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  1. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just downloaded "Hobbit" Part II ...

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Burlbird, Dec 15, 2013.

    ...not really, I'm waiting for next weekend to see it in the theater. 3D, popcorn and all that :)

    But imagine if I did (as a few million people already did): should I be in jail? What are your thoughts on pir-- I mean, p2p? :p As consumers, of course, not as legal representatives of big companies. Did you ever use bittorrent, or one of those Russian rapidshare search engines? Did you enjoy a music album, a book or a movie you didn't pay for? Did you cry when library.nu went offline? Signed a facebook petition when piratebay was closed for the sixth time? Were you freaked out by the FBI logo on mediashare?

    I just wonder what people in the more civilized parts of the world think about this...
     
  2. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I think it's terrible that all those people put time and resources into something only to have it stolen. No wonder there is discussions of raising the costs of tickets for high budget movies to $50/ticket.

    I'd hate to see my scripted movie made, only to flop commercially because everyone pirated it before it made its money back, plus profit to put toward the next movie.

    I can't recall if I pirated anything that I kept. The few things I did, did not work well and I had no instructions (it was software), so I deleted it. I may have used shareware with a nuisance screen, for a long, long time before buying but I ended up buying it.

    I believe in capitalism. I do not believe in unchecked capitalism and I don't believe in piracy or theft of goods and services.

    Anyone here who believes in piracy should have no problem with making zero money form their hard work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  3. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I used to download mp3's of my favorite songs back when Napster was popular. I did it because I once bought an album because I liked one song, and the rest of the album was garbage. But since then, the market has changed and now I can buy my favorite songs one at a time with one click of my mouse for pocket change. Plus I'm still supporting my favorite artist.

    It is now easier and relatively inexpensive to get music and movies legally.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's concerning. And it's one of those small things you don't realize is going to cause such a serious end effect. Like an incorrectly fabricated protein wreaking havoc on an entire organism. Something so small can cause such devastation. The law isn't anywhere up to speed with technology in this matter. IPs are spoofable with a modicum of savvy. Anyone can appear to be downloading from anywhere in the world.
     
  5. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it is something of a myth that piracy actually does serious damage to anything. It tends only to be successful material that is pirated in any volume and when was the last time a movie studio making popular movies or an artist producing popular material actually went bankrupt because people were pirating their work rather than buying it?

    Many years ago when there were several different kinds of personal computer, the IBM compatible PC was one of the worst performing and most expensive option available. What it did have going for it was that you could copy the software easily and everybody knew someone who knew someone who could get software. The competition (Amiga and Atari) had good copy protection so you could not copy the software easily. But where are they now?

    I'm not trying to make any moral statement here, just something about cause and effect.

    I'm sure that Microsoft would much prefer you to use a pirated copy of MS Office at home than use OpenOffice because if many people use Open Office at home, they might want to use it at work too.

    Many people who gain pirate copies would not have purchased the official version anyway so these do not represent lost revenue. There is also an element of free advertising and suppression of competition which can be of value to the originator or the material.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Piracy is theft, no matter how much you try to pretty it up.
     
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  7. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are so wrong my friend, so wrong. It may be true that big successful companies can absorb a hit from piracy, just like a big department store can absorb some shoplifting, but don't kid yourself though, there is no difference, it is theft by all definitions. I am but a lowly photographer who has lost significant income from internet thieves, people who think they have a right to my images without paying compensation, people who WOULD purchase images if it wasn't so easy to steal them. If someone wouldn't use intellectual property of a type if they had to pay for it, quite simply, should not use it.

    Are you saying that instead of book sales there should be a site where people can deposit all written works, pre-scanned and formatted for several different readers, where anyone can download those files for free? After all, how could this possibly hurt the livelihood of all those insanely rich writers out there?

    Your argument is truly flawed.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know about that. Definitions of theft generally include taking property from the owner with the intent to deprive the owner of it. Typically, you're depriving the owner of possession. Definitions will vary a bit according to the source, but it certainly doesn't meet all definitions of theft, and maybe not even the majority of them.
     
