Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Apr 2010 11:50 UTC
Legal A major setback for those that claim piracy is having an adverse affect on the US economy: the US Government Accountability Office, who was tasked with reviewing the efforts to find out what, if any, impact piracy has on the US economy, has concluded that all of these studies - all of them - are bogus. Better yet - the GAO even goes as far as to say that piracy may have a positive effect on the economy.
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Cue Intense Lobbying
by shotsman on Wed 14th Apr 2010 12:29 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

By the RIAA & MPAA to get this report buried deep down a West Virginia Coal Mine.

Edited 2010-04-14 12:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cue Intense Lobbying
by red_devel on Wed 14th Apr 2010 15:18 UTC in reply to "Cue Intense Lobbying"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

I guess this is a bad attempt at a joke. Aside from being not funny, its also extremely distasteful. You're referencing, out of the blue, with no apparent reason or obvious connection to the article, an accident where 29 people tragically died. WTF man?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Cue Intense Lobbying
by shotsman on Wed 14th Apr 2010 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Cue Intense Lobbying"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The reference to the coal mine was not intended as a joke. For that I'm sorry.
It was intended as a place very far underground where it will never see the light of day ever again.
I hope you understand the context of my reference now.
My Great Grandfather was a Miner from South Wales. He lost a leg in a cave around 1901.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Cue Intense Lobbying
by Drumhellar on Wed 14th Apr 2010 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cue Intense Lobbying"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Personally, I thought your joke was funny.

I admit to having a terrible sense of humor, though.

Reply Score: 5

v Comment by ssa2204
by ssa2204 on Wed 14th Apr 2010 12:31 UTC
RE: Comment by ssa2204
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 14th Apr 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Are you actually going to try and argue now that pirating is positive?


I'm arguing that the situation is not as clear cut as big content want you to believe. There's no one-on-one conversion, and piracy may indeed have both positive and negative effects. To pretend that the effect is ALWAYS negative and STRICTLY negative is shortsighted. For instance, cinema visits have been going up considerably year after year in The Netherlands, despite downloading NOT being illegal here. Care to explain?

Is this the position of OSNews, that pirating is good and that everyone should take part?


I'm not "OSNews" - I'm one member of the team with my own opinion, and those may not be shared by other team members. Also, you sound a lot like one of our other readers who, just because I, like so many others, question the validity of big content's claims, am somehow saying that everyone should always pirate everything. It's Bush-thinking, and doesn't make you look particularly bright.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by bert64 on Wed 14th Apr 2010 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

What's interesting is that China shows that piracy is actually positive for consumers...

China gets DRM-free music from Nokia, while the rest of the world is saddled with an onerous DRM scheme... Why? because piracy is higher in china and so the legitimate suppliers actually have to offer a better product rather than trying to screw their paying customers with DRM.

If DRM was really about piracy, then they would have used an even more invasive form of it in china.

Reply Score: 18

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by nt_jerkface on Thu 15th Apr 2010 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Why was this voted to 18?

iTunes and Amazon sell DRM-free music. Is this news to some people?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by ssa2204
by JrezIN on Sat 17th Apr 2010 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204"
JrezIN Member since:
2005-06-29

He's probably comparing Nokia's music store in China to Nokia's music stores in the rest of the world. If so, there's an important point that's different from /other/ vendors selling DRM-free music too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by alexandru_lz on Wed 14th Apr 2010 12:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

I don't think anyone goes as far as saying that pirating is the best thing and we should just drop legal software -- just that some of the stuff RIAA & co. have been saying is wrong. And really, a couple of them are obvious, even without a government-sponsored study.

For instance, I totally challenge the numbers that they are putting forward as losses due to piracy. The way they do it is multiply the number of pirated copies by the sales price, which is irrelevant because many of those who got the pirated product did not have the intention of buying a legal copy in the first place, and if a pirated copy wouldn't have been available, they wouldn't have bought the legal copy anyway.

These claims also neglect the issue of availability. Back in the early '90s I had a bunch of tape-recorded Deep Purple albums that were obviously not legitimate, not because I was a heartless pirate but because legal copies were not available in my country. Being the fan that I am I bought the albums as soon as they were available here, but in the years that passed until that the tapes had probably become thinner by as much as 1/10 mm :-D.

These may seem irrelevant to the final moral issue (i.e. regardless of these, piracy is still wrong), but it's not irrelevant to those who go to court on half-assed charges, nor when it comes to the ridiculous loss figures presented by those who sue, based on which the court decides the fines of those who are sued.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 14th Apr 2010 13:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, please remove this from the bottom of your website here, I don't want to make you come off as a hypocrite now.


And as for this insipid troll, before you crucify us, why don't you contact us about how we handle copyright? For instance, if you want to translate something from OSNews into another language and puslish it yourself (which happens on a regular basis) we have never given anyone any problems - state clearly it's our article as well as the original author, and it's fine by us.

We have also encountered over the years several websites who do, indeed, republish our content without permission. Have we threatened with litigation? Have we killed them? No - we simply asked them to remove the content, or to be sure to be nice and employ fair use (i.e., the same way we do: use selective quotations from the article, and properly attribute everything).

This kind of trolling is nonsensical, because here at OSNews, we are actually quite relaxed when it comes to "enforcing" the copyright we own over our content, because we want people to read out stuff. If that means translations and such, we're fine with it. I dare you to contact big content and ask to translate or make derivative works from their stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by jack_perry on Wed 14th Apr 2010 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

The question isn't trolling, nor is it nonsensical. What if those websites ignored you, and continued to present your "exclusive articles" (say) as their own product? What would you do then? Sit back and take it?

If so, is it because you were really okay with that behavior? or because you don't have the money for legal action?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by boldingd on Wed 14th Apr 2010 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I'm willing to bet that the OSNews team isn't being deliberately hypocritical here: my money says that they just slapped a generic copyright notice on the bottom of the page God-knows-when in the past, and never thought about it again.

There is a way that the OP could have presented his position that would not have been trolling; that is not what he did.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by Budd on Wed 14th Apr 2010 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

We have also encountered over the years several websites who do, indeed, republish our content without permission. Have we threatened with litigation? Have we killed them? No - we simply asked them to remove the content, or to be sure to be nice and employ fair use (i.e., the same way we do: use selective quotations from the article, and properly attribute everything).

Your articles except the so called podcast and the ocasional brain fart come 90% from other sites (slashdot,arstechnica,register etc). In fact, there's almost nothing new on this site one didn't already read alread on the said above tech sites. Don't fool yourself, OSN is not anymore the OSN it was 5 years ago.And not in the good way,unfortunately.

Edited 2010-04-14 14:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by boldingd on Wed 14th Apr 2010 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

While I don't doubt your intentions, I must point out, if you really feel that way, you could put it in your license. There are various copyleft licenses for content you could use (some of which still require proper source attribution). Or you could just put a clause in your license that explicitly blesses translations and duly-attributed excerpts. That wouldn't invalidate your copyright, and it might stop your little friend there from gratuitously copying the copyright notice from the bottom of the page into a thread-comment every time copyright comes up. ;)

Edit: typo

Edited 2010-04-14 16:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by Laurence on Wed 14th Apr 2010 13:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Are you actually going to try and argue now that pirating is positive? Is this the position of OSNews, that pirating is good and that everyone should take part?

