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Griff
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09 Mar 2008, 3:56 pm

I have little say in the matter. I do not download music, and most of the media that I have was either sent by friends or bought on disk. However, this is not due to any moral compunction. I'm just not in the habit of file-swapping these days.

There seems to be a strong movement, worldwide, against copyright law. What started out as a niche activity has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, and I credit it to mistakes on the part of the industry. Unfortunately for them, they decided early in the game to treat file sharing as a criminal activity, and they seem to have had as much success in this as Bush has had in suppressing terrorism. What they seem to have in common is a belief that people enjoy cooperating with tyrants and war-makers. For right or for wrong, file sharing seems to have come into full bloom as a way of symbolically making a stand against tyranny and unjust law. It seems that pirates have become very fashionable.

Is it appropriate to consider this a cultural movement? Does the industry stand a breath of a chance of fulfilling their dreams of successfully criminalizing this activity, which is to mean widespread and relatively unchallenged social support for the idea and a realistic chance of effective enforcement?



iamnotaparakeet
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09 Mar 2008, 4:02 pm

No, I doubt it's a cultural movement, people just like free stuff. To some I suppose they could consider themselves "Pirating for a noble cause" but I just can't see that as the popular reason. Perhaps for some of the people who are ripping the media, but certainly not all of them.



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09 Mar 2008, 4:11 pm

"Tyranny and unjust law?" What a load of crap. People just want a free lunch, and most aren't rally considering that they are engaging in theft.


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Griff
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09 Mar 2008, 4:19 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
No, I doubt it's a cultural movement, people just like free stuff. To some I suppose they could consider themselves "Pirating for a noble cause" but I just can't see that as the popular reason. Perhaps for some of the people who are ripping the media, but certainly not all of them.
So you argue that idealism is out of the ordinary? Although I am sure that it is plentifully common for people to enjoy "free stuff," I don't think that this is mutually exclusive with a rabid hatred for invasive laws, whether or not this is felt rightly.



Griff
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09 Mar 2008, 4:20 pm

Orwell wrote:
People just want a free lunch, and most aren't rally considering that they are engaging in theft.
That's what the music industry said! That's why they're losing!



Orwell
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09 Mar 2008, 4:59 pm

I have met no one who feels upset at these "invasive laws," and there are far worse laws to be concerned about. Those I know who download music illegally do so because they don't want to pay for it. You can call it what you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it is theft.


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Griff
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09 Mar 2008, 7:05 pm

Orwell wrote:
I have met no one who feels upset at these "invasive laws,"
I have, though. In fact, most of those with whom I associate they feel that they have a natural right to share their music, games, and movies with their friends and peers. They think that it is wrong for the government or any corporation to keep them from it.

Quote:
and there are far worse laws to be concerned about.
This depends upon your priorities.

Quote:
Those I know who download music illegally do so because they don't want to pay for it.
My boyfriend just does it to hoard. He actually listens to very little of the movies and music he downloads.

What do you think prompts people to rip DVDs and share them online?

What do you think motivates the so-called Pirate Party? They're actually politically active in more developed nations. In countries like the US, in which democracy never really took hold, they haven't gained as much recognition.

Quote:
You can call it what you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it is theft.
Nope. When I go out to purchase a DVD, I should be able to consider it my property. I paid for it, therefore I am its rightful owner.

Now, it has been explained to me that I have only bought a limited license to its use. It has been explained to me that, when I buy a DVD, I have only purchased the disc that its contents are printed on. In this case, however, what is at stake is a licensing agreement. I can dismiss this out of hand as outright poppycock, though. Who determines the limits of such licensing agreements? The government? If the government controls the limitations upon these agreements, then I could advocate that no good should be sold except as a complete transfer of control over the object exchanged, with all creative rights transferred to me, the purchaser. I could base my argument for this upon the simple idea that my physical possession over a DVD gives me undisputed authority over it. The record companies being given any control over what I do after I have legitimately purchased it could be considered an infringement upon my right to the ownership of the disc. I should be able to copy it, share it, and profit from its contents.

Under this scenario, I am considering the purchase of a DVD, a physical object, a complete transfer of power over it, and I deny that there is such a thing as "intellectual property." I feel that trade is limited to the transfer of a physical object from the hands of one entity to another in exchange for a sum of money that they have both agreed upon, by informed consent. If you're allowed to have a limited, narrow-minded view upon what constitutes property, then so am I. What constitutes morally right behavior, though is not as straightforward as you seem to deem it. In real life settings, matters tend to be more complicated.

In short, Orwell, you are wrong. It is not a fact that file sharing is theft, nor is it treated as such by law in most countries. There is not as much certainty in this issue as you claim.

