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Tags mpaa , copyright , bit torrent

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Old 17th July 2007, 05:46 AM   #81
NoZed Avenger
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Actually, there is strong evidence supporting this. I don't recall the study, but I read about it on The Register's website. Music sales have actually increased as music sharing/downloading has increased; particularly for indie and smaller labels. There was a dip in sales that the RIAA tried to claim was the result of piracy; but they neglected to mention that the dip corresponded closely to a similar dip in the economy (dotcom bust) and sales of all luxury goods.
It may be a *wonderful* position backed up by mountains of facts, good or not. That is neither here nor there.

But it is still comes down to someone deciding to make that marketing decision *for* the creator (by taking stuff for free), rather than convincing him or her to allow copying.
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Old 17th July 2007, 05:51 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Conceptually true but it is relevant to claims of harm. If they are not harmed financially by it, how much should we listen to their whining?
The harm is there. It may not be as direct, but denying it doesn't make it go away. And if the pirating becomes prevalent enough that the artist simply cannot afford to offer anything at all, we may never be able to point to the non-existent album or software and show the harm, but that doesn't stop it from happening.
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:03 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Conceptually true but it is relevant to claims of harm. If they are not harmed financially by it, how much should we listen to their whining?
I agree. Why should we listen to the whining of the pirates about how they shouldn't be required to pay for stuff because they don't want to?
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:24 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Jaggy Bunnet View Post
I tend to agree.

However if I was being difficult I might point out that you DID deprive them of the phsyical notes and coins which you should have handed over to acquire the object. On the other hand those physical notes and coins would then be deposited in a bank and become virtual objects again reflected as an increase in the balance held electronically.
I might argue that that's really no different than going to the store down the street to pay for their candybar instead. Again you are getting a copy without taking their copy of the candybar and they aren't getting your money, but isn't this perfectly acceptable social behavior? Isn't the idea that "taking business" is the same as stealing from someone a sort of mafia style think?

That said, I have to make my point very clear here. I am NOT defending piracy. I do consider it a crime, and damaging, and I defend copyright law to most extents. I do think however that it is not actual theft but a different sort of crime altogether. I consider it in the same category as plagerism, not stealing.
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:32 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Jaggy Bunnet View Post
I agree. Why should we listen to the whining of the pirates[...]
They don't whine, they just download.
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:45 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by ARubberChickenWithAPulley View Post
You're basically saying that you disagree, therefore it's intellectually dishonest. I don't particularly like bringing "honesty" into this debate. I generally respect the opinions of everyone on here, even in heated debate, and I assume that they are being intellectually "honest" in their opinions.

Nobody is saying that copyright infringement is the exact, 100% same as stealing a candybar, just as embezzlment isn't the same as stealing a candybar, nor is stealing cable TV the same as stealing a candybar, though all could be considered stealing. The question of whether or not copyright infringment is a form of stealing, however, is certainly a valid and "honest" one.
No stealing is a bad metaphore. Trespassing maybe, but stealing deprives someone of an actual object, this might deprive people of potential sales, and sometimes I am sure that is the case.

But should copywrite be used to keep things unavailable? Look at disney films and how they trot them out once a decade to let people buy them. Is it in the public interest to do that? How does that promote new movies being made?
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:47 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by NoZed Avenger View Post
It may be a *wonderful* position backed up by mountains of facts, good or not. That is neither here nor there.

But it is still comes down to someone deciding to make that marketing decision *for* the creator (by taking stuff for free), rather than convincing him or her to allow copying.
Owner, as many of these things are owned by groups other than the creators.
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:51 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by NoZed Avenger View Post
The harm is there. It may not be as direct, but denying it doesn't make it go away. And if the pirating becomes prevalent enough that the artist simply cannot afford to offer anything at all, we may never be able to point to the non-existent album or software and show the harm, but that doesn't stop it from happening.
But that is not the claimed harm. The claimed harm is economic, that it hurts their sales. That seems to not be accurate. The harm of reducing their control over their intellectual property, well that all depends on what control you think someone should have over their intellectual property.

For example people have stolen Steven Colbert's word "Truthiness", he created it, it should be his intellectual property. So the broader use of this is harming him quite significantly. He lost control over his idea.

We need to stop people from using that word with out permission.

