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Old 10-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #46
usuallee
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Originally Posted by corroonb View Post
Copyright infringement is not piracy. Copyright infringement is copying and/or distributing copyright material. Piracy is selling copyright material without permission. People used to sell fake-DVDs. That is piracy. The vast majority of those who engage in copyright infringement do not profit from it, often quite the opposite.

Equating downloading a copy of a file to theft is quite ridiculous. One deprives someone of the use of the object in question, the other merely duplicates an electronic file. This is claimed to be a loss but that is only true if the infringer would otherwise always have purchased a copy. It is reasonable to conclude that this is not the case in all instances.

I really wish people would think about this issue in a somewhat rational fashion without swallowing wholesale the propaganda. There is a fundamental difference between actual property and so-called intellectual property. One has a finite existence, the other less so.
Well said. If you shoplift a DVD, you are depriving the store the ability to sell it, and there are costs involved with the manufacturing and shipping of the DVD. Those conditions are not there with downloading a file. With downloading a file, no one is actually victimized.

Downloading a file is not the same as theft of a physical object. It's not theft at all, as I see it. "Unauthorized copying" is probably the best term. I do think downloading is wrong, because creative people should be supported and compensated for their time, talent, and effort, and becuase they should have control of their intellectual property (for a time. Life + 75 years is ludicrous).

But it is not theft per se. I don't necessarily disagree that it should be punishable offense, but anything more than a mild fine or temporary loss of internet is pure overkill.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by corroonb View Post
No. The correct way is not to pander, mislead or condescend but to explain clearly and unemotionally what copyright infringement is and what it is not, what the costs are and to have a proper discussion about the concept of copyright in a digital era.
I agree with this. But it goes both ways. You seem to want to have it only one way, and act like illegal downloads are not a problem with actual victims.
[quote]

A lot of these problems have arisen because the content distributors simply do not want to reconsider their business model in the light of such massive technological and cultural change. NetFlix and such one charge, unlimited content services are the future of electronic content but the big companies are extremely resistant to applying this simple idea more widely. Digital distribution should be about services not content.
[/quotes]
I disagree with this...mostly. The iTunes music store is about 10 years old, and it's been drm free for about the last 5 years. It's quick and easy to buy a song; you can buy individual songs; they are cheap. But there is still rampant music piracy. Even all-you-can eat subscription models like spotify haven't stopped it. At some point you have to stop blaming the victims and just realize that some people want things for free, and that no business model, no matter how liberal, will stop this.
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Threats and draconian actions will not help.
I agree that draconian action is not a good idea; I do think that it might actually work. I think that copyright infringement is an actual problem, and I'm tired of the usual blame-the-victim routine. But I don't think it's such a serious problem that we need to break the internet or go all war-on-drugs. But I don't think we should ignore the problem either.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to impose $200,000 in statutory penalties on Jammie Thomas; but it also doesn't make sense to treat her like a hero, either: the $5,000 settlement she turned down would probably have been reasonable.
Quote:

This is a good article in the New York Times by a law professor about the difference between theft and copying:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/op...2&ref=opinion&
It's an interesting article, but I don't agree with all of it. It's been *50 years* since the MPC provided that tangible as well as intangible items could be the subject of theft, and it's hard to see that as anything but forward looking.


More to the point, starting at about the same times, many jurisdictions took away the "with intent to permanently deprive" language from theft statutes, replacing it with something like "with intent to deprive the owner of any part of the item's use or value."

You can, of course, debate whether this is a good idea. But in a lot of jurisdictions, copyright infringement does, in fact, meet the definition of theft.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #48
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While I agree with you that this is truly draconian, I must respectfully disagree with you that "a slap on the wrist" is sufficient. A fine needs to be large enough to be a serious disincentive to commit the offence in the first place. My local subway system fines you 50x the price of a ticket if you're caught travelling without one, and that seems to me to be of the right order of magnitude to discourage it - say a $500 for downloading an item with a $10 retail value.
that's fair enough

but people downloading torrents with thousands of such cheaply priced items will be in deep problems

worst yet: they most likely don't even watch/listen/read all that stuff. They just NEED to fill up the whole HD.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:09 PM   #49
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Well said. If you shoplift a DVD, you are depriving the store the ability to sell it, and there are costs involved with the manufacturing and shipping of the DVD. Those conditions are not there with downloading a file. With downloading a file, no one is actually victimized.
you may call it whatever you like -- theft, pirating, unauthorized copying, HD-filling etc -- but you're indeed depriving the original author of their money. How come you are enjoying their work if you didn't pay for them? Oh, you were not even interested in them in the first place? Then why are you enjoying them?

