn't the case.

    3 years is a lot of time to lose over selling some bad copies of a movie.

    How does it compare to actual petty theft? Shoplifting? Crimes of violence? Burglary? Assault?

    No. What we really have here is people that have no clue or any way to relate to a prison term of any duration. They are happy to have random strangers subjected to any sorts of punishments because they have no real clue and a total lack of empathy or any ability to judge proportionality.

    It's much like that episode of Twillight Zone (or Outer Limits) with the box and button where you get money for killing some stranger.

    It's easy for most people to "stick it to some stranger" and advocate Sharia Law type punishments because most people are really fundementally nasty and anti-social.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You don't engage the issue of Prenda directly.

    That's a strange claim. What would you like me to comment on in particular? I'm happy to engage your question directly and honestly.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As long as copyright effectively lasts forever, (nothing that will be created in your lifetime from now on will ever be available for you to do anything creative with), the side of the copyright proponents has no right to argue morality in any form.

    Considering the extent to which culture and knowledge is locked up, copyright infringement is morally perfectly acceptable to at least mitigate some of the damage copyright inflicts on society.


    I disagree that we can't do anything creative with works that are in copyright. Obvious examples are fair use and copying ideas. And are you really arguing that your side of the debate--which sees no problem in violating people's rights--is so morally superior that I'm not even allowed to question it on moral grounds? That's not a convincing argument. Show me this: If the harm to culture is so great, prove it. Show me the exact measure of the harm like you want to have measured with this guy's piracy in the UK.

     

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  81.  
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    CK20XX (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:23am

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

    2.3M million pounds just makes the claim of economic damage even fishier. Those statistics come from people who deliberately inflate them all the time; you can't take them at face value.

    This evidence comes from the same people who are liable to claim that 34 cases of copyright infringement is worth a penalty of $13 million, meaning each individual count is worth $382,353. If you were talking songs and had an 8GB iPod loaded with about 2000 of them, that would make it worth $764,705,882, meaning that iPod would be the most valuable object on the planet. When you take into consideration that only about 8.3 trillion US dollars exist in the world, it also means that The Pirate Bay has stolen over 50 times more dollars than actually exist on Earth.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:26am

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

    Copyright isn't really rights, just statutory privileges. I don't consider it to have much if any moral weight.

    You have many, many rights that come from statutes that I bet you think are "really rights."

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Saying that he won't discuss the issue doesn't work if he actually has discussed it but you simply continue to refuse to acknowledge that. Putting your fingers in your ears is not the same as someone not saying something to you.

    I think Mike goes out of his way to avoid having a frank and open discussion about his personal views of copyright. But if you think you know whether Mike think this guy's infringement is morally wrong or not, let us know.

     

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  84.  
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    John Smith, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:30am

    Normally I'd say its a harsh sentence. Except in this case

    1. He was selling the film

    2. Given 1., you can't really use the "its hard to see any actual harm" argument. I think that's a pretty hard argument considering what was done is basically undercutting someone's prices through illegal acquisition of goods. While the degree of the harm is debatable, I think most people will agree that its obvious there is harm in this case as it wasn't just people who may or may not spend money if there was no "free" stuff available, but also people who were paying money, just not the full price, for illegally acquired goods.

    The dude's profiting from his cam cording of the movie is clearly detrimental to the studio's profits (Though to what degree is quite debatable, but that's another topic).

    What I _don't_ agree with are that:

    1. FACT ran the investigation

    2. Special process for copyright related crimes. This is an obvious case of criminals profiting from things that aren't theirs. There are already existing laws and processes for this. The special consideration given to these crimes are disproportionate to the actual crimes.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:33am

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

    So what is this magical evidence where low quality recordings of a movie created 2.3M pounds of harm?

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because you fail to realize that Whatever is a troll. If Techdirt wrote an article asserting that it's wrong to kick puppies, Whatever would find a way to disagree. It's clearly trolling, not honest disagreement.

     

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  87.  
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    OldGeezer (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:10pm

    Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    If the police knocked on my door and interrogated me about a film I uploaded I would lay low and stop doing anything that would make the situation worse. The prison sentence was still way out of proportion but if he hadn't mocked them brazenly and tried to set up a business selling pirated films he may have gotten off with a community service sentence like his friend. If stupidity was a crime then this dumb-ass should get life without parole.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Camcording?

    "We were talking about the instant gratification economy thanks to the launch of Kozmo.com -- an idea that was apparently 15 years ahead of its time. Meanwhile, we were also quite amazed at this crazy idea of letting people broadcast MP3s from their computers to stereo speakers. The future was apparently on the way...

    From https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140822/17273028299/this-week-techdirt-history.shtml

    This is what I was talking about, the 'instant gratification economy', and the learned (via marketing conditioning(thank you TV and radio and billboards, etc.) behavior impacting lots of things.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe he thought himself robin hood(therefore morally correct), Morals don't exist in law only money, Using the word moral in itself is just a play on human emotions.

     

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  90.  
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    Feldie47 (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 1:07pm

    This case may end up being the first and foreshadow many such outcomes in the future. As minor drug offenders are released from jail or not prosecuted because of marijuana legalization, those very cells will NOT be left empty. The privatization of prisons and continuing failure of the economy to employ its citizens will lead to the need for filling those cells.

    Watch as Hollywood presses for the incarceration of file sharers and the government begins to oblige more and more. In this perverse system replacing drug offenders with file sharers will be viewed as a solution.

    How does 'War on File Sharing sound? Scary?

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    Yeah but theft makes people so much more likely to sympathise than having to say that he distributed without permission poor quality copies of an intellectual property for which he held no copyright.

    Doesn't tend to sound like a criminal matter then to people, it would only be the kind of thing that they'd expect to attract a wrist slap fine kind of deal and even then they'd still be puzzled as to exactly why anyone would go to the trouble of dragging him to court on it.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:38pm

    At first I read 33 days and was thinking - how ridiculous.

     

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  93.  
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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Much Worse

    I tried hard to find a charitable way to read that request, but I find myself unable to to be sure it is anything other than serious in intent; not in context, not as satire.

    The only way any person could regard copyright infringement (simple theft) as being worse than child abuse (physical harm to a human being) is if that person holds humans (other than themselves) to be simple chattel; having value only to be used for scientific experiments, slave labor, fighting wars, turning over their mean income for stingy copyright licences, and once dead, as fodder for the soylent green tanks.

    A person who places *their* *money* above every other human value has a shattered iceberg in their chest, where most people have a heart.

    Surely the query was merely ill thought and you aren't one of those people?

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:11pm

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

    You have many orange and purple geese floating in your solarium that I bet you think are ostriches.

