View Full Version : What are your views on illegal copying?


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Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 07:13 AM
I'm interested to see what people's how people feel about different kinds of illegal copying of ebooks. Please check ALL the statements that you AGREE with. The question is how you feel, not what you think the social consensus is, or what the law means. By "copy a book" I mean obtain an electronic copy by any means - darknet, a friend, etc.

1. All illegal copying of books is wrong
2. It's OK to copy a book that is Public Domain in a different country
3. It's OK to copy a book if I bought it new in print (I've paid the author)
4. It's OK to copy a book if I own it in print (I own a paid-up copy)
5. It's OK to copy a book that is not published electronically (I can't buy it)
6. It's OK to copy a book that is not published in my country (I can't buy it here)
7. It's OK to copy a book if the author is dead
8. It's OK to copy a book if I think that the author is rich
9. It's OK to copy a book from mainstream publishers
10. It's always OK to copy (information wants to be free)

kennyc
02-19-2010, 07:23 AM
I don't call it illegal copying, I call it theft because we have to look at things differently in the Digital age.

I don't like the choices very much either. I think the same concepts should apply to digital as to print. If you make a copy for your own uses without giving it away or sharing with others, then all it's fine. If you "distribute" it to someone else, then it's not. It's boils down to an author's (creator's) rights to me.

Zetmolm
02-19-2010, 07:24 AM
How about this option:
It's OK to copy a book if I borrowed from the public library (I've paid the author through my library subscription)

And by the way, copying a book for my own use is not illegal in my country (NL).

sabredog
02-19-2010, 07:31 AM
Geo restrictions prevent readers from buying books they want to pay for. In the end they will consider getting a free copy.

LDBoblo
02-19-2010, 07:34 AM
Pirates make every story better.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 07:35 AM
I don't call it illegal copying, I call it theft because we have to look at things differently in the Digital age.
I know you do, Kenny, but I was trying to canvas opinion using neutral language.

kennyc
02-19-2010, 07:37 AM
I get a chuckle out of that last choice. "Information wants to be free" -- maybe we we should pass a lay making

information = corporation = person....

and then we can lobby for information rights and stopping China from Information Rights Abuses!

"Free Information" Now!

kennyc
02-19-2010, 07:38 AM
Pirates make every story better.

When is "Talk like a Pirate Day" anyway?

kennyc
02-19-2010, 07:40 AM
I know you do, Kenny, but I was trying to canvas opinion using neutral language.

Thanks, I appreciate that. I still have to say it though. :)

LDBoblo
02-19-2010, 07:41 AM
When is "Talk like a Pirate Day" anyway?
September, so we've got a ways to go. However, every day is Act like a Pirate Day! :pirateattack:

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 07:42 AM
How about this option:
It's OK to copy a book if I borrowed from the public library (I've paid the author through my library subscription)
That's an interesting one. I don't think that I can edit a poll once it's started, but we could repeat in a few months perhaps. Personally, I wouldn't go for that option - authors only get a very small payment for a library loan.

Zetmolm
02-19-2010, 07:58 AM
Personally, I wouldn't go for that option - authors only get a very small payment for a library loan.

I don't quite see your point. Whether I borrow a book and read the paper copy, or borrow a book and read an electronic copy I downloaded from elsewhere, the author gets the same payment. Or do you mean to say that you're against library loans in general? ;)

Anyway, interesting poll!

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 08:09 AM
I don't quite see your point. Whether I borrow a book and read the paper copy, or borrow a book and read an electronic copy I downloaded from elsewhere, the author gets the same payment. Or do you mean to say that you're against library loans in general? ;)
I think that libraries are great, and have written to mine to try to get them to stock ebooks.

There is a difference between owning a book and borrowing it, which I think it is reasonable to carry through to the digital world. If it's OK to copy a book when you borrow it, authors will lose more profitable sales to library loan + copy.

Katti's Cat
02-19-2010, 08:23 AM
Well Libraries are free here unless you pre-order a book. Then you pay a nominal fee of AUS$0.55 so the last choice fell out for not applicable.

When is copying unlawful - if I finish a pBook I borrow it to a friend. That's ok, isn't it. When I finish an eBook and send it to friend it's not? Even though I paid the same amount for it? Hmm. Still confused.

I am against pirated books however, I am sure that one day I will give in to temptation just because geo restrictions prevent me from getting the book I want.

I voted for the first option because anything illegal is wrong. Doesn't mean I don't do it just trying not to get caught:D

Moejoe
02-19-2010, 08:37 AM
It's always okay, and not only is it always okay on a philosophical and ideological level (pro human, anti-greed), it's also okay because of the practicalities of the digital medium. There is no way to stop sharing, no physical or digital process by which control of a digital object can be achieved. It will occur even if you lock off and put a wall around every part of the internet.

I support and encourage all forms of what you might call 'piracy' and what I would call 'sharing'. My hope is that all digital objects will be reduced to zero in worth and that only those with no idea of profit or gain will create our culture, or that we create our culture together with the culture itself being the reward. What is bad for the coffers of multi-nationals is always good for people. :)

kennyc
02-19-2010, 08:46 AM
Nice Tull quote Moejoe! Love that song.

pietvo
02-19-2010, 08:58 AM
In my country making a photocopy of a book is allowed if the book is no longer for sale, and if it is only for private, non-commercial use. Otherwise only a few pages may be copied. You may have someone else do the copying for you.

On the other hand making a digital copy is allowed for private, non-commercial use, regardless of the availability. But you must make the copy yourself, you can't let another person or a service do it.

In neither case you are allowed to give the copies away or sell them.

Please note: IANAL. I am still trying to read up the legal literature on this subject.

Krystian Galaj
02-19-2010, 09:03 AM
It is ok to have a book for your personal use if you paid the author for it, or if there's no chance the author will create more books. It's a shame some authors who could have a paypal donation button on their sites don't :/

tompe
02-19-2010, 09:31 AM
The poll seems to assume a rights based moral or some rule based system. I would say that it depends on the situation and the book. It is OK if it is an action that tries to maximize the utility (defined in whatever way you like to define it). But that is because I like consequence ethics systems.

EowynCarter
02-19-2010, 09:43 AM
I'm surprised at how many consider "I already own the book" above "book not availible as e-book".

Lemurion
02-19-2010, 09:43 AM
Interesting poll questions.

One option I don't see is "It's OK to copy a book so that I can use my already paid-for electronic version on a different (or incompatible) device." (For example stripping DRM so I can put a Kindle book on my Sony). I think that's an important omission because very few people will be opposed to that and so it helps show that there really is a continuum and that very few people are going to be always on one side or the other.

I also used to pirate books that I already owned when there was no legally available electronic copy. Though in many cases I later bought electronic editions when they became available.

Ralph Sir Edward
02-19-2010, 09:45 AM
What about dead people?

I think they can't hold up the societal bargain, because they'll never create again....

(At least on this plane.)

GhostHawk
02-19-2010, 10:00 AM
I could easily have answered any of the choices with the exception of the very top answer. Different situations, different choices.

Ohh and Kenny will you just accept the fact that its not the same as stealing a painting!
After all, how many of your biggest wealthiest customers have works of art that are stolen, or copied without permission of the artist in their collections?

Do you refuse to sell to them?

Would the world be a better place if only a handfull of very rich people had ever seen the Mona Lisa?

Every one of those pictures and prints of the Mona Lisa are by your definition theft.

Even though the original hangs in splendor, nothing has been taken from it. No one has lost it, but according to you its theft. Well thankfully you don't make the definitions.

If its in public domain in Canada, and I can download it directly to my computer, why NOT copy it? The issue then becomes one of "who's rules" and when that happens I say "My rules trump your rules".

Does that make me a pirate, no doubt about it.
If I could afford to buy it, at a reasonable price I probably would.

But should I be told I can't read this book because we didn't make enough money last year? It is to laugh. Seriously!

Ohhh and before you look down your nose at me. Wait till you've been disabled, unable to work for 10 years with virtually zero income. Wait till you've had to subsist on under 20k a year for 2 people, 4 cats and 2 birds. Walk a mile in my shoes before you give me that holier than thou stare.

Yes I'm a pirate, but not always by choice.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 10:14 AM
I wish I could edit the title to say "tick ALL options that apply" because the idea wasn't to pick one, as I think some people have, but to check all the statements that people thought were reasonable.

dsvick
02-19-2010, 10:53 AM
If you do not get the right to make a copy through legal means then copying it is wrong. Case closed, no discussion, it is cut and dried - if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong.

Ghosthawk, regardless of whether you think it is fair, or it is your right, or because you can't afford it, or for whatever reason you use to justify your action it is still wrong. Using your justification we can all do whatever we want to simply because we can think of a, to us, logical reason. I did not make enough money last year to afford a 60 inch flat screen tv, but I really want one so I'm just going to take one. How is that even remotely "not wrong"?

Yes, books are not flat panel televisions, nor are they famous paintings but they are still a good that someone spent time and effort in the creation of and deserves compensation for the use of.

Bremen Cole
02-19-2010, 11:07 AM
GhostHawk said "Ohhh and before you look down your nose at me. Wait till you've been disabled, unable to work for 10 years with virtually zero income. Wait till you've had to subsist on under 20k a year for 2 people, 4 cats and 2 birds. Walk a mile in my shoes before you give me that holier than thou stare.

Yes I'm a pirate, but not always by choice."

I have no stone to throw at you GhostHawk. Though our Attorney General here in the US is seeking to "protect" corporations from people like you, it is one of many points that I simply disagree with our Federal Government. Peace to you.....

Sparrow
02-19-2010, 11:12 AM
...if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong.

That is where my opinion differs.

Moejoe
02-19-2010, 11:19 AM
If you do not get the right to make a copy through legal means then copying it is wrong. Case closed, no discussion, it is cut and dried - if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong.

Sorry, case isn't closed. What you are describing is an 'unlawful' act, whether it is morally wrong or right is up for debate. And lets not get into what is right or wrong either, there's plenty of laws that are wrong, plenty. Is it wrong for a man and a man or a woman and a woman to be married? Or is it merely unlawful? Is it wrong or merely unlawful to smoke marijuana?


Ghosthawk, regardless of whether you think it is fair, or it is your right, or because you can't afford it, or for whatever reason you use to justify your action it is still wrong. Using your justification we can all do whatever we want to simply because we can think of a, to us, logical reason. I did not make enough money last year to afford a 60 inch flat screen tv, but I really want one so I'm just going to take one. How is that even remotely "not wrong"?

Yes, books are not flat panel televisions, nor are they famous paintings but they are still a good that someone spent time and effort in the creation of and deserves compensation for the use of.

No, they don't 'deserve' anything. They can try for monetary compensation by the selling of their goods or services, but they do not 'deserve' anything. If even a fraction of a percentile of all you 'piracy is wrong, its hurting the artists' Johnnies were actually to point your ire towards the real criminals, this debate would have been over a long time ago. But, no, you go on paying the publishers over and over again knowing full well that the author only gets cents on the dollar. You pay into a system that routinely screws authors over, that puts authors at the bottom of the pile. Most of them are making less than minimum wage, but you'd rather shout and ball at somebody downloading a book or two. Hypocrites the lot of you.

Elfwreck
02-19-2010, 11:41 AM
I'm unclear on what's meant by "illegal copying." What's legal and what's not, in regards to digital files and ebooks, is not clear and obvious (or we wouldn't have so much debate about it), and what you mean by "copying" is also not clear.

AFAIK, it's legal for me to copy a book I own for my personal use. I've chopped, scanned & OCR'd several print books that I own. Distributing the copy is not legal, although the legality of sharing--if I have a way to remove my copy at the same time--is untested.

At least one serious category is missing--books that *would* be in the public domain, if PD hadn't been retroactively extended. I feel no guilt for copying or sharing content that was published under laws that indicated it would be freely available for public use by now. (And I believe that those extensions haven't been directly challenged in court, which means that such copying may-or-may-not be illegal.)

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 11:42 AM
Rather than get into debates about what should be right and wrong, surely it is enough to know that laws change depending on where (and when) you live, to reject the idea that "if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong".

Xenophon
02-19-2010, 11:46 AM
Interesting poll questions.

One option I don't see is "It's OK to copy a book so that I can use my already paid-for electronic version on a different (or incompatible) device." (For example stripping DRM so I can put a Kindle book on my Sony). I think that's an important omission because very few people will be opposed to that and so it helps show that there really is a continuum and that very few people are going to be always on one side or the other.

[SNIP]


That particular example is arguably legal in the US. It's also arguably illegal in the US. :smack: Lacking clarification from the courts, and by formal written advice-of-counsel,* I consider DRM-stripping and format shifting to be legal. (Only for personal use of legitimately acquired content, of course!) So that left me choosing "All illegal..." as my poll choice.

But it's important to note that there are grey zones where legality is not entirely clear! So even a poll like this one doesn't quite cover the spectrum fully.

Xenophon
* Yes, I have formal written legal advice from an extremely eminent legal expert that DRM-stripping and format shifting of legit content for personal use is legal. I even paid a nominal sum for that advice. Seminars on legal issues sometimes provide interesting side benefits...

HarryT
02-19-2010, 11:47 AM
Rather than get into debates about what should be right and wrong, surely it is enough to know that laws change depending on where (and when) you live, to reject the idea that "if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong".

Not if one's viewpoint is simply that it's wrong to break the law.

I don't hold that view, I should add, but I know that it is a not uncommon viewpoint.

Elfwreck
02-19-2010, 11:53 AM
Case closed, no discussion, it is cut and dried - if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong.

Does that mean you think gay sex was wrong for many years, and is now not-wrong? Is it wrong to be Christian in a country where it's forbidden? Was it wrong for the underground railroad to help slaves escape their legal owners?

In many cases, laws are challenged by breaking them. If enough people don't have a problem with breaking a law, that shows that public opinion about "what is wrong" has shifted faster than the laws can change--or that the laws are controlled by people who have resources to promote their own interests, regardless of what the public believes.

I'm not saying "ebook sharing is okay;" just pointing out that "illegal = morally wrong" has some serious problems.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 11:54 AM
Not if one's viewpoint is simply that it's wrong to break the law.

I don't hold that view, I should add, but I know that it is a not uncommon viewpoint.
What I was suggesting was that I think, if most people stopped to think about it, that they would not really hold this viewpoint. For example, what if something that they approved of became illegal when legislation was passed - would they really feel it was wrong as a result? What if they go on holiday to another country - do their ideas of right and wrong change with the laws applicable to them on their travels as the juristiction changes?

It is, of course, possible to hold this view - that obedience to the law is the sole (or an over-riding) arbiter of wrongness, but I doubt that any sane person actually holds this view.

amjbrown
02-19-2010, 12:03 PM
Great survey :)

I looks as if there is some consensus around:

- if it's public domain somewhere, then I'm fine; how can it be PD in country X but not country Y?
- if you've made it impossible for me to obtain it "legally", then I'll use my initiative
- if I've already paid for it, I shouldn't pay again


The first two ring true, the last one makes me pause. A paperback is not the same as the hardback which is not the same as a special edition or the eBook. I am not sure I can demand a second copy just because I paid for the first.

However, here I have a personal parallel with music. If a remastered version with a digital booklet of an old favourite appears on iTMS, I'll buy it - extra value, I'll pay for that. Equally, if an album appears cheaply that I haven't yet ripped from *my* CD, then I'll buy that too - inexpensive way of saving labour. So, forget the row over the $9.99 or $19.99 bestsellers - if you want me to pay for your extensive back catalogue, make it cheap, and then I would never even consider copying it from elsewhere using the "I already own it" excuse.

As for restricting books to geographies - currently I can work around that. If you close that door (and don't make them available in my country) - please don't be cross when I make alternative arrangements!

Publishers...it's up to you :)

amjb

kennyc
02-19-2010, 12:15 PM
...

Yes I'm a pirate, but not always by choice.


Being a pirate (or anything for that matter) is always by choice.

:)

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 12:17 PM
Being a pirate (or anything for that matter) is always by choice.
Tell that to the press-gangs!

JoeD
02-19-2010, 12:57 PM
It's OK to copy a book that is not published in my country (I can't buy it here)

Does this question assume we cannot purchase it from another country, for example if geographical restrictions prevent you buying it there _and_ it's not published in your country?

Bremen Cole
02-19-2010, 12:59 PM
Does that mean you think gay sex was wrong for many years, and is now not-wrong? Is it wrong to be Christian in a country where it's forbidden? Was it wrong for the underground railroad to help slaves escape their legal owners?

In many cases, laws are challenged by breaking them. If enough people don't have a problem with breaking a law, that shows that public opinion about "what is wrong" has shifted faster than the laws can change--or that the laws are controlled by people who have resources to promote their own interests, regardless of what the public believes.

I'm not saying "ebook sharing is okay;" just pointing out that "illegal = morally wrong" has some serious problems.

Good Lord man! Where do you get such RADICAL ideas!!!! Karma to you my friend! :thumbsup:

Kevin2960
02-19-2010, 01:00 PM
Theft is theft, dress it up anyway you like, in the end we all have to live with how we act/behave,

It upsets me that people who moan at publishers cheating them ?, are then so happy to take from an author, without paying even a token amount ???

In the end we have to do what we believe is right, and I know what I truly believe,

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 01:25 PM
Theft is theft, dress it up anyway you like
Of course theft is theft, and murder is murder, and making an illegal copy is making an illegal copy.

This emotive language is not appropriate. If I consider my posts as my children, and anyone who disagrees with me as molesting my posts, should I refer to their actions as child molesting? Might that upset them? It would be inappropriate because what people mean by child molesting is different to what they are doing. And what people mean by theft is different to, for example, downloading a copy of a book you own on paper in contravention of copyright laws (if that even does contravene them, IANAL).
It upsets me that people who moan at publishers cheating them ?, are then so happy to take from an author, without paying even a token amount ???
Often, people would love to pay - especially a "token amount" ;) - but there may be no official published version, or geo restrictions. Or maybe they feel that, having bought the paper book, they have already paid the author.

tompe
02-19-2010, 01:25 PM
Theft is theft, dress it up anyway you like, in the end we all have to live with how we act/behave,,

And things can be morally wrong without being theft. It might be morally wrong because it is copyright infringement for exemple.

