View Full Version : My journey into the darknet


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jabberwock_11
03-22-2010, 10:32 PM
Ok, so I have been a pretty staunch supporter of the legal purchase of ebooks, with or without DRM. I can see the reasoning from both sides and even understand why a company might see DRM as necessary. The publishing execs have pet koalas and such to feed too and the idea of hard working writers sitting on a corner with a cardboard sign reading "Will tell stories for ink" just makes me sad. Sure, I remove the DRM on my ebooks, but it's for the sole purpose of being able to convert books to a format that my reader can use, I figure that if I paid for the book then I should be allowed to read that book on whatever device I choose. I am not depriving anyone of their hard earned dough.

The point that I am trying to make here, is that while I have been a supporter of the removal of DRM I have been a quiet opponent of the use of the darknet and questionable sites for the downloading of ebooks. I use various search engines to find the cheapest price for available ebooks as well as coupons and I pay for them. I have never downloaded an ebook in a questionable manner...until recently.

While searching for a copy of my all time favorite book, Bringing Out the Dead, in ANY format at ANY price ANYWHERE I stumbled upon a torrent site that not only had a copy, but a well formatted copy. Now I have been on the lookout for this book in ebook format for a long time. I own a hardback copy of the book and used to own a paperback copy of the book. I even paid to see the movie in theaters when it first came out. The author's second book bombed, so I figured the chances of his original masterpiece being released in ebook format were slim. I have supported the author quite a bit and felt zero guilt about the idea of downloading the ebook for free, so I gritted my teeth and downloaded the book. Nothing bad happened. My computer didn't explode in a rash of viral programs, the FBI did not bang down my door, and I had a good copy of a book that I love.

A little twinkle came to my eye and I began searching for other books which were not available and had little to no chance of being released as ebooks. I found heaps of old and out of print books just begging to be downloaded and loved again. Some had poor formatting, some had near perfect formatting, all of them free.

Before I knew it I was like a heroin addict looking to get right; downloading books off of some back alley darknet site that were outrageously priced in the real world (but available in most ebook formats), grabbing books that were reasonably priced (but a part of a large series), etc. I told myself that it was because I am a poor wage slave trying to make it through my second go at school after abandoning my previous career, I told myself that it was to make up for all of the times I grinned and bent over for the publishing company and the on line distributors, I told myself lots of pleasant stories before I realized that I had begun to download books that I didn't even care that much about.

I had gone mad with the notion of freely available ebooks--my eyes were wide, drool ran down the side of my face, and my hands began to shake. I can say that if it weren't for the lack of foresight and concern of the publishing industry it would have never even happened, but it does not change the fact that the draw of free books was greater than my moral compass was able to process.

I have more or less recovered from my descent into the darknets, I can easily see why people are so drawn to this. It sems to me that the publishing industry and on line retailers are creating their own worst nightmares: legions of computer literate folks foaming at the mouths, who are unwilling to play by the currently established rules. If the industry does not start to actually listen to its consumers then I have a feeling that lots of Little Johnnys will be innocently wandering around on line when they too decide that they are tired of waiting for that obscure Cat in the Hat book (the one where he does meth and ends up selling the kids for a quick fix) to come out in an ebook format and end up finding their way to some sleazy darknet alley on line...

sabredog
03-22-2010, 11:16 PM
It is a different world out in those dark alleys. I must admit I have wandered down such an alley or two in a search for a particular ebook that I cannot obtain anywhere or cannot purchase because of geographic restrictions.

The lure is certainly strong!

Marcy
03-23-2010, 12:38 AM
I too have made a couple of forays to the darknet, for books I haven't been able to get elsewhere. Just this week I added The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters, #5 in the Amelia Peabody series. I just discovered this series and have been enjoying it greatly -- I bought all the volumes available at Fictionwise -- when I realized after finishing book 4 that I couldn't get book 5. I tried every online bookstore to no avail, so a quick trip to the darknet got me a (beautifully formatted and relatively error free) .lit copy. At the same site, they had *all* of Elizabeth Peters books available, but I wasn't tempted to buy anything I could actually buy. Her books are certainly giving me enough enjoyment that she deserves to be paid for them.

However, when I get to #9 which also isn't available to purchase I'll be back at the darknet. I'm frankly puzzled why they would release #1-4, #6-8, #10-20 without releasing 5 and 9.

-Marcy

leebase
03-23-2010, 12:38 AM
I agree with some of the uses of the darknet that you described -- and clearly you disapprove of some of the uses yourself. Still, I bet the publishing industry could do with a million more folks like yourself -- those who actually buy books.

Lee

ChrisC333
03-23-2010, 05:34 AM
Thanks for a great read jabberwock_11. :thumbsup:

I'm sure that the points you eloquently raised are common to the experiences of many customers, not just with books but with music, games and software in general. I suspect that the e-book scene will unfold in much the same way.


When I bought my first home computer around 25 years ago, it came with a couple of basic disks and the rest you mostly just swapped and copied with other enthusiasts. This was pretty much the only way to get anything here then as there were no local games shops as such, and very limited availability of software of any kind for small computers. Back then, most us began our computer days as minor pirates.

Then there were a number of "Intermediate Years" when I bought games and other software, but made an exception when it came to buying more than one copy of anything from a certain well known maker of operating system software. I figured I'd paid them at least once and I wasn't running a business. I didn't feel like I needed to keep paying them over and over again for what were fairly modest improvements on the same things.

But as I got older and richer - or less poor anyway - I found that I could finally afford a more up-market conscience. Now I pay for everything, and seem to like it that way. Astonishingly, all 7 computers around the house have their own individual legal software licences for everything that's running on them No more dodgy copies of W*nd*ws, no ripped copies of games. Even the mp3s were bought or legitimately converted from my CD collection.



So now it's on to the world of e-books.... will I slide back to the old wicked ways, or keep the halo bright??


I'm already comfortable with both freely borrowing books from friends and lending them my own legal printed copies. I'm also happy to request a book (also for free) through the public library system if it's no longer stocked locally. I've also downloaded a goodly swag of free out of copyright material. All legal of course. And a new 2nd hand bookshop opened in the local town yesterday. I was its first ever customer. I bought $25 worth of books - of which a grand total of 0c will go to the authors and publishers. Should that bother me?


But would I use the e-book darknet if I couldn't get a book any other way? Particularly if, as you suggest, I had already paid for a printed version would I feel that had ethically given me a 'licence to read'?? Perhaps.

At this stage I've no idea how to even access the darknet, so it's all a bit academic. But it's certainly food for thought. :chinscratch:


My feeling are probably pretty similar to yours - it won't matter much what any of us think the legal or ethical position is. Unless the publishers pull their fingers out and make the business of buying e-books seem appealing, comfortable, straightforward, satisfying and generally "right" then they'll find that a big percentage of people will simply either rip them off, or ignore them altogether. Books are hardly the only way to read a bit of fiction or non-fiction when you have the entire Internet at your fingertips.

Ben Thornton
03-23-2010, 06:05 AM
I explored what was available on the darknets when I first got a reader, because the selection that was easy to access for sale was so poor. Then I made a significant effort to be able to format shift etc., so that I could buy books. A lot of people won't be able to do this even if they want to, so the industry is forcing many to use the darknets or do without.

Recently, I had trouble format-shifting a book that I'd bought, even after trying 3 different programs to do it, so I'm now reading a darknet copy despite having purchased the book.

It seems to me that there is still a (rapidly closing) window of opportunity for the publishers to get this right. If they standardised on matching the paper price for a properly proofed non-DRM book without geo restrictions, I think that the market would take off, and especially with the addition of their back-catalogues, they could make more money. I suspect that they won't do this, and that many are doomed as a result.

roger the rabbit
03-23-2010, 06:23 AM
snip

Then there were a number of "Intermediate Years" when I bought games and other software, but made an exception when it came to buying more than one copy of anything from a certain well known maker of operating system software.

One point you have missed is that "certain well known maker of operating system software" rose to where they are by firstly giving away their software, then turning a blind eye to home copy usage. A ploy to make everybody a convert, whether or not it worked is subjective.

I have always been a believer in fair reward for effort and avoided the darknet, buying all my eBooks from sources willing/able to sell to me.

Having because of where I live experienced the GR situation, in an ever increasing number of cases I am unable to buy English language versions of the eBooks I want.

So what is the alternative? - Commit fraud by lying about where I live? - a criminal offence. Or what?

Solicitous
03-23-2010, 06:42 AM
One point you have missed is that "certain well known maker of operating system software" rose to where they are by firstly giving away their software, then turning a blind eye to home copy usage. A ploy to make everybody a convert, whether or not it worked is subjective.


I didn't make everybody a convert, but it sure set a standard. I am free of that particular operating system (I do run a copy of it in a virtual machine, but only when I have to). What we find now is that 99% of the time to be completely compatible with document sharing you need to have access to this company's software. Try doing a uni course where everything is in .doc(x) and .xls, ppt etc, OO doesn't cut it all the time, especially when documents have macros etc.

Anyway, back on topic. I would be lying if I said I had never used the darknet. I don't have an issue using it for ebooks ONLY when I can not purchase due to geographical restrictions a book I am willing and able to buy. That is my personal reasoning and I do not suggest nor support the use of the darknet.

ChrisC333
03-23-2010, 07:01 AM
One point you have missed is that "certain well known maker of operating system software" rose to where they are by firstly giving away their software, then turning a blind eye to home copy usage. A ploy to make everybody a convert, whether or not it worked is subjective.

I guess you're right. I never really knew all the background to it. The early machines I bought came bundled with legitimate and official free DOS disks of some kind, and there was certainly never any sense that sharing it around was frowned on. It still seems to be a popular way to get market penetration - give your programs away for free until they're well known and then slowly try to reel the customers in to paid versions.


because of where I live experienced the GR situation, in an ever increasing number of cases I am unable to buy English language versions of the eBooks I want.

So what is the alternative? - Commit fraud by lying about where I live? - a criminal offence. Or what?

There's a phrase that keeps cropping up in the publishing debate in Australia - "Parallel Imports". I think that there's room to coin a similar one - "Parallel Ethics" to describe the reality that there isn't and never will be a state of universal agreement on what constitutes that "action of a reasonable man" that the law is supposed to be considering. I suspect that when it comes to e-books, most of us will go our own different ways without spending too much time worrying about a knock on the door from the E-police.

Blue Tyson
03-23-2010, 07:23 AM
Also in Australia you are legally entitled to format shift your own texts - paper to digital, vice versa, or whatever.

If you have a paper version and someone has already done it for you - well, that is your good luck. (Somewhat ironic if you like it enough to buy it again, but they won't sell it to you because of where you live, of course. ;-) )

kennyc
03-23-2010, 07:32 AM
....

It seems to me that there is still a (rapidly closing) window of opportunity for the publishers to get this right. If they standardised on matching the paper price for a properly proofed non-DRM book without geo restrictions, I think that the market would take off, and especially with the addition of their back-catalogues, they could make more money. I suspect that they won't do this, and that many are doomed as a result.

Ben and I AGREE! Ben and I AGREE! It's a red letter day! :thumbsup:

pietvo
03-23-2010, 07:41 AM
I don't download ebooks from the darknet. I like to have free ebooks (only the ones that I like to read, or think I might like) but I download only legal ones, like the PD stuff or the temporary free offers and similar ones.

I have downloaded a music CD or two that I liked in the past, mainly because downloading is legal in my country, and you pay a levy on empty CD's and DVD's to compensate the artists. Even when you use the CD for data or for your own photo's you pay the levy. So I think the artists have been sufficiently compensated. This is also the reason that it is legal to download or make copies (it falls under home copying, and you don't need to have the original).

For ebooks I think it is legal too. The article in the law that allows the home copying doesn't differentiate between music, video and books. However the authors don't get compensated, because they are outside the category of music and video. Also there is no levy on ereaders and disks here. The entertainment industry is trying to get the levy on all mass storage devices but they failed to get an agreement with the computer industry. However some other EU countries have it already (France and Spain I know of). Of course the entertainment industry would like to have both the levy and make it illegal to download. They want to eat their cake and have it too!

For me this is sufficient reason not to download pirated ebooks.
And as jabberwock_11 experienced, be careful not to download the first one as you can easily get addicted.

With respect to DRM, I highly agree that it should be abolished. It doesn't stop piracy, and it hurts many honest consumers. I have no problem removing DRM for what I consider legitimate purposes (format shifting your legally obtained ebooks for example). I haven't done it myself yet because I had no need, but I have setup the necessary infrastructure on my computer to be able to do it when the need arises.

TGS
03-23-2010, 07:47 AM
Ben and I AGREE! Ben and I AGREE! It's a red letter day! :thumbsup:

It's so moving - I'm very happy for you both.

:balloon::balloon::balloon:
:balloon::balloon::balloon:
:pandalol:
:balloon::balloon::balloon:
:balloon::balloon::balloon:

kennyc
03-23-2010, 07:57 AM
Thx TGS!

roger the rabbit
03-23-2010, 08:15 AM
Ben and I AGREE! Ben and I AGREE! It's a red letter day! :thumbsup:

Get a room!!! :rofl::rofl:

Logseman
03-23-2010, 08:29 AM
I only pay for something if I have to. I download everything from the darknet, for it is the only way that I can satisfy my wide array of tastes. If I were more computer savvy I'd anonimize my PC completely and use proxies to circumvent geographic restrictions. The companies do have their goal very clear, which is winning money. I have my goal clear as well: spend the least money and time possible.

And before I get the lecture of "you're stealing", all of what I've published (translations, mainly) is under the conditions of a Creative Commons 3.0 licence which allows unfettered use of the text and only puts a condition to identify its source. Abiding to that, I won't download anything whose author is not clear in the specs or the metadata. I want to know who did what I like, and hope that if someone likes my work they'll want to know who did it.

sony_fox
03-23-2010, 08:47 AM
However, when I get to #9 which also isn't available to purchase I'll be back at the darknet. I'm frankly puzzled why they would release #1-4, #6-8, #10-20 without releasing 5 and 9

I encountered this with Janny Wurts excellant Curse of the Mistwraith series where book 4,6,7 and 8 were available but no book 5. I wrote to the author, and the publisher - just standard links from their website. It took over 3 months, and a few more emails as they struggled with "a technical difficulty with the file" but could at last legally buy the book I wanted.

It's only because I've been in online contact with Janny for some time, and really enjoyed her work, that I perservered and waited for the legal option.

Publishers really really need to know that stupid problems like this drive away customers, and as others have said above, not just for this book, but for all subsequent books. Once you're on the darknet, the legal options seem remote.

kennyc
03-23-2010, 08:56 AM
I only pay for something if I have to. I download everything from the darknet, for it is the only way that I can satisfy my wide array of tastes. If I were more computer savvy I'd anonimize my PC completely and use proxies to circumvent geographic restrictions. The companies do have their goal very clear, which is winning money. I have my goal clear as well: spend the least money and time possible.

And before I get the lecture of "you're stealing", all of what I've published (translations, mainly) is under the conditions of a Creative Commons 3.0 licence which allows unfettered use of the text and only puts a condition to identify its source. Abiding to that, I won't download anything whose author is not clear in the specs or the metadata. I want to know who did what I like, and hope that if someone likes my work they'll want to know who did it.

So because you decide to give your work away you feel that gives you the right to steal from others.

Sheesh.

Hamlet53
03-23-2010, 09:00 AM
Interesting O.P. and subsequent comments. Everything from not paying for it is always wrong (even for out of print books not available through any legitimate source in ebook) to if I can find it anywhere for free anywhere it's mine (even for books available in ebook at reasonable pricing). The latter sort of makes me nostalgic for the ethos of the 'hippie' culture of my youth: “things should just be free man.”

I am actually in the same fix at the moment. I want three books, all first published over fifty years ago, in ebook format. However, after much searching it appears that none have been legitimately released as ebooks and so it is impossible to buy any of these. If I could find any of these titles on the 'darknet' would I download them? I'll admit I probably would. Since I don't have any idea of how to access the 'darknet' what I will actually do is buy the cheapest paperbacks I can find, cut the binding off, and scan them myself to ultimately produce an epub book. This is something I only do as a last resort for a book I really want due to the time involved.

mores
03-23-2010, 09:26 AM
I got started with eBooks through the darknet.
It actually wasn't the darknet as I know it, no sleazy IRC or raunchy torrent but a clean as a whistle click-here-to-download-this-book-for-free website.

As I'm getting less poorer (nice way to put it) my conscience gets unguiltier and unguiltier.

I also don't have any inhibitions downloading a pirated version when I own the printed book, and only very silently nagging angels on my shoulder when an eBook costs beyond €30 while the softcover can be gotten for €10.

wallflower75
03-23-2010, 09:31 AM
When I first got an eBookwise, I went looking through the darknet to find John Grisham books. Found some OK copies and decided to go with them.

When his books were released for legal purchase last week, my first thought was, "Well, I already have those." But I went and bought my two favorites anyway. And depending on whether or not I use up my book-buying budget next month, I might buy another one soon.

mr ploppy
03-23-2010, 09:43 AM
The irony here, of course, being that in the UK and America circumventing copy protection is illegal, whereas non-commercial copyright violation is just a civil offence in the UK.

mrscoach
03-23-2010, 09:47 AM
I am struggling with a guilty conscience, but not too much. I am against using the darknets for works that can be gotten legitimately, but I wanted a series of books that are not out in ebooks, and do not seem to be anywhere on the horizon. A little bird (I don't know if I should offer it a cracker of rum:rolleyes:) told me where to find them as pdfs, and I then converted to epub. I just happened to stumble across this little birdie, too, but was grateful.

I only feel slightly guilty because I own multiple copies of most of the series in pbook, and single copies of the others. I am not depriving anyone of a sale, because there is no sale to be made, but I still feel guilty for doing something 'illegal'. I did give a copy to someone else, they are the real reason I was looking in the first place, but they also own multiple pbook copies, so that doesn't even really bother me, either.

mr ploppy
03-23-2010, 09:54 AM
I already said this somewhere else, but if old ebooks were priced at the second hand paperback level, most people who would otherwise download them for free would pay for them rather than spend time searching for free copies. It's not as if the publishers are making anything from the sale of second hand books, so there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

pdurrant
03-23-2010, 10:18 AM
So because you decide to give your work away you feel that gives you the right to steal from others.

Sheesh.

While I don't agree with your choice of words (but let's not go into that again!), I do agree with your sentiment. That Logseman chooses to give away his translations and other work, in no way justifies his use of other people's work without their permission.

And it make be worry a bit about his translations - are the works he's translating and giving away his to give away? Hopefully he's only doing so with out-of-copyright works, or with the permission of the original author.

Logseman: You make your work available under the condition that people keep your attribution. You'd presumably be upset if someone took your work, stripped your name, and passed it off as their own work? i.e. if someone broke the conditions you've set for distribution of your work?

Can't you see that other authors will be equally annoyed with your for taking their work without payment, if that's a condition that they have set for the distribution of their work?

tlrowley
03-23-2010, 10:47 AM
However, when I get to #9 which also isn't available to purchase I'll be back at the darknet. I'm frankly puzzled why they would release #1-4, #6-8, #10-20 without releasing 5 and 9.

-Marcy

Seeing a Large Cat (#9) (http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-a-Large-Cat-ebook/dp/B002WAUVK0/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2) is available on Kindle, in case you want to keep your conscience as clear as possible!!

pietvo
03-23-2010, 11:01 AM
... Everything from not paying for it is always wrong (even for out of print books not available through any legitimate source in ebook) ...
Side note: in my country it is legal to make a copy of a book that's out of print and cannot easily be obtained any more for personal use. This includes also paper copies.

CyGuy
03-23-2010, 11:15 AM
While searching for a copy of my all time favorite book, Bringing Out the Dead, in ANY format at ANY price ANYWHERE I stumbled upon a torrent site that not only had a copy, but a well formatted copy. Now I have been on the lookout for this book in ebook format for a long time. I own a hardback copy of the book and used to own a paperback copy of the book.

If you actually own a paper copy of the book, no foul in downloading the eBook for free. You have paid the author, you can read the book however you like.

Logseman
03-23-2010, 12:51 PM
Logseman: You make your work available under the condition that people keep your attribution. You'd presumably be upset if someone took your work, stripped your name, and passed it off as their own work? i.e. if someone broke the conditions you've set for distribution of your work?

Can't you see that other authors will be equally annoyed with your for taking their work without payment, if that's a condition that they have set for the distribution of their work?

1) No, I wouldn't be angry in the slightest. I do find it tasteless to substitute someone else's name for mine: thus, I seeked permission from the original author of my translated texts, who publishes his articles in the C4SS (Center for a Stateless Society) under the CC licence I mentioned before.

However, I can't be angry about plagiarism like for suing people. I won't probably be able to avoid it before it happens anyway. The core word is that, "preventability". People do what they can get away with. I wouldn't publicise anything if I feared to be copied or stripped from my work, because I can't impede those things to happen. It'd be a blessing if they did, actually. I wish everyone would read my translation of "Intellectual Property: A Libertarian Critique" even if it was mercilessly self-attributed by 200.000 people. In fact, it would mean it's good enough for people to value and try to "steal" it.

Keep this in mind: if someone plagiarises me and such plagiarism doesn't actually bring big revenues to him or her, noone will take the bother to sue, as it will most probably remain undetected and, if detected, the prospective sum doesn't compensate the cost of suing.
Nevertheless, if the ill-intentioned copy does bring huge revenues and media attention, I do have proof to show the farce and expose the plagiarist, like that German unknown blogger who was copy-pasted by a "young talent".
If said "talent" had sold 500 copies and won 0 awards, it's highly improbable that the blogger would have said anything in public, even if he had actually discovered the cheat.

It's not the authors who sue, usually, for they don't get the lion's share of the revenue. It's the big publishers who have to feed their rising overhead costs, their subsidized transport costs and their lobbies who benefit utmostly from copyright, as the Sonny Bono Act proved in all its glory.

2) You ask if I would pay for things. Yes, if I like them. Sigil's and Calibre's authors have a donation with my name on it, as does the C4SS. The fansub group I do translations for has my money as well. Meg Cabot would get one if she had a donation site.
Nevertheless, the fact that I would pay for them doesn't mean I have any obligation, moral or of any kind, of doing so. It's my money, and it's mine so that it satisfies my own needs. I, as a consumer, have the duty to enjoy as much content as possible while paying as less money as possible. Only so will the producers learn to lower their prices and give better service. Domesticated consumers who overpay for things, bear with the encumbrances of bad programs and justify their behavior as "morally correct" are the ones who cause harm to their fellow consumers and the producers as well, who keep selling flawed products since they see people buy them anyways.

All of this surprisingly verbose response refers, by the way, to the goods subject to the so-called "intellectual property". For goods made of physical matter, things are different, and I'm quite sure we're all in complete agreement for those.

Krystian Galaj
03-23-2010, 01:06 PM
Nevertheless, the fact that I would pay for them doesn't mean I have any obligation, moral or of any kind, of doing so. It's my money, and it's mine so that it satisfies my own needs. I, as a consumer, have the duty to enjoy as much content as possible while paying as less money as possible. Only so will the producers learn to lower their prices and give better service. Domesticated consumers who overpay for things, bear with the encumbrances of bad programs and justify their behavior as "morally correct" are the ones who cause harm to their fellow consumers and the producers as well, who keep selling flawed products since they see people buy them anyways.

:2thumbsup

Format C:
03-23-2010, 01:34 PM
There's no hope.
Until that nonsense "pay per copy" model will be definitely abandoned, the dark side, in a way or the other, will rule.

