Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 30th Dec 2010 22:58 UTC
Legal Due to my incessant whining about the evilness of big content, it's easy to forget that despite all the lunacy those guys throw our way, there are also cases where they're simply very much right. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting on the story of Qiang Bi, who has just been sentenced to jail for two and half years for piracy.
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be a better person
by computrius on Thu 30th Dec 2010 23:15 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

http://www.osnews.com/be%20a%20better%20person

ok... If I have to, I guess I will try ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: be a better person
by red_devel on Fri 31st Dec 2010 02:13 UTC in reply to "be a better person"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

Actually, I believe he promised to, "Bi a better person".

Reply Score: 6

v Comment by westlake
by westlake on Fri 31st Dec 2010 00:35 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Calling him a game pirate diminishes the severity of the crime.

http://kotaku.com/5720869/games-pirate-loses-house-car-and-350k-in-...

Reply Score: 3

red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

He sold cracked copies of games burned onto DVD's for ten buck, he's not Bernie Madoff. I agree he should forfeit his earnings, pay restitution, and do community service, but why in the world should he have to sit in prison for 2 and a half years? Who got hurt? Is he a threat to society in any way? Then why lock him up. The guy is an idiot, but I feel sorry for him. Some mercy is called for in his sentencing.

Reply Score: 10

Who got hurt?
by tanishaj on Fri 31st Dec 2010 03:53 UTC in reply to "RE: He ran a 700k counterfeit software business"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

He distributed copyrighted content to people who were clearly willing to pay for that material. I am anti big content but let's be honest that there is a real crime here. Anybody that would have benefitted from that revenue was hurt. Now it is possible that this is just a smaller bonus for somebody but it is equally possible that this could have been the salary and benefits of somebody that was instead unemployed at Christmas. Who knows how bad some family got hurt?

Also, the goal is not just to punish but to discourage. The law should make hurting people risky.

Edited 2010-12-31 03:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Who got hurt?
by WorknMan on Fri 31st Dec 2010 11:41 UTC in reply to "Who got hurt?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

He distributed copyrighted content to people who were clearly willing to pay for that material. I am anti big content but let's be honest that there is a real crime here. Anybody that would have benefitted from that revenue was hurt.


I'm not so sure about that. I don't know exactly how much he was charging for his cracked copies, but I think it's safe to assume that it was significantly less than the retail cost. So, who's to say that the people who bought cracked copies from him would've paid full retail price in the first place? It's the same ass-backwards logic that people use to defend piracy, so where exactly do you draw the line? Would you consider those who pay 10 cents for pirated copies of songs on those Russian mp3 sites to be the same level of scum as this guy?

IMHO, although we will never have any quantifiable measure of how many pirates would've bought content to begin with, I think it's safe to assume that some sales were lost, regardless of whether the pirated content was bought at a small price or leeched for free. I guess I just don't understand how you can condemn the former while justifying the latter.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Neither this guy nor his customers are running around the Simaly coast being real pirates.

Stretching the definition may brand Bi a "pirate"; he did intentionally duplicate and sell copyrighted content. Really though; it's copyright infringement. No different than any other counterfeit product seller.

The "would have bought" customers are not "pirates". We really don't need to romanticize or demonize them with the "pirate" brand. It's simple copyright infringement at worst (a civil law case) and at best, consumer foolish enough to thing such content sold at the 10$ price point. Normally such unintentionally customers would be given the opportunity to buy a legitimate license wouldn't they? Calling them pirates really only threatens them, insures that they won't want to admit anything and purchase a full license.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Calling them pirates really only threatens them, insures that they won't want to admit anything and purchase a full license.


Fine, I'll call them douchebags. Does that make you feel any better about it?

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

sure.. "douchbag" does not suggest legal connotations where "piracy" and "copyright infringement" do provide specific and accurate, though separate, legal connotations.

I probably should have been more clear in meaning people who would pay the full license price when notified that they had unknowingly purchased counterfeit product. Those who infringe copyright based on "I'm sticking it to the man" or whatever definitely fit into the Douche category.