And copyright infringment is not theft. I wish people could stop repeating these propaganda talking points that copyright infringement is theft. I might begin to suspect that people are payed for it...

Kevin2960
02-19-2010, 01:38 PM
And things can be morally wrong without being theft. It might be morally wrong because it is copyright infringement for exemple.

And copyright infringment is not theft. I wish people could stop repeating these propaganda talking points that copyright infringement is theft. I might begin to suspect that people are payed for it...



It is theft, someone loses out, it is wrong, but we still have to do what we believe is right

dsvick
02-19-2010, 02:01 PM
Sorry, case isn't closed. What you are describing is an 'unlawful' act, whether it is morally wrong or right is up for debate. ...

No, they don't 'deserve' anything. They can try for monetary compensation by the selling of their goods or services, but they do not 'deserve' anything.

Does that mean you think gay sex was wrong for many years, and is now not-wrong? Is it wrong to be Christian in a country where it's forbidden? Was it wrong for the underground railroad to help slaves escape their legal owners? ...

I'm not saying "ebook sharing is okay;" just pointing out that "illegal = morally wrong" has some serious problems.

You are both correct, I misspoke (typed). I should have said that if something is against the law then it is illegal to do it, not necessarily "wrong" to do it. And, Moejoe, you're right also, "deserve" was not the best word either. This, is further illustration of why I was never on the debate team :)

I will stand by my comments though that regardless of the justification people may think they have, performing an illegal act is still an illegal act. Regardless of whether or not the person performing the act thinks they have some moral imperative to right some perceived wrong. Sure some great things have been accomplished by some great people who did things that, at the time were illegal. I would submit though that most of those were done for issues that had far deeper meanings and implications than whether or not I think I should be allowed to copy a book I already own - which, by the way I do, I remove the DRM from all my books and make a back up copy.

This is a big difference from stealing though which is what is you are doing if you find a copy of book that is otherwise intended to be purchased and you download it without paying for it.

Kevin2960
02-19-2010, 02:06 PM
This is a big difference from stealing though which is what is you are doing if you find a copy of book that is otherwise intended to be purchased and you download it without paying for it.

True !

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 02:41 PM
I don't call it illegal copying, I call it theft because we have to look at things differently in the Digital age.

I don't like the choices very much either. I think the same concepts should apply to digital as to print. If you make a copy for your own uses without giving it away or sharing with others, then all it's fine. If you "distribute" it to someone else, then it's not. It's boils down to an author's (creator's) rights to me.

NOT if I already own a dead-tree copy and the publisher refuses to release an electronic version. Sorry, but it is my right to make an electronic copy for my personal use. Note that I did NOT say that I have the right to make a copy and distribute it to others.

I, and I think this is true for many e-reader owners, *want* to be able to buy legal e-books that put money in the authors' pockets. And if the publisher fails to make this possible, then it is the publishers who've failed their authors, not me. Making an electronic copy in such situations is not theft, it's merely allowing me to re-read, and enjoy again, an author's work - in a format that I find preferable.

Derek

jamesbeat
02-19-2010, 02:45 PM
I think that if the attitudes of consumers is to change, then the attitudes of publishers must change.
The publishers seem to think that ebooks are some kind of gold mine. The amount they charge for them is insulting, given the fact that they don't have the printing and distribution costs associated with paper books.
I think that the publishers are behaving the way they are because before long, their business model will no longer work.
A new technology has come along that will render conventional publishing obsolete, and publishers are attempting to buck the trend.

Before digital media existed, authors had no choice but to use a publisher simply because authors generally don't have printing presses and distribution networks.
We, as owners of ereading devices, are very much the early adopters of a technology that will one day become ubiquitous. In the not too distant future, printing presses will be relegated to a role similar to that of vinyl record presses, ie. an obsolete technology that still has some specialized use.

Publishers know all of this and are desperately trying to resist the change, just like the music industry did. High prices do not work for digital books, and DRM is an insult to consumers that have paid those high prices.

There is nothing whatsoever that publishers can do to prevent piracy. Nobody feels sorry for them.
Many of us feel sorry for the authors who's works are being pirated, but I doubt there is much sympathy for the publishers.

Ebook technology has given both readers and authors a means to sidestep the greedy middle man and deal with each other directly. In the end, the only people who will lose out are the publishers.

If they want to save their business, they should stop trying to drag their heels and reinvent themselves. They need to realize that the printing side of their businesses will soon be obsolete and that their role is more that of an agent to the author.

With that in mind, I see the current arguments about copyright and the futile attempts to force consumers to 'be good' (DRM) as last ditch attempts to delay the inevitable.

If ebooks cost $0.01, nobody would pirate them, and if they cost $1000 nobody would pay for them. I think charging the same for an ebook as a print version actively encourages piracy. Why not sell them for $2 each, but with a minimum order of five books?

In a nutshell, I think what I'm trying to say is that the way publishers are behaving is practically begging people to pirate their books.
You can't stop people from pirating digital works, no matter what the law says or how well you try to copy- protect them.
The music industry has learned that if you make it easy and cheap for people, they will be more likely to spend money.

That doesn't necessarily mean that I think piracy is right, but I do think it is inevitable, and that the publishing industry is not doing itself any favors.

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 02:48 PM
Interesting poll questions.

One option I don't see is "It's OK to copy a book so that I can use my already paid-for electronic version on a different (or incompatible) device." (For example stripping DRM so I can put a Kindle book on my Sony). I think that's an important omission because very few people will be opposed to that and so it helps show that there really is a continuum and that very few people are going to be always on one side or the other.

I also used to pirate books that I already owned when there was no legally available electronic copy. Though in many cases I later bought electronic editions when they became available.

Exactly what I tend to do! Just try and find any of the earlier "Shadowrun" books in ebook format. I *own* all of them in paperback, but they're getting worn out and I prefer e-books these days. Same is true for L. Neil Smith's "The Probability Broach" (which is so strange because they've e-booked "The Venus Belt" and "The American Zone" which come after that one) and "The Crystal Empire" - although TCE is coming out soon.

Plus, while I prefer my Kindles, I keep the Bookeen Cybook Gen3 around for those times when I'm out and about and there's a chance my e-reader will get ripped off. So, naturally, I strip the DRM from my Kindle purchases to read them on the Cybook.

Derek

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 02:54 PM
Ohhh and before you look down your nose at me. Wait till you've been disabled, unable to work for 10 years with virtually zero income. Wait till you've had to subsist on under 20k a year for 2 people, 4 cats and 2 birds. Walk a mile in my shoes before you give me that holier than thou stare.

Yes I'm a pirate, but not always by choice.

Y'know... *I'm* disabled and living on a fixed income. And even I don't buy that argument. First off, unless one of those pets is a service or seeing-eye dog, you can always give them away. Pets cost MONEY! Second, you talk about 20K/year with two people in the household - why can't person two hold a job? (Yes, person two could be disabled - this situation applies in my home - that isn't reason enough.)

No, I refuse to stoop to the "I'm disabled" argument. I *do* believe that if publishers fail to provide reasonably-priced ebook versions of their backlist titles to be sufficient reason to consider making my own copies - or downloading them. But as soon as I am able to buy them legally, I do so. And I let them know I want ebook versions.

Derek

GhostHawk
02-19-2010, 02:54 PM
This is a big difference from stealing though which is what is you are doing if you find a copy of book that is otherwise intended to be purchased and you download it without paying for it.

This is where it starts getting really interesting.

Such as a book being in public domain in Canada, but not in the US.
Wrong? Right? Moral? Immoral?

Fair use laws more or less say that anything you legally own a copy of you can legally copy. Why shouldn't that apply to ebooks as well as other media?
So using that as a guide, is it wrong for me to go to the darknet to get ebook copies of all the pbooks I have in my collection?
There is no black and white here. And everyone who is so desperately
trying to keep it black and white are afraid of something.

The other thing that so many of you like to forget. Ultimately it is we the people who end up making the laws, directly or indirectly. What is perceived by the people as not being legal, yet not wrong, is often practiced openly.

Look at the states that have somewhat open medical Marijuana laws.
They don't see it as a crime, so often it is not enforced at all.
Eventually it will probably be legalized. After all its better to have it grown here, inspected, packaged and taxed than to have it smuggled across the border.

So to get back on subject.

Ben, my answer, all the above except #1. Because things change, what you feel for one book may not hold true for another. Some things are worth paying for. Some, if you can get them no other way, and you want them bad enough, are worth going to the dark nets for.

I should feel bad because some author didn't get his 60 - 90 cents.
Hey, times are tough all over. Should for example Dick Francis's son have the right to take dollars out of my pocket? After all he didn't do the work, he was just born into that situation. So why should I support him? His dad did the work, his son I'm sure already inherited his retirement home in the Cayman Islands. What more does he need?

There is no real question about the legality of it all. Like it or not that has been made pretty clear.

Where the question is, and hence all the debate, is where the morality of it lies. That is why its a loaded issue. That is why all the debate.
That answer will indeed be different for each person. And often that answer will change as a person situation changes.

calvin-c
02-19-2010, 02:57 PM
Ridiculous choices as it's not the copying that's the problem, it's what you do with the copy. There are probably more options than I can think of right off, but the main two that come to mind are 'copying to media-shift' and 'copying to distribute'. IMO the first is OK, the second isn't, unless you either have permission or the work is in the public domain (in your jurisdiction-and even then you should take some precautions, be it simply a notice or otherwise, to limit distribution to those jurisdictions in which it is in public domain, or for which you have permission).

Obtaining a copy from others is, IMO, an 'accessory infraction' as in 'accessory to a crime'. (Although not all cases of obtaining a copy should constitute an 'infraction' but I don't feel like developing the potential cases in that much detail. But, at worst, I think that obtaining a copy isn't as serious as distributing a copy.)

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 02:58 PM
Not if one's viewpoint is simply that it's wrong to break the law.

I don't hold that view, I should add, but I know that it is a not uncommon viewpoint.

Yes, some people still hold to the view that "if it's written down that something is 'illegal/legal', everybody 'must/must not' do it". Yeah, right. So when Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco makes it mandatory to throw demonstrably 'straight' babies off Golden Gate Bridge, we should all do so right? I don't *think* so!

Derek

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 03:01 PM
Does that mean you think gay sex was wrong for many years, and is now not-wrong? Is it wrong to be Christian in a country where it's forbidden? Was it wrong for the underground railroad to help slaves escape their legal owners?


Yes, it *IS* illegal to be Christian in those countries - subject of course to whether those 'filthy Christians' pay their dhimmi tax. (I've never understood why America is wrong for having once-in the past-been a slavery nation, but it's A-Okay for muslim countries to own slaves and impose dhimmi.)

And yes, it *was* a prosecutable crime ot help slaves to freedom. (Thank goodness slavery's no longer legal in the U.S.)


In many cases, laws are challenged by breaking them. If enough people don't have a problem with breaking a law, that shows that public opinion about "what is wrong" has shifted faster than the laws can change--or that the laws are controlled by people who have resources to promote their own interests, regardless of what the public believes.

I'm not saying "ebook sharing is okay;" just pointing out that "illegal = morally wrong" has some serious problems.

Black is White. Up is Down. Wrong is Right. :D

Derek

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 03:10 PM
Theft is theft, dress it up anyway you like, in the end we all have to live with how we act/behave,


Hunh??? So I take it you *always* buy a book, read it once and then throw it away? After carefully shredding it so no one else can read it, yes? Because once you've read it once, to read it again without re-purchasing it would be 'theft' yes?

Oh wait! But by purchasing the book you *own* it. Well, if you own it, then you have to right to enjoy it again - even in a different format, such as on tape or as an ebook. Let's say you have a favorite author whose books you read again and again. Let's say you discover you're going blind, so you have your spouse read the books, either onto a tape/CD or directly to you - you're now 'stealing' from the publisher and author because you didn't go out and buy those versions! And if you happen to learn braille, and you purchase a scanning system to translate from printed to braille, you're also 'stealing' from the author. How can you possibly justify that!

IOW, bullpuckey!

Sure, *if* a person has never purchased a dead-tree version and decides to download an ebook from the dark-net and refuses to buy the legal version, that *IS* theft. But to sweep every method of gaining an ebook version as 'theft' if it doesn't involve buying from the retailer is so stupifyingly simplistic as to boogle the mind!


It upsets me that people who moan at publishers cheating them ?, are then so happy to take from an author, without paying even a token amount ???

In the end we have to do what we believe is right, and I know what I truly believe,

tompe
02-19-2010, 03:14 PM
Sure, *if* a person has never purchased a dead-tree version and decides to download an ebook from the dark-net and refuses to buy the legal version, that *IS* theft.

No, it is copyright infringement.

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 03:20 PM
No, it is copyright infringement.

Theft. Why? Because it's the exact same as going into a store and tucking a copy under one's jacket and walking out. The specific purpose is NOT to disseminate, but to avoid paying for it. Misdemeanor theft, but theft nonetheless.

Derek

DawnFalcon
02-19-2010, 03:20 PM
I know you do, Kenny, but I was trying to canvas opinion using neutral language.

Then you'd of used the correct term, Unauthorised Copying.

Also, bluntly, anyone admitting such on a forum is being very very silly.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 03:22 PM
It is theft, someone loses out, it is wrong, but we still have to do what we believe is right
No, it is copyright infringement.

For example, if someone used a picture of a donkey which Disney owns the copyright to as their avatar, that's copyright infringement - it doesn't make them a thief.

Does it?

Over
02-19-2010, 03:24 PM
When is copying unlawful - if I finish a pBook I borrow it to a friend. That's ok, isn't it. When I finish an eBook and send it to friend it's not? Even though I paid the same amount for it? Hmm. Still confused.



That's how I thought, but we have to realize that we don't buy ebooks. We don't own ebooks. We buy a license to read them. We borrow ebooks.

And it's wrong to lend something you borrowed, right? ;)

On the other hand, when someone "pirates" an ebook, he's not stealing an ebook. He's just reading without a licence. Diferent kind of illegality.

And because we don't own the ebooks, just licence them, we shouldn't have to pay for them as much (or more) as pbooks. A licence to read should be much cheaper than buying and owning a book.

DawnFalcon
02-19-2010, 03:26 PM
That's how I thought, but we have to realize that we don't buy ebooks.

In the EU, you buy them. If it smells like a sale, looks like a sale and has a "purchase" button, it's a sale.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 03:30 PM
Then you'd of used the correct term, Unauthorised Copying.
That does sound better, because it avoids the question of legality - some of the things that I asked about are legal, at least in some places/situations.
Also, bluntly, anyone admitting such on a forum is being very very silly.
You think people will be targeted? It seems unlikely to me, but I'd agree that it might be wiser not to.

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 03:30 PM
It all depends on what you do with the copy.

If you own a book, and want to make a copy, or strip DRM (if it's an e-book), to put a paper copy in the office or put the e-book on different reading machines you own, I think that should be legal.

If you're borrowing a book and making a photo copy rather than buying that's wrong. If you're stripping DRM from a friends e-book to get it on your device, that's wrong.

If you copy/scan a book and distribute the scans to others, it's wrong. If you strip DRM and put the book on a torrent site, or give it to friends etc., that's wrong.

Basically anything that involves you getting a copy of a book that's for sale (not public domain in your country) or giving away copies (other than the main copy, which means you no longer have a copy) is wrong IMO.

Acquiring or distributing a non-public domain e-book without paying for it is no different that acquiring or distributing a copy of a physical book you didn't pay for.

If you want to make a copy of a book you bought for personal use, or strip DRM to get it on other devices you own, that's fine. Just don't get copies of stuff you own, or make copies for friends--but you should be able to give them your only copy when your done with it IMO--which is a flaw of DRM.

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 03:33 PM
No, it is copyright infringement.

For example, if someone used a picture of a donkey which Disney owns the copyright to as their avatar, that's copyright infringement - it doesn't make them a thief.

Does it?

Look, if I use a donkey picture as my avatar, I *could* have created it in Photoshop - Lord knows I get enough practice at this stuff! So that does qualify as copyright infringement - maybe.

However, if I don't own a dead-tree copy of a novel and the novel is available for sale as an ebook and I choose instead to download it from the dark-net sites, or scan it in from a library book, it's much more similar to me going into a bookstore or supermarket and shoplifting a paperback version. Would you call that 'copyright infringement'? No, you'd call that theft. Misdemeanor theft to be sure, but still, theft.

Derek

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 03:40 PM
No, it is copyright infringement.

For example, if someone used a picture of a donkey which Disney owns the copyright to as their avatar, that's copyright infringement - it doesn't make them a thief.

Does it?


That's a different situation.

Some one buys a book to own it and read it. Some downloads an illegal copy of a book to own it and read it. A thief steals a copy of the physical book to own it and read it.

So getting an illegal copy is pretty much theft to me. Something like say, using an image of a bookcover as an avatar is copyright infringement. It's using a companies copyrighted material without permission. But it didn't involve acquiring their full content and consuming it without paying for it.

The company didn't lose a potential sale from someone using the book cover as an avatar, and the person didn't get the experience of reading the book without paying for it. A person downloads the book from a torrent site and reads it, the company lost a potential sale and the person got to enjoy the experience of reading it without paying for it.

I don't get why people think that stealing a book, movie, album etc. electronically is really any different than stealing a physical book, DVD or CD. It's still a lost sale for the company, and you still got to experience the content without paying for it.

Getting an illegal digital copy should be a crime and punished similarly to stealing the physical copy. Distributing files illegally should be treated similarly to one that makes physical bootlegs for sale--more leniently probably since they are giving them away rather than selling them.