The future is either a "per content" fee, where I pay the author to access the content unlimited times and in infinite copies, or the same old model, where new ways to "share" content will rise and fall like waves in the ocean. And the smart ones will have everything for free.

:wink:

Desertway
03-23-2010, 03:02 PM
1) All of this surprisingly verbose response refers, by the way, to the goods subject to the so-called "intellectual property". For goods made of physical matter, things are different, and I'm quite sure we're all in complete agreement for those.

What's the difference?

Jaime_Astorga
03-23-2010, 03:13 PM
I only pay for something if I have to...The companies do have their goal very clear, which is winning money. I have my goal clear as well: spend the least money and time possible.

Same here. Though these days I actually tend to stick more to CC/GFDL works or public domain works and the like, just because my university's ban on torrents makes piracy troublesome.

Then again, I shouldn't be torrenting on uni even if it was allowed. Colleges are a favorite target of the RIAA/MPAA.

Elfwreck
03-23-2010, 03:17 PM
Originally Posted by Logseman
1) All of this surprisingly verbose response refers, by the way, to the goods subject to the so-called "intellectual property". For goods made of physical matter, things are different, and I'm quite sure we're all in complete agreement for those.
What's the difference?

Physical property becomes unusable by someone else when it's stolen/used without permission.

Intellectual property doesn't stop being usable by other people when someone makes an unauthorized copy/uses it without permission (in the case of patents and trademarks).

If I take your car, you can't drive it while I've got it. If I take a picture of your car and make a copy of your custom paint job, it may affect the resale value (because yours is no longer unique), but it doesn't keep you from using or showing off your car.

Logseman
03-23-2010, 03:34 PM
Ditto to Elfwreck, and generalising his assert, what is meant is that physical property's deprivation implies a net loss, which means losing something that you had before it was stolen. Intellectual property's deprivation implies that you lose potential gains which haven't been realised, but not anything that you had before the "stealing" took place.

Ben Thornton
03-23-2010, 05:42 PM
It seems to me that there is still a (rapidly closing) window of opportunity for the publishers to get this right. If they standardised on matching the paper price for a properly proofed non-DRM book without geo restrictions, I think that the market would take off, and especially with the addition of their back-catalogues, they could make more money. I suspect that they won't do this, and that many are doomed as a result.Rubbish! I can't agree with this. The whole ebooks fiasco is an attempt by the Bourgeoisie to exclude the proletariat from reading by creating a highly-priced entry point to be able to read at all. Thank goodness that the publishing industry is supporting the people against the rising technocracy by undermining the ebook at every opportunity. Prices are rightly being set by adding together the price of the available paper versions, factoring in the cost of ebook conversion, and then making up a number. Proof-reading is being reserved for paper copies so as to benefit the workers rather than the few, bourgois "e-readers" who are quite capable of proof-reading themselves - otherwise, how would they see any errors? DRM and goegraphic restrictions are being applied to limit the spread of any infection.

Publishers who stick with paper will be the true victors, with those who waste resources on the doomed "e" format in danger of losing the means of production of real books.

kennyc
03-23-2010, 05:47 PM
Psycho!

:eek: :D :rofl:

delphidb96
03-23-2010, 06:05 PM
Rubbish! I can't agree with this. The whole ebooks fiasco is an attempt by the Bourgeoisie to exclude the proletariat from reading by creating a highly-priced entry point to be able to read at all. Thank goodness that the publishing industry is supporting the people against the rising technocracy by undermining the ebook at every opportunity. Prices are rightly being set by adding together the price of the available paper versions, factoring in the cost of ebook conversion, and then making up a number. Proof-reading is being reserved for paper copies so as to benefit the workers rather than the few, bourgois "e-readers" who are quite capable of proof-reading themselves - otherwise, how would they see any errors? DRM and goegraphic restrictions are being applied to limit the spread of any infection.

Publishers who stick with paper will be the true victors, with those who waste resources on the doomed "e" format in danger of losing the means of production of real books.

Yay Karl Marx! :D

Derek

TGS
03-23-2010, 06:15 PM
Rubbish! I can't agree with this. The whole ebooks fiasco is an attempt by the Bourgeoisie to exclude the proletariat from reading by creating a highly-priced entry point to be able to read at all. Thank goodness that the publishing industry is supporting the people against the rising technocracy by undermining the ebook at every opportunity. Prices are rightly being set by adding together the price of the available paper versions, factoring in the cost of ebook conversion, and then making up a number. Proof-reading is being reserved for paper copies so as to benefit the workers rather than the few, bourgois "e-readers" who are quite capable of proof-reading themselves - otherwise, how would they see any errors? DRM and goegraphic restrictions are being applied to limit the spread of any infection.

Publishers who stick with paper will be the true victors, with those who waste resources on the doomed "e" format in danger of losing the means of production of real books.

Too late Ben - you've already got kennyc in your corner and you're not going to shake him off by feigning some kind of reasonable politically conscious analysis of the situation :D

kennyc
03-23-2010, 06:25 PM
Too late Ben - you've already got kennyc in your corner and you're not going to shake him off by feigning some kind of reasonable politically conscious analysis of the situation :D


Exactly! We're bros!

:D

Ben Thornton
03-23-2010, 06:28 PM
Too late Ben - you've already got kennyc in your corner and you're not going to shake him off by feigning some kind of reasonable politically conscious analysis of the situation :DIf I argue in a circle, then I won't have any corners - so how could he be in mine? Anyway, he's called me a psycho, so we're back on name-calling terms again (or him calling me names, at any rate) ;)

Ben Thornton
03-23-2010, 06:29 PM
Exactly! We're bros!

:DYou can be Luke - I'll be Matt.

kennyc
03-23-2010, 07:33 PM
If I argue in a circle, then I won't have any corners - so how could he be in mine? Anyway, he's called me a psycho, so we're back on name-calling terms again (or him calling me names, at any rate) ;)

Dude! That was just a random "Psycho!" Dontchaknow...

TGS
03-23-2010, 07:47 PM
Dude! That was just a random "Psycho!" Dontchaknow...

The kind of insult that's really a term of endearment that you often find traded between real pard'ners!

kennyc
03-23-2010, 07:56 PM
The kind of insult that's really a term of endearment that you often find traded between real pard'ners!

eggzactly!

jabberwock_11
03-23-2010, 08:58 PM
In regards to the idea that borrowing books or buying used books does not benefit the author:

While it is true that used books and lent books do not tend to give any profit to the authors, they were purchased or paid for when they were new and have already paid out their royalties. The author may not see any money from a used book, but they do see an increase in readership as well as the possibility of having readers become paying fans. Publicity in any form is good, and these days word of mouth publicity can create an avalanche of otherwise untapped fans.

Ravensknight
03-23-2010, 11:40 PM
Have to say, what you described is pretty much exactly what happened to me. But now that I've caught up with my collection, I have to go almost cold turkey. I hope I can do it! :-(

alecE
03-24-2010, 12:30 AM
Thank you jabberwok_11 for a very entertaining OP. I've only wandered in the darknet twice. Once I obtained a copy of 'The Difference Engine' which doesn't seem to be legally available in digital format anywhere. If I could buy it legitimately, I would.

I'm suffering the pangs of darknet temptation at the moment - I've recently discovered the 'Sharpe' series by Bernard Cornwell. I'm really happy to buy these as legal copies, but Harper Collins are being very slow about bringing them out. So that torrent download of Mr. Cornwell's entire and complete works is sitting (untouched so far) on my hard drive, looking more & more like that elephant in the room...

And yes, I do remove the drm from books that I purchase, but I consider it's my right to protect and future-proof my purchases. I do not think it right to pass such liberated titles on to other people.

And as for geo restrictions, I haven't by-passed those, yet. But it's almost certainly going to happen one day when yet again I'm prevented from helping an author get some money.

I prefer to act within the law, I WANT to pay money for books, so why does the publishing industry make it so damn hard when the means to circumvent these restrictions are so damn simple?

kindlekitten
03-24-2010, 01:42 AM
Thank you jabberwok_11 for a very entertaining OP. I've only wandered in the darknet twice. Once I obtained a copy of 'The Difference Engine' which doesn't seem to be legally available in digital format anywhere. If I could buy it legitimately, I would.

I'm suffering the pangs of darknet temptation at the moment - I've recently discovered the 'Sharpe' series by Bernard Cornwell. I'm really happy to buy these as legal copies, but Harper Collins are being very slow about bringing them out. So that torrent download of Mr. Cornwell's entire and complete works is sitting (untouched so far) on my hard drive, looking more & more like that elephant in the room...

And yes, I do remove the drm from books that I purchase, but I consider it's my right to protect and future-proof my purchases. I do not think it right to pass such liberated titles on to other people.

And as for geo restrictions, I haven't by-passed those, yet. But it's almost certainly going to happen one day when yet again I'm prevented from helping an author get some money.

I prefer to act within the law, I WANT to pay money for books, so why does the publishing industry make it so damn hard when the means to circumvent these restrictions are so damn simple?

I agree with you wholeheartedly and those instances are the lone reason for my walks on the darkside. I'll certainly pay first, but by golly, if they're going to be a manure head about it... well there ya' go

jabberwock_11
03-24-2010, 03:00 AM
Hey, I am right there with you. Like I said, if I had been able to find legal copies of the books I wanted I would have never even wandered onto the darknet.

It's funny that you mention the Difference Engine, I have a paperback copy of that book and was actually about to look around for an ebook version of it tonight...sigh, if what you say is still accurate it appears that I am going to be forced to, yet again, look to alternative means to find a copy of what should be a readily available book (it is still popular and is considered mandatory reading among the steampunk folks).

Ah well, maybe someone out there in publishing land will read this and say to themselves, "ya know it might be a good idea to look at the possible profit gains from digitizing our back catalogue of books..."

delphidb96
03-24-2010, 03:45 AM
Y'know...? Darknet, it's what's for dinner!

Me, I find that most of my ebooks come from retail estores, such as Fictionwise, eReader and Amazon, but there just are *some* titles I still cannot find anywhere but the darknet. And until I *can* find them all, reasonably priced, I'll continue to scope out the darknet. Plus, I'm quite willing to try really new authors in genres I haven't 'discovered' by darknet copies.

Derek

TGS
03-24-2010, 05:27 AM
I would have bought it if I could - but no-one would sell it to me - so I stole it, (this is a rhetorical use of the world "stole" - I, and apparently no-one else here, knows whether this is actually stealing - but it obviously naughty or we wouldn't have this confessional going on) . Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning people who use the Darknet, but don't for chrissakes pretend there is some kind of difference between what you describe and the actions of those who just take stuff because they can. By all means if it's what you want to do go on and do it - but spare us the self-righteous justifications.

People do bad things - it's OK, mummy's not going to tell you off and she'll still love you.

the_callant
03-24-2010, 07:38 AM
My driver for ebooks has always been the large number of books in a small physical space. I started reading ebooks with an HP clamshell device, and LX360 I think. Migrating through other PDA's. In the early days the only source of ebooks was the darknet. What was available legally was very restricted. I have noticed that legal ebooks are becoming more readily available, and amazon and others claim that the ebook sector is rapidly expanding. All of this in spite of ebooks being widely available from the darknet. This seems to be at odds with the claim that these books are adversely affecting ebook sales.
I would much rather buy a well presented ebook from a legitimate source than use the darknet. The scan errors are frustrating. I will add that I usually have a paper copy of the books in my posession, so I have paid the author for his work.
What amazes me is that publishers cannot see the potential in ebooks. Where the legitimate sales can grow in the face of a lacklustre support from the publisher, and almost every book available for free on the darknet, if the publishers were more supportive, I am believe sales would increase faster.

Format C:
03-24-2010, 07:46 AM
......

the actions of those who just take stuff because they can. By all means if it's what you want to do go on and do it - but spare us the self-righteous justifications.

.........

It's just human nature.

If you think about it, the US of A themself have been stolen from people who just had bows and arrows to protect their land........

;););)

gastan
03-24-2010, 10:36 AM
It's just human nature.
If you think about it, the US of A themself have been stolen from people who just had bows and arrows to protect their land........
;););)

Yeah. And the Greeks stole Persia. The Romans stole Greece, Persia, and Europe. The Huns stole Eastern Europe from the Romans. Spain and Portugal stole South America and most of the South Pacific. Etc, etc, etc. What's your point?

ficbot
03-24-2010, 10:47 AM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy. All those people who say they get perfect, beautiful copies of, say, the Harry Potter books, I have no idea where on earth they are getting them from because I have never seen them.

kennyc
03-24-2010, 11:19 AM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy. All those people who say they get perfect, beautiful copies of, say, the Harry Potter books, I have no idea where on earth they are getting them from because I have never seen them.

Yep. I'm in that boat with you. I hate PDFs and anything else I've seen "illegally" are fraught with errors etc.

mr ploppy
03-24-2010, 12:50 PM
The author may not see any money from a used book, but they do see an increase in readership as well as the possibility of having readers become paying fans. Publicity in any form is good, and these days word of mouth publicity can create an avalanche of otherwise untapped fans.

Just like all the fan made free ebooks do :)

leebase
03-24-2010, 12:52 PM
I've recently discovered the 'Sharpe' series by Bernard Cornwell.


I loved the Sharpe series. Listened to all 20 (or so) books on my commute to and from work for about six months :)

Lee

sony_fox
03-24-2010, 12:58 PM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy.

I wish.
If only the books I'd bought and paid for were anything even close to as good as the pbook versions.

This always used to be the filmmakers argument - don't buy some grotty handheld cam shots from a cinema buy the real deal. Book publisher don't even manage to make it to this standard. So far I can't say whether the darknet is worse. But it wouldn't be that hard to be better.

mr ploppy
03-24-2010, 12:58 PM
Yep. I'm in that boat with you. I hate PDFs and anything else I've seen "illegally" are fraught with errors etc.

I don't know where you 2 are getting your ebooks from, but I notice a lot more mistakes in paid-for ebooks than I do in fan-made ones. One I got from B&N a few weeks ago had spelling mistakes on average every 3 pages or so.

Fan-made ebooks get corrected over time, whereas paid-for ebooks don't because there is no incentive to do so.

kindlekitten
03-24-2010, 01:05 PM
what's the take on already owning the pbook, wanting it for your elibrary and for whatever unknown misplaced Rowlingesque arrogance, or a lazy publisher it hasn't made it to ebook land... the copy is owned, could be destroyed and scanned in, or someone has already done that work for you? is it the same? just as bad? you get back 2 karma points after a reduction of 5? once again, how is it different than going to the used book store?

Jaime_Astorga
03-24-2010, 01:05 PM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy. All those people who say they get perfect, beautiful copies of, say, the Harry Potter books, I have no idea where on earth they are getting them from because I have never seen them.
I know for a fact there are beautiful sets of Harry Potter .pdf's floating around as a torrent. They also existed a few years back. Going to a certain torrent search engine and searching for "harry potter books" confirms that they still exist.

Torrents of mainstream serieses at the height of their popularity with tons of seeders and downloaders are usually the best bet for getting quality content, and these torrents can usually be found in popular torrent search engines. Less popular, individual books can be found in file hosting services, but these are much more likely to contain errors and poor formatting. What venues have you been frequenting in the darknet, that you have been so unsuccessful?

Logseman
03-24-2010, 01:10 PM
In my experience, mass-downloading of books equals disaster. Collections of GB's of size can be easily found at the cost that metadata, formatting and sometimes spelling is compromised. I guess it's the price for being in the wild. If only fan-edit groups could appear without dreading the hammer...

ardeegee
03-24-2010, 01:35 PM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy.

I once had a college prof who had a catch phrase "bad breath is better than no breath." Given the choice between an ebook with a handful of typos and no ebook at all, I don't mind the occasional typo.

delphidb96
03-24-2010, 01:52 PM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy. All those people who say they get perfect, beautiful copies of, say, the Harry Potter books, I have no idea where on earth they are getting them from because I have never seen them.

Quite often I have too. That is NOT to say that I never find errors in retail versions - some of those releases have had disgustingly bad errors. As I'm getting the 'darknet' versions for free, I tend to cut them major amounts of slack, and if the book is one that I need to complete a collection, I'm quite willing to proof it out and reformat it to meet my favorite layout. If it's a one-off of a new author, I usually just live with the errors - if it is a 'darknet' copy. If it's one I spent money on, I get livid and report the problem right back to the retailer.

As for the HP ebooks, I can't imagine you've been looking too hard as I've found great versions in ePub, mobi and html! :D

Derek

delphidb96
03-24-2010, 01:55 PM
Yep. I'm in that boat with you. I hate PDFs and anything else I've seen "illegally" are fraught with errors etc.

Well... PDFs... There's your problem right there! Even taking a decent PDF file and extracting using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.0, I notice that sometimes I get really CRAPPY html, doc and rtf files. On those I find that the only way to create a decent ebook is to extract to txt and run it through my word processor (in my case that would be Atlantis) to create a .doc version with all the spell-checking done and layout improved. Then I run an .html version of that through Calibre and generate the ePub and Mobi versions. It *is* a hassle.

Derek

delphidb96
03-24-2010, 01:59 PM
In my experience, mass-downloading of books equals disaster. Collections of GB's of size can be easily found at the cost that metadata, formatting and sometimes spelling is compromised. I guess it's the price for being in the wild. If only fan-edit groups could appear without dreading the hammer...

Most of the better quality files tend to be individual stories. Like you, I've yet to find a 'collection of...' file that has individual books as well formatted as I get from searching out the titles on an individual basis. And yes, I tend to, if I can find them, download each title in html, mobi/prc AND epub, with rtf, txt and pdf being the least desired formats.

Derek

jabberwock_11
03-24-2010, 02:08 PM
I don't think that anyone is claiming that downloading ebooks from less than legal sources is anything other than pilfering. Our statements of frustration and indignation are not ones of justification, but of an over boiling. It has gotten to the point where the situation, as some of us see it, is simply not tolerable. Seeing as most change begins with circumvention of established practice, we are acting like the canaries in a coal mine...the tip of the spear of folks who are no longer willing to wait for the publishing industry to catch up with the times. It is not justification, simply explanation. If I steal bread because I am hungry it is STILL stealing, even if I have a defensible reason.

I also have to point out that most folks here have zero problems with scanning their own paper books to make ebook versions; however, they take exception to the idea of having someone else do the work for them (as was pointed out by an earlier post). If I own a copy of a book and download that same book off of the darknet is it any worse than scanning it myself, and if so why? If you already own something should you have to pay for it in another form even if there is a free version of what you already own available? Should we all turn ourselves in to the Sony police for making mix tapes of their precious CDs? There are gray areas in this whole matter and no matter how you look at it there are plenty of defensible reasons for downloading ebooks without the express license to do so. Remember that VCRs were considered controversial when they first allowed people to copy tv shows and movies...that is until it was declared legal by a court of law. We may be in the wrong, but things change and so do ideas.

Elfwreck
03-24-2010, 02:14 PM
I must be doing it wrong then, or else I am very stupid, because the few times I have explored (just out of curiosity) the alleged 'Darknet,' I have found errors in every book. It's just too much work to go through and proofread them all. I would rather just pay to get a proper copy. All those people who say they get perfect, beautiful copies of, say, the Harry Potter books, I have no idea where on earth they are getting them from because I have never seen them.

So... where does one purchase a "proper copy" of ROWLING_HARRY_POTTER_AND_THE_SORCERERS_STONE.EPUB?

Often, the choice is not between "typo-ridden free darknet copy" and "well-proofed, well-formatted legit purchased copy," but between "typo-ridden free darknet copy" and "typo-ridden legit purchased copy that can't be edited by the buyer" or between "typo-ridden free darknet copy" and "scan it yourself."

ardeegee
03-24-2010, 02:47 PM
Even taking a decent PDF file and extracting using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.0, I notice that sometimes I get really CRAPPY html, doc and rtf files.

Acrobat does a lousy job of exporting to TXT and RTF. The trick I've found is to run the PDF through Finereader and let it "OCR" it (never mind that it is already text) then save it from Finereader in whatever document format you want, with more flexibility on the output.

Desertway
03-24-2010, 02:58 PM
I don't understand why you think that the publishing industry owes you anything. Is the right to ebooks some sort of right under natural law, or the constitution? You are actually angry that they are not providing you with what you think you rightfully deserve.

Regarding the Darknet, when you increase the quantity and availability of a particular good, you decrease the value of said good, whether this be a physical object or intellectual property. So yeah, you are screwing people.

Authors are invested in their work (education, time, sweat, emotional toll), as is the infrastructure by which books are distributed (agents, publishing houses, bookstores, ebookstores). This human and physical capitol needs to be financially compensated. It matters not whether the product is material or intellectual.

kindlekitten
03-24-2010, 03:04 PM
I don't think that is in dispute. the main argument (outside from the few that feel they need to take take take) is that publishers, as well as a few authors need to get their heads out of their fifth point of contact regarding ebooks. if they refuse to join the 21st century then the message seems to be that they do so at their own risk

Ben Thornton
03-24-2010, 03:26 PM
What I think a lot of people object to is the "dog in the manger" behaviour of publishers, who own the rights to things that people want, which they will neither let people have, nor benefit from themselves. It seems to me a pretty well established moral objection, which is behind the argument that "orphaned" works should enter the public domain.

So, I don't think that it is a straightforward "I'm going to steal it if you won't sell it to me" situation, but one where people feel that publishers are in the wrong in withholding material, and that they have some justification in obtaining it when there is no attempt by others to benefit from it.

My point is that there is a rational moral position that one could adopt in support of using the darknets to obtain material that nobody is prepared to sell you. We can debate whether that position is the best one to adopt or not, but I think it unreasonable to belittle it as childish, or as craving justification for known naughtiness.

The whole point of copyright is to grant people temporary exclusive rights to the benefits of some work, in exchange for it becoming public domain afterwards. The point is not to sit on the rights and not let anyone access the work at all. So, I think that there's something worth exploring here, as those supporting new rules for "orphaned" works advocate.

TGS
03-24-2010, 04:46 PM
I need to preface what I say by making clear that I have no strong views one way or the other on people obtaining materiel from, what we might for convenience agree to refer to as, the Darknet.

What I think a lot of people object to is the "dog in the manger" behaviour of publishers, who own the rights to things that people want, which they will neither let people have, nor benefit from themselves. It seems to me a pretty well established moral objection, which is behind the argument that "orphaned" works should enter the public domain.

If I understand correctly there might be three sorts of material from that get downloaded from the Darknet in descending order of naughtiness*:

Material that is available in a variety of media and or formats but the individual wants to get if for nothing if they can
Material that is available in a variety of media and/or formats, but the individual wants it in a different media and/or format
Material that is not currently available - new or second-hand - in any format


I guess in all case we are talking about material that is in copyright and that someone owns the rights to.


So, I don't think that it is a straightforward "I'm going to steal it if you won't sell it to me" situation, but one where people feel that publishers are in the wrong in withholding material, and that they have some justification in obtaining it when there is no attempt by others to benefit from it.

This is the situation that, I guess, corresponds with 3 above.


My point is that there is a rational moral position that one could adopt in support of using the darknets to obtain material that nobody is prepared to sell you. We can debate whether that position is the best one to adopt or not, but I think it unreasonable to belittle it as childish, or as craving justification for known naughtiness.

This seems to amount to the the argument that if someone exercises their rights in a way that I don't like there might be a rational moral position which would give some moral warrant to me negating their rights.