My grief is more with the RIAA type need to sensationalize copyright infringement and elevate it to the amount of harm caused by real piracy (both sea and land based hijacking and theft). The secondary affect being to understate real piracy on the same level as copying a music CD rather than the previously mentioned armed assault.

Reply Score: 3

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

Neither this guy nor his customers are running around the Simaly coast being real pirates.


Somali coast, i.e. the coast of Somalia.

(I agree with the sentiment by the way)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who got hurt?
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 1st Jan 2011 12:10 UTC in reply to "Who got hurt?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Anybody that would have benefitted from that revenue was hurt.

No, anyone who bought those games for only ten bucks would have likely done one of the following if this guy wasn't around:

1. Either cracked or illegally downloaded the games themselves if they knew how...
2. Bought it used from some random person, used game store, or friend...
3. Not bought it to begin with.

If someone buys a game for ten bucks, there's a good chance they're either too cheap, too poor, or just downright unwilling to spend, what, 40-50+ bucks on a game. Someone might think these games are worth their full asking price, but not everyone. If someone wasn't going to buy the game at full price or directly from the company when it lowers the price for the final time to, say, 20-30 bucks before taking the product off the market for good, then what is the publisher really losing? Nothing. If these things didn't cost so much, then maybe, just MAYBE, these companies would have stolen some of this guy's business and been able to sell *their own* products to more people. Their "loss" if you can call it that, I say.

I think making a living on the side selling other people's copyrighted works is a shitty thing to do, but being forced to spend 2+ years in a cell is just too much for the crime. If this country made any sense, it would think of a more fitting "punishment" than torturing a guy by keeping him locked up in a cell for such dumb things as this. By the time he's let go he'll probably have lost half of his brain behind. And maybe even his anal virginity, who knows. And who did he rape? Murder? Give a bloody and broken nose and knock out, to be put in there with the truly dangerous people? No one. Who did he "steal" from? IMO, making and selling copies is not "theft"; it is what it is, copyright infringement.

Jails and prisons have their uses, but dumb things like copyright infringement; being caught with "drugs" other than the government-blessed nicotine, alcohol and caffeine; and not paying your taxes on time should not lead to it. Of all the things the government could do to these non-violent people, they just lock them away, treat them like shit, allow them to be assraped, and *might* finally allow them to be released sometime in the future after they've already been at least somewhat mindf--ked. Well, that is, if they haven't had their sentence extended by getting pissed at the police in the jail (which I'm sure is easy to do, the way they tend to treat their inmates).

Edited 2011-01-01 12:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Lock him up to set a deterrent.

If you only have a financial penalty for white collar crimes then getting caught just becomes a financial risk.

The guy had a job at an insurance company but got greedy. This wasn't a crime of desperation. I agree that he shouldn't cost tax payers any money which is why he should be sent to a work camp.

Edited 2010-12-31 04:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You have a very good point there. Unfortunately we see white collar criminals get a slap on the wrist more often than not for crimes far more serious than pirating copyrighted material for financial gain.

If a pirate can get two and a half years worth of jail time for ripping off contents owners of 300k then why are criminal financial speculators who have gambled away hundreds of thousands of working peoples savings still walking around free?

A sense of perspective is very much needed when talking about setting an example. The bottom line here is that your average working family does not have a lobby group looking after it's interests.

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I know it... recently read a newspaper article about a man who has been in trouble with the law 128 times (including child abuse, dealing heroin, and a couple other heinous (in my opinion) crimes) and was JUST ARRESTED AGAIN! HOLY COW. It's like the drunk driver who has been arrested 5, 6 or more times and is still out there drinking and driving.

Reply Score: 2

bugjacobs Member since:
2009-01-03

Steal a buck, get locked up.
Steal a million, get a slap on the wrist !

Steal a Billion ! oooooh your a wall street tycoon !
Steal it ALL, RULE THE WORRLLLDDD !

