Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Sep 2010 15:41 UTC
Legal With bad news after bad news when it comes to consumer rights in relation to software and copyright, it's always refreshing to see that there are still people in high places who aren't yet bought by big content. Late last week, a major battle was won for consumer rights in Switzerland: Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court has ruled that IP addresses are personal information, and therefore, fall under the country's strict privacy laws, and may not be used by anti-piracy companies.
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Was the same in Sweden
by aliquis on Mon 13th Sep 2010 15:58 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

So they wrote a loop-hole.

Reply Score: 3

Secret files scandal
by bouhko on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:06 UTC
bouhko
Member since:
2010-06-24

I don't think being neutral is the key here. One of the explanation for the rather good data protection laws we have in Switzerland is the scandal we had about secret files in the 80-90 [1]. Basically, a nation-wide citizen spying system was revealed. It targetted mostly left-wing activist.

After that, we got some better law on data protection and the public opinion became somehow aware of the importance of privacy. Sadly, I think it's slowly becoming and "old scandal" and people forget about it.

But yeah, very good news indeed !


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_files_scandal

Reply Score: 3

RE: Secret files scandal
by Laurence on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:17 UTC in reply to "Secret files scandal"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

[edit: sorry, this was meant to be a new thread. I hit "reply" instead of "post a comment" by mistake]

Logistep AG states that their behaviour is perfectly legal in many other European countries....


Switzerland isn't part of the EU though so his point is irrelevent. In fact, it amounts to little more than a kid crying to his Mum that all the other kids are allowed [insert latest fad at school] so why shouldn't he.

....and that this decision will make Switzerland a safe haven for copyright infringers

This part I agree with, however pirates will always be one step ahead of private corporations. So "save haven" or not, the ongoing battle against copyright infringers will always be a losing battle much like the US and UK's war on drugs. The fact that Switzerland has declared IPs to be personal will change little in the war against piracy.

Edited 2010-09-13 16:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Finland?
by WereCatf on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:15 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

As far as I know we have a similar situation here: it's not legal for private companies or persons to snoop on other people's data. But alas, I am not certain of this and would like a confirmation on my understanding if anyone here would happen to be from Finland and know better.

And how many other European countries have similar laws? Where is it illegal to snoop on people's data, and where it isn't? I am genuinely interested.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:36 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

Does this make https logs illegal? I wish there were a more in depth analysis here.

For some reason I picture a large public parking lot where a bunch of people are holding signs out of their car windows that say "free copy of 'Avatar' clip 1 of 10" and other cars with the other cilps. Then a private investigator for James Cameron goes out and takes down the license plate numbers of those people and then tries to settle / sue for the copyright infringement taking place. I'm not sure I get why this is wrong? Please don't flame or get angry with me I honestly don't understand the 'privacy' claim here.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Bounty
by WereCatf on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Does this make https logs illegal? I wish there were a more in depth analysis here.

I don't quite think it's the same thing. After all, when a third party snoops on your data they do it without your consent, without you knowing it. But when you contact a HTTP-server it is you who has initiated the transfer. Though, I do think showing the log to an outsider would again breach privacy laws and thus the log has to remain closed for third parties.

This is just my guess though, I _could_ be wrong.

Edited 2010-09-13 16:43 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Bounty
by looncraz on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

Your IP address is essentially the key to your online life. With that address, I could find you, knock on your door, and do whatever I wanted to you ( like give you a box of cookies... or shoot you in the face ).

That is a privacy concern, I assure you.

Generally, however, the address really only gets you to the general area with publicly available information, you need the ISP, in most cases, to find the actual address for a given time ( as many IP addresses change ).

This means these people were contacting ISPs with an IP address and a date & time, demanding the identity of the person - and getting it!

That is a MAJOR privacy concern. The ISP should be sued for their actions by every defendant - in every country.

--The loon

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Mon 13th Sep 2010 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Bounty"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

lemonation, I agree with very much of your comment.

looncraz, I think I see where you're comming from on the ISP thing, but that still leaves the IP's themselves as public. Which would then force the copyright investigators to instead file "John Doe" copyright claims, which would force the cops to get that info from the ISP's. I'm guessing you should have the right to face the person you're filing a suit against. Which leads us back to the copyright investigators getting your name and address, except with a bunch of cop time wasted on the defendants that settle, or if the charges are dropped etc.

Basically if it wasn't a legal case, I certainly would not expect the IP to name/address translation by the ISP. In legal cases, maybe.

I'm also not sure about your claim, since everyone is wording it like this "The court ruled that IP addresses are personal information, and as such protected by the country’s strict privacy laws. All of this means that Logistep can’t collect them without the authorization of the persons affected by it."