You really need to think through these positions more thoroughly.


You're missing the point.
Piracy / copyright isn't a blank and white / good and evil debate like the media industries like to play out.
It's a complex series of individual issues - most of which resolve in the "grey area".


In some cases, piracy /does/ have a positive impact:
* exposure for smaller / niche music that don't get radio play

* consumer interest, "try before you buy". (you can listen to an album for free then buy it if you like it rather than wasting money on sh*t music you'll regret buying)

* consumer interest, DRMless media and media centres (you can have your CDs and DVDs stored on a media server and watch them in any room, the way you choose and on the hardware you choose rather than being locked into the limitations set up corporate fatcats.

* a thriving underground / bootlegging scene (dance music (drum and bass, jungle, house, hardhouse, etc) wouldn't exist if it wasn't for unauthorised sampling and bootlegging. In fact, the classic jungle breaks is a direct rip of a B-side on an Amen Brothers single).


Sure, there will be pirates that don't pay back into the scene. People that will just take advantage of the tools available to download free content and abuse them. However most people like that will always do so regardless of the technology (they will record music off the radio instead of buying singles. They will copy a mates CD or DVD. and so on.). People like that aren't new since the internet age, they've always existed and always will.


The problem is copyright laws are bent too far towards the copyright holders. Rather than protecting their work, it harms the innocent consumers.
For example, here in the UK it's technically illegal for me to play a CD when I host BBQs during the summer as it's considered a public performance and as such I should have a PRS license. The fact that it's just me and a few mates at MY house playing a CD I legally purchased is completely irrelevant.
Another example is that copying up my CDs, cassettes and vinyl to my computer is also illegal. IIRC the US copyright law allows for back ups for music, but the UK does not. So all those people with MP3 players and music they didn't legally download, they're breaking the law regardless of whether they owned the original CD or not.


The whole law surrounding digital media and corporate debates about new legislation is madness. Rather than addressing the issues - promoting the good and providing incentives to drive business away from the bad - everyone with the power for change seems to be forcing consumers into 20th Century markets.

It's complete madness - but then who needs to be brave and redesign your business model when you can pay people off to pass laws to force people to buy your products (and buy them repeatedly in some cases due to technology incompatibilities and/or DRM)

[edit]

It's a pity you've been modded down as, despite the slightly offensive tone to your post, it has sparked the right kind of debate.

Edited 2010-04-14 13:21 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by nt_jerkface on Wed 14th Apr 2010 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Piracy / copyright isn't a blank and white / good and evil debate like the media industries like to play out.
It's a complex series of individual issues - most of which resolve in the "grey area".


There's nothing morally gray about taking the work others without compensation.



* exposure for smaller / niche music that don't get radio play


Artists can already give samples or singles for marketing purposes. Piracy is not something that artists support. They can already give their music away for free under the current system. Allowing piracy just takes away a method of payment for them.

consumer interest, "try before you buy". (you can listen to an album for free then buy it if you like it rather than wasting money on sh*t music you'll regret buying)


The vast majority of people that pirate do not purchase the content at a later date. This can be seen by piracy ratios of digital goods.


Sure, there will be pirates that don't pay back into the scene.


The vast majority of pirates are people that simply don't want to pay.


It's complete madness - but then who needs to be brave and redesign your business model when you can pay people off to pass laws to force people to buy your products (and buy them repeatedly in some cases due to technology incompatibilities and/or DRM)


No the madness is that some areas of software like pc gaming have piracy rates of around 90% and yet people like you want to rationalize piracy and change the laws to make piracy less of a legal risk even though the people currently pirating are under no fear of legal action.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by Kalessin on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

"Piracy / copyright isn't a blank and white / good and evil debate like the media industries like to play out.
It's a complex series of individual issues - most of which resolve in the "grey area".


There's nothing morally gray about taking the work others without compensation.
"

While piracy may be morally wrong (and I think that it is), this isn't really a moral question but an economic one. It's quite conceivable that the overall impact of piracy on the economy is actually positive in spite of the fact that morally speaking, anyone who pirates anything is totally in the wrong.

And really, the whole point here is that the government study found that it's not at all clear what the affect of piracy is on the economy. Some of its impacts are bound to be negative while others are bound to be positive. Any claims by the RIAA, MPAA, and the like that piracy has been proven to harm the economy are unsubstantiated. Economically, it's totally a grey area.

And really, while on the whole, I'd say that the piracy issue is fairly black and white morally-speaking, there are still areas which are grey. For instance, US law grants you fair use rights, so you should be able to freely copy the digital material that you've purchased (as long as their for your use), and yet thanks to laws like the DMCA, getting around encryption is illegal and in many cases in direct conflict with fair use. And then there are all the questions of whether copyright law is overprotective, whether the laws with regards to copyright and piracy are fair or just, just about anything to do with DRM, etc.

This is definitely not a clear-cut issue. There's no question that piracy is a problem, and I really don't think that anyone who claims that you should be allowed to blatantly download everything for free regardless of copyrights has any leg to stand on. But while piracy in general may be wrong, the details of the matter are not at all clear.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by Laurence on Thu 15th Apr 2010 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"Piracy / copyright isn't a blank and white / good and evil debate like the media industries like to play out.
It's a complex series of individual issues - most of which resolve in the "grey area".


There's nothing morally gray about taking the work others without compensation.
"

Actually there is (and I can see this being a losing battle explaining the sane to someone like yourself that's always stood by corporate fsck ups in the past).

As I stated before, creating a back up of music in the UK is classed as piracy. In fact technically I should be paying not only twice to the artists, but thrice via PRS just for having one of my favourite Hawkwind tracks as my mobile ring tone!

So please tell me how this is morally unfair to the artist when I've already purchased their music once?


"
* exposure for smaller / niche music that don't get radio play


Artists can already give samples or singles for marketing purposes. Piracy is not something that artists support. They can already give their music away for free under the current system. Allowing piracy just takes away a method of payment for them.
"

And some of these methods do have success (myspace has lunched a few current UK artists into the charts).

However, you're still negating the (and for want a better term) "underground" scene.
Take dance music for example, if it wasn't for DJ demos and live sets, the vast majority of dance music just wouldn't reach the clubbers. These sets are provided online for free (not even via bit torrents, but on clubbing websites). Producers accept it's the best way for their tracks to gain exposure and clubbers get their dance music they wouldn't have been able to play (without turntables) otherwise. It's a win-win situation in spite of piracy. But it's also a completely different business model to the pop-music industry as it's the DJs paying in and not the consumers.

So as I said before, some niche music scenes do depend on artists turning a blind-eye to unauthorised downloads.