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Basically it is a reward system for those with the biggest balls.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

(clap clap clap clap)

A hilarious rendition of the "all corporations are evil and out to get us" mindset of naive teenagers and hippies.

You sir are a true thespian. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

...mindset of naive teenagers and hippies


I'll take that as a compliment, considering it's coming from you... Interesting to know that supporting true free market competition has become a hippie-philosophy. That actually brightens my day ;)

Reply Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, considering that it's based on an optimistic view of mankind, like communism (the one from Marx, not the soviet one)...

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That one from Marx is the Soviet one... Besides that communism is not optimistic but rather it is pessimistic. Pre-marxist Socialism (or Social Individualism) is optimistic yes. And completely opposite Marxism of any kind.

If arguing for freedom is naïve hippie-ness, than by all means let's be hippies.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, if I understood my French course about it some years ago, Marx's theory was that an authoritarian state was needed first in order to set things up, but after that people would reach a state of self-organization called "communism" where governments wouldn't be needed anymore.

Did I get it wrong ?

Edited 2010-12-31 10:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Did I get it wrong ?


Nope.

There has never been a communist state. Only dictatorships. According to Marx, you'd first have a dictatorship set up by a revolution from the working class - but even that has never happened. Russia, for instance, didn't even have a working class.

Reply Score: 2

Free market?
by tanishaj on Fri 31st Dec 2010 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: He ran a 700k counterfeit software business"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

Selling illegally obtained materials is the "black" market not the "free" market.

Copyright is supposed to exist for the betterment of society, not to line greedy pockets. I am a strong proponent of "fair use". Again though, copyright is in place for the greater good. If you violate that you are not some kind of freedom fighter, you are just being selfish.

It is totally legitimate that we may disagree on where the line should be but clearly selling illegally obtained copyrighted material is a crime. I am not saying that it is "theft" but it certainly is criminal.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Free market?
by james_gnz on Sat 1st Jan 2011 08:46 UTC in reply to "Free market?"
james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

Selling illegally obtained materials is the "black" market not the "free" market.

As a matter of technicality (but one I think is worth getting right for clarity's sake), they weren't selling works, but copies of them, as they weren't providing people with exclusive possession of works, nor presenting their actions as such. I suppose that by definition anything sold illegally is sold on the 'black market', and if sales of things are restricted by law, then the market for those things is not free, so those things can not be sold on the free market, however this says nothing about whether or not there should be a free market for these things.

Copyright is supposed to exist for the betterment of society, not to line greedy pockets. I am a strong proponent of "fair use". Again though, copyright is in place for the greater good. If you violate that you are not some kind of freedom fighter, you are just being selfish.

Copyright was once supposed to exist for the betterment of society, but those who champion it don't use this as their justification, and the law as it stands goes well beyond what is necessary for the betterment of society, AFAIK. I think the current best estimate for the economically optimal copyright term is 15 years (references at the end). Given that the proponents of copyright fail to present a solid justification for it (and the law overreaches the available justification for it), I think it is easy to see why people might lack respect for the law, including the aspects of it that might actually be worth respecting.

It is totally legitimate that we may disagree on where the line should be but clearly selling illegally obtained copyrighted material is a crime. I am not saying that it is "theft" but it certainly is criminal.

I do think this is a sensible restriction to have in law, but I think it should be exclusively a matter for civil law, not criminal law (rape and murder should be criminal offences, IMHO, but not copyright infringement).

Pollock, Rufus (2007) Forever Minus a Day? Some Theory and Empirics of Optimal Copyright.
<http://www.rufuspollock.org/economics/papers/optimal_copyright.pdf&...

Pollock, Rufus (2009) Forever Minus a Day? Calculating Optimal Copyright Term.
<http://www.rufuspollock.org/economics/papers/optimal_copyright_term...

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Oh I see, you think allowing limitless copying would result in a better market. Problem is that has already been tried and failed in parts of Asia. How much Chinese software do you run?