    Look, I can make completely unsupported statements too! We should start a club.

     

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  95.  
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    HT (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:14pm

    While I disagree with the investigation methods

    I can actually agree with the sentence here. This is counterfeiting and should be dealt with in this manner. I can understand the idea of "sharing" where you - in reality - obtain no benefit from sharing your stuff. However, in this instance he was making money off of another's work.

    Totally reasonable.

     

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  96. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're confused. Logical questions like yours don't get addressed here. All you'll get is weasel words and attempts at misdirection.

     

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  97.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The real issue is that the penalties for assault are far out of line and need to be adjusted. Of course, you realize that almost everyone charges with the crimes you listed would almost certainly be charged with other things, or would possibly be charged with multiple counts. Those crimes are just "toppers" that cover all of the space in between various negligence and assault charges.

    Remember that his 33 months is after being found guilty of a number of acts combined. That would be some for camming, some of duplication, and some for retailing / commercial benefits.

    Also, you may want to consider putting the crime against financial fraud. There are plenty of people doing a decade or more in the pokey for such crimes.

     

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  98.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:50pm

    Re: That box with the button...

    Mike provided some nice examples that show how this isn't the case.

    No, he didn't. he looked at sentencing ranges, without point out at each offence has a maximum penalty of 10 years. EACH OFFENCE. That means that someone found guilty of a number of charges could be looking at life in prison, depending on how they add it up. He's doing something pretty amusing, which is using a guideline for a single offence, ignoring the maximum sentence, and then acting like that guideline would cover everything in a child abuse case. It's not making up facts, but it's squinting pretty hard and ignoring what the actual material says.

    Also, you will notice that he points to a Torrent Freak article which is generally lacking in source of information, except for the guilty himself. No links to a court case, a decision, a ruling, so we have nothing to work from. It looks like the guy was found guilty on a number of offenses (the camming, the duplication, and the reselling) and that each one may have only been less than a year sentence. Moreover, if the story is true, this is someone well known to authorities for having done this before, and thus the sentence may have higher in regard to prior bad acts.

    Since the Torrent Freak article is lacking in detail (they almost always are), it's hard to draw conclusions, and certainly the ones Mike is trying to get you to draw for him are way off the mark.

     

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  99.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just over a half dozen examples from a quick search(a couple of these also show that 'just use fair use' doesn't always hold up either, given how many companies consider the only 'fair use' to be 'paid use'):

    Fair Use Continues To Pay The Price For YouTube's Direct Takedown Deal With Universal Music Group
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140706/13381127795/fair-use-continues-to-pay-price-youtubes -direct-takedown-deal-with-universal-music-group.shtml

    YouTube Video Taken Down Because Of Background Street Performer Impersonating Michael Jackson
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140401/13295826767/street-performer-gets-someones-brookly n-bridge-youtube-video-taken-down.shtml

    Three examples of 'oh, you like our stuff enough to want to make a movie/game based upon it? Take it down or get sued into oblivion'

    Konami Flip-Flops On Fan-Remake Of 'Metal Gear', Decides To Shut It Down
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140819/10425628256/konami-flip-flops-fan-remake-metal-gear-d ecides-to-shut-it-down.shtml

    Activision Kills Fan Game Project, Despite Fan License Granted By Previous Rightsholders
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100301/0045448331.shtml

    Nintendo Shuts Down Fan-Made Zelda Movie
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

    And now back to stories not involving slapping down fans for being fans...

    Shameful: American Society Of Civil Engineers Issues DMCA Notices Against Academics For Posting Their Own Research
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140516/17504327265/shameful-american-society-civil-engin eers-issues-dmca-notices-against-academics-posting-their-own-research.shtml

    ASCAP, BMI And SESAC Continue To Screw Over Most Songwriters: 'Write A Hit Song If You Want Money'
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091118/0916136988.shtml

     

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  100.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: Much Worse

    The only way any person could regard copyright infringement (simple theft) as being worse than child abuse (physical harm to a human being) is if that person holds humans (other than themselves) to be simple chattel

    It would be the case if you were looking at single crime comparisons, which is not the case here. The camming is a crime, the replication and distribution is a crime, the financial benefit is a crime... that he was working with others in a conspiracy to commit those crimes is itself a crime. The TF story lacks detail as to what he was found guilty of, so it's hard to judge the sentence. His brother in law was apparently sentence to a year.

    What mike pointed to was sentencing guidelines for a single criminal act, and failed to mention the "maximum 10 years". That guideline is the unmodified middle ground, without consideration for aggravating circumstances, gravity, and the like.

    Mike planted the idea in your head, and he is probably very happy to see your getting outraged about it. He didn't lie to you, but it's pretty close.

     

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  101.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: That box with the button...

    Here, you can start here:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2731743/Computer-programmer-bragged-Facebook-world-pira te-Fast-Furious-movie-caught-used-hacker-dating-profile.html

    guilty of 3 counts... so each one is 11 months on average. Oh oops, there goes Mike's argument out the window.

    Read the whole story, and then come back and explain to me why the sentence is out of line. I'll try not to laugh to loudly if you do.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Isn't this a cycle of this trivial, personal issue with Mike? Didn't they get explained, but they didn't meet your criteria so you insist on trying to coax it out of him?

     

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  103.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: That box with the button...

    Alright, so explain to me why recording a movie(terribly), on it's own, is worth just shy of a year in jail.

    Shoplift the same movie in disc form(where the seller is legitimately out a copy, something not true with infringement), and the punishment is significantly lower*, yet recording that same movie is worth almost a year of jail time?

    *From the sentencing guidelines:

    Theft, Shop
    Example: Little or no planning or sophistication
    and Goods stolen of low value
    Starting point: Band B fine.
    Range: Conditional discharge to low level community order.

    (This next example is for offenses more serious than the above, with different punishments to match)
    Example: Low level intimidation or threats
    or
    Some planning e.g. a session of stealing on the same day or going equipped
    or
    Some related damage
    Starting point: Low level community order
    Range: Band B fine to medium level community order

    Band B fine
    Starting point: 100% of relevant weekly income.
    Category range: 75-125% of relevant weekly income.

    Community order, medium
    Suitable requirements might include one or more of:
    • greater number of hours of unpaid work (for example, 80–150 hours);
    • prohibited activity requirement.
    • an activity requirement in the middle range (20–30 days);
    • curfew requirement within the middle range (for example, up to 12 hours for 2–3 months)

    Source: http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/docs/MCSG_%28web%29_-_July_2014.pdf

     

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  104.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:19pm

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

    I'm not sure if it's one(very persistent) person or several(I believe it's several), but it's been going on for years as far as I can tell, and it goes pretty much as you said.

