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Old 08-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
Plus in many first world countries at least there is a very good library selection available in most locations.
For native literature. 100% of the fiction I have bought this year was not in my native language. (This isn't too uncommon for continental Europeans, I think. Or perhaps I'm just really strange! )

I can afford to buy the books I read, and I agree that e-books don't break the bank of people who have even mediocre jobs, but if I were unemployed and had to make do with welfare, I couldn't afford e-books, not at €8+ for a novel that I read in a day or two.

A core issue, I feel, is that e-books cannot be sold or bought "used". In the software world, there are now a handful of EU court rulings that confirm that licenses can be sold second-hand regardless of the vendor's terms (case of Oracle vs. UsedSoft), and this was also confirmed for games (see here). A German consumer protection organization is currently preparing a lawsuit against Valve/Steam in the same matter.

In theory, the same should apply to e-books. Plenty of people would not re-sell their e-books, but just knowing that they could, if they so choose, might go a long way when it comes to buying vs. pirating. The trouble is that it isn't easy to implement, though, since the vendors would need to transfer the licenses, and there's more than one company that sells e-books, and they can be read on any device without any kind of authorization process. Possibly having to trade in a lot of freedom for the ability to re-sell e-books may not be desirable.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:24 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mivo View Post
In theory, the same should apply to e-books. Plenty of people would not re-sell their e-books, but just knowing that they could, if they so choose, might go a long way when it comes to buying vs. pirating. The trouble is that it isn't easy to implement, though, since the vendors would need to transfer the licenses, and there's more than one company that sells e-books, and they can be read on any device without any kind of authorization process. Possibly having to trade in a lot of freedom for the ability to re-sell e-books may not be desirable.
Considering the topic of the thread, this kind of transfer of licenses would also make watermarking useless. If the book license was sold how do you know if the uploader was the one who initially bought it, or the next person?
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #33
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Ebook piracy is pretty wide spread though and you don't need a bank loan to buy a book or two a week. Those who used to buying and now pirate ebooks would be hard put to claim financial hardship. Plus in many first world countries at least there is a very good library selection available in most locations.

Helen
Actually, you might just need that loan. I recently paid $10+ for an urban fantasy ebook. That's a ridiculous price and I can't afford to do that on a regular basis, much less buy two or more per week. And my library system is sorely lacking in regard to that genre in both print and ebook versions, so that is not an option. Folks who pirate don't always do so because they can pay but choose not to; they might be doing It because they can no longer pay the over-priced cost due to a change In their financial circumstances. Not everyone who retires, for example, is in the same financial place they were as when they were working - not everyone has investment income and paid-off homes or an income commensurate with the one they had when they were working. Yet the desire to read what they want is still there. Ditto folks who have been laid-off or who've become ill or disabled.

Avid readers are just people with a socially-sanctioned addiction. And they will feed that addiction no matter how their financial circumstances change, just like any addict.

I think that's the point that is consistently overlooked in all of these discussions.

Organizations (and writers) can try to demonize and attempt to criminalize uploaders and downloaders all they want, but as long as they keep coming at the issue from the wrong direction, they're never going to be able to effectively deal with their perceived problem.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:16 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post
Actually, you might just need that loan. I recently paid $10+ for an urban fantasy ebook. That's a ridiculous price and I can't afford to do that on a regular basis, much less buy two or more per week. And my library system is sorely lacking in regard to that genre in both print and ebook versions, so that is not an option.
Sadly the situation is a bit similar here, except that prices can be much higher, even fifteen to nineteen dollars. My library is very slowly improving its ebook collection, but still most of the new titles are churn-factory crime and romance type titles, with not much to interest me - there's virtually no Australian FSF or YA in there at all.

Imported print books are often cheaper than ebooks, even brand new, but I find it increasingly difficult to handle and hold medium to large books, and I read three or four books a week at least. I'm mostly getting print library books and trying to deal with the pain and difficulty, but it's getting worse. Not sure how this is all going to pan out.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:22 AM   #35
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Actually, you might just need that loan. I recently paid $10+ for an urban fantasy ebook. That's a ridiculous price and I can't afford to do that on a regular basis, much less buy two or more per week. And my library system is sorely lacking in regard to that genre in both print and ebook versions, so that is not an option. Folks who pirate don't always do so because they can pay but choose not to; they might be doing It because they can no longer pay the over-priced cost due to a change In their financial circumstances. Not everyone who retires, for example, is in the same financial place they were as when they were working - not everyone has investment income and paid-off homes or an income commensurate with the one they had when they were working. Yet the desire to read what they want is still there. Ditto folks who have been laid-off or who've become ill or disabled.