Strong intellectual laws allow the market to exist. People don't organize themselves into groups of 50 and write programs like AutoCad in their spare time. The idea that all software should be open source is deluded and has massive economic holes. Old Stallman stumbled and mumbled through similar questions last time he was interviewed. When asked about the economics of game development his response was to lower your standards.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Microsoft is a multibillion fraud company, violating the same laws gazillion times every day, and it is never punished.


That isn't true, Microsoft make software products that people (are willing to) pay a license to use, because that software does something useful for them.

As much as you might not like it Microsoft tend to make products that (for the most part) work well enough and they support them for ridiculous amounts of time, which is attractive to many corporations and large organisations.

Edited 2010-12-31 14:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"He was merely caught by fascist selfproclaimed authorities, upholding laws which did not have his support, and therefore does not bind him."

This was a US citizen was it not? As long as they where in the US, the US laws do indeed bind him regardless of if those laws where agreeable. As a citizen, he also had the choice to try and affect change in the government then enjoy the benefits of those changes, suck it up and live within the undesirable laws or move to land dominated by a government who already has more agreeable laws.

Regardless of how evil the big content owner was, there was never a meeting where the board of directors met and agreed to license the content for retail by some individual. Leaked moves are the same; regardless of if one chooses to download and watch or not, they can't claim it is justified unless there was some board meeting choice to leak the content.

Regardless of an individuals political views, one has to abide by the local laws or effect real change; ignoring the laws and claiming one is beyond those laws doesn't cut it.

My, admittedly recent, understanding anarchy even includes this does it not? I can't walk into one's home and take duplicates of all there family photos or remove more physical belongings; that's where anarchy's "all protect each other from abuse" comes in does it not?

If Bi chose to produce and sell content at 10$ then fantastic but he didn't; he chose to infringe copyright and knowingly ignore local laws. That seems more like chaos than anarchy to my understanding.

Reply Score: 4

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


He did nothing wrong in any moral sense. He was merely caught by fascist selfproclaimed authorities, upholding laws which did not have his support, and therefore does not bind him.


He made craploads of money by selling stuff he didn't own.

That makes him morally guilty in my books.

Reply Score: 3

pirates operate on the sea
by maty on Fri 31st Dec 2010 05:55 UTC
maty
Member since:
2010-09-22

@Thom Holwerda: can you try to avoid the term "pirate" to describe copyright infringers? By using that term for the crime of copyright infringement, you make the crime look more severe and worse at the same time the *much* more severe crime that happens on the sea gets devalued because people start to associate it with copyright infringement. "Sea pirates" cause a lot more damage to people's lives and the economy whilst most get away with it without punishment. The world would be a better place if justice would allocate more of their resources to the real piracy crime instead of copyright infringement.

Reply Score: 1

RE: pirates operate on the sea
by nt_jerkface on Fri 31st Dec 2010 06:12 UTC in reply to "pirates operate on the sea"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's in the dictionary so take up your grievance with Webster instead of Thom.

the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/piracy

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: pirates operate on the sea
by jabbotts on Fri 31st Dec 2010 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: pirates operate on the sea"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's a valid complaint which I also share. Piracy and Copyright infringement are two very different things. Bi didn't lead an armed assault and theft; he duplicated content and sold it. Both are not acceptable but I'm going to take a much more concerned view of the guy with bad fashion sense and really good skill with an AK47.

Modern dictionaries are really not the best fallback justification either. The people righting them don't seem to have a firm grasp of many things they are defining. Have you watched the lists of words added to Websers each year? Defining slang really shouldn't legitimize it's use.

"Piracy" referring to copyright really does diminish what real piracy is while presenting an unrealistic expectation of what copyright infringement is.

"Hacking" referring only to breaking into computer systems without permission really does diminish the community of law abiding self directed learners who are the definition of Hackerdom. The dictionary/mass-media use of the term romanticizes what is just criminal acts and elevats them to some kind of magic while ignoring what real Hackers are actually about.