Kevin2960
02-19-2010, 03:42 PM
So I have tickets or soccers World Cup,thier sent electronically,so i make a few backups, which i use for several of the games, I give some to mates, I sell a few, then upload and share them on here, But I don't FEEL its wrong, so it's not theft right ?
No one minds, so its OK!

dsvick
02-19-2010, 03:42 PM
We don't own ebooks. We buy a license to read them. We borrow ebooks.

I've not paid for any eBooks that have included any language to the effect that it is a license I've purchased and not the book itself. And, as of yet, no one has asked me to give one back yet either.

You can compare the purchase of an ebook to a license because of the similarities in the rights you have but that is an affect of the DRM that you choose to accept when you agree to purchase the book at the specified price.

On the other hand I've got several eBooks that have no DRM that specifically says I can share them and pass out copies.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 03:48 PM
However, if I don't own a dead-tree copy of a novel and the novel is available for sale as an ebook and I choose instead to download it from the dark-net sites, or scan it in from a library book, it's much more similar to me going into a bookstore or supermarket and shoplifting a paperback version. Would you call that 'copyright infringement'? No, you'd call that theft. Misdemeanor theft to be sure, but still, theft.
Just to be clear, I wouldn't go to the darknets for a book that was on sale as an ebook for which I didn't own a dead tree copy ...

... but this is still not theft. It's making an unauthorised copy. In my view, it's wrong in this case, because the book has been made available and the author has not yet been paid. But it still isn't theft - that's simply the wrong word for what is going on.

libri-libre
02-19-2010, 03:51 PM
I think that libraries are great, and have written to mine to try to get them to stock ebooks.

There is a difference between owning a book and borrowing it, which I think it is reasonable to carry through to the digital world. If it's OK to copy a book when you borrow it, authors will lose more profitable sales to library loan + copy.

So if my library has eBooks for loan but they are only in ePub format (and with DRM) that my Kindle cannot read, is it OK for me to strip the DRM, convert the book to Kindle-readable, read it on my Kindle and then delete it when I'm done?

Kinda just as I'd do if I had a Nook or Sony reader (albeit more work).

dsvick
02-19-2010, 03:51 PM
This is where it starts getting really interesting.

Such as a book being in public domain in Canada, but not in the US.
Wrong? Right? Moral? Immoral?

Who knows? Certainly not me. All I was trying to do in my initial post was say that in most cases it is easy to decide if some thing is illegal or not. Once we start getting into whether something is right or wrong we will get a gazillion different opinions based and not find a lot of common ground. But, if you want to discuss it further, we should meet for beer somewhere - it will take a while though :)

I happen to agree with the following and think that this the "right" way to do it:
If you purchase a book (physical or otherwise) you should be able to, at your own expense, make a back up copy of it for your own use that you cannot distribute.
You should be able to loan the original out to whoever you want to.
You should be able to give away or sell the original also with the understanding that you remove any copies of it you might have.
I am against DRM as I think it limits what you, the owner of the item, can do with it.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 03:54 PM
So I have tickets or soccers World Cup,thier sent electronically,so i make a few backups, which i use for several of the games, I give some to mates, I sell a few, then upload and share them on here, But I don't FEEL its wrong, so it's not theft right ?
No one minds, so its OK!
This isn't about what I feel is wrong. What you describe is gaining entrance to an event through some kind of fraud. Unauthorised copying of an ebook is (at least sometimes) copyright infringement. You could not be prosecuted for theft.

Let's be clear - it's not legally theft.
It might strike you as being the same as theft, so you call it that - but I don't think that it is the same, because it doesn't take anything away in the way that theft does.

I also never said that I didn't feel unauthorised copying was wrong. As it happens, I think that it depends on the circumstances. If I have bought the book new, and then I copy an electronic version of a friend to read it, I don't feel that is morally wrong. If a book is available for purchase, and I've not already purchased it, and I copy it - I think that is wrong.

The point of this poll was to find out what people thought - not to seek the "right answer".

dsvick
02-19-2010, 04:00 PM
So if my library has eBooks for loan but they are only in ePub format (and with DRM) that my Kindle cannot read, is it OK for me to strip the DRM, convert the book to Kindle-readable, read it on my Kindle and then delete it when I'm done?

Kinda just as I'd do if I had a Nook or Sony reader (albeit more work).

As others have pointed out, whether or not it is "OK" to do it is open to some small amount of debate, it is however "illegal" to do that. At least in most places.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 04:00 PM
So if my library has eBooks for loan but they are only in ePub format (and with DRM) that my Kindle cannot read, is it OK for me to strip the DRM, convert the book to Kindle-readable, read it on my Kindle and then delete it when I'm done?

Kinda just as I'd do if I had a Nook or Sony reader (albeit more work).
It seems OK to me, in a moral sense, to format shift it in order to read it. What I was saying was that it isn't right to keep a copy of a library book, in my view.

Kevin2960
02-19-2010, 04:06 PM
Ben, define Darknet in your orignal post, internet, subversive, underground, wrong, illegal,

admit it or not, thats what you meant !

You meant Stolen !!!!

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 04:12 PM
Let's be clear - it's not legally theft.
It might strike you as being the same as theft, so you call it that - but I don't think that it is the same, because it doesn't take anything away in the way that theft does.


You are correct. But to me that just says laws need updating to deal with issues of theft of digital content.

If a person gets a copy of an e-book that is for sale that they didn't pay for, it should be considered theft and treated as a minor misdemeanor theft just like stealing a $5-10 physical book IMO.

The DRM issues just need ironed out and fair use clearly defined. Someone should be able to loan e-books to people for a limited amount of time. People should be able to sell or give away their ebooks--as long as they don't keep a copy themselves. People should be able to put the ebooks they bought on different reading devices they own.

Just a matter of the technology and DRM improving to allow that. Have processes that move an e-book license from one person to another in a way that deletes the license from the giver/sellers machine etc.

But getting copies of stuff you didn't pay for that's for sale is wrong, and the laws need to change to define those as theft as it's taking sales away from publishers, authors and e-book stores.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 04:18 PM
Ben, define Darknet in your orignal post, internet, subversive, underground, wrong, illegal,

admit it or not, thats what you meant !

You meant Stolen !!!!
Nope.

Illegal - often. Wrong - sometimes. Stolen - never.

Because making a copy isn't stealing.
You might say that it seems like stealing to you - but it is not, legally, stealing, and it doesn't seem like stealing to me. Even when it's wrong (i.e. wrong in my view), it's still not stealng.

Let's take a practical example.

I have a paper book.
If I scan that, use OCR, get an electronic copy for my own use - stealing?
What if a friend did that and I use their e-copy - stealing?
What if someone on-line has done that, and I use their e-copy - stealing?
In all cases, the author has been paid when I bought my paper copy.

libri-libre
02-19-2010, 04:20 PM
Often, people would love to pay - especially a "token amount" ;) - but there may be no official published version, or geo restrictions. Or maybe they feel that, having bought the paper book, they have already paid the author.

Could this be another reason to support a "Netflix" model for eBooks?
I, for one, would be willing to pay for the temporary use of an eBook, especially since I really can't do much with it after I bought it.

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 04:27 PM
Illegal - often. Wrong - sometimes. Stolen - never.

Because making a copy isn't stealing.


If someone goes online and downloads an album that they didn't pay for (either for the mp3s or a CD) they aren't making a copy. They're stealing.

And that's what happens most of the time. Most people download stuff they do not own in another format. If I have a paperback, I don't need an e-book of it.

Some do, like you apparently. But you can't act like that's the majority of people downloading books. Most are getting books they don't own.



I have a paper book.
If I scan that, use OCR, get an electronic copy for my own use - stealing?
What if a friend did that and I use their e-copy - stealing?
What if someone on-line has done that, and I use their e-copy - stealing?
In all cases, the author has been paid when I bought my paper copy.

Scanning it is making an illegal copy. Not theft. I'll grant you that.

The downloading a copy of something you already own is murkier. With CDs, you're probably fine as courts have held that one can burn a copy of a CD they own for the car, or rip it to MP3s--as long as they still own the copy they paid for. i.e. Backups are legal.

As far as I know, we don't have such a ruling for books since e-books are relatively new. So downloading a copy of something you own is murky--if courts rule that making an electronic copy of a book you own is legal, then it's clearly not theft.

If they rule differently than they have with music, and say you don't have a right to back it up, then it's illegal. That would be saying that a physical book and e-book are seperate products and owning a paper book doesn't entitle you to make an electronic copy.

And that could happen. Look at movies. While you can make a copy of your CDs (burn a CD or rip to MP3s) courts have ruled that you cannot do that with DVDs or Blurays, and that by passing the copy prevention technology on them is illegal.

So it remains to be seen what happens with books.

Though again I think it's mostly a minor issue. The majority of people downloading books, albums, movies etc. are NOT downloading copies of stuff they own. They're stealing things the want to own without paying for.

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 04:28 PM
Could this be another reason to support a "Netflix" model for eBooks?
I, for one, would be willing to pay for the temporary use of an eBook, especially since I really can't do much with it after I bought it.

I'd love that personally, as I've said before.

I seldom every re-read fiction. I'd love to pay $10 a month for a 1 book at a time rental plan like I do with Netflix for movies.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 04:29 PM
You are correct. But to me that just says laws need updating to deal with issues of theft of digital content.
I agree that the law needs updating - but not only to protect copyright holders - also, it needs updating to protect consumers!
If a person gets a copy of an e-book that is for sale that they didn't pay for, it should be considered theft and treated as a minor misdemeanor theft just like stealing a $5-10 physical book IMO.
I understand this view, although I don't agree with it.
The DRM issues just need ironed out and fair use clearly defined. Someone should be able to loan e-books to people for a limited amount of time. People should be able to sell or give away their ebooks--as long as they don't keep a copy themselves. People should be able to put the ebooks they bought on different reading devices they own.
I agree with all of that (although I'd prefer no DRM).
But getting copies of stuff you didn't pay for that's for sale is wrong, Yesand the laws need to change Yesto define those as theft No - to define them as something elseas it's taking sales away from publishers, authors and e-book stores.Maybe - but not always. Sometimes they get more sales.

I think that it would be a very bad thing if every teenager with an mp3 on their ipod that they hadn't paid for were prosecuted for theft and branded criminals. It is not the appropriate crime, in my view. You would be labelling as thieves much of the population.

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 04:35 PM
I think that it would be a very bad thing if every teenager with an mp3 on their ipod that they hadn't paid for were prosecuted for theft and branded criminals. It is not the appropriate crime, in my view. You would be labelling as thieves much of the population.

They are thieves. We're moving to an age of digital products replacing physical products. In 50 years you probably won't find music, movies etc. for sell in major stores--just in vintage shops like you do records today.

Thus for many products the type of theft will change, as it's not longer possible to shoplift them and still a physical product. The way to steal is to go online and download it without paying for it.

I don't see the crime being easier to commit making it a lesser crime etc. Maybe the penalties, labels applied to offenders need to be less severe since it is and will be more prevalent due to the ease of committing the offense, and the unfortunate lack of stigma with downloading an album vs. shoplifting the cd version of the album.

But it's still theft. And in any case as a whole society needs to move away from this "get tough on crime" non-sense and focus more on prevention and rehabilitating offenders and not just handing out punishments and labeling law breakers as bad people. Especially for minor crimes like theft--be it shoplifting or stealing a digital file.

But that doesn't mean stealing digital content isn't theft. And it doesn't meant it's illegal copying, especially when you weren't making a copy but downloading something you don't own to begin with.

kennyc
02-19-2010, 04:42 PM
They are thieves. We're moving to an age of digital products replacing physical products. In 50 years you probably won't find music, movies etc. for sell in major stores--just in vintage shops like you do records today.

Thus for many products the type of theft will change, as it's not longer possible to shoplift them and still a physical product. The way to steal is to go online and download it without paying for it.

I don't see the crime being easier to commit making it a lesser crime etc. Maybe the penalties, labels applied to offenders need to be less severe since it is and will be more prevalent due to the ease of committing the offense, and the unfortunate lack of stigma with downloading an album vs. shoplifting the cd version of the album.

But it's still theft. And in any case as a whole society needs to move away from this "get tough on crime" non-sense and focus more on prevention and rehabilitating offenders and not just handing out punishments and labeling law breakers as bad people. Especially for minor crimes like theft--be it shoplifting or stealing a digital file.

But that doesn't mean stealing digital content isn't theft. And it doesn't meant it's illegal copying, especially when you weren't making a copy but downloading something you don't own to begin with.

Thank you for that!

kwjones
02-19-2010, 04:44 PM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 04:44 PM
If someone goes online and downloads an album that they didn't pay for (either for the mp3s or a CD) they aren't making a copy. They're stealing.Here we go again. Legally, no. You want to use the term, but I don't think it's appropriate.
If I have a paperback, I don't need an e-book of it.

Some do, like you apparently.
"apparently"? This sounds like you're saying that this is an excuse, but it is not. I have plenty of books that I've not read yet that I'd like to have electronically, so that I can read them on my reader. Plus a few that I'd like to read again.

I think that we're agreed that this isn't wrong, but I'm not sure that it's always legal.
But you can't act like that's the majority of people downloading books. Most are getting books they don't own.
I never acted like that - you're right, I suspect.

Note that I think that it's wrong to make an unauthorised copy of a book that you could have bought and don't own. All I'm saying is that it isn't theft.

There is a difficult middle category, of books which you can't buy electronically, but don't own. Perhaps the right thing there would be to take the electronic copy and buy a paper one as a license, thereby turning it into the first category.
Though again I think it's mostly a minor issue. The majority of people downloading books, albums, movies etc. are NOT downloading copies of stuff they own. They're stealing things the want to own without paying for.
They're making unauthorised copies, which is wrong in my view - but it's not legally stealing, and for good reason.

LCF
02-19-2010, 04:50 PM
After reading this threat, I came to a conclusion (my personal opinion).

It's not about the eBooks, tha plasma TVs, the Disney donkeys or the gay sex.

It's about the people.

There are people, who are always ready to make some kind of profit on the back of others. Regardles of the consequences.

There are the people, who will never pirate something / steal / etc.

There are also the people in the middle, whose behavior depends on the circumstances.

There are (probably) also the other people, the ones that I'm foregetting about.

And there is not much you can do about it. The same "types" of people have been around for miilenia, and propably would be for at least another few.
There aint much use in rubbing your philosophy on the noses of others - it mostly makes them just angry and the instinctively oppose you.

There is also one more thing I wish to add:
:dots:

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 04:51 PM
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

It is theft and needs to be defined as such as we move further and further into an electronic world where many physical products are replaced entirely by digital ones.

And I'll do what I can in my capacity as a criminologist and a person who regularly writes my elected officials to see that it's defined as such. And to see that the bulk of government actions are focused on educating that it is theft, is a crime etc., and that penalties aren't absurdly disproportionate to the crime like so many are in our CJ system, or in our civil system with the absurd awards given to record labels etc.

It's a minor offense, and should be treated as such. But it's still theft in nature, and should be defined as a minor misdemeanor crime.


They're making unauthorised copies, which is wrong in my view - but it's not legally stealing, and for good reason.

But on that, I can't just disagree as that's flatly wrong.

You CANNOT make a copy--legally or illegally--of something you don't already have a copy of. If you download something you do not own, you are not making a copy.

The person that put the file online illegally made a copy. You did not. You obtained something without paying for it, which is theft in my book.

DawnFalcon
02-19-2010, 04:53 PM
Ben, define Darknet...

Darknet has it's own perfectly adequate and widely used definition.

The people crying about theft, when there's no deprivation, are directly aiding the darknet communities by creating a moral panic, I'd add. From my perspective, there's absolutely no ambiguity where they stand (and it's on the same podium as the RIAA, the authors of ACTA and Metallica).

Anyone not willing to be pragmatic is part of the issue, at this point in time, sadly enough.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 04:56 PM
They are thieves.
Legally they're not. I don't think that it's helpful in terms of language to use such an emotive term for the vast majority of the population. Have you never copied an album onto cassette, or the modern equivalent of copying some mp3s from a friend? Have you never broken the rules for copying broadcast television? (in the UK this would have meant never keeping a videotape beyond a couple of weeks, at one time). Perhaps you haven't, but I would think that very unusual.

I don't see labelling most people as thieves being a helpful response to the changes resulting from the move to digital media. We need new laws which take account of what most people think - because they are our laws. The state should be there to serve the citizen, not vice versa. So we need to come up with new rules that are fair for the consumer - not just big business.

DawnFalcon
02-19-2010, 04:59 PM
And I'll do what I can in my capacity as a criminologist and a person who regularly writes my elected officials to see that it's defined as such.

So when you see the PirateParties get elected and IP abolished because of of the backlash against the moral panic, what will your next step be, out of interest?

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 05:01 PM
Like I said, the act of being a criminal/thief what have you needs to be destigmatized, as you note everyone pretty much breaks the law at some points in their lives. It doesn't make them a bad person.

Something like illegally downloading an album is a minor wrong--but it should be a crime and have penalties tied to it. Minor penalties, delivered in a way to minimize stigma (say like the way minor crime is dealt with in other countries like Japan). But still dealt with like the theft it is. If you can't or don't want to pay for something, then don't own it. Go without it, check it out from a library. Listen to streaming music online etc.

There's no excuse or valid justification for obtaining a copy of something illegally. Things are much murkier on making copies of stuff you bought for your own personal use, being able to loan things to friends, or sell or give away things without keeping a copy for yourself etc. The laws there need to be much clearer.

But their should be laws against downloading copies of stuff you did not pay for in any format. The legal system has to adept as we move further and further toward ONLY having digital content in many areas as the types of crime (especially the type of theft) changes as we move from physical content to digital content.