This wouldn't be such a problem, but what I take issue with is that I think you knew this before even posting here. I believe that you made the statement that you did, knowing that its truth is uncertain. You stated that it as a fact, knowing it not to be so clear-cut. Furthermore, I think that you are perfectly aware that many people consider filesharing their right, not theft, yet you talk about them with the assumption that they know their actions to be wrong. I believe that you are perfectly aware of those who sincerely feel that it is their right to be allowed to share creative work. If you know of such people, then it is dishonest for you to pretend otherwise. It is a violation of trust. Should I continue to trust you? Can there be any degree of trust between us?

If I cannot trust you to be truthful and fair with me, then this will be a conflict, not a rational discussion between mature men.

Without trust, rational conversation cannot take place.



Orwell
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09 Mar 2008, 7:45 pm

Wow, that was a harsh post.

Griff wrote:
Orwell wrote:
I have met no one who feels upset at these "invasive laws,"
I have, though. In fact, most of those with whom I associate they feel that they have a natural right to share their music, games, and movies with their friends and peers. They think that it is wrong for the government or any corporation to keep them from it.

Well, I disagree with their conception of "natural rights." The various people who were involved in the creative act of producing music or movies own the rights to those things. You said your associates wish to share "THEIR music, games, and movies" with friends. If they produce their own music, movies, etc. they should feel free to share those with whomever they please- we have sites such as you-tube for movie sharing. Essentially, they are claiming property rights where I do not think it is appropriate to do so.

Griff wrote:
Quote:
and there are far worse laws to be concerned about.
This depends upon your priorities.

Perhaps. I evidently have very different priorities from the people you are referring to.

Griff wrote:
Quote:
You can call it what you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it is theft.
Nope. When I go out to purchase a DVD, I should be able to consider it my property. I paid for it, therefore I am its rightful owner.

Now, it has been explained to me that I have only bought a limited license to its use. It has been explained to me that, when I buy a DVD, I have only purchased the disc that its contents are printed on. In this case, however, what is at stake is a licensing agreement. I can dismiss this out of hand as outright poppycock, though. Who determines the limits of such licensing agreements? The government? If the government controls the limitations upon these agreements, then I could advocate that no good should be sold except as a complete transfer of control over the object exchanged, with all creative rights transferred to me, the purchaser. I could base my argument for this upon the simple idea that my physical possession over a DVD gives me undisputed authority over it.

Come on now. You know that the creative rights to a musical composition, a film, or anything else are far more valuable than the $5-20 you probably paid for it. If you wished to purchase the creative rights as well as the right to use it for your own personal entertainment, you would have to pay a lot more. When you purchase a copyrighted good, part of the terms of purchase includes not distributing it illegally or using it for your own profit. Since a sale is considered a contract, you have then violated this contract and so I would argue that you have forfeited any rights to that material. If you don't like the contract, don't enter into it and don't buy the disc in the first place. The government does not determine the limits of the licensing agreement, that is decided by the transaction between yourself and the producer of the CD/DVD in question. Part of the terms of purchase is that you will respect the licensing agreement. The only role government can have in this is to help enforce a contract and protect property rights. If you wee sold a limited license to the use of something, you can't from that claim absolute creative ownership, because that was not agreed upon in the initial sale, thus violating the idea of a free and consensual transaction- you have claimed to purchase something that the other person never agreed to sell.

Griff wrote:
Under this scenario, I am considering the purchase of a DVD, a physical object, a complete transfer of power over it, and I deny that there is such a thing as "intellectual property." I feel that trade is limited to the transfer of a physical object from the hands of one entity to another in exchange for a sum of money that they have both agreed upon, by informed consent. If you're allowed to have a limited, narrow-minded view upon what constitutes property, then so am I. What constitutes morally right behavior is not as straightforward as you seem to deem it. In real life settings, matters tend to be more complicated.

Well, I don't require anyone else to live by my ideals of morality (like I would be able to anyways) but now you have to justify what is right about depriving the producers of these DVDs of the earnings they could have if you did not engage in what you yourself have termed piracy, which by its very definition is illegal. Trade is not limited to the transfer of physical objects, we also trade services, and arguments can be made for intellectual property. If you do not believe in intellectual property, do not engage in trade with people who do and who are taking such considerations into account in making a transaction. To do so is disingenuous at the least. Informed consent between the two parties to a trade does not occur if you do not disclose to the other party that you disagree with the terms of the sale (contract). You are in effect rejecting the terms of a contract as you enter into it, but without disclosing this to the other party to the contract. Is it honest or moral to enter into any contract with the pre-meditated intent to violate that contract?
Griff wrote:
In short, Orwell, you are wrong. ...There is not as much certainty in this issue as you claim.

I disagree. And you seem to claim a good deal of certainty for your side.