    1. Commenter complains that Mike refuses to give his personal opinion on copyright/trademark/patents.
    2. Mike or other commenter point out examples refuting this claim.
    3. Original commenter either ignores examples and repeats claim, or claim that the examples provided 'don't count', for whatever reason, and repeat claim.
    4. The sound of facepalms echo from every direction.

     

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  105.  
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    Atkray (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:31pm

    Re:

    Ah snap, AJ is back to his "why won't mikey answer my question" routine.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If Techdirt wrote an article asserting that it's wrong to kick puppies, Whatever would find a way to disagree.
    "Kick the Dog" is one of the core narrative devices of content creators. Without this trope, the entertainment industry would collapse and society would crumble.

    Puppy-kicking is the foundation of civilization.

     

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  107.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    It would be the case if you were looking at single crime comparisons, which is not the case here. The camming is a crime, the replication and distribution is a crime, the financial benefit is a crime...

    It really doesn't matter; to propose that any combination of any number of copyright infringement offenses could be worse than assaulting a child is disgusting. Even if he cammed and sold every movie that's come out in the last 20 years and got rich doing it, that is still not as bad as a "series of assaults on children", and it's quite repulsive that you argue otherwise.

     

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  108.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:41pm

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

    You have many, many rights that come from statutes that I bet you think are "really rights."

    Enlighten me.

     

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  109.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's clearly trolling, not honest disagreement.

    I really hope you're right.

     

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  110.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Much Worse

    I tried hard to find a charitable way to read that request, but I find myself unable to to be sure it is anything other than serious in intent; not in context, not as satire.

    It's satire. "copyright infringement is much worse, morally and otherwise, than any form of child abuse could ever be." Sorry, but you got trolled. :-)

     

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  111.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 9:49pm

    Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    Totally reasonable.

    Two and a half years. In prison. For selling movies. You don't see any problem with that?

     

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  112.  
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    techflaws (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He went in, intentionally cammed the move, and distributed it.

    And nothing of value was lost.

     

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  113.  
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    techflaws (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But if you think you know whether Mike think this guy's infringement is morally wrong or not, let us know.

    So, suddenly you're "us"? Funny that.

    Also, you strike me as one of those creationist retards. Even if Mike would admit to thinking that camming a movie is morally wrong, it wouldn't make any copyright maximalists views right nor any of those punishments justified.

    Just as disproving evolution won't proof there's a god.

     

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  114.  
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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    The original statement was: Mike, surely you must realize that copyright infringement is much worse, morally and otherwise, than any form of child abuse could ever be.

    I don't see any mention in that statement of "stacking" of charges which, by the by, could also occur for multiple incidents of child abuse. What I saw and what I see a flat statement that "copyright is much worse, morally [...] than any form of child abuse could be." I emphasize: Morally!

    So just where would you draw the line there? Would copyright violation be more immoral than rape? Murder? Serial murder? Grinding people up for the meatballs? Killing millions in an ethnic cleansing?

    It takes a bitter cold heart to weigh living, breathing, suffering humans on one scale against profit on the other and say the humans are wanting.

     

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  115.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 10:38pm

    Re: You can't say it didn't hurt the movie...

    Better to leave it as a simple copyright case and not bring movie worldwide gross as a factor...
    Actually, it'd be better if they did bring performance in as a factor. If "Expendables Three" performed below expectations because of infringement, then the fact that FF6 performed above expectations means that infringement helped it. Philip Danks shouldn't get 33 months, he should get a cut of the profit.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 23rd, 2014 @ 11:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    I don't agree that copyright violations on an individual case basis are worse than child abuse, that is daft to think that. However, the argument that Mike is trying to make is that there should be no combination of copyright offenses that could match up to the sentencing guildlines of a single act of child abuse. That never makes sense, because you are taking one case with all of it's aggrevating and mitigating circumstances, and putting up against a cold sentencing guildline document. It's not a fair comparison.

    Here's an example. You punch someone in a bar and get arrested for simple assault, your punishment is often a small fine... say $50 or $100. Yet you can get a $100 ticket for parking your car incorrectly. When looked side by side, there would appear to be no parking offense you could commit that would be worse than causing someone physical harm, but there you go.

    The real issues here in this case are that (a) the guy cammed the movie intentionally, knowing it was against the law - and came back a second time in the same day because his battery died the first time! (b) sold the movies for profit, knowing that it was against the law, (c) made disparaging comments towards the right holders, showing that he had intent to break the law and didn't care, and (d) generally that he was actively involved in trying to sell and profit from piracy and such. He only ended up guilty to 3 counts, each for a sentence of about 11 months.

    It also doesn't help him that since he was the source of the pirate torrent which was then shared more than 700,000 times shows that his actions and his actions alone had widespread potential to impact the revenues of the movie. Can you show it directly? Not easily. But 700,000 downloads while they movie was not yet available in any "take home" format could be harmful. Even at that, if you look at all of the copies he sold for profit (at least 1000), it could be shown that alone would have harm.

    It takes a bitter cold heart to weigh living, breathing, suffering humans on one scale against profit on the other and say the humans are wanting.

    It's comparing apples to oranges. Not prosecuting a pirate doesn't mean suddenly child get abused less. Crimes are crimes and dealt with as they come. The scale of punishment in each case is related to it's ability to sufficiently punish and at the same time potentially change the attitudes of the criminal. It's not a simple thing.

     

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  117.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 6:08am

    Re:

    Regardless, let me ask you this: Do you think that this guy did anything morally wrong? It's a simple and direct question. Can you give us a simple and direct answer? (I seriously doubt it, but I'd love to be proved wrong.)

    Yes, based on what's been reported, I think what he did is morally wrong, based on my morals.

    I never suggested the guy here didn't do anything wrong. I think he pretty clearly did. I just question if the punishment seems proportional to the law breaking here and I don't think it comes even remotely close.

     

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  118.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 7:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you had the right to beat me at your discretion and I violated that right by preventing you from beating me, was I morally wrong?

    Just because it's a right, does not mean that it's justified. Rights that are harmful to others are not justifiable.

     

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  119.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re:

    Wow, didn't expect that of you Mike. I have to say here that I disagree with you. Based on my own set of morals, this guy did nothing wrong.
    Copyright, as you well know, is not an actual right at all. Everyone is born with the right to free speech, the right to copy and distribute. What copyright is, is a restriction of everyone else for specific pieces of content. It was invented by the Statute of Anne so as to allow for the censorship of works critical of Queen Anne.