But again, we're going to go in circles here as neither of us will change our minds. So again, lets just agree to disagree. Cheers!

dsvick
02-19-2010, 05:01 PM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

Perfectly appropriate and thanks for reminding me - I hadn't read today's yet.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 05:03 PM
You CANNOT make a copy--legally or illegally--of something you don't already have a copy of. If you download something you do not own, you are not making a copy.

The person that put the file online illegally made a copy. You did not. You obtained something without paying for it, which is theft in my book.
Is this some technical use of the word copy? Surely, if there is a file on a server, and I download it, the file stays there, and I now have a copy on my computer - I've copied it. I've copied their copy.

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 05:09 PM
Is this some technical use of the word copy? Surely, if there is a file on a server, and I download it, the file stays there, and I now have a copy on my computer - I've copied it. I've copied their copy.

That's an awfully round about way to put a label on the behavior that doesn't sound/feel wrong/illegal. Fits right in with Sykes and Matza's theory about techniques of neutralization that criminals use to justify their behavior. ;)

Going online and downloading something you didn't pay for is more more analogous to finding a way to steal the physical copy than it is say borrowing a CD from a friend and burning a copy or ripping it to MP3s IMO.

But again, it's just an agree to disagree thing.

I think the move to digital content has been a terrible thing. I'd hate it if I was an author, musician, movie director/producer etc., and the ease of having my property stolen in this era and eating into my profits would keep me from ever wanting to get involved in one of those fields.

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:10 PM
...

There is also one more thing I wish to add:
:dots:

Well yes, but sometimes trolls are in the eye to the beholder as well, just like pirates, thieves or file copiers...

:p

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:13 PM
Is this some technical use of the word copy? Surely, if there is a file on a server, and I download it, the file stays there, and I now have a copy on my computer - I've copied it. I've copied their copy.


Once more you are just trying to justify theft by calling it something else. It's the concept that matters, not the words.

If you take something that is not yours without permission of the owner you have stolen something.

Just because it is easy, doesn't change the concept.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 05:13 PM
But again, it's just an agree to disagree thing
I don't think that we are disagreeing about what is right and wrong (although there is a range of opinion on the forum as the poll shows).

We also agree that the law needs to change - and I agree with your points about changing the focus away from punishment etc.

Our only significant disagreement, it seems to me, is that while we agree that most people do or have engaged in unauthorised copying of one form or another, you want to call it theft and I don't.

You have said that you want to reduce the social stigma - in which case I'd recommend not using a word that has a whole lot of social stigma attached to it.

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 05:17 PM
Once more you are just trying to justify theft by calling it something else. It's the concept that matters, not the words.

If you take something that is not yours without permission of the owner you have stolen something.

Just because it is easy, doesn't change the concept.
Now Kenny - that's not right.

I am not trying to justify taking things that are not yours without permission. I've stated what I think is right and wrong - the only area where we might disagree is what counts as "mine". In my view it's morally OK if I've paid for format A to get a copy in format B without paying again.

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 05:19 PM
If you do not get the right to make a copy through legal means then copying it is wrong.

Or the law is in dire need of changing. I refuse to equate laws and morality, as that way lies madness.

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 05:23 PM
- if it's public domain somewhere, then I'm fine; how can it be PD in country X but not country Y?

Which would make life+20 or so your cut-off? Or would it be "anything" - some countries, after all, have no copyright law. Not just no enforcement - no copyright law at all.

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:25 PM
Now Kenny - that's not right.

I am not trying to justify taking things that are not yours without permission. I've stated what I think is right and wrong - the only area where we might disagree is what counts as "mine". In my view it's morally OK if I've paid for format A to get a copy in format B without paying again.

Now Ben. :D You have your view, I have mine and other have theirs. You ARE justifying it. You say in your view it's okay, but that doesn't mean it is to the owner. :)

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 05:30 PM
I don't get why people think that stealing a book, movie, album etc. electronically is really any different than stealing a physical book, DVD or CD. It's still a lost sale for the company, and you still got to experience the content without paying for it.

I don't get why people think that copying a book is really any different than buying a used copy. It's still a lost sale for the publisher, and you still get to experience the content without paying the author.

Bilbo1967
02-19-2010, 05:32 PM
I don't get why people think that copying a book is really any different than buying a used copy. It's still a lost sale for the publisher, and you still get to experience the content without paying the author.

That's a very good point. Why are publishers not prosecuting second-hand book shops?

kazbates
02-19-2010, 05:33 PM
Or the law is in dire need of changing. I refuse to equate laws and morality, as that way lies madness.

The copyright laws are definitely in dire need of changing but they need to be fair to all concerned not just to those who have the most money to pay the lobbyists (at least here in the US). The movie industry had a ton of money committed to making sure the copyright laws were made in their favor. The music industry wasn't quite so lucky.

Personally, I think one ebook format that would work on all devices would solve the problem. I don't mind copyright restrictions as long as it doesn't adversely effect my fair usage. I have recently started scanning books in my personal collection that I purchased, usually at the full paperback price. I am doing this so that I can read them on my digital reader. To me, that is fair use based on the music industry model, particularly since I deconstruct the paper book in the scanning process rendering it difficult to read.

Of course, I also drive 4 miles over the speed limit because I know the police will not ticket me for such a minimal infraction so I don't consider it breaking the law. :p Even though it is. ;)

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 05:33 PM
You ARE justifying it. You say in your view it's okay, but that doesn't mean it is to the owner. :)
No, I've said that it's wrong - i.e. not OK. I've just said that it's not theft.

Where did I say that it's OK to take something that you don't own?

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:38 PM
I don't get why people think that copying a book is really any different than buying a used copy. It's still a lost sale for the publisher, and you still get to experience the content without paying the author.

True, but there is only one physical copy of a particular book once it is sold or given away if the original owner wants it again they much purchase it. This is not true if a copy is made without destroying the source of that copy. Now there are two existing identical copies that were not there before. Just as if you had a magical ability to create an identical copy of a paper book and hand it to your friend....or sell it....or.....

If you had that magical ability to duplicate physical objects would it be right?

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 05:38 PM
There is a difficult middle category, of books which you can't buy electronically, but don't own. Perhaps the right thing there would be to take the electronic copy and buy a paper one as a license, thereby turning it into the first category.

And if it's no longer available for sale new, then what? Buying a used copy reimburses the creator precisely the same amount as downloading one, after all. There are all kinds of tricky lines here, especially since we're in a transitional stage.

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:42 PM
No, I've said that it's wrong - i.e. not OK. I've just said that it's not theft.

Where did I say that it's OK to take something that you don't own?

When you said it's okay to download an electronic copy of a paper book you own.

It is not your right to download it without the permission of the owner. Just because you can doesn't make it right and to me I call that theft.

I really don't want to argue this more so I'm going to bow out of the discussion. There is no need for me to justify my beliefs any more than it is for you. I stated my beliefs in the second post in this thread.

I'm off to do some reading. :)

Bilbo1967
02-19-2010, 05:44 PM
I'm off to do some reading. :)

Just make sure it's something you bought (where appropriate) :D

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:47 PM
Just make sure it's something you bought (where appropriate) :D


Yep. :D Thanks. Probably something bought used from Amazon. :thumbsup:

Ralph Sir Edward
02-19-2010, 05:49 PM
That's a very good point. Why are publishers not prosecuting second-hand book shops?

In the US, they tried. And they lost. Many years ago. The result was the first-sale doctrine.

kazbates
02-19-2010, 05:50 PM
Aww, Kenny, don't run off. I like reading your opinions and discussions of topics. :)

I'm particularly intrigued by the question of the second hand book seller. If the author and publisher aren't paid royalties on these sales, how can it be legal?

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 05:51 PM
True, but there is only one physical copy of a particular book once it is sold or given away if the original owner wants it again they much purchase it.

True. So what? The second-hand buyer is apparently still a thief, as they're reading the book without compensating the author.

If you had that magical ability to duplicate physical objects would it be right?

Of course it would. Also colossally socially disruptive until society adjusted to the new realities.

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 05:54 PM
I'm particularly intrigued by the question of the second hand book seller. If the author and publisher aren't paid royalties on these sales, how can it be legal?

Practically speaking, because the content distribution industry hadn't purchased (or at least rented) enough lawmakers and judges.

Xenophon
02-19-2010, 05:55 PM
That's a very good point. Why are publishers not prosecuting second-hand book shops?

1st sale doctrine. Look it up, or look for earlier posts of mine on the subject here at mobileread.

Xenophon

Bilbo1967
02-19-2010, 05:55 PM
In the US, they tried. And they lost. Many years ago. The result was the first-sale doctrine.

What is the 'first-sale doctrine' please? It seems like it's germane to this discussion.

Bilbo1967
02-19-2010, 05:56 PM
1st sale doctrine. Look it up, or look for earlier posts of mine on the subject here at mobileread.

Xenophon

I think our posts crosses Xenophon. I'll look it up!

dsvick
02-19-2010, 05:57 PM
When you said it's okay to download an electronic copy of a paper book you own.

It is not your right to download it without the permission of the owner. Just because you can doesn't make it right and to me I call that theft.

Agreed.

Also, you could argue that the electronic copy conveys additional functionality and usage (in the form of portability, reduced storage needs, ease of backing up, etc.) that are not present in the physical book so it could be said that in order to get those additional benefits you need to buy the electronic copy.

kennyc
02-19-2010, 05:57 PM
Aww, Kenny, don't run off. I like reading your opinions and discussions of topics. :)

I'm particularly intrigued by the question of the second hand book seller. If the author and publisher aren't paid royalties on these sales, how can it be legal?

Thanks Kaz, not running off, but I always seem to end up at odds with many of the opinions so better to not argue round and round the same ol' things that always come out in these copyright/pirating threads. :)

kazbates
02-19-2010, 05:57 PM
True. So what? The second-hand buyer is apparently still a thief, as they're reading the book without compensating the author.


Of course it would. Also colossally socially disruptive until society adjusted to the new realities.


What denotes thievery is the laws present in the society wherein the transaction took place and not public or personal opinion. The truth is as long as it meets the laws of the land, selling the second hand book or purchasing it is legal (here in the US ~ I can't speak for other countries).

Xenophon
02-19-2010, 06:00 PM
You can find discussion of 1st sale doctrine in about the middle of this (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=760984&postcount=130) post of mine. Or at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_sale_doctrine). My discussion is shorter; wikipedia's is much MUCH better.

Xenophon

dsvick
02-19-2010, 06:09 PM
You can find discussion of 1st sale doctrine in about the middle of this (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=760984&postcount=130) post of mine. Or at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_sale_doctrine). My discussion is shorter; wikipedia's is much MUCH better.

Xenophon

Thanks Xenophon, I read both. Which of course led to a question that was seriously off topic - so I started a new one.... http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74418

kazbates
02-19-2010, 06:10 PM
You can find discussion of 1st sale doctrine in about the middle of this (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=760984&postcount=130) post of mine. Or at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_sale_doctrine). My discussion is shorter; wikipedia's is much MUCH better.

Xenophon

Okay. I read it. . .and it still makes little sense to me in the context of the reselling of books (although, I do greatly appreciate your posting the links, Xenophon :)). If the whole case against file sharing is that the publisher and the author are not compensated, how does that arguement NOT apply to the resale of a book? I get that you can make multiple copies of something and then resell them, that's a no brainer, but it seems to me they need to do a complete rehab of the system to work for all situations.

Terisa de morgan
02-19-2010, 06:14 PM
I want to comment the situation in Spain, that I think is curious. When you buy a scanner, a printer, a DVD, a CD, a hard disk or a memory stick you pay a fee for the authors because in this country you can make a private copy. So, it's OK if I scan a book I own (I have the right and I've paid a fee). The other day I knew that we have sentences at the court against DRM in music because it breaks your right to a private copy. E-books are very new in Spain and they're beginning to study the case, but I think DRM in books could be in the same situation.

An only format is not the solution, the solution is no DRM. I can choose my options, I can choose my reader and I can change it without being worried about losing my e-books. And I always break the DRM because of some problems similar to the ones I have had with ADE (I couldn't authorize my computer, because I've had some problems and I have deauthorized and authorized different times). So, the software have a problem and I have no books? Sorry, no fair.

Pardoz
02-19-2010, 06:21 PM
What denotes thievery is the laws present in the society wherein the transaction took place and not public or personal opinion.

Quite so, I should've been more generous with the <irony></irony> tags there. I don't for a moment believe that unauthorized copying (or any other means by which one may enjoy a work without compensating the author) is theft. It may or may not be criminal or legal, and it may or may not be moral/ethical/justifiable (there are just way too many variables to come up with a sane one-size-fits-all answer to the question), but it isn't, at least in most jurisdictions, theft.

The truth is as long as it meets the laws of the land, selling the second hand book or purchasing it is legal (here in the US ~ I can't speak for other countries).

<sarcasm>But don't you understand it's WRONG! And STEALING! And THEFT! And PIRACY! Sure it's LEGAL, but that just means we need to PASS NEW LAWS to PUT THESE WRONGDOERS IN PRISON! Or PUBLIC BEHEADINGS. Public beheadings are good. Will NOBODY think of the CHILDREN?</sarcasm>

kennyc
02-19-2010, 06:47 PM
.....and will no one think of the great-grandchildren of the author or the eternal corporation that bought all rights to the book? What of them???

Ralph Sir Edward
02-19-2010, 06:59 PM
.....and will no one think of the great-grandchildren of the author or the eternal corporation that bought all rights to the book? What of them???


Maybe they'll throw me pennies from their sedan chairs, as they are carried by...

kennyc
02-19-2010, 07:03 PM
Maybe they'll throw me pennies from their sedan chairs, as they are carried by...


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Ben Thornton
02-19-2010, 07:04 PM
What have I learned from this poll?

a. There is a sizeable minority which thinks that all copying is bad
(even if you have already paid for a copy and are effectively format shifting)

b. There is a sizeable minority which thinks that all copying is OK
(even if the work is available at a reasonable price)

c. Most people are in the middle, and think that getting an electronic copy is OK if:
1. You already own a copy in some form (~60%)
2. It's Public Domain somewhere else (~50%)
3. You cannot buy it electronically (~45%)
4. The author is dead (~30%)

d. Most people don't think it's OK to get an electronic copy otherwise
1. Less than 10% thought it OK not to pay because the author is rich
2. Less than 10% thought it OK not to pay because the publisher is mainstream

e. Threads about piracy create loads of replies

f. They say the same thing again and again

g. I know, it was my fault


Analysis

It looks to me that the majority support the idea that once you have paid for a work, it's reasonable not to be expected to (have to) pay again for a different format. As someone said earlier in the thread, if it's cheap enough, people will pay anyway to avoid the hassle of format shifting, but we're not there with ebook pricing today.

I was surprised at the level of support for the income of dead people. Two thirds didn't check this as a fair reason to take a copy. Perhaps we should make up some bumper stickers that say "Illegal copying of dead authors' works is a grave crime".

I was pleasantly surprised that so few people rose to the bait of not paying rich people or big publishers. There seems to be a clear majority that think that if a book is made available, and you don't already own it, you should pay for it.

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 07:06 PM
Just to be clear, I wouldn't go to the darknets for a book that was on sale as an ebook for which I didn't own a dead tree copy ...

... but this is still not theft. It's making an unauthorised copy. In my view, it's wrong in this case, because the book has been made available and the author has not yet been paid. But it still isn't theft - that's simply the wrong word for what is going on.

Authors write novels for various reasons, but they *submit* to publishers (dead-tree or electronic) specifically to receive money. The publishers print the books or create e-books in order to *sell* the novels to readers. This is a commercial transaction. Taking the e-book without paying for it after it is made available on a retail site for the specific purpose of reading it is NOT just making an unauthorized copy, it's theft.

Making an unauthorized copy is photocopying or scanning it to keeping it around after the original is returned - say after borrowing the copy from a friend or a library.

There *is* a difference.

Derek

kennyc
02-19-2010, 07:06 PM
What have I learned from this poll?
.....
Analysis
.....

Hey You forgot that one (or maybe two) wacko(s) that thinks copying is theft!

Solicitous
02-19-2010, 07:08 PM
Geo restrictions prevent readers from buying books they want to pay for. In the end they will consider getting a free copy.

Well me personally I don't feel "acquiring" a free copy is unethical, though it certainly is illegal. It doesn't represent a lost sale as the publisher refused to sell it to you in the first place, so whether you download a copy or not the publisher (and author) has taken it upon themselves to miss out on a sale by means of geographic restrictions.

What I don't understand is why can't ebooks be sold globally, and at the end of the month when the book seller hands the money to the publishers they provide a list of which countries bought the ebooks and the publisher distributes appropriate monies to the local book distributor who has rights to the book in that country.

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 07:08 PM
Ben, define Darknet in your orignal post, internet, subversive, underground, wrong, illegal,

admit it or not, thats what you meant !

You meant Stolen !!!!

"subversive"? "internet"? :blink: So now the Internet is subversive??? Interesting world view there. :rofl:

Derek

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 07:18 PM
Analysis

It looks to me that the majority support the idea that once you have paid for a work, it's reasonable not to be expected to (have to) pay again for a different format. As someone said earlier in the thread, if it's cheap enough, people will pay anyway to avoid the hassle of format shifting, but we're not there with ebook pricing today.


Yep. We're not there yet on ebook pricing. But we will be.


I was surprised at the level of support for the income of dead people. Two thirds didn't check this as a fair reason to take a copy. Perhaps we should make up some bumper stickers that say "Illegal copying of dead authors' works is a grave crime".


O! M! G! I have *GOT* to go to CafePress and make me one of them.


I was pleasantly surprised that so few people rose to the bait of not paying rich people or big publishers. There seems to be a clear majority that think that if a book is made available, and you don't already own it, you should pay for it.

You bet. Now I have a problem with price-gouging as MacM wants to do, but yes, I'd rather pay for a commercially available ebook than dark-net it.