You might be right on this - but if you are I don't see how we separate 1 and 2 from 3 - some rights-holder who wants me to pay £130 for a copy of an academic book may well be exercising their rights in a way that I don't like, and if we accept the argument that the exercise of rights in ways we don't like justifies the negation of those rights, then I would be justified in downloading it from the Darknet. If the book could have been had for £10 I would have happily paid it, but it's ridiculous to charge me £130. There's no way I can afford £130 so I'm going to have it away from some file hosting site if I can find it.

You might argue that the exercising of rights which results in a book costing £130 has, in itself, a different moral status from the exercise of rights that results in a book not being available, and that, therefore, how we respond to those exercising of rights can justifiably be different. But you would have to argue this, I don't think it's self-evident.


The whole point of copyright is to grant people temporary exclusive rights to the benefits of some work, in exchange for it becoming public domain afterwards. The point is not to sit on the rights and not let anyone access the work at all. So, I think that there's something worth exploring here, as those supporting new rules for "orphaned" works advocate.

Unless there is legislation to specify how rights are to be exercised, or a judiciary later clarifies through case law the proper exercise of particular right, then, if we put our faith in a rights-based legal/ethical system, it probably behoves us to continue to respect rights however they are exercised.

Of course, what we haven't really looked at is the argument that not only is 3 justified, but so is 2 - which is a position I think a number of people occupy, and in comparison with which I find 1 even more difficult to distinguish.

Now, it might be that this whole argument is about how pissed the way in which a publisher exercises their rights makes us feel. Believe me, it doesn't compare with how pissed paying £130 for a book makes me feel.

*In using the word naughtiness I'm not being (entirely) flippant - I probably think that any downloading from the Darknet falls at the naughtiness - rather than the gross moral turpitude - end of the moral scale - none of it matters very much and most of it doesn't matter at all.

jabberwock_11
03-24-2010, 04:52 PM
I don't believe that the publishing industry owes me personally anything, but it should be beholden to its authors and its customers to provide what it claims as its territory.

It harms the authors a great deal more to hold out on publishing back catalogues of books and to take a flippant attitude toward the publishing of current books in all available formats than the use of the darknet ever could. Most of us only went to alternate sources because the legitimate ones were lacking. A good portion of us download ebooks versions of books that we already own. We are not asking for a revolution, just some common sense.

The example of Baen, in establishing their free library, should point to the fact that when you make things easier to access you INCREASE your readership and sales rather than decrease it. As I have said, word of mouth publicity is an amazing force.

I am a freelance writer myself and have struggled to make enough dough writing to pay the utility bills, so I do understand how difficult it is to make anything resembling good money as a writer. I have written articles and short stories for years and even worked as a playwrite for an independent house for a while. I have never considered making writing my full time profession because there simply was not enough money or stability in it, but the rise of on line markets and epublishing has actually increased both my income and my target audience. If an independent freelancer can see the value in this, then I am not sure why large corporations and otherwise educated folks can not.

The bottom line is this: there is a whole lot of wrong to spread around and none of us are angles, hell even the removal of DRM is illegal in many places, but we still do it with little to no concern for the moral/legal implications. The only way things change is by forcing those who have a vested interest in the status quo to change their attitudes. Is my downloading an otherwise unavailable copy of a book that I already own earth shattering protest? Nope, I just wanted to read the book on my ebook reader, but if I can use my annoyance at having no better alternative to help beat some common sense into folks then all the better.

delphidb96
03-24-2010, 05:12 PM
Acrobat does a lousy job of exporting to TXT and RTF. The trick I've found is to run the PDF through Finereader and let it "OCR" it (never mind that it is already text) then save it from Finereader in whatever document format you want, with more flexibility on the output.

I'll have to try that one. Of course, that means scavenging a copy of Finereader... :D

Derek

Ben Thornton
03-24-2010, 05:20 PM
If I understand correctly there might be three sorts of material from that get downloaded from the Darknet in descending order of naughtiness*:I think that it's more nuanced than this one (availability) dimension. For example, it matters to many people whether they have already paid for a paper copy. Another question is how old the material is and whether the author is still living. Lots of things contribute to how people feel about whether it's OK to copy something.This seems to amount to the the argument that if someone exercises their rights in a way that I don't like there might be a rational moral position which would give some moral warrant to me negating their rights.I don't think that's right. My point was that if you view copyright as a mechanism for society to grant certain benefits on a temporary basis, so as to encourage the creation of new material etc., it makes no sense to support copyright being used to keep that material from people.You might be right on this - but if you are I don't see how we separate 1 and 2 from 3 - some rights-holder who wants me to pay £130 for a copy of an academic book may well be exercising their rights in a way that I don't like, and if we accept the argument that the exercise of rights in ways we don't like justifies the negation of those rights, then I would be justified in downloading it from the Darknet. If the book could have been had for £10 I would have happily paid it, but it's ridiculous to charge me £130. There's no way I can afford £130 so I'm going to have it away from some file hosting site if I can find it.If something is priced so crazily high that very few can afford it, people may well take the same view (i.e. that material is being withheld rather than encouraged, so that the copyright holder is in breach of the "social contract" if you will). Of course, people have different views of what is crazy.You might argue that the exercising of rights which results in a book costing £130 has, in itself, a different moral status from the exercise of rights that results in a book not being available, and that, therefore, how we respond to those exercising of rights can justifiably be different. But you would have to argue this, I don't think it's self-evident.One might argue that - for some content, £130 might be reasonable.

In any case, my main point was a reaction to your put-down of those making their darknet confessions. I wasn't stating my position, but saying that one could reasonably take such a position. Personally, I'm not sure what the best balance is between rights for copyright-holders and rights for the pubic, but it seems significantly over-balanced towards coprorate copyright-holders at the moment.

Zipr
03-24-2010, 05:28 PM
If something is priced so crazily high that very few can afford it, people may well take the same view (i.e. that material is being withheld rather than encouraged, so that the copyright holder is in breach of the "social contract" if you will).

Better known as the Photoshop Theory.

Elfwreck
03-24-2010, 05:56 PM
If I understand correctly there might be three sorts of material from that get downloaded from the Darknet in descending order of naughtiness*:

Material that is available in a variety of media and or formats but the individual wants to get if for nothing if they can
Material that is available in a variety of media and/or formats, but the individual wants it in a different media and/or format
Material that is not currently available - new or second-hand - in any format


Pretty much everything's available second-hand at some price or another. The issue is with content not available new, in a way that would let publishers earn money from it.

Or perhaps #3 should be split into two:
3a--Material not available new, and secondhand copies are rare collectibles that tend to be priced very high
3b--Material not available new, but widely & cheaply available second-hand.

I'm not sure which would be more "naughty" as a torrent download. On the one hand, wide availability of 2ndhand copies leads to the concept, "just *buy* one, and do the work of digitizing it yourself!" On the other, those copies also lead to a justification of, "nobody's losing any money if I download this."

Hm. Which is more reprehensible--downloading Alvin Fernald, Superweasel (http://www.amazon.com/Alvin-Fernald-Superweasel-Clifford-Hicks/dp/0030123267), or the Azoetia (http://www.amazon.com/Azoetia-grimoire-sabbatic-craft/dp/0951926403)?

GhostHawk
03-24-2010, 07:10 PM
Wife came home last night all excited, had just bought the latest James Patterson Maximum Ride book "Fang", I go hmmm, cool, walk into the office, 10 min later I'm walking out with it loaded in my Jetbook, .rtf format (my fav) going "this looks pretty good honey!"

"No WAY" errr, well, emm, "yeah way"!

I could have read her copy, author got paid, I prefer to read mine on the Jetbook.

Darknet has its place.

When publishers start putting backlist Ebooks 5 years or so out of print for sale at reasonable prices 1 -3 $ who will take the time to pirate? When that day comes I'll have to adapt or change, but I don't see that day coming anytime soon.

TGS
03-24-2010, 07:20 PM
Hm. Which is more reprehensible--downloading Alvin Fernald, Superweasel (http://www.amazon.com/Alvin-Fernald-Superweasel-Clifford-Hicks/dp/0030123267), or the Azoetia (http://www.amazon.com/Azoetia-grimoire-sabbatic-craft/dp/0951926403)?

Interesting point - now we have to make a distinction between a "tome" and a "book" - where tome refers to the physical aspect of the object, whilst book refers to the ideational, artistic or informational aspect of the object. I'm guessing that the value of Superweasel mostly resides in its tome aspect - there aren't many physical, original copies and that scarcity is what gives it its value. I'm guessing the Azoetia contains information that is valuable in itself because it tells you how to make gold out of baked beans or something, and so its value lies in it's book aspect. Downloading a dodgy copy of Superweasel would not be downloading a copy of the tome, but downloading a dodgy copy of the Azoetia would be downloading a copy of the book - so that would be naughtier because downloading it gives you what you shouldn't have. So, a rough heuristic for determining naughtiness of downloading a particular item might be n= (br - tr) x ap where "n" is naughtiness, "br" is book ratio, or the degree to which a object accrues its value in virtue of its book aspect (on a scale yet to be specified), "tr" is tome ratio or the degree to which a object accrues its value in virtue of its tome aspect (on a scale yet to be specified) and "ap" is asking price for the item. There now - we can all work out just how naughty we have been, and more importantly, how naughty we would be if we were to nab that missing seventh volume in the series that we just can't get anywhere else.

GlennD
03-24-2010, 07:28 PM
When publishers start putting backlist Ebooks 5 years or so out of print for sale at reasonable prices 1 -3 $ who will take the time to pirate?

I think you've hit the nail on the head. The "Darknet" is somewhat risky to search (malware/viruses), has mixed results and requires at least a little technical knowledge. In a perfect world, where every work by every author never went "out of print" (what's the term for ebooks? :) ), most people are going to choose to go straight to the source and pay for an easily findable, reliably well-formatted copy. It's worked with music already, and I think the same will apply with books.

Many of my college friends had huge collections of music they'd downloaded or traded for. Once they had incomes they started buying their music. There will always be some folks who download free copies, just like there will always be shoplifters. But overall if the publishers make the experience an easy and economical one, most readers will choose to buy their books.

Desertway
03-24-2010, 07:47 PM
My point is that there is a rational moral position that one could adopt in support of using the darknets to obtain material that nobody is prepared to sell you. We can debate whether that position is the best one to adopt or not, but I think it unreasonable to belittle it as childish, or as craving justification for known naughtiness.

It is not easy to argue morality in this venue. I'm not going to try and develop my moral position from certain first premises, or talk about when piracy becomes civil disobedience (which would require the determination that the publisher's current behavior is immoral). We could argue forever.

I'll just say that it is not my experience that most of the material available via the DarkNet is "orphaned" or no longer available by any other means. Much of the books, music, movies, etc, that can be downloaded gratis can also be purchased. And most of the people downloading simply prefer not to pay.

People want what they want, in whatever form they want it. And they want it now. For free.

Ben Thornton
03-24-2010, 08:05 PM
It is not easy to argue morality in this venue. I'm not going to try and develop my moral position from certain first premises. We could argue forever. I'll just say that it not my experience that most of the material available via the DarkNet is "orphaned" or no longer available by any other means. Much of the books, music, movies, etc, that can be downloaded gratis can also be purchased.I'm sure that you're right in that much of what is available on the darknet is not orphaned. The most common frustration on this thread and elsewhere seems to relate to either orphaned or otherwise unavailable books (e.g. geo), however.

I'm not trying to argue for a particular morality - I'm not sure that you can argue such things from first principles in any convincing way. My point was simply that one could reasonably take a view that by sitting on content, publishers gave up any rights that society had granted them to exclusive copyright (because they weren't making copies available, which was the deal).

One could also reasonably argue that, having given someone a right, you ought to allow them to exercise it however they saw fit. If they want to make no copies, or charge £1,000,000 each - that's their business until the copyright expires. If copyright was, say, 10 years, I would probably take this view.

With current copyright set at, effectively, "forever", corporate greed and weak government has broken the system, so that the public get nothing in return. It is perhaps unsurprising that many are responding by giving up on their side of the bargain as well - and copying whatever they please. My preferred solution would be a new contract that both sides would be prepared to stick to - but I can't think of any practical way to achieve such a thing. In the absence of that, making good quality, easy to use, cheap copies available seems the only way that copyright holders are likely to make any money.

TGS
03-24-2010, 08:05 PM
In any case, my main point was a reaction to your put-down of those making their darknet confessions. I wasn't stating my position, but saying that one could reasonably take such a position. Personally, I'm not sure what the best balance is between rights for copyright-holders and rights for the pubic, but it seems significantly over-balanced towards coprorate copyright-holders at the moment.

It wasn't really (in intention at least), a put down of people making confessions, rather a reaction to the moral gulf that people create between their (self)-justified Darknet activities and the activities of those apparent moral derelicts whose justification for using the Darknet might be different. The way the discourse is constructed it's as if the difference between the two types of activities is analogous to the difference between forgetting to pay your bus fare and systematically and maliciously defrauding your dear old gran out of her life's savings. It's not. None of it is that important - if any of it really made an impact on corporate copyright holders it would have been stopped.

Ben Thornton
03-24-2010, 08:10 PM
None of it is that important - if any of it really made an impact on corporate copyright holders it would have been stopped.I agree that the ebook business is still pretty small, but do you think that it would necessarily be stopped if it made an impact on corporate copyright holders? Corporate copyright holders haven't got their own way as far as music is concerned. They continue to make attempts to stop piracy, but I'm not cinvinced that they can succeed.

Elfwreck
03-24-2010, 08:31 PM
Interesting point - now we have to make a distinction between a "tome" and a "book" - where tome refers to the physical aspect of the object, whilst book refers to the ideational, artistic or informational aspect of the object. I'm guessing that the value of Superweasel mostly resides in its tome aspect - there aren't many physical, original copies and that scarcity is what gives it its value.

"Scarcity" is a relative term, here; dozens of copies are available for pennies (plus shipping) a Amazon & other used book sellers. It's out of print, with no plans of reprints, but not obscure. There's some value in the specific text, but overall it's fairly interchangeable with (1) the other books in the series and (2) any number of other young adult novels with modern-day young-teen-hero characters.

I'm guessing the Azoetia contains information that is valuable in itself because it tells you how to make gold out of baked beans or something, and so its value lies in it's book aspect.

Make gold, fight demons, conquer the astral planes, control deities for fun and profit, that kind of thing. Theoretically. (I have yet to meet an insanely wealthy or politically powerful owner of the Azoetia, so I rather doubt some of its implied claims.) It claims to contain mystical secrets of great power, and all that, so yes, the value is in the text.

Downloading a dodgy copy of Superweasel would not be downloading a copy of the tome, but downloading a dodgy copy of the Azoetia would be downloading a copy of the book - so that would be naughtier because downloading it gives you what you shouldn't have.

OTOH, the legal case for downloading the Azoetia may be stronger. Inasmuch as a main purpose of copyright is to allow the copyright owner to profit from it, and Azoetia is much, much less likely to be reprinted or released as a legit ebook, the claim can be made that downloads of it aren't causing any harm.

In the recent Sony v Tenenbaum (http://www.scribd.com/doc/23790774/Fair-Use-Memorandum-and-Order-in-Sony-v-Tenenbaum) ruling, judge Gertner said,
"…a defendant who used the new file-sharing networks in the technological interregnum before digital media could be purchased legally, but who later shifted to paid outlets, might also be able to rely on the defense."

And in The Wind Done Gone case, Marcus' concurring opinion (http://www.edwardsamuels.com/copyright/beyond/cases/gonewindconcur.htm) said,
"The law grants copyright holders a powerful monopoly in their expressive works. It should not also afford them windfall damages for the publication of the sorts of works that they themselves would never publish, or worse, grant them a power of indirect censorship."

So we've got two judges who've said something like, if the copyright owner isn't going to touch a particular market, it might be available for others. And in the case of these two books, the Alvin Fernald stands a much better chance (imho) of being re-released in paper or being released as an ebook at some point.

Azoetia was published by a small independent press in a limited number of collector's copies. Author is deceased, and demand for the book is limited to relatively wealthy occultists--of which there are admittedly plenty, but that market pales in comparison to the market for "young adult books I remember fondly from my childhood and wish to inflict on my children."

So, a rough heuristic for determining naughtiness of downloading a particular item might be n= (br - tr) x ap where "n" is naughtiness, "br" is book ratio, or the degree to which a object accrues its value in virtue of its book aspect (on a scale yet to be specified), "tr" is tome ratio or the degree to which a object accrues its value in virtue of its tome aspect (on a scale yet to be specified) and "ap" is asking price for the item. There now - we can all work out just how naughty we have been, and more importantly, how naughty we would be if we were to nab that missing seventh volume in the series that we just can't get anywhere else.

DO NOT TRY TO CONFUSE ME WITH YOUR MATHS. I WILL CONTINUE TO CALCULATE EBOOK NAUGHTINESS BY HOW MANY TIMES KENNYC SAYS THE WORD "THEFT" IN A THREAD WHERE IT'S MENTIONED.

TGS
03-24-2010, 08:40 PM
I agree that the ebook business is still pretty small, but do you think that it would necessarily be stopped if it made an impact on corporate copyright holders? Corporate copyright holders haven't got their own way as far as music is concerned. They continue to make attempts to stop piracy, but I'm not cinvinced that they can succeed.

It depends what you mean by succeed. If you mean music copyright holders haven't managed to stop the unauthorized copying and distribution of the material they hold rights to, then they haven't succeeded. But if you mean, are those copyright holders making money out of digital content and its distribution, then I reckon they are very successful. As for their attempts to stop piracy - yeah, I guess it would be nice and they have to make a show of trying, because not to make such a show is effectively to condone it, and how do you hang on to all those people who are willing to pay £7.99 for an album if you don't condemn those who get it for nothing. But really, what you are calling piracy is pretty irrelevant in its real effect on their business.

The same I suspect will be true of electronically distributed books. Once the publishers develop a business model that focuses on those who are willing to buy and the fuss about those who are willing to get the stuff from elsewhere dies down, publishers will start making money off it.

In the retail industry they call it wastage, (well, it's not even that in the case of electronic goods), they put a security guard on the door and a tag on anything worth over fifty quid. It reduces it a bit but no retailer has a serious strategy to achieve zero wastage. It's just not that important - apart from to those who think it signals the end of civilization as we know it - but retailers have got better things to do, selling stuff to people who want to buy it.

Ben Thornton
03-24-2010, 08:44 PM
We're agreeing now.

You aren't Kenny in disguise by any chance?

kennyc
03-24-2010, 09:44 PM
We're agreeing now.

You aren't Kenny in disguise by any chance?

Hey!

Stop That!

sabredog
03-24-2010, 11:13 PM
So, a rough heuristic for determining naughtiness of downloading a particular item might be n= (br - tr) x ap where "n" is naughtiness, "br" is book ratio, or the degree to which a object accrues its value in virtue of its book aspect (on a scale yet to be specified), "tr" is tome ratio or the degree to which a object accrues its value in virtue of its tome aspect (on a scale yet to be specified) and "ap" is asking price for the item. There now - we can all work out just how naughty we have been, and more importantly, how naughty we would be if we were to nab that missing seventh volume in the series that we just can't get anywhere else.

There needs to be another variable added

n = (br - tr)ap - g

where g is geographic restriction annoyance factor, g = publisher of said tome annoyance factor/attempts to circumvent pt/c

PKFFW
03-25-2010, 12:27 AM
Make gold, fight demons, conquer the astral planes, control deities for fun and profit, that kind of thing. Theoretically. (I have yet to meet an insanely wealthy or politically powerful owner of the Azoetia, so I rather doubt some of its implied claims.) It claims to contain mystical secrets of great power, and all that, so yes, the value is in the text.
Ok, now my reason for going to the darknet is to find this book. ;)

Cheers,
PKFFW

Mr. Dalliard
03-25-2010, 03:46 AM
As is the case in all areas where media providers cling to antiquated and broken business-models: the 'darknet' will fill the void until they wake up.

TGS
03-25-2010, 05:44 AM
DO NOT TRY TO CONFUSE ME WITH YOUR MATHS. I WILL CONTINUE TO CALCULATE EBOOK NAUGHTINESS BY HOW MANY TIMES KENNYC SAYS THE WORD "THEFT" IN A THREAD WHERE IT'S MENTIONED.

And this is probably as good (or not) as any other method!

Iphinome
03-25-2010, 05:46 AM
The same I suspect will be true of electronically distributed books. Once the publishers develop a business model that focuses on those who are willing to buy and the fuss about those who are willing to get the stuff from elsewhere dies down, publishers will start making money off it.

In the retail industry they call it wastage, (well, it's not even that in the case of electronic goods), they put a security guard on the door and a tag on anything worth over fifty quid. It reduces it a bit but no retailer has a serious strategy to achieve zero wastage. It's just not that important - apart from to those who think it signals the end of civilization as we know it - but retailers have got better things to do, selling stuff to people who want to buy it.

Let's take it a step farther, for some reason they think they can get zero shrinkage so they add those people at the exit who want to check the contents of your shopping bag vs your receipt let's call it DRM. Seconds after the purchase they accuse their customers of being thieves and delay their enjoyment of whatever they just bought. Maybe some people don't mind, maybe some people go elsewhere, maybe some people strip the drm and walk right past the bag checker ignoring demands to see into the bag and get followed in the parking lot (happened to me once, can you imagine letting all the other people leave without having their belonging searched just to follow me and still not be allowed to search my belongings?

Now I don't think infringement will ever go away especially considering some publishers don't believe in fair use but any industry that treats it customers like criminals isn't going to win loyalty from the masses.

TGS
03-25-2010, 05:51 AM
You aren't Kenny in disguise by any chance?

Not by an stretch of the imagination!

astra
03-25-2010, 08:20 AM
Well... PDFs... There's your problem right there! Even taking a decent PDF file and extracting using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.0, I notice that sometimes I get really CRAPPY html, doc and rtf files. On those I find that the only way to create a decent ebook is to extract to txt and run it through my word processor (in my case that would be Atlantis) to create a .doc version with all the spell-checking done and layout improved. Then I run an .html version of that through Calibre and generate the ePub and Mobi versions. It *is* a hassle.

Derek

Besides hassle you loose all the necessary formatting, such as italics and bold. In Harry Potter books it is very important to keep them.

Ben Thornton
03-25-2010, 08:22 AM
Not by an stretch of the imagination!My imagination will stretch pretty far. Isn't that what you would say? "TGS? Oh!" is an anagram of "Ghost" - coincidence?

Format C:
03-25-2010, 08:32 AM
Digital is Evil.

Look:

- Mr. A buys a book, read it once, and, knowing that he won't ever re-read it, he sells it on ebay.
-> Good.

- Mr. B buys a DRM free e-book, read it once, and, knowing that he won't ever re-read it, he sells it on ebay.
-> Evil.

- Mr. A borrows a book from his friend. And since nor he, nor his friend won't ever re-read it, he gives it to another friend.
-> Good.

- Mr. B borrows a DRM free e-book from his friend. And since nor he, nor his friend won't ever re-read it, he gives it to another friend through the Net.
-> Evil.

- Mr. A buys a book, strips the cover, makes xerox enlargements, throws the originals away, reads the copies and stores them.
-> Good.

- Mr. B buys an e-book, strips the DRM, makes a PDF with a large font, deletes the original, reads the copy on his Kindle DX and stores it.
-> Evil.

- Mr. A buys a book and reads it aloud for his wife.
-> Good.

- Mr. B buys an e-book, strips DRM and circumvent protections to make his Kindle read it aloud for his wife.
-> Evil.

- Mr. A buys a book, reads it and then liberate it leaving it on a bench for whoever will take it.
-> Good.

- Mr. B buys an ebook, reads it and then liberate it leaving it on a web page with a "download once and delete from server" constraint for whoever will take it.
-> Evil.


