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Old 10-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #76
usuallee
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...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.
Good point. As one who spends a lot of free time enjoying books, films, tv shows, music, and apps/games, this is the scariest negative consequence from my standpoint when it comes to unauthorized downloading. If creators aren't compensated to their satisfaction, it stands to reason they will reduce or eliminate their output.

However, I just don't see that happening. Quite the opposite - we have abundance. There is more high quality entertainment of all kinds on offer than ever before. An absolute feast of it. Big budget/high profile, indie and in between. And that is after a good decade plus of downloading being relatively mainstream.The doomsday scenarios that have been put out there time and time again just don't match up with reality.

I won't go so far as to claim downloading has actually helped, but it sure doesn't seem to be hurting anything as far as the big picture is concerned. Any detriment of internet downloading seems to be more than offset by increased opportunites for gaining exposure, and thus paying customers, that has been opened up by the internet.

So while I sincerely do respect the rights of copyright holders and their ability to distribute their work as they see fit, and can imagine the frustration, in some respects I don't see what all the fuss is about with regard to downloading. Use the internet to your advantage and you will likely offset the freeloaders and prosper more. Not saying it's right but that appears to be the reality. Piper seems to have a healthy outlook in that regard.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:20 AM   #77
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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.
If there was a tipping point to be reached, it would have been reached already. It is trivially easy for people to get most media freely if they want to, and has been for quite awhile. However, people keep spending money on stores like Steam, iTunes, PSN, Amazon, etc. Meanwhile, those sites are doing increasingly big business; if a culture of sharing were really killing them it seems like profits should be dwindling rather than increasing.

The tipping point argument is the Slippery Slope Fallacy in a Sunday dress.



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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.
Perfectly clear. You're not satisfied with existing copyright enforcement methods but don't want new laws, i.e. you want to both have and eat your cake.

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:02 PM   #78
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Perfectly clear. You're not satisfied with existing copyright enforcement methods but don't want new laws, i.e. you want to both have and eat your cake.
I don't know whether you're being deliberately obtuse, or I'm having particular difficulty in getting my point across. I suspect the former, but just in case it is the latter, let me have one more go.

1. Existing copyright law gives an acceptable level of protection for works. We do not need longer copyright terms, further restrictions on what people can and can't legally do with copyrighted works, etc. The current law is fine in that regard.

2. There is no good method for content creators to prosecute people who infringe their rights. The only recourse is civil prosecution. This is extremely expensive for both the rights holder and the offender. We need a low-cost, quick, system to settle these cases which doesn't result in ruinous costs for both sides.

If you still don't understand what I'm trying to say, then I'm not going to waste my time and yours by explaining further.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:31 PM   #79
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I don't know whether you're being deliberately obtuse, or I'm having particular difficulty in getting my point across. I suspect the former, but just in case it is the latter, let me have one more go.

1. Existing copyright law gives an acceptable level of protection for works. We do not need longer copyright terms, further restrictions on what people can and can't legally do with copyrighted works, etc. The current law is fine in that regard.

2. There is no good method for content creators to prosecute people who infringe their rights. The only recourse is civil prosecution. This is extremely expensive for both the rights holder and the offender. We need a low-cost, quick, system to settle these cases which doesn't result in ruinous costs for both sides.

If you still don't understand what I'm trying to say, then I'm not going to waste my time and yours by explaining further.
I understand what you're trying to say, that you want the barrier to copyright enforcement to be lower. However, I also understand that the restrictiveness of a law is tied to how easily rights can be enforced. Marginal claims under a law with lower barriers to litigation get filtered out, resulting in more enforcement and a greater drag on the system.

While what you want will make it easier to enforce your rights, the overall effect is a greater drag on the system in the form of more frivolous lawsuits that would otherwise be filtered out and more restrictions, even if they're obtained from the backdoor rather than the front door.

I also have to wonder how easy it would have to be for you to even bother going after file sharers personally. And I wonder what standards of evidence you think are appropriate. Much of your complaint no doubt relates more to the high barrier of proof you need (even when its a balance of probabilities in the civil system) than how hard launching a claim is.

You don't seem to want a system to make it easier for you to enforce your rights, you want some other entity to do it for you, and that requires a change in the law and more restrictions on internet users.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:06 PM   #80
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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).
I did misunderstand you. If that is basically what you want, i.e. a practical method to go for the people who try to get money out of your work and don't give anything to you, you certainly have a good point.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:24 PM   #81
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I have to disagree with you. I'll take the example of the music industry which all agree has been the most pirated of all. I remember how a decade or so ago they claimed that music was going to disappear or dwindle to such levels as to become insignificant if piracy was not stopped.
Well piracy was not stopped and correct me if I'm wrong, but there has never been so much musical content out there as there is now. No radio network out there can honestly say they broadcast all the new music there is. I remember 25 years ago how you could hear a hit single 10 times or more in a day across the FM, the latest Madonna or Genesis or whatever. Now If you hear any song once a day on the radio you're lucky cause there is so much new music, genres, styles that you need to listen to several radio stations to cover it. There's music you hear in the States but not in Europe and vice versa, not mentioning the rest of the world.
I am incapable of telling you which songs are hits now cause I never hear twice the same these days or which bands are hot cause there are so many.
The same goes for movies, There are so many new movies that in my country the new weekly releases in cinemas are but a selection of the total production available.
Well, you get my point.