"
consumer interest, "try before you buy". (you can listen to an album for free then buy it if you like it rather than wasting money on sh*t music you'll regret buying)


The vast majority of people that pirate do not purchase the content at a later date. This can be seen by piracy ratios of digital goods.
"
That's such a stupid comment I don't know where to start.

1/ it's /IMPOSSIBLE/ to know how many downloads happen. So /ANY/ kind of statistic regarding piracy is at best, a guess, and at worst, completely made up. So I really wouldn't trust the figures provided from the content labels that you're apparently basing your opinions on.

2/ it's also /IMPOSSIBLE/ to know who went out to buy the products after downloading. So again, your statement is based entirely on guess work

3/ people who download just because it's free wouldn't buy the product anyway. So there is no lost revenue there. Thus again, piracy wouldn't be harming the industry as the industry wouldn't have made any money off them in the first place

4/ maybe a good number of those downloads are relating to people wanting to try a new style of music they wouldn't have braved otherwise - so there is another potential income lost if downloads didn't exist.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not stating that piracy is a good thing, just that it's not all negative. (and this is something you'd appreciate if you stopped listening to corporate propaganda for just 5 minutes).

"
Sure, there will be pirates that don't pay back into the scene.


The vast majority of pirates are people that simply don't want to pay.
"

And you can prove this completely made up statistic how?

Furthermore, if they simply don't want to pay then they simply wont pay. They'd even go without. Thus the how argument about the harm it's causing the industry is moot as they were never - under any circumstances - going to be a source of income.

You can't force people to buy a product if they don't want to buy it. all you can do is give them incentives to buy. However if the customer doesn't want to be a customer then no amount of political legislation nor PR spin will turn them into customers - period.

"
It's complete madness - but then who needs to be brave and redesign your business model when you can pay people off to pass laws to force people to buy your products (and buy them repeatedly in some cases due to technology incompatibilities and/or DRM)


No the madness is that some areas of software like pc gaming have piracy rates of around 90% and yet people like you want to rationalize piracy and change the laws to make piracy less of a legal risk even though the people currently pirating are under no fear of legal action.
"

Actually no.

People like me want to rationalise copyright law. People like me want to be able to copy my DVDs to computer and watch it on any hardware I like. People like me want to be able to copy my CDs onto my phone to use a wake up alarms and ring tones. People like me want to be able to have guests round when I have a BBQ and not have to pay into PRS. And people like me want to do all this LEGALLY

But above all else, people like me want to contribute towards the artist without being punished for doing so.

Unfortunately you are blinded by PR spiel and assume it's a good vs evil debate. It really isn't.

I do buy my products but I break the law every time I copy a CD to my MP3 player. That's not justice for artists - that's injustice for consumers!

Edited 2010-04-15 08:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by ssa2204
by nt_jerkface on Thu 15th Apr 2010 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


As I stated before, creating a back up of music in the UK is classed as piracy. In fact technically I should be paying not only twice to the artists, but thrice via PRS just for having one of my favourite Hawkwind tracks as my mobile ring tone!


There's nothing morally gray about taking the work of others without compensation. Your issues with the limits of a covered work are separate from this basic principle. It's also separate from digital production. It's simply wrong to take work of the others without their permission or compensation. This was just as true 1000 years ago.


So please tell me how this is morally unfair to the artist when I've already purchased their music once?

If you think a backup copy should be allowed that is still within the scope of supporting intellectual property laws. That's completely different than Thom's position which is to allow unlimited downloading of pirated content.


However, you're still negating the (and for want a better term) "underground" scene.
Take dance music for example, if it wasn't for DJ demos and live sets, the vast majority of dance music just wouldn't reach the clubbers.

Artists are already free to release music under their own liberal license that allows resampling. Taking away copyright just takes away the main method that millions of artists get paid.

1/ it's /IMPOSSIBLE/ to know how many downloads happen. So /ANY/ kind of statistic regarding piracy is at best, a guess, and at worst, completely made up.


It's not impossible to track torrents and see that they are clearly higher than sales. PC piracy rates for example are a conservative estimate because of this and are still over 70%.


So I really wouldn't trust the figures provided from the content labels that you're apparently basing your opinions on.

I haven't sourced a single figure provided by a content label.


people who download just because it's free wouldn't buy the product anyway. So there is no lost revenue there. Thus again, piracy wouldn't be harming the industry as the industry wouldn't have made any money off them in the first place


If you have a piracy rate of over 70% a 10% increase in legitimate sales can be the difference that keeps a company alive. The real problem is that in Western countries where people have disposable income there are too many people that pirate simply because they don't have to pay. With pc gaming this is a real problem where gamers spend their money on hardware and pirate the games.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not stating that piracy is a good thing, just that it's not all negative. (and this is something you'd appreciate if you stopped listening to corporate propaganda for just 5 minutes).


I don't listen to corporate propaganda, I have friends that work for small software businesses that would be devastated if piracy was tacitly legal as Thom would allow. People forget that it's the big software companies like Microsoft that have fat profit margins while the little companies have to work their asses off for every sale. There are a few guys that live near me that do small time Mac development and I don't even think they own cars. Their office is a coffee shop that I sometimes visit and their beta testers are local mac owners that also frequent the shop. People like Thom don't see these small businesses that depend on intellectual property laws and push this dichotomy of "us vs big content" when intellectual property laws protects all kinds of content.


But above all else, people like me want to contribute towards the artist without being punished for doing so.


The problem is that most people wouldn't compensate content creators if they felt no moral or legal obligation. Relying solely on a moral obligation doesn't work with an anonymous system. Thus there needs to be a clear legal disincentive when it comes to piracy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by ssa2204
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 15th Apr 2010 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ssa2204"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's completely different than Thom's position which is to allow unlimited downloading of pirated content.


I will ask you - again - to please stop lying. I have never stated anything like this, yet you keep on putting those words in my mouth. I've warned you about this before, so you're leaving me with very little options here.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by ssa2204
by nt_jerkface on Fri 16th Apr 2010 02:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ssa2204"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I'm not lying.

You've already stated that people downloading copyrighted material should not be investigated and punished.

You don't think the worst offenders should have their internet cut.

You don't think ip tracking should be used to catch people downloading copyrighted material. .

You have stated that only uploaders should be punished, which means copyrighted material could just be kept offshore.

That's an environment where piracy is tacitly legal.

At least have some guts and state that you have no problem with piracy.

What is your problem anyways? You think the powers that be will change with legalized piracy? MS and Apple would just tie their software even closer to hardware. Apple would take everything in their App store and sell it along with very expensive hardware. All those indy iphone app developers would lose their income.

If you want MS to die then you need to start praying for a comet to hit Redmond. They aren't going anywhere, they're too established at this point. I think it would be great if the tech industry wasn't so dominated by a few big players but legalizing piracy would only consolidate the biggest companies.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by rcsteiner on Wed 14th Apr 2010 14:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Over the past 30 years, I've usually obtained illegal copies of software for one purpose: evaluation.