    Copyright cannot be called moral, especially in today's society where everyone is an author. This makes the right of free speech next to useless, since so many technology companies, fearing court judgments against them, act by silencing speech immediately.
    You know this yourself, as it is what you've been reporting on for years (Youtube's ContentID, et al).
    Given that the purpose behind copyright, as laid out in the First Amendment (the creation and publication of new works and the spreading of knowledge) is actually being hindered by copyright...why do you call copyright moral? I remember you saying plenty of times copyright is an economic issue, rather than one of morality.

     

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  120.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:28am

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

    No, statutes protect natural rights that exist without government. They protect you from government taking away those natural rights. Copy protection privileges require government to exist. Copy protection is not a right but a government privilege.

     

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  121.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    "This is counterfeiting"

    Can't remember the last time a copyright infringer was dinged for counterfeiting. That's a completely separate law.

    "However, in this instance he was making money off of another's work."

    And? Why is that bad? The company I work for made money off of my labour. People who ride the bus to work are able to make money because of the transport provided by the bus.
    Let's not forget that before the Statute of Anne was passed in 1710, it was perfectly alright to copy, distribute and sell works authored by other people.

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But how is copyright so wrong that you’re morally justified to violate other people’s rights so you can download some movie?"

    It's not a right it's a government privilege. and the current state of IP laws are wrong because they're not democratically passed but they're corporate bought. For that I don't care if they're violated.

     

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  123.  
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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    I don't agree that copyright violations on an individual case basis are worse than child abuse, that is daft to think that.

    Good, we agree after all!

    The scale of punishment in each case is related to it's ability to sufficiently punish and at the same time potentially change the attitudes of the criminal.

    And, again, we agree. I have no problem with stacking a copyright violator's crimes for his multiple offenses, or with him ultimately winding up with more time than a person who commits one child abuse might get. Do the crime, do the time.

    But the two crimes do not relate as a moral issue.

    Now, if we could just get decent stacking going for the crimes of companies, the world would be a much better place. (I.e., a company that steals billions from victims should actually have to pay more than $150,000 as a penalty.)

     

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  124.  
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    Dreddsnik, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 9:34am

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

    "Isn't this a cycle of this trivial, personal issue with Mike?" Yes.

    "Didn't they get explained, but they didn't meet your criteria so you insist on trying to coax it out of him?"

    Yes.

    Please, just allow the methane to rise and drift away without notice.

     

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  125.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    Let's not forget that before the Statute of Anne was passed in 1710, it was perfectly alright to copy, distribute and sell works authored by other people.

    Prior to the printing press that was true, but it required a pen and paper, and either doing it oneself, or hiring a scribe to do it for you. One of the major means of copying was dictation to rooms full of students so that they had their own copies of reference materials.
    Subsequent to the invention of the printing press, governments instituted an imprimatur system, that was a permission to copy and distributed, and in the UK this was administered by the Stationers company, who also used it to prevent two printers printing the same title. However printing had an impact on authors, as printers started to pay them to get manuscripts to feed their printing presses.

     

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  126.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    So what you're arguing for is that as an action becomes easier and more widely done, to the point that it's ubiquitous...it should then be restricted by law ever more and more? Am I reading that correctly, or are you just reciting what has happened historically?

     

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  127.  
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    LAB (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 10:29am

    I have been lambasted for using the morality argument in copyright infringement before. How fitting it is brought up by the author. IS it immoral to break the law? Is it immoral to break the law after breaking the law, getting caught, punished and breaking the same law again? Is it immoral to sell something that belongs to someone else for your own profit? Are speed limits moral? Is printing counterfeit currency immoral? Is not paying your taxes immoral? Is it immoral to default on a loan? I have no idea but you can spend significant time in jail for breaking the law.

     

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  128.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, didn't expect that of you Mike. I have to say here that I disagree with you. Based on my own set of morals, this guy did nothing wrong.

    Which is perfectly fair. It also points out why it's dumb to argue morals. Morals are a thing that is unique to everyone. I don't see how it much matters what my moral view of this situation is.

    Copyright, as you well know, is not an actual right at all. Everyone is born with the right to free speech, the right to copy and distribute. What copyright is, is a restriction of everyone else for specific pieces of content. It was invented by the Statute of Anne so as to allow for the censorship of works critical of Queen Anne.

    Yes, I agree with all of that. But doesn't change the fact that I think what this guy did was wrong.

    Copyright cannot be called moral, especially in today's society where everyone is an author. This makes the right of free speech next to useless, since so many technology companies, fearing court judgments against them, act by silencing speech immediately.

    I don't disagree with you there either. I find today's copyright laws to be especially problematic, as I've stated, but that doesn't mean I automatically applaud anyone violating those laws.

    Whether or not copyright was in place, I can still find what he did to be questionable from a moral standpoint.

    But the thing is, I don't even see how this is a moral argument in the first place.

    Given that the purpose behind copyright, as laid out in the First Amendment (the creation and publication of new works and the spreading of knowledge) is actually being hindered by copyright...why do you call copyright moral? I remember you saying plenty of times copyright is an economic issue, rather than one of morality.

    I made no judgment on *copyright* being moral. I pointed out that I felt what this guy did specifically to be immoral.

    But, as I also said, I don't think it matters what my morals say in this situation.

     

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  129.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " I pointed out that I felt what this guy did specifically to be immoral."
    Okay, my apologies, but I'm still left wondering what exactly we know about this guy that is immoral. All the Torrentfreak article says is that after his initial run-in with the police, he continued to sell and distribute copies.
    Stupid yes, since he was clearly on the police radar, but morally in the wrong? From my point of view, it'd be like saying someone who parks on double yellow lines and has been caught by police is morally in the wrong (since you're a USian, double yellow lines over here in Ireland means you can't park).

     

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  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    That wouldn't be too bad if you could actually apply it in cases where it matters. Imagine a kickstarter to fund the prosecution of Eric Clapper for perjury.

     

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  131.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you are a fucking moron

     

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  132.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 12:28pm

    Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    another fucking moron

     

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  133.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, based on what's been reported, I think what he did is morally wrong, based on my morals.

    Thanks for the reply. It's the reason why you think it's immoral that I'm curious about. IIRC, you have said that you only think it's immoral because the victim doesn't like it. And if I understand your view of copyright correctly, you don't think the victim here should have any exclusive rights in the first place. If you don't think they should have the rights, and if you don't think there's anything wrong with violating those rights (save for the victim's hurt feelings), then how is it that you really think piracy is immoral? Can you elaborate? I'm genuinely curious. And let me ask you this: Do you really not think the copyright owner has any sort of moral claim to the work that takes much labor, time, money, etc. to create?

    I never suggested the guy here didn't do anything wrong. I think he pretty clearly did. I just question if the punishment seems proportional to the law breaking here and I don't think it comes even remotely close.

