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Old 04-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
But, at the same time, let's pass laws that entitle the purchaser of unsatisfactory content to exchange the unsatisfactory download for other content of her/his choice, for free.
Amazon lets you do that with ebooks, I don't know if it's the same with the erecords they sell. Real records you weren't really supposed to take back if you didn't like them anyway, though some shops did let you if you were a regular customer. I think it's the same with CDs.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #32
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Amazon lets you do that with ebooks...
The key point here is "lets you." Amazon is not bound by law to do so... they do it purely to placate customers, which in turn is expected to create more business for them. It is a voluntary act, motivated only by the desire for greater profit down the road.

Some of you may have noticed that Amazon has had a habit of canceling the accounts of those who return too much, because they no longer see profit from that account (or suspect they are being intentionally ripped off).
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:55 PM   #33
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if piracy=theft, shouldn't people face charges similar to shoplifting instead of several hundred thousand dollar fines?

being fined $30k for a 99 cent song just strikes me as silly.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #34
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if piracy=theft, shouldn't people face charges similar to shoplifting instead of several hundred thousand dollar fines?

being fined $30k for a 99 cent song just strikes me as silly.
It's not just the song; it's the potential to send it to a few million of your closest friends via a torrent site.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #35
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being fined $30k for a 99 cent song just strikes me as silly.
It strikes me as morally wrong. I'm glad they have stopped doing it. The plan, not yet implemented, to slow down the pirate's internet connection, strikes me as far more proportionate to the seriousness of the misdeed.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:07 AM   #36
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The way I perceive the situation, today we have the technological means to do new things that will benefit all of us (companies and consumers), but are trying to avoid change at all costs.

This is somehow understandable on the part of media companies, which made a living from the (now outdated) status quo. But it is unacceptable that governments try to enforce a business model that isn't socially and technologically feasible anymore, instead of pressuring companies into reaching a new equilibrium where all (including themselves) benefit from the new tools that we possess (i.e., the Internet and associated technology).

Some companies (e.g., Amazon) try to introduce some innovation on a voluntary basis; but (as pointed out by Steven Lyle Jordan) they retreat whenever this reduces, instead of increasing, their profit. This is why I am proposing that innovative laws, forcing companies towards innovation, are passed.
After all, all industries are heavily constrained by laws in their operation, in order to guarantee benefits to the public; and such laws are changed whenever circumstances change. I can't see why media companies should not be subjected to similar pressures.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #37
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3. media companies refuse to acknowledge the other consequence of their new concept. Today, the playing of content is the ONLY thing that you actually purchase when you pay for a download. You haven't paid for the possession of something physical; and you haven't paid for the possession of your files, because you are not allowed to give to someone else, or resell them.
So the consequence I am talking of is: if you never, nor will ever, play the content that you have paid for, you have literally paid for *nothing*. So the media company that you paid should give you the possibility of a refund/substitution: otherwise, according to their own terms, when the company says that it actually sold you something, it's lying.
No.
You have paid for the right to view the content.
It is your choice to then exercise that right or not, but you still have it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:31 AM   #38
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It strikes me as morally wrong. I'm glad they have stopped doing it. The plan, not yet implemented, to slow down the pirate's internet connection, strikes me as far more proportionate to the seriousness of the misdeed.
You mean "traffic shaping"? My ISP used to slow down my internet to a crawl whenever I used a torrent; this was particularly annoying since I was downloading game updates and demos via bit torrent, rather than anything pirated. Hopefully their plan is less asinine than what my ISP did.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:12 PM   #39
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It's not just the song; it's the potential to send it to a few million of your closest friends via a torrent site.
Surely if someone stole a CD from a shop there would be the same potential risk they might put it on a torrent site?
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:39 PM   #40
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No.
You have paid for the right to view the content.
It is your choice to then exercise that right or not, but you still have it.
Aside from the fact that such right is often very very limited (I can't view the content on any device of my choice, I can't transfer it to someone else, sometimes I can't even retain it if I change my hardware), my point is that media companies say that you're a thief if you view the content without having paid them. For instance, this is the message of the obnoxious "threat ads" that you are forced to sit through while you access your (paid!) DVDs.

Now: if I sell the right to enter my living room and look at a picture that I painted, and you use binoculars to look at it from the street without paying, are you a thief? What are you actually stealing from me?

My point is that if such behaviour has to be considered "stealing" (as it seems to me that media companies propose), it implies that I have some additional rights on what I "bought" that the seller is not actually acknowledging. Such rights should include a (short) window after the purchase during which I can request a substitution of what I "bought".

If instead, as you say, buying content is similar to the purchase of a right to view something (like, say, a ticket to a show), why can't I do with my "right to view content" what I can do with a ticket to a show? Such as giving it to someone else, or selling it because I don't like it?
If what I buy from media companies is the "right to view some content", and I don't like such content, why am I not allowed to transfer the right to someone else? How is such a thing really a "right"?