Avid readers are just people with a socially-sanctioned addiction. And they will feed that addiction no matter how their financial circumstances change, just like any addict.

I think that's the point that is consistently overlooked in all of these discussions.

Organizations (and writers) can try to demonize and attempt to criminalize uploaders and downloaders all they want, but as long as they keep coming at the issue from the wrong direction, they're never going to be able to effectively deal with their perceived problem.
I can actually sympathize with this argument (to some extent), and I don't believe personally that unauthorized downloading is really the same as theft (due to lack of marginal costs with digital goods and all of that).

But you do, of course, realize that some on this forum, not without justification, will gleefully pounce on what you say and reply "just because you can't afford something doesn't mean you have the right to steal it."
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:18 PM   #36
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I can actually sympathize with this argument (to some extent), and I don't believe personally that unauthorized downloading is really the same as theft (due to lack of marginal costs with digital goods and all of that).

But you do, of course, realize that some on this forum, not without justification, will gleefully pounce on what you say and reply "just because you can't afford something doesn't mean you have the right to steal it."
It's not theft because the owner still has it. At best it is the "theft" of potential income, and I doubt that every unauthorized download is a lost sale.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:07 PM   #37
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Actually, you might just need that loan. I recently paid $10+ for an urban fantasy ebook. That's a ridiculous price and I can't afford to do that on a regular basis, much less buy two or more per week.
You have a very low regard for the work that goes into writing a book if you think that $10 is a "ridiculous" price for a book. What can you buy for $10? A couple of cups of coffee at Starbucks? A rather cheap takeaway pizza? Don't you think that a book is worth as much as either of those things?

Quote:
Folks who pirate don't always do so because they can pay but choose not to; they might be doing It because they can no longer pay the over-priced cost due to a change In their financial circumstances.
Utterly irrelevant. "I can't afford it" does not equate to "... so it's fine if I just take it anyway without paying".
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:21 PM   #38
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You have a very low regard for the work that goes into writing a book if you think that $10 is a "ridiculous" price for a book.
I feel that the criticism of e-book prices is valid. E-books cost as much as (and partly more than) paper books even though there are no costs for postage, storage, paper. It's counter-intuitive that e-books cost the same, and it really just translates to more profit for the publishers. In addition, you can't re-sell an e-book.

Authors see very little of the $10-20 that a book costs.

The "can't afford" aspect is relevant to a discussion about piracy. The more expensive an e-book is, the more people will look into alternative ways of obtaining it. That doesn't make it legally acceptable, but then again, many things are legally unacceptable but nevertheless widely accepted by people (like removing DRM, which numerous folks consider ethically fine).
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:34 PM   #39
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Actually, you might just need that loan. I recently paid $10+ for an urban fantasy ebook. That's a ridiculous price and I can't afford to do that on a regular basis, much less buy two or more per week. And my library system is sorely lacking in regard to that genre in both print and ebook versions, so that is not an option. Folks who pirate don't always do so because they can pay but choose not to; they might be doing It because they can no longer pay the over-priced cost due to a change In their financial circumstances. Not everyone who retires, for example, is in the same financial place they were as when they were working - not everyone has investment income and paid-off homes or an income commensurate with the one they had when they were working. Yet the desire to read what they want is still there. Ditto folks who have been laid-off or who've become ill or disabled.

Avid readers are just people with a socially-sanctioned addiction. And they will feed that addiction no matter how their financial circumstances change, just like any addict.

I think that's the point that is consistently overlooked in all of these discussions.

Organizations (and writers) can try to demonize and attempt to criminalize uploaders and downloaders all they want, but as long as they keep coming at the issue from the wrong direction, they're never going to be able to effectively deal with their perceived problem.
The addiction analogy bears some thinking on. I've known many an addict in my time who will do anything for a fix, or a drink or even sex. Downloadin is less socially harmful than breaking and entering, stealing pension checks, or robbing convenience stores etc.

And yes there are people who cannot afford to pay for food, or shelter. When I was saying that nobody needs a bank loan, I was guilty of being too general. I was obliquely referring to most of the people who could actually afford to download.

I am an avid reader, and have been very down and out to the point of living on unflavoured pasta noodles for a considerable time. Luckily for me I could usually go to the library and find a book to read as I was not limited to one genre or type of book. I have also lived in several towns without libraries of any sort or stores that carried books and depended for the most part on the kindness of strangers for my reading material. I came through it in one piece for the most part.

I still think that most people who can afford the equipment to download can afford to buy a book or two if their need is that great. My parents were dirt poor and went into debt every Christmas which took them practically to next Christmas to buy presents which were more likely necessities such as underwear. But we still had books.

And how did the reading addicts survive before the widespread use of the internet? Did they break into libraries and bookstores hauling of all the books they could carry?