Griff wrote:
This wouldn't be such a problem, but what I take issue with is that I think you knew this before even posting here. I believe that you made the statement that you did, knowing that its truth is uncertain. You stated that it as a fact, knowing it not to be so clear-cut. Furthermore, I think that you are perfectly aware that many people consider filesharing their right, not theft, yet you talk about them with the assumption that they know their actions to be wrong. I believe that you are perfectly aware of those who sincerely feel that it is their right to be allowed to share creative work. If you know of such people, then it is dishonest for you to pretend otherwise. It is a violation of trust. Should I continue to trust you? Can there be any degree of trust between us?

Wow. Now you really go on the attack. I have heard that there are people who believe it is ethical to steal music, videos, etc. but I have never met them in real life (or on the Internet until just now). My post said "I have met no one" "The people I know" etc and these are all perfectly factual statements. I know people who download music illegally, but they have no illusions that they are breaking the law, they just don't really care. They are less concerned about the rightness or wrongness of their actions than they are about getting free music. I did not talk about file-"sharers" universally but those that I know, so do not claim to know those people better than I do. I don't know people who sincerely believe they have such a right, so I am not being in the least deceitful. And frankly, I don't care if some people consider that to be their right. It doesn't mean it is.

I would appreciate a reduction in the attacks upon my character. You made false and unfounded assumptions about the opinions of those I associate with and then accused me of dishonesty for not representing those imaginary opinions. I do not spend much time debating people who are always ready to assume the worst of anything I say, but I am perfectly willing to continue a discussion of the issues at stake here.


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Last edited by Orwell on 09 Mar 2008, 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Orwell
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09 Mar 2008, 7:52 pm

Sorry for double-posting after already going on a pretty long rant.

Griff: You claim not to believe in intellectual property, and use this as justification fro piracy in movies, music, etc. The only logically consistent position would be to also oppose patent law, since that also rests on a conception of intellectual property. Do you?


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MysteryFan3
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09 Mar 2008, 9:03 pm

You're basically saying that the artists who created the music give up all rights to the music on the first sale of that music. You're also saying that they have no right to expect payment after the first sale. And you're saying that the music on the disc is only worth a single $16 payment to everybody involved, even though the studio time cost tens of thousands of dollars, the studio cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, advertising and production cost hundreds of thousands more, etc.

How long do you expect your favorite artists to be able to stay in the music business if the thousands of people involved in making the disc you own only get $16 whether they need it or not? How long do you expect to have a music business to buy from?


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09 Mar 2008, 10:28 pm

I dont consider watching movies or downloading music from filesharing as theft. I believe that we should all be able to watch unlimited movies for whatever price we can afford to spend on luxurys. Ideally we would be able to pay a monthly subscription to download whatever movies we want every month but the industry is greedy and will charge a too big fee for that.

Does anyone know how much money the worlds movie industries generate in a year?

My estimation is a couple hundred billion dollar but I cant find any good numbers.



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09 Mar 2008, 10:41 pm

Orwell wrote:
"Tyranny and unjust law?" What a load of crap. People just want a free lunch, and most aren't rally considering that they are engaging in theft.


The problem is, It is not theft.

Music (art), software (math) , books (ideas) , you really can't take them away from a person, it is culture, it is knowledge, it is not property.

So, the industry can make the governments make it arbitrarily illegal to share culture, that doesn't make it a wrong thing, it is just illegal, and it certainly is not theft.

Just repeating the same lie over and over again, it won't make it true.

Infringing copyright, is against the law, so avoid it. But don't call it theft, since it isn't.



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09 Mar 2008, 10:48 pm

Fine. If you want the music for free legally, run a patch cord from your receiver to your sound card line input and use Audacity to record from the radio. Capturing music from the airwaves is legal, but using the internet radio stations for that is not.

If the music comes in noisy, Audacity has clean-up options. It's available from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.


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09 Mar 2008, 10:50 pm

Orwell wrote:
"Tyranny and unjust law?" What a load of crap. People just want a free lunch, and most aren't rally considering that they are engaging in theft.

actually, copyright infringement and theft are two completely different crimes...

MysteryFan3 wrote:

How long do you expect your favorite artists to be able to stay in the music business if the thousands of people involved in making the disc you own only get $16 whether they need it or not? How long do you expect to have a music business to buy from?


Musicians make most of their money from concerts and merchandise. The record labels take a large percentage of CD sales. Why do you think artists like Radiohead are giving away their music on their websites (and still making more money from donations than they would have if they had sold the CDs in stores)?


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10 Mar 2008, 12:04 am

A lot of people justify piracy by claiming that they're "stealing from thieves". They regard the RIAA and MPAA and other publishers as corrupt organisations that are taking an unfair proportion of the profit, and using mafia-like tactics to maintain control over their "property".

In the end, I think it just comes down to greed on both sides. The world runs on greed. Some people leech off society by exploiting the system to make money far in excess of what they deserve. For others, the system stands in the way of material wealth, so they try to bypass it. Is someone less of a parasite just because they obey laws? I say no. Others would say yes.