Derek

Kevin2960
02-19-2010, 07:33 PM
"subversive"? "internet"? :blink: So now the Internet is subversive??? Interesting world view there. :rofl:

Derek

Perhaps not worded well, I don't think the internet is subversive, but i was argueing that Ben by calling it the Darknet, was in fact defeating his own arguements and at least implying that MANY books found on the "Darknet" WERE Stolen!

sabredog
02-19-2010, 07:37 PM
It upsets me that people who moan at publishers cheating them ?, are then so happy to take from an author, without paying even a token amount ???

In the end we have to do what we believe is right, and I know what I truly believe,

It upsets ME that I cannot purchase a book legally because a publishing company arbitrary decides that selling the physical copy of a book is ok in my country of origin but not the ebook.

I would be quite happy to pay an author directly if I could obtain the ebook from them or I "acquired" it elsewhere as the only alternative because of the above.

Remove geo restrictions and a substantial amount of piracy might well disappear.

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 07:47 PM
Perhaps not worded well, I don't think the internet is subversive, but i was argueing that Ben by calling it the Darknet, was in fact defeating his own arguements and at least implying that MANY books found on the "Darknet" WERE Stolen!

But not 'subversive' I hope. :) And, if the ebooks found on the dark-net sites are *NOT* available for sale from publisher/retailer sites, then downloading them is not, IMO, theft. And I agree that many *are* commercially available in ebook format.

Derek

DawnFalcon
02-19-2010, 07:48 PM
Well yes, but sometimes trolls are in the eye to the beholder as well, just like pirates, thieves or file copiers...

Oh it's that time again is it?

http://www.polarorbit.net/gallery/piracy-is-not-theftreally.png

DawnFalcon
02-19-2010, 07:50 PM
It looks to me that the majority support the idea that once you have paid for a work, it's reasonable not to be expected to (have to) pay again for a different format.

...Why do you think I refuse to buy DRM'ed ebooks?

kazbates
02-19-2010, 08:40 PM
3 Points:

I'll go out on a limb and say that I have absolutely no idea what would be the best way to compensate authors and publishers except that perhaps the royalty system may have become outdated.

I get frustrated with people who think it's okay to take advantage of someone because they are "rich" or are part of a "big corporation". What if the ebook was created and published by an unknown author and an independent publisher? Should we avoid pirating thier product because they aren't "rich" and "big"? Constantly blaming the rich and big corporations for the woes of the world is just too easy.

Geo Restrictions are flat out wrong and could easily be considered censorship.

Elfwreck
02-19-2010, 08:55 PM
What have I learned from this poll?
e. Threads about piracy create loads of replies
f. They say the same thing again and again


Yep.

I don't think it's pointless to keep discussing it, because there are always new readers at the site, and discussing how people's beliefs about piracy, file-sharing and legalities of copyright relate to different circumstances & hypotheticals is (potentially) useful. But it does often come down to the same handful of core beliefs clashing against each other.

I warn people I direct to Mobileread to watch out for the piracy/copyright discussions, 'cos we have a lot of very well-practiced arguments here, and newcomers could wind up feeling attacked from several directions at once.

dsvick
02-19-2010, 09:03 PM
O! M! G! I have *GOT* to go to CafePress and make me one of them.


You can't, Ben clearly had the idea first and you going off and creating a bumper sticker of said intellectual idea is clearly an illegal act that is morally and ethically reprehensible as well as stealing food from Ben, his children, their children, and the small goat on the hill as well. My god man, have you learned nothing from this thread? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

yekim54
02-19-2010, 09:10 PM
8. It's OK to copy a book if I think that the author is rich
9. It's OK to copy a book from mainstream publishers


I voted for 8 and 9 because they have the fewest votes at the moment.

dmaul1114
02-19-2010, 09:10 PM
I don't get why people think that copying a book is really any different than buying a used copy. It's still a lost sale for the publisher, and you still get to experience the content without paying the author.

Because a used copy means the original owner no longer has a copy.

With an e-book, one can strip the DRM, keep their copy and pass it on too as many people as they like. One used copy can only go to so many people before someone keeps it personally, tosses it in the trash etc.

For ebook I think we DO need a system where someone can sell or give away their ebook license that removes it form their machine(s) and transfers it to someone else.

The issue is to keep a person from buying an e-book, stripping DRM and throwing it on a torrent site where it gets to thousands of people as people download it, throw it on their own torrent sites, send it to friends etc.

If you buy something, you should be able to loan it, sell it, give it away etc. But you can't be able to loan it, sell it, or give it away while keeping a copy for yourself. That's the issue that you don't get with a physical book. If I loan a physical book, I don't have a copy while a friend is borrowing it. If I sell it or give it away, it's gone and I have to buy another one if I want it in the future. That's the way e-books should be too--but it's much harder to ensure/enforce.

theducks
02-19-2010, 11:10 PM
Hey folks
If you can, find a copy of the "Borland (software) No-Nonsence License Statment" and read it. It is from a Huge Intellectual Property developer who "got it"

"You must treat this software just like a book..." .."used in one place at a time"

Unfortunately, I can not post it here because there is a "copyright" on it :o

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 11:17 PM
You can't, Ben clearly had the idea first and you going off and creating a bumper sticker of said intellectual idea is clearly an illegal act that is morally and ethically reprehensible as well as stealing food from Ben, his children, their children, and the small goat on the hill as well. My god man, have you learned nothing from this thread? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Ahhhh... But *my* version will have cute cherubs, unicorns, care-bears and sharing rainbows on it! :D

Derek

delphidb96
02-19-2010, 11:18 PM
Hey folks
If you can, find a copy of the "Borland (software) No-Nonsence License Statment" and read it. It is from a Huge Intellectual Property developer who "got it"

"You must treat this software just like a book..." .."used in one place at a time"

Unfortunately, I can not post it here because there is a "copyright" on it :o

Oh right. That company that got bought out by and ruined by Inprise. Yeah... Another casualty of the war on reason.

Derek

DawnFalcon
02-20-2010, 12:23 AM
"You must treat this software just like a book..."


Well, I wouldn't use it then. Heck, I miss out on one author in a shared universe which I read because he puts a restrictive 1-copy-only licence on his stories.

Unless it can go into the normal backup sequence, it ain't going on my PC. I don't have time to track down everywhere some poxy software wants to stick itself and exclude it all.

nikkie
02-20-2010, 01:52 AM
I buy eBooks all the time, even though they are almost all DRMd and it makes me feel sick inside because I know I'm throwing my money in a hole, BUT...

<politics>I'm pretty sure Ben Franklin would agree with the last option. Libraries are available to the public to decrease the knowledge gap between people of varying advantage levels, whether geographic or socio-economic. It is a huge part of what makes first world nations places where people can move between classes, because they can educate themselves out of lower classes if they want. (<rant>Or at least that's the rhetoric they teach in our schools these days. I've yet to determine if it's really possible. So far I'm 25 and it's promising, but getting somewhat bleaker due to tax laws on middle class citizens. And greedy corporations in general. </rant>) Anyway, libraries ARE socialist, but in a very capitalist way.</politics>

On the OTHER hand, I do believe the author/editor has EVERY right to determine the licensing and pricing of their works. I don't think the publisher has ANY right to determine pricing or licensing for eBooks unless they offer useful and significant marketing. If I was an author right now, I would honestly use the publisher for all the publicity I could get, and then drop them like a rock when my books got enough positive reviews for new readers to know they are quality.

My hope is that in the future, most works will be Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) and the author will specify exactly what copy rights they would like users to have, and that most authors will be liberal about it.

EBooks and software distribution are very similar problems, and software is turning into a solved problem (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2009/08/software-pricing-are-we-doing-it-wrong.html). They both take a lot of time and effort to get right, and can be very easily pirated. I think the Apple App Store (and Steam) show quite clearly that "free" and "cheap" are excellent business models because people are much more likely to part with "a buck" than "twenty-five dollars".

The future looks good. Less pirating. More authors getting paid. And more legitimate and free data transfer.

lene1949
02-20-2010, 03:42 AM
I voted for 8 and 9 because they have the fewest votes at the moment.

:rofl: Love it! :rofl:

NightGeometry
02-20-2010, 04:06 AM
I voted for getting a dodgy copy when a legitimate one isn't available (not at all, and not to me due to geographical restrictions).

One variation I find interesting is that when someone lends me a book, I will often go find an ebook version, and read that. I also copy the electronic file for my partner, fo books I think she will like. In neither case do I destroy my e copy when 'appropriate', though I think I probably should.

This then brings us to the case of - a friend loans me a book, I like it, I buy others by the same author, but probably not the one I have already read. The author / publisher / retailer make more money off of me than if i had not borrowed the original. This is the same in p- or ebook format.

For some authors I have gone and bought the book I have already read. My reasoning for this has nothing to do with wanting an official copy, or even in making sure the author gets paid (although both of them give me warm fuzzy feelings). It is more to do with sending a clear indication to the retailer & publisher that this is work I like, and that they find/stock more authors like this.

Ben Thornton
02-20-2010, 04:30 AM
I get frustrated with people who think it's okay to take advantage of someone because they are "rich" or are part of a "big corporation". What if the ebook was created and published by an unknown author and an independent publisher? Should we avoid pirating thier product because they aren't "rich" and "big"? Constantly blaming the rich and big corporations for the woes of the world is just too easy.
I put those options in to gauge opinion, and you'll be glaad to see that >90% of people (including me) agree with this.

Solicitous
02-20-2010, 05:09 AM
You can't, Ben clearly had the idea first and you going off and creating a bumper sticker of said intellectual idea is clearly an illegal act that is morally and ethically reprehensible as well as stealing food from Ben, his children, their children, and the small goat on the hill as well. My god man, have you learned nothing from this thread? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Ah Ben may have had the 'idea' first but Steve has a patent on bumper stickers with a satirical phrase.

Kevin2960
02-20-2010, 05:20 AM
I put those options in to gauge opinion, and you'll be glaad to see that >90% of people (including me) agree with this.

Oh Ben such sweeping statements, I thought you liked FACTS, not fantasy, I don't think 90% of people out there believe in breaking the law just because they WANT to !

Morrile
02-20-2010, 05:22 AM
Hello,

IMO copying a book; which you have purchased, for personal use is not illegal, as it's much like creating backups for data, films music, etc.

If you was planning to deprive the author of royalties or sell the book for personal financial gain, then yes it is illegal.

Morrile

TGS
02-20-2010, 05:36 AM
3 Points:
Constantly blaming the rich and big corporations for the woes of the world is just too easy.


It might be too easy - although the parlous state of the the left in Europe and the USA at the moment suggests otherwise - but it might also be true that the rich and big corporations are responsible for, at least some of, the woes of the world.

mgmueller
02-20-2010, 07:20 AM
I have no moral inhibitions. But I care about quality. So when I'm interested in a book, I try to purchase it. Disappointing enough, even legally purchased books sometimes are of horrible quality, especially concerning metadata - but sometimes formatting as well. And on the other hand, sometimes books from the dark net are simply phantastic. But still my rule of thumb is:
If I want, I buy it.
If I can't get it legally, but want to read it, I try to get it elsewhere.
Perfect example: Lord of the Rings. Had them as scanned PDFs, bought them as soon as they've been available. Harry Potter still isn't available...

HarryT
02-20-2010, 07:25 AM
Hello,

IMO copying a book; which you have purchased, for personal use is not illegal, as it's much like creating backups for data, films music, etc.


I'm afraid that, your personal opinion to the contrary, it unquestionably is illegal in the UK at the present time, just as all other kinds of "format shifting" are. Nobody is ever prosecuted for it (and, indeed, there would be no reason to do so), and I don't think that many people would regard it as "wrong", but I'm afraid that there's absolutely no question that it is illegal.

Ben Thornton
02-20-2010, 07:29 AM
Oh Ben such sweeping statements, I thought you liked FACTS, not fantasy, I don't think 90% of people out there believe in breaking the law just because they WANT to !
You have misread my post.

I was responding to a comment that it was wrong to copy content just because it came from a big corporation etc., agreeing with it, and pointing out that of those polled, 90% also agreed.

Sparrow
02-20-2010, 07:39 AM
I'm afraid that, your personal opinion to the contrary, it unquestionably is illegal in the UK at the present time, just as all other kinds of "format shifting" are. Nobody is ever prosecuted for it (and, indeed, there would be no reason to do so), and I don't think that many people would regard it as "wrong", but I'm afraid that there's absolutely no question that it is illegal.

I wouldn't go so far as to say 'absolutely no question'; since there some exceptions when I believe you can purchase and copy a book legally.

HarryT
02-20-2010, 07:48 AM
OK, yes, there are exceptions, such as the work being in the public domain.

Pardoz
02-20-2010, 08:04 AM
Hey You forgot that one (or maybe two) wacko(s) that thinks copying is theft!

Yes, but I'm sure that they'll calm down once the new meds kick in...

pietvo
02-20-2010, 08:31 AM
Hello,

IMO copying a book; which you have purchased, for personal use is not illegal, as it's much like creating backups for data, films music, etc.

If you was planning to deprive the author of royalties or sell the book for personal financial gain, then yes it is illegal.

Morrile
It just depends on what the law in your country says, that's the definition of (il)legal.

Kevin2960
02-20-2010, 08:49 AM
Yes, but I'm sure that they'll calm down once the new meds kick in...



I doubt I will, my meds clicked in long ago ....... Oh and I was one of the men in white coats, so know what meds I need to keep my Mania in check, LOL

kennyc
02-20-2010, 09:07 AM
I doubt I will, my meds clicked in long ago ....... Oh and I was one of the men in white coats, so know what meds I need to keep my Mania in check, LOL

:snicker:

kazbates
02-20-2010, 09:39 AM
It might be too easy - although the parlous state of the the left in Europe and the USA at the moment suggests otherwise - but it might also be true that the rich and big corporations are responsible for, at least some of, the woes of the world.

And the same can be said for the other end of the spectrum. We put an enormous amount of tax dollars into the welfare system in this country. Some of that money goes towards people who are generally in need, but a lot does not. The abuse of that system adds to the woes of this country.

I've met wealthy people on the other hand, who work very hard and sacrifice much for their wealth. Frankly, I wouldn't want what they have if I have to sacrifice as much as they did. I think my problem with the original statement of the "rich and big corporations" is that it is too general. There are good and bad in all situations.

I've been thinking about this quite a bit since I first saw the statement and I have a question, "Why do people who pirate books feel that it is within your "right" to do so?" Why do you believe that you are so deserving of something that you take it without giving compensation to the true owners? I cannot see how you can justify it and NOT consider it stealing. Whether you like to admit it or not, whether you are taking something physically, digitally, or even intellectually, you are still taking something that does not belong to you and for which you do not have permission to own nor did you give compensation to the original owner.

When I walk with my daughter through Walmart and she sees a small toy that she wants, I don't tell her that it's okay to take it because Walmart is a "Big, Rich Corporation" who preys on the masses so it's within our rights as the downtrodden masses to "take" that toy without compensating that greedy company. If I did that, my 8 year old daughter would turn to me and say, "But mommy, that's stealing and stealing is wrong."

Whether or not you agree with the morality of it, you must live within the laws of the country where you reside. You may not like the terms "thief" or "stealing" but they are appropriate. Justifying breaking a law because it doesn't really work for you or limits the way you can live your life is juvenile. If you don't like the laws, work to change them.

By the way, I say all this but am hardly perfect and have already stated that I drive 4 miles over the speed limit (only on highways) because I know I can get away with it. I'm not excusing my behavior. It's wrong and I know it. I'm not trying to justify my illegal actions either. If a policeman is having a bad day and decides to pull me over for going 4 miles over the speed limit, it is perfectly within his rights to do so and I deserve the consequences.

Sparrow
02-20-2010, 10:16 AM
When I walk with my daughter through Walmart and she sees a small toy that she wants, I don't tell her that it's okay to take it because Walmart is a "Big, Rich Corporation" who preys on the masses so it's within our rights as the downtrodden masses to "take" that toy without compensating that greedy company. If I did that, my 8 year old daughter would turn to me and say, "But mommy, that's stealing and stealing is wrong."


In the UK it's quite common these days to see parents giving their children food off the shelves in supermarkets without paying for it. The children eat the stuff as they wander round, and the supermarkets don't seem to care.

'Stealing' is a part of our culture now.

GhostHawk
02-20-2010, 10:31 AM
You want an honest answer Kazbates, I'll give you one.

If I go to the nearest convenience store, and steal a candy bar, the candy bar is gone.

If on the other hand, I am smart enough, savvy enough, determined enough to go out and find an ebook that I want to read, and download it. The ebook is still out there. I have taken nothing. You can not lose what you never had. So the publisher did not lose a sale. The author did not lose royalty's. And I didn't lose any sleep over it.

To look at it another way.
Project Gutenberg has an abundance of books in their collection.
Granted different country's view copyright differently. Have different laws depending on location. So its ok to download books from "this" web site, because the author died 60 years ago. And his "right" to control those ideas is gone.
But its "Not" ok to download books from another web site, because that author is still alive, or just died?

I've bought some Dick Francis Hardcovers in my day, he's gotten what he's going to get from me. He's got I am sure a very impressive place in the Cayman Islands.

I'm freezing my butt off in Fargo ND, eating pasta because its all we can afford, but I'm supposed to send him money (or his son) Because I want to reread his books in Ebook format? The !#@$ you say.

I'm not taking something from anyone, that they have. The worst you can say, is that they are losing sales/royalty's. Which in my case is really not true. Not in my current situation. So why should I care?

After all there are ohhh so many of you folks who wouldn't DREAM of doing what I do who will be glad to pay their royaltys. So those authors really are not starving for the most part.

Now, am I advocating that you all turn pirate, absolutely not.
Am I advocating that perhaps copyright law is due for a total makeover. You betcha.
And until they make copyright law fair and "reasonable" and ebook prices "Reasonable" do I feel "empowered" to do all in my power to encourage that change. Yep.