    So how did you measure this to determine it's not "even remotely close"? What do you think the proper punishment should be? Do you think any infringer should ever be punished? Thanks!

     

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  134.  
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    lumatrix (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    Harm is on the OTHER side

    The people that committed violence here are the criminals.

    The stupid offender did nothing violent. For his non-violent crime the UK police probably broke down one or two doors, frightened women and children then forced the offender into a van, took him to the police station then took him to court.

    In the court he was forced into a dock, tried, found guilty then taken away by force again and imprisoned forcibly for probably sixteen and a half months.(UK prisoners commonly only serve half their sentence - the reason and this is hilarious - the jails are all too full.)

    So who are the violent ones here? Never mind morality judge on the harm done.

     

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  135.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you really not think the copyright owner has any sort of moral claim to the work that takes much labor, time, money, etc. to create?

    No, not at all. The author has a much stronger claim to the labor, time, and other resources applied to works. Logically speaking, you can own your time and your labor, but you can't own the expressions that come from them without overlapping with the expressions of others.

    Do you think any infringer should ever be punished?

    No, because copyright doesn't protect an author's ability to earn a living. It only protects a particular business model, which is merely one among many. Copyright was never meant to secure for authors the means to earn a living, but to provide an incentive (i.e. a proverbial carrot) to persist in creating new works for the public to assimilate. In an era when content creation tools and distribution mediums are highly ubiquitous, it's damaging to free expression to grant a privileged few a monopoly on specific expressions. They should not be punished. They should be thanked because they're the ones that make content available to those that the copyright industry refuses to serve and are actually fulfilling the intended purpose of "promote the progress" by making content available for the intellectual and cultural enrichment of humankind.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    "Imagine a kickstarter to fund the prosecution of Eric Clapper for perjury"

    Yeah. Now imagine the Koch brothers using the FBI to investigate people who criticize them.

     

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  137.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: I can't feel sorry for an idiot

    Private prosecutions make sense in historical context - originally, you complained to what became the JPs, and if the case was simple they settled it and if it was complicated or serious they sent the matter to the king's court. Then the JPs acquired the power to appoint policemen (not called that then, but that's what they were) to go looking for trouble and find the necessary evidence, then they were required to do so. Then the JPs and magistrates were split, and police worked for magistrates. Next the police were delegated the power to bring cases, and then that power was taken away from them and given to the Crown Prosecution Service.
    However, in all that they never took away your right to go and complain directly to the court.

    The good reason for keeping the right of private prosecution is that if the police won't investigate you can still get justice, of course, the bad part is the opportunity for malicious prosecution.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright was never meant to secure for authors the means to earn a living, but to provide an incentive (i.e. a proverbial carrot) to persist in creating new works for the public to assimilate.

    There is more to this. Copyright also creates by law the "ownership" required to be able to contractually sell, lease, or license works, which is key to make that sort of economy work. Even all your CC and Copyleft type arrangements are based off of what copyright is and the legal rights granted.

    They should be thanked because they're the ones that make content available to those that the copyright industry refuses to serve

    The "copyright industry" as you call it would love to have each and every person enjoying their content. However, some people's limits for being "served" is all content free all of the time, or just about. You cannot force anyone to give you service for free just because you prefer it that way.

    Making it available doesn't mean handing everyone a free copy and walking away.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Which is perfectly fair. It also points out why it's dumb to argue morals. Morals are a thing that is unique to everyone. I don't see how it much matters what my moral view of this situation is."

    Which is exactly the point I (and many others) have been making for a long time. The law should not legislate morality. Different people have their own different personal moral and religious convictions. IP extremists should not be allowed to use the law to force their personal moral convictions on others anymore than anyone else should be allowed to use the law to force their religious beliefs or personal moral convictions on others. If an IP extremist wants to follow IP extremist principles no one is stopping him. but you have absolutely no right to use the law to force your moral principles on me just like I have no right to force my moral principles on you or anyone else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (and lets face it, it's not like IP extremists have any moral convictions. They are in no position to be preaching moral convictions because they have none).

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:57pm

    Re:

    It's actually a great set of questions, mostly because our laws are generally written from a moral standpoint. Dismissing the moral implications of crime is pretty much weaseling out of the situation entirely. If you remove the moral component, the only real crimes would be things like murder, and everything else would be okay because we have no morals.

    It actually points out the biggest problem of the world today, that people generally don't have morals. They don't respect others and don't really respect themselves, and things are quickly sinking to high levels of frustration as good people are forced to live in a world generally populated by people who don't give a shit about anyone else but themselves. Western culture is essentially morally bankrupt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2014 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and one could even argue that it's morally wrong to try and force (ie: using the law) your personal moral and religious convictions on others. What you should really do is lead by example. Be a good example and perhaps you just may convince people that your moral convictions mean something and gain a following. Buy and pay for one sided laws and force them on others undemocratically and don't expect a lot of sympathy.

     

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  143.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2014 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even all your CC and Copyleft type arrangements are based off of what copyright is and the legal rights granted.


    That's not true of CC-SA, GFDL without invariant sections, and the GPL where the preferred for for modifications is the sensible distribution form. Then, the effect of the licence is only to force those making derivatives of your work to give everyone the same rights they would have if there were no copyright at all.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 2:24am

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

    Think about it - how do you grant those rights? You do it by first saying "I have the rights to this work, and I grant an unlimited license under CC-SA or GFDL or GPL". Without copyright, you would have no structure under which to grant those rights and make it binding.

     

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    wooddragon, Aug 25th, 2014 @ 3:58am

    Only if he believes he IS The LEGAL NAME.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_iJ-OKc5Ss The witness owns a court room without a legal name.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2014 @ 7:15am

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

    With no copyright: Anyone may use my works, and make derivative works from them, but they cannot prevent anyone else making derivatives of anything they publish.

    With CC-SA: Anyone may use my works, and make derivative works, but they cannot prevent anyone else making derivatives of anything they publish.

    The GPL is a little different, since it requires you to release the editable version (e.g. the Logic Pro file or Audacity project (etc.) rather than an MP3, or a TeX document rather than a DVI or PDF), and so that does impose a requirement which couldn't be applied without copyright. The GPL3 also includes fairly strict patent clauses, but patents shouldn't apply to artistic works[1], and in any case most copyright abolitionists are also patent abolitionists.


    [1] Design patents shouldn't exist - the point of patents is to discourage trade secrets, but the patented design can be discovered simply by inspecting the finished product, making the disclosure redundant and thus eliminating the public benefit of the design patent.

     

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  147.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2014 @ 7:19am

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

    Without copyright, I couldn't grant you a right to use some work for the same reason I can't grant you a permit to breathe. You can't grant a right unless there is a default prohibition on the activity which is being permitted.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright also creates by law the "ownership" required to be able to contractually sell, lease, or license works, which is key to make that sort of economy work.