It seems that just collecting the IP's isn't legal there. "...without the autorization of the persons affected by it?" Which you can't get since you don't know who it is?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Bounty
by lemonation on Mon 13th Sep 2010 16:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
lemonation Member since:
2010-09-13

I'm not sure I get why this is wrong? Please don't flame or get angry with me I honestly don't understand the 'privacy' claim here.


Yeah, as much as I support privacy and FLOSS, I agree with this comment.

Though it is abused, misunderstood, and not always followed, the courts have a sane test for privacy expectation in the US. Under the test, any information you reveal to the public is public knowledge. Every time you contact a server, that server has the ability to log your IP address. (You can even make the argument that most web traffic is public, because it is unencrypted. This is why I use the EFF's HTTPS everywhere extension.)

Obviously, a server should never be forced to reveal information about visitors. That's a private matter between the visitor and the server and depends on the server's privacy policy. But any information revealed publicly (like in a bittorrent tracker) can be collected without violating privacy laws. (In reference to another comment, I absolutely agree that your ISP should not be forced to give up your information.)

So don't go around complaining if you reveal your IP address to the world while you are pirating materials and the company wants to use that information to find a prosecute you. If you want to protect your privacy, use Tor or an IP spoofer. Don't expect privacy where it does not exist.

Revealed information is public information.

Edited 2010-09-13 17:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Bounty
by wowtip on Mon 13th Sep 2010 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Bounty"
wowtip Member since:
2005-07-14

Yes it is always public, but that is not what matters. What matters is if ISPs should be forced to reveal the identity of the person behind the IP address without a court decision.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Bounty
by bouhko on Mon 13th Sep 2010 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Bounty"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Swiss ISP have never been forced to reveal IP without a court decision. This isn't what the judgement is about.

What was happening is that Logistep was collecting IP of file-sharers. They then offered to the music/movies companies a list of IP downloading their copyrighted material. The music/movies companies could then use these IP to file a lawsuit and THEN, but only then and with a court approval, the ISP would be forced to reveal who is the person behind the IP.

So really, this judgement is just about the fact that collecting IP addresses on the internet WITHOUT the user consent is illegal in Switzerland.
Yeah, that has pretty wide consequences that go far beyond file-sharing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Bounty
by wowtip on Mon 13th Sep 2010 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Bounty"
wowtip Member since:
2005-07-14

Ah, thanks for clearing that up. Please disregard my post above.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Bounty
by bouhko on Mon 13th Sep 2010 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Bounty"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Well, I guess we have a different point of view in Switzerland.

As I point out in my previous comment, this really go back to the secret files scandal. Let's run your privacy test in this context. If I'm going to a left-wing political meeting, someone can follow me and see to what address I'm going (it's happening on the streets, which are public). If they follow all the guys going to the meeting, they might figure out a meeting actually takes place by using only public information. Yet, when you build a secret files about someone that includes all his participation in social activities for some years, I can assure the guy won't be happy about it. And it happened to thousand of swiss citizen.

You can basically collect almost everything someone is doing (you have to use the streets to go to a bar, to a friend, to the doctor, whatever) by just following the person in public places. Yet, building a file containing all this informations is fucking scary from the person's point of view. Really, I know a lot of people that were subject to the secret file stuff and they were definitely shocked.

An important point of the swiss law regarding personnal data is that if you collect personnal data or data that could lead to the identification of a person, that person should be informed about it.

I think collecting one public information about a person at a given time is no problem, but putting together hundreds of public informations about a person can become a problem.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Bounty
by vodoomoth on Tue 14th Sep 2010 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Bounty"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Every time you contact a server, that server has the ability to log your IP address. (You can even make the argument that most web traffic is public, because it is unencrypted. This is why I use the EFF's HTTPS everywhere extension.)

What is that "EFF's HTTPS everywhere extension" ? I knew about tor but not about this.

Reply Score: 1

v It's a win for pirates, not consumers
by nt_jerkface on Mon 13th Sep 2010 17:39 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom wants an end to piracy enforcement which amounts to a tacit legalization of piracy.


I want copyright to go back to what it is supposed to do: promote the arts and sciences. I do not want copyright to be what it is now, and what RIAA puppets like you want it to be: a license to print money for big content, who continuously screw over their artists, taking the biggest chunks of the profits.

I also do not want my government and our laws to uphold a failing business model. We do not create laws to protect the photographic film industry now that we went digital, now, do we? In your world, that would be perfectly acceptable, but not in mine.

A new reality has dawned for big content, a reality in which the people have collectively decided that sharing music, films, and the likes is perfectly acceptable and not a moral problem. Big content, and its advocates such as yourself, can squeal all they want, but at least in real democracies like my own, the will of the people regarding copyright will eventually be reflected in the law.

People like you have no issues with private organisations snooping around in people's computers. As such, I have created a company called RightPort, and I will now enter your house because I think you are in possession of stolen goods. Since you have no objections against such behaviour from private organisations, I'm sure you'll not object to it? I mean, you've got nothing to hide right?