In both cases, one needs to refer to a relevant and knowledgeably written dictionary. For Hackerdom and related terms, that would be The Jargon File accurately maintained by people knowledgable on the topic.

In terms of copyright infringement and piracy; a legal dictionary may properly define them as separate acts. Of course, this is not in RIAA's best public interest but it would better reflect and describe reality; what language tends to be used for after all.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The secondary denotation of the term piracy has been in the dictionary for over a decade and is used in mainstream publications.

I have plenty of complaints with the English language but I also realize I cannot control its evolution.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

control it's evolution; no.. use more appropriate terms when possible.. yes. Copyright infringement is a more accurate and appropriate term when one's goal is not to sensationalize the crime.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Copyright infringement is a more accurate and appropriate term when one's goal is not to sensationalize the crime.


I don't think the term piracy sensationalizes the crime. That is your opinion.

Even if you convince Thom, do you think the major media outlets will care? Of course not so what is the point of complaining? It's a ubiquitous and established term, you're pissing in the wind.
http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=...

OSNews is a small media outlet, Thom probably has enough petty complaints to deal with.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Yes.. that's my opinion. It's also the opinion of at least one other here in the readership. It's also an opinion held by;

"
Agnete Haaland, the president of the International Actors' Federation, even went as far as claiming that the term “piracy” reminds people of Johnny Depp.
"

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/piracy_too_glamorous_term_ip_...
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/piracy-sounds-too-s...

And still it remains a term with a very distinct and separate meaning where there is already a more accurate term which refers to copying and use of content without permission. "piracy" is a buzzword; a hollow marketing term sensationalized and brainwashed into the masses because it benefits RIAA's marketing to do so rather than it accurately depicts and addresses crimes against copyright holders.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Piracy is not a buzzword, it was used in the 80's by mainstream publications well before the RIAA made headlines.

Confucius says when pissing in the wind try to not let it get in your mouth.

Reply Score: 4

james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

The secondary denotation of the term piracy has been in the dictionary for over a decade and is used in mainstream publications.

I have plenty of complaints with the English language but I also realize I cannot control its evolution.

I disagree. I think we can and should direct the development of language in order to promote clarity. We don't just use language to convey ideas, we use language to think, so if our use of language lacks clarity, then our thought is liable to lack clarity too. Further, I think terms like 'pirate' and 'intellectual property' were made mainstream in the first place by people directing the development of language in order to direct the way others think.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I see you fail to grasp the futility of the situation. Go ahead and write a letter to the mainstream media outlets. I'll write it for you in fact:

Dear CNN/FOX/NBC/CBS/ABC/BBC,

Please prioritize words for accuracy rather than rhetorical value.

- A concerned citizen.

Reply Score: 4

james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

I'm actually not convinced the situation is entirely futile. I think there is a possibility that OSNews and some other tech related media outlets might reconsider referring to copyright infringement as 'piracy' if enough readers raised concerns about the questionable nature of the term. I suspect there are those in the BBC who genuinely care for accuracy and balance, and may reconsider the term if a decent number of tech related media outlets stopped using it, and the matter was brought to their attention. I even think it's possible that other media outlets might follow suit.

Reply Score: 2

don't trust Ebay
by unclefester on Fri 31st Dec 2010 06:36 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Ebay are massive hypocrites. They allow the most blatantly counterfeit products to be sold. Over 90% of USB sticks and memory cards sold on Ebay are fakes. Ebay will not ban the selling of Sony VAIO USB sticks (there is no such Sony product). Ebay even has suspended the accounts of users who mention that these sticks are fake.

Ebay bend over backwards to protect US companies like Apple and Microsoft. At the same time they will vigorously campaign in the courts against the rights of non-US companies to protect their intellectual property.