There is only on explanation: the evil is in the digital format itself, not in the behaviour of the user.

:rofl:

alecE
03-25-2010, 08:38 AM
I'm not too sure about the great moral generalities, but let me pose a specific instance for further commentary.

I possess a penguin paperback (Roy Lewis, 'The Evolution Man') published 1963 for which I paid 2/6d (old money = 12.5p new money). It's a very great favourite of mine, but the paper is going brown and it will fall apart one day and I would dearly love an electronic version. I have a number of choices:
1. Find a legitimate e-copy - so far I've failed;
2. Buy a new paper copy (£6.99 at Amazon) scan it and proof it;
3. Scan and proof my existing copy;
4. Find a copy on the darknet (so far I haven't, but I've not looked very hard);
5. Go without.

What are the morality 'ratings' of the above, and the reasons for the 'ratings'?

I'm wondering if the consideration of specific cases might help to clarify the general morality?

Ben Thornton
03-25-2010, 08:43 AM
I'm not too sure about the great moral generalities, but let me pose a specific instance for further commentary.

I possess a penguin paperback (Roy Lewis, 'The Evolution Man') published 1963 for which I paid 2/6d (old money = 12.5p new money). It's a very great favourite of mine, but the paper is going brown and it will fall apart one day and I would dearly love an electronic version. I have a number of choices:
1. Find a legitimate e-copy - so far I've failed;
2. Buy a new paper copy (£6.99 at Amazon) scan it and proof it;
3. Scan and proof my existing copy;
4. Find a copy on the darknet (so far I haven't, but I've not looked very hard);
5. Go without.

What are the morality 'ratings' of the above, and the reasons for the 'ratings'?

I'm wondering if the consideration of specific cases might help to clarify the general morality?There is no single morality. The poll that I ran a few weeks ago showed a slim majority approving the idea that it was OK to obtain a copy of something which you have previously purchased. So most people, I would imagine, would approve of any of the choices you list, although a sizeable minority would not approve of 4.

Hamlet53
03-25-2010, 08:53 AM
I'm not too sure about the great moral generalities, but let me pose a specific instance for further commentary.

I possess a penguin paperback (Roy Lewis, 'The Evolution Man') published 1963 for which I paid 2/6d (old money = 12.5p new money). It's a very great favourite of mine, but the paper is going brown and it will fall apart one day and I would dearly love an electronic version. I have a number of choices:
1. Find a legitimate e-copy - so far I've failed;
2. Buy a new paper copy (£6.99 at Amazon) scan it and proof it;
3. Scan and proof my existing copy;
4. Find a copy on the darknet (so far I haven't, but I've not looked very hard);
5. Go without.

What are the morality 'ratings' of the above, and the reasons for the 'ratings'?

I'm wondering if the consideration of specific cases might help to clarify the general morality?

!. Find it, buy it, download it. No moral issues at all.

2.& 3. Basically the same to me. I personally see no moral issue as long as the the resulting e-copy is for my use alone; i.e. I don't then share it with people I know or people I don't know (darknet).

4. Morally questionable. In my opinion dead wrong if a legitimate e-copy is out there WHAT EVER THE PRICE. That a legitimate seller of any item wants more than you want to pay, or can afford to pay, does not justify getting a stolen item. If the e-copy is just not otherwise available, hmm?

5.That's always an alternative with no moral issue.

pendragginp
03-25-2010, 09:03 AM
Well, I'm torn on this subject, but I'm also surprised at the mention of free books. There is one childhood favorite I've not been able to find except at the torrents, but every torrent I've seen charges for a subscription. Are they not 'legitimate' darknet?

Iphinome
03-25-2010, 09:07 AM
I'm not too sure about the great moral generalities, but let me pose a specific instance for further commentary.

I possess a penguin paperback (Roy Lewis, 'The Evolution Man') published 1963 for which I paid 2/6d (old money = 12.5p new money). It's a very great favourite of mine, but the paper is going brown and it will fall apart one day and I would dearly love an electronic version. I have a number of choices:
1. Find a legitimate e-copy - so far I've failed;
2. Buy a new paper copy (£6.99 at Amazon) scan it and proof it;
3. Scan and proof my existing copy;
4. Find a copy on the darknet (so far I haven't, but I've not looked very hard);
5. Go without.

What are the morality 'ratings' of the above, and the reasons for the 'ratings'?

I'm wondering if the consideration of specific cases might help to clarify the general morality?

In my often disagreed with opinion all are acceptable and moral, when somebody decided to put drm on ebooks they changed the game, instead of buying a book you buy a license to the content. Your dead tree copy thus gives you a license it just happened to come with paper media that you own. If your windows cd is destroyed by say a rampaging child you're not forced to remove windows from your computer you still have a license, if your paper book is destroyed then again you still have a license, if publishers don't like this they should have thought twice about use of DRM and just sold you a whatever it is that digital goods come as, a bucket full of 1's and 0's I dunno. Your paper book gives you perpetual license to the content.

Iphinome
03-25-2010, 09:07 AM
Well, I'm torn on this subject, but I'm also surprised at the mention of free books. There is one childhood favorite I've not been able to find except at the torrents, but every torrent I've seen charges for a subscription. Are they not 'legitimate' darknet?

You're doing it wrong.

mr ploppy
03-25-2010, 09:20 AM
I agree that the ebook business is still pretty small, but do you think that it would necessarily be stopped if it made an impact on corporate copyright holders? Corporate copyright holders haven't got their own way as far as music is concerned. They continue to make attempts to stop piracy, but I'm not cinvinced that they can succeed.

While it will never admit it publicly, the music industry has benefitted greatly from piracy. Without piracy there would have been no mp3 players. Without mp3 players there would have been no mass market demand for legal mp3 sites. Without legal mp3 sites a lot of their profit would have been lost in manufacturing and distribution costs.

It is no coincidence that music industry profits have risen dramatically post-Napster. The people who still download for free were never going to pay whatever you did. But there are still ways to make money from those people -- that is, after all, what a lot of the download sites are doing now ...

kennyc
03-25-2010, 09:27 AM
In my often disagreed with opinion all are acceptable and moral, when somebody decided to put drm on ebooks they changed the game, ...


That is totally irrelevant to morality and whether the actions are right or wrong.



(just to disagree once more...:) )

Iphinome
03-25-2010, 09:36 AM
That is totally irrelevant to morality and whether the actions are right or wrong.



(just to disagree once more...:) )

well that's good, I made three posts without you telling me I was wrong I was starting to feel unloved.

But consider this striking someone is generally considered immoral unless of course they're attacking you then it might make a lot of sense and most rational people might agree with hitting someone in self defense. Now don't worry I would never accuse you of such a thing but DRM is an attack. The publishers took away the rights associated with first sale, which if you check previous posts for citations they even fought against first sale rights to being with. What's moral changes with the circumstances.

Rich_D
03-25-2010, 02:33 PM
I rarely purchase books. I am a heavy library user. I will buy the books of my favorite authors, pbooks before, ebooks now, but most of my reading is done via the library or darknet. That was my main conversion to ebooks. It was easier for me to download a book than it was for me to drive to the library to pick up and return the books.

TGS
03-25-2010, 04:21 PM
My imagination will stretch pretty far. Isn't that what you would say? "TGS? Oh!" is an anagram of "Ghost" - coincidence?

Well, you've never actually seen is in the same place at the same time have you - ooooo spooky!

forcheville
03-25-2010, 07:47 PM
I'm currently scanning a paper book that I purchased so that I can read it on my portable device. It's around 600p and I've been doing about 100p/week and correcting as I go.
It's a lot more work than I expected when I started as the print quality in this particular volume (a recent edition of a European classic first published in 1902 and still in print) is appalling. It is printed on coarse paper such that the ink often seems to bleed out beyond the letter outline. There are other problems as well, and they all make for a high density of errors even with the best OCR software I can find.

I'm pretty close to finished and one of the things that has kept me going in this labour-intensive task is that I'm really enjoying the book. Of course I could have just stopped scanning-correcting and at any time and just finished the book on paper, but that would have felt like defeat.

By the time I'm done I'll have a pretty perfect scan, but I'll also have read the book in the process of producing it.

The question is, given all the work that went into producing the ebook it seems a waste to just file it away on an SD card. I'm probably going to release it on the darknet somewhere instead. I think there are places where it will be appreciated by people who actually read, and it will do a little to maintain this writer's posthumous reputation which may have slipped a little in recent decades. The translator is also deceased, but I doubt that he was given any share of royalties.
There is also the advantage of having an easily found back-up copy.

I know that releasing it in this way (should I eventually choose to do so) will be illegal, but it just feels right.

Who will cast the first stone?

Elfwreck
03-25-2010, 07:55 PM
I'm currently scanning a paper book that I purchased so that I can read it on my portable device. It's around 600p and I've been doing about 100p/week and correcting as I go.
It's a lot more work than I expected when I started as the print quality in this particular volume (a recent edition of a European classic first published in 1902 and still in print) is appalling.

1st published 1902, and it's not in the public domain yet? (I know that's the case with some UK authors; L+70 can mean something published in 1902 won't be PD until the middle of the 21st century sometime. But that's rare.)

TGS
03-25-2010, 07:58 PM
Who will cast the first stone?

No stones from here!

forcheville
03-25-2010, 08:33 PM
1st published 1902, and it's not in the public domain yet? (I know that's the case with some UK authors; L+70 can mean something published in 1902 won't be PD until the middle of the 21st century sometime. But that's rare.)


The authour died in the 1950s, the English translation came out in 1924.

[There's probably enough information here for you to guess the Author+Book.:blink:]

Ralph Sir Edward
03-25-2010, 08:58 PM
The authour died in the 1950s, the English translation came out in 1924.

[There's probably enough information here for you to guess the Author+Book.:blink:]

Yep, not P.D. in the US.

scveteran
03-25-2010, 10:41 PM
I only pay for something if I have to. I download everything from the darknet, for it is the only way that I can satisfy my wide array of tastes. If I were more computer savvy I'd anonimize my PC completely and use proxies to circumvent geographic restrictions. The companies do have their goal very clear, which is winning money. I have my goal clear as well: spend the least money and time possible.

And before I get the lecture of "you're stealing", all of what I've published (translations, mainly) is under the conditions of a Creative Commons 3.0 licence which allows unfettered use of the text and only puts a condition to identify its source. Abiding to that, I won't download anything whose author is not clear in the specs or the metadata. I want to know who did what I like, and hope that if someone likes my work they'll want to know who did it.

Just because you give away what you write, doesn't mean that it is ok to take stuff from others. Not trying to be offensive, but a lot of people give away what they have written because it wasn't good enough for anyone to waste money on. (I am in that category myself.Unfortunately, most of what I have written falls in that category. The only stuff that I have written that people would people would normally pay for are scenarios for DnD. The other stuff I sold to online mags that the consumers didn't really buy because of me.) So giving away some stuff you write that others wouldn't pay for is not in the same league as taking without paying the latest blockbusters.

Also just because you know who wrote what you stole doesn't make it ok. It just means you know who you ripped off.

scveteran
03-25-2010, 11:01 PM
1) No, I wouldn't be angry in the slightest. I do find it tasteless to substitute someone else's name for mine: thus, I seeked permission from the original author of my translated texts, who publishes his articles in the C4SS (Center for a Stateless Society) under the CC licence I mentioned before.

The very fact that you say you find it tasteless, means that you are upset with them. You may say you wouldn't be angry, but we all know better because of what you said.

However, I can't be angry about plagiarism like for suing people. I won't probably be able to avoid it before it happens anyway. The core word is that, "preventability". People do what they can get away with. I wouldn't publicise anything if I feared to be copied or stripped from my work, because I can't impede those things to happen. It'd be a blessing if they did, actually. I wish everyone would read my translation of "Intellectual Property: A Libertarian Critique" even if it was mercilessly self-attributed by 200.000 people. In fact, it would mean it's good enough for people to value and try to "steal" it.

Keep this in mind: if someone plagiarises me and such plagiarism doesn't actually bring big revenues to him or her, noone will take the bother to sue, as it will most probably remain undetected and, if detected, the prospective sum doesn't compensate the cost of suing.
Nevertheless, if the ill-intentioned copy does bring huge revenues and media attention, I do have proof to show the farce and expose the plagiarist, like that German unknown blogger who was copy-pasted by a "young talent".
If said "talent" had sold 500 copies and won 0 awards, it's highly improbable that the blogger would have said anything in public, even if he had actually discovered the cheat.

It's not the authors who sue, usually, for they don't get the lion's share of the revenue. It's the big publishers who have to feed their rising overhead costs, their subsidized transport costs and their lobbies who benefit utmostly from copyright, as the Sonny Bono Act proved in all its glory.

Here you point out the fact that if the work did well enough to make substantial money, you would have the copyright. That tells me that you would indeed try to make money off the work, if only you could. That means you really should not be stealing from those people who what you wish you could do.

2) You ask if I would pay for things. Yes, if I like them. Sigil's and Calibre's authors have a donation with my name on it, as does the C4SS. The fansub group I do translations for has my money as well. Meg Cabot would get one if she had a donation site.
Nevertheless, the fact that I would pay for them doesn't mean I have any obligation, moral or of any kind, of doing so. It's my money, and it's mine so that it satisfies my own needs. I, as a consumer, have the duty to enjoy as much content as possible while paying as less money as possible. Only so will the producers learn to lower their prices and give better service. Domesticated consumers who overpay for things, bear with the encumbrances of bad programs and justify their behavior as "morally correct" are the ones who cause harm to their fellow consumers and the producers as well, who keep selling flawed products since they see people buy them anyways.

All of this surprisingly verbose response refers, by the way, to the goods subject to the so-called "intellectual property". For goods made of physical matter, things are different, and I'm quite sure we're all in complete agreement for those.

Your second point was plain ludicrous. You do have not only a legal obligation to pay for the items you steal, but a moral one as well.

It is also stupid to think you have a DUTY to enjoy as much content as possible for the least cost. The DUTY you have is to obey the law.

If you want to help society by getting the producers to lower prices and give better service, you can do that through a variety of legal means. You don't have to steal from them.

scveteran
03-25-2010, 11:05 PM
What's the difference?

That he can get away with one very easy. While the other you are more likely to be caught and sent to jail.

scveteran
03-25-2010, 11:19 PM
It's just human nature.

If you think about it, the US of A themself have been stolen from people who just had bows and arrows to protect their land........

;););)

Not all of it. We bought some of it for about $24 worth of trinkets. :D

BTW, wasn't the initial theft from the Indians done by you Europeans??? Hmm.

Before someone one says anything, I am part Cherokee. One eigth to be exact.

scveteran
03-25-2010, 11:34 PM
I don't think that is in dispute. the main argument (outside from the few that feel they need to take take take) is that publishers, as well as a few authors need to get their heads out of their fifth point of contact regarding ebooks. if they refuse to join the 21st century then the message seems to be that they do so at their own risk

I think that they should join the 21st century. They are only hurting themselves in the long run. That said, just because they haven't caught on yet, doesn't mean we can do what we want.

BTW, how do they get their heads into their backs? :smack: For those that don't know what we are referring to, it is the order for the different parts of the body to hit the ground after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane while still in flight.

GhostHawk
03-25-2010, 11:35 PM
I think the point is that Might doesn't necessarily make Right.

It wasn't that way when the white men stole this country from its legal occupants.
Ohh and if you really think France had a right to sell the Louisiana Purchase I have a bridge for sale near you.

Its still not that way today when corporations attempt to impose their will on consumers.
The answers will be as varied as the people, there is no hard and fast "this narrow path" is right and all else is wrong. Not when the corporations play just as fast and loose with the law as the pirates they fear so much. The only difference is in scale. They amass billions, we just put together a few bits of data in storage.

I don't know though, as much as I enjoy being a data pirate some days. The name just doesn't do it for me. Image just isn't right.

Perhaps a "Conscientious Liberator Of Data" or CLOD for short? Naw, just doesn't have the same ring to it. Almost a contradiction in terms like a "Rational Anarchist"

Iphinome
03-25-2010, 11:47 PM
I don't know though, as much as I enjoy being a data pirate some days. The name just doesn't do it for me. Image just isn't right.

Perhaps a "Conscientious Liberator Of Data" or CLOD for short? Naw, just doesn't have the same ring to it. Almost a contradiction in terms like a "Rational Anarchist"

I'll issue you a letter of marque from the people's republic of iphinomeistan, you're now a data privateer.

scveteran
03-25-2010, 11:50 PM
It is not easy to argue morality in this venue. I'm not going to try and develop my moral position from certain first premises, or talk about when piracy becomes civil disobedience (which would require the determination that the publisher's current behavior is immoral). We could argue forever.

I'll just say that it is not my experience that most of the material available via the DarkNet is "orphaned" or no longer available by any other means. Much of the books, music, movies, etc, that can be downloaded gratis can also be purchased. And most of the people downloading simply prefer not to pay.

People want what they want, in whatever form they want it. And they want it now. For free.

Not only are you right that most of the material available is not orphaned. Most of the stuff downloaded is very new and available to the public. While some of this new material is carrying a premium price tag. It is not that way for all of it. Much of it can be obtained at fairly decent prices.

The thing is that some of the people want it free no matter what. While others have the opinion that corporations are evil and you should do anything possible to hurt them finacially. I believe that one person in this discussion feels this way very strongly due to his support for anarchist groups.

kindlekitten
03-26-2010, 01:41 AM
I think the point is that Might doesn't necessarily make Right.

It wasn't that way when the white men stole this country from its legal occupants.
Ohh and if you really think France had a right to sell the Louisiana Purchase I have a bridge for sale near you.

Its still not that way today when corporations attempt to impose their will on consumers.
The answers will be as varied as the people, there is no hard and fast "this narrow path" is right and all else is wrong. Not when the corporations play just as fast and loose with the law as the pirates they fear so much. The only difference is in scale. They amass billions, we just put together a few bits of data in storage.

I don't know though, as much as I enjoy being a data pirate some days. The name just doesn't do it for me. Image just isn't right.

Perhaps a "Conscientious Liberator Of Data" or CLOD for short? Naw, just doesn't have the same ring to it. Almost a contradiction in terms like a "Rational Anarchist"

I too am part Indian, my Grandmother taught at BIA boarding schools and I spent a lot of summer vacations on "the Res.". two really important points to make here. many, if not most tribes are really happy that Columbus wasn't looking for Turkey, and are ecstatic that Japan wasn't expansionist

jabberwock_11
03-26-2010, 02:00 AM
I think that one of the things that many folks forget when comparing ebooks to paper books is that when you buy a paper book you buy one copy.

If you resell or give away a paper book you are only doing so with a single copy. Ebooks, by their very nature, can easily be perfectly copied and so it is possible to not only give away or resell multiple perfect copies of a book, but also to keep a copy for yourself.

When you buy a paper book if you make good quality copies of that paper book and resell those copies it is illegal. Why should it be any different with ebooks? That is the whole reason that DRM was created for in the first place, to prevent the mass copying and redistribution of electronic media when only a single copy was purchased.

I am against the idea of forcing readers to rebuy the same book in different formats. I am against the current practices of the publishing industry in their withholding of back catalogues of books and limiting their current catalogue. I am NOT against the publishing industry getting upset about folks making and redistributing multiple copies of a book, this is something that I understand.

Until single copies ebooks can be legally and easily resold or given away I fear that we will be having this discussion over and over again. I do, however, feel that it is a separate issue from the one we have been discussing in this thread. An important issue that should probably be discussed at length, but separate.

I know that it is odd to take a stance in favor of the publishing industry on this issue, but against it on the issue of ebook availability and on the use of alternate sources for otherwise unavailable ebooks, but there it is. I guess everyone draws their line in different places. Mine just happens to be a little more hazy than others...

Logseman
03-26-2010, 04:30 AM
The very fact that you say you find it tasteless, means that you are upset with them. You may say you wouldn't be angry, but we all know better because of what you said.

Here you point out the fact that if the work did well enough to make substantial money, you would have the copyright. That tells me that you would indeed try to make money off the work, if only you could. That means you really should not be stealing from those people who what you wish you could do.



Your second point was plain ludicrous. You do have not only a legal obligation to pay for the items you steal, but a moral one as well.

It is also stupid to think you have a DUTY to enjoy as much content as possible for the least cost. The DUTY you have is to obey the law.

If you want to help society by getting the producers to lower prices and give better service, you can do that through a variety of legal means. You don't have to steal from them.

I find it tasteless to eat while leaning the elbows on a table. I find it tasteless (and that's the most pleasant word I can find for it) to smoke. I find it tasteless to attribute something to your own which is not your own. But the fact that I find it tasteless doesn't mean that I'm going to sue someone for leaning the elbows in a table while eating, even if I can actually measure my distaste for it. Nor even for smoking, as much as I hate it. I hope my point is clear.

About the "copyright", I did not point that I had "copyright" or that I intended to milk off my works to make money: if they make money it's good, and if it's me who makes it with them it's better, but I'm not going out of my way for that. I pointed that if such a plagiarism comes, I had proof that I wrote it first. If I exercised "copyright", I'd be asking for compensation. On the contrary, I have said I'd not be asking for compensation, but just show proof that the plagiarist has used me as a ghost writer, and thus is a... well, plagiarist. It would shame the writer's reputation in the exact same manner, if you think about it.

I have no moral obligations save to enjoy my life while harming noone's property (bodies, material possesions, etc). As I said before, thwarting someone's prospects of income is not harming their actual property, thus I wouldn't say it's "stealing".

And about my duties, it is me and the ones around me who sets them, not the State. I won't obey any law which goes against my personal beliefs if I can get away with it. And I work so more and more people can get away with it, for it is noone's duty to obey a State, but to pursue happiness.

I remind you, when an official, State-approved market is dysfunctional, or when it simply is banned, a black market appears. The black market actually improves the outcomes in welfare for the people who take part in it. I would consider this the very same idea: if the State-approved, official marketplaces are rigged in favor of special interests, it's only logical that people find ingenious ways to circumvent the limits of those markets. Curiously, even if they go against their "duty" of obeying the law, and even if they hold the utmost respect of the rest of said law.

Which brings me a last question: which law should I obey? The Spanish law, which allows paid-for works to be distributed as long as the distributer doesn't win money with them? The German law, which doesn't? The US Law, which will allow eternal copyright with time? The Vanuatuan law?

Hamlet53
03-26-2010, 09:20 AM
I have no moral obligations save to enjoy my life while harming noone's property (bodies, material possesions, etc). As I said before, thwarting someone's prospects of income is not harming their actual property, thus I wouldn't say it's "stealing".



Interesting, if bizarre, justification. Is it not always the case that before any income there is always the stage of “prospect of income.”

A local convenience store buys a carton of candy bars and displays them on a shelf. They have the prospect of income only realized when someone takes one, comes to the register, and pays for it. If a shoplifter slips one in his pocket and exits the store without paying they have only lost the prospect of income, right?

Too material an example for you?

When I was still in the environmental engineering business I write a feasibility study for clean-up of a hazardous waste site. There is the prospect of income for me from my effort, but only if the site owner pays me for the report.

To take it to books. An author writes a book and sends it to a publisher. The author has the prospect of income from sales of the book once published. If the publisher prints the book but then does not pay anything to the author for books sold they have only deprived him of the prospect of income. The same would be the case if the publisher converts the book to electronic format and places it on a web site for free download.

Logseman
03-26-2010, 10:02 AM
First example:

A local convenience store buys a carton of candy bars...
That is, they acquired the property of a physical good. Stealing the candy bars is indeed a deprivation of property.