Edited 2010-09-13 17:47 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"Thom wants an end to piracy enforcement which amounts to a tacit legalization of piracy.
I want copyright to go back to what it is supposed to do: promote the arts and sciences. I do not want copyright to be what it is now, and what RIAA puppets like you want it to be: a license to print money for big content, who continuously screw over their artists, taking the biggest chunks of the profits. I also do not want my government and our laws to uphold a failing business model. We do not create laws to protect the photographic film industry now that we went digital, now, do we? In your world, that would be perfectly acceptable, but not in mine. A new reality has dawned for big content, a reality in which the people have collectively decided that sharing music, films, and the likes is perfectly acceptable and not a moral problem. Big content, and its advocates such as yourself, can squeal all they want, but at least in real democracies like my own, the will of the people regarding copyright will eventually be reflected in the law. People like you have no issues with private organisations snooping around in people's computers. As such, I have created a company called RightPort, and I will now enter your house because I think you are in possession of stolen goods. Since you have no objections against such behaviour from private organisations, I'm sure you'll not object to it? I mean, you've got nothing to hide right? "


Whoah, wait a minute. I'm sure if you could quietly, anonymously, personally steal 1 dollar from Bill Gates right now, you would have millions of takers. Doesn't make it moral, and I'm guessing nobody would try to make it law. Lets legalize pickpocketing if the person is wearing a fancy suit? Walmart's rich, lets just raid the store? Also your Rightport example doesn't fit. I'm guessing you took that personal attack flamebait and didn't take a minute to calm down and re-write your reply. Guys lets try to keep this civil, intelligent and un-emotional.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sure if you could quietly, anonymously, personally steal 1 dollar from Bill Gates right now, you would have millions of takers.


No, you wouldn't. We have 16 million people in The Netherlands, and I can guarantee you you will not find one million people without moral objections against the act of theft (which is what you are describing).

However, I can also guarantee you you will easily find one million people without moral objections against file sharing (which is not theft - it's possibly copyright infringement). In fact, downloading is already perfectly legal over here (as it is in many other European countries). Look at soft drugs in The Netherlands - our policies seem weird and counter-intuitive to the rest of the world, yet they have been an incredibly dramatic success - drug abuse figures and drug-related crime are among the lowest in the world here.

The issue is simple. Copyright used to be about the promotion of the arts and sciences. Somewhere early in the 20th century, large content providers sprang up and they hijacked the concept, and tried to strengthen it not in an attempt to further the arts and sciences, but to fill THEIR OWN pockets - and not those of artists. Just look at how little royalties artists get from sales of CDs and such - most of it goes to big content.

This is not how our forefathers intended copyright to work. British Lord Camden said it best when he warned for perpetual copyright back in the 18th century: "All our learning will be locked up in the hands of the Tonsons and the Lintots of the age. [...] Knowledge and science are not things to be bound in such cobweb chains."

Yet that is exactly what has happened. Listen to anything by Lessig or many of his colleagues, and you'll see they all firmly believe modern copyright is having an adverse effect on the spreading of the arts and sciences. Is that really what you [not specifically the person I'm replying to] want?

Organisations like the RIAA, BSAA, MPAA, and so on do not care about the promotion of the arts and sciences - they only care about lining their own pockets with gold. If you [not specifically the person I'm replying to] think that's more important than arts and sciences itself, then you are free to do so. I, however, and with me many others, believe differently.

The system will collapse under the sheer weight of the amount of people whose values do not align with the RIAA/MPAA/etc. For now, these organisations have struck a major victory by buying the Obama administration, but this will not last.

I am in favour of modernising copyright law, and I think that in real democracies like we have here in Europe, this will eventually happen. I gave up on the corporate democracy that is America long ago - you guys will suffer the consequences for it.

Edited 2010-09-13 18:24 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

I wish I could keep voting you up on this subject, but I have maxed out my "+ Thom votes". ;^)

I could not agree more with everything you have said on this subject (and the related ones, like the Russia/MS story). Unfortunately (for myself, as a US citizen), this includes the fact that the US is probably a lost cause.

Reply Score: 1

bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

I'm really a strong FLOSS advocate and participant. Yet, I think one of the drawback of giving away almost all of the software for free (as in beer) is that people get used to get everything for free. But FLOSS has a huge number of advantages so I'm still a strong supporter. (And yeah, I know open source doesn't mean free as in beer, yet it is the case in the vast majority of the cases).

But really, this is the same with music/movies downloading. People, especially the young generations, tend to think this is free. And it's just not. Recording a CD is costly, writing 20'000 lines of code takes some monthes of work. And I'm not thinking about the big music corps, but about the indie artist or developer (like me).

