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Old 10-05-2012, 08:39 AM   #61
Ninjalawyer
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It sounds like you are much more interested in thinking nasty thoughts about those you believe have wronged you than you are in actually monetizing your work. People who acquire your work through backchannels have not taken income away from you because you never had the money. What they have done is expressed satisfaction with your work and dissatisfaction with your distribution system. You may feel righteous telling them "My way or the highway!" but technology will not let you make good on that threat. In the meantime you are alienating all those "slime" who may be simultaneously part of your paying audience (obtaining something from pirates does not mean you obtain everything from pirates) and/or may become paying customers if either their circumstances or your distribution methods change.
HarryT doesn't care that no money was taken from him, he cares that someone got a benefit without paying for it; it's irrelevant to him that stopping that person from getting the unpaid for benefit would put no money in his pocket.

Case in point:

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...I have a right - both moral and legal - to expect payment from those who use my work, and those who use it without paying are taking money from me to which I am legally entitled...
HarryT doesn't care that the laws he would like have serious downsides and wouldn't result in any more sales than he has now, all he cares about is punishing those that he feels have wronged him.

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:43 AM   #62
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HarryT doesn't care that no money was taken from him, he cares that someone got a benefit without paying for it; it's irrelevant to him that stopping that person from getting the unpaid for benefit would put no money in his pocket.
What I care about is that someone is benefiting from the fruits of my labour without paying for it. If they want to use my software, they should pay for it (but they're very welcome to have my eBooks for free).
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:44 AM   #63
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This is sophistry, pure and simple. I have a right - both moral and legal - to expect payment from those who use my work, and those who use it without paying are taking money from me to which I am legally entitled. The law provides no practical mechanism for me to prosecute these people, and that is unjust. Copyright infringement laws, as they currently stand, provide no protection for the ordinary person, since only large companies can afford to take civil action against the offenders. I can't go to the police and say "Fred Bloggs is using my software without paying for it", even if he stands up and shouts from the rooftops that he's doing so. This is not justice, by any definition. If the law says to someone "you have these rights" then it should provide a mechanism to enforce those rights.

I'm not "money grabbing". I give away a lot of stuff for free (all the eBooks I upload to MR, for example), but I do eBooks for fun, and software for money. I don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting to get paid for that software by people who choose to use it. I don't know how you make your living, but, whatever you do for a job, you probably expect to get paid for it. Current copyright law does not provide a practical method for creators of intellectual property to ensure that they do get paid for their work.
Harry, copyright law cannot provide "a practical method for creators of intellectual property to ensure that they do get paid for their work". Current technology does not allow it. That fact may be immoral and unjust; that doesn't stop it from being the reality at this point in time. Technology giveth and technology taketh away...

I make my living as a mainframe programmer (see: Dinosaur). Right now I'm getting $46 USD an hour to do it. The work is specialized, I have no copyright, (by agreement) but nobody is going to steal it because it costs a million or so just to have the equipment to run the code. Just like the pre 1960 world of copyright. If I wrote code for $200 machines, easily transferable, lots of people would pirate it, (if it was any good). And there would be nothing economically effective I could do about it. That's today's reality. I won't ever be able to live on royalties, I've long since come to grips with that...(I use my excess profits to buy dividend paying stocks. Those are my royalties (sic))...

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #64
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Harry, copyright law cannot provide "a practical method for creators of intellectual property to ensure that they do get paid for their work". Current technology does not allow it. That fact may be immoral and unjust; that doesn't stop it from being the reality at this point in time. Technology giveth and technology taketh away...
That's not really the issue, Ralph. There is a fundamental weakness with the legal system here, not with the technology. Because copyright infringement is a civil, not a criminal, offence (in most cases), the only recourse available to the content owner is a civil prosecution, which is prohibitively expensive for the average person. There needs to be a low-cost method available for the average person to claim (reasonable) penalties from people who infringe their intellectual property rights; a method which is not ruinous for either the content owner or the infringer.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:04 AM   #65
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It sounds like you are much more interested in thinking nasty thoughts about those you believe have wronged you than you are in actually monetizing your work. People who acquire your work through backchannels have not taken income away from you because you never had the money. What they have done is expressed satisfaction with your work and dissatisfaction with your distribution system. You may feel righteous telling them "My way or the highway!" but technology will not let you make good on that threat. In the meantime you are alienating all those "slime" who may be simultaneously part of your paying audience (obtaining something from pirates does not mean you obtain everything from pirates) and/or may become paying customers if either their circumstances or your distribution methods change.
I think that is true of some, but others just want something for free, no matter how you change your distribution or how much money they make.

They don't give a damn that if enough people took the same view that the software/book/music they enjoy would never have been made and future products likely won't be.

That imo is why it's important that an effort is made to tackle piracy.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #66
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What I care about is that someone is benefiting from the fruits of my labour without paying for it. If they want to use my software, they should pay for it (but they're very welcome to have my eBooks for free).
I would suggest you acquaint yourself with the phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face," before advocating for more restrictive laws just to appease your personal sense of fairness.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:46 AM   #67
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I would suggest you acquaint yourself with the phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face," before advocating for more restrictive laws just to appease your personal sense of fairness.
I don't want more restrictive laws; I simply want current laws to be properly enforced. Current copyright protection is entirely adequate.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #68
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I think that is true of some, but others just want something for free, no matter how you change your distribution or how much money they make.