Next one.

I write a feasibility study for clean-up of a hazardous waste site. There is the prospect of income for me from my effort, but only if the site owner pays me for the report.

So you negotiate something like, well, a contract, and tell him "you pay me this" and it's up to him to accept your price or not. If he doesn't pay, he's breaking a contract. Did I mention that honoring contracts is what splits barbarians and states from civilised people?

The same goes for the literary author: if s/he has made a contract where he receives money for sales of his works, the contract is to be honored or he can sue or he or she can bring his works somewhere else.

Copyright does only provide an expectation of income due to the artificial scarcity it generates. That scarcity being artificial, it can be overcome at any time, given that one has the right tools to do it. As you may know, property of things that are not scarce for human needs is irrelevant, for property is no more than a form of organizing scarce ressources.

Copyright, as I stated before, is only useful so that big publishers can maintain subsidies for their inefficient business models and so that bureaucrats can milk off more taxes. The author sees the mouse's share of the booty, thus it's clear that the actual system en vogue is not for the benefit of authors.

Ea
03-26-2010, 12:05 PM
I'm currently scanning a paper book that I purchased so that I can read it on my portable device. It's around 600p and I've been doing about 100p/week and correcting as I go.
It's a lot more work than I expected when I started as the print quality in this particular volume (a recent edition of a European classic first published in 1902 and still in print) is appalling. It is printed on coarse paper such that the ink often seems to bleed out beyond the letter outline. There are other problems as well, and they all make for a high density of errors even with the best OCR software I can find.
You may already have done so, but have you tried training the software recognition? I've found that that helps a good deal with old books.

Logseman
03-26-2010, 12:07 PM
The thing is that some of the people want it free no matter what.

While others have the opinion that corporations are evil and you should do anything possible to hurt them finacially. I believe that one person in this discussion feels this way very strongly due to his support for anarchist groups.

So giving away some stuff you write that others wouldn't pay for is not in the same league as taking without paying the latest blockbusters.

Nothing further from my intention to wish ill to anybody. I've never complained about the price tags that Apple, Amazon and the like put to their books. They should be free for charging whatever they please for them.

I've just pointed out that, facing the decision of downloading for 12-15 dollars and downloading for free, I feel it is my moral responsibility as a consumer to download for free as long and as much as I can, for we ought to enjoy as much of life as possible at the minimum cost. I find it no more than a dialectical process. Maybe with ebooks at 2 dollars, with the author making 90% of the money and in well-edited books, I'd feel inclined to buy. And not necessarily. The sacred power of consumers is choice, and I want to have the widest array possible.

About the last sentence: right now I'm reading Plato not Prozac, by Lou Marinoff, downloaded from the internet in a quite crappy edition. It's a book that can hardly be considered a latest blockbuster (of which I never download anything since I don't care about them), but I'd like to inquire when it will come to public domain. I give you a clue: its copyright has a good chance of outliving me.

pdurrant
03-26-2010, 12:26 PM
right now I'm reading Plato not Prozac, by Lou Marinoff, downloaded from the internet in a quite crappy edition.
[...]
I'd like to inquire when it will come to public domain.

Indeterminate, as Lou Marinoff is still alive. But we can estimate. He seems to be about 64 or so, judging the earliest dates in his CV. Given that he's in the US, his life expectancy is therefore roughly another 20 years.

So his works (under current US legislation) come into the public domain around the year 2100. they certainly wont be in the public domain (under current US legislation) before 2071.

Fat Abe
03-26-2010, 06:12 PM
Wow, this thread is already nine pages deep, and based on the thoughts and opinions posted, we could be in for another nine pages.

Those who download from the darknet, or acquire ebooks from a library, friend, or offshore realize that they are doing something morally wrong, but have figured out some way of rationalizing the behavior. Some claim the book is out-of-print, or too high priced, or they own a paper copy, or whatever. Here is a new excuse to add to the list. Congress's recurring extensions of the copyright period are a form of ex-post facto law. Not in the strict sense, but in the sense that prior to the update in the law, many end users were under the assumption that after N years, the book or publication would be in the public domain. At year N-1, let us say that a hypothetical user scanned a number of books to redistribute after these books became PD. Then, wham, the period of the copyright went to N+20 (for the sake of argument). The rules of the game change, the user gets very upset, and retaliates by posting the books on the darknet. Chalk this up as another form of rationalization.

Let's skip the process of coming up with more reasons for going down the slippery slope of darknet. The real reason people commit a crime is that the probability of prosecution or punishment is extremely low. Theft of copyrighted material is not new. The very same problem that book publishers are having now already happened with VHS, DVDs, and Blu-Ray movies. Copyrighted VHS tapes had their copy protection circumvented by Macrovision busters. DVDs became rippable with the introduction of SmartRipper and DvdDecrypter. The author of the second program used the nickname LighningUK. I won't divulge his real name. I do not believe he has spent a single day in prison. Have there been any end users (not re-distributors) who have been prosecuted in the US? Other than some show cases with the RIAA, probably not. Ripping and rent n' rip surely costs the movie industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

I side neither with the end users or the publishers. But until there are consequences, people will do what is convenient and self-serving. If you can drive at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, why not? Well, where are we headed? First the publishers need to not only takedown the cabbages fellow, but prosecute him. Wouldn't it be funny if cabbages were a woman? LOL. Second, Amazon, B&N and Sony can modify their readers to look for copyrighted material with missing DRM. The reader can then send back this information either through the 3G network or through the PC/Mac interface. Third, the companies can brick the readers, as Microsoft has done with the Xbox 360 game console. Imagine sending back your reader, having the FBI unlock it, and then being charged with copyright violation- prima facie evidence, if ever there was such a thing. So beware, Darknet followers. Big brother is watching you. Read the Amazon terms and conditions. The path is there for the government to compel them to spy on you.

CyGuy
03-26-2010, 06:31 PM
Wow, this thread is already nine pages deep, and based on the thoughts and opinions posted, we could be in for another nine pages.

Those who download from the darknet, or acquire ebooks from a library, friend, or offshore realize that they are doing something morally wrong, but have figured out some way of rationalizing the behavior. Some claim the book is out-of-print, or too high priced, or they own a paper copy, or whatever. Here is a new excuse to add to the list. Congress's recurring extensions of the copyright period are a form of ex-post facto law. Not in the strict sense, but in the sense that prior to the update in the law, many end users were under the assumption that after N years, the book or publication would be in the public domain. At year N-1, let us say that a hypothetical user scanned a number of books to redistribute after these books became PD. Then, wham, the period of the copyright went to N+20 (for the sake of argument). The rules of the game change, the user gets very upset, and retaliates by posting the books on the darknet. Chalk this up as another form of rationalization.

Let's skip the process of coming up with more reasons for going down the slippery slope of darknet. The real reason people commit a crime is that the probability of prosecution or punishment is extremely low. Theft of copyrighted material is not new. The very same problem that book publishers are having now already happened with VHS, DVDs, and Blu-Ray movies. Copyrighted VHS tapes had their copy protection circumvented by Macrovision busters. DVDs became rippable with the introduction of SmartRipper and DvdDecrypter. The author of the second program used the nickname LighningUK. I won't divulge his real name. I do not believe he has spent a single day in prison. Have there been any end users (not re-distributors) who have been prosecuted in the US? Other than some show cases with the RIAA, probably not. Ripping and rent n' rip surely costs the movie industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

I side neither with the end users or the publishers. But until there are consequences, people will do what is convenient and self-serving. If you can drive at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, why not? Well, where are we headed? First the publishers need to not only takedown the cabbages fellow, but prosecute him. Wouldn't it be funny if cabbages were a woman? LOL. Second, Amazon, B&N and Sony can modify their readers to look for copyrighted material with missing DRM. The reader can then send back this information either through the 3G network or through the PC/Mac interface. Third, the companies can brick the readers, as Microsoft has done with the Xbox 360 game console. Imagine sending back your reader, having the FBI unlock it, and then being charged with copyright violation- prima facie evidence, if ever there was such a thing. So beware, Darknet followers. Big brother is watching you. Read the Amazon terms and conditions. The path is there for the government to compel them to spy on you.

Wow, that was a fresh steaming pile of poo you just spewed there. Wow.

ardeegee
03-26-2010, 06:39 PM
Those who download from the darknet, or acquire ebooks from a library, friend, or offshore realize that they are doing something morally wrong, but have figured out some way of rationalizing the behavior.


Wouldn't it be funny if cabbages were a woman? LOL. Second, Amazon, B&N and Sony can modify their readers to look for copyrighted material with missing DRM. The reader can then send back this information either through the 3G network or through the PC/Mac interface. Third, the companies can brick the readers, as Microsoft has done with the Xbox 360 game console. Imagine sending back your reader, having the FBI unlock it, and then being charged with copyright violation- prima facie evidence, if ever there was such a thing. So beware, Darknet followers. Big brother is watching you. Read the Amazon terms and conditions. The path is there for the government to compel them to spy on you.

Wow-- start with projective, sweeping generalizations and end with a giddy appeal for Orwellian government and business control over everyone's lives.

I couldn't possibly describe you without Godwining this thread.

Any government that treats it's citizens like that would be in dire need of being disbanded at the barrel of a gun and retired at the end of ropes.

BTW, you are completely clueless as to how and when DVDs became decryptable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS

Ben Thornton
03-26-2010, 06:57 PM
Wouldn't it be funny if cabbages were a woman?Why? I don't understand why this would be funny at all. Unless you are beneath contempt, but perhaps I have misunderstood.

kennyc
03-26-2010, 07:09 PM
Why? I don't understand why this would be funny at all. Unless you are beneath contempt, but perhaps I have misunderstood.

I thought that a pretty odd comment as well.

Logseman
03-26-2010, 07:19 PM
Depends on the cabbage. On its QUALITY.

http://danbooru.donmai.us/data/f67916c89e646b3440cd59aa84e01d0b.gif (http://danbooru.donmai.us/post/show/501835/cabbage-episode3-gif-lowres-quality-quality_cabbag)

Yes, that is supposed to be a cabbage. Do not dare to ask the animators...

Ea
03-26-2010, 07:22 PM
Yes, that is supposed to be a cabbage. Do not dare to ask the animators...
Whatever you liked to??? ... it's not there.

Elfwreck
03-26-2010, 07:23 PM
Those who download from the darknet, or acquire ebooks from a library, friend, or offshore realize that they are doing something morally wrong, but have figured out some way of rationalizing the behavior.

If they believe that the ex post facto law is wrong, then they may not agree that they are doing something "morally wrong," even if they know some people might think they are doing something illegal. (Only some. Legality of downloading a single copy, without redistribution, is fuzzy legally. In the US. In some countries, it's entirely legal.)

The rules of the game change, the user gets very upset, and retaliates by posting the books on the darknet. Chalk this up as another form of rationalization.

Why is it a "rationalization" to say, "I am using this book under the laws relating to its use that were in effect it was first published, not laws that were enacted later?" It may be a *legal* dodge, but is not necessarily a moral one. A person can believe that it is entirely moral to freely copy any book published in the US before 1954, as all those would be in the public domain now if they hadn't been stolen from us.

Let's skip the process of coming up with more reasons for going down the slippery slope of darknet. The real reason people commit a crime is that the probability of prosecution or punishment is extremely low.

Ah, now we're back to the fuzzy language, and the conflation of legal issues with moral ones.
1) Not all copyright infringement is "crime."
2) Not all unauthorized copying is copyright infringement.
3) Not all the darknet, torrents & upload sites are full of unauthorized copies.

And the reason people commit a crime is nothing so simple as "because they can get away with it." I could get away with slashing someone's tires in a parking lot once a week, if I cared to, but I don't. Not even the tires of obviously rich bastards who are flaunting their wealth in the poor side of Oakland. (The reason people copy ebooks is not "because those rich publishers deserve to lose money.")

People break laws for several reasons.
1) Crimes of passion--momentary impulse overrides sense, and they later realize they should not have done it. This doesn't much apply to copyright infringement.

2) Don't know or understand the law. This applies more than a lot of anti-copyists want to believe; the whole "copies are THEFT!!!" argument falls apart on careful consideration, and the people who yell such things the loudest tend to drown out the ones trying to explain the real legalities.

3) Think the law is unfair or otherwise shouldn't apply to them. This is the most common reason for filesharing; most people believe that the laws about copying are contradictory, stupid, and arranged to serve corporations rather than all of society, and because of that, feel free to ignore the laws when they can.

4) Think "I want it, and I'm not likely to get caught." This is the reason people speed ("my driving's good enough and the road's clear enough--the speed limit is for *safety*, not for some moral imperative that people shouldn't drive faster than 55mph; since I'm driving *safely* it's okay to ignore the speed limit."), but usually *not* the reason people download. While some think "it's wrong, but I'm going to do it anyway," most who say this about ebooks don't actually think it's wrong in any essential way--they think it's illegal, which is different (see cat. 3).

Ripping and rent n' rip surely costs the movie industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Got any statistics to back that up?

Because while there may be unauthorized copies that, if they had been purchased full-price retail on disc, total hundreds of millions of dollars, that's not the same as *costing* the movie industry those dollars. The movie industry is only out those dollars if people would have paid that price for them if they couldn't get free copies.

Some people probably would. Others saw the movie for free, liked the lead actor, and paid to see his next movie full-price in the theatre & then bought the DVD. Some of those movies aren't available as "legit" purchases--they're out of print, and not costing the movie industry anything in having them shared around.

First the publishers need to not only takedown the cabbages fellow, but prosecute him. Wouldn't it be funny if cabbages were a woman? LOL.

First, they have to *find* him. (Or her.) Perhaps s/he lives outside of the US, in which case, the DMCA doesn't apply to his/her actions.

Second, Amazon, B&N and Sony can modify their readers to look for copyrighted material with missing DRM.

What kind of copyrighted material w/o DRM? I've got several million words of copyrighted fanfiction on my Sony PRS-505.

How are they going to tell the difference between "copyrighted material with permission or fair use," and "unauthorized copyrighted material?" How can they tell the difference between an ebook from the darknet & one I scanned & converted myself?

The reader can then send back this information either through the 3G network or through the PC/Mac interface.

1) I don't use the Sony Library software at all. I don't, at the moment, have any software installed that will read DRM'd ebooks. They'd have no way of tracking my ebook habits without a total invasion of my computer. (On dialup. That means I *notice* when something's gathering data about my online activities; it eats bandwidth.)

2) Why should bookstores do the jobs of copyright owners? They're not the ones whose legal rights are being violated. If publishers want to look for unauthorized copies of their ebooks, let them get subpoenas and do the legwork themselves.

Third, the companies can brick the readers, as Microsoft has done with the Xbox 360 game console. Imagine sending back your reader, having the FBI unlock it, and then being charged with copyright violation- prima facie evidence, if ever there was such a thing. So beware, Darknet followers. Big brother is watching you. Read the Amazon terms and conditions. The path is there for the government to compel them to spy on you.

This is *delightfully* ludicrous.
Bricking the XBox was effective because customers wanted to play XBox games on it. "Bricking" my reader, if it were possible (I don't know how, since I load books onto it with Windows Explorer rather than an interface program), would get me to pop out my SD card where most of my ebooks are and reinstall firmware.

Oh, and if that didn't work? Get a Pocket Pro next time. No corporate overlords trying to decide what & how I should read.

Fat Abe
03-26-2010, 07:33 PM
Why? I don't understand why this would be funny at all. Unless you are beneath contempt, but perhaps I have misunderstood.

The Feds (DOJ) are looking for a man. Why else could it be taking so long to find the person? Because, she is a woman (who, naturally, is a lot smarter than most men). Doesn't anyone read between the lines?

Someone in government knows who cabbages is. But, I digress. The digital crack facilitates the darknet. It makes possible widespread copyright infringement without scanning/OCR/layout/proofreading.

kennyc
03-26-2010, 07:36 PM
The Feds (DOJ) are looking for a man. Why else could it be taking so long to find the person? Because, she is a woman (who, naturally, is a lot smarter than most men). Doesn't anyone read between the lines?

Someone in government knows who cabbages is. But, I digress. The digital crack facilitates the darknet. It makes possible widespread copyright infringement without scanning/OCR/layout/proofreading.


Do you have an facts/evidence/proof to back this up?

Ea
03-26-2010, 07:36 PM
The Feds (DOJ) are looking for a man. Why else could it be taking so long to find the person? Because, she is a woman (who, naturally, is a lot smarter than most men). Doesn't anyone read between the lines?

Someone in government knows who cabbages is. But, I digress. The digital crack facilitates the darknet. It makes possible widespread copyright infringement without scanning/OCR/layout/proofreading.
I suspect... a conspiracy!! :eek: :cool:

pendragginp
03-26-2010, 07:41 PM
think that one of the things that many folks forget when comparing ebooks to paper books is that when you buy a paper book you buy one copy.

If you resell or give away a paper book you are only doing so with a single copy.

True, but if you give it to a library, for instance, you are giving away unlimited opportunities for 'free' reading, with no payment for all those further readings.

Ebooks, by their very nature, can easily be perfectly copied and so it is possible to not only give away or resell multiple perfect copies of a book, but also to keep a copy for yourself.

When you buy a paper book if you make good quality copies of that paper book and resell those copies it is illegal.

Just a thought; this really is how books got started, as we know. Painstaking copying of existing material, through the ages down to the monks making illuminated manuscripts. And then the printing press came into being, and the whole wonderful explosion of information became gigantic. But even then there was no copyright; if you saw a pamplet or a broadside you liked or agreed with you passed it along to other people, and those people passed it along....

Not that I don't agree with copyright. I do. But I think this subject has a lot of gray areas.

Ben Thornton
03-26-2010, 07:46 PM
The Feds (DOJ) are looking for a man. Why else could it be taking so long to find the person? Because, she is a woman (who, naturally, is a lot smarter than most men). Doesn't anyone read between the lines?

Someone in government knows who cabbages is. But, I digress. The digital crack facilitates the darknet. It makes possible widespread copyright infringement without scanning/OCR/layout/proofreading.Nonsense. It's on blogspot, not in some obscure secret location. The feds couldn't give a tinker's cuss about cabbages. Which is, of course only one source among a number of sources for that information.

kennyc
03-26-2010, 07:57 PM
I suspect... a conspiracy!! :eek: :cool:

Ha! Love that Avatar EA!

Ea
03-26-2010, 08:01 PM
Ha! Love that Avatar EA!
:offtopic:
Well, mine went on vacation with Tom of the Beach... so had to call in a replacement :D Cute, eh?

Fat Abe
03-26-2010, 08:13 PM
BTW, you are completely clueless as to how and when DVDs became decryptable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS

Yes, thank you for pointing this out. Not clueless, but forgetful. I have seen the original algorithm and source code, probably as early as you. DISCLAIMER: Said code is not in my possession.

Once the genie was out of the bottle, the battle was lost. Those interested should follow this link, provided in the Wikipedia article:

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/Gallery/

Historically, the two anonymous developers should one day get credit. This should be an interesting read, maybe as fascinating as the story of Alan Turing. Huh?

scveteran
03-26-2010, 09:08 PM
I find it tasteless to eat while leaning the elbows on a table. I find it tasteless (and that's the most pleasant word I can find for it) to smoke. I find it tasteless to attribute something to your own which is not your own. But the fact that I find it tasteless doesn't mean that I'm going to sue someone for leaning the elbows in a table while eating, even if I can actually measure my distaste for it. Nor even for smoking, as much as I hate it. I hope my point is clear.

You don't have to sue everyone who angers you. I never implied that you would sue someone for that. It is unlikely that you would sue when you really get nothing out of it. In the case that we talked about in this part, you were referring to only the benefit of your name on works that very few people would read and likely know you created anyway. No reason for you to sue on that.

About the "copyright", I did not point that I had "copyright" or that I intended to milk off my works to make money: if they make money it's good, and if it's me who makes it with them it's better, but I'm not going out of my way for that. I pointed that if such a plagiarism comes, I had proof that I wrote it first. If I exercised "copyright", I'd be asking for compensation. On the contrary, I have said I'd not be asking for compensation, but just show proof that the plagiarist has used me as a ghost writer, and thus is a... well, plagiarist. It would shame the writer's reputation in the exact same manner, if you think about it.

Sorry, but I don't believe you on this point. You may have even convinced yourself, but you would not have brought up the money issue unless you would take advantage of it.

Let me be clear, I don't have anything against you enforcing your copyright if your work did make money. I would be glad that you were successful and got paid for it.

I have no moral obligations save to enjoy my life while harming noone's property (bodies, material possesions, etc). As I said before, thwarting someone's prospects of income is not harming their actual property, thus I wouldn't say it's "stealing".

Taking something that doesn't belong to you is the accepted definition of stealing. It is not just thrwarting someone's prospects of income, it is stealing. In every modern culture around the world, stealing is considered moraly wrong.

I know you are an anarchist and believe that the state and corporations either should not exist or have almost no power. Fortunately, very few people agree with your ideas. Otherwise we would all be back in the stone age very quickly.

And about my duties, it is me and the ones around me who sets them, not the State. I won't obey any law which goes against my personal beliefs if I can get away with it. And I work so more and more people can get away with it, for it is noone's duty to obey a State, but to pursue happiness.

You seem to forget, you and the ones around you are the state. The people are the ones that have agreed with and formed the laws.

I am not trying to be offensive here, but the attitude that no one should obey any laws if they can get away with it is primarly the attitude that a psychopath has. Again, I am not trying to be offensive, but there has to be rules in any society and you need to follow them or be prepared to pay the consequences.

I remind you, when an official, State-approved market is dysfunctional, or when it simply is banned, a black market appears. The black market actually improves the outcomes in welfare for the people who take part in it. I would consider this the very same idea: if the State-approved, official marketplaces are rigged in favor of special interests, it's only logical that people find ingenious ways to circumvent the limits of those markets. Curiously, even if they go against their "duty" of obeying the law, and even if they hold the utmost respect of the rest of said law.

This part made very little sense. The market is not banned in any way. Nor is this a black market any sense of the word. This is pure theft, not a resale of the items.

You are also completely wrong that the black market actually improves the welfare of the people. Usually the black market causes great harm to the people.

Which brings me a last question: which law should I obey? The Spanish law, which allows paid-for works to be distributed as long as the distributer doesn't win money with them? The German law, which doesn't? The US Law, which will allow eternal copyright with time? The Vanuatuan law?

You should obey the most strict law that affects the material and yourself. For instance if the material comes from the US, you should obey that law even if you live in Spain. Or if you live in Germany and the material comes from Spain, you follow the German law.

scveteran
03-26-2010, 09:15 PM
Nothing further from my intention to wish ill to anybody. I've never complained about the price tags that Apple, Amazon and the like put to their books. They should be free for charging whatever they please for them.

When you steal from them you are doing far more than just wishing them ill.

I've just pointed out that, facing the decision of downloading for 12-15 dollars and downloading for free, I feel it is my moral responsibility as a consumer to download for free as long and as much as I can, for we ought to enjoy as much of life as possible at the minimum cost. I find it no more than a dialectical process. Maybe with ebooks at 2 dollars, with the author making 90% of the money and in well-edited books, I'd feel inclined to buy. And not necessarily. The sacred power of consumers is choice, and I want to have the widest array possible.

About the last sentence: right now I'm reading Plato not Prozac, by Lou Marinoff, downloaded from the internet in a quite crappy edition. It's a book that can hardly be considered a latest blockbuster (of which I never download anything since I don't care about them), but I'd like to inquire when it will come to public domain. I give you a clue: its copyright has a good chance of outliving me.