Yeah, sure. Nothing stolen besides months or years worth of work with watered-down sales thanks to it being readily copied in under 3 secs since published and distributed for free by leeches.

I prefer to call it hypocrisy.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Namekuseijin View Post
that's fair enough

but people downloading torrents with thousands of such cheaply priced items will be in deep problems

worst yet: they most likely don't even watch/listen/read all that stuff. They just NEED to fill up the whole HD.
I'm afraid I'm having difficulty in feeling sorry for them.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:16 PM   #51
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I think Namekusejin's point is that some of these copyright abusers are akin to kleptomaniacs. It is like a disease trying to fill your hard drive with all kinds of digital content, not because you need or want it, but because you can. I suppose you can call it "convenient kleptomania, now from the comforts of your own bedroom".
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:50 PM   #52
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I did see the huge number of bootlegs cassettes that flooded Flea Markets and later bootlegs CDs - but never vinyl.

I am someone who was once half owner (financed a sibling into it) of a Music Store (seventies) and who has collected several thousand LPs over several decades - often from Flea Markets, thrift shops and classified ads - but have never been offered bootleg vinyl. Bootleg cassettes, and CD/DVDs yes, but never LPs. The production costs for a short run would kill any potential profit.

I am not disputing that they existed - out of China and Russia certainly, but they were so rare that a dedicated collector like myself has never seen one.
Production costs for cutting LPs back in the seventies were probably comparable to production costs for CDs today. Possibly even lower for short runs, as there were a large number of cutting plants around, both large and small, while today CD production mainly takes place in huge plants which very much prefer very large orders.

Anyway, and like others have pointed out, there were a lot of bootleg LPs about back in the day. I probably have thirty five or forty myself.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #53
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I have noticed that a few of the books in the mobileread library have copyright covers. What fine would that entail for the uploader, the site and the downloaders?

One book has been downloaded 247 times.

The uploader now owes $123,500 if each infringement is calculated at $500 per download. The downloaders each pay $500 so another $123,500. Also the host would be liable too so $123,500 in total for allowing an infringing image to be downloaded.

Perhaps the charge should be less for a book cover but why so?

I am sure it was a simple error in this case but that error would ruin the uploader.

Last edited by corroonb; 10-02-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #54
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So, I'm OK with a 50x fine, as long as the actual reading of the book is proved beyound any reasonable doubt.
So if you sneak into a movie, is it OK unless it is proved beyond any reasonable doubt that you actually watched the film? This seems unreasonable to me.

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Counterfeiting money or other items DOES have a victim. The person who ends up receiving those goods believing they're real.
So would you say that counterfeiting is OK if the bills are indistinguishable from those produced by the legitimate sovereign printer? I would say it is equally wrong.

Did I just equate downloading a book with counterfeiting? No. Counterfeiting is wrong because it dilutes the value of other copies of that bill. Downloading doesn't do that. However, I would compare uploading a copyrighted book to a web site to counterfeiting, since it dilutes the value of other copies of the book.

P.S. I realize one big difference between counterfeiting and uploading is that the counterfeiter does it for selfish reasons, and the uploader probably thinks he or she is doing other people a service. It's ironic that good motives sometimes lead to bad actions.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 10-02-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:34 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by usuallee View Post

Downloading a file is not the same as theft of a physical object. It's not theft at all, as I see it. "Unauthorized copying" is probably the best term. I do think downloading is wrong, because creative people should be supported and compensated for their time, talent, and effort, and becuase they should have control of their intellectual property (for a time. Life + 75 years is ludicrous).
There is no reason that unfettered access to content and unlimited downloads should mean no compensation to the creator...