So the idea that not having entire control over intellectual property is just wrong.
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Old 17th July 2007, 06:52 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Jaggy Bunnet View Post
I agree. Why should we listen to the whining of the pirates about how they shouldn't be required to pay for stuff because they don't want to?
So we should take the claims of harm by the music industry at face value and not see if they have any validity?
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Old 17th July 2007, 07:11 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No stealing is a bad metaphore. Trespassing maybe, but stealing deprives someone of an actual object, this might deprive people of potential sales, and sometimes I am sure that is the case.
According dictionary.com (which is based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary), the second definition of stealing is:

"to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment. "

Neither ideas, nor credit, nor words (nor etc.) are actual objects. As such, stealing may very well be appropriate.

Pirating music is depriving artists of payment for their work. If I were to hypothetically invest $50,000 into making a CD, and people downloaded it for free resulting in me absorbing a $25,000 loss on my product, is that much different than someone stealing a candybar, resulting in a $.25 loss for the company that made the candybar? Both candybars and music/movies cost money to create. In the end, I don't see downloading music as much different than stealing an actual CD. The price and value of a music CD isn't based on the cost of the physical CD: if that were the case, all music CDs would cost a dollar. The price and value is based on the intellectual property on the CD. As such, it is equally poor to try to claim that downloading music online isn't stealing simply because it isn't a physical object, when the vast majority of the CD's value isn't based on the physical object, but rather, the intangible product on the object.

In any event, I was replying to the idea that it is "intellectually dishonest" to claim that copyright infringement is stealing. I respect that you disagree with me on that point, but I don't consider myself "dishonest" for arguing it.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
But should copywrite be used to keep things unavailable? Look at disney films and how they trot them out once a decade to let people buy them. Is it in the public interest to do that? How does that promote new movies being made?
Maybe, maybe not. It's an interesting discussion. Ultimately, most laws are a balance between personal rights versus the greater good. However, who says it is Disney's job to promote new movies being made? Is Disney not releasing movies preventing new movies from being made? I would say it is neither here nor there -- neither against nor for the public interest.
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Old 17th July 2007, 07:21 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by ARubberChickenWithAPulley View Post
According dictionary.com (which is based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary), the second definition of stealing is:

"to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment. "

Neither ideas, nor credit, nor words (nor etc.) are actual objects. As such, stealing may very well be appropriate.

Pirating music is depriving artists of payment for their work. If I were to hypothetically invest $50,000 into making a CD, and people downloaded it for free resulting in me absorbing a $25,000 loss on my product, is that much different than someone stealing a candybar, resulting in a $.25 loss for the company that made the candybar?
And if no one pirated it and you took say a $30,000 loss that would be your preferred solution. As no one stole anything you win, but you lose more money.

You are making a claim that those who pirate would purchase it otherwise. This is not always the case. Some who pirate it would buy it, others buy it after pirating it creating sales you would not otherwise have.

So simply claiming that you lose money is wrong. By this logic netflix is doing a horrible thing, letting people watch movies with out buying them, stealing the rightful profits from the true owners of the content. They MUST BE STOPPED!!.

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Both candybars and music/movies cost money to create. In the end, I don't see downloading music as much different than stealing an actual CD. The price and value of a music CD isn't based on the cost of the physical CD: if that were the case, all music CDs would cost a dollar. The price and value is based on the intellectual property on the CD. As such, it is equally poor to try to claim that downloading music online isn't stealing simply because it isn't a physical object, when the vast majority of the CD's value isn't based on the physical object, but rather, the intangible product on the object.
Because the theft of a CD does result in a loss, the loss of the money it took to create the CD. The piracy of content is much more ephemeral. So as you seem to accept the people stole the word Truthiness what do users of it owe to Colbert?

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Maybe, maybe not. It's an interesting discussion. Ultimately, most laws are a balance between personal rights versus the greater good. However, who says it is Disney's job to promote new movies being made? Is Disney not releasing movies preventing new movies from being made? I would say it is neither here nor there -- neither against nor for the public interest.
The stated intent of such laws it to promote new content. That is why patents are a good idea, it is also why patents expire, and why copywrites used to expire. This goes against many of the points about such absoluteness of the rights.
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Old 17th July 2007, 07:36 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Overman View Post
OMG!!!! A Oliver Thread that is solid and has a point!!! What happened over the weekend!!! Has the world gone mad!

Seriously, good thread.
Has Oliver started a thread that doesn't explicitly mention America in the last six months?
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Old 17th July 2007, 07:47 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And if no one pirated it and you took say a $30,000 loss that would be your preferred solution. As no one stole anything you win, but you lose more money.

You are making a claim that those who pirate would purchase it otherwise. This is not always the case. Some who pirate it would buy it, others buy it after pirating it creating sales you would not otherwise have.
Yes, and if I steal a candybar, I also might not have paid for the candybar otherwise. In fact, the candybar might have just sat on the shelf and rotted, resulting in a loss for the company anyway. Therefore, it is okay to take the candybar?