In the meantime, I very much agree with the philosophy behind Thom's comments. I just think we need to find a copyright/economic model where we can get rid of the illusion of 'everything is free as in beer' and yet allow people to share and enhance what they like.

Reply Score: 2

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"A new reality has dawned for big content, a reality in which the people have collectively decided that sharing music, films, and the likes is perfectly acceptable and not a moral problem."

I don't see how that is different than taking money out of James Cameron's pocket? Someone wouldn't walk up to my book signing and grab my book and walk over to the copy machine and feel moral, right? I wouldn't mirror this website on a faster server and feel ok about it. It really doesn't matter the size or cost to produce the content. If you don't want to pay for it, don't use it.

I also want copyright and patents to go back to an older iteration, with short expirations etc., but that doesn't legitimized downloading Avatar the weekend before it comes out, does it?

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't see how that is different than taking money out of James Cameron's pocket?


One is stealing, the other is (possible) copyright infringement. I say possible, because it depends on local laws. Downloading is legal in The Netherlands, and as such, it is not copyright infringement here.

Copyright infringement is not theft.

Edited 2010-09-13 20:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

I agree copyright infrigment != stealing. The difference is that when you steal, you directly decrease the owner's property, while when you just copy, you don't directly affect the owner's property.

Still, I find copyright violation unethical. I recognize the right for the artist/author to choose how he wants his creation to be distributed.

If your are unhappy with the artist's will about distribution, just don't watch/use his creation.

On a related topic, when discussing copyright infrigment, people sometime bring up the argument that they are only downloading "shitty" movies and songs. That doesn't make it more ethical. If you find something is crap, just don't watch it. (I'm not saying this is your point of view Thom)

Reply Score: 1

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"I don't see how that is different than taking money out of James Cameron's pocket?
One is stealing, the other is (possible) copyright infringement. I say possible, because it depends on local laws. Downloading is legal in The Netherlands, and as such, it is not copyright infringement here. Copyright infringement is not theft. "

You got something for free, and the guy who worked hard and paid a cost to make it got screwed for his effort.

Reply Score: 2

CaptHilts Member since:
2010-09-13

it's gonna be slightly off topic, but I was wondering...

Once upon a time, being an artist certainly helped making some money (in some cases even a lot). However, isn't it supposed to be an outlet of some sorts, a hobby? Or, well...maybe that's just naive idealism nowadays - cause in our time "I AM an artist" is the answer to "So, what are you doing for a living?" Well, times change and people have to adapt. No, wait...everything around US has to adapt here - we are comfortable, let's face it...Cameron making a "few" millions, our poor indie gens ruined...what a tragedy...

But seriously, why not trying to adapt our art/movies/music and so on and limit our time spending on "creating" new stuff a little and do some actual work for a change? Of course, saying "actual" implies some form of criticism but then again...who says that you being an artist should entitle you to make money? I've got a lot of friends who produce a(n) [music] album every now and then and, believe it or not, they work like everyone else too - meaning jobs other then "BEING an artist".

Granted, back in the ol' days, being an artist was quite lucrative, but times change and it comes off as a bit absurd to keep whining and complaining while keeping an old and obsolete image of 'the' artist as a profession in a certainly different system from back then (internet n stuff, ya know...).

I bought my 1000+ cds before internet, now I buy one every now and then - yes, internet certainly changed the way I behave towards music. Before p2p, (cd)compilations and mix-tapes...that's where most people still live nowadays. Why else would there be such a debate about piracy in the first place?! Ok granted, anachronisms are quite fun 8-)

On the other hand, making a billion dollar movie is certainly not something you are going to do at 5pm after work. Then again, couldn't care less about these fancy special effects n stuff that are making modern movies/art/etc so expensive. If you do, fine - then buy as if it were your last day on earth...but as for our well-being, I'm sure everyone of us will get by even without those Avatar movies and what not.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It is theft from a moral point of view.

You are taking the work of others without permission.

Just because you did not take anything material does not mean that theft did not occur. Nothing material is taken when someone sneaks into a movie theater but the courts recognize that theft cannot be defined simply by material transfer. In the case of the movie theater the movie is the product. Just because there was an empty seat does not negate the fact that you used the product without paying.

Reply Score: 2

talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

What you're completely ignoring in Thom's argument is that he does NOT support piracy and does not seek to put indies out of a job. This is just an argument deviation on your part to put up the sensationalism back in the game, and trust me when educated people read you they get what you are trying to do (you actually cannot form a comment without going back to that).

The main argument is that this is not 1750 anymore. Entertainment, software are volatile products that do not exist primarily in material form, but as digital content, infinitely reproducible at very VERY little cost. That fact ALONE makes you wonder how copyright law wasn't upgraded.