  9. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay, I'll bite.

    theft |θɛft|noun- the action or crime of stealing

    steal |stiːl|verb ( past stole |stəʊl|; past part. stolen |ˈstəʊlən|)1 [ trans. ] take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it : thieves stole her bicycle | [ intrans. ] she was found guilty of stealing from her employers | [as adj. ] ( stolen) stolen goods.• dishonestly pass off (another person's ideas) as one's own : accusations that one group had stolen ideas from the other were soon flying.

    property |ˈprɒpəti|noun ( pl. -ties)1 a thing or things belonging to someone; possessions collectively

    Your in a mindset of bicycles, VCRs and cars. I suggest researching intellectual property.

    I guess what really gets me about this is you guys are writers and I can't believe you have so little interest in protecting your work.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You've really managed to create an entire set of illusions about people in your post, haven't you?

    Despite your faulty assumptions and preconceptions, I'll respond to your post. Someone capable of understanding the legal distinctions might read this thread.

    Above, you said it was theft by all definitions. Not by any single definition of your choosing. It is not.

    Taking one definition from legal-dictionary.freedictionary.com:

    That's sufficient to render your prior statement false. Assuming you know what "convert" means. Legal "conversion" is "Any unauthorized act that deprives an owner of personal property without his or her consent." (same source).

    The problem in both cases is you haven't necessarily deprived the owner of the property.

    There's a reason copyright infringement is enforced legally via action for copyright infringement, and not prosecuted as theft (California AG is trying the latter, but federal pre-emption by Copyright statute is going to be a big problem).

    If you don't understand the distinctions above, then you should consider doing some research, both with respect to intellectual property law, as well as other areas of the law raised.
     
  11. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Steerpike, Thank you for the clarification, and lesson in semantics. Let me rephrase, Theft of intellectual property is theft, by some type or another legal definition, that deprives the owner of possible income, maybe, if the courts so choose to enforce it.
     
  12. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I know as far as software is concerned, I know you're licensed to use the product, so piracy is license theft.

    Does Hollywood use the license ideology with respect to viewing a movie?

    I don't know how this works for book, though.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Only if you're a party to the license agreement. What software makers have tried to do is make you a party by mere use of the software, whether you are in agreement or not. That's difficult in a piracy case, I think. It would be more difficult in a movie situation. But nevertheless, you don't have to go to the point of something being theft because there are already copyright infringement statutes in place that provide remedies to the rights holder.
     
  14. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Aled James Taylor Amiga software hard to copy? I practicaly grew up on Amiga, and I didn't own a single original program :) there was a pretty good reason for that - there was no way of buying any in my country (Former Yugoslavia). Commodore/Spectrum era (80s) was a bit easy - we could travel to Italy or Germany to buy originals. And a few lucky kids owned some - with beautiful artwork, packaging, manuals, "feelies" etc. Games themselves were shitty, but the rest of it was usually worth the money.

    The late Amiga/Nintendo/Sega/early Pentium/SPS1 era (90s) was all about piracy. There was no real way to get out and get originals. Thanks to an international blockade the only way to get anything was on the streets. Music? Movies? Software? Petrol? Toothpaste? Pirates and smugglers made my youth bearable.

    Nowadays, it's a bit different. I still can't buy anything over internet because Paypal is not available. Can you IMAGINE living in a country where you can't use freakin' Paypal?? Amazon, E-bay - off limits. I have to ask a friend from Slovenia to buy books for me. Fu*k that.

    Now - I do agree on general advocacy that "piracy = theft". It makes logic even if it makes no sense. But personally, I don't care that much.

    Games? The only games I enjoy nowadays are indie and abandonware (and emulated Commodore games, just for the sake of nostalgia). GTA? MMORPGs? No time for that, I'm a grown-up with an 8 hour work schedule (not to mention my wife).
    Software? I use Office, Corel and a few DTP tools. Some payed, some registered. My needs are humble.

    Music? I have a peculiar taste and couldn't care less for popular music of any kind. Except Tanzanian hip-hop. :D Again, I can't actually buy an old CD with, say, a Miles Davis album. If I could, I would - I can't. Music I do download are old recordings, live recordings, and long-dead authors. Unavailable in any other form.