I suppose the problem is thus, if a book is available anywhere it should be available everywhere.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:44 PM   #56
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I suppose the problem is thus, if a book is available anywhere it should be available everywhere.
Sad thing is, there's a lot of money to be made by doing the exact opposite.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:53 PM   #57
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There is no reason that unfettered access to content and unlimited downloads should mean no compensation to the creator...
What about hate literature? Should far right hooligans who don't read books be allowed to fund their organizations by continual downloads?

Your system means that the government has to either fund hate groups, or say which books are beyond the pale. Neither is acceptable.

It's true that government-paid librarians already make some decisions of this type today. But the censorship aspect here is, today, highly dilute because not all books are bought with government funds, and the decisions as to what books the government will buy are disparate and decentralized. In your system, there would have to be some kind of national or world-wide book Czar deciding whether the newest translation of (put here whatever book you most dislike) gets funded. This should not be acceptable in a democracy (or in any other country).

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Old 10-03-2012, 06:50 AM   #58
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So if you sneak into a movie, is it OK unless it is proved beyond any reasonable doubt that you actually watched the film? This seems unreasonable to me.
No. Sneaking into a movie theatre is more like breaking and entering. It is a completely different thing, and it's wrong on many levels.
And yes, I agree to assume that if someone sneaks into the theatre while one movie is being played he's actually watching it.

But, if someone downloads one of those torrents with 10.000 ebooks in it, to assume that he reads them all is totally another thing, given that it's almost 200 years of reading time. It's like to assume that if someone sneaks into a theatre he's watching all the movies being palyed a that time in the entire world...

To fine someone just because he saved a file that may or may not contain some copyrighted material is palinly unfair.
OTOH, to fine the one who actually reads that content without contributing to its creation (directly, like buying the book, or indirectly, like borrowing it from someone who paid) is for sure more fair.

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[snip]
However, I would compare uploading a copyrighted book to a web site to counterfeiting, since it dilutes the value of other copies of the book.

......
That's another thing.
Here the big underlying mistake is trying to put a value to a single digital copy, which is intrinsecally zero.
And, alas, there is no way out, unless the industry learns to separate values and prices of the content from those of the container and starts to sell access to novels rather than copies of books.
It's not easy, but it's where the world is going, like it or not.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:29 AM   #59
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@HarryT
Fansubbing appeals to a limited segment of society. Yes, it is piracy if using a strict definition. But since no one else is offering these shows to people who want to watch it, there is no real economical loss to the copyright holder. The shows I have looked at has all been horrible in their translation, so I turned it off in less than 10 minutes.
I have just watched a couple of fansubbed shows but the fansubbing was actually better than ordinary subbing. Mostly because they translated more and did not limit the number of characters used per time unit. The show that had very good fan-subbing was Lucky Star and a show I can recommend very much. Brilliant humour especially if you know a bit about the manga/anime fandom in Japan.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #60
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Counterfeiting money or other items DOES have a victim. The person who ends up receiving those goods believing they're real.

There's no point making fake money unless you intend to spend it, moment you do that, you create a victim.

With fake goods, I'm either way on the issue. If you make a fake gucci bag and then sell it on as though it's the real thing, you've created a victim. If you make a fake gucci bag for yourself and never pass it on then imo there isn't a victim.

Copyright infringement should only involve jail time for cases of commercial infringement, by that I mean, selling pirated goods such as DVD/BR/CDs and that should imo include running ads on websites that offer pirated material. Fines (still open to debate how much/how it'd be applied) should be sufficient for everyone else.

It gets a little more grey when it comes to locker storage sites, but if the sites don't promptly follow take-down requests then I think it should apply to their owners too. If they do follow take-downs and take reasonable actions to prevent someone signing up again (e.g not allowing the same address/payment to be used) then I don't think it should. Due to the scale though, the cost of a full blown court case would be reasonable and both sides would at least have the opportunity to show how much or little the owners tried to prevent abuse of their service.
I would also add that counterfeit money lowers the morale and faith in the country and economic system and has a deeper, more far ranging impact than simply selling some bootleg cds does.
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