[To be clear: here I'm pushing a concept (playing illegally obtained content = theft) to its extreme consequences to show that the concept is inconsistent even with the behavior of those who want it enforced (media companies).]

Last edited by BoldlyDubious; 04-07-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:02 PM   #41
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After all, all industries are heavily constrained by laws in their operation, in order to guarantee benefits to the public; and such laws are changed whenever circumstances change. I can't see why media companies should not be subjected to similar pressures.
Well, actually, laws are in place to keep the industries from endangering or ripping off the public, not necessarily to "guarantee benefits." There was no benefit to the "pet rock," but there was a health hazard inherent in red dye #5.

Media companies are under similar restrictions, ie, avoiding certain ear- or neurally-damaging sounds on albums, avoiding flashing lights that can trigger epileptic seizures, etc. Even blatant lying to the public can be permissible, unless it triggers some undesirable behavior.

Sure there are laws that protect businesses from the public... but there are many more laws that protect the public from businesses.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #42
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Surely if someone stole a CD from a shop there would be the same potential risk they might put it on a torrent site?
True; the laws have been incredibly slow to react to physical property being converted to digital media and resold/disseminated. And when CDs first came out, there was no digital media or internet to use for dissemination.

It would be eminently more fair to be able to identify the source of an inappropriately-disseminated digital file, and the number of times it had been disseminated/downloaded by others, so the culprit could be fined according to the actual instances of wrongdoing, as opposed to an arbitrary number conjured up in court to use as a deterrent (said fine to go to paying the creators of the content, less court costs, I suppose).
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:56 PM   #43
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If instead, as you say, buying content is similar to the purchase of a right to view something (like, say, a ticket to a show), why can't I do with my "right to view content" what I can do with a ticket to a show? Such as giving it to someone else, or selling it because I don't like it?
If what I buy from media companies is the "right to view some content", and I don't like such content, why am I not allowed to transfer the right to someone else? How is such a thing really a "right"?
Sorry, but you are really comparing apples to oranges. If you buy a license for something, and that license says it is not transferable, then those are the terms of the purchase. If you don't like the terms, don't buy the content, or buy it in a different format that doesn't have the same restrictions.

And sure, if you buy a ticket to a show, you can transfer that ticket to someone else. However, if you buy an airline ticket, most likely the terms of your purchase will indicate that the ticket is not transferable. Again, apples and oranges.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:04 AM   #44
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Sorry, but you are really comparing apples to oranges. If you buy a license for something, and that license says it is not transferable, then those are the terms of the purchase. If you don't like the terms, don't buy the content, or buy it in a different format that doesn't have the same restrictions.

And sure, if you buy a ticket to a show, you can transfer that ticket to someone else. However, if you buy an airline ticket, most likely the terms of your purchase will indicate that the ticket is not transferable. Again, apples and oranges.
You are right, of course. The "apples vs oranges" problem lies in the strange logic that media companies are trying to force on us. Example: if I don't buy a ticket to a show, but someone who goes to the show leaves a door open and I peer inside and see the show nonetheless, it would be ludicrous if the owner tries to sue me for theft (or copyright violation). Yet, this is exactly what happens if someone gets illegally distributed content.

By the way, the non-reimbursable tickets are usually the lower-cost ones. If you buy a full-price train or airline ticket you usually have the possibility to have it exchanged or reimbursed. In the case of media content, even when you pay full price you don't have those options.

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Well, actually, laws are in place to keep the industries from endangering or ripping off the public, not necessarily to "guarantee benefits."
I was referring to the greater benefit, in the long run, of all parties: general public and companies. I think that forcing, by law, media companies to set up services and policies that encourage the public *not* to pirate content (e.g., the "if you don't like it and give it back immediately, you can get a substitute" one) would be better, in the long run, than helping them to maintain an unfeasible and outdated status quo.

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Old 04-08-2012, 04:33 AM   #45
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True; the laws have been incredibly slow to react to physical property being converted to digital media and resold/disseminated. And when CDs first came out, there was no digital media or internet to use for dissemination.

It would be eminently more fair to be able to identify the source of an inappropriately-disseminated digital file, and the number of times it had been disseminated/downloaded by others, so the culprit could be fined according to the actual instances of wrongdoing, as opposed to an arbitrary number conjured up in court to use as a deterrent (said fine to go to paying the creators of the content, less court costs, I suppose).
The creators never got anything from those big RIAA settlements. Even the corporations didn't get much, most of it was swallowed up in RIAA running costs. I would guess the only reason the corporations and some of the creators were in favour of it was because they thought it would put the general population off unauthorised downloading.
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