And no I don't feel like its stealing. Because you can't lose what you never had.

Now, turn the coin over. Do you see me pirating books from Baen Authors.
Very very seldom, because they are the one publisher already giving me a fair shake.
I find one now and then slipped into some collection. But I don't go looking for them.

So if I did come into money, and was going to buy books who would I buy?
Hint, ain't going to be Tor.

weatherwax
02-20-2010, 10:34 AM
4. The author is dead (~30%)


Analysis

I was surprised at the level of support for the income of dead people. Two thirds didn't check this as a fair reason to take a copy. Perhaps we should make up some bumper stickers that say "Illegal copying of dead authors' works is a grave crime".



Here you might want to take into account how long the author has been dead. He/she might have died young and the royalities are needed to support their families. Or they died before the publisher had a chance to get even on their investments.
In that way 50 years are not unreasonable, the children would be able to take care of them selves and it's unlikely that their would be a widow/er depending on that income.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 10:37 AM
You want an honest answer Kazbates, I'll give you one.

If I go to the nearest convenience store, and steal a candy bar, the candy bar is gone.

If on the other hand, I am smart enough, savvy enough, determined enough to go out and find an ebook that I want to read, and download it. The ebook is still out there. I have taken nothing.....


NO! Absolutely WRONG. You are stealing. Assuming it is not in the public domain you DO NOT have permission to take the book . And it's irrelevant whether it's a physical item or a copy, it's wrong, it's illegal, it's theft. End of story.

P.S. you can make whatever excuses you want about income levels and disadvantages and weather to justify your illegal behavior, but that doesn't change the facts. :)

deltop
02-20-2010, 10:41 AM
NO! Absolutely WRONG. You are stealing. Assuming it is not in the public domain you DO NOT have permission to take the book . And it's irrelevant whether it's a physical item or a copy, it's wrong, it's illegal, it's theft. End of story.

And yet the law disagrees with you. Which is why it's classed as copyright infringement and not theft.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 10:44 AM
And yet the law disagrees with you. Which is why it's classed as copyright infringement and not theft.

You miss the entire point. :rolleyes:

Kevin2960
02-20-2010, 10:46 AM
In the UK it's quite common these days to see parents giving their children food off the shelves in supermarkets without paying for it. The children eat the stuff as they wander round, and the supermarkets don't seem to care.

'Stealing' is a part of our culture now.

Exactly which is why I Still say Theft is Theft, letting it slide, glossing over it, dressing it up differently are the REASON our society is as it now is, And there may not be a way back to older values and better times!

deltop
02-20-2010, 10:50 AM
You miss the entire point. :rolleyes:

I get your point, you believe it's morally wrong and illegal (which it is) but by repeatedly calling it something which it isn't, ie. theft, your not helping your cause. People on this forum understand the difference between the loss of a physical item and the taking of a digital copy. This is why under the law it's also called something different and therefore treated differently.

tompe
02-20-2010, 11:03 AM
I've been thinking about this quite a bit since I first saw the statement and I have a question, "Why do people who pirate books feel that it is within your "right" to do so?" Why do you believe that you are so deserving of something that you take it without giving compensation to the true owners?

Your mistake is believing that there exist a true owner. Intellectual property does not work the same way as physical property. Copyright is a government enforced monopol for distribution and nothing natural. The goal is to make more things available in the public domain.

By talking about true owner and theft you leading the thoughts in the wrong direction. Which is of course why lobby organisations use these terms in the way they do for their own propaganda goals.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 11:42 AM
I get your point, you believe it's morally wrong and illegal (which it is) but by repeatedly calling it something which it isn't, ie. theft, your not helping your cause. People on this forum understand the difference between the loss of a physical item and the taking of a digital copy. This is why under the law it's also called something different and therefore treated differently.

Yes I am. You say this every time in every thread and since I've been saying it I've seen a few more come out and agree with it. We're getting there. :cool:

kennyc
02-20-2010, 11:45 AM
....Copyright is a government enforced monopol for distribution and nothing natural. The goal is to make more things available in the public domain.
.....

No. It is protection for the creator which is intended to encourage that said creator to share his work with the public while protecting his rights.

That creator is the OWNER by definition of the creative work regardless of form.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 11:46 AM
Gawd, see, you guys have got me going again.....

Sparrow
02-20-2010, 11:50 AM
Exactly which is why I Still say Theft is Theft, letting it slide, glossing over it, dressing it up differently are the REASON our society is as it now is, And there may not be a way back to older values and better times!

It's also theft when money is taken from me to give to authors and publishers for books I don't want to read.
(That's how the UK public library system works.)

What goes around comes around. ;)

GhostHawk
02-20-2010, 12:00 PM
To be brutally honest kenny, it doesn't take much.

Truly was not my intention.
But, you are wrong.

However after reading this thread, and rethinking what I said, and why I said it, a lightbulb went off.

This country is founded on the premise that you work hard, scrimp and save, and you can get ahead. You can have the finer things in life. The problem is that you see someone getting something for free, that you worked for. And cry foul, knee jerk reaction.

Through no fault of my own, I am unable to live that dream. I am unable to go out and work. Although disabled, I was denied Disability. So I go out and find a way to get for free what your spending hard earned dollars for. And that bugs the living crap out of you. And thats why you cry theft, You feel like I'm stealing something of yours.

You don't see that in my own way I've invested a lot of time, money, computers etc to learn how to get that ebook. All you see is that I'm getting something without having to pay for it.

Have you ever driven a car without current state tabs on it?
Very similar situation in many respects. States are "taxing" you for the right to drive a car. For using those roads, and bridges that they built with "your" tax dollars.
So say you drive your car for 2 or 3 months without tabs. Yes, you might get caught, and have to pay a fine, plus prove that you've bought the tabs.

Now say I figured out how to "copy" those tabs. So now I won't get caught, but I'm not paying that tax. Its not theft. Granted the state loses my fee. But its not hurting anyone else. In the big scheme of things, its a drop in the bucket.

Is it wrong? Well thats debateable. Is it wrong to speed? Thats against the law also, yet people do it all the time. Is it wrong to cook the books so you can cheat on your taxes? Thats done all the time also, and adds up to a lot more than my minor little tabs tax cheat.

The point is, if its priced fairly, the average person will find it easier, both on their pocketbook, and on the conscience, to pay for it. Piracy will go down.

But every time you cry THEFT, or jack the price up beyond our means.
Your encouraging me to go do it some more.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 12:10 PM
......

This country is founded on the premise that you work hard, scrimp and save, and you can get ahead. You can have the finer things in life. The problem is that you see someone getting something for free, that you worked for. And cry foul, knee jerk reaction.

Through no fault of my own, I am unable to live that dream. I am unable to go out and work. Although disabled, I was denied Disability.


So I go out and find a way to get for free what your spending hard earned dollars for. And that bugs the living crap out of you. And thats why you cry theft, You feel like I'm stealing something of yours.
....

But every time you cry THEFT, or jack the price up beyond our means.
Your encouraging me to go do it some more.

I'm going to say it once more. You make any excuse you want, but that doesn't make it right, make it legal or just. I have nothing against you or your condition (whatever it is -- but clearly if you were denied disability someone thinks you may not be as disabled as you think), but that has nothing at all to do with my position.

If everyone used your logic as stated above then it would be perfectly okay for anyone that makes little money to steal food and shelter and transportation. Are you encouraging and supporting that as well. Do you steal from the grocery store as you alluded to above? or is is just ebooks you steal?

Regardless, it changes nothing. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, you are a thief whether it's a physical item, digital, or intellectual property.

troymc
02-20-2010, 12:15 PM
It's also theft when money is taken from me to give to authors and publishers for books I don't want to read.
(That's how the UK public library system works.)

What goes around comes around. ;)

I agree whole-heartedly.

And it's also then "theft" when works which were originally scheduled to enter the public domain get "grandfathered" simply to line the pockets of megacorp publishers & greedy families. This is even closer to the definition of "theft" since the public domain does lose something which had been promised to it.

Here's a perfect example:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/books/19sherlock.html?pagewanted=all

It's an amazing double-standard -- individuals are expected to act honestly/legally/morally while they're being fleeced by amoral corporations & immoral copyright owners who seemingly have no shame.


Troy

kennyc
02-20-2010, 12:16 PM
It's also theft when money is taken from me to give to authors and publishers for books I don't want to read.
(That's how the UK public library system works.)

What goes around comes around. ;)\


Well, yeah, but that's kinda stretching it I think. If you feel you are not getting your money's worth from the tax money spent on libraries, then you can work to reduce their funding, etc.

Just recently here in my suburb they closed several branch libraries because the people were not willing to spend more on libraries. I personally think it's a travesty and bad thing for our people/government/society. Much along the lines of paying only a pittance to teachers and expecting to have an educated public....

kennyc
02-20-2010, 12:17 PM
And it's also then "theft" when works which were originally scheduled to enter the public domain get "grandfathered" simply to line the pockets of megacorp publishers & greedy families. This is even closer to the definition of "theft" since the public domain does lose something which had been promised to it.

Here's a perfect example:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/books/19sherlock.html?pagewanted=all

It's an amazing double-standard -- individuals are expected to act honestly/legally/morally while they're being fleeced by amoral corporations & immoral copyright owners who seemingly have no shame.


Troy

I agree completely with that!

Elfwreck
02-20-2010, 01:11 PM
If I can't get it legally, but want to read it, I try to get it elsewhere.
Perfect example: Lord of the Rings. Had them as scanned PDFs, bought them as soon as they've been available. Harry Potter still isn't available...

Scanned PDFs? Shudder. The text versions have bounced around usenet since the year 2000, and probably earlier. (And they weren't spelled "Tha Hobbit.")

I've often wondered why publishers don't scour newsgroups & the torrent sites for bootleg ebooks, and then edit those by comparing with the print edition, instead of starting with scans and lousy OCR.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 01:14 PM
...
I've often wondered why publishers don't scour newsgroups & the torrent sites for bootleg ebooks, and then edit those by comparing with the print edition, instead of starting with scans and lousy OCR.

Yeah, sorta like getting the work done for free, eh?

:smack:

MrBlueSky
02-20-2010, 05:33 PM
Yeah, sorta like getting the work done for free, eh?

:smack:

As in... Information Wants To Be Free, yes!


btw, that was my vote.

Ben Thornton
02-20-2010, 06:58 PM
Exactly which is why I Still say Theft is Theft, letting it slide, glossing over it, dressing it up differently are the REASON our society is as it now is, And there may not be a way back to older values and better times!
Plato apparently said "What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?". It still sounds very modern nearly 2500 years later!

I agree with Barnardo's as discussed in this BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7732203.stm), that demonising children in particular - and nostalgia for bygone days when there was more moral fibre in general - can be a dangerous and a damaging thing.

Perhaps my idea of asking whether people crying "thief" would like to be called "child molesters" has more merit than I had imagined. By legislating against a younger generation perceived as having lower morals, the older generation in power does indeed harm their children.

My hope is that those who lack a nuanced view of the situation (i.e. those at both extremes) are in the minority, as this poll suggests (athough it's a small sample that doesn't represent the populace at large).

rwizard
02-20-2010, 07:08 PM
If you do not get the right to make a copy through legal means then copying it is wrong. Case closed, no discussion, it is cut and dried - if it is not legal to do something and you do it then it is wrong.


Hmm, by this logic the US should still be under British rule since I am positive that declaring our independence was illegal at the time. Yes this is an extreme example and no I don't think it is right to get a copy of something you have not paid for off the internet; but, something being illegal does not necessarily make it "wrong" in the moral sense. There have also been plenty of ridiculous laws in some states in the past (I think some states still have some ridiculous laws on the books) but not following a ridiculous law is not by definition morally wrong. I believe that this pole is on a question of morale judgement not legality. Of course, if your belief is that any thing that is legal is morally right and anything that is illegal is morally wrong, then that is a good argument. Just keep in mind that you are also arguing that slavery was at one time morally right (even if it is not now since it is now illegal), it was morally wrong to revolt against England, and it was morally right to prevent women from voting (just as examples).

Just something to think about :) .


Sorry, I had some strong feelings regarding a post toward the beginning of this thread and replied before reading the rest or noticing how many more posts there were.

Kevin2960
02-20-2010, 07:15 PM
Plato apparently said "What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?". It still sounds very modern nearly 2500 years later!

I agree with Barnardo's as discussed in this BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7732203.stm), that demonising children in particular - and nostalgia for bygone days when there was more moral fibre in general - can be a dangerous and a damaging thing.

Perhaps my idea of asking whether people crying "thief" would like to be called "child molesters" has more merit than I had imagined. By legislating against a younger generation perceived as having lower morals, the older generation in power does indeed harm their children.


My hope is that those who lack a nuanced view of the situation (i.e. those at both extremes) are in the minority, as this poll suggests (athough it's a small sample that doesn't represent the populace at large).



Ben you are so out of order, although not directly saying it, you imply that those who disagree with you, and or believe that some of the practices of some people on this site amount to Theft, are nothing more than child molesters,

I've had enough, i refuse to take part on this thread anymore, you obviously started it following our previous discusions to stir up arguements,

I had thought you had the capacity to be a decent person, boy did i get that wrong !!!

Jack Tingle
02-20-2010, 07:35 PM
What part of "illegal" is giving people problems?

You can work towards changing a law. You can militate for publishers to change the way they do business. You can even start your own business and run it your way. Breaking the law is still wrong. You may do like Thoreau and Ghandi, and break it, go to jail, pay the penalty and use that as a bully pulpit, but it's still wrong, even in a good cause.

Now, where the law is currently unclear is what is "illegal". If you get an ebook and put it into a torrent for all the world to read, that's clearly illegal. It's less clearly illegal if you sell an ebook you paid for to someone and erase all of your copies. It's very unclear whether you're allowed to format shift a book you paid for.

Don't you love simple answers?

Regards,
Jack Tingle

kennyc
02-20-2010, 07:36 PM
...

My hope is that those who lack a nuanced view of the situation (i.e. those at both extremes) are in the minority, as this poll suggests (athough it's a small sample that doesn't represent the populace at large).


You mean besides the fact that the "poll" was flawed from the beginning, biased by the group polled and "analyzed" without a proper sample size? :D

Ben Thornton
02-20-2010, 07:42 PM
Ben you are so out of order, although not directly saying it, you imply that those who disagree with you, and or believe that some of the practices of some people on this site amount to Theft, are nothing more than child molesters,
Not at all. My point in a previous post was that calling people thieves was not pleasant, and that people could make up all sorts of arguments to use emotive labels - and I picked an especially emotive one on purpose, of course. The point here is that it is, in fact, harmful to the younger generation to label them all as thieves and attempt to legislate against them - as Baranados are keen to point out in the context of labelling children as hooligans etc.
I've had enough, i refuse to take part on this thread anymore, you obviously started it following our previous discusions to stir up arguements,
My starting this thread was nothing to do with you - it was to find out what people thought (that's what a poll is for), to get beyond the piracy is good/bad debate to a more nuanced discussion (some hope there, it seems).

You seem quick to take offence, but while you (and others) have been happy to call people thieves, talk about stealing, some saying that most people are thieves nowadays etc. - I have not made such sweeping statements. I find this labelling to be out of order. In contrast, I said:This emotive language is not appropriate. If I consider my posts as my children, and anyone who disagrees with me as molesting my posts, should I refer to their actions as child molesting? Might that upset them? It would be inappropriate because what people mean by child molesting is different to what they are doing. To spell this out in words of one syllable, it meant: "Stop calling people thieves - how would you like being called names?". In my more recent post, having found the article on the BBC which I felt was appropriate given the ranting agains the younger generation on this thread, I said:Perhaps my idea of asking whether people crying "thief" would like to be called "child molesters" has more merit than I had imagined. By legislating against a younger generation perceived as having lower morals, the older generation in power does indeed harm their children.My point being that it is harming children to have this kind of attitude towards them.
I had thought you had the capacity to be a decent person, boy did i get that wrong !!!
I suggest that you review your language and mine. I have refrained from responding in kind to people who sling around emotive terms and moral certainties - and now insults. Look to the beam in your own eye.

Ben Thornton
02-20-2010, 07:45 PM
You mean besides the fact that the "poll" was flawed from the beginning, biased by the group polled and "analyzed" without a proper sample size? :D
Yes, besides those facts - (I said "athough it's a small sample that doesn't represent the populace at large", didn't I?) - I live in hope that both extremes are in the minority, as I said.

Of course, I don't get everything I hope for ... :(

kennyc
02-20-2010, 07:49 PM
Like I always say, "When there's nothing else, in our darkest hour, when there is nothing left there still is hope."

tompe
02-20-2010, 07:55 PM
You seem quick to take offence, but while you (and others) have been happy to call people thieves, talk about stealing, some saying that most people are thieves nowadays etc. - I have not made such sweeping statements. I find this labelling to be out of order. In contrast, I said:To spell this out in words of one syllable, it meant: "Stop calling people thieves - how would you like being called names?".

Exactly. That point was very clearly put and I do not understand how people could miss it. Or how people can miss that if they use what others consider to be the wrong term they cannot complain when the same strategy is used against them.

Ben Thornton
02-20-2010, 08:07 PM
Some of the attitudes on this thread reminded me of this video (http://eclectech.co.uk/dailymailpicnic.php). And it seems appropriate given the topic to also link to this one (http://eclectech.co.uk/piratejig.php)! :rofl:

Patricia
02-20-2010, 08:10 PM
May I remind members of our posting guidelines:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_posting_guidelines
particularky the first guideline about discussing things politely, avoiding provocation, and personal insults.

If the discussion becomes any more intemperate then we will have to close the thread.