Reply Score: 1

RE: don't trust Ebay
by Neolander on Fri 31st Dec 2010 07:52 UTC in reply to "don't trust Ebay "
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I think it's bold to say that eBay as a whole are guilty. It would be like saying "Hey, YouTube let people publish unlicensed AMVs ! Them a******* !"

eBay is a website which let people sell things to each other. Sometimes, someone gets caught selling something illegal. Then eBay does the right thing by suspending his account. If you say that eBay and YouTube should automatically detect and censor questionable material, then this feels wrong :

1/How could they ? Look at the number of ongoing transactions per day ! Can you imagine an automated system being able to filter this without requiring several terabytes of rules and a hundred time more processing power than eBay's current operations ?
2/Censorship without having the responsible going in court first is morally highly questionable and shouldn't happen in a democracy.

I don't trust someone on eBay as much as I trust a well-known vendor like Virgin or Amazon, sure, but since Amazon stopped accepting paychecks in France, I'm glad someone else takes care of the "selling things on internet for a fairly low price" job.

Edited 2010-12-31 07:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: don't trust Ebay
by nt_jerkface on Fri 31st Dec 2010 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: don't trust Ebay "
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I don't think they are guilty of breaking the law but they could do more to prevent the sale of counterfeit software. Setting a price floor for commonly pirated software would be one way to go.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: don't trust Ebay
by Neolander on Sat 1st Jan 2011 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: don't trust Ebay "
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Okay, though then you'd have to define
-What is "commonly pirated software", and why it should be better treated than others as far as piracy is concerned (in order to avoid helping existing monopolies).
-Where that price floor should be set
-How to implement this in practice, in a way that's resistant to usual renaming tricks like calling Microsoft Windows "windo$" or Microsoft Office "offfice", without misfiring.
-Which interface would be used to explain the situation to eBay users, what should be done with currently sold products.

Edited 2011-01-01 01:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: don't trust Ebay
by nt_jerkface on Sat 1st Jan 2011 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: don't trust Ebay "
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Software submissions are already monitored by ebay and they have their own data on problematic software based on complaints. Setting a price floor relative to the mean selling price would be an easy way of doing it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: don't trust Ebay
by Neolander on Sat 1st Jan 2011 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: don't trust Ebay "
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Software submissions are already monitored by ebay and they have their own data on problematic software based on complaints. Setting a price floor relative to the mean selling price would be an easy way of doing it.

But if they are being highly counterfeited, wouldn't the mean selling price on eBay be way too low, then grow higher as piracy is limited ? Is it reliable and stable statistical data ?

Also, saying that the price should be relative to mean selling price does not fully answer the problem. I can say that we could set the floor at 80% of this price, 60%, 40%, but those numbers would be meaningless. Nothing rigorously justifies one value among others.

Should we base ourselves on additional statistical data from eBay and say that the price shouldn't be more than two (three ?) times the root mean square away then ? But again, is eBay's statistical data reliable ? Is counterfeiting seldom or very common ?

What I'm trying to show is that while eBay could indeed do more, it might not be as trivial of a problem as it seems at first look.

Edited 2011-01-01 18:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: don't trust Ebay
by nt_jerkface on Sun 2nd Jan 2011 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: don't trust Ebay "
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

But if they are being highly counterfeited, wouldn't the mean selling price on eBay be way too low, then grow higher as piracy is limited ? Is it reliable and stable statistical data ?


No because most software sold on ebay is legit. Pirated copies tend to be outliers.

Even just setting a price floor for Office, Photoshop, Autocad and a few others would have an effect.

You could also have a flagging system for sellers that consistently sell software well below the mean. Or limit how many times a seller can sell the same software in a year.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: don't trust Ebay
by vodoomoth on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: don't trust Ebay "
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


Even just setting a price floor for Office, Photoshop, Autocad and a few others would have an effect.

I am wondering if doing so would not have the sole effect of increasing the margins for the counterfeiters?

Reply Score: 2

RE: don't trust Ebay
by David on Fri 31st Dec 2010 17:40 UTC in reply to "don't trust Ebay "
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Over 90% of USB sticks and memory cards sold on Ebay are fakes.