If I think a program is worthwhile after using it a while, I generally purchase it if the copyright holder requires a purchase. That includes shareware as well as more traditional software packages, though shareware programs are legally available for evaluation.

If I don't like the program after a while, it gets removed from my systems.

This probably results in a net gain for the makes of such software, since I would probably not purchase ANY of those programs sight unseen.

I can think of several programs I've done this with: Visio 4, Hummingbird Exceed for OS/2, Paragon Software's Hard Disk Manager, Process Commander, etc. I'm a legal licensed user of them now, but for a while I was not.

Edited 2010-04-14 15:01 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204
by Tuishimi on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ssa2204"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

This is why I like "try before you buy"-ware. Gives you a chance to feel out the product.

Maybe someone should invent a time-released form of DRM. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by Kalessin on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

This is why I like "try before you buy"-ware. Gives you a chance to feel out the product.

Maybe someone should invent a time-released form of DRM. ;)


I believe that that's typically called the "trial version." ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by merkoth on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

Well, that's called "Trial" or "Evaluation" versions...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by nt_jerkface on Thu 15th Apr 2010 01:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

This is why I like "try before you buy"-ware. Gives you a chance to feel out the product.

Maybe someone should invent a time-released form of DRM. ;)


The problem is that pc games with demos are pirated just as much as games without them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ssa2204
by Laurence on Thu 15th Apr 2010 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ssa2204"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

This is why I like "try before you buy"-ware. Gives you a chance to feel out the product. Maybe someone should invent a time-released form of DRM. ;)

The guys behind Ableton did.

To give a bit of background: Ableton is a DJing and sequencing package for DJs and producers to perform live. It's a very powerful piece of kit and something that can take months to get set up perfectly.

Basically, what the guys at Ableton did was released their own warez. They knew that dance music (with it's thousands of unpaid producers and DJs) thrives off of software piracy. So they embraced this.

However, 6 months down the line, the warez all expired. The software lasted just long enough to lock users into their platform but then expired when the users were hooked. And now many of those users have gone on to buy the product off the back of the warez they downloaded.

It proved a very clever tactic of theirs.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ssa2204
by Cromat on Thu 15th Apr 2010 15:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by ssa2204"
Cromat Member since:
2009-12-15

I think the point about piracy being a good thing is because of the economy. I would argue that when the economy is good people are more inclined to just go out and buy a dvd/blue-ray or a music cd and if they don't like it they discard it. Now since everyone is more aware of the economy they will most likely pirate the movies or music first and then make a decision to buy it if they like it enough. This also would tend to increase sales, because those that were previously hesitant and didn't buy even when the economy was good now are pirating first and then purchasing. Not to say this is right, because we do still have copyright laws, however, as consumers in a skeptical times, the pirating first and then purchase, makes us more confident that we are spending the money we do have on a product or entertainment we will enjoy.


Just my 2 cents ;)

Reply Score: 1

I knew it :-)
by Warnaud on Wed 14th Apr 2010 12:39 UTC
Warnaud
Member since:
2008-07-07

Excellent! But no worries they will continue to chase down evil pirates ... it's also a way to justify jobs ;-)

Reply Score: 3

Typo
by JayDee on Wed 14th Apr 2010 13:43 UTC
JayDee
Member since:
2009-06-02

Consequently, US Congress decided back in April 2009 to task the Government Accountability Office with investigating these reports to assess their validity. Released Monday, the report tears all of these reports to shreds, and I'm not overstating things here; the validity of each and every one of these reports is highly questionable, according to the GOA.


This should be GAO, not GOA.

Reply Score: 1

ask Oreilly about piracy
by TechGeek on Wed 14th Apr 2010 13:45 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Oreilly, who publish some of the most pirated books on the internet, did a study on piracy. I wish I could still find the link. But from memory, they found that piracy actually resulted in a large upswing in sales about 20 weeks after publication, coinciding with the book hitting the torrents. The books that weren't pirated didn't see the second surge in sales. As a result, Oreilly now sells all their books in several non-DRM'd file formats, including pdf.

Reply Score: 9

RE: ask Oreilly about piracy
by WereCatf on Wed 14th Apr 2010 14:07 UTC in reply to "ask Oreilly about piracy"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

This link atleast has something about the issue you were talking about:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/99958-toc-piracy-may-boost-sales-...

And I have to agree with them and so many other posters here: piracy is often a way for people to glanse at things more closely and then deciding whether to buy it or not. I do admit that I do that too; I would have skipped buying a lot of things if I couldn't sample them before-hand.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: ask Oreilly about piracy
by marafaka on Thu 15th Apr 2010 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE: ask Oreilly about piracy"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Reminds me of people who think they have an original idea but don't want to tell it out of the fear it will be stolen. If you really have an original idea you will have hard time pushing it down people's throats, but hiding something they really want and you have it in unlimited supply (like PDFs, MP3s or software) is maybe not the best business strategy.

Due to ignorance of the common user and his lack of appreciation of regulations many products spread through the world like wildfire. Companies sure know that, but fear tactics certainly brings in another drop of mojo. That's life.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ask Oreilly about piracy
by sorpigal on Fri 16th Apr 2010 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE: ask Oreilly about piracy"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I believe this is an important link on this topic:

http://baen.com/library/palaver6.htm

For those who don't remember, Baen Books decided to put some books up in non-DRM format for free. They did this in 2000 and documented the results for several years. (Though volume has dropped off they are still doing this).

You should really go read the whole series of writeups, but the summary is: Publishing some works of an author for free on the internet leads to an increase in sales of all works of that author. The best results are for works in the same series, but it includes all works (including the ones made available for free).

Reply Score: 2

Feh
by Lazarus on Wed 14th Apr 2010 14:07 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

Too bad nothing good will come of it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Feh
by Tuishimi on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "Feh"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

+1 insightful.

Reply Score: 2

Yeah, I don't know about that
by jack_perry on Wed 14th Apr 2010 14:28 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

Furthermore, the GOA even concludes that piracy may have a positive effect on the economy, for instance because it leaves consumers with more money to spend elsewhere.

This hasn't worked too well in many markets. A lot of Amiga developers, for example, were pretty open about their soreness at what piracy was doing to them: driving them out of the Amiga market.

It also strikes me that "piracy" here is used very, very broadly. It's one thing to share an electronic document with someone so that they can borrow it temporarily; I wouldn't call that piracy (although some extremists might).

However, when you copy and sell such a document, as goes on in many places, that's clearly piracy--and although one might spin this as benefiting the larger economy because there is more "economic activity", it remains theft, and will have negative effects.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Yeah, I don't know about that
by Tuishimi on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:12 UTC in reply to "Yeah, I don't know about that"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, but Amiga users were always a shifty lot!

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"when you copy and sell "...

