Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Nov 2011 11:15 UTC
Legal While the US is still pondering SOPA, we just got some absolutely fantastic news out of Europe. The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, has just ruled that P2P filters installed by ISPs violate the European Directive on electronic commerce as well as fundamental rights [full ruling]. This is a hugely important ruling that effectively protects all member states of the European Union from ever being subjected to ISP filtering and spying.
Thread beginning with comment 498128
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
tanishaj
Member since:
2010-12-22

They'll have to regularly *shock gasp horror* perform to make money.

They'll live.


Thom, I am anti-patent, pro-P2P, and download my fair share of content. That said, I do not think that full-scale endorsement of the idea that all digital content should lose copyright protection makes much sense.

For example, if I write software for a living, how exactly do I "perform" to survive if all my customers are getting my product for free?

Part of the reason that I am so happily anti-patent for software is that copyright protection is enough. Without copyright, I am not sure my arguments make much sense.

By the way, my favourite software license (even for my own stuff) is ASL. So, it is not like I am one of those "all software should cost money" guys. Clearly though, if I am creating something of value and hoping that the fruits of my labour will feed my family, it would be an injustice to allow others to legally take it from me without any compensation.

You can argue that music recordings are viral advertisement for live performances. That seems less true of software, movies, and other stuff.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The problem is people will always find ways to pirate, so content holders treating everyone as criminals to catch a small few (comparatively speaking) who do pirate. This goes against everything that the developed world's courts are based upon (innocent until proven guilty), not to mention massively inconveniences legitimate users.

I don't have a problem with organisations auditing businesses to ensure they have the correct licences but there does come a point when fanaticism for catching every single user -who likely wouldn't pay for your software under any conditions- starts costing you more than you'd recoup with software sales.

I'm not saying my ideology is perfect, but I do wonder if the cost of anti-piracy measures cost more than the money content holders earn from strong arming these sales. Perhaps that's why we see ludicrous damages fees (several $millions) targeted at individuals who, all things considered, were small time P2P hosts; perhaps those damages are to cover the cost of catching these people rather than the loss of sales. Or perhaps I'm just looking for a conspiracy now?

Reply Parent Score: 3

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

For example, if I write software for a living, how exactly do I "perform" to survive if all my customers are getting my product for free?


You do what good software developers do - you support your customers and you listen to them. (Oh, and people who didn't pay for your product shouldn't be viewed as "customers"...)

I despise software developers who throw products out there and expects money to just roll in magically.

I'm in the software industry myself, and if there's one thing that sticks in my mind from a company I used to work for - it was the belief that having others copy our software would be a godsend. It would make our product more popular, and when the infringers actually wanted to be customers (which they inevitably would have - it was an enterprise-level product), they would pay for it.

Ultimately, their product was never good enough that anyone wanted to "steal" it, so... oh well ;)

Edited 2011-11-24 17:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I despise software developers who throw products out there and expects money to just roll in magically.


That's ridiculous. So game developers, people who create financial management software or banking software, etc. should expect to live off what? Support? No, you create a product people want and sell it. If it is good, you have the money to write some more as you put food on the table and hope the combination of your reputation and quality of your next product allow you to continue to sell software and feed your family.

Reply Parent Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Thom, I am anti-patent, pro-P2P, and download my fair share of content. That said, I do not think that full-scale endorsement of the idea that all digital content should lose copyright protection makes much sense.


In terms of digital content losing its copyright protection, it is going to happen. I'm not here to make any moral judgements on this fact one way or the other, but just here to say that it WILL happen. Looking at it from a pragmatic sort of view, there's no way it cannot.

Now, the question is, what do you as a software developer do when this happens? Well, one thing that is true right now is that you can't make money selling open source software, other than the generous few that will throw some cash in your direction. And once copyright goes away, that will hold true for ALL software. In that case, you'll have to do what the open source crowd does to make money:

- Charge people to customize the software however they want
- Sell services (such as support)
- Sell t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.

Also, you could keep your source code under lock and key, set up a web app, and make people pay for subscriptions.

If none of those options work for you, you'll probably have to find another career. That may not sound fair to you, but I'm sure the horse & buggy industry also cried foul when the automobile was invented. You'll just have to move on.

Edited 2011-11-25 02:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

My view on this is very well... simple. You can't sell air.

To be more precise. If something can be copied to everyone for 0$ why would anyone buy it? I'm sorry artists, programmers et al. Your business model doesn't add up. Live with it, move along.

Reply Parent Score: 1