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So simply claiming that you lose money is wrong. By this logic netflix is doing a horrible thing, letting people watch movies with out buying them, stealing the rightful profits from the true owners of the content. They MUST BE STOPPED!!.
Huh? Netflix paid for the videos -- as do public libraries and similar institutions. As such, your point is moot. Netflix cannot make additional copies themselves. If demand is such that they need more than one copy, then Netflix has to purchase those copies. Similarly, I can lend you a CD for a little while. You cannot, however, copy the CD -- or the music -- for yourself.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Because the theft of a CD does result in a loss, the loss of the money it took to create the CD. The piracy of content is much more ephemeral.
Ah. Okay, so I walk into a record store, take a CD, and leave enough money to cover the cost of the physical CD. The price is listed as $14.95, and I leave 50 cents. No problem there? Not stealing?

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So as you seem to accept the people stole the word Truthiness what do users of it owe to Colbert?
Pat Riley trademarked the word "Threepeat." Colbert certainly could, if he wanted to, trademark "Truthiness." As far as "people" stealing the word, what people are you talking about? Simply uttering the word doesn't constitute stealing, anymore than humming a tune constitutes piracy. In what manner has somebody "stolen" Truthiness?

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
The stated intent of such laws it to promote new content. That is why patents are a good idea, it is also why patents expire, and why copywrites used to expire. This goes against many of the points about such absoluteness of the rights.
Exactly. Similarly, the government can tear down my house and build a bypass there if it is for the public good. The government can also execute me if it deems I have committed a crime grave enough to warrant it. As such, apparently, few rights are absolute: the right to the house I paid for, or to my own life, amongst them. That doesn't mean we throw them out the window altogether, and allow anyone to tear down my house or anyone to take my life.
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Old 17th July 2007, 08:13 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And if no one pirated it and you took say a $30,000 loss that would be your preferred solution. As no one stole anything you win, but you lose more money.
Fine.

As long as you are able to prove that there is no economic loss for every single individual artist whose music is stolen through downloading.

Otherwise all you have is one huge pile of assumptions that you are using to justify taking something without paying for it. Broadly similar to the "big business has insurance therefore they suffer no loss from theft" argument.
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Old 17th July 2007, 09:13 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Jaggy Bunnet View Post
Fine.

As long as you are able to prove that there is no economic loss for every single individual artist whose music is stolen through downloading.

Otherwise all you have is one huge pile of assumptions that you are using to justify taking something without paying for it. Broadly similar to the "big business has insurance therefore they suffer no loss from theft" argument.
No but the losses claimed are not in evidence. ANd it might well cause people to realize a album is sucky before they buy it, thus the promotional aspects of it.

We should just let them go back to their traditional methods of dissemenination, paying radio disc jockies to play their songs.
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Old 17th July 2007, 09:30 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No you don't understand. The guys who only filled out a patent for a mobile device to receive email patented that idea first. They had no actual product, they did not need one. Then when the people developed the blackberry they where infringing on the patent of the first guys who had no product. See this BBC article on patent trolls.
Well, obviously the government that issued the patent believed that this was enough of a new idea to grant them a patent.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I simply think that for a patent you should have a substantive object, they let people patent business models, tax shelters and all kinds of things that you would not think of. Cranks also patent things that are impossible and then use the idea that it is patented as some sort of endorsement that it works.
Well, some people are inherently stupid and will buy anything. If these "cranks" do these endorsements within the law, I don't see a legal problem. Is it morally wrong to take consumers for a ride; yes.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
As for books, movies and music, the question of how long is it in the public interest to protect these things with copywrites and so on vs letting into the public domain has shifted. They have managed to get public view to view them as tangible property and not specific writes granted for a limited period to promote new works.
Lets not get patents and copyrights confused here

Contrary to a common public misconception, a patent is not a right to practice or use the invention. Rather, a patent provides the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent, usually 20 years from the filing date. A patent is, in effect, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned or transferred, given away, or simply abandoned.