That's the benchmark for me also; Piracy involves selling unlicensed duplications not simply infringing for personal use. What RIAA calls piracy is far more broad and meant to be so for marketing spin.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yeah, I don't know about that
by marafaka on Thu 15th Apr 2010 13:13 UTC in reply to "Yeah, I don't know about that"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

jack_perry: "I wouldn't call that piracy"

It doesn't matter what anybody calls piracy as it is not a matter of oppinion but a matter of risk and profit. It is about breaking the agreements that aren't ours in the first place and everybody knows that it mostly works.

This certanly breaks some business schemes but every regulation does it too. But it doesn't mean anything as there are always ways around it.

As an Amiga developer I was always told "nahnah, somebody is selling your goods there for nahnah and so" but as long as I got the amount of cash I liked it was allright. And I wouldn't use the legal weaponry against one of my clients anyway. Maybe if I was a little braindamaged and got out of other ideas ;)

Reply Score: 2

Finally
by jo3lr0ck5 on Wed 14th Apr 2010 15:29 UTC
jo3lr0ck5
Member since:
2010-03-17

I think they waited long enough to recognize that these studies are completely worthless. The big corporations/big content need to understand that people don't want to "steal" or "infringe" or whatever you want to call it but because getting the content easily and at an affordable price is next to impossible.

Hopefully the U.S. recognizes now that ACTA is not going to make matters better but just make the people find a new way to do the things they are doing today. If companies understood the consumers then they wouldn't be in this situation.

Reply Score: 3

Decrease Piracy
by arpan on Wed 14th Apr 2010 16:44 UTC
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

Here's another way to decrease Piracy. Actually allow people to access the content you offer in the way that they want, and at the time that they want.

Meaning, offer a streaming option (with ads) online, so that anyone, anywhere can access your programs. Most of the programs that I like aren't available in my country, or are released years later. The DVDs are not available for purchase. And DVDs purchases from the US won't play on my DVD player because I'm in a different DVD region.

So, there is no legal way for me to access the content. it makes no sense at all. I'm willing to watch ads, or pay a reasonable price for the content. But the content publishers don't seem to be able to manage that.

I pay for all media that I use, books, music etc. It's just tv & movies that are the problem. They just refuse to take my money!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Decrease Piracy
by darknexus on Wed 14th Apr 2010 18:18 UTC in reply to "Decrease Piracy"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I second that, though in my case it is media that is unavailable *inside* the US. For instance: I like audiobooks a lot. Now, there's an American author I like but, believe it or not, only the UK publisher produced an audio version of the book. It cannot be purchased legally anywhere here in the US, as our publisher does not produce audio versions of these books and our book stores are not allowed to import it due to publisher agreements. So what, exactly, am I to do? I'm perfectly willing to buy it, yet I cannot do so. That's idiotic. This is the *only* case in which I will pirate something, though I'd hesitate to even call it pirating or infringing. It's one thing to illegally obtain something you could otherwise purchase legally, a whole other ball game when *you* cannot purchase it due to your location but others can. I can't buy something if I'm not given the option.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Decrease Piracy
by Kalessin on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Decrease Piracy"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

In your particular case, I'd advise you to just order it from amazon.co.uk, but obviously that won't be as cheap buying it locally would have been.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Decrease Piracy
by darknexus on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Decrease Piracy"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

In your particular case, I'd advise you to just order it from amazon.co.uk, but obviously that won't be as cheap buying it locally would have been.


I did try that, but amazon.co.uk wouldn't take my US credit card and shipping address. It advised me to purchase from my country's Amazon store (amazon.com)... which, of course, wouldn't let me buy what I wanted in the first place. I looked on Ebay too, but no one was selling it at the time. Audible gave me a similar message to Amazon (makes sense considering they are one in the same now). iTunes likewise.
I don't like illegally downloading media, trying to order it from the UK was the first thing I attempted, but all the avenues I knew about for doing this were closed to me.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Decrease Piracy
by Kalessin on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Decrease Piracy"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

Weird. I've bought stuff from several non-US amazons before - including amazon.co.uk - with no problem. They took my US credit card and shipping address just fine. The only problem that I've run into is when I try and buy something from their amazon marketplace and the seller doesn't ship to the US.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Decrease Piracy
by darknexus on Wed 14th Apr 2010 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Decrease Piracy"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Maybe that particular item couldn't be shipped here? Book store's won't import it, maybe Amazon can't ship it to me either. The error message was rather generic, simply advising me that my purchase could not be completed and that I should visit my national Amazon page in order to purchase this item. Obviously the error page doesn't check if the same item is available when it says that. No matter the reason, that doesn't make it any less ridiculous. I'm willing to buy, and they won't sell. Not very smart of them from a business standpoint.

Reply Score: 3

Piracy
by asupcb on Wed 14th Apr 2010 17:09 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

The only things that I pirate anymore are British shows and music that I have no other way of purchasing or viewing due to their complete over-regulation of copyrighted material since I'm not a UK citizen. I guess that I could use a proxy to view the BBC shows I like but BitTorrent works just as well or better.

Reply Score: 4

Sensationalize much Thom?
by nt_jerkface on Wed 14th Apr 2010 18:40 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

The report said the effects of piracy are difficult to measure, which is a huge difference from stating that all studies are non-sense or bogus.

What we do know is that once a piracy rate gets high enough a market can be destroyed. That isn't disputable. We've already seen this in parts of Asia where the piracy rates are too high to sustain a local market.

But I wouldn't expect most tech bloggers to consider the economics of digital production when "sticking it to the man" is much more emotionally appealing than thinking critically about why intellectual property laws exist and why they need to be enforced. For the typical tech blogger it becomes a simplistic dichotomy of "us vs the MPAA/RIAA" without regard for small companies or independent artists that make their livings entirely from digital revenue.

In both mainstream and tech media journalists are more concerned with pushing an agenda than encouraging the reader to think critically about the situation. Journalism has devolved into agenda wars which degrades the information that consumers receive. Every journalist thinks they are right and that other viewpoints do not need to be addressed. Even worse is the superficial analysis where counter opinion is controlled by the side with the agenda instead of providing a rational look at countering views. Every journalist just wants to shout their opinion louder than than the others. Being influential is far more important to them than being rational or objective. It's fine to have an opinion but journalists in an influential position also have a responsibility to have a basic regard for objectivity.

I haven't sat through a cable news show in years due to the sensationalism, superficial analysis and agenda pushing that exists on every channel. It's shame that tech news can't be a refuge from that degraded level of journalism.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sensationalize much Thom?
by vezhlys on Wed 14th Apr 2010 19:49 UTC in reply to "Sensationalize much Thom?"
vezhlys Member since:
2005-08-19

Almost nobody is talking that ip laws shouldn't exist at all. However, I think that they need to be considerably changed in most areas (usage, copying, compensation mechanism, so on). They should be more clear too. You also can't deny the fact that so called "piracy" (or free sharing) allowed to spread some small or even big authors (music bands, writers, soft developers so on) on new markets. You say that it can "destroy the market" but it is not that simple (you probably never lived in those countries so you can't say what really "destroyed" that market or even you can't say if that market had ever existed normally (poor countries doesn't have financial potential to buy digital content for the same money as western countries. All other products like food are relatively cheaper and adapt people abilities to buy. That is not true for digital content most of times)). Piracy becomes a blame for all problems despite the fact that it wasn't the main reason for poor sales. Because of this it is not that simple to estimate damage from the piracy and it should be clear when somebody is sued for this (anti piracy organizations usually calculate loss blindly).