They don't give a damn that if enough people took the same view that the software/book/music they enjoy would never have been made and future products likely won't be.

That imo is why it's important that an effort is made to tackle piracy.
But would those individuals have paid if they couldn't pirate? Some maybe, but a lot more probably not. And if they wouldn't have paid anyway, who cares (other than HarryT)? What benefit is it to the content creator? If we're talking about a tiny number of people who pirate and would have paid if they had to, then is it worth it to pass ever more restrictive laws that effect everyone just to stop a relatively small number of people? Or should that just be the cost of doing business?

The music and movies industry is doing amazingly well right now with the laws as they are and thanks to an internet that developed in a relatively unrestricted environment. If we're really being honest, do we think that they would be making millions or billions more if we imposed harsher laws on pirates?

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 10-05-2012 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Lack of coffee induced typos
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #69
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I don't want more restrictive laws; I simply want current laws to be properly enforced. Current copyright protection is entirely adequate.
Oh sorry, I must have mixed up a few posts. Not sure how I would have drawn the conclusion that you weren't satisfied with the current system.

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The law provides no practical mechanism for me to prosecute these people, and that is unjust. Copyright infringement laws, as they currently stand, provide no protection for the ordinary person, since only large companies can afford to take civil action against the offenders.
So you don't want more restrictive laws, but the laws are also totally inadequate. Got it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #70
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So you don't want more restrictive laws, but the laws are also totally inadequate. Got it.
I don't want more restrictive copyright laws; I want to see better methods of allowing people to actually receive the protection that the existing law is supposed to grant them. I trust that clarifies it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:08 AM   #71
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But would those individuals have paid if they couldn't pirate? Some maybe, but a lot more probably not. And if they wouldn't have paid anyway, who cares (other than HarryT)?
Those who don't pay for it and honestly (ironic I should use that term ) wouldn't pay for it if it were not available illegally for free, cannot count as a lost sale. That said, I'm sure many claim they'd never buy it anyway when in reality if they only had the option between buying it or not having it at all, they'd often buy.

We can argue about the advantages pirates may bring in spreading word of your software to others who are honest and will/do buy it, but that's a discussion for another day :P

The crux imo is that if those people are not and will never be a source of income, logic would say forget about them. Don't waste money pursuing them. Look after your real customers.

Which does make a degree of sense. However, if nobody anywhere pursued any copyright infringer because they're never going to be a customer anyway. It sends the message to everyone who was borderline that it's ok to pirate, you'll never be caught, you'll never be fined etc Over time I believe (I could be wrong) more and more people would start to pirate because on the face of it, it's a victimless crime. Which I think is true, up until you hit a tipping point where there's insufficient people still buying and at that point, companies close/change their line of business and we end up with fewer and fewer choices of entertainment.

I do think money should be spent going after those running pirate sites and providing the original copies of pirated material. Those people are likely a much much small group of the entire piracy community, so stopping those will have a greater impact on illegal downloads and the costs of ensuring sufficient evidence is gathered to avoid prosecuting innocent people can be justified.

But as with drugs, you can't only ever tackle the high end dealers, sometimes you have to warn/caution the end buyers too. What you shouldn't do is focus entirely on the end users.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #72
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It can be upsetting to have your creations taken. When I was doing oil on canvas painting, I hated to part with a single one - forget money, sometimes they're like your babies... Still makes me cringe to remember a floral I loved so much get mounted in a frame that ruined the whole thing.

Then, in the 90s, I started designing web sites. It took a few years not to get indignant and want to complain when I saw my graphics or even whole designs copied.

The web really did change things though, and after a few years of enjoying freeware, shareware, (look at calibre, for instance), and all the free sites (like this one!), ebooks (like Harry's contributions) ....it got easier to go with the flow.

Still can irk at times, and leaches are ugly, but it usually balances out, and life's just too short to sweat the relatively small stuff.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:24 AM   #73
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Harry, I do understand your frustration. But how would you be able to identify those downloaders who need to pay their fair share to you (except from the one who is shouting it from the rooftops) unless further (non-copyright) legislation is passed that will seriously restrict our online privacy?

And then there is also the ''public opinion''. Why would so many people never steal a CD with your software from a shop but see no problems with downloading it for free? Because for most people downloading does not ''feel'' wrong, whereas stealing a CD does. That''s not easy to change. And consequently, politicians who would dare to propagate the ''better methods'' you want should fear for their career in the next elections.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:53 AM   #74
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I agree with the thread name
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:58 AM   #75
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Harry, I do understand your frustration. But how would you be able to identify those downloaders who need to pay their fair share to you (except from the one who is shouting it from the rooftops) unless further (non-copyright) legislation is passed that will seriously restrict our online privacy?
You may perhaps misunderstand me. I'm not expecting to be able to find out who is using my software illegally. I simply want a practical method of being able to prosecute those whom I do catch (eg selling copies of my software on eBay - that's quite a common thing, sadly).
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