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Old 08-05-2008, 06:11 PM   #91
Milarepa
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It seems to me that the entire issue regarding pirating really boils down to personal feelings regarding the difference between Malum Prohibitum and Malum In Se.

Is it morally wrong because government and lobby groups have decided to outlaw it, or is it inherently evil?

If it is simply Malum Prohibitum, why do we subject ourselves to a perceived, yet imprecise moral code?

So is it inherently evil to download a copy of a book, or is it simply evil because it is illegal?

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Old 08-06-2008, 08:08 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Publishers are in business to sell books. Why bother trying to keep the rights on a title they are no longer actively trying to sell, or feels will no longer sell because everyone who wants it bought it?
Why give up something that takes absolutely no effort or cost to keep? The rights to publish something would be considered an asset and no corporation would willingly give up assets just because they have no current use. This is especially true if there's no downside for them to hold on to them. If nothing else, something could happen in the future that makes those properties valuable again (new book by author, death, governmental banning).

Orrrrrr...you could look at it like this:
Son: MOM! What are you doing?
Mother: Picking up and getting rid of some of these toys. You don't have any room and this area is a mess!
Son: Not that one! It's my favorite! And so's that one! And that one! They're all my favorites.
Mother: Then we'll get rid of the ones in that old, moldy box in the back of the closet you haven't even opened in years.
Son: No! Those are even more my favorites because they're mine! No, no, no, no!
Mother: If you won't take care of your toys we need to give them to people who will.
Son: You don't love me! You're not my real mother! My real mom lets me keep everything. Even stuff that's not mine! Because she loves me. And I deserve that stuff more than whoever has it! I hate you!
Mother: I'm sorry, Son. Here, have another toy.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:55 AM   #93
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Is small scale copyright infringement really a crime in any of our countries?

People keep saying "theft", "crime" and "criminal" when I think they really should be saying "unauthorized copy", "offense" and "offender".

Theft usually requires the intent to permanently deprive someone of the object of the theft and that obviously isn't the case here. What ebook downloaders are doing is making a copy of the work without the permission of the copyright holder. I think in most countries, if this copying is small scale, the infringer is only liable for damages in a civil suit and therefore not a criminal.

Using words like crime and piracy have connotations to me that are completely out of proportion to the actual offense.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:16 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by radius View Post
Is small scale copyright infringement really a crime in any of our countries?

People keep saying "theft", "crime" and "criminal" when I think they really should be saying "unauthorized copy", "offense" and "offender".

Theft usually requires the intent to permanently deprive someone of the object of the theft and that obviously isn't the case here. What ebook downloaders are doing is making a copy of the work without the permission of the copyright holder. I think in most countries, if this copying is small scale, the infringer is only liable for damages in a civil suit and therefore not a criminal.

Using words like crime and piracy have connotations to me that are completely out of proportion to the actual offense.
I can see both sides of this. For example, look at what I've heard of as Chinese torture - dropping a drop of water on the forehead. Doesn't hurt but repeat 1000 - 1,000,000 times it becomes excruciatingly painful.

So no a single pirated book (DLed only once) does not represent a "significant" pain to the author but multiply that by 1000 - 1,000,000 and it is very painful.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:23 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stxopher View Post
Orrrrrr...you could look at it like this...
In my house, it worked like this:

Dad: Well, son, now that you have a new bike, you should give your old bike to someone who doesn't have one.
Son:
Dad: Your cousin Fred doesn't have a bike. I'll call your aunt Edna.
Son: Right, Dad.

See how easy? But corporations don't run like households.

As I mentioned earlier, the e-book market is still too new and misunderstood to many of the players. In the past, it made more sense to let a book fall out of print when the sales numbers dropped to a low-enough level to make it unprofitable to continue printing, storing and shelving them. E-books change that equation, but too few have run the numbers and decided to make the change in old habits that will allow e-book re-releases of old books. A publishing house isn't a home. There's no one in a position like my father in his household, who can just stand up and say, "Do it," and it just gets done.

Corporations (and authors) will eventually come to the right conclusion, but because of the nature of the publishing business, it's going to take more time for it to sink in and get applied.

@Milarepa: A lot of laws reflect actions that are not "inherently evil," like stealing a candy bar, or spitting on the sidewalk. Nonetheless, some laws are applied in the interest of social order and harmony... IOW, fairness.

E-books do not represent the classical notion of a "physical object to be owned." But at the same time, they do represent a "product," in this case, an instructional or entertainment "product" much like a TV program. As such, they represent a product that can earn revenue for the owner/creator, though because of its essential electronic nature, must be handled differently than a physical product. (Note: The repackaging of TV programs and movies into DVDs changes their essential nature from "product" to "physical object," making it even easier for producer/creators to make clear profits from their work.)

FCC laws over broadcast, cable and satellite delivery systems are not applied to TV programs in order to combat evil, but to ensure fairness. They do their job pretty well, too: We get TV shows, producers get their profits, and everybody is satisfied (notwithstanding the standard fee complaints).