Edited 2010-04-14 19:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sensationalize much Thom?
by nt_jerkface on Thu 15th Apr 2010 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Sensationalize much Thom?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

When you have a piracy ratio of over 75% in a Western country which is common for single player pc games it's hard to believe that if piracy didn't exist that sales would be the same. If the US people have no problem with paying $50 for a two person dinner that last a few hours at most so the value of a pc game is obviously a good value proposition that most gamers can afford. However the pirated version is $0 which is why pc game companies are continually undermined by piracy on the pc.

Once piracy rates get high enough developers will direct their development towards low piracy areas. We've already seen this with pc gaming.
http://www.overclock.net/video-game-news/712082-et-capcom-says-no-s...

Digital development lives on capital and capital will flow to where there is the best return. If piracy erodes capital returns to the point where non-digital investments are safer then that is where it will go. As we have seen with open source there are certain types of software like Autocad that will only be developed through capital. The most popular open source projects in fact have paid developers. You can't expect a game like Crysis to be built by hobbyists and you can't use the Red Hat model for most software since most software doesn't require support.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sensationalize much Thom?
by Tuishimi on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:18 UTC in reply to "Sensationalize much Thom?"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the gist of what Thom and most people are saying is that the current DRM scheme is not working well. It discourages consumers more than pirates, and the many of the pirates might actually be "testing" the product before they invest in it.

They need to come up with better ideas that don't punish the people who do purchase their products, or WANT to purchase their products but cannot. At the same time they need to open up their products SOMEHOW so that people can decide whether or not they really want to own it. Don't ask me how, I have no idea...

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I can say that it's effected my consumption. I was all ready to drop green pieces of paper for Assassin's Creed 2. I was replaying the first and purchased a newer video card with AC2 in mind. The DRM employed by the developer has completely turned me off. With the cracked version available within 24 hours of the official launch; the media providers are only hurting sales targets and legitimate customers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sensationalize much Thom?
by nt_jerkface on Thu 15th Apr 2010 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Sensationalize much Thom?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

DRM free games get pirated just as much:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/11/acrying-shame-world-of-g...

If Thom had his way there would no legal retribution for downloading unlimited amounts of pirated content. He has claimed that only uploading should be illegal.

That would be a tacit legalization of piracy since content would just be hosted in countries that don't follow any intellectual property laws. He would put millions of programmers and artists out of work for his "big content" agenda.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Sensationalize much Thom?
by Tuishimi on Thu 15th Apr 2010 04:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sensationalize much Thom?"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I suppose. I guess it would be similar to buying stolen goods from a thief.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So if it is "just as much" then clearly having DRM does not matter either way and is nothing but a nuisance for the legal users.

Reply Score: 3

The true pirates
by Ravyne on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:31 UTC
Ravyne
Member since:
2006-01-08

I think the article makes good points -- particularly the statement that one pirated copy does not necessarily mean one lost sale.

I think we can also all agree that someone who wittingly continues to use a product without paying for it is commiting an immoral act. However, what damages this causes is highly debatable. If a person pirates software because they are poor, yes it sucks that they are enjoying someone's hard work for no compensation, but its not likely that they would ever make a legitimate purpose, and the producer isn't generally caused more work after the fact by the act.

I think the more nefarious characters are those that *do* have disposable income, and use piracy as a means to avoid paying for some things so that they can afford more unnecessary things that they can't avoid paying for -- eg. buying a fancy stereo but pirating all the music that gets played on it. These are the people that hurt content producers, big companies and artists -- the true pirates -- not the paupers or the previewers.

Reply Score: 2

Before the DMCA
by curts on Wed 14th Apr 2010 21:00 UTC
curts
Member since:
2007-04-18

Before the DMCA there was the digital copying act (the 'No Electronic Theft' Act) passed in 1997. A lot of the "innocent" infringement described by posters here would have slid under that bar or would not have been as serious an offense. The problem is that bar wasn't low enough in the minds of Big Content and they managed to convince the politicians to create the DMCA several years later.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Before the DMCA - criminal versus civil
by jabbotts on Wed 14th Apr 2010 21:17 UTC in reply to "Before the DMCA"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

My understanding is that the DMCA also criminalizes what should actually be a civil case.

Reply Score: 4

Piracy
by hussam on Wed 14th Apr 2010 22:59 UTC
hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

Even if piracy is good for the economy, it's wrong and shouldn't exist. Economy has to try to survive without piracy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Piracy
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 14th Apr 2010 23:38 UTC in reply to "Piracy"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Economy has to try to survive without piracy.


If the people collectively decide that "piracy" is not morally wrong to do (and we have decided as such), then it IS not morally wrong to do. Morals and values are defined by the people that hold them - not by the RIAA, not by the MPAA, and most certainly not by idiots like you and I who post on forums.

In The Netherlands, we decided that being gay does not mean you have less rights. Gay or not, you're a full person, and you should have all the rights that "normal" people have. This is a change in morals; until very recently, being gay meant, also in The Netherlands, that you were different, you were an outcast. However, the morals and values of the Dutch people changed - and laws were changed to reflect that. We were the first to legalise gay marriage because our morals and values changed.

The same will happen here. The people of the world have more or less decided that piracy is not a moral problem. Big content can scream as loud as they want, but eventually, the laws will be changed to reflect the change in the people's morals. Just as the church was screaming to prevent legalised gay marriage - now, we have boatloads of churches in The Netherlands who have no qualms about binding gay couples.

Capitalism is adapt or die. This also means adapting to changing morals. There used to be a massive market for products aimed squarely at traditional housewives; this concept is now outdated, morals have changed, and said products have disappeared (mostly). Big content will have to adapt too, or die.

The laws are already being changed. The Pirate Party already has two seats in the European Parliament, and it was their hard work that has stopped that dreadful, anti-freedom and anti-capitalistic ACTA agreement. There's now also a Pirate Party partaking in the election in Canada and several other nations (we Dutch have one too, but our elections came earlier than planned so they weren't ready yet). The people are aligning their pieces - and when all is set, checkmate.

The harder big content holds on to that pendulum of copyright that has been firmly in their possession for decades, the harder and further it will swing back towards the people. The harder they try to grab on to the pendulum, the more kinetic energy it'll build up.

The world of copyright is changing, and it's already happening. People like nt_jerkface might be oblivious to it, but there's nothing that can be done now. Big content has already lost this war by failing to adapt - as capitalism states, they will now start hurting - hurting bad. It always intrigues me that the people who squeal the hardest for stronger IP protection are usually also the people who oppose any form of government influence on the marketplace - yet that is exactly what stronger IP enforcement constitutes: government intervention, tax money, to try and uphold a business model that has failed.