You wouldn't go back to the time where scribes were needed to get a copy of this new discovery made by some foreign scientist would you? You wouldn't go back to the time where there were no tv, no phones, without all this awesome communication and entertainment devices that allow us to reach a level of comfort that our fathers barely dreamt of? The digital age changed our society completely, for the best or the worst I wouldn't know but I for one am glad to have access to all that.

There are businesses that took up the challenge and created new consumer practices which have been VERY well received and are quite profitable. iTunes, Kindle, Deezer, Spotify, Hulu, pay per view offerings on many content access devices, ... You blame piracy for the indies' misery , but that argument is completely void in my eyes, because it's just the reading you (and the likes) make of their fall. What correlation do you have to support that statement? Even before the internet age, indy game creators and indy musicians or actors always had a hard time competing against big content. How many game studios can take on Blizzard or EA? I remember a time where every game I played on Atari had a different studio behind it, they failed years ago because of the internet? When a fraction of the population had access to 33.6 Kbps data connections? Could you imagine that nobody buys that 20$ game because the price is way too high in their eyes? This is still perceived gain, if I tried to sell crappy cars at a high price, I'd bet my business would fail too. I could blame chinese cars the way you blame piracy, or I could just not live in my little world, accept that chinese cars are better than mine for the price, and find a way to make people see the value in my product.

People just have to adapt and suck it up. This is a new millenium. I, and billions others, are more than willing to pay for content, and we actually do, ALOT. In fact, I'd bet that the heavy exposure to digital content made me buy more of it. I go to the movies alot (I actually have an unlimited card for it). I buy easily 2-3 DVD and 5 books a month (I don't earn that much though), and pay spotify for my music needs. I buy my games, and compensate "indies" like Riot Games regularly because their business model is sound and I want developers I like to stay on their feet. Be it through monetary compensation or exposure to publicity, we're all okay with paying artists and content creators, and I know alot of people do. I rarely see someone bothering with mp3 libraries now that deezer/spotify and the likes are here tbh. Pirating mp3s really seems more bother than paying 10$ a month for unlimited music access on every of your devices...

What's not okay is living in a century-old world driven by centuries-old laws and concepts which just _cannot_ hold in the current world. It's just not possible. You may regret it the way we regret CO2 elevations, whales slow extinction etc, but no matter how much you long for the past you cannot go backwards. This is how the world is now, and you have to look at how to make it work in the future, not try to backpedal. It's not realistic and it will fail, 100%, no matter how many lawsuits you slap onto poor citizens and how many lobbying you do and how many laws you try to have your way. In the internet age, pirates will always be one step up. Take Japan for example, they tried for years to enforce strong anti-piracy laws yet everytime they arrest some people everyone moves onto a darker, more secure and complex onion routing system, and the cycle continues. It's like saying we should use 18th century encryption and ban the use of computer to crack keys. New devices and services create new behaviors.

Edited 2010-09-14 09:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It is theft from a moral point of view.


It is theft from your* moral point of view.

Reply Score: 1

Aragorn992 Member since:
2007-05-27

Whoah, wait a minute. I'm sure if you could quietly, anonymously, personally steal 1 dollar from Bill Gates right now, you would have millions of takers. Doesn't make it moral, and I'm guessing nobody would try to make it law. Lets legalize pickpocketing if the person is wearing a fancy suit? Walmart's rich, lets just raid the store? Also your Rightport example doesn't fit. I'm guessing you took that personal attack flamebait and didn't take a minute to calm down and re-write your reply. Guys lets try to keep this civil, intelligent and un-emotional.


And who decides what is moral and what is not? The masses (as would be expected in a democracy) or people with money?

But anyway, your analogies are way off because if I take $1 from Bill, or pickpocket, or steal from Walmart all of those entities are losing something.

If I _copy_ some digital binary nobody loses anything immediately. Ok one can argue they lose a possible future monetary gain but if you reach that point your argument is already on shaky ground.

The copying of digital content is not stealing, not in the traditional sense like your analogies. Although the content holders with money are doing their best to convice everyone it is exactly the same and I'm amazed how many sheep follow their lead.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

A new reality has dawned for big content, a reality in which the people have collectively decided that sharing music, films, and the likes is perfectly acceptable and not a moral problem.


Great, so does that mean I can lift all the original content from this site and put it on my own, without giving you a dime?

Or does your support for piracy only apply for 'big content'? In other words, how much money does an entity have to make before the theft (or 'infringement') of their copyright becomes ok?

Edited 2010-09-13 20:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Great, so does that mean I can lift all the original content from this site and put it on my own, without giving you a dime?


Is there a need to? As far as I know, OSNews is free and can be accessed anywhere in the world via any device with an internet connection. We even maintain a basic mobile version for older and very limited browsers. In other words, what benefit would there be from copying our content and offering it via your own site?