You may feel that it is ok to download as much as you can for free. That doesn't it make it moral in the opinion of society at large.

You also have a misunderstanding about what the power of consumer's choice means. It doesn't mean that if I feel like it, I steal it.

ardeegee
03-26-2010, 09:47 PM
You may feel that it is ok to download as much as you can for free. That doesn't it make it moral in the opinion of society at large.

In my experience, members of the society at large have zero problems with downloading media or with accepting being given downloaded media or with watching/listening to downloaded media at the house of someone else even when they know it is downloaded. Anecdotal, I know, but I have never once encountered someone "in the real world" who is anything other than thrilled to get the media that they want for free. Or, for that matter, in almost all internet forii. This web site is one of the very few I've encountered where there is anything more than a tiny minority showing your view.

The "society at large" is just ducky with the morality of downloading.

kennyc
03-26-2010, 10:03 PM
In my experience, members of the society at large have zero problems with downloading media or with accepting being given downloaded media or with watching/listening to downloaded media at the house of someone else even when they know it is downloaded. Anecdotal, I know, but I have never once encountered someone "in the real world" who is anything other than thrilled to get the media that they want for free. Or, for that matter, in almost all internet forii. This web site is one of the very few I've encountered where there is anything more than a tiny minority showing your view.

The "society at large" is just ducky with the morality of downloading.

You poor sheltered thing. :eek: I've absolutely run into it and express my opinions on it all the time (you didn't know that did you ;) ).

Society at Large is not "just ducky" with it. If they were the laws would change.

Ea
03-26-2010, 10:10 PM
Anecdotal, I know, but I have never once encountered someone "in the real world" who is anything other than thrilled to get the media that they want for free. Or, for that matter, in almost all internet forii.
I wonder if that oughtn't to be 'forae' in plural. Howewer, what would make me thrilled would be a good quality sample in the media I am interested in. For example a sample long enough to evaluate the work.

Ralph Sir Edward
03-26-2010, 10:15 PM
You poor sheltered thing. :eek: I've absolutely run into it and express my opinions on it all the time (you didn't know that did you ;) ).

Society at Large is not "just ducky" with it. If they were the laws would change.


Mostly they don't think about it, one way or the other...

scveteran
03-26-2010, 10:23 PM
You poor sheltered thing. :eek: I've absolutely run into it and express my opinions on it all the time (you didn't know that did you ;) ).

Society at Large is not "just ducky" with it. If they were the laws would change.

Exactly right. The percentage of people downloading copyrighted material illegally is still pretty small IMO. Yes, many people at the high school and college level do download copyrighted material in an illegal manner. Yet in the older groups you have less willingness to do this.

Patricia
03-26-2010, 10:26 PM
I wonder if that oughtn't to be 'forae' in plural. Howewer, what would make me thrilled would be a good quality sample in the media I am interested in. For example a sample long enough to evaluate the work.

It's a Latin third declension noun. The singular is forum. The plural is fora.

Ea
03-26-2010, 10:34 PM
It's a Latin third declension noun. The singular is forum. The plural is fora.
Thank you! :thumbsup:

tompe
03-26-2010, 10:58 PM
Exactly right. The percentage of people downloading copyrighted material illegally is still pretty small IMO. Yes, many people at the high school and college level do download copyrighted material in an illegal manner. Yet in the older groups you have less willingness to do this.

Why do you believe that? I have notice that the older generation can have technical problems but if they are given the material on DVD:s or similar they have no problem using this material.

delphidb96
03-26-2010, 11:45 PM
Exactly right. The percentage of people downloading copyrighted material illegally is still pretty small IMO. Yes, many people at the high school and college level do download copyrighted material in an illegal manner. Yet in the older groups you have less willingness to do this.

You go right on telling yourself that. :D

Derek

ardeegee
03-26-2010, 11:56 PM
I wonder if that oughtn't to be 'forae' in plural.

Possibly. Or forums. I just enjoy faux-Latinizing plurals.

ardeegee
03-27-2010, 12:01 AM
Why do you believe that? I have notice that the older generation can have technical problems but if they are given the material on DVD:s or similar they have no problem using this material.

Exactly-- the percentage of older people who won't go through the time and effort (and malware risks) to learn how to download stuff and do it is likely pretty high. The percentage of older people to say no to a free burned copy of something they want if you offer it to them is likely pretty low.

Logseman
03-27-2010, 04:52 AM
Sorry, but I don't believe you on this point. You may have even convinced yourself, but you would not have brought up the money issue unless you would take advantage of it.
Let me be clear, I don't have anything against you enforcing your copyright if your work did make money. I would be glad that you were successful and got paid for it.


If I'm stumbing against beliefs, against the belief that I'm lying or that I'm dishonest (which is implied by your statement), we may of course leave the discussion. I won't bear to be insulted by my word being taken as a lie, for I haven't taken and will not take yours as such. If something ought to be clear is that we're two honest people sharing points of view about a topic. Or is it that, since I "steal" as you say, I deserve to be treated as a crook?

Taking something that doesn't belong to you is the accepted definition of stealing. It is not just thrwarting someone's prospects of income, it is stealing. In every modern culture around the world, stealing is considered moraly wrong.
I know you are an anarchist and believe that the state and corporations either should not exist or have almost no power. Fortunately, very few people agree with your ideas. Otherwise we would all be back in the stone age very quickly.
Ta-daaa! Thanks to the magic labeling process, now I'm an Anarchist without me having said a word about it myself. If you want my stance, I consider myself a Strabic Bigot, aka Strabigot for briefness's sake. If you want to know what it is (though I count that you won't) I'll merrily explain it where you wish.

Aside of that, I've given my reasoning that it's not stealing if it's not physical property, which actually causes a loss of value if it's stolen: on the contrary, intellectual property is how they manage to put fences on the sea. However, let us take your words and follow the logic: thwarting someone's prospects of income is stealing. How can any new business be opened then? By its very creation, it implies more competition against the other firms of its industry. Those other firms or individual businesses will possibly be less profitable, thus their prospects of income are thwarted and, well, that is something we cannot allow, can we?

Do not think it's a reductio ad absurdum: it happens already. We only have to ask about banks, insurance companies, doctors, lawyers and a wide array of industries where there are huge entrance barriers. After all, letting more competition would menace the revenues of those who're "In The Money" as poker players say.


You seem to forget, you and the ones around you are the state. The people are the ones that have agreed with and formed the laws.
I am not trying to be offensive here, but the attitude that no one should obey any laws if they can get away with it is primarly the attitude that a psychopath has. Again, I am not trying to be offensive, but there has to be rules in any society and you need to follow them or be prepared to pay the consequences.

A-ha! I was considered dishonest, and now I have the mindset of a psychopath. Downloading things from the darknet is not only communism, as that old mock poster said, it's even a mental sickness.

The state is an autonomous body inside society, not society itself. Such a synecdoche is usual, so I can understand your stance. Nevertheless, confounding chaos with spontaneous order is one of the biggest hazards in understanding what we're talking about. I never denied that you need rules in a society, I just claim the state, as an organisation which resorts to aggresion, is not legitimated to give them. That leaves a huge quantity of individuals to set up their own laws and codes, as they actually do today. At any rate, your choice of words is interesting: "either you obey or you must be prepared to face the consequences"... Capisce?

This part made very little sense. The market is not banned in any way. Nor is this a black market any sense of the word. This is pure theft, not a resale of the items.

You are also completely wrong that the black market actually improves the welfare of the people. Usually the black market causes great harm to the people.

I established the example of black markets as an example of spontaneous organisation which rises from the opposition of the State to the ingenious initiative of the individuals. Those psychopaths will try and get away with selling rationated items out of the ration system.

For the second statement, I'll leave a small graph,popular in Econ 101 course, to explain the matter:
http://opus1journal.org/images/glossary/price_support_control.gif

Compare the efficiency area below the "price ceiling" bar with the market efficiency area which comes from crossing the demand and supply functions. Which is bigger?

You should obey the most strict law that affects the material and yourself. For instance if the material comes from the US, you should obey that law even if you live in Spain. Or if you live in Germany and the material comes from Spain, you follow the German law.

It's interesting how noone asks people who pay taxes in the Cayman Islands to consider themselves affected by their own country's laws. It is just us, the ones who have no other way but paying our taxes, who shall submit to the strongest rulings.

You may feel that it is ok to download as much as you can for free. That doesn't it make it moral in the opinion of society at large.
You also have a misunderstanding about what the power of consumer's choice means. It doesn't mean that if I feel like it, I steal it.

If it's society at large's fault, I'd like to commend you to the right thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77605

Consumers' choices try to maximize their enjoyment and welfare. Producers' choices try to maximize their profits (their ideal being eternal revenue sources). They do everything what is in their power to arrive to such status. But then again, do not pay heed to my psychopathic mumbles.
_________________________________________________

For the "old people buy - young people download" disyunction, I'd like to point out a small bit: young people download content for their elders too.

Latinandgreek
03-27-2010, 06:48 AM
It's a Latin third declension noun. The singular is forum. The plural is fora.

second declension, both masc. nouns in -us and neuter nouns in -um fall under the second declension.

pdurrant
03-27-2010, 08:22 AM
It's a Latin third declension noun. The singular is forum. The plural is fora.

second declension, both masc. nouns in -us and neuter nouns in -um fall under the second declension.

I have no idea which of you is right - in Latin. :)

But 'forum' is a perfectly normal English word too. In English the plural is 'forums'. I would only use fora if I was actually referring to the many fora that there were in ancient Rome.

mrkarl
03-27-2010, 12:47 PM
oh well, give it a few more years and the authors will find a way for us to get thier words and us to show them(the authors) our appreciation....in a way that's a good exchange for us both..............so long publishers

most of the books I've downloaded are books I've payed for in my life before so I'm ool with the whole thing at this point in time

TGS
03-27-2010, 12:59 PM
Society at Large is not "just ducky" with it. If they were the laws would change.

It does depend on what group you are referring to as "society at large" doesn't it? People you come across, people whose opinions make it into the public arena, people from a restricted range of socio-economic backgrounds, people who live in the USA, or Europe, people who have never seen nor heard of an ebook, people who have no chance of ever owning one even if they have heard of them,people who don't have enough money to feed their children. I suspect that the proportion of people from "society at large" who give a monkey's chuff about the issue one way or the other will vary from infinitesimally small to significant depending on who you are referring to.

kennyc
03-27-2010, 01:21 PM
It does depend on what group you are referring to as "society at large" doesn't it? People you come across, people whose opinions make it into the public arena, people from a restricted range of socio-economic backgrounds, people who live in the USA, or Europe, people who have never seen nor heard of an ebook, people who have no chance of ever owning one even if they have heard of them,people who don't have enough money to feed their children. I suspect that the proportion of people from "society at large" who give a monkey's chuff about the issue one way or the other will vary from infinitesimally small to significant depending on who you are referring to.


Clearly I'm talking about the group that makes the laws applicable to the person/activity in question.

TGS
03-27-2010, 01:34 PM
Clearly I'm talking about the group that makes the laws applicable to the person/activity in question.

Apologies, I thought the group in question - "Society at large" - those who are or are not "just ducky", was a different group from the group that makes the laws.

leebase
03-27-2010, 04:25 PM
You poor sheltered thing. :eek: I've absolutely run into it and express my opinions on it all the time (you didn't know that did you ;) ).

Society at Large is not "just ducky" with it. If they were the laws would change.

Birds of a feather I guess :)

Lee

leebase
03-27-2010, 04:29 PM
Exactly-- the percentage of older people who won't go through the time and effort (and malware risks) to learn how to download stuff and do it is likely pretty high. The percentage of older people to say no to a free burned copy of something they want if you offer it to them is likely pretty low.

Pirating is a hassle for everybody. That's why companies need to ensure that buying legit material is less of a hassle.

I would agree there are folks who wouldn't go through the hassle and danger of acquiring pirated material that would be just fine if you handed it to them.

But there are folks who simply can afford to pay for what they want, and they do so. Just as there is tendency to pirate the easier it is, there's a tendency to not pirate when one doesn't need to.

Lee

vaughnmr
03-27-2010, 05:06 PM
Pirating is a hassle for everybody. Lee

You ommitted several reasons that pirates exist:

1) ebooks are simply not available, the publishers won't release them. You can buy the book, but you can't read it on your ereader.

2) ebooks can't be released due to copyright (including orphan) issues. The ebook is in a legal la-la land, no one can do anything with it, usually for a long, long time. Long after you die, for sure.

3) you can't buy the ebook because of where you live.

4) ebook quality is so bad that properly formatted pirate copies are easier to read. Really doesn't make sense, but that is probably the case a lot of the time.

Just wanted to bring it up, since you are so hung up on the pirate/theft thingy.

scveteran
03-27-2010, 05:13 PM
Exactly-- the percentage of older people who won't go through the time and effort (and malware risks) to learn how to download stuff and do it is likely pretty high. The percentage of older people to say no to a free burned copy of something they want if you offer it to them is likely pretty low.

I think that the percentage will be much higher if you explain to them that this material is stolen.

tompe
03-27-2010, 06:40 PM
I think that the percentage will be much higher if you explain to them that this material is stolen.

That will be hard since it is not stolen. And you should not lie to people so you should not try to fool them.

scveteran
03-27-2010, 06:45 PM
If I'm stumbing against beliefs, against the belief that I'm lying or that I'm dishonest (which is implied by your statement), we may of course leave the discussion. I won't bear to be insulted by my word being taken as a lie, for I haven't taken and will not take yours as such. If something ought to be clear is that we're two honest people sharing points of view about a topic. Or is it that, since I "steal" as you say, I deserve to be treated as a crook?

Again, I am not calling you a liar here. I really believe that you have convinced yourself of that, but when the time comes you would take the money. My reasons for this belief is that you brought up the money, and your stated belief that you should get as much as you can for the least money. If I am wrong in this belief, I apologize. And one more time, I am stating that I belive you are not lying but have convinced yourself of this.


Ta-daaa! Thanks to the magic labeling process, now I'm an Anarchist without me having said a word about it myself. If you want my stance, I consider myself a Strabic Bigot, aka Strabigot for briefness's sake. If you want to know what it is (though I count that you won't) I'll merrily explain it where you wish.

You have said multiple times you support an anarchist organization. You have also espoused ideas supported by anarchist. So that leads me to believe you are anarchist. I think that is a rational and logical deduction.

As for considering yourself a Strabic Bigot, that is great. I would like to know more about it if it is not something that was created for your own personal use at some time in the past. I did do a search in Google and Wikipedia and found nothing for either of those terms. Of course there is nothing wrong with you creating a name for your own personal views. I consider it a good thing if it helps a person to formulate and analyze their beliefs. Unfortunately, I don't have time to listen to every single person's beliefs. I can only spend time on learning about it if it really affects a fair number of people. So if it is a recognized group, please send me info on it by personal mail.

BTW, I consider myself a Rational Anarchist.

Aside of that, I've given my reasoning that it's not stealing if it's not physical property, which actually causes a loss of value if it's stolen: on the contrary, intellectual property is how they manage to put fences on the sea. However, let us take your words and follow the logic: thwarting someone's prospects of income is stealing. How can any new business be opened then? By its very creation, it implies more competition against the other firms of its industry. Those other firms or individual businesses will possibly be less profitable, thus their prospects of income are thwarted and, well, that is something we cannot allow, can we?

The problem here is that you are looking at this as merely thwarting someone else's prospects of income. In reality it is taking something that doesn't belong to you. You can artificially make distinctions about physical or non-physical property.

So where does it stop? Maybe it is alright to steal someone's car if it red instead of another car? Or you can take someone's home if they live on the left side of the street? I know that those two examples seem absurd, but so does the idea of stealing property because it is non-physical IMO.

Do not think it's a reductio ad absurdum: it happens already. We only have to ask about banks, insurance companies, doctors, lawyers and a wide array of industries where there are huge entrance barriers. After all, letting more competition would menace the revenues of those who're "In The Money" as poker players say.

This part is just plain stupid and you should be embarassed for posting it. The entrance barriers for those fields of commerce have nothing to do with limiting competition or the revenues of others.

I guess you want to go see the doctor who has no medical training and is a high school drop out. Or maybe you want to buy insurance from a guy who has no reserves to pay you from?

A-ha! I was considered dishonest, and now I have the mindset of a psychopath. Downloading things from the darknet is not only communism, as that old mock poster said, it's even a mental sickness.

I never mentioned communism. What I pointed out that your stated belief in breaking any law that you can get away with is in common with a pyschopath. If you disagree with that, I suggest you look it up.

As I said earler, this is not being said to be offensive. Nor am I saying that you are actually a pyschopath. I am saying that your stated beliefs are in line with one.

The state is an autonomous body inside society, not society itself. Such a synecdoche is usual, so I can understand your stance. Nevertheless, confounding chaos with spontaneous order is one of the biggest hazards in understanding what we're talking about. I never denied that you need rules in a society, I just claim the state, as an organisation which resorts to aggresion, is not legitimated to give them. That leaves a huge quantity of individuals to set up their own laws and codes, as they actually do today. At any rate, your choice of words is interesting: "either you obey or you must be prepared to face the consequences"... Capisce?

I did not say that the state is the total society. I realize that it is a part of society as a whole. So the mistake in understanding that was your own.

Since the state gets it power from the society as a whole, your idea that it is an organization that is not legitimate to make rules is flawed IMO. I will agree that there are codes of conduct that come from both larger and smaller parts of the society.

My words "either you obey or you must be prepared to face the consequences" may have been more clear, so let me make it clear now. If you steal a car, you face the possible jail time. You kill someone, you may face the death penalty. You steal electronic products, you may face fines, jail time, and/or lawsuits. You committ civil disobediance you may face a night in jail. Now is that clear?

I established the example of black markets as an example of spontaneous organisation which rises from the opposition of the State to the ingenious initiative of the individuals. Those psychopaths will try and get away with selling rationated items out of the ration system.

And as they try to get away with committing their crimes, they tend to hurt those around them. To say otherwise is either to be living in a fantasy world or to be dishonest.

For the second statement, I'll leave a small graph,popular in Econ 101 course, to explain the matter:
http://opus1journal.org/images/glossary/price_support_control.gif

Compare the efficiency area below the "price ceiling" bar with the market efficiency area which comes from crossing the demand and supply functions. Which is bigger?

I don't see how this is relevant. Maybe you can make this more clear.

It's interesting how noone asks people who pay taxes in the Cayman Islands to consider themselves affected by their own country's laws. It is just us, the ones who have no other way but paying our taxes, who shall submit to the strongest rulings.

Totally different things. You might as well compare apples to door knobs.

If it's society at large's fault, I'd like to commend you to the right thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77605

Very funny, but worthless. Nor have I said that your actions are the fault of society at large. It is MO that the society at large thinks the action of stealing is wrong.

Consumers' choices try to maximize their enjoyment and welfare. Producers' choices try to maximize their profits (their ideal being eternal revenue sources). They do everything what is in their power to arrive to such status. But then again, do not pay heed to my psychopathic mumbles.


Consumers' choice do try to maximize their enjoyment and welfare, but in legal means. It does not include theft anymore than it includes armed robbery.


_________________________________________________

For the "old people buy - young people download" disyunction, I'd like to point out a small bit: young people download content for their elders too.

Well some do. I would bet that this is not as rampant as you think. I will admit I don't have proof of that and I could be wrong in that area.

scveteran
03-27-2010, 06:49 PM
You ommitted several reasons that pirates exist:

1) ebooks are simply not available, the publishers won't release them. You can buy the book, but you can't read it on your ereader.

2) ebooks can't be released due to copyright (including orphan) issues. The ebook is in a legal la-la land, no one can do anything with it, usually for a long, long time. Long after you die, for sure.

3) you can't buy the ebook because of where you live.

4) ebook quality is so bad that properly formatted pirate copies are easier to read. Really doesn't make sense, but that is probably the case a lot of the time.

Just wanted to bring it up, since you are so hung up on the pirate/theft thingy.


You forgot to add that some people just don't want to pay for the products that they want and feel that they are entitled to do whatever they want.

scveteran
03-27-2010, 06:51 PM
That will be hard since it is not stolen. And you should not lie to people so you should not try to fool them.

The thing is it is stolen. No matter how you want to try and cover it up, taking things that don't belong to you without permission is stealing.

And you really should not lie to people to fool them into agreeing with you.

kennyc
03-27-2010, 06:55 PM
That will be hard since it is not stolen. And you should not lie to people so you should not try to fool them.

I agree completely and that is why I refuse to call it "sharing" or "copying." I call it what it is theft of intellectual property.

scveteran
03-27-2010, 07:17 PM
I agree completely and that is why I refuse to call it "sharing" or "copying." I call it what it is theft of intellectual property.

Who are you agreeing with? You said you agree with Tempe who called me a liar and said it is not stolen. Yet your message seems to agree with me in calling it theft. So which is it?

tompe
03-27-2010, 07:33 PM
The thing is it is stolen. No matter how you want to try and cover it up, taking things that don't belong to you without permission is stealing.

And you really should not lie to people to fool them into agreeing with you.

It might be copyright infringement. Your failure to make this distinction really hurt all else you are saying.

tompe
03-27-2010, 07:36 PM
Who are you agreeing with? You said you agree with Tempe who called me a liar and said it is not stolen. Yet your message seems to agree with me in calling it theft. So which is it?

No, I did not call you a liar. I said that when you know that it is copyright infringement you should not lie and try to say to people that it is theft.

schmolch
03-27-2010, 07:37 PM
What a horrible world we live in where we have free access to (almost) all Books.
We should rather watch more TV to improve ourselfs and our fellow human beings.
You can call it stealing and criminal as much as you want, in the end it is still a good thing for all of us.

kennyc
03-27-2010, 09:08 PM
Who are you agreeing with? You said you agree with Tempe who called me a liar and said it is not stolen. Yet your message seems to agree with me in calling it theft. So which is it?


Hee-Hee. I was agreeing with that Tompe in that we shouldn't lie about it. :D

kennyc
03-27-2010, 09:11 PM
What a horrible world we live in where we have free access to (almost) all Books.
We should rather watch more TV to improve ourselfs and our fellow human beings.
You can call it stealing and criminal as much as you want, in the end it is still a good thing for all of us.


Not good for those individuals and copyright owners who are victims of theft.

Iphinome
03-27-2010, 09:29 PM
Not good for those individuals and copyright owners who are victims of theft.

Infringement, against the ones who rape the public domain.

schmolch
03-27-2010, 10:55 PM
Not good for those individuals and copyright owners who are victims of theft.

Ah yes, they will all starve to death just like the artists after the invention of the tape-recorders.

All this worldwide free access to information crazyness has to stop.
The human being is inherently evil and given the opportunity no-one out of even 2 billion people would consider showing some appreciation for a good book. Thats what we need the publishers for, they are our moral reference that is guiding us like a lighthouse in the darkness, otherwise we will head towards a dystopian society.

Its horrible :-(

Logseman
03-28-2010, 04:43 AM
Strabigotry is a personal belief, indeed. In essence, it's the effort to look at the world like a cross-eyed person does. Two eyes that move in different pattern, providing different points of view at the same time, cleaning the eyes from prejudice and preconceptions.

The problem here is that you are looking at this as merely thwarting someone else's prospects of income. In reality it is taking something that doesn't belong to you. You can artificially make distinctions about physical or non-physical property.

