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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Member since:

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 Parent Score: 3

bouhko Member since:

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 Parent Score: 1

Bounty Member since:

"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 Parent Score: 2

CaptHilts Member since:

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 Parent Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:

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 Parent Score: 2

talaf Member since:

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 Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

It is theft from a moral point of view.

It is theft from your* moral point of view.

Reply Parent Score: 1