Scott Nicholson
02-20-2010, 08:12 PM
As a creator, I fully respect creators' rights to make a living. UI think in my life I have made two CD copies and gave them to friends, which I consider stealing. However, i have taped some CDs for my own personal use, which I don't consider stealing.

As an ebook author and digital publisher, I believe in respecting readers and consumers and leaving copy unprotected while leaving prices low. I wouldn't presume to judge the morality of others because I have enough flaws.

Scott Nicholson
Haunted Computer Books (http://hauntedcomputerbooks.blogspot.com)

Sonist
02-20-2010, 08:16 PM
...I voted for the first option because anything illegal is wrong....

I must chime in, just to disagree with the above.

If it was true, Katti might not even know how to write the above fallacy, because, you know, in some Godly places it's illegal to teach girls to read and write....

Otherwise, I believe that moral questions aside, if an ebook is priced right and is easy to buy and keep, the majority of potential purchasers will buy it, instead of wasting time scouring the darknet.

Katti's Cat
02-20-2010, 08:21 PM
I must chime in, just to disagree with the above.

If it was true, Katti might not even know how to write the above fallacy, because, you know, in some places it's illegal to teach girls to read and write....

You might not like that it is illegal to teach girls to read and write - but as it is the law in those backward place to do so makes it illegal.

And although I might bend the law in some places I am overall a law abiding citizen. Which does not mean that I support backwards, outdated or wrong (in my eyes) laws but would try and change them through demonstrations, letters, support for those who want to change them through peaceful means.

Now if we talk about the morality of some laws - that's a total different song altogether.

Sonist
02-20-2010, 08:27 PM
... but would try and change them through demonstrations, letters, support for those who want to change them through peaceful means. ...

You do realize that in many of these places "demonstrations, letters, support for those who want to change them" are also generally illegal.... :D

Katti's Cat
02-20-2010, 08:30 PM
You do realize that in many of these places "demonstrations, letters, support for those who want to change them" are also generally illegal.... :D

Yep sure do. I did mention that I do bend the law in some cases??? And lucky for me, I do live and have never lived in a country where it's illegal.

Krystian Galaj
02-20-2010, 09:18 PM
A few points I'd like to make after reading of this thread.

1. It's n-th incarnation of the same old thread about piracy that's been around here since long before I joined. But every time it's a bit different, and I like reading them like I like boxing matches on TV.

2. I don't see any connection between law of the community I happened to be born in to morality. I didn't have part in putting those laws into existence, I don't have part in fixing them (the thing about voting for the right people is really a cover, and never in my life a person I voted for won the election), I don't agree with most of them, and so I don't internalize them (if I even could, laws of EU count tens of thousands of tomes). I consider them in my actions, even though breaking them and penalties for it are defined more and more vaguely each year, and it's often impossible to find what the law has to say on some matter. So saying that what's illegal is wrong makes no sense to me.

3. Unauthorized copying isn't theft. Copyright violation isn't theft either.

4. One can't be an owner of a piece of information. An idea, a book, or any other piece of information having an owner is nonsense. One can be a creator, or discoverer of it, but everyone reached by this piece of information becomes a discoverer as well.

5. The copyright law is an utilitarian strategy aimed at making writing books profitable. It's long outdated, it's been bloated out of proportion by companies protecting their economic interests, and it does more damage than profit to the public now.

6. There exists a term "intellectual property", IP for short, which incorrectly implies that idea has an owner, and thus does much harm to public opinion on the matter of copyright. Not everyone has inclination to get to the source documents and find out what copyright really is, and naming it "property" makes people treat copyright as law protecting a property, and not just granting a monopoly to that which isn't really anyone's property.

7. I hope the idea of "intellectual property" and copyright will die out in time, and I see indications it will happen. Unfortunately, as the holders of those ideas rarely seem to change their minds, it'll have to be progress by funerals, and might take decades. Alternatively, if big companies make their moves right, it might become a fig leaf for corporate dictatorship across the world. Time will tell.

Viper187
02-20-2010, 09:24 PM
I can't stand the way people compare "copyright infringement" with stealing. If I steal your car, you don't have it anymore. If I download a copy of something of yours, I'm not depriving you of anything. All these stats on what file sharing costs companies are complete BS, in my opinion. Just because someone downloaded something doesn't mean they would ever buy it. Plenty of people download things they either wouldn't spend the money on otherwise or can't afford to begin with. It doesn't equal lost sales because there would not have been sales had the free copy not been there.

I also despise the DRM and other security that these companies try to impose to control their content. The way things are right now, Amazon can strip books from your Kindle anytime they want for any reason. The DLC on current game consoles works the same way. When it's gone, it's gone. It's a hassle to transfer between devices if you even can without the company's help, and it's flat out unfriendly to consumers. I do NOT buy anything with DRM. If they can't offer it in a good, unencrypted format, I'm not buying it and I don't think anyone else should. DRM infested content pretty much deserves to get pirated. This also goes for content that you can't actually buy. It's like TV shows. I don't feel that the studios have any right to complain when people are downloading shows that aren't on DVD to begin with. I feel the same about out of print games. I also refuse to use any online activation on PC software/games that I buy. There's always a way to use it offline with no activation and no disc in the drive, whether the companies like it or not.

Another quick thought: I think any site that sells both hard copies and digital copies of books should provide the digital copy free when you buy the hard copy. You shouldn't have to choose between the two or buy both at full price. That's just stupid.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 09:31 PM
A few points I'd like to make after reading of this thread.

.....

3. Unauthorized copying isn't theft. Copyright violation isn't theft either.

4. One can't be an owner of a piece of information. An idea, a book, or any other piece of information having an owner is nonsense. One can be a creator, or discoverer of it, but everyone reached by this piece of information becomes a discoverer as well.

5. The copyright law .it's been bloated out of proportion by companies protecting their economic interests, and it does more damage than profit to the public now.

6. There exists a term "intellectual property", IP for short, which incorrectly implies that idea has an owner, and thus does much harm to public opinion on the matter of copyright. .....

....

#3 depends on how the others are defined, so it's null and void. ;)

#4 you are wrong. You are using an outdated understanding of information. In this day and age information has become property whether you agree or not. The laws are moving ever forward in that direction.

#5 yes the copyright laws need to change to match our new definitions, products and properties.

#6 see # 4.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 09:32 PM
I can't stand the way people compare "copyright infringement" with stealing. ...

I'm not "comparing" anything.

I'm saying flat out that taking my property without my permission is theft.

Krystian Galaj
02-20-2010, 09:36 PM
#3 depends on how the others are defined, so it's null and void. ;)

I'm not trying to reason with you here. It's been done in other threads. You simply say those are theft, I say they are not. As many times as neccessary, I suppose.

#4 you are wrong. You are using an outdated understanding of information. In this day and age information has become property whether you agree or not. The laws are moving ever forward in that direction.

#5 yes the copyright laws need to change to match our new definitions, products and properties.

#6 see # 4.

You're quite right. The current state of laws makes everyone, or nearly everyone, a criminal, and you can be sure a law can be found to jail you, should the authorities desire so. And since the public understanding of the world moves in different direction than the law, the law will have to be readjusted in time. Hopefully not as violently as in French Revolution.

kennyc
02-20-2010, 09:39 PM
I'm not trying to reason with you here. It's been done in other threads. You simply say those are theft, I say they are not. As many times as neccessary, I suppose.
..

I'm just working logically from your enumerated items. :rolleyes:

Krystian Galaj
02-20-2010, 10:04 PM
#4 you are wrong. You are using an outdated understanding of information. In this day and age information has become property whether you agree or not. The laws are moving ever forward in that direction.

I thought I should further clarify my statement. It's true that it's a long time since this understanding of information was plain in public view, not disfigured by interpretations, and not obscured by law. And it's true that the lawmakers are pushing laws further in this direction. However I still believe that this is the understanding that should prevail, and I don't agree with the idea that it's property (thought it's surely convenient to those who claim ownership of it).

Krystian Galaj
02-20-2010, 10:31 PM
I'm sorry; yet another thought has occurred to me.

All I said above might lead you to believe I'm all for anarchy, and authors not getting a cent for what they've endeavoured to create. I'm not - I'm only for having the ideas I outlined clear in public perception. At the same time I hope the technological advancements will lend a hand to the process of publishing, and at some point in the future the official, original release of author's work will be available to the public at one click of a button, professionally edited, free of DRM and geographical restrictions and readable on all or nearly all devices used for reading. I hope that the psychological problem that caused micropayments to fail - that people irrationally stop when it comes to the act of paying anything - will be overcome, and the issues involved with security of payments that make you click through pages of things now will be simplified to one click. Then buying the book will really become much easier than downloading it from the darknet, and the majority of people will do just that. There will always be hoarders of stuff, and sharers of terabytes of it, but those are minorities, and the real customers who don't have time for that stuff, or even learning there is darknet, will choose to buy. It'll be just like going to a bookstore instead of browsing used bookstores, only on the Net.

Because all laws aside, people will want to repay the author for the effort as well.

The sooner the bookstore owners stop trying to outlaw used books trade and make their stores shiny, comfortable, easy to buy in, with polished shelves and cafes inside, and no long chains labelled DRM on the books, the sooner that will happen.

troymc
02-20-2010, 10:52 PM
A few points I'd like to make after reading of this thread.

1. It's n-th incarnation of the same old thread about piracy that's been around here since long before I joined. But every time it's a bit different, and I like reading them like I like boxing matches on TV.

2. I don't see any connection between law of the community I happened to be born in to morality. I didn't have part in putting those laws into existence, I don't have part in fixing them (the thing about voting for the right people is really a cover, and never in my life a person I voted for won the election), I don't agree with most of them, and so I don't internalize them (if I even could, laws of EU count tens of thousands of tomes). I consider them in my actions, even though breaking them and penalties for it are defined more and more vaguely each year, and it's often impossible to find what the law has to say on some matter. So saying that what's illegal is wrong makes no sense to me.

3. Unauthorized copying isn't theft. Copyright violation isn't theft either.

4. One can't be an owner of a piece of information. An idea, a book, or any other piece of information having an owner is nonsense. One can be a creator, or discoverer of it, but everyone reached by this piece of information becomes a discoverer as well.

5. The copyright law is an utilitarian strategy aimed at making writing books profitable. It's long outdated, it's been bloated out of proportion by companies protecting their economic interests, and it does more damage than profit to the public now.

6. There exists a term "intellectual property", IP for short, which incorrectly implies that idea has an owner, and thus does much harm to public opinion on the matter of copyright. Not everyone has inclination to get to the source documents and find out what copyright really is, and naming it "property" makes people treat copyright as law protecting a property, and not just granting a monopoly to that which isn't really anyone's property.

7. I hope the idea of "intellectual property" and copyright will die out in time, and I see indications it will happen. Unfortunately, as the holders of those ideas rarely seem to change their minds, it'll have to be progress by funerals, and might take decades. Alternatively, if big companies make their moves right, it might become a fig leaf for corporate dictatorship across the world. Time will tell.

Well said! I could not agree more!


Troy

Harmon
02-21-2010, 12:00 AM
Anyone remember the "aether?" From Wikipedia:

In the late 19th century, "luminiferous aether" (or "ether"), meaning light-bearing aether, was the term used to describe a medium for the propagation of light.[1] ...

Later theories including special relativity were formulated without the concept of aether. Today the idea of aether, what Albert Michelson called "one of the grandest generalizations of modern science", is regarded as a superseded scientific theory.

Aether made sense for a while:

In addition, Maxwell's equations required that all electromagnetic waves in vacuum propagate at a fixed speed, c. As this can only occur in one reference frame in Newtonian physics (see Galilean-Newtonian relativity), the aether was hypothesized as the absolute and unique frame of reference in which Maxwell's equations hold....

Nevertheless, by this point the mechanical qualities of the aether had become more and more magical: it had to be a fluid in order to fill space, but one that was millions of times more rigid than steel in order to support the high frequencies of light waves. It also had to be massless and without viscosity, otherwise it would visibly affect the orbits of planets. Additionally it appeared it had to be completely transparent, non-dispersive, incompressible, and continuous at a very small scale.[3]

Maxwell wrote in Encyclopedia Britannica:[4]

Aethers were invented for the planets to swim in, to constitute electric atmospheres and magnetic effluvia, to convey sensations from one part of our bodies to another, and so on, until all space had been filled three or four times over with aethers.... The only aether which has survived is that which was invented by Huygens to explain the propagation of light.

Contemporary scientists were aware of the problems, but aether theory was so entrenched in physical law by this point that it was simply assumed to exist. In 1908 Oliver Lodge gave a speech in behalf of Lord Rayleigh [5] to the Royal Institution on this topic, in which he outlined its physical properties, and then attempted to offer reasons why they were not impossible.

Intellectual Property is the aether of law. In time, IP will disappear. Meanwhile, it will be like Huygens aether, lingering in places while we struggle to develop a legal structure which will support an economic system to achieve our cultural and scientific objectives without trying to deny technological realities.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 07:04 AM
Anyone remember "Gravity"

well there is no such thing, it's actually a curvature of space.

HarryT
02-21-2010, 07:11 AM
Anyone remember "Gravity"

well there is no such thing, it's actually a curvature of space.

A curvature of space-time, if we're being accurate. But so what - it's still "gravity"!

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 07:29 AM
A curvature of space-time, if we're being accurate. But so what - it's still "gravity"!
To be super-pedantic, we have a more recent model of the phenomena that we call gravity - where we model it as curvature of space-time - which fits known observations better than our previous models.

But to say that gravity is our current model is a mistake - the map is not the territory.

Having said that, Havnon's idea about laws being analagous to theories - perhaps theories about social engineering to reach the optimal outcome - is interesting. It leads to the idea that they should not be seen as sacrosanct, but rather our best attempt to date at regulating society's conflicting interests.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 07:51 AM
A curvature of space-time, if we're being accurate. But so what - it's still "gravity"!

This was in response to Harmon's Aether posting. Just to show it can go both ways -- sometimes the things we believe turn out to be false, sometimes true.

Intellectual Property is the curvature of space time. :rofl:

kennyc
02-21-2010, 07:55 AM
...

Having said that, Havnon's idea about laws being analagous to theories - perhaps theories about social engineering to reach the optimal outcome - is interesting. It leads to the idea that they should not be seen as sacrosanct, but rather our best attempt to date at regulating society's conflicting interests.


Which is exactly what I've been saying about "laws" all along. :smack:

They are the current best implementation of what a particular society thinks is right, they change, they are in flux. They have to change in response to their environment just like life responds through evolution. Just like scientific theories evolve when new information (damn! There's that word again!) is discovered.

Pardoz
02-21-2010, 08:18 AM
I've often wondered why publishers don't scour newsgroups & the torrent sites for bootleg ebooks, and then edit those by comparing with the print edition, instead of starting with scans and lousy OCR.

Don't know of any book publishers who have, but I do know of some authors who are putting their own e-books out who've used such files as a starting point.

I can't recall off-hand which computer game publisher, when they 'graciously' decided to remove the DRM from a couple of year old title, grabbed a No-CD patch from a torrent and published it as an official patch.

Pardoz
02-21-2010, 08:47 AM
Why do you believe that you are so deserving of something that you take it without giving compensation to the true owners?

Ask yourself that next time you buy a used book, check a book out of the library (in many countries), borrow a book from a friend, or even read a newspaper somebody discarded on a park bench, as in every case you are "taking it without giving compensation to the true owners". I'll be curious to hear your answer.

DawnFalcon
02-21-2010, 08:54 AM
They are the current best implementation of what a particular society thinks is right, they change, they are in flux.

That doesn't give you the right to misuse words one step ahead of what they actually are. It just means you're misusing words.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 09:10 AM
Ask yourself that next time you buy a used book, check a book out of the library (in many countries), borrow a book from a friend, or even read a newspaper somebody discarded on a park bench, as in every case you are "taking it without giving compensation to the true owners". I'll be curious to hear your answer.

Not true. This is part of law as discussed above in the "First Sale Doctrine"

Illegal copying/Piracy often involves taking a copy from a source that never originally compensated the author and it does not nullify/destroy the original.

A very different situation.

kazbates
02-21-2010, 09:25 AM
In the UK it's quite common these days to see parents giving their children food off the shelves in supermarkets without paying for it. The children eat the stuff as they wander round, and the supermarkets don't seem to care.

'Stealing' is a part of our culture now.

I've seen that happen, too. It didn't used to be that way and if that is the trend, I believe it shows how much our society has digressed.

When I was young, our local grocery store had big bins of candy that you could bag up and have weighed at the cash register at check-out. When my mother's back was turned, my brothers and I each took a piece of candy and ate it. When my mother realized what we had done. She marched us to the store manager and made us apologize. She added 3 pieces of candy to the bag, had the cashier weigh it and then removed them from the original bag and gave them back to the cashier. When we got home, we had to pay for the candy from our piggy banks and then were punished for the transgression.

I thank my mother every day for instilling good values in me and I hope I've done the same with my own children. Laws and moral values are important to sustain a functioning society.

You want an honest answer Kazbates, I'll give you one.

<SNIP>

It seems to me that you have a lot of anger towards your current situation which you are using to justify illegal behaviour. I'm truly sorry for your troubles and hope that things will improve for you.

What part of "illegal" is giving people problems?

You can work towards changing a law. You can militate for publishers to change the way they do business. You can even start your own business and run it your way. Breaking the law is still wrong. You may do like Thoreau and Ghandi, and break it, go to jail, pay the penalty and use that as a bully pulpit, but it's still wrong, even in a good cause.

Now, where the law is currently unclear is what is "illegal". If you get an ebook and put it into a torrent for all the world to read, that's clearly illegal. It's less clearly illegal if you sell an ebook you paid for to someone and erase all of your copies. It's very unclear whether you're allowed to format shift a book you paid for.

Don't you love simple answers?

Regards,
Jack Tingle

Very well said.