That's the whole crux of the matter. Big content has been unable and unwilling to adapt to a changing market place - they are stuck in an old, pre-internet world, and are unwilling to adapt. Any other industry would be left to die, yet somehow, the government is supposed to enact all sorts of laws and massive fines to support this one? Why don't we do that for the photographic film industry now that we all have digital cameras?

So, if big content can't provide customers with what they want, someone else will step in with a solution that does fit the needs of consumers, whether that be P2P, or Apple's iTunes. iTunes has shown just how possible it is to build a very profitable business using the strength of the internet. As it turns out, people are more than willing to pay for music downloads, as long as it's easy and carries the right price tag.

This illustrates what I mean: big content has been unable to change from its old, pre-internet business model to a new, post-internet one. It desperately tries to hang on to something that is no longer of this time.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Is there a need to? As far as I know, OSNews is free and can be accessed anywhere in the world via any device with an internet connection. We even maintain a basic mobile version for older and very limited browsers. In other words, what benefit would there be from copying our content and offering it via your own site?


Doesn't really matter does it? You obviously seem to think that sharing other people's content without paying for it is alright, and that's fine. But are you going to change your tune when it comes to your own content?

BTW: In terms of people being willing to pay for music (or whatever else) if the price is right and it's easy to obtain, how do you explain people who pirate < $5.00 Android apps that are readily available on the marketplace and have a 24-hour return period? See: http://forum.mobilism.org/viewforum.php?f=398&sid=ed18fc96594b41f8f...

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Doesn't really matter does it?


Of course it matters. File sharing is not done because everyone is evil - it is done because it is more convenient. To make matters even clearer in most of Europe, downloading is legal here. In other words - you're not breaking the law if you do so.

You obviously seem to think that sharing other people's content without paying for it is alright, and that's fine. But are you going to change your tune when it comes to your own content?


And what could possibly be more convenient about taking our content and publishing it on your own site? Not only will you be scolded for it by the public, it is also highly unlikely you'll have as much bandwidth as we do - as such, the service you'd be offering would be less convenient and crappier than the original.

This is not the case with file sharing. File sharing is more convenient and delivers the same quality. iTunes shows that people are more than willing to pay for it, to boot.

BTW: In terms of people being willing to pay for music (or whatever else) if the price is right and it's easy to obtain, how do you explain people who pirate < $5.00 Android apps that are readily available on the marketplace and have a 24-hour return period? See: http://forum.mobilism.org/viewforum.php?f=398&sid=ed18fc96594b41f8f.....


I think this is not an issue of not being willing to pay for it - with the Android Market the issue is most likely the fact that pay-for applications are only available in a select number of countries, and not on all devices. On top of that, the Market shares a problem with the App Store/iTMS in that a credit card is required. While credit cards are a relatively normal means of payment in the US, they are only used in very special occasions here in The Netherlands (travel, mostly). Everyone here pays cash or with their regular bank card/checking account, and are simply not accustomed to using a credit card for stuff like this.

Also, I think the App Store/Market piracy issue is being blown WAY out of proportion by certain parties as a means to push their own agenda. Just ask yourself where these piracy figures come from, and then just follow the money.

Reply Score: 1

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

It's always more convenient take stuff instead of paying for it first. You'll always skip a step. That doesn't make it moral.

You obviously think your work is worth something by looking at the notices at the bottom of every page.

Also what does " In fact, downloading is already perfectly legal over here (as it is in many other European countries)." mean? You guys don't pay for software, games, movies, TV programs, books, or music anymore?

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Only uploading is illegal - downloading is not. This is done to not criminalise the entire population (which would place a massive burden on the justice system), but still be able to go after 'professional' pirates.

And no, we still pay for our stuff as well. Funny, huh? Despite it being legal, people still buy stuff - and in droves too. CD/DVD sales are doing better than in other countries, and cinema visits have been rising spectacularly for years.

So, what RIAA and its supporters fear (downloading is legal) has not caused the collapse of the entertainment industry in NL. Funny, huh?

It's like our loose drug policies which have actually caused a massive drop in drug use and drug related crime because allowing people to carry small amounts of soft drugs freed up resources to combat more serious drug use and related problems.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

You obviously think your work is worth something by looking at the notices at the bottom of every page.


What he said. One limitation of this site (and pretty much every other site on the web, tech or otherwise) is that the articles aren't available as audio, so I'd love to hire somebody to read the articles and make a big 'audio RSS' feed, so people can listen to articles while in the car, on a treadmill, cleaning the house, or whatever. I'm sure it would be a lot more convenient for people to consume content in this way, instead of how you choose to provide it, so surely you understand and approve of me just taking it.

So, do I have your permission to 'share' your articles in this manner? I'll take whatever ad/sponsorship revenue I can get, without sharing any of it with you. You know, because this sort of sharing without giving anything back is obviously ethical and stuff.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I like how you keep referring to 'big content' even though pirates make no such distinction.