Edited 2010-04-14 23:39 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Piracy
by nt_jerkface on Thu 15th Apr 2010 01:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Piracy"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


If the people collectively decide that "piracy" is not morally wrong to do (and we have decided as such), then it IS not morally wrong to do.


So if the people decide that slavery is not morally wrong then it IS not morally wrong? Is that what you are saying here? That crowds determine morality?

If you legalized piracy then you would put millions out of work. All your "big content" talk just shows how out of touch you are. There are millions of digital content creators that work for small businesses or are independent and would be devastated by legalized piracy.

You would put millions of geeks out of work, and for what? To live out some fantasy of striking a blow against "big content"?

Big content as in big record and film companies would not disappear. Film companies would just clamp down on their distribution channels and keep movies in theaters longer while record companies would focus on mega pop acts that can make money by touring. However all the small geeks and nerds that scrape out a living by selling digital content would be destroyed. And for what?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Piracy
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 15th Apr 2010 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Piracy"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So if the people decide that slavery is not morally wrong then it IS not morally wrong? Is that what you are saying here? That crowds determine morality?


Yes. You get it perfectly.

In large parts of the world, slavery used to be perfectly morally acceptable and normal. It wasn't frowned upon at all - in fact, in your country, it wasn't until very recently that large parts of it had no moral qualms with slavery. The Netherlands, too, were one of the last countries to abolish slavery, primarily because it made us very rich.

But yes, it is that simple. Morality is not defined by law; in a working democracy, morality defines law. If the majority of people in The Netherlands would someday vote in favour of slavery, then even though my personal moral would still oppose it - the nationwide moral (which is what defines law) is still that slavery is acceptable.

That's simply how morality works. Morality is defined by the people - not the other way around. This is fairly basic stuff, and you not being able to grasp this simple concept boggles my mind. This isn't my opinion - this is accepted fact.

If you legalized piracy then you would put millions out of work.


"Piracy" as you call it, is legalised in The Netherlands, yet our content industries (music, literature, film, and other forms of art) are more productive today than they have ever before. Care to explain?

On top of that - you're contradicting yourself. You state that "legalised piracy" will destroy the industry, while also claiming that piracy is already rampant - yet content industries are still alive and kicking. You are contradicting yourself, which is not uncommon for people with untenable positions.

Copyright law will be changed to reflect the will of the people, and the people have already spoken quite clearly: they do not see piracy as morally (or in some European counties' cases, legally) wrong. Yes, this might hurt big content - but why the hell should I care?

Should the government have protected companies that made carriages when cars became popular? Should they have supported typewriter makers when word processing software became capable enough? Should they spend tax dollars supporting oil companies once an alternative becomes available? If the Microsoft Windows ecosystem were to ever suffer some sort of devastating blow leading to a mass exodus of users, should the government enact laws to force people to use Windows and buy Windows software anyway, because else so many jobs would be lost?

Or... Should companies just adapt or die? What is it?

Content providers and artists are companies selling a product. If their products and services are no longer worth what they used to be worth, then they'll have to be inventive and come up with other ways to make money - that's how capitalism works. Capitalism should not be about buying the government and have them enact laws to protect your business. Maybe it's that way in America, and apparently, that's a world you prefer - but most people do not.

Edited 2010-04-15 17:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Piracy
by Karitku on Thu 15th Apr 2010 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Piracy"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Don't be so naive. Keep mind that copyright laws aren't just based on air, they base on common law of stealing. You have naive view that all laws are just pieces without connections but they are connected. Saying that music stealing is okey is pretty much same as saying it's okey to steal because shop is owned by jew. Many seems to think china model is good but reason why they don't respect copyright laws are same as why they don't respect many other individual laws. Think if downloading music was free, that would mean downloading software would be free, same research, information databases, everything that can be immaterial even GPL wouldn't mean nothing. Scary since I would be out of job.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Piracy
by nt_jerkface on Fri 16th Apr 2010 02:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Piracy"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26



In large parts of the world, slavery used to be perfectly morally acceptable and normal. It wasn't frowned upon at all - in fact, in your country, it wasn't until very recently that large parts of it had no moral qualms with slavery.


So no such thing as universal ethics? Child rape can be made moral?


"Piracy" as you call it,

It's not my own word:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/piracy


is legalised in The Netherlands, yet our content industries (music, literature, film, and other forms of art) are more productive today than they have ever before. Care to explain?


I already pointed out that you wouldn't destroy 'big content' by legalizing piracy because they would just clamp down on distribution channels, ie profit from theater sales. They would also lock VOD services closer to hardware.

And anyways it doesn't look like piracy is completely legal there:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/09/dutch-police-shut-d...

Your content industries also sell outside the Netherlands where laws are stricter but more importantly not all industries are equally vulnerable to piracy.

If legalized piracy was widespread you would kill of large sections of the software industry. You would put millions out of work and send the world economy into a spiral from the shockwave. Software production would grind to a halt as investors would take their capital out of software markets and invest it elsewhere. What would be the reason for this again? Because you hate the MPAA? What a genius move that would be. Throw the world into a economic depression because you have emotional issues with an organization.


On top of that - you're contradicting yourself. You state that "legalised piracy" will destroy the industry, while also claiming that piracy is already rampant - yet content industries are still alive and kicking.


PC gaming has rampant piracy as in a very high piracy rate. However there are still some paying customers that keep it alive. Legalizing piracy would take away that obligation for those remaining paying customers and destroy the industry. Gaming would be moved to consoles and server side processing. It's already gone in that direction and legalized piracy would push it there overnight. Most games are funded with capital that is granted with the expectation of a return.

The industries that are most vulnerable to piracy are those that depend entirely on a licensed sale of a covered product. But even for movie and music industries you would still put millions out of work, including small artists that make their living by selling music on iTunes.



Yes, this might hurt big content - but why the hell should I care?

It will hurt small content more and you don't care about them either.


If the Microsoft Windows ecosystem were to ever suffer some sort of devastating blow leading to a mass exodus of users


Under which situation would that happen? Do you have some fantasy of legalized piracy destroying the Windows ecosystem? Microsoft is in the best position to insulate themselves from piracy. They would just tie their OS to hardware like how Apple does. They would just jack up the price of the OS and give Office away for free. Only a cataclysmic event could kill off Microsoft. They are sitting on billions that they could throw at reinventing themselves to adjust to legalized piracy.


Capitalism should not be about buying the government and have them enact laws to protect your business. Maybe it's that way in America, and apparently, that's a world you prefer - but most people do not.


The government should not protect business? Should I be allowed to steal from a local store then?

It's a good thing you went into journalism and not economics. Economists support intellectual property laws because they encourage production of goods that otherwise wouldn't be developed due to the ease at which they can be cloned. You still haven't stated why you think the system should be destroyed other than for letting the people do as they please. If the masses legalize piracy and slavery then that's fine with Thom as long as it is democratic, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Piracy
by rabid on Fri 16th Apr 2010 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Piracy"
rabid Member since:
2006-08-30

So, I like Thom's explanation of public morality and democracy so much I signed up for an account just to post. You go, Thom!