That's a totally fake statistic. Of the USB sticks and memory cards sold on eBay that I can see, most are either not much cheaper than retail (branded) or are un-branded or of some obscure brand, and almost everyone who buys them are aware that they're buying commodity Chinese components, and they're happy with that because they're cheap.

Sure, there's counterfeit stuff for sale on eBay, but I don't think that USB sticks are the best example of that.

Reply Score: 1

take care
by nillbug on Fri 31st Dec 2010 13:33 UTC
nillbug
Member since:
2009-09-25

This cases are always worst when the citizens live in counties with strong diplomatic and commercial ties with the US. If you are a hacker, watch well how much your country is enforced on those ties, and take care.

Reply Score: 1

RE: take care
by lucas_maximus on Fri 31st Dec 2010 16:16 UTC in reply to "take care"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I can't comment about the US, but in the UK the attitude has always been ... if someone is using Piracy as a business then we will do something about it, however if it someone lending their mate a Microsoft Office CD or a copy of a Game, it is pretty much impossible to enforce and so a blind eye is shown ... pretty much everyone does it ... if a friend wants an album I have ripped I will just copy the MP3s over to his stick.

However certainly in my social circle, spotify has pretty much stopped a lot of piracy by some of my friends, because they don't need to do it and listening to an Ad once every 4 or 5 songs doesn't really bother them. In fact I use Spotify even if it is music I got on my machine, just because it is easier.

The thing is when I can download an entire Album in less than 30 minutes (with a decent broadband connection), why would I bother travelling to the record shop? People are lazy and will do the least amount necessary to get something in the vast majority of circumstances. Spotify certainly is less effort than finding a torrent.

Anyway I have gone off on a tangent.

Edited 2010-12-31 16:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: take care
by tweakedenigma on Fri 31st Dec 2010 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE: take care"
tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27



However certainly in my social circle, spotify has pretty much stopped a lot of piracy by some of my friends, because they don't need to do it and listening to an Ad once every 4 or 5 songs doesn't really bother them. In fact I use Spotify even if it is music I got on my machine, just because it is easier.

The thing is when I can download an entire Album in less than 30 minutes (with a decent broadband connection), why would I bother travelling to the record shop? People are lazy and will do the least amount necessary to get something in the vast majority of circumstances. Spotify certainly is less effort than finding a torrent.

Anyway I have gone off on a tangent.



It might be a tangent but its also spot on. Most people I know who used to pirate a lot of stuff just use Netflix and services like it. People are naturally Good and Lazy so give me an easy way to do something and don't treat me like a criminal and I am more then happy to pay.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: take care
by WereCatf on Fri 31st Dec 2010 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE: take care"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

However certainly in my social circle, spotify has pretty much stopped a lot of piracy by some of my friends, because they don't need to do it and listening to an Ad once every 4 or 5 songs doesn't really bother them. In fact I use Spotify even if it is music I got on my machine, just because it is easier.

It's the same with me and several of my friends. I too used to pirate lots of music, but then I found out about Spotify, got a free pass to it at first and absolutely loved it. Then I just went on and upgraded to premium account. It's simply easy, convenient, and the price is right.

The same can applies to games, too: I used to play pirated games because I couldn't afford to buy games, but then a friend introduced me to Steam. It took me some time to get used to it, but over time I've grown very fond it. There's the weekly special deal which I used to for example buy Batman: Arkham Asylum only for 7 euros, and now there was the 2-week Christmas special and I've bought a dozen games. Steam makes gaming easy as they always have all the game files you need and installing the games is as easy as clicking a few buttons. No need to worry about serials, missing DVDs or anything. Again, same as Spotify, it's really easy, convenient, and the price is definitely right. There simply is no need to pirate anything anymore.