Everything gets pirated on P2P networks, including indy stuff. You don't deny that, right?

http://www.geek.com/articles/games/machinarium-amnesty-sale-after-s...

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I like how you keep referring to 'big content' even though pirates make no such distinction.

Everything gets pirated on P2P networks, including indy stuff. You don't deny that, right?

http://www.geek.com/articles/games/machinarium-amnesty-sale-after-s...


"Our estimate from the feedback...". Fail. That sort of vague shit might fly in a US court, but not with me. Come back when you've got proper figures, then we'll talk.

On top of that, ever bothered to read the comments on the Machinarium blog? You should.

Edited 2010-09-14 09:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"I like how you keep referring to 'big content' even though pirates make no such distinction. Everything gets pirated on P2P networks, including indy stuff. You don't deny that, right? http://www.geek.com/articles/games/machinarium-amnesty-sale-after-s...
"Our estimate from the feedback...". Fail. That sort of vague shit might fly in a US court, but not with me. Come back when you've got proper figures, then we'll talk. On top of that, ever bothered to read the comments on the Machinarium blog? You should. "

Like the figures you gave us for European media growth?

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I do not want copyright to be what it is now, and what RIAA puppets like you want it to be: a license to print money for big content, who continuously screw over their artists, taking the biggest chunks of the profits.


What does this have to do with RIAA? You do realize that p2p networks are used to pirate indy works just as much, right?

You want to portray this as your own personal fight against the RIAA but allowing p2p allows piracy of all types.


I also do not want my government and our laws to uphold a failing business model. We do not create laws to protect the photographic film industry now that we went digital, now, do we?


One of the basic functions of government is to encourage commerce. Most businesses can only exist with government protection. People will not follow an honor system.


In your world, that would be perfectly acceptable, but not in mine.


In your would you would allow endless p2p piracy which would basically turn the world into South East Asia but worse since there wouldn't be a steady supply of software and media from countries that have intellectual property protection. You would destroy major industries and put millions out of jobs, you would freeze software progression since most software depends on copyright protection to be sold. As I have pointed out numerous times the Red Hat model only works for a fraction of software and the CEO of Red Hat has acknowledged this.


A new reality has dawned for big content, a reality in which the people have collectively decided that sharing music, films, and the likes is perfectly acceptable and not a moral problem.


Here we go again with your rhetoric about 'big content'. You want to pretend that this type of stuff does not happen on p2p networks:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/11/acrying-shame-world-of-g...

You would send indy developers to unemployment lines thanks to your war against 'big content'. And for what? So pirates can watch crappy Hollywood movies for free?


People like you have no issues with private organisations snooping around in people's computers.

P2P IP addresses are public information. When you share pirated material with others you are sharing your IP address. There is no snooping in computers, stop exaggerating the situation.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Last time you brought this argument, I asked you three questions. You did not answer a single one. Sounds like when piracy is concerned, you're ready to bring sensational words around here, but not to back them with serious argumentative power.

That's probably why this comment was voted down to oblivion.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Last time you brought this argument, I asked you three questions. You did not answer a single one.


Perhaps because I moved on to another thread or had work to do? Sometimes a hanging thread just means the person moved on or no longer cares.


Sounds like when piracy is concerned, you're ready to bring sensational words around here, but not to back them with serious argumentative power.


What exactly is sensationalist?

Are pirates in Switzerland not going to be happy with this ruling?

Are p2p networks also used for pirating indy software and entertainment or is it all just a concerted war against 'big content' (cue ominous music).

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

This is sensationalist because...
1/It is based on claims, not proven facts, which allows one to make up big numbers quite easily (unless you can explain me in details how people can measure the piracy rate of a game precisely without having put the pirated copies online themselves.)
2/It is about putting "those nazi pirates will even steal the poor indie developer", without considering or mentioning alternative interpretations of those numbers, if they were near true, namely...
* People share a game with their families, which means 2-3 users per one copy. It's generally considered okay.
* Young people, one of the main targets of the gaming market, are simultaneously facing games which becomes more and more overpriced in stores (€70 is becoming common), stores that become more and more inaccessible (as time passes, we tend to make a few big shops rather than several small ones in every town. Result : stores become 1 hour away from home. Few kids are allowed to go this far, nor have the will to just for a game), and a booming online distribution service at much more sensible prices but which they have no access to (in most countries, minors don't have the right to own a credit card which works online).
Simultaneously, piracy offers a free, easily-accessible alternative, to everyone (including kids). And we all know that just like cracking software, it can't be stopped, except by making our countries dictatorships.
If we want game sales to go better, we must fix the online banking system for minors very quickly. In some countries, Apple sells iTunes tickets in newspaper shops, which can be bought for cash and converted to online cash. This is a simple and easy fix, the gaming industries and shops should just try to reach some agreement with Apple and make a similar system work everywhere on the web, instead of going OMG about piracy and doing nothing efficient about it.
Except of course if they believe that blaming the problem can be more interesting than solving it... (gives them publicity, justifies high prices, and let limitation measures that are silly, inefficient, and harm the user like starforce or the "no lan" limitation of starcraft 2, be somewhat accepted instead of leading to massive boycott)

Edited 2010-09-15 06:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

This is sensationalist because...
1/It is based on claims, not proven facts, which allows one to make up big numbers quite easily (unless you can explain me in details how people can measure the piracy rate of a game precisely without having put the pirated copies online themselves.)