It seems to me many of the posters have a problem with the words "theft" and "stealing". I tried not to use them in my posting but I can only assume they were derived from my statement. Don't get hung up on the semantics. Look at the laws. Whether you agree with them or not, they are still there. The problem is that, as I stated before, they are not clearly defined for our digital age. I also already explained that the same arguments you find here are those that were made for copying music and movies. If you make a copy it is not "gone" as a candy bar would be that's obvious. However, you still now own something that the law required you to make compensation to the seller for your right to own. Making a illegal copy is no different than walking into BestBuy, taking a DVD of the shelf and walking out without paying. You might not like the comparison, but it is accurate.

If you don't like the current copyright infringement laws, work to change them.

Ask yourself that next time you buy a used book, check a book out of the library (in many countries), borrow a book from a friend, or even read a newspaper somebody discarded on a park bench, as in every case you are "taking it without giving compensation to the true owners". I'll be curious to hear your answer.

I've already brought up the question of a second-hand book in a previous posting so won't address that here. I pay property taxes in my country which are used to support our local library. The library purchases the books and (although I honestly don't know how it works) makes some compensation to the publishing company and thus the author. I don't borrow books, I purchase them because I am a pack rat and like to have my own things, but if I did, it is legal to do so in the US. I don't pick up discarded newspapers and read them. With the exception of your last "newspaper" point, the law clearly defines legal usage.

I follow the law. That's my answer.

Pardoz
02-21-2010, 09:31 AM
Illegal copying/Piracy often involves taking a copy from a source that never originally compensated the author and it does not nullify/destroy the original.

Well, in the first case I guess it's possible if you bought a used book and scanned it, but the original "theft" there took place when you bought the used book, not when you scanned it. And since when do you care what the law says? I thought it was all about a moral position, regardless of the legal realities?

Did you steal the "It's theft because nobody took it from me, but if somebody takes it from me it isn't theft" argument from the Rev. Dodgson?

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 09:31 AM
It seems to me many of the posters have a problem with the words "theft" and "stealing". I tried not to use them in my posting but I can only assume they were derived from my statement. Don't get hung up on the semantics. Look at the laws. Whether you agree with them or not, they are still there.The discussion preceded your post. The point, though, is that according to the law, copying is not theft. That's the point - look at the laws indeed.
I follow the law. That's my answer.
You are Judge Dredd and I claim my 5.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 09:33 AM
...

I thank my mother every day for instilling good values in me and I hope I've done the same with my own children. Laws and moral values are important to sustain a functioning society.


.....



Agreed. And the current lack of such in our leaders, both political and business is very disturbing.

kazbates
02-21-2010, 09:37 AM
The discussion preceded your post. The point, though, is that according to the law, copying is not theft. That's the point - look at the laws indeed.

You are Judge Dredd and I claim my 5.

You completely missed my point. I have not called it theft, etc., I called it illegal, which it is.

To be honest, I had no idea who Judge Dredd is until I googled it and still have no clue as to your reference.

Agreed. And the current lack of such in our leaders, both political and business is very disturbing.

Amen!!!

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 09:39 AM
Which is exactly what I've been saying about "laws" all along. :smack:

They are the current best implementation of what a particular society thinks is right
I'm not so sure about that - I'd stick to our best attempt at regulating conflicting interests, which is not the same.

In any case, what you've been saying all along is that copying is theft, but that is NOT what the law says. As you said on a previous post - you don't give a huff about the law - it is, for you, a moral issue.

You can't have it both ways.

Pardoz
02-21-2010, 09:48 AM
With the exception of your last "newspaper" point, the law clearly defines legal usage.

Unfortunately on e-books it really doesn't. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, I think pretty much everybody agrees the laws need to be changed and clarified. Basically at the moment it's perfectly legal and acceptable to "steal" a book (in the sense the word is so often mis-used in these discussions) but only if you do so using 15th century or earlier technology; once you get to late 20th century technology you hit a legal minefield.

And, of course, there's the little problem of separating what is right from what is legal, and people tend to duck across that line a lot in this discussion.

tompe
02-21-2010, 09:49 AM
I follow the law. That's my answer.

You asked a moral question:

I've been thinking about this quite a bit since I first saw the statement and I have a question, "Why do people who pirate books feel that it is within your "right" to do so?" Why do you believe that you are so deserving of something that you take it without giving compensation to the true owners?


So your answer to why you are so deserving to take it without giving compensation to the true owners is that you follow the law?

I would say that laws do not specify that you are deserving.

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 09:52 AM
You completely missed my point. I have not called it theft, etc., I called it illegal, which it is.
I thought that because you assumed that people responded to you, you had. Can't check because I'm typing this on a phone, which is a bit like browsing through a matchbox. I agree that it's illegal (in most cases, most places)
To be honest, I had no idea who Judge Dredd is until I googled it and still have no clue as to your reference.
He was keen on making people obey the law - even when the morality of doing so was dubious to say the least. But it was a throwaway quip.

It does disturb me that there is a holier than thou tone in those who equate copying with stealing, which is not justified. I never stole sweets from a shop, even as a child, because I knew it was wrong, even then.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 10:07 AM
I'm not so sure about that - I'd stick to our best attempt at regulating conflicting interests, which is not the same.

In any case, what you've been saying all along is that copying is theft, but that is NOT what the law says. As you said on a previous post - you don't give a huff about the law - it is, for you, a moral issue.

You can't have it both ways.


I'm beginning to think you just want to argue and that this whole thread was started for that reason.

You are interpreting my words though. Please quote them exactly rather than put your words into my posts.

"If you take something of mine without my permission, you are a thief."

And quite trying to spin the topic or the other posts.

Do you know what Alice said?

kennyc
02-21-2010, 10:10 AM
...

You can't have it both ways.

You clearly don't understand government, law, and society if you believe that. :p

Law is (or should be) just as government, the will of the people. That means it is in flux at all times and at any given time is the best we know how to do as a society. It will and does change constantly as does life and as does science.

Patricia
02-21-2010, 10:11 AM
It seems to me that there is a confusion between two different types of law going on in this thread.

DESCRIPTIVE laws describe the way that the universe is. For example, Kepler's law of planetary motion states that planets move in ellipses. If it is no longer an accurate desciption then the law will be thrown out, and a more accurate one devised.
Scientific laws are descriptive.

PRESCRIPTIVE laws prescribe how things ought to be. Moral rules and the laws of a country are all prescriptive. The commandment "Thou shalt not murder" is prescriptive. It doesn't tell us whether there are, in fact, any murders. It merely tells us not to do them. And if someone does commit a murder, then we don't jettison the law. Instead the person gets punished.

Laws about DRM are all prescriptive. I'm not sure that it helps to compare them to descriptive laws, which are an entirely different category.

Krystian Galaj
02-21-2010, 10:19 AM
This was in response to Harmon's Aether posting. Just to show it can go both ways -- sometimes the things we believe turn out to be false, sometimes true.

Intellectual Property is the curvature of space time. :rofl:

It might as well be when it starts making sense.

I have several problems with IP:

1) if it's property, why does it revert to public domain after a time? It would make sense for it to stay a property and licence forever. It's said that it's not really a property, but it's called property. Bad naming.

2) parts of it are property as well. With small enough parts, it's likely that different creators created the same part independently, so the latter one is in copyright violation. Where does it stop? There is a good short story about society in which people are allowed to trademark words, and have communication systems good enough to detect every use of that word and demand payment. Is that what it'll be?

It's a bit like Ptolemeus and Copernican systems of the movement of planets to me - one just makes more sense.
Anyway, those seem to be basic principles that contradict, and from which the rest of argument and disagreement originates.

Maybe it's that I have a bad memory and I remember everything like in mathematics, re-deriving it from simplest laws I can remember. People with a good memory who can just remember and apply thousand pages of laws might not have problem with such theories.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 10:59 AM
It seems to me that there is a confusion between two different types of law going on in this thread.

DESCRIPTIVE laws describe the way that the universe is. For example, Kepler's law of planetary motion states that planets move in ellipses. If it is no longer an accurate desciption then the law will be thrown out, and a more accurate one devised.
Scientific laws are descriptive.

PRESCRIPTIVE laws prescribe how things ought to be. Moral rules and the laws of a country are all prescriptive. The commandment "Thou shalt not murder" is prescriptive. It doesn't tell us whether there are, in fact, any murders. It merely tells us not to do them. And if someone does commit a murder, then we don't jettison the law. Instead the person gets punished.

Laws about DRM are all prescriptive. I'm not sure that it helps to compare them to descriptive laws, which are an entirely different category.

Thanks for that. Great food for thought Patricia!

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 11:00 AM
I'm beginning to think you just want to argue and that this whole thread was started for that reason.
It was started as a poll to get a more nuanced view than the "piracy is good/bad" debate - with some success, I think. When people run out of reasoned arguments, they often resort to attacking the person that they're arguing with, rather than what they're saying.
You are interpreting my words though. Please quote them exactly rather than put your words into my posts.
I did not put my words in your posts - whenever I use quote, it's a quote.
And quite trying to spin the topic or the other posts. (sic)
I'm not. You said elsewhere, discussing piracy, that this was not a question of the law, but a moral question. Now, on this thread, you appear to be saying that the law captures a social consensus, so should be obeyed. My point was that the law does not call copying theft - so it's not theft under your latest argument.
Do you know what Alice said?
Curiouser and curiouser

kennyc
02-21-2010, 11:05 AM
It might as well be when it starts making sense.

I have several problems with IP:

1) if it's property, why does it revert to public domain after a time? It would make sense for it to stay a property and licence forever. It's said that it's not really a property, but it's called property. Bad naming.


If you look at it like real estate there are cases where it reverts to public land. It's my feeling that in the computer age Intellectual Property becomes or should become just like any other property in how we manage it. The copyright and patent system is very outdated and often inappropriate to digital technologies.



2) parts of it are property as well. With small enough parts, it's likely that different creators created the same part independently, so the latter one is in copyright violation. Where does it stop? There is a good short story about society in which people are allowed to trademark words, and have communication systems good enough to detect every use of that word and demand payment. Is that what it'll be?

...

it's TURTLES all the way DOWN!

kennyc
02-21-2010, 11:25 AM
....

Curiouser and curiouser

Nah, try yahoo answers:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071008001854AAGRbw0

or

A famous example of paradox is Through the Looking Glass (1871) by Lewis Carroll, the pen name of Charles Dodgson ( 1832-1898). The entire book is a mirror of the "real" world" through the "looking glass" world. When Alice goes into the Looking Glass world, she has trouble getting places by heading towards them. When she walks toward a place, she finds that she is actually walking away. One of the characters advises Alice to walk away from the place she wants to go, and finds "It succeeded beautifully."


From Chapter 5:

`Only it is so very lonely here!' Alice said in a melancholy voice; and, at the thought of her loneliness, two large tears came rolling down her cheeks.

`Oh, don't go on like that!' cried the poor Queen, wringing her hands in despair. `Consider what a great girl you are. Consider what a long way you've come to-day. Consider what o'clock it is. Consider anything, only don't cry!'

Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst of her tears. `Can you keep from crying by considering things?' she asked.

`That's the way it's done,' the Queen said with great decision: `nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let's consider your age to begin with -- how old are you?'

`I'm seven and a half, exactly.'

`You needn't say "exactly",' the Queen remarked. `I can believe it without that. Now I'll give you something to believe. I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day.'

`I ca'n't believe that!' said Alice.

`Ca'n't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. `Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'

Alice laughed. `There's no use trying,' she said `one ca'n't believe impossible things.'

`I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. `When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!'

--------------


and this one's kind of interesting:

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland



:D

Pardoz
02-21-2010, 11:38 AM
In the 'copying is theft' argument

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master--that's all.'

might be more apropos...

kennyc
02-21-2010, 11:56 AM
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I do think I need to re-read "Alice..." ....probably be time better spent than reading threads like this. :smack:

Downloadable from MR right here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69867&highlight=Alice+Wonderland

:)

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 12:05 PM
might be more apropos...
Now there's a nice knock-down argument for you!

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 12:10 PM
I do think I need to re-read "Alice..." ....probably be time better spent than reading threads like this. :smack
I'd recommend the annotated Alice (http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Alice-Adventures-Wonderland-Through/dp/0517189208/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266768458&sr=8-2) - which doesn't, unfortunately, seem to exist as an e-book :(

kennyc
02-21-2010, 12:28 PM
I'd recommend the annotated Alice (http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Alice-Adventures-Wonderland-Through/dp/0517189208/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266768458&sr=8-2) - which doesn't, unfortunately, seem to exist as an e-book :(


The link I provided is the illustrated version here on MR

I personally don't care to read annotated versions, it's sort of like revisionist history.

Pardoz
02-21-2010, 12:39 PM
I do think I need to re-read "Alice..."

It's always a good time to re-read Alice! And thanks a ton for the link - the copy I already have doesn't have the Tenniel illustrations, so I shall steal a new one from MR post-haste.

kennyc
02-21-2010, 12:39 PM
It's always a good time to re-read Alice! And thanks a ton for the link - the copy I already have doesn't have the Tenniel illustrations, so I shall steal a new one from MR post-haste.

:thumbsup: :D

Harmon
02-21-2010, 01:39 PM
The discussion preceded your post. The point, though, is that according to the law, copying is not theft. That's the point - look at the laws indeed.

That is correct.

When people start talking about "theft" in connection with copying, what they are really doing is invoking a deeper morality than that reflected in the law. All things that are legal are not necessarily moral. All things that are illegal are not immoral.

Take speeding. Illegal in most places. Immoral when dangerous to others. But in Montana, with nothing but the sky and the highway, it's not immoral and last I heard, not illegal.

Now, some people believe that it is immoral to violate the law. But even the law does not believe that. The law - at least, Anglo-Saxon derived law - distinguishes between malum in se, (wrong or evil in itself) and malem prohibitum (wrong only because it is prohibited.) Murder for the former, parking violation for the latter.

But it is absolutely clear that in the US, disregard of copyright/DRM is under some circumstances legal, sometimes illegal, but never "theft." It is malum prohibitum, whereas theft is malum in se.

A quick & dirty way to tell the difference is to suss out whether the law can be violated unintentionally. If it can, it is usually malum prohibitum. You cannot unintentionally steal something. But you can unintentionally violate copyright.

So when someone says that copyright violation is theft, what they are saying is that based on their interpretation of prevailing moral standards, it is morally wrong. They aren't really saying that it is theft, legally speaking. If they are, they are wrong.

The discussion gets confused because in the course of enacting and enforcing copyright, the law comes up with a mental construct, "intellectual property," which has no objective existence. You can steal an idea only in a colloquial sense. You cannot actually deprive someone of an idea.

It used to be that IP, to be profited from, had to be embodied in a physical artifact. And that is still true, for example, in connection with medical drugs, or inventions like cars and computers. But it is no longer true in connection with books and music.

You have to be careful here, because if you don't watch out, the discussion takes a turn into the question of copying. Analogies are drawn between digital copying and photocopying, for instance.

But I think the real problem is this: the concept of Intellectual Property never actually solved the problem of rewarding creators. The reason IP seemed to work was, not because it was a coherent idea, but because there was no other way to use IP except to make a physical product, and the economic and technological circumstances of the time made it possible to control the making and distribution of that product.

IP is a kind of fudge factor. It is a mental placeholder for something that we think must exist in order to explain what is going on. But it is entirely dependent on a correct understanding of the situation. That's why in an earlier post, I compared it to aether. Aether explained a scientific understanding that turned out to be a misunderstanding. IP explains an old technology that is being replaced by a different technology. It worked under the old technology, but that technology is no longer "correct."

There are all sorts of legal concepts that disappear, or are replaced by new ones as times change. The oath of fealty is an example. Made sense under feudalism. Not very useful for democracy, but in some sense has been replaced by citizenship - and citizenship itself is changing and might seem quaint in a hundred years or so. I think that IP is going down the same road. Some vestige of the concept will linger, like the Cheshire Cat's smile, even where physical products have been supplanted by digital ones, but eventually, the whole cat will be gone.

tompe
02-21-2010, 02:05 PM
So when someone says that copyright violation is theft, what they are saying is that based on their interpretation of prevailing moral standards, it is morally wrong. They aren't really saying that it is theft, legally speaking. If they are, they are wrong.


Well, I am reading it as they are saying that is is morally equivalent to theft and then also equivalent in the underlying reasons for why it is morally wrong. And then you have without discussion just assumed what you need to show and what I believe you cannot show to hold.

Ben Thornton
02-21-2010, 02:37 PM
The link I provided is the illustrated version here on MR

I personally don't care to read annotated versions, it's sort of like revisionist history.
I learned a lot from this version, which is by Martin Gardner of mathematical puzzles fame. Alice benefits from commentary, I think, both because it is full of references to things familiar to children a century ago - many no longer familiar today - and also full of references to logic and puzzles, some of which are much easier to miss than the acrostic at the end.

tompe
02-21-2010, 02:43 PM
I learned a lot from this version, which is by Martin Gardner of mathematical puzzles fame. Alice benefits from commentary, I think, both because it is full of references to things familiar to children a century ago - many no longer familiar today - and also full of references to logic and puzzles, some of which are much easier to miss than the acrostic at the end.

Oh, yes. I also read the annotated version and it became a better and more interesting book.

Reading an old book without proper knowledge seems to me to be revisionist history since you will interpret things according to current values.

DawnFalcon
02-21-2010, 03:05 PM
Reading an old book without proper knowledge seems to me to be revisionist history since you will interpret things according to current values.

Of course it is...and part of the test if a book is great or not is if it retains its relevance :)

troymc
02-21-2010, 03:38 PM
Of course it is...and part of the test if a book is great or not is if it retains its relevance :)

That's an interesting statement...

Does a book "fail" the test if it doesn't retain it's relevance? And what does it mean if it does fail? That it is or was a poorly written book?


Sorry, don't mean to distract anyone from the "copy/theft" wars.

Troy