I sympathize with anyone who is an addict to the point of shaking and staying up all night throwing up, nightmares, Dts etc, even if they did it to themselves. And if this applies to anyone who cannot read books in a specific genre, then I sympathise with them. If it is a case of not having just what you want when you want it, I can sympathize with them too. I am eligible for retirement myself but continue to work to afford the toys that I want. Not all are within my means of course do I foolishly buy an occasional lottery ticket . I have many friends who are retired and are unable to work. I cannot think of any who think that their reduced circumstances are justification for pirating but maybe there are a few. For the most part those that must, live on their means, watch public TV, not cable, go to the library or used book stores, most do not go to the food bank even because they feel that they will be taking away from the truly needy. Different culture I guess.

Helen

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Old 08-30-2013, 03:30 AM   #40
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Utterly irrelevant. "I can't afford it" does not equate to "... so it's fine if I just take it anyway without paying".
Whereas I understand you are a stakeholder in the copyright/downloading debate, I am a bit surprised you have this point of view based what you have expressed on other subjects.

I live in a jurisdiction where downloading is legal. In Switzerland downloading ebooks, music and software for private use is allowed. That's not because laws haven't kept up with technological development, but because law-makers have consciously decided that downloading above-mentioned material for private use can be considered fair use.

When discussing corporate tax evasion you voice the opinion that companies using international law and loopholes are not acting unethically when using, for example, the rather light Swiss tax-regime instead of paying what they would be due in the UK. You argue it is their responsibility to reduce their tax burden to the minimum that is legally required. Personally, I also try to avoid paying more taxes than is necessary. Could the same principle not be applied to other areas of live?

If I can legally download the Hobbit movie for free applying Swiss law, is that really more unethical than Warner using another Swiss law to reduce their US tax burden?




Just for clarity, I will wait for the extended version of the Hobbit coming late fall, and will pay the 50 CHF or so for the DVDs. With regards to ebooks, I try to get them from libraries and otherwise buy them legally. Only for books available from Gutenberg, MobileRead, ebooksgratuites.com etc. that are still in copyright here, but public domain elsewhere I download them without feeling too guilty.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:14 AM   #41
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Whereas I understand you are a stakeholder in the copyright/downloading debate, I am a bit surprised you have this point of view based what you have expressed on other subjects.

I live in a jurisdiction where downloading is legal. In Switzerland downloading ebooks, music and software for private use is allowed. That's not because laws haven't kept up with technological development, but because law-makers have consciously decided that downloading above-mentioned material for private use can be considered fair use.
I'm afraid your logic eludes me. Can you explain how taking a copyrighted work for free can possibly be considered "fair use"? In what way is it fair for you to take my software without paying?
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:01 AM   #42
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I'm afraid your logic eludes me. Can you explain how taking a copyrighted work for free can possibly be considered "fair use"? In what way is it fair for you to take my software without paying?
That is what is stated in the law. That might seem unjustified to some, or even many, people. That's why I linked it to corporate tax laws -- those seem unjustified to many people as well. Still others think it is defensible that corporations employ those laws to reduce tax burden.

Why would Swiss laws be acceptable if used by corporations to reduce tax burden (at the cost of the rest of society), but not for individuals to reduce their expenses (in this case at the cost of content producers)?

If I dare quote:

Quote:
You can hardly blame Amazon for employing entirely legal methods to minimise their tax bill.
and

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I think it's neither moral nor immoral. They are obeying the law, and that's as far as it goes.
Why would you blame anyone for employing entirely legal methods to acquire entertainment/software as long as they are obeying the law?
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:03 AM   #43
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Why would you blame anyone for employing entirely legal methods to acquire entertainment/software as long as they are obeying the law?
If the law says that it's OK to take someone's work without paying then, in the immortal words of Dickens, "the law is an ass". In all seriousness, what is the justification for this? How can it conceivably be described as "fair use"?

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Old 08-30-2013, 06:06 AM   #44
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Well, there is admittedly a difference between low taxes (companies still pay some money) and content providers getting nothing at all for their products. It's not really a sound analogy, I feel.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #45
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Well, there is admittedly a difference between low taxes (companies still pay some money) and content providers getting nothing at all for their products. It's not really a sound analogy, I feel.
For different people different aspects of jurisdiction have different weights; however if one postulates there's no morality aspects as long as the law is obeyed then there should not differences between fiscal law and intellectual property law.

Personally, I feel Swiss law is a bit light on both corporate fiscal issues and intellectual property rights.

What I do not understand is that someone very focally defends entities profiting of favorable laws in one instance, even though many people consider those laws highly unfair, but considers it despicable if persons profit of favorable laws
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