Patent Law

So you are against people who write a book to make money off of it? You would rather every person with a printer to sell this book. What you say doesn't make sense.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So with it viewed as not special protections to promote the creation of new works, they are now viewed as absolute and permanent property. That is a remarkable sift when one thinks about it. But it is not surprising as so many powerful media forces want this and control what people are exposed to so much. It is also not surprising that the laws get passed to support them because that is where the money is, and that is largely what counts.
Again, it sounds like you want to live in this utopian universe where people invent and make things free of charge to the rest of the world. That's just not how it is. People who invent something deserve to get compensated unless they decide they would like everyone to have it. I.E. Freeware... Open source.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So case in point, how much does Micheal Jackson deserve to earn on current reproductions of Beatles songs? He purchased the rights and so owns them. So how does this promote the creation of new works?
Come on, don't be stupid. He pays a royalty every time he makes money off of the Beatles to the owner's of those songs. Unless he actually owns them, I am not sure if he does or doesn't.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
What is in soceities interest is rarely discussed and the shifts in what people view intelectual property as is also relevant.
Wow... If you ever invent anything, can I take all the credit and money from selling it as you deem patents unfair.
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Old 17th July 2007, 09:33 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by ARubberChickenWithAPulley View Post
Yes, and if I steal a candybar, I also might not have paid for the candybar otherwise. In fact, the candybar might have just sat on the shelf and rotted, resulting in a loss for the company anyway. Therefore, it is okay to take the candybar?
So it is stealing even if it results in more income for the person being stolen from,


Quote:
Huh? Netflix paid for the videos -- as do public libraries and similar institutions. As such, your point is moot. Netflix cannot make additional copies themselves. If demand is such that they need more than one copy, then Netflix has to purchase those copies. Similarly, I can lend you a CD for a little while. You cannot, however, copy the CD -- or the music -- for yourself.
link

Yes libraries are immorally distributing copywrited information to those who have not properly paid the owners of the copyright for it. They do not have the permission of the copyright holders to do such a thing, so they really should be prosecuted.

Remember that when VHS came out there where lawsuits claiming this exact thing, so it is the recorded legal opinion of the movie industry that this is not acceptable.

For example it would not be legal to rent CD's as they are exempted from that fair use provision

Originally Posted by web page below
Under the first sale doctrine,* once someone buys a particular copy of a copyrighted work, they may dispose of that copy however they want, including by sale or by rental. It’s because of this doctrine that video rental stores can buy a copy of a movie, and then make money by renting it out over and over again, without paying any royalty above the price of the one copy. In 1984, the very year of the Betamax decision in the Supreme Court, the music recording industry managed to get Congress to pass an exception to the doctrine so that audio works may not be rented out without the authority of the copyright owner.† The movie industry originally had expected to be included in the amendment. But by now millions of people owned VCRs, and were used to the idea of renting movies cheaply. Congress was unwilling to pass a bill that threatened to end or “tax” a practice that people had gotten used to. In the end, the video amendment was severed from the audio amendment: the audio amendment passed, but the video amendment did not. In 1990, the computer software industry was also successful in getting an exemption to the first sale doctrine, barring rentals of computer programs;‡ but still video rentals were not included.
So netflix and libraries are not fundamentally so different or fundamentally legal. The related industries have just not been as effective at getting favorable legislation passed as the music and computer program industries have been.

Quote:
Ah. Okay, so I walk into a record store, take a CD, and leave enough money to cover the cost of the physical CD. The price is listed as $14.95, and I leave 50 cents. No problem there? Not stealing?
No that is stealing, you are taking someones physical property with out their permission.

Now say you walk into a library or book store and pick up a book sit down and read it cover to cover. You have just copied the information into your brain, why is this copying not an illegal act? Is it only illegal if you have a photographic memory?

Quote:
Pat Riley trademarked the word "Threepeat." Colbert certainly could, if he wanted to, trademark "Truthiness." As far as "people" stealing the word, what people are you talking about? Simply uttering the word doesn't constitute stealing, anymore than humming a tune constitutes piracy. In what manner has somebody "stolen" Truthiness?
You are removing their control over their intellectual property. The boundaries of what is stealing and what is fair use are very subjective and arbitrary, as seen that you can't rent computer games legally but you can rent movies or console games. Why one stealing and the other not?

Quote:
Exactly. Similarly, the government can tear down my house and build a bypass there if it is for the public good. The government can also execute me if it deems I have committed a crime grave enough to warrant it. As such, apparently, few rights are absolute: the right to the house I paid for, or to my own life, amongst them. That doesn't mean we throw them out the window altogether, and allow anyone to tear down my house or anyone to take my life.
The point is that the laws don't care about the public and they are not getting written in the publics interest, they are being written in the interest of big business. So just like they can eminent domain your house because someone want to build a shopping mall there and it will improve the tax base. An improved tax base is in the public interest so you will be forced to sell your house to who ever wants to pay a certain amount of money for it.

