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Old 01-29-2012, 05:53 AM   #1
Crusader
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The culture of entitlement and illegal downloads

Author and journalist Guy Haley has a very sobering post on piracy on his blog - The Culture of Entitlement, Illegal downloads and how it pisses me off (contains swearing so not for the faint of heart).

Quote:
Which brings me on to my real point here: Illegal downloads. We’re so damn entitled, we think we should get stuff for free, all the time! Hooray! I have people who are related to me (I won’t say who) who insist on giving my son copied DVDs, despite the fact that I tell them not to. They maintain copying is not illegal in their country of residence (it most certainly is, but sadly it is so culturally acceptable it has destroyed the arts industries there), and they can’t see who they’re hurting. In fact, they’re often congratulating themselves on how much money they have saved, and on the great quality of whatever movie they have ripped off.

The gentleman of this couple was most offended this Christmas. He had produced an illegal copy of a famous animated movie to watch, and he said “Good isn’t it? It did really well in its day, made $30million dollars!” To which I said, “Well, they won’t be getting any money for that copy, will they?” Cue shocked look, and mouthed upset. Well, yeah, fuck you. I don’t see Mega-Entertainment inc being fleeced of a few pennies here, I see some poor ex-kid actor or struggling screenwriter living off his residuals who ain’t going to be having Christmas next year because of people like you.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
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and so it begins.....again....
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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Angry Robot though are cheap, DRM free and the same price for Australians pretty much.

Which should be supported, cashwise.

If you want to rip someone off, pick a Murdoch or French product instead.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:18 AM   #4
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I think he has some very interesting points especially with regards to sales numbers persuading the publishers to commission additional books from the author.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:19 AM   #5
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i take pride in ownership. i wouldn't feel any pride in a collection of movies or video games that consisted of dvd-rs labeled with sharpie.

i don't appreciate things i get for free. i could pirate media quite easily, anybody could, but i simply choose not to most of the time. i'm not gonna lie and say i never helped myself to a book or two. but i know an author, i know what he goes through, i know the crappy he job he works at that puts a roof over his head where he can pursue his craft. its not easy for struggling artists at all.

but its so seductive man. piracy is the forbidden fruit. everything you could want is right there, a copy&paste away. i think it becomes an addiction, one download becomes two, next thing you know you believe paying is for suckers. is it right to give in? no. but lets be frank, telling someone not to do something is like giving a monkey a loaded gun and expecting them not to shoot anybody. i think the internet gives us too much power that we're not ready for yet and as we evolve there are going to be growing pains.



i like where he says that it is dangerous for society and the world at large to believe that you're owed something simply by the virtue that you exist. i'll leave off at that because this isn't the place for that type of discussion.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:42 AM   #6
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The author just feels entitled to be paid regardless whether people like his work or not.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Well, yeah, fuck you. I don’t see Mega-Entertainment inc being fleeced of a few pennies here, I see some poor ex-kid actor or struggling screenwriter living off his residuals who ain’t going to be having Christmas next year because of people like you.
I had no idea the RIAA and MPAA and their sponsor/constituent companies were conscientious folks that made sure the bulk of my payments for the works made it to the poor ex-actor or struggling screenwriter. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
i like where he says that it is dangerous for society and the world at large to believe that you're owed something simply by the virtue that you exist. i'll leave off at that because this isn't the place for that type of discussion.
Actually... yes, this is just the place for that type of discussion.

From Haley's reply to a commenter:

Quote:
Gaiman is right, although he stands in the comfortable position of already having made his fortune. SOPA and ACTA and all that are trying to manipulate something new with the tools of yesterday – like trying to type by hitting a keyboard with a flint axe – with the dubious aim of establishing the typical amount of plutocratic control the US powerbrokers always go for when there’s money involved. But just because those bills are bad doesn’t mean something should not be done. Enforcing existing laws should be enough – Megaupload was shut down using previously established legal powers, I believe.

What we don’t want is a situation like they have in Spain. In Spain the artistic industry is really suffering, because downloading has become like speeding – illegal but culturally acceptable, and is therefore now endemic. I read about one author who said she’d have to give up writing, as her latest book had been illegally downloaded more times than it had been legitimately purchased.
This.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 01-29-2012 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
Actually... yes, this is just the place for that type of discussion.

From Haley's reply to a commenter:

This.
That particular Spanish writer is not the best example to bring up.