So where does it stop? Maybe it is alright to steal someone's car if it red instead of another car? Or you can take someone's home if they live on the left side of the street? I know that those two examples seem absurd, but so does the idea of stealing property because it is non-physical IMO.
I would say the distinction between physical and intellectual goods is quite clear. While taking someone's car implies depriving him of that car, hearing him singing a song and learning it doesn't mean he loses the ability of reproducing the song. There is nothing arbitrary about that, no deprivation, no theft. The only thing which becomes lost is, if at all, the possibility of milking off the song for money.

This part is just plain stupid and you should be embarassed for posting it. The entrance barriers for those fields of commerce have nothing to do with limiting competition or the revenues of others.

I guess you want to go see the doctor who has no medical training and is a high school drop out. Or maybe you want to buy insurance from a guy who has no reserves to pay you from?
I have expressed no preference for shameless shamans or broke insurance bankers (though people seemed to be very content in that little company called AIG). However, if it is my choice, and said choice doesn't harm anyone, I can't understand why I shouldn't be able to put my money (which, as stated before, is mine to please me) on such services.

Since the state gets it power from the society as a whole, your idea that it is an organization that is not legitimate to make rules is flawed IMO.
The state gets its power from their weapons, from the taxes it steals and from the legitimacy it is provided after centuries of being there, aside of the support of its pet organisations, such as large conglomerate companies.

What I pointed out that your stated belief in breaking any law that you can get away with is in common with a pyschopath. If you disagree with that, I suggest you look it up.
I suggest you revise your appreciations about psychopathy. Regulations, the same as any other factor, are subject to a cost-benefit analysis by individuals, companies and any organisation, in light of the game theory. They compare the benefit of breaking the law with the punishment they'll get if they get caught, and the risk itself of being caught.

I download what I want because it provides me the content I wish to see (which I appreciate a lot), the risk of punishment is low and I can build a good defense since the topic is quite shady legally.
However, I pay taxes (which I hate to do) because the risk of punishment, and the punishment itself, are huge and stern, and I have no way, with my to-day means, as to escape said punishment. Others do have them, and they use them. Perfectly sane fellows, by the way.

Now I will explain the famous graph and tell you why black markets actually improve welfare.

http://opus1journal.org/images/glossary/price_support_control.gif
The area comprised between the X-axis and the functions of supply and demand (which finishes in the point P2) measures the welfare of producers and consumers. The point P2 is the market equilibrium, in which buyers won't find the good for a lower price and sellers won't charge more for it. The point of market equilibrium is the one that maximises the welfare of both consumers and producers.

However, when the state puts a price control, in this case a maximum price below the market equilibrium, producers are not incentived to give any more of the good to the market than the legal price makes them. But of course, there are both consumers who will pay more for the good. Thus, those consumers-psychopaths will gladly enter in illegal trades in order to acquire more of the good. If the black market is powerful enough (an example could be the post-WWII Germany) the prices will be restored to their normal equilibrium and the government eventually gives up. However, the normal outcome is that governments can enforce price controls and people must resort to psychopathy in order to get, for example, more milk than they actually could have.

However, the point of all this explanation is to simply make you understand that breaking the law is not psychopatic per se: harming other people intentionally is. People simply are ingenious enough to circumvent whichever random restriction they're given.

Consumers' choice do try to maximize their enjoyment and welfare, but in legal means. It does not include theft anymore than it includes armed robbery.
As I said, regulation is subject to a cost-benefit analysis.
Nevertheless, I agree with you that people who resort to armed robbery and killing other fellow human beings are really psychopatic. That's why they tend to work for the State or state-like organisations: they can't be productive for society so they try to justify their killings and robberies under the letter of law. And not always...

Well some do. I would bet that this is not as rampant as you think. I will admit I don't have proof of that and I could be wrong in that area.
You can safely bet your head that the majority of films of a certain age are watched by a different person other than the downloader.

kennyc
03-28-2010, 07:44 AM
Ah yes, they will all starve to death just like the artists after the invention of the tape-recorders.

All this worldwide free access to information crazyness has to stop.
The human being is inherently evil and given the opportunity no-one out of even 2 billion people would consider showing some appreciation for a good book. Thats what we need the publishers for, they are our moral reference that is guiding us like a lighthouse in the darkness, otherwise we will head towards a dystopian society.

Its horrible :-(

No exactly, but if I take the air from around your head, you haven't been harmed, there's plenty of air....it's not yours anyway....doesn't harm any of my friends...

clockworkzombie
03-28-2010, 09:07 AM
No exactly, but if I take the air from around your head, you haven't been harmed, there's plenty of air....it's not yours anyway....doesn't harm any of my friends...

Ah Ha. So, you admit to being an oxygen thief. Hmmmmm very interesting.
:D

kennyc
03-28-2010, 09:26 AM
Ah Ha. So, you admit to being an oxygen thief. Hmmmmm very interesting.
:D

Only for the good of humanity.

;)

Ben Thornton
03-28-2010, 10:19 AM
I wondered where the "piracy is theft" thread had gone. We were without one for a couple of days there, and Kenny and I kept agreeing about things.

Anyway - no it isn't.

It's probably a sign that we've finished with the OT.

ardeegee
03-28-2010, 11:32 AM
Yargh (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/piracy-sounds-too-sexy-say-rightsholders.ars).

kennyc
03-28-2010, 11:41 AM
Yargh (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/piracy-sounds-too-sexy-say-rightsholders.ars).

I like this part:

"That may well be true, but copyright holders have long preferred the term, with its suggestions of theft, destruction, and violence. "

:D

oooh! oooh! and this:

"Speaking at a very different event in Abu Dhabi last week, Rupert Murdoch's son James did his part to redefine the sexy "pirates" as common thieves and nothing more. "There is no difference with going into a store and stealing Pringles or a handbag and taking this stuff," he said. "It's a basic condition for investment and economic growth and there should be the same level of property rights whether it's a house or a movie. The idea that there's a new consumer class and you have to be consumer-friendly when they're stealing stuff. No. There should be the same level of sanctity as there is around property. Content is no different. They're not crazy kids. No. Punish them."

see I told you the world was coming around to my way of thinking. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/images/smilies/smug.gif

Krystian Galaj
03-28-2010, 11:59 AM
There's no such thing as intellectual property, so there's nothing that could be stolen.

Some people have a temporary monopoly to copy their work (which belongs to whole society from the moment it was released from the mind of an author), granted to them by the state in hope they will be encouraged to create more. This monopoly is called copyright. It can be infringed upon by copying the work without author's permission, hence the term 'copyright infringement'.

I really hate it when people try to invent newspeak to distort reality for others.

kennyc
03-28-2010, 12:04 PM
There's no such thing as intellectual property, so there's nothing that could be stolen.
....

And that is exactly where you are wrong in your belief. :D

TGS
03-28-2010, 12:07 PM
see I told you the world was coming around to my way of thinking. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/images/smilies/smug.gif

Which would be great if you wanted to inhabit a world controlled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and his sons.

kennyc
03-28-2010, 12:12 PM
Which would be great if you wanted to inhabit a world controlled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and his sons.

Now that's a scary thought! :eek: But still the story indicates that people are coming around the the true legacy of digital media and intellectual property. :D

Ben Thornton
03-28-2010, 12:23 PM
Now that's a scary thought! :eek: But still the story indicates that people are coming around the the true legacy of digital media and intellectual property. :DI don't think that it says that "people are coming around" to any particular view. It says that those who stand to gain from selling the content have the view that people making unauthorised copies should be punished, and they are promoting the view that it is the same as stealing. Thank goodness that the law disagrees with them, and with good reason.

Are we going all the way round again? Essentially, sane people agree that legally, unauthorised copying that is illegal is not (legally) classed as theft. Morally, some people think that it is the same. Others think that it isn't. There are lots of nuanced views inbetween (which consider, for example, whether something would have been out of copyright under the rules used to grant copyright in the first place).

TGS
03-28-2010, 12:34 PM
"It's a basic condition for investment and economic growth and there should be the same level of property rights whether it's a house or a movie.

That's given me a brilliant idea - property rights - houses - what you think of as theft and piracy is actually more like squatting!

It's a civil, not a criminal offence
The owner has a remedy - but that involves the civil courts not the criminal courts
Squatters are not entitled to damage anything in order to gain entry to their squat
If a squatter has not been evicted after 12 years (I think) they can claim ownership of the squatted property - (I'm thinking orphaned books here)


Never thought I'd find myself agreeing with kennyc AND James Murdoch, but we seem to be speaking with one voice :D

Now Kenny, can I count on you to join me in changing the way we think and talk about this practice to more appropriate language?

kennyc
03-28-2010, 12:41 PM
That's given me a brilliant idea - property rights - houses - what you think of as theft and piracy is actually more like squatting!

It's a civil, not a criminal offence
The owner has a remedy - but that involves the civil courts not the criminal courts
Squatters are not entitled to damage anything in order to gain entry to their squat
If a squatter has not been evicted after 12 years (I think) they can claim ownership of the squatted property - (I'm thinking orphaned books here)


Never thought I'd find myself agreeing with kennyc AND James Murdoch, but we seem to be speaking with one voice :D

Now Kenny, can I count on you to join me in changing the way we think and talk about this practice to more appropriate language?

Hee-Hee. So that's what's Google is doing eh? Squatting? on the toilet? and we're in the bowl? :rofl:

Interesting thought though...

blt50203
03-28-2010, 03:39 PM
Hmm. Interesting thread. I believe that I am entitled to read however I like, be it with a book, on a phone, a dedicated reader, etc.. Ebooks should be treated no differently than a regular book. If I buy a book I am entitled to resell it, loan it out, donate it, or whatever else I choose to do. DRM technology forces you to buy the book again if your device breaks.

If someone takes the time and effort to scan a book they purchased to share it, how is this wrong? And how is it different from giving it (the physical copy) to someone else to read. After all, the person you are giving it to didn't pay for it.

Not sure how this will all play out in the future, but if you buy it I say you own it.

That's my opinion, humbly submitted for your approval or bashing.

Hamlet53
03-28-2010, 04:14 PM
If someone takes the time and effort to scan a book they purchased to share it, how is this wrong? And how is it different from giving it (the physical copy) to someone else to read. After all, the person you are giving it to didn't pay for it.

The difference is that when you lend out your paper book it entirely leaves your possession. If the person you lent it to then lends it to yet another person the same is true.

On the other hand if you scan the paper book to make a digital e-book file and lend that out both people now have a copy. Further 'lending' could lead to an unlimited number of people with a copies all sourced from the purchase of a single copy.

I know that a number of people here seem to disagree with any concept of intellectual property rights, but it would be a barren world if this idea found broad moral and legal acceptance. How much new creative material would be produced in not just books, but all media, and even extending to inventions if one could only look on it as a hobby, not something to produce an income?

To take a reductio ad absurdum approach to one argument that has been expressed here about how obtaining free copies of copyrighted material does harm the copyright holder:

A new author writes a book and decides to publish it directly as an e-book for a price of say $7.00. We will keep it simple and say he does not bother with any DRM. One person actually pays to download the file and then uploads it to a web site for 'sharing' e-books; say darkwiiiingduckbooks.com. Anyone out there who pays $7.00 to download a copy from the original site is just being foolish when it is available for free at this site. If say 1,000 people download the e-book from darkwiiiingduckbooks.com the author has no legitimate cause for complaint as that $7,000 was only ever potential income.

Elfwreck
03-28-2010, 04:57 PM
Anyone out there who pays $7.00 to download a copy from the original site is just being foolish when it is available for free at this site. If say 1,000 people download the e-book from darkwiiiingduckbooks.com the author has no legitimate cause for complaint as that $7,000 was only ever potential income.

There's a difference between "no legitimate complaint" and "those downloads are theft."

Insisting that they are only potential income is accurate. Nobody (or not many people) is/are claiming that the author isn't hurt by the loss of potential income--only that it's *not theft* the way that hacking into his bank account would be.

He hasn't lost money he had. He hasn't lost ebooks he owned. He hasn't had anything taken away from him, other than possibilities.

And acknowledging the probable value of those possibilities doesn't require renaming them to "theft." If removing the possibility of a sale is theft, so are used books, bad reviews, and failure to list a book on the front page of an advertisement.

I keep hearing, "but used books can only be read by one person at a time! And they eventually fall apart, so they can't get unlimited use!" ... except that our legal definition of "theft" has nothing to do with obsolescence; it's not less theftful to steal a pack of napkins that can only be used once than to steal a washcloth that can work for years.

If the moral issue is "this use prevents the author from getting paid," there are dozens of legal uses that do that. What makes them "not theft?" (I'd offer, "the fact that they're legal," except that copyright infringement isn't legally *theft* any more than these other acts are. And a scathing review could potentially be libelous, and therefore illegal, without being "theft.")

Those who believe massive unauthorized downloads are a big problem for ebook publishing (I'm undecided, myself, but agree with at least the potential) will need to find ways to convince people who disagree with them, not ways to verify to themselves how much wrongness they think is involved.

They can try to just push through stricter legislation without convincing the people current torrenting & using file transfer sites. They can't succeed without crippling substantial legitimate uses of the internet. (It's possible they can't succeed at all; "the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." All attempts to block info-exchange online, of any sort, have met with often-stunning levels of non-success.)

In order to enforce easily-breakable laws, you need to convince the general public that they *should* be followed. And the concept that "make a copy" means "stealing" is just not going to fly: stealing means there's *less* to go around, not more.

To encourage legal behavior, make it easier & more convenient than illegal behavior. Rants about how wrong the illegal behavior is, are irrelevant to that goal. Most people don't follow laws because they'd feel guilty for breaking them; they follow laws because they're convinced that the laws are useful and good.

A lot of people are not convinced that modern copyright laws and the DMCA are helpful to society as a whole, rather than the interests of mega-corporations and their affiliates.

mr ploppy
03-28-2010, 05:12 PM
Not good for those individuals and copyright owners who are victims of theft.

The music publishers have had a vast increase in profits since internet downloading became widespread. Are you saying they are not passing any of that extra profit on to the musicians?

mr ploppy
03-28-2010, 05:13 PM
What a horrible world we live in where we have free access to (almost) all Books.
We should rather watch more TV to improve ourselfs and our fellow human beings.
You can call it stealing and criminal as much as you want, in the end it is still a good thing for all of us.

AH, but people are also STEALING TV programmes by allowing people to watch them.

mr ploppy
03-28-2010, 05:21 PM
To encourage legal behavior, make it easier & more convenient than illegal behavior.

Price ebooks at what you would pay for a tatty reading copy of a paperback and nobody who would otherwise have paid for it will bother looking for a free copy. There will still be people who will get it for free, but since they would never pay for it anyway there is no loss of income. Or if you were really greedy you could just inject advertising into the free copies and make money from those people as well.

Hamlet53
03-28-2010, 06:38 PM
^Elfwreck

Fair enough I don't want to get caught up in a semantics argument over the use of the word theft, or any other word or phrase. Still, in the hypothetical scenario I presented, at the end 7001 and individuals have copies of the book and one has paid for it. If everyone cannot agree that this represents a real material loss of income to the author I don't know what else I can say?

Perhaps another scenario both more and less hypothetical? In an entirely conceivable future where e-books represent 95%+ of the book selling market traditional publishing houses have all but disappeared and the major source for purchase of e-books is godzillamazon and a few other web outlets that function as book outlets. These take a percent of the price of each e-book in exchange for the visibility they provide as well as for handling the transactions. In this future H.K. Rowling first publishes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Now as before the first person to buy and download the e-book turns around and uploads it to a file sharing site where it can be downloaded for free. Over 100 million smart people do so. In this scenario would Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, or any of the subsequent books ever have been written? Did H.K Rowling suffer a real material loss?

^Elfwreck & Mr. Ploppy

Hearing arguments that suggest the legality and/or morality of obtaining copyrighted e-books without paying for them is dependent on pricing of the e-books I can't help but think of this hoary :) old joke:

At a high society party a wealthy older gentleman approaches an attractive and elegantly dressed young lady and asks,

“Well you have sex with me for a million dollars?”

She replies in the affirmative.

The gentlemen then asks,

“Well you do it for $100 dollars?”

The young lady taking great offense replies,

“Certainly not! What do you take me for, a whore?”

The gentlemen responds,

“We have already established that. Now we are just negotiating the price.”

delphidb96
03-28-2010, 07:16 PM
That's given me a brilliant idea - property rights - houses - what you think of as theft and piracy is actually more like squatting!

It's a civil, not a criminal offence
The owner has a remedy - but that involves the civil courts not the criminal courts
Squatters are not entitled to damage anything in order to gain entry to their squat
If a squatter has not been evicted after 12 years (I think) they can claim ownership of the squatted property - (I'm thinking orphaned books here)


Never thought I'd find myself agreeing with kennyc AND James Murdoch, but we seem to be speaking with one voice :D

Now Kenny, can I count on you to join me in changing the way we think and talk about this practice to more appropriate language?

And what is your street address again? I've always had a hankering to possess property in Denmark! However, before I set out to squat my way onto your property, I have to demand certain conditions be met: all utilities must be provided at your cost; adequate supplies of food (fresh and organic veggies and fruit, meat that has not been exposed to dangerous levels of antibiotics, etc.) must be available at the price levels found in deepest Mississippi; the place simply *MUST* be furnished to the levels found in the best mansions of Europe. Have your person call my person and let's talk! :D

Derek

mr ploppy
03-28-2010, 08:51 PM
^Elfwreck

Still, in the hypothetical scenario I presented, at the end 7001 and individuals have copies of the book and one has paid for it. If everyone cannot agree that this represents a real material loss of income to the author I don't know what else I can say?
.”

How much would the author have lost if only 3 of those 7001 people who downloaded his book actually read it, and the rest just burnt it onto a CDR with thousands of other books and forgot about them? How much would the author have lost if one of those 3 readers then goes on to buy a copy of his next book as soon as it comes out, and the one after that?

Things aren't as black and white as you would like to think.

kennyc
03-28-2010, 10:03 PM
How much would the author have lost if only 3 of those 7001 people who downloaded his book actually read it, and the rest just burnt it onto a CDR with thousands of other books and forgot about them? How much would the author have lost if one of those 3 readers then goes on to buy a copy of his next book as soon as it comes out, and the one after that?

Things aren't as black and white as you would like to think.

You're right, they are even moreso! :D

Elfwreck
03-28-2010, 10:15 PM
Perhaps another scenario both more and less hypothetical? In an entirely conceivable future where e-books represent 95%+ of the book selling market traditional publishing houses have all but disappeared and the major source for purchase of e-books is godzillamazon and a few other web outlets that function as book outlets.

In an entirely conceivable future, cars will run on solar-powered electricity, and internal-combustion engines will be deemed a pollution hazard; should we start insisting that people do not drive cars on public streets right now?

WHEN OR IF ebooks become the dominant form of text-based information exchange, we can figure out what kinds of behaviors regarding them are ethical. Right now, ebooks are a niche market, fraught with weird technical issues and bizarre legal ones (geo restrictions, DRM, odd copyright notifications even on PD books), and publishers who want to survive after they are the dominant form will need to figure out how to make their customers happy with their products.

Most publishing houses are fighting very hard to *prevent* ebooks from overtaking pbooks. And they're doing a wonderfully effective job of it; digital music is everywhere, while digital books are still rare, despite having been around longer. But while they're preventing a mainstream conversion to ebook as the standard form, they're encouraging an underground movement of techno-fanatics who are rapidly developing tools, both hardware & software, to deal with the eventual shift, without any corporate or even government oversight.

The big 6 publishing houses want to believe that they'll dominate the ebook market like they dominate the pbook one... but they're rapidly losing their window of opportunity to do so. And Godzillamazon isn't going to take over in their place--because it's trying too hard to meet the needs (or appease the fears) of those mainstream publishers, and that means *not* providing cheap, convenient ebooks. (TPZ means "not convenient," and the pricing ranges they've set up means "not cheap enough" in a lot of cases.)

GhostHawk
03-28-2010, 11:34 PM
Very well said Elfwreck!

Harmon
03-28-2010, 11:49 PM
While I don't agree with your choice of words (but let's not go into that again!), I do agree with your sentiment. That Logseman chooses to give away his translations and other work, in no way justifies his use of other people's work without their permission.

I think that the point he tried to make is that he is not a hypocrite.

scveteran
03-29-2010, 12:16 AM
I will be absent for awhile. I have to have to go back to the hospital in the morning since my doctor's visit on Friday didn't go well. Worse the IV antibiotics they gave me along with the oral ones the last two days don't seem to be helping.

Hopefully that will be short, but no telling when you go in and they start cutting stuff off. After that, we will see. It is supposed to be an out patient just to remove the dying portion on a toe due to an infection, but could easily be worse since I have a reduced immune system and poor circulation due to diabetes.

After that I plan on spending more time with the kids for a bit. So I hope to carry on our conversations then.

Patricia
03-29-2010, 12:25 AM
Good luck, scveteran. I hope it goes well.

Harmon
03-29-2010, 12:42 AM
You ommitted several reasons that pirates exist:

1) ebooks are simply not available, the publishers won't release them. You can buy the book, but you can't read it on your ereader.

2) ebooks can't be released due to copyright (including orphan) issues. The ebook is in a legal la-la land, no one can do anything with it, usually for a long, long time. Long after you die, for sure.

3) you can't buy the ebook because of where you live.

4) ebook quality is so bad that properly formatted pirate copies are easier to read. Really doesn't make sense, but that is probably the case a lot of the time.

I've just come to this thread from another thread which concerns the problems newspapers are having, & their use of paywalls to try & make some money off of digital editions. And as I was reading some of the posts in this thread, it occurred to me that book publishers and newspaper publishers actually have different ends of the same problem (how to get people to pay) and that both are trying to sell the wrong thing.

That is, both book publishers and newspaper publishers are trying to sell is content. Thus, DRM, which protects (or tries to protect) content. Thus, paywalls, which is trying to protect content as well.

But what they really should be selling is convenience and accessibility to content. In other words, they are doing exactly the wrong thing, because they don't understand that in the digital world, content simply cannot be protected successfully over time.

In the newspaper world, publishers should be developing applications which serve content to the reader in a fashion that makes it usable in the digital world - bookmarking, archiving, linking, blogging, &c., all pushed to the reader, with updates, alerts, weather warnings, breaking events, video links and who knows what else. This stuff needs to be bundled and sold to readers in a fashion that allows the content itself to be sent anywhere and to anyone. People should come to the News App not for content, but for what the News App does with content.

Likewise, in the book world, publishers should be making ebooks work not by selling the content, but by selling what is done with the content. I'm not a book clubber myself, but if I were a publisher of ebooks, I'd make it possible to participate in a bookclub from within the book - when you buy the book, you already have a username & password, so why couldn't that be used to keep the privilege of admission to the bookclub to the initial purchaser? I'd make it possible to buy the next book in a series right from the earlier book. I'd set up an ebook of the month club, like the old pbook science fiction book club.

I recently interested in reading a Book that was written in the 1980s. I wanted to browse it before I bought, but I could not find a copy in my local Borders. I checked, and could not find anyone selling the Book in any ebook format, much less one that my edevice could read. So I was forced into a position where I would have had to buy it from Amazon & hope I liked it.

As it happened, I found a used copy, which I bought, and found that I liked. But it is FAT. So I checked the darknet, & found a copy, which I am now reading on my Sony.

Now, see what the publisher could have done for me. The Book could have been on Amazon as a Kindle book, which I could sample. It is a whole lot easier to find a book on Amazon than on the darknet. If I liked it, I could have bought the full copy directly from the sample. Darknet can't do that, even for free. The Book, which is a history book, could have been augmented by links within the Book, or by links to "further reading" which would in turn have sent me samples of those books - which I might have bought back at Amazon. The Book could have had a comment web site associated with it.