    Blockbuster movies (like Hobbit) : I don't watch them at all, and when I do, it's about special effects, sound and popcorn. The best possible HD copy is useless for that on my home screen. And do you really care for "brilliant" storytelling? I know I don't. So I'd rather pay a ticket twice a year than bother two minutes to download it.

    Question: What about other films? Films I actually enjoy and watch for the sake of story, acting, etc? Take, for example, any Sundance film. Any Korean or any Pakistani or Turkish or Australian film? Any film except the 5 Hollywood blockbusters currently playing at the only 4 theaters in town? How the Hell am I to ever see a Polanski film from his Polish-period? Or one of Kislowski's TV films from late 70s? I'll take p2p there. Is that theft? I guess so - there is a guy in TV Warsawa who could use my 15€ for a "Decalog" Blu-ray set... Why doesn't he publish it than?!
     
  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You're better off just saying that it is copyright infringement, which it is, and the remedies provided to the copyright owner are defined by law. There's no reason to try to attack it as theft, and if you brought actions against digital pirates under a theory of theft, you'd be doing a lot less to prevent piracy than the people who pursue it under the Copyright Act. So what's the point of approaching it as theft. In any given case, if you could show that the pirate would have bought the work were it not for piracy, then you can show the author was deprived of something. But in many piracy cases, you can't show the pirate would ever have bought the work. So how do you think a 'theft' rationale helps you, as opposed to merely treating it as Copyright infringement, which allows the author damages whether or not the pirate would ever have purchased the work or even cost the author a dime.
     
  16. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Steerpike I have been the recipient of payments made from dozens of infringement cases launched by agencies that represent me. I understand what your saying, more or less. To me, the problems lies in the attitudes, of those who infringe, upon said copyrights. I know it's highly simplistic, but if someone took a likeness of your work, in whatever form that me be in, and knew he was doing so, not paying for the entertainment or increase in productivity derived from that work and then said, "I wouldn't use it if I had to pay for it", I can't help, in a knee jerk sort of way, to scream -- STOP thief.
     
  17. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    That's disappointing. My first scripted story is not at all about special effects. There is some I'm envisioning, but it's hardly the showcase, rather it's a contextual device.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    OK, I see what you're saying. I'm looking at it from a purely legalistic standpoint. That's my job after all. I represent a lot of copyright owners and spend a fair amount of time in any given month getting infringements taken down, or sending cease and desist letters out to infringers. If the case goes far enough, we pursue for damages.

    California is trying to prosecute some infringers under theft laws right now, but I suspect the State is going to lose that case on pre-emption grounds, and the Courts will rule that it has to be pursued under the Copyright Act.
     
  19. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    In that case, all I can say is, get those bastards.
     
  20. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Burlbird It sounds as if you were copying copies. In the UK in the early 80s, many original Amiga and Atari disks had copy protection but those with specialist knowledge could remove this so copied disks did not have it. Most people at that time had little if any computer skills. All PC software could easily be copied by typing 'copydisk' into the computer.

    If an genuine version of something is not available to you, than a pirated version cannot take the place of a sale of the genuine product.

    @Fitzroy Zeph My comments were of a general nature. If you know of any specific example where your copyright has been infringed then I suggest you take appropriate legal action.

    Don't kid yourself, the internet is full of images. If you have effective copy protection on your material, this may not result in a significant increase in revenue as many people looking for free images will simply look elsewhere. I would not assume that every instance of piracy equates to an instance of lost income and I did not claim that no instance of piracy was lost income.

    I don't know where you're getting the idea of pre-scanned books from, I mentioned no such thing.

    It was not my intension to suggest what should or should not occur, only to point out what seems to be already occurring and to say that this is an issue that is not as simple as it may first appear.
     
  21. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Theft" as a moral or a legal issue? I see there is a lot of mixing the two sides: it is bad because it is illegal, it is bad because it hurts people, it is illegal because it hurts people etc.

    @Fitzroy Zeph watermarks and low-quality jpg thumbnails? that's what usually stops me from using someone else's graphics as mine... :)
     
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