    That's what copyright does, but that's not what it was intended to do.

    However, some people's limits for being "served" is all content free all of the time, or just about.

    Let me make this perfectly clear. Getting content for free does not directly correlate to the author not getting paid. That also doesn't mean that everyone that gets a copy should be obligated to pay for it. There are other ways of making money than direct sales of copies. That's the thing that so many people like you fail to see, or choose to ignore. The "Pirucy ar teh evuls!" crowd think that profit should come before liberty because copyright has been misrepresented as a fundamental right. It's not. It's an infringement on the right to free expression.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:31am

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

    Without copyright, you would have no structure under which to grant those rights and make it binding.


    You are confusing the chicken with the egg.

    Without copyright, there is no need or reason to grant those rights or make them binding in the first place at all.

    Copyright restricts the natural right of copying. If copyright didn't exist, creative commons licenses wouldn't either, because there wouldn't be a need for them.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    However, some people's limits for being "served" is all content free all of the time, or just about.

    Those are the people who are not going to buy, regardless. They are not relevant to the equation of the creator making a living. Here are the categories of people:


    1. Not pirates
    2. Both pirate and pay
    3. Pirate, but for reasons other than money - convenience, geographic restrictions, etc. Fix those and they'll start paying.
    4. Pirate exclusively and would not ever buy (for whatever reason)
    5. Pirate exclusively but would buy if they couldn't pirate


    I very much doubt 5 is a large group, and even if stamping out piracy as an option were possible, that's the only group where it would have a positive effect on sales.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 9:40am

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

    "Those are the people who are not going to buy, regardless."

    This. There is a lot of history dealing with piracy in the software industry, and one message that comes through loud and clear is that reducing piracy does not increase sales. It might make the publisher feel better to see piracy numbers go down, but it has no (or even a negative) effect on the bottom line.

    The exception to this is software piracy by businesses. Businesses used to be the biggest group doing the pirating, and they will pony up if they can't pirate anymore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2014 @ 9:56am

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

    "That's what copyright does, but that's not what it was intended to do."

    Perhaps you have a better definition for what is meant by the phrase "exclusive right" appearing in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 10:23am

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

    I think that his objection was the word "ownership". Copyright law as described in the Constitution does not imply a property right.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    "This is counterfeiting"

    No, it's copyright violation. Different thing entirely.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    You ask a bunch of wildly varied questions. Here are my personal answers.

    "IS it immoral to break the law? Is it immoral to break the law after breaking the law, getting caught, punished and breaking the same law again?"

    It depends on the law and the circumstances around breaking it.

    "Is it immoral to sell something that belongs to someone else for your own profit?"

    Again, it depends. But usually, yes.

    "Are speed limits moral?"

    No, they are amoral.

    "Is printing counterfeit currency immoral? Is not paying your taxes immoral? Is it immoral to default on a loan?"

    All of these depends on the circumstances.

    You see, the problem is that law and morality are two completely different things, and talking about law & morality as if they were strongly related to each other borders on the nonsensical.

     

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    LAB (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re:

    It is not a problem. If you wish to separate the two, it becomes very simple. If you don't wish to face the penalties associated with breaking a law, or bemoaning the punishment, don't break it. A law is meant regulate certain behavior so to dissuade certain behavior has a negative consequence. Whether breaking the law is moral or not is a misnomer. We obey laws because we as a society have deemed it necessary to regulate certain behavior. Breaking the law needs no moral component so punishment for it needs no moral justification. If you break the law there are penalties.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We obey laws because we as a society have deemed it necessary to regulate certain behavior.


    Just curious here. Suppose we did a survey and found that an overwhelming percentage of the population didn't view violating copyright as immoral.

    Would you then advocate eliminating copyright?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 3:15pm

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

    Actually, he's correct. The big example of this is driving a car. Most people think it's actually a right, but it's not, it's a privilege.

    My real problem with his statement is that it makes me say "so what?" It doesn't matter what people think their rights are. It only matters what their rights actually are.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    "When looked side by side, there would appear to be no parking offense you could commit that would be worse than causing someone physical harm"

    Actually, it's not hard to come up with parking offenses that can be much worse than punching someone in the face. For example, parking in a fire lane at the wrong time can cause people to die when they wouldn't have otherwise.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 3:25pm

    Re:

    "Fast & Furious 6 brought in $789 million worldwide, which makes it in the top 50 movies of all time in terms of revenue"

    This fact makes me very sad.

     

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    LAB (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If we did a survey and found that an overwhelming percentage of the population didn't view failing to pay federal income tax as immoral would you then advocate eliminating federal income tax?

    substitute: speed limits,printing counterfeit currency..etc

    No, I would not.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If we did a survey and found that an overwhelming percentage of the population didn't view failing to pay federal income tax as immoral would you then advocate eliminating federal income tax?

    OK, how about the question Gwiz actually asked you? You haven't answered that one.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If we did a survey and found that an overwhelming percentage of the population didn't view failing to pay federal income tax as immoral would you then advocate eliminating federal income tax?


    If you are asking me that question, then the answer is unequivocally yes. Laws are supposed to represent the morals of the society that they govern.

    All of the things you mention are accepted by the majority of our society as necessary rules to maintain our way of life as a whole. But views do change and as a result, laws change (or more likely, stopped being enforced, but remain on the books for no real good reason).

    I don't necessarily see copyright in the same company as the other things you mention though. Copyright seems only to benefit a select few these days, in my humble opinion.

    It doesn't seem like you wish our laws to represent society's morals, but more like you wish our laws to represent what YOU think is moral. That's not really a good way run a government, is it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2014 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    "Rapists gotta rape, so let's jail all the pirates instead!"

     

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    LAB (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:31pm

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

    I believe most of society doesn't think art or creative works have value because they can click on a link on the internet and get it for free. The law says otherwise. Which begs the question if they had value before, ie a vinyl record, because the format has changed does it mean it has less value? No. That would imply that the value of a vinyl record lay in the vinyl itself, which we both know is not true. Technology does not make ideas or expression any less valuable but many would make that argument. Is that yours? Is your argument against copyright the creator is not entitled to monetarily gain from his/her creation because technology has made it less expensive to distribute? If that is the case then should all computer programs be free? Copyright does benefit a select few, generally the creator or someone who has PAID the creator to own the expression of the idea. Should you or anyone else have it for nothing? If it has no value why do you want it? if you want it why are you not willing to pay for it?