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Copyright has to exist if we wish to retain the same levels of content we enjoy today imo. If anyone could download for free (non-commercially) then the amount of content would nose dive and we'd likely only see labours of love actually made, or hobbiest movies/games/books. Might still be a few good products, but on the whole I think we'd lose heavily.

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #82
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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).
There's a difference between people consuming media (including software) for free, and people selling others' media to make money (like bootleg DVDs, pirated software on ebay, etc).

You're not being clear on which you're unhappy about. Because you say this is what you want, but you talk about people using your software for free and not paying you.

If you're concerned about extracting money from endusers/clients/whatever you want to call them - the problem is, when you start suing your potential customers, you lose business. I think, more than you gain from the lawsuits, personally. I know I haven't bought a new RIAA affiliated album in years - this from someone who used to buy dozens each year.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #83
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Of course it makes sense to go after the site operators, but I'm afraid I can't agree with your suggestion that downloaders should be "left alone".
The problem with going after downloaders is that since it is virtually impossible to prove guilt the corporations have bought new laws that do away with the presumption of innocence and put the burden of proof on the accused. Or paid for the punishment for downloading to be made wildly out of proportion to any alleged harm it might cause.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #84
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Pirates made the good guys walk the plank. The authorities just string up pirates.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:38 PM   #85
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The problem with going after downloaders is that since it is virtually impossible to prove guilt the corporations have bought new laws that do away with the presumption of innocence and put the burden of proof on the accused. Or paid for the punishment for downloading to be made wildly out of proportion to any alleged harm it might cause.
Spot on. Piracy is a burden to the society and is a cost; less money to authors, film makers, software writers etc., but this kind of "justice" also has its cost: cost of the openness of the internet, power of sensorship in the hands of the big media houses (together with the will to use it), etc.

This is like choosing between plague or cholera (don't know if this expression is known in the English language), but in my opinion, the biggest of the two evils is sensorship
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:46 PM   #86
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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).
That would be commercial piracy, a criminal offence. Also an easy collar for lazy plod to add to their solved crime statistics.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:48 PM   #87
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If there was a tipping point to be reached, it would have been reached already. It is trivially easy for people to get most media freely if they want to, and has been for quite awhile.
I don't think we'll reach a tipping point whilst there are people still going after pirates though. There's just enough "risk" that it keeps those on the fence honest.

Even if they stopped going after all pirates tomorrow, it would take some time to reach a tipping point as in multiple years (assuming it ever happened). What I believe would happen, is pirates would become more vocal/open with everyone (there's a lot of closet pirates around atm imo ) and a few more people would join in. Over time a few more will listen to the "why pay for that, here you can get it free from here, no risk, spend your money on something else" and they'll join in etc... It might never spread to everyone, but a lot more would imo pirate than would do so if there was still some enforcement going on.

All totally speculation however and only imho. What could equally happen is, the pirates continue to pirate and everyone else continues to buy because it's the right thing to do or because piracy is still illegal even if it's not currently enforced. Which would be ideal as all the money spent chasing pirates and privacy compromises could be put to better use.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:43 PM   #88
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I remember how a decade or so ago they claimed that music was going to disappear or dwindle to such levels as to become insignificant if piracy was not stopped.
I don't know who this "they" is. Someone really said there would be hardly any new music?

The correct prediction would have been that the ratio of the live performance price to the recording price was going to skyrocket. Before recording compact tape cassettes became popular in the late 1960's, a broadway original cast album cost more than a broadway balcony ticket. Now -- mid-week -- the live performance costs maybe ten times more, pricing out the middle class.

The change in movie ticket vs. soundtrack album price ratios hasn't been that extreme, but it has gone in a similar direction. As has the concert ticket - album price ratio for popular music.

Because hardly anyone prefers attending a reading to reading the book, what I wrote above tells nothing about future publishing. My working hypothesis is that as book piracy really heats up, book prices will fall. As a result, authors will have to churn out books quickly. If you like quickly written formulaic novels, you will be happy. If you like books that took years to research, write, and edit, you won't. And I won't.

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:11 PM   #89
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The correct prediction would have been that the ratio of the live performance price to the recording price was going to skyrocket. Before recording compact tape cassettes became popular in the late 1960's, a broadway original cast album cost more than a broadway balcony ticket. Now -- mid-week -- the live performance costs maybe ten times more, pricing out the middle class.
Are you claiming that music piracy has affected the price of a Broadway show versus the price of an original cast album? If you are, I'd like to know what evidence you have for that claim.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:39 PM   #90
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Are you claiming that music piracy has affected the price of a Broadway show versus the price of an original cast album? If you are, I'd like to know what evidence you have for that claim.
As far as the basic facts of the pricing trend, my recent evidence comes from partly from memory (paid $8.99 - $2.00 Amazon MP3 credit for Book of Mormon), but I also checked the current Book of Mormon box office ticket prices. My older data points come from The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway (1969).

As for whether the relation is cause vs. effect, I'm not saying it's proven the way it's proven that smoking causes lung cancer. But it certainly makes sense given basic economics. If music is available for a price of zero plus a tiny risk premium, copyright holders are going to have to price low to sell at all.

Now, I don't claim the possibility of making home copies of the album is the only reason for broadway prices rising quicker than inflation. Another reason is that New York is a more prosperous city than it used to be. So I think you'll find similar price trends for the road shows, just not as extreme.

I just thought of a way to test my pricing hypothesis that I haven't done. If I am right, the prices of broadway non-musicals should have risen slower, since the late sixties, than the price of broadway musicals. Feel free to check.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 10-05-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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