Piracy is not the problem. The best artists will tell you they get their best ideas from other artists. Really good art is simply a reinterpretation, and art is only relevant if the viewer/listener has experienced a lot of the same culture as the artist. Art cannot thrive without a loose handle on copyright. If media conglomerates continue on their path, art will eventually cease to exist.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Piracy
by boldingd on Thu 15th Apr 2010 16:26 UTC in reply to "Piracy"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

The justification for I.P. law has nothing at all to do with right and wrong, and everything to do with enabling the advancement of the sciences and useful arts. It is an entirely pragmatic concept - one that has begun to work against its intended purpose.

A discussion of copyright rooted in right and wrong, with people shouting about theft or the ownership of the content creator, is completely missing the point.

Reply Score: 2

Groovy, but...
by StychoKiller on Thu 15th Apr 2010 01:19 UTC
StychoKiller
Member since:
2005-09-20

In other news, the US Govt. admits most US Govt. is nonsense!

Reply Score: 2

naming things
by l3v1 on Thu 15th Apr 2010 05:02 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

The only problem with "piracy" is its name. What activities they nowadays call privacy should be part of the everyday working habits and provedures of every content producing company - e.g. providing free samples/previews, free online access to streaming content, copying for own use as part of normal and fair use, etc. - and not something to be criminalized and eradicated, which couldn't ever succeeed anyway.

Reply Score: 3

jaklumen
Member since:
2010-02-09

I have been following issues concerning digital copyright for around 10-15 years now; i.e. from the start of the original Napster and KaZaA. I've also written for a music blog, which naturally skews to independently made music. I can't claim to be a good student of copyright law, but I can say I've seen much of what has been said here stated before.

The issue, from my observations, needs to be considered in all its nuances and facets. No one statement or solution will fit everyone and everything. And I believe this article made such clear. The issue is full of color, as I see it. Casting it as "grey" or emotionally putting it in "black and white" terms doesn't help-- all fishing and arsonic catch phrases (trolling and flames, trite as they are) aside.

Personally, I am for allowing companies to pursue as many options as suits them, and current copyright laws (especially in the U.S.) and corporate policies are stifling the number of options.

Reply Score: 2

Loren Yager
by Almafeta on Thu 15th Apr 2010 07:00 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

This report was authored in large part by Loren Yager.

I wonder how much it cost to buy Loren. More importantly, I'd like to know who wrote the check.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Loren Yager
by Soulbender on Thu 15th Apr 2010 15:40 UTC in reply to "Loren Yager"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Dunno. How much does it cost to buy the people making the research for RIAA and MPAA?

Reply Score: 2

I bet
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 15th Apr 2010 08:01 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

I've always thought this about piracy of entertainment media. The exposure to new bands for one thing I see as a positive. I've bought albums I never would have otherwise.

I'm pretty sure piracy hurts PC gaming though. Not as much as companies would have us believe, as not every copied game would have been a sale. But unlike cinema attendance or audio CD sales or whatever, A-list PC games are down.

Subscription style MMO, casual games etc are up, but the big games are down. Even if piracy doesn't hurt, there's the belief on the part of the corporations that it does, and that hurts. Combine this with the bigger market on consoles and my old hobby is adversely affected.

DRM doesn't help, but that's not the same as saying piracy doesn't hurt. Companies can work around it (hi Stardock) but an increasing number don't want to.

Unlike movies (where the theater is still superior) or bands who may have some work jacked only to see more sell as a fanbase grows and who have concerts, PC gaming is best experienced right on the PC, and there is no incentive in most cases not to copy and go about your day (aside from honesty or whatever).

In short, I have much less tolerance for piracy of games, as it's one more cut from the thousand that is draining non casual PC gaming.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I bet
by darknexus on Thu 15th Apr 2010 09:27 UTC in reply to "I bet"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm not a gamer myself, but I know many who pirate the PC games *precisely* because of the DRM. They don't always want to remain connected to the internet to play a game that has no other on-line features, for example. Many of them will buy the game, then immediately pirate the game to avoid the draconian protection measures. I'm willing to bet that they are listed under the game pirates statistic, even though they did also buy the game. DRM, in the long run, hurts the legitimate customers and doesn't stop the pirates at all despite what the corporate types are desperately shouting these days. Even legitimate customers take illegal measures to be rid of it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I bet
by nt_jerkface on Fri 16th Apr 2010 05:18 UTC in reply to "RE: I bet"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The problem is that DRM free games get pirated just as much. PC gaming has a serious problem with people that have disposable income but choose to not pay for the games unless they are multiplayer. As the parent noted non-causal pc gaming is being hammered by piracy.

I know the AC2 connection thing is lame but Ubisoft is probably just attempting a last ditch effort at supporting the pc. They can see that most pc gamers are skipping out on the bill when it comes to single player games. I thought it was a bad move from a p.r. perspective but they think it is worth a shot.

Reply Score: 2

I might be wrong but I can't help it.
by factotum218 on Thu 15th Apr 2010 18:27 UTC
factotum218
Member since:
2007-03-20

Still, this doesn't mean piracy is not a problem - the GAO report calls it "sizeable" - it just means we haven't been able yet to really gauge its impact, contrary to what big content wants you (and your government) to believe.

So, the headline should read "Government has no idea of piracy impact". Sorry, habitual paraphraser.

Reply Score: 1

Piracy helps the big companies
by torbenm on Fri 16th Apr 2010 07:19 UTC
torbenm
Member since:
2007-04-23

I have on many occasions argued that Microsoft would not be as big as it is if their products were not pirated.

The point is that people without the means to buy, for example, Microsoft Office -- students, people in countries with low wages etc. -- would get pirated copies. This established these products as de facto standards even in these markets, and when the same people later can afford it, they often buy legal products, for example if a new version arrives.

If pirate copies had not been available, the same people would have used alternative products that are free or cheap. This would lessened the degree of universality/monopoly for the major products.

It is a fine line for the big companies to thread: They want it to be possible to obtain pirate copies, but easier to obtain legal copies, and they want to make it shameful to use pirate copies, so people who can afford legal copies will prefer this. It is for a similar reason that companies give reductions to students: It is not because they want to promote learning, but to prevent students from using cheaper competing products.

A corollary of this is that piracy hurts minor players in the market: If you can get a pirate copy of the major brand for nothing or next to nothing, why would you buy a lesser-known brand?

Edited 2010-04-16 07:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Piracy is wrong and destructive
by mtnrunner2 on Fri 16th Apr 2010 16:24 UTC
mtnrunner2
Member since:
2010-04-16

You don't need a study to show that piracy has a bad effect. Political discourse in this country has totally gone off the rails.

*Any time* someone uses force against someone else, it has a bad effect. It denies producers their rightful income and violates their individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is always bad and it is always wrong.

Reply Score: 1