It seems to me that most of what is damned as pirating has to do with availability of, and convenient access to and use of, content - not with pricing. As long as publishers attempt to deal with that problem by making their own product less available, harder to use, and less convenient, they are just making pirating more likely to happen.

Harmon
03-29-2010, 12:50 AM
A new author writes a book and decides to publish it directly as an e-book for a price of say $7.00. We will keep it simple and say he does not bother with any DRM. One person actually pays to download the file and then uploads it to a web site for 'sharing' e-books; say darkwiiiingduckbooks.com. Anyone out there who pays $7.00 to download a copy from the original site is just being foolish when it is available for free at this site. If say 1,000 people download the e-book from darkwiiiingduckbooks.com the author has no legitimate cause for complaint as that $7,000 was only ever potential income.

But if the new author had not ebooked the book, but just published it as a pbook, he would have sold more than one copy. Perhaps it would only have been 200 copies at (to keep it simple) $7.00 each. So he would have made $1400. You can't blame him for thinking that he should make that 1400, no matter which format he sells the book in.

delphidb96
03-29-2010, 01:23 AM
I will be absent for awhile. I have to have to go back to the hospital in the morning since my doctor's visit on Friday didn't go well. Worse the IV antibiotics they gave me along with the oral ones the last two days don't seem to be helping.

Hopefully that will be short, but no telling when you go in and they start cutting stuff off. After that, we will see. It is supposed to be an out patient just to remove the dying portion on a toe due to an infection, but could easily be worse since I have a reduced immune system and poor circulation due to diabetes.

After that I plan on spending more time with the kids for a bit. So I hope to carry on our conversations then.

Saddened to hear this. Best wishes and prayers for you.

Derek

Logseman
03-29-2010, 04:16 AM
Ditto.

lene1949
03-29-2010, 04:28 AM
I will be absent for awhile. I have to have to go back to the hospital in the morning since my doctor's visit on Friday didn't go well. Worse the IV antibiotics they gave me along with the oral ones the last two days don't seem to be helping.

Hopefully that will be short, but no telling when you go in and they start cutting stuff off. After that, we will see. It is supposed to be an out patient just to remove the dying portion on a toe due to an infection, but could easily be worse since I have a reduced immune system and poor circulation due to diabetes.

After that I plan on spending more time with the kids for a bit. So I hope to carry on our conversations then.

Wishing you all the best, and hoping for a quick recovery...

Take care.

kennyc
03-29-2010, 06:55 AM
I will be absent for awhile. I have to have to go back to the hospital in the morning since my doctor's visit on Friday didn't go well. Worse the IV antibiotics they gave me along with the oral ones the last two days don't seem to be helping.

Hopefully that will be short, but no telling when you go in and they start cutting stuff off. After that, we will see. It is supposed to be an out patient just to remove the dying portion on a toe due to an infection, but could easily be worse since I have a reduced immune system and poor circulation due to diabetes.

After that I plan on spending more time with the kids for a bit. So I hope to carry on our conversations then.

:eek: Good Luck!

kennyc
03-29-2010, 07:00 AM
...

That is, both book publishers and newspaper publishers are trying to sell is content. ....

I'm not sure that is true. What the traditional newspaper sold is ADVERTISING. The price to a subscriber has probably never covered the costs or provided a means of making money.

mr ploppy
03-29-2010, 08:29 AM
The big 6 publishing houses want to believe that they'll dominate the ebook market like they dominate the pbook one... but they're rapidly losing their window of opportunity to do so. And Godzillamazon isn't going to take over in their place--because it's trying too hard to meet the needs (or appease the fears) of those mainstream publishers, and that means *not* providing cheap, convenient ebooks. (TPZ means "not convenient," and the pricing ranges they've set up means "not cheap enough" in a lot of cases.)

What they are doing now pretty much copies what the music industry did 10 or so years ago. They didn't want to loose their control over distribution, but private individuals had stepped in to provide a service they were refusing to provide themselves (digital distribution). So their solution was to provide the service themselves, but at a higher cost than the physical product so as not to damage their traditional sales and to put off new adopters.

Things won't really change until you can buy ereaders for £20 in your local Tesco, like you can with mp3 players. But for that to happen you need ebook piracy to be much more widespread than it is now so that it will create a market for the readers.

Hamlet53
03-29-2010, 08:55 AM
Best wishes, scveteran. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

ficbot
03-29-2010, 09:32 AM
Harmon, you make some good points. What I think publishers are failing to consider now is what alternatives the reader has available to them. For example, I really don't think most people will pay for run-of-the mill newsy news. If I want to read about local stuff and major world events in general detail, there is a free commuter newspaper in my city IN PRINT that I can pick up at any subway stop. So why would I pay for that? On the other hand, more in depth features, I might pay for. For example, a magazine here has a very popular issue every year where they rank the universities and offer information about them. My local newspaper also has times where somebody will win a fellowship and publish an in-depth multi-part series on a topic like health care of education. If they had a system like Amazon where you could read a free sample and then keep going with one (paid for) click, that might interest me.

People WILL pay for convenience. I pay $11 a month to have dvd rentals mailed to me so I don't have to go out and get them. I am also thinking of upgrading the 2 gb free Dropbox account I got over the weekend to a paid one. I just logged into their website from school, downloaded a file I had put in there at home, and ten minutes later had a colouring book printed and ready to go for my students. Now that I have tasted this convenience, I am thinking of other things I can put into that Drop Box, and I want more capacity. A benefit has been demonstrated to me and I am perfectly happy to pay for the extra service I want.

It isn't that people are opposed to 'paying.' It's that people have not had it demonstrated to them how paying for news content will get them something different and better than the other options they have available to them.

Sweetpea
03-29-2010, 09:46 AM
But if the new author had not ebooked the book, but just published it as a pbook, he would have sold more than one copy. Perhaps it would only have been 200 copies at (to keep it simple) $7.00 each. So he would have made $1400. You can't blame him for thinking that he should make that 1400, no matter which format he sells the book in.

Are you sure about that? Maybe the majority wouldn't even have known the author existed or that they would like the author/book enough to buy it.

If I look at my own ebook library, I only have a few authors I knew before I started reading electronically. I find using a website like Amazon doesn't help me in finding books by unknown authors (to me) that I will like. And my local bookstore, though large, only has a limited amount of space and thus will generally only carry the well-known authors.

The whole category of alternate history I only started to know after I downloaded (from the darknet) a book by Harry Turtledove (and which I replaced after with official versions).

Hamlet53
03-29-2010, 10:15 AM
Very well said Elfwreck!

I agree with Elfwreck to the extent that some model for providing fair compensation to authors for e-books must be found before the market grows to any significant extent. As it stands now with the model embraced by so many here – essentially e-books should be free – it is not just the big publishers that have an incentive to throttle the e-book baby in its cradle; authors too.

Hamlet53
03-29-2010, 10:29 AM
I recently interested in reading a Book that was written in the 1980s. I wanted to browse it before I bought, but I could not find a copy in my local Borders. I checked, and could not find anyone selling the Book in any ebook format, much less one that my edevice could read. So I was forced into a position where I would have had to buy it from Amazon & hope I liked it.

As it happened, I found a used copy, which I bought, and found that I liked. But it is FAT. So I checked the darknet, & found a copy, which I am now reading on my Sony.


And once you had purchased the used p-book and found you liked it the reason that you searched the darknet to find a e-book copy instead of purchasing it from Amazon was …? You felt that you had already compensated the author, even by purchasing a used paper copy? If you had found the book on the darknet before buying the paper version?

Regarding the rest of the post you do raise a lot of interesting ideas. Sticking with the subject of books – as Kennyc mentions in his intervening post most of the problems newspapers are in have to do with loss of traditional advertising revenue, not piracy. Though news aggregation sites like HuffingtonPost can't help – it is still not clear to me in your model how authors who produce the original content will be fairly compensated for their creativity and time spent in producing the work. All the talk of book clubs and such just sounds to me like additional overhead that will not be provided by the author at all, but by some third party.

mr ploppy
03-29-2010, 11:37 AM
I agree with Elfwreck to the extent that some model for providing fair compensation to authors for e-books must be found before the market grows to any significant extent. As it stands now with the model embraced by so many here – essentially e-books should be free – it is not just the big publishers that have an incentive to throttle the e-book baby in its cradle; authors too.

There's a whole generation growing up thinking that everything should be free, no amount of foot stamping or bribing politicians to create new laws is ever going to change that. What is needed is a way to make money from that free content.

I beleive they are already doing so. Music downloaders spend more money on music than people who don't download. I doubt it is any different for book downloaders.

Krystian Galaj
03-29-2010, 11:47 AM
An idea that the "creator" of the work has some bacis, absolute right to it might make sense if the "creator" was a sole creator of the work. In other words, the work could not use concepts developed by other people previously and known in society before the work is released, it can't even use words as each word is a concept.

Every book ever made is a collage of myriads of small ideas and memes which are part of the common culture. Else it wouldn't be understandable to anyone but the creator.

It's like saying every breath I make is my sole property, even when I'm in crowded elevator and to exhale I had to inhale breaths of all the other people in it first. Just by virtue of putting all those particles of air together.

Elfwreck
03-29-2010, 12:29 PM
And once you had purchased the used p-book and found you liked it the reason that you searched the darknet to find a e-book copy instead of purchasing it from Amazon was …? You felt that you had already compensated the author, even by purchasing a used paper copy? If you had found the book on the darknet before buying the paper version?

I believe an ebook version wasn't available on Amazon; the worry was about buying a print version without seeing a sample first.

Though news aggregation sites like HuffingtonPost can't help – it is still not clear to me in your model how authors who produce the original content will be fairly compensated for their creativity and time spent in producing the work. All the talk of book clubs and such just sounds to me like additional overhead that will not be provided by the author at all, but by some third party.

Yes. We'll need new business models eventually. Right now, ebook freebies help physical sales, but that won't last forever (and it can't work for books that are out of print).

I don't know what the new models will be--but the successful one won't be "one purchase=1 reader for ebooks priced between mmpb & trade pb prices."

Format C:
03-29-2010, 01:36 PM
Not good for those individuals and copyright owners who are victims of theft.

Ah....
Poor Rowling! Poor Dan Brown!

Let's have a minute of silence in memory of their stolen propriety, which won't ever return.....

:(:(:(



PS I'm making irony on the fact that the less those two are read, the better for mankind.....

Format C:
03-29-2010, 01:57 PM
^Elfwreck

Fair enough I don't want to get caught up in a semantics argument over the use of the word theft, or any other word or phrase. Still, in the hypothetical scenario I presented, at the end 7001 and individuals have copies of the book and one has paid for it. If everyone cannot agree that this represents a real material loss of income to the author I don't know what else I can say?

....

If the first buyer shares the ebook, the author get 7$ and 1.000 readers.
If the guy doesn't share the book, the author get 7$ and just one reader.

I really can't see the loss you're talking about...

;););)

garbanzo
03-29-2010, 02:22 PM
darknet? good grief. this thread sounds like a bunch of preteen boys whispering about the time they found their daddy's playboy stash.

i bought an ebook reader for the same reason that i bought my ipod. and my dvd burner. and my 2tb of hard drives. hardware manufacturers enable piracy. in fact, they profit from piracy. apple has a good thing going, and i guarantee that they would not be in the position they are now without piracy. why does nobody complain about them?

it's like walking into a head shop, seeing a 3-foot blown glass bong, and then noticing a small sign that says "for tobacco only". yeah right.

mr ploppy
03-29-2010, 03:37 PM
If the first buyer shares the ebook, the author get 7$ and 1.000 readers.
If the guy doesn't share the book, the author get 7$ and just one reader.

I really can't see the loss you're talking about...

;););)

He wouldn't get 1,000 readers, he would get at best an extra 4 or 5 readers. What is unknown is how many of those readers would become future buyers of any subsequent books (or a print version of this one).

kennyc
03-29-2010, 04:18 PM
Ah....
Poor Rowling! Poor Dan Brown!

Let's have a minute of silence in memory of their stolen propriety, which won't ever return.....

:(:(:(



PS I'm making irony on the fact that the less those two are read, the better for mankind.....

I'm sure many would disagree with you based on their willingness to shell out their hard-earned money to purchase them. :D

In any case it does not forgive theft. :thumbsup:

TGS
03-29-2010, 04:32 PM
In any case it does not forgive theft. :thumbsup:

Was that a slip of the tongue - I thought we had agreed it was squatting.

Harmon
03-29-2010, 11:18 PM
I'm not sure that is true. What the traditional newspaper sold is ADVERTISING. The price to a subscriber has probably never covered the costs or provided a means of making money.

I agree that traditionally, that has been the case. I've always thought that the subscriber was basically paying for delivery of the advertising.

But that's a side issue. My point is that the bait for the consumer is the content, so what the publisher is trying to do is sell the content to the consumer, in order that the advertising can be delivered. Except that the bait of content does not work in the digital world, because the content can't be protected. So the publisher needs another kind of bait.

Harmon
03-30-2010, 12:08 AM
Are you sure about that? Maybe the majority wouldn't even have known the author existed or that they would like the author/book enough to buy it.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. The point is that in the hypothetical, the ebook represented only one sale, whereas a pbook would represent at least one sale, and probably more. So the author figures he's getting screwed if one ebook sale results in all those readers who don't pay.

Your point comes into play in the real world, where a single ebook which gets pirated does not eliminate all other sales.

Harmon
03-30-2010, 12:46 AM
And once you had purchased the used p-book and found you liked it the reason that you searched the darknet to find a e-book copy instead of purchasing it from Amazon was …? You felt that you had already compensated the author, even by purchasing a used paper copy? If you had found the book on the darknet before buying the paper version?

I've pretty much come to the point where if there's an ebook version I'll buy it, and if there's not, I have no qualms about getting a darknet version. I have no sympathy for authors and publishers who want to restrict publication to analog versions. I'm not going to haul around a two inch thick book when there's an e-version available, and I'm certainly not going to reward people for not selling me what I want, and insisting that it's the two inch thick book, or nothing. They can have their wish - they sell me nothing.

So, do I think I need to jump through hoops to compensate the author? Nope. It's real simple to get me to pay for an ebook - have one available to sell.

it is still not clear to me in your model how authors who produce the original content will be fairly compensated for their creativity and time spent in producing the work. All the talk of book clubs and such just sounds to me like additional overhead that will not be provided by the author at all, but by some third party.

I was talking about publishers, not authors, and my point was that publishers, as merchandisers of books and newspapers, seem to me to be selling the wrong thing to the consumer in the digital world. The wrong thing is content, the right thing is access and convenience.

Notwithstanding what the publishers are selling, they still need content. It's just that content is not enough to support sales when the pirates can have it available for free. Publishers will still have to acquire content from authors and other creators.

I don't see the authors as being in competition with the pirates. They are really in competition with each other.

Iphinome
03-30-2010, 02:04 AM
In any case it does not forgive theft. :thumbsup:

and it doesn't forgive RAPE of the public domain

on the side note I'd like to propose that comments like this become the mobileread version of Godwin's law.

killdanzig
03-30-2010, 07:55 AM
I've pretty much come to the point where if there's an ebook version I'll buy it, and if there's not, I have no qualms about getting a darknet version. I have no sympathy for authors and publishers who want to restrict publication to analog versions. I'm not going to haul around a two inch thick book when there's an e-version available, and I'm certainly not going to reward people for not selling me what I want, and insisting that it's the two inch thick book, or nothing. They can have their wish - they sell me nothing.

So, do I think I need to jump through hoops to compensate the author? Nope. It's real simple to get me to pay for an ebook - have one available to sell.


this so sums up my feelings.

me and the wife have both been looking to drop books and get a little more environmentally friendly. yes we are aware of the carbon footprint of an ereader/ipad, but the long term impact on trees is a lot more devastating.

however, it seems that 80-90% of the books, magazines and comics that we want are not available in an ereader form.

how can someone make money off me if they don't make the product available for purchase? nice catch-22 that they put themselves in.

the overhead for making an e-file is very little compared to the paying of the logging company to cut down the tree, the transport company to move the tree, the papermill workers to unload and process the tree, the transport company to pick up the finished paper to deliver to the printer, the ink and processing of the medium into final form, the transport company again to pick up and deliver to publisher warehouse, picked up again and delivered to retailer warehouse, delivered again to final retailer store front.

you would think that somewhere within that EXTREMELY simplified wall-o-text that someone could sit at a computer and make a single scan of the product and upload/distribute it for sale.

seems pretty simple to me. *readies fire suit for impending flaming of over simplification*:p

mr ploppy
03-30-2010, 08:46 AM
you would think that somewhere within that EXTREMELY simplified wall-o-text that someone could sit at a computer and make a single scan of the product and upload/distribute it for sale.p

They wouldn't need to scan anything, the book would already exist in electronic form prior to the printing stage. The print industry was one of the first to go entirely digital some time in the early to mid 80s.

Iphinome
03-30-2010, 08:53 AM
killdanzig: The paper part of a book I'm told isn't overly expensive but still it's hard to imagine the fixed cost of producing an ebook from a publisher's backlist to be very high especially for anything written in the computer age.

It might however require a new contract with the author (difficult if they're dead thank you congress for absurdly long copyright... asshats)

Hamlet53
03-30-2010, 09:40 AM
I've pretty much come to the point where if there's an ebook version I'll buy it, and if there's not, I have no qualms about getting a darknet version. I have no sympathy for authors and publishers who want to restrict publication to analog versions. I'm not going to haul around a two inch thick book when there's an e-version available, and I'm certainly not going to reward people for not selling me what I want, and insisting that it's the two inch thick book, or nothing. They can have their wish - they sell me nothing.

So, do I think I need to jump through hoops to compensate the author? Nope. It's real simple to get me to pay for an ebook - have one available to sell.


We are actually in agreement there 100%, well almost. For the record I just misread your original post to mean that you had found the book in e-book format on Amazon.


I actually don't encounter that problem often with recent titles but do so all the time with older, but still in copyright, material. It is funny that kildanzig used the expression “catch-22” above because that is a title I would dearly like to see as an e-book. Hint hint, Amazon. I also understand that it's a business decision on the part of Amazon; To obtain Joseph Heller's permission (Amazon can't afford to flout copyright like 'darknet' participants), to pay to have the book scanned, proofed, and formatted as an e-book they have to anticipate that enough e-book copies will be purchased in order to justify it all financially. Unfortunately this analysis must take in to account the fact that there are those out there who think it is there right to obtain if for free once it become available on the 'darknet;' that it can easily be purchased be damned.

Right now I am actually creating an e-book of another such older 'orphan' title. Believe me buy the time I am done accounting for the hours spent in scanning, proofing, and formatting into an epub file I could have purchased well over a hundred e-books at current prices. So I am not doing it for financial purposes. Even this is a gray area to me even though I purchased a used paperback for the scanning – paying a bit extra to get it in large print; really helps with the scanning/OCR don't you know-I don't have permission from the copyright holder. I justify it to myself by the fact that I don't see how I have cost the author any sales or revenue.

I will even admit that having put so much effort into the task that the thought of sharing the result, for free of course, has occurred to me. Oh, my god I can't believe I am even thinking that. I won't though because I do believe in intellectual property rights.

Harmon
03-30-2010, 11:11 PM
I actually don't encounter that problem often with recent titles but do so all the time with older, but still in copyright, material. It is funny that kildanzig used the expression “catch-22” above because that is a title I would dearly like to see as an e-book. Hint hint, Amazon. I also understand that it's a business decision on the part of Amazon; To obtain Joseph Heller's permission (Amazon can't afford to flout copyright like 'darknet' participants), to pay to have the book scanned, proofed, and formatted as an e-book they have to anticipate that enough e-book copies will be purchased in order to justify it all financially. Unfortunately this analysis must take in to account the fact that there are those out there who think it is there right to obtain if for free once it become available on the 'darknet;' that it can easily be purchased be damned.

Yeah, there's a kind of "ebook lag" problem for books dating from about 1950 to the present. Books that are still being reprinted, but not eprinted. There's a cost in moving those books into digital, and that cost might exceed the potential profit, for all I know. So the publishers could well have a problem, I suppose.

But Heller & Catch-22, that's a different matter. Heller is dead, so it's his estate. And C-22 probably sells the most copies as required reading in college. Ebook form is perfect for that book.

I just bought a pbook of The Annotated Alice. Now I ask you, is there a better time to have an ebook version of that book? And is there a better book to have an ebook version of? So where the heck is the ebook? Hello? Anyone listening?

I don't think that people will go to the darknet if there's an "ease of use" established channel. I buy some things on Amazon that cost me a buck or two more than I could get the same item at some other place, for the simple reason that Amazon makes it simple.

I think that with the issuance of the iPad, whether as a cause or merely coincidence, ebooks are about to take off. We'll see if publishers have enough sense to go with the flow, or decide to train a generation of readers to use the darknet, because the regular channels don't deliver.

Harmon
03-30-2010, 11:20 PM
Right now I am actually creating an e-book of another such older 'orphan' title. Believe me buy the time I am done accounting for the hours spent in scanning, proofing, and formatting into an epub file I could have purchased well over a hundred e-books at current prices. So I am not doing it for financial purposes. Even this is a gray area to me even though I purchased a used paperback for the scanning – paying a bit extra to get it in large print; really helps with the scanning/OCR don't you know-I don't have permission from the copyright holder. I justify it to myself by the fact that I don't see how I have cost the author any sales or revenue.

Not to worry, if you are in the States. Perfectly legal. You are just format shifting.

I will even admit that having put so much effort into the task that the thought of sharing the result, for free of course, has occurred to me. Oh, my god I can't believe I am even thinking that. I won't though because I do believe in intellectual property rights.

I wouldn't have any problem, myself, giving a copy to members of my family. But anyone else - let them scan their own. Had I not found a darknet copy of the Book I'm reading, I'd have scanned it.

Jaime_Astorga
03-31-2010, 12:34 AM
I will even admit that having put so much effort into the task that the thought of sharing the result, for free of course, has occurred to me. Oh, my god I can't believe I am even thinking that. I won't though because I do believe in intellectual property rights.
Shame, that means the person to put it onto the darknets will essentially be replicating your work rather than spending that time doing something else, essentially reinventing the wheel.

nikkers
03-31-2010, 04:17 AM
Rubbish! I can't agree with this. The whole ebooks fiasco is an attempt by the Bourgeoisie to exclude the proletariat from reading by creating a highly-priced entry point to be able to read at all. Thank goodness that the publishing industry is supporting the people against the rising technocracy by undermining the ebook at every opportunity. Prices are rightly being set by adding together the price of the available paper versions, factoring in the cost of ebook conversion, and then making up a number. Proof-reading is being reserved for paper copies so as to benefit the workers rather than the few, bourgois "e-readers" who are quite capable of proof-reading themselves - otherwise, how would they see any errors? DRM and goegraphic restrictions are being applied to limit the spread of any infection.

Publishers who stick with paper will be the true victors, with those who waste resources on the doomed "e" format in danger of losing the means of production of real books.

:xmas::rofl:

nikkers
03-31-2010, 04:20 AM
How about starting our own publishing company "Red Flag Publishing" or "Under the Bed Darknet"

mores
03-31-2010, 05:22 AM
How about "the pirate bookstore".

:)

As to sharing your own scanned, proofed and formatted version of a book, I would not share it either, other than family and close friends (In my case that's about as many as I have fingers on my left hand [yes, 5]).

A thought just occurred to me ... would it be possible to send that file to the original publisher, or copyright holder, or whoever, and offer it to them so that they can then sell it legitimately? Maybe ask for compensation?
Is that advisable?