Her reputation is somewhat dubious when it comes to artistic merit and money-grubbing. And her gripe wasn't the piracy per-se; it was that the revenue wasn't up to her *expectations*. (There's entitlement and there is entitlement.)

Mind you, I think the online entitlement culture *is* ripe for slapping down: note how the Megauploads crew were instantly sanctified when the news broke? Only later did anybody bother to take note that they were real-life gun-toting thugs and gangsters. And they still have defenders.

Similarly, the big corporate types need to be called on their whining and hypocrisy.

But life is c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d and two wrongs don't add up to a right (in any definition of the word. ).

Wanting does not imply getting, much less deserving.
So slap away.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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Since we're quoting the anecdotes of others to support our personal opinions, here's a quote from O'Reily talking about how infringement benefits him in the long wrong. In his opinion, obscurity is a bigger issue than piracy:

Quote:
In my experience at O'Reilly, the losses due to piracy are far outweighed by the benefits of the free flow of information, which makes the world richer, and develops new markets for legitimate content. Most of the people who are downloading unauthorized copies of O'Reilly books would never have paid us for them anyway; meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of others are buying content from us, many of them in countries that we were never able to do business with when our products were not available in digital form.

History shows us, again and again, that frontiers are lawless places, but that as they get richer and more settled, they join in the rule of law. American publishing, now the largest publishing industry in the world, began with piracy.
Do people have a sense of entitlement and does that lead to piracy? Absolutely, but you combat that by giving them what they want when the want it. I recently read a review for the book "In the Mouth of the Whale" and tried to find a place selling the ebook; the only store that had it was Amazon's U.S. store (I'm not American and their DRM turns me off), with other digital retailers getting it a month from then. My disappointment made me sorely tempted to grab it from a torrent site and just pay when it came out - how easy would it be for someone to be disappointed, torrent it and then skip the last step?

Here's one last quote from EMI’s VP of Urban Promotions, Craig Davis:

Quote:
I do believe that a person should be compensated for their work. I feel that piracy is a big issue, and things like Spotify will assist in combating this problem...

Gabe Newell is correct, it’s a service issue not an issue of money. Sales have gone up from sales concerts and merchandise, it’s obvious that our fans still love music. We’re just not giving them their music in an easier way...
It's all well and good to say "people have a moral obligation to pay", but that doesn't get you more sales. If they don't feel that obligation, then you have to get them to pay by offering them a better service than the pirates.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 01-29-2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Really, my biggest gripe about content is that it is often withheld from distribution. Yah, I know: none of us are entitled to consume a particular book, film, performance, etc. The rights holder is entirely within his/her/corporate rights NOT to make the content available.

I reserve the right to complain when content IS made available the price is too high ... but that's not an excuse for "sharing" illegally.

But it's a darned shame when an author like Erle Stanley Gardner, who worte 70+ Perry Mason novels and created one of the true iconic characters in fiction -- as much a household name as Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Sam Spade -- is currently represented by zero books in print. All because of a long simmering dispute among the rights holders. It is closing in on a generation (abt 20 years now) since his work has been issued in some quantity by a mass market publisher. It's no wonder that fans keep a smattering of his work in underground circulation in these cases.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:19 PM   #12
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I've pirated his blog post to read on my Kindle later, but from a quick skim while I was deleting the unwanted content he seems to be another of those people who think that it's a simple decision between pirate it or buy it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howyoudoin View Post
I had no idea the RIAA and MPAA and their sponsor/constituent companies were conscientious folks that made sure the bulk of my payments for the works made it to the poor ex-actor or struggling screenwriter. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!
I wondered how long it would be before someone trotted out this tired justification for stealing. "I don't believe that creators are fairly compensated, so I'm going to rip off their work and pay them nothing." Great argument.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
I've pirated his blog post to read on my Kindle later, but from a quick skim while I was deleting the unwanted content he seems to be another of those people who think that it's a simple decision between pirate it or buy it.
If you are talking about music or video games, it almost always is that simple.

There are still a lot of unavailable backlist e-books, however...so we can exempt the .0001% of pirates who, already owning the book in paper format, take only those books.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
If you are talking about music or video games, it almost always is that simple.
.
And movies. With a lot of region 5's reaching the torrents, it's doubly easy. "See it in theaters? Or just wait 2 days to download it?" Then, "Buy the DVD, or download a Blu-Ray rip?"
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