It is based on the idea that who ever can buy the most legislators is obviously in the publics best interest at heart.
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Old 17th July 2007, 09:52 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by MilwaukeeMike View Post
Well, obviously the government that issued the patent believed that this was enough of a new idea to grant them a patent.
But the system is so broken that you can do things like The Man who Patented the Wheel in 2001

There is not the sort of evaluation that you seem to think is happening in patents. Add to that problems of over broad patents being issued and the patent system is currently a total mess.

And I do not think you should be able to patent some things that people currently patent, like say tax shelter scam's.
Quote:
Well, some people are inherently stupid and will buy anything. If these "cranks" do these endorsements within the law, I don't see a legal problem. Is it morally wrong to take consumers for a ride; yes.
Should the patent office be a party to it by the perceived endorsement of a product that can not possibly work? This lack of a requirement to produce something that works can have a real slowing down of innovation, as see with patent trolls.
Quote:
Lets not get patents and copyrights confused here

Contrary to a common public misconception, a patent is not a right to practice or use the invention. Rather, a patent provides the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent, usually 20 years from the filing date. A patent is, in effect, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned or transferred, given away, or simply abandoned.
And a copyright is much the same, it is a limited time that you have exclusive control over a piece of intellectual property that you create. It used to be for 50 years. Now because of treaties if it is copyrighted in one place it is copyrighted in most, so if you can get one country to extend copyright protection on an old song you can prevent it from entering public domain. This is a serious issue with Beatles songs as the 50 year date after their recording is coming up and they would traditionally have entered public domain then.

So the main difference between copyrights and patents is that copyrights have traditionally had somewhat longer valid periods, but where not permanent.
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So you are against people who write a book to make money off of it? You would rather every person with a printer to sell this book. What you say doesn't make sense.
I know Michael Jackson needs to make money off of the Beatles recordings. It is his duty as he created them.

And I am not against copyrights and certainly not against sensible patents, but the problem is that they are being viewed as things that they never used to be. If you create something you should be able to make money off of it for a limited time, but I do not think you should be able to make money off of it indefinitely.


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Again, it sounds like you want to live in this utopian universe where people invent and make things free of charge to the rest of the world. That's just not how it is. People who invent something deserve to get compensated unless they decide they would like everyone to have it. I.E. Freeware... Open source.
I have never said such things. I know that renting computer programs is so much different from renting a movie that the one is immoral and the other is moral.


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Come on, don't be stupid. He pays a royalty every time he makes money off of the Beatles to the owner's of those songs. Unless he actually owns them, I am not sure if he does or doesn't.
He owns them, he heard Paul McCartney talking about how he wanted to buy the rights and so he did. He owns them, and as he is now the Artist who made them I guess, so he needs the money to for the work he did in their creation.
CNN story on Micheal Jackson owning the Beatles catalog


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Wow... If you ever invent anything, can I take all the credit and money from selling it as you deem patents unfair.
No it is more if I patent an idea for something that you actual invent, then you owe me a massive amount of money for violating my patent for something I never invented.
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Old 17th July 2007, 01:53 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So the idea that not having entire control over intellectual property is just wrong.
So it's certainly a good thing no one has argued for absolutre control over intellectual property.
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Old 17th July 2007, 03:00 PM   #100
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Can anyone imagine libraries emerging in the current climate? Assuming we did not have public libraries and someone proposed such an institution? Elites in charge would never allow for it.

Luchdog: you made some comment earlier about the greatest art being produced in a climate free from copyright. While true, I don't think that's a compelling argument on its own. Assuming some enlightened society is formed hundreds of years from now I'm sure they will be lamenting about how all the truly great art was created in distant past.
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Old 17th July 2007, 05:10 PM   #101
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If the greatest art was made in a period free from copyright, it was also made in a period where exact duplication was technologically infeasible. Nobody made a million cheap but good copies of Michelangelo's Pieta because nobody knew how. If they had, they would have. And would it have made the work less good?