     

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    LAB (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:44pm

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

    No. I believe most of society is not a good barometer for what we should do or behave in many instances. It would seem that you imply most of society thinks deeply about the function of copyright. I do not believe they do. To assume most of society knows what or how to pirate software or music or movies is a falsehood. Most people pay for downloads and don't even think "is it right that I could find a way to get movies and music for free, should I?" Or that they think "what would the world be like without copyright...." They just have cable or netflix or some other way to enjoy content. The thought that people on sites like these are representative of the general public is quite odd. I comment on these topics because it's what I deal with for a living so I am not representative of the general public either.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That box with the button...

    Alright, so explain to me why recording a movie(terribly), on it's own, is worth just shy of a year in jail.

    Well, it's not really hard. It takes a fair bit of forethought to do it. In the case of this guy, he had to get the camera and himself to the theater TWICE because he let the battery run out the first time. He had to plan and execute it. It's easy to show it wasn't just an impulse "hold up your cell phone to get 5 seconds of the movie" type deal, but that he had full intention of committing the crime and took all the steps to do it.

    Shoplifting generally is treated as s crime of impulse, and generally the value of the good stolen easily defined ($20 DVD). You can be sure that if he shoplifted 770,000 copies of a movie, he would get a different punishment.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    You are correct, but the firelane example only causes harm in the very rare instance of (a) an actual fire, and (b) someone getting hurt. Punching someone in the face has direct and meaningful harm, parking is very indirect.

    You do hit the main point however, and one that makes it hard to compare offenses directly: deterrence. High fines for parking offences such as the fire lane are there to discourage people from doing it in the future. 99.99% of the time (or higher) there is no harm done. However, the harm that could be done is extreme, same for speeding or many other offenses. Trying to line them up next to other crimes is hard because the structure and the goals are somewhat different.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 9:11pm

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

    I'm not the one you were responding to but hey it's a public forum. :-)

    I believe most of society doesn't think art or creative works have value because they can click on a link on the internet and get it for free.

    Are you mixing up value and price? Because if they thought it had no value, why would they even click on it?

    Technology does not make ideas or expression any less valuable but many would make that argument.

    Do you really see people arguing this? Because I don't recall ever hearing anyone say that.

    Is your argument against copyright the creator is not entitled to monetarily gain from his/her creation because technology has made it less expensive to distribute?

    Creators have never been entitled to monetary gain.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 25th, 2014 @ 9:22pm

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

    Congress shall have the power, in order to promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences, to grant authors and inventors, for limited times, the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries.

    You mean that one (I paraphrased it because I didn't feel like looking it up)? It says "exclusive right", not "assign ownership". Ownership is something that belongs to you until you choose to dispossess yourself of it. What is described here is not ownership. It's a grant of exclusive rights, which are to be for limited times (i.e. temporary). It is the understanding that you do not own the works, but have exclusive rights to control their distribution in exchange for the effort put forth to create them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2014 @ 6:01am

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

    Your retort makes absolutely no sense. Of what possible value is an "exclusive right" if one is unable to exercise such exclusivity vis a vis third parties? You sound almost as if all you are willing to recognize is an exclusive right in a specific copy (I own a book, for example), but unwilling to recognize any right associated with the creation of copies, etc., the rights contemplated by copyright law. Put another way, it seems as if you simply do not recognize copyright as having any legitimacy whatsoever.

     

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    Niall (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That box with the button...

    So the guy paid to see the movie twice, and all he did was (poorly) tape a movie. That really doesn't justify even a year in prison.

    And shoplifting 770k copies is rather a lot of material deprivation. Who did he materially deprive here?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2014 @ 7:51am

    Re: While I disagree with the investigation methods

    It is not counterfeiting unless his customers were severely brain damaged (or he thought they were) - he was making no pretence that this was a legitimate original.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2014 @ 7:56am

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

    An exclusive right might not necessarily be property - for example, in Australian law, you are entitled to fair compensation for compulsory acquisition of your property, but other exclusive rights can be abolished without compensation (a point which arose in the question of repealing the federal ETS/carbon tax).

    You can have other differences too - it has often been suggested that copyright should expire at the death of the author, unlike property which can be inherited. Some countries have limitations on transferring copyright, making it less like property.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That box with the button...

    That really doesn't justify even a year in prison.

    How can a prison sentence ever be justified for copyright infringement?

     

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    Niall (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, in the UK there is a shortage of prison places, so he's certainly clogging up the system for no real reason.

    This is like jailing someone for jaywalking - and that's not even illegal here. But even in the US, that's not a really 'harmful' 'crime'.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 8:31am

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

    I believe most of society doesn't think art or creative works have value because they can click on a link on the internet and get it for free.

    I believe you are wrong. As nasch pointed out, if those works held no value to anyone, they never would be clicked on on the first place. You seem to be bemoaning about the optimal price point, which is somewhere in between where you value your work and what your customer is willing pay.



    The law says otherwise.

    Right. And my original question was if the majority of society decided that copyright wasn't benefiting society as a whole and decided change the law, would you personally be on board with that.



    Which begs the question if they had value before, ie a vinyl record, because the format has changed does it mean it has less value? No. That would imply that the value of a vinyl record lay in the vinyl itself, which we both know is not true. Technology does not make ideas or expression any less valuable but many would make that argument. Is that yours? Is your argument against copyright the creator is not entitled to monetarily gain from his/her creation because technology has made it less expensive to distribute? If that is the case then should all computer programs be free? Copyright does benefit a select few, generally the creator or someone who has PAID the creator to own the expression of the idea. Should you or anyone else have it for nothing? If it has no value why do you want it? if you want it why are you not willing to pay for it?

    You seem to be building up a strawman argument here, just so you can knock it down. It really doesn't matter how much YOU value your work, what really matters how much your customer is willing to pay for it. If that number happens to be zero for infinitely reproducible items, so be it. You either need to capitalize in other ways or stop producing the work. No one owes you a living just because you produced some art.

    If you really wanted to begin to restore my respect of copyright, you could start by lowering copyright length to reasonable time frames, so that the Public Domain get replenished, as it was with the original bargain between the creators and the public.

     

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    LAB (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 8:41am

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

    I'll answer :)

    "Are you mixing up value and price? Because if they thought it had no value, why would they even click on it?"

    We live in a capitalist so let us assume that they are related. I will leave it to you to give me examples. In a capitalist society, items of value generally have a cost associated with them.( and please don't give me examples of sunsets and kind words are things that are valuable, or a lover's touch, YOU KNOW what I mean :)

    "Technology does not make ideas or expression any less valuable but many would make that argument.

    Do you really see people arguing this? Because I don't recall ever hearing anyone say that."

    If you get works for free isn't that what you are saying? The justification for pirating is that they are not loosing any money because it's just a digital copy that costs nothing. That is the justification, that is the argument.