Piracy rates are determined by looking at completed torrents and sales. It's actually a conservative estimate since it doesn't measure p2p or casual piracy.

You could have just asked me that instead of providing endless excuses for pirates.

Do you make excuses for Android pirates as well? People that can afford $75 a month for a smartphone but still pirate $1 games?

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Except my post doesn't say just that ;) And yes, I can understand Android pirates if the Market requires a credit card to be used. The credit card system is pushing piracy forward as explained before, and even without that it would still be a highly unsafe online banking system.

Reply Score: 2

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

Except my post doesn't say just that ;) And yes, I can understand Android pirates if the Market requires a credit card to be used. The credit card system is pushing piracy forward as explained before, and even without that it would still be a highly unsafe online banking system.


In the same way that I can understand minors stealing cigars from a store. Doesn't make it valid, or necessitate any kind of change. It also doesn't meant that laws against minors smoking 'pushes' theft. Only greed and selfishness promote that.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Except there's nothing intrinsically wrong with children buying things online, so it should not be forbidden to them.

Again, I think Apple shows how things should be done with its iTunes ticket system. A non-proprietary solution working like this, acting like "online cash" that you can buy at newspaper shops or supermarkets and spend online, could solve the problem.

To make it work, one could as a first step make PayPal accounts "refillable" with this, which would instantly make this "online cash" work on the large part of the Internet which accepts PayPal billing. I guess PayPal inc. would be more than happy to add a lot of young people to their customers, so they could fund such an initiative.

Then, of course, this could mean the end of the whole credit card crap, so I guess bank would heavily lobby against this. Whoever tries to push such an online banking system forward needs to have very deep pockets or good relationships in the political world to survive this.

Edited 2010-09-16 17:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Tue 14th Sep 2010 15:42 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18
Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Tue 14th Sep 2010 15:47 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

http://blog.taragana.com/e/2010/01/21/report-global-music-sales-dec...

You say media sales continue to grow year over year in Europe, so are these people simple liars with their recently reported 12% decline and 30% decline in sales since 2004?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Bounty
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 14th Sep 2010 16:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You say media sales continue to grow year over year in Europe,


I did not say that. Read carefully.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Wed 15th Sep 2010 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Bounty"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"You say media sales continue to grow year over year in Europe,
I did not say that. Read carefully. "

"And no, we still pay for our stuff as well. Funny, huh? Despite it being legal, people still buy stuff - and in droves too. CD/DVD sales are doing better than in other countries, and cinema visits have been rising spectacularly for years. "

So are people buying things in droves, or are sales going down? What miserable country are you comparing your CD/DVD sales to? Doing better than what, North Korea? As far as Cinema, the only info I could find quickly was this http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_... which disagrees with you.

Here we go http://boxofficemojo.com/intl/netherlands/?yr=2009¤cy=us&p=.h...
looks like Netherlands sold
2009 was 176,960,914
2008 was 154,890,282
2007 was 141,434,548
2006 was 124,489,979
2005 was 111,830,613
2004 was 174,253,825
2003 was 163,013,371
2002 was 132,521,000


US
2009 was 10,595,400,000
2008 was 9,630,600,000
2008 was 9,630,600,000
2007 was 9,663,700,000
2006 was 9,209,500,000
2005 was 8,840,500,000
2004 was 9,380,500,000
2003 was 9,239,700,000
2002 was 9,155,000,000

Thepiratebay came about in 2003 ish and became popular sometime in 2004. So no, Netherlands are not selling tickets better than anti-pirate countries. Selling more then in the previous year, sure but just now topping 2004. TPB set sales back 5 years. Wonder how much worse that would look adjusted for inflation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Bounty
by nt_jerkface on Wed 15th Sep 2010 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Bounty"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

People will still go to the theater since a 40 foot screen cannot be pirated.

It's software, music and dvd sales that are the most vulnerable.

The indy game developer does not have the option of presenting his work publicly and charging admission. This is why he needs government protection from piracy just as the typical business requires government protection from fraud and burglary. One of the main functions of government is to provide laws that encourage the production and sales of goods and services.

Reply Score: 2