I'd also remind fans of classical art that many surviving great sculptures are actually classical copies of the originals, long since lost.
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Old 18th July 2007, 06:45 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by NoZed Avenger View Post
So it's certainly a good thing no one has argued for absolutre control over intellectual property.
So could you please explain to me why it is moral to rent a movie but immoral to rent a CD? The reason is that when the ban on renting music came about there was a market for rented movies and people would have been pissed enough to make changes if they banned video rentals.
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Old 18th July 2007, 06:47 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If the greatest art was made in a period free from copyright, it was also made in a period where exact duplication was technologically infeasible. Nobody made a million cheap but good copies of Michelangelo's Pieta because nobody knew how. If they had, they would have. And would it have made the work less good?
Of course it would. It would have made them Common, and that is the death knell for any true artistic respect. It must be only available to the elite.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:01 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
You're right, people can and do use 'free' sources as ways to evaluate software, music, movies, etc. before purchasing them. It may also serve as free publicity for other products/services, such as how hearing an artist on line for free might entice people to go to their concerts. (Although there may be a problem with your radio anology... doesn't the artist still get royalties for radio play?)
I have no idea if the artist is paid royalties for radio play, but I do know it's the best advertising for his albums and concerts there is.

Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
The think is though... it should be up to the copyright holder if they want to engage in the 'giving it away for free in hopes of making a sale' business plan, or the more traditional 'gouge them right at the start'. Some artists COULD make more money by giving away their work for free, but if they choose not to, that is their fault.
The genie is out of the bottle. The truth is that music, movies, games, programs and other creations are all easily copied bits of computer data and there isn't going to be any way to protect them.

A hundred years ago music artists made money through the sale of sheet music. Before recordings became popular, they would buy the music so they could play it at home on their pianos. Modern photocopiers have certainly destroyed that market, yet the producers of music still have ways of making money.

When I was a teenager we used to get together and share 45's and make our own mix tapes. We did this a lot, and the companies that really proffited directly from this were Maxell, Sony, and anyone else who made blank tapes.

Owning free copies of the music never stopped us from buying the albums. When Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel produced a great album, we all wanted it even though we could get the music for free. The only thing that's really changed since then is that computers and the internet make it easier for people to get together.

What's really driving the issue is that the producers of content want to overcharge for that content. This was driven home for me in my household when my daughter lost her MP3 player. The player itself was easily replaced, but the collection of music on it was huge. At 99 cents a song, the bill adds up quickly.

When someone buys an album, they keep that in their collection for decades. A digital file on an MP3 or a computer hard drive is much more ephemeral, but the producers of content want to charge the same amount despite the ridiculously low production costs and the more transient nature of the end product.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:06 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Jaggy Bunnet View Post
Fine.

As long as you are able to prove that there is no economic loss for every single individual artist whose music is stolen through downloading.

Otherwise all you have is one huge pile of assumptions that you are using to justify taking something without paying for it. Broadly similar to the "big business has insurance therefore they suffer no loss from theft" argument.
This argument goes both ways. You can't prove an economic loss to an artist through downloading, you can only speculate that there might have been one. People will take files they can get for free that they would not pay for, so you can't prove that any one download represents a loss because that person may simply have done without rather than pay for it.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:20 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
So could you please explain to me why it is moral to rent a movie but immoral to rent a CD? The reason is that when the ban on renting music came about there was a market for rented movies and people would have been pissed enough to make changes if they banned video rentals.
Yet another question/argument about a position have not espoused. I can explain my position about things, but you'll have to ask the people that advocate the last ones you've been arguing about to clarfiy, as I cannot speak for them.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:27 AM   #107
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The worst thing is that the people behind TPB claims that they started it as a contribution to the discussion while they obviously are raking in fortunes on ads.
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Old 18th July 2007, 09:32 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by NoZed Avenger View Post
Yet another question/argument about a position have not espoused. I can explain my position about things, but you'll have to ask the people that advocate the last ones you've been arguing about to clarfiy, as I cannot speak for them.
There are roughly two groups here, the first is those who are supporting the current legal structure and the second opposes it.

If you support the current legal structure of intellectual property please explain such discrepancies. If it is moral to rent out copies you purchased of someone else's intellectual property, why is it illegal to do so with computer software and music?

That it is illegal with software and music leads me to believe that the only reason Netflix and libraries are allowed to legally operate is that people would object to them being shut down, they do not fit in with many of the ideas people advocate for intellectual property.
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Old 18th July 2007, 02:47 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
There are roughly two groups here, the first is those who are supporting the current legal structure and the second opposes it.
My point being responded to, however, had nothing to do with the present legal structure. I just seems a bit disingenuous for people who are grabbing songs and software for free to use the "it is really better marketing for the artist/owner," when I think that call -- right or wrong -- should actually be made by the artist/owner.