That's the thing: most people would probably prefer non-pirated versions if buying, maintaining and using them was made easy and convenient, and they weren't overpriced. But companies always strife to make things harder, inconvenient, and then proceed to overprice the products, too.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: take care
by Tuishimi on Fri 31st Dec 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: take care"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah... and those specials always seem to come out right after I pay full-price. ;) (O.K. I know enough to not by before a major Holiday...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: take care
by nt_jerkface on Fri 31st Dec 2010 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: take care"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

That's the thing: most people would probably prefer non-pirated versions if buying, maintaining and using them was made easy and convenient, and they weren't overpriced. But companies always strife to make things harder, inconvenient, and then proceed to overprice the products, too.


That sounds nice in theory but in reality indy $10 pc games without any DRM get pirated just as much as $50 games. Android $1 games get pirated as well.

People pirate because they don't want to pay.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2008/11/acrying-shame-world-of-g...

This is the craziest case so far:
http://www.joystiq.com/2010/05/10/one-quarter-of-humble-indie-bundl...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: take care
by lucas_maximus on Sat 1st Jan 2011 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: take care"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I think it is certainly true of games.

Reply Score: 2

RE: take care - hacker or criminal?
by jabbotts on Fri 31st Dec 2010 21:20 UTC in reply to "take care"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If one is a criminal, sure.. be aware of the possible outcome of your activities locally and when the US leans on your local gov.

If one is a Hacker, they are simply a self directed learner who focuses on a specific topic down to it's most minute detail. They value sharing of information so each can learn from the work of others; an information economy provided one has authority to release the information. Hackers may not be remotely interested in computers or technology at all. Sex Hackers, Political Hackers (not "hacktivists"), Psycology Hackers.. heck any topic can be "Hacked" ("hack" meaning "to understand" eg; "I think I hack how this works.. what's next?")

If one thinks "criminal" when they hear the word Hacker, they really don't understand either words.

Reply Score: 2

A bit of theft is OK
by jefro on Fri 31st Dec 2010 23:09 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Seems that OSnews is OK with a bit of theft still.

Sorry, I am from an honest family. We still believe that in America a crook is a crook no matter what amount they steal.

Reply Score: 1

RE: A bit of theft is OK
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 1st Jan 2011 03:46 UTC in reply to "A bit of theft is OK"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Sorry, I am from an honest family.


I'm from an honest family also.

I'm also concerned about the future of our culture, our science. And what I'm seeing is not what I'm liking. I see laws destroying culture, art, science. I am well within my goddamn right as a tax-paying citizen of The Kingdom of The Netherlands to question what I see. If I see a bad law, I'm going to ignore it - hard.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A bit of theft is OK
by m_abs on Sun 2nd Jan 2011 07:24 UTC in reply to "A bit of theft is OK"
m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems that OSnews is OK with a bit of theft still.

Sorry, I am from an honest family. We still believe that in America a crook is a crook no matter what amount they steal.

What does "steal" have to do with illegal copies?

Reply Score: 3

One should change the laws not break them.
by jefro on Sat 1st Jan 2011 17:41 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Here is my opinion. Some company owns something that you feel you should own for some reason. You are perfectly free to either pay what they want or free to not buy it and not use it.

If it were you bike in your home and I simply wanted to use it would you let me? It is after all yours and I may say that you will never wear it out therefore I should have the right to wear it out.

NO! It is your legal property. Why can't it be as clear as that. This software or other copyrighted product is a product. It is work of someone who wants to get paid. They have families to feed and bills to pay. You are stealing not only from some corporate board but from the workers or other artists that created the work.

Reply Score: 2

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

If it were you bike in your home and I simply wanted to use it would you let me?


You mean if you wanted to make a copy of it? You want to copy my bike?


NO! It is your legal property. Why can't it be as clear as that. This software or other copyrighted product is a product.


Intellectual property != property. It can't be as clear as that, because it is not a simple as that. It would be nice if it were that simple, but it isn't.

You will also notice that 'big content' will present intellectual property as property when they want to, and not when it doesn't - i.e. unauthorised copying becomes theft and piracy, where as resale and rental becomes licence violation.

Reply Score: 2