    "Creators have never been entitled to monetary gain."

    Nope but under the law they are entitled to a fair shake at doing so. The person in this case was selling someone else's product for his own profit. Doesn't sound like they were getting a fair shake to me. Please understand, the views I express are not how I think things should be, these are the laws on the books. I see them as the means business is conducted on an everyday basis in the realm of media.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Much Worse

    Yes, we agree. Comparing sentencing between crimes is a difficult and treacherous thing. It's not automatically invalid (it's easy to invent disparities that would be obviously unfair under any circumstance, after all), though. Just hard to do right.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 9:27am

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

    Put another way, it seems as if you simply do not recognize copyright as having any legitimacy whatsoever.

    No, I don't recognize it. What of it?

    Your retort makes absolutely no sense. Of what possible value is an "exclusive right" if one is unable to exercise such exclusivity vis a vis third parties?

    What part of what I said implies that? An exclusive right means only the beneficiary of the right can use or grant use of an applicable item, but it doesn't make it ownership. Ownership is perpetual. Copyright is, ostensibly, limited. Nevertheless, copyright does grant the holder exclusivity to treat with other parties, but does not grant ownership.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 9:54am

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

    In a capitalist society, items of value generally have a cost associated with them.

    Items that are not rivalrous and not excludable generally have a price at or near zero. This does not affect whether people value the item or not.

    If you get works for free isn't that what you are saying?

    No, it isn't. I can get Linux for free, and I also think it's a valuable contribution to society. Just one example off the top of my head.

    The justification for pirating is that they are not loosing any money because it's just a digital copy that costs nothing. That is the justification, that is the argument.

    That is one argument to justify copyright infringement, but it makes no claim about whether the works are valuable. See points above.

    The person in this case was selling someone else's product for his own profit. Doesn't sound like they were getting a fair shake to me.

    I wouldn't put it that way, but there is no question this guy was breaking the law.

    Oh and as to your earlier question, I am willing to pay for it.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 9:55am

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

    "In a capitalist society, items of value generally have a cost associated with them."

    Yes, but the price put on the items is often rather disconnected from their value (in both directions). Cost and value are related, but not as strongly as many people suppose. It is incorrect to take price as a proxy for value. Since you asked for an example, I'll give you an easy one: water.

    "If you get works for free isn't that what you are saying?"

    No.

    "The justification for pirating is that they are not loosing any money because it's just a digital copy that costs nothing."

    I have heard this argument, but not very often as a justification for piracy. The more usual justification is "I can't get it any other way in a form that is useful to me."

     

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

  183.  
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    LAB (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 1:11pm

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

    "It really doesn't matter how much YOU value your work, what really matters how much your customer is willing to pay for it."

    Here is the crux of the issue. How much is the customer willing to pay for it by LEGAL means. I think to gloss over that the behavior as ILLEGAL is not intellectually honest and places the behavior in some neutral category. An article asking if what the guy did( break the law multiple times )is punished too severely based on morality? just the same as asking the question if infringement is morally wrong. Is that how we evaluate crime and punishment? No. My whole line of reasoning was to show we obey many laws that do not have a moral connection. In addition I outlined most people pay for intellectual goods. They don't have debates on how netflix or having cable effects the public domain.

    "If that number happens to be zero for infinitely reproducible items, so be it."

    Not if The number Zero is achieved by illegal activity. I am not bemoaning anything, especially not a price point conditioned by someone breaking the law. Why should anyone have to compete against someone breaking the law. Is that fair? Should we discuss in terms of equity or legality or morals? A justification for why they are breaking the law is a justification for ILLEGAL activity.

    "If you really wanted to begin to restore my respect of copyright, you could start by lowering copyright length to reasonable time frames."

    I totally agree but I am not willing to throw out the entire construct. I see it having way too many, real world commercial benefits to do so. Again, my ideas are not to persuade you to obey the law, like the law, agree with the law or be pro copyright. I before gave the caveat I express views of how the law operates now and how I deal with it on behalf of creators wishing to financially gain from their creations. I don't think obeying only the laws we like is how it's supposed to go. We all can agree that intellectual property isn't really property....that isn't really important to me. and it's not really that important to me
    whether you call copyright infringement "stealing" because I have already separated morality the argument. It's just breaking the law.

     

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

  184.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 26th, 2014 @ 2:02pm

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

    Not if The number Zero is achieved by illegal activity. I am not bemoaning anything, especially not a price point conditioned by someone breaking the law. Why should anyone have to compete against someone breaking the law. Is that fair? Should we discuss in terms of equity or legality or morals? A justification for why they are breaking the law is a justification for ILLEGAL activity.


    When studying the economics of a situation, it really doesn't matter if it's illegal, fair or moral. It only matters if it exists. Period. Full stop.

    Only a fool would discount economic statistics just because they involve something that is against the law. You would be doing yourself a major disfavor by not utilizing all the data available.

    Just so you know, I am not arguing for or trying to justify piracy at all. I am a realist who understands that it exists and has not been diminished by increased enforcement of copyright laws one bit. There obviously is a large swath of the general public who don't feel piracy is immoral. The only thing that actually seems to decrease piracy is providing the consumers the product when they want it, how they want and where they want it.

    I am of the copyright reform camp who believes that copyright no longer promotes the progress of anything anymore and is seriously damaging our culture as a result. I do not wish my grandchildren (and yes I have grandchildren right now) and their children to have to live in world where everything is locked up behind copyright forever.

     

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

  185.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2014 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That box with the button...

    When corporations write the laws ...

     

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

  186.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2014 @ 9:17am

    Crickets.

    Oh well. It's not like I really thought Mike would discuss things frankly. Sadly, that's not how he rolls.

     

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

  187.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 28th, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    Crickets.

    Oh well. It's not like I really thought Mike would discuss things frankly. Sadly, that's not how he rolls.



    Do you mean except for the comments where Mike explained why he personally feels that what this guy did was immoral?

    Sadly, some people comment before reading the entire thread, but I guess that's how they roll.

     

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

  188.  
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    antidirt (profile), Aug 28th, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re:

    Do you mean except for the comments where Mike explained why he personally feels that what this guy did was immoral?

    He most certainly did not explain WHY he thinks it's immoral.

     

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

  189.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 28th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He most certainly did not explain WHY he thinks it's immoral.


    Lol. Yes he did. Mike said:
    Yes, based on what's been reported, I think what he did is morally wrong, based on my morals.
    The "why" is because it goes against what Mike feels is moral. Not sure what else you want.

    It's like asking someone WHY they don't like the taste of peanut butter. Both are stupid questions.

     

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


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