That has nothing to do with the legal system as it is or as it should be, nor does it endorse any particular part of any law from any country. For those who are actually defending the current system precisely as it is, and not the idea of intellectual property protection in general or in some form -- if those people are actually posting in this thread -- they are more than welcome to answer your questions. But I am still not one of them.
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Old 18th July 2007, 07:55 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No that is stealing, you are taking someones physical property with out their permission.
And this is where we disagree. According to the definition I provided earlier, stealing does not have to be a physical object. If I take a book you wrote and publish it with my name, I think it is perfectly acceptible (and very common) to say I "stole" your book, even though I didn't steal a physical item. If I hack into I-tunes and download their music without their permission, I think it is perfectly acceptible to say I am stealing their product or service. If I download a movie I did not pay for against the wishes of its creator, I think it is perfectly valid to say I am stealing their movie. Or, if you want to get technical, I am depriving them of the right to control their creation, just as plagiarism is depriving you of credit for your work.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
You are removing their control over their intellectual property. The boundaries of what is stealing and what is fair use are very subjective and arbitrary, as seen that you can't rent computer games legally but you can rent movies or console games. Why one stealing and the other not?
Because we've come to a social consensus, just as we've come to a social consensus that taxation is not stealing, and eminent domain is not stealing. If you're pointing out that there is a degree of subjectiveness to it, I agree. That, however, isn't unique to "stealing." Many terms we use are arbitrary outside of their strict legal definitions -- "murder," for one example (a murder to one person might be a completely justified killing to another -- or not murder at all). That doesn't make the concepts less valid.

Ultimately, we can argue this until we are blue in the face, but we are more debating semantics than anything else. Even if you were to convince me that copyright infringement is 100%, not a form of stealing, I would still consider it to be the moral/ethical equivalent of stealing. As such, I cordially suggest we let this one go since we're probably not going to convince each other in either direction

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
The point is that the laws don't care about the public and they are not getting written in the publics interest, they are being written in the interest of big business. So just like they can eminent domain your house because someone want to build a shopping mall there and it will improve the tax base. An improved tax base is in the public interest so you will be forced to sell your house to who ever wants to pay a certain amount of money for it.
Slightly different issue, but I somewhat agree. However, while you might be valid in stating that copyright laws as they currently exist are not in the public interest, they do protect more than big business. They also protect small publishers, authors, and musicians.

I'm not, by the way, claiming that copyright laws as they exist are perfect. I think the DMCA, for example, was a horrible piece of legislation that went way beyond protecting copyright, and actually added rediculous restrictions that do not exist for any other type of product. The idea that it is a crime, for example, for me to remove copy protection from a CD or DVD I purchased legally is absolutely absurd -- as absurd as if the automotive industry made it illegal for me to disassemble my own car. I am merely defending the principle that music, books, games, art, etc. are products and should be accorded the same rights as other products. If I purchase it legally, I should be able to personally use the product and do with it as I desire. If I don't purchase the product, I don't have any right to use it.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:10 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
There are roughly two groups here, the first is those who are supporting the current legal structure and the second opposes it.
False dichotomy. We each have our own opinions, and this particular distinction is pretty arbitrary.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
If you support the current legal structure of intellectual property please explain such discrepancies. If it is moral to rent out copies you purchased of someone else's intellectual property, why is it illegal to do so with computer software and music?
Our government is a bureaucracy, and sometimes bureaucracies make nonsensical distinctions. That the government has apparently set up rules on conflicting principles in this case is not itself evidence that any particular point of view is wrong or right, it's only evidence that our governmental bureaucracies sometimes behaves as a bureaucracy.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:34 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
That is the key difference between true theft and Intellectual Property infringement. A physical object has a value that is specific to that object. Taking it deprives the owner of that object of that object's value, regardless of the circumstances or time (ignoring degradation over time). Taking IP does not deprive the owner of the IP, since he still possesses it. Furthermore, IP only possesses, for the owner, a semi-arbitrary value -- a combination of a creator-defined arbitrary value, and a market value -- for a purely arbitrary length of time, which has varied considerably by region and over recent history.
I was with you up until this part. See, a physical object ALSO has a combination of a creator-defined arbitrary value and a market value for a purely arbitrary length of time which has varied considerably by region and over recent history. A house, for example.

I don't think there is a product that doesn't have this combination.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:38 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
No doubt there's some wiggle room in those examples.

But the point is that the legality of piracy is based on arbitrary standards rather than actual harm as in theft.
Theft is based on arbitrary standards. In fact, the very act of defining a difference between 'theft' and 'copyright infringement' is arbitrary.

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Consider the generic drug example using the theft example. If I copy your drug after you make it I've used your idea and innovation without compensating you, so that's theft. If I wait X amount of time and then use your idea and innovation without compensating you, it's not theft. Theft as a descriptor doesn't work.
The time limit on copyrights is arbitrary. Why shouldn't something you created be yours forever, and your heirs' property forever as well, just like your house?
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Old 18th July 2007, 10:56 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Our government is a bureaucracy, and sometimes bureaucracies make nonsensical distinctions. That the government has apparently set up rules on conflicting principles in this case is not itself evidence that any particular point of view is wrong or right, it's only evidence that our governmental bureaucracies sometimes behaves as a bureaucracy.
I really don't see how it has anything to do with bureaucracy (which has an unfairly bad reputation BTW). The decision not to step on the toes of the voters sounds more like a political descision than a bureaucratic one.
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Old 19th July 2007, 02:09 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
Why shouldn't something you created be yours forever, and your heirs' property forever as well, just like your house?
Because that may not benefit society as a whole.

We have property laws against theft to provide an incentive to create wealth instead of only redistribute (steal) it. This strenghtens society.

If copyright laws benefit only a small group (of copyright owners) while society as a whole doesn't they should be repealed.

There is no such thing as inalienable rights, only laws that strengthen society and those that don't. Societies that adopt the former thrive, while those adopting the latter falter.
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Old 19th July 2007, 03:03 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by egslim View Post
There is no such thing as inalienable rights, only laws that strengthen society and those that don't. Societies that adopt the former thrive, while those adopting the latter falter.
Societies that don't believe in inalienable rights fail because they are not worth having members of that society. Why should anyone join a club that cares more for the collective than the individual, even though the collective is merely the sum of the individuals? The good of the state is the good of the individuals within that state--the state has no other purpose in existing than to strive for the maximum benefit for each and every person in it. And if it stops trying for that, it deserves to fail.
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Old 19th July 2007, 03:34 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The good of the state is the good of all the individuals within that state--the state has no other purpose in existing than to strive for the maximum benefit for each and every person in it.
Bolding inserted by me, with that I agree completely. And while for example the DMCA benefits a small number of individuals, it hurts a far larger number of individuals. If the hurt inflicted by the DMCA exceeds its benefits it should be repealed.

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Societies that don't believe in inalienable rights fail because they are not worth having members of that society.
If that is true then these so-called inalienable rights are per definition part of the laws that strenghten a society.
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Old 19th July 2007, 05:09 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
Theft is based on arbitrary standards. In fact, the very act of defining a difference between 'theft' and 'copyright infringement' is arbitrary.

The time limit on copyrights is arbitrary. Why shouldn't something you created be yours forever, and your heirs' property forever as well, just like your house?

The purpose of Copyright Law is to protect a person's right to exploit and benefit from something that they themselves created. This is only reasonable and just. You do not share the earnings of your labour with everyone else. You do not have to divvy up the vegetables you grew in your garden amongst your neighbours.

If you put in the effort required to produce a book or a song or a film or any other piece of "intellectual property" (and as someone who has produced many pieces of intellectual property, I can attest that it takes an enormous amount of effort) it is only just that you should retain exclusive right to exploit that property for material gain.

Of course once you die, there's really no reason to keep that right exclusive, as you can no longer exploit it anyway.

The period over which the copyright is retained is there really to allow your immediate heir to benefit for a time from the fruits of your labour. I think it's reasonable that this happen, but I think extending the duration of the copyright is an unworthy activity. Primarily because it is not the heirs of artists who are pushing the extension of copyright. It is corporations that have purchased the copyright off artists as a condition for publishing their material. Thus the entire intention of copyright - to ensure the creator of the work benefits from it - is lost, and it just makes corporations rich.

In regards to torrent sites, the argument by hosters of such sites is that they themselves have no control over the torrents uploaded. Seeding itself is not illegal, of course. Many torrent sites clearly state that material that breaches copyright is not to be uploaded.

This is the position from which the torrent sites make their claims.

There is an argument that, in almost all legal jurisdictions, aiding others in criminal behaviour is also illegal. Hosting a torrent site, on which you know illegal material is being uploaded (and the operators of those website know the material is there) makes you a party to the offense. In many nations, being a party to an offense makes you liable for whatever any other party to the offense does.

Of course, copyright law is not universally a criminal act.

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Old 19th July 2007, 05:14 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Of course, copyright law is not universally a criminal act.
Good point -- as was the rest of your post. Very well said. Even in the U.S., I don't think violating copyright is usually a criminal matter.
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Old 19th July 2007, 05:17 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by ARubberChickenWithAPulley View Post
Good point -- as was the rest of your post. Very well said. Even in the U.S., I don't think violating copyright is usually a criminal matter.

I knew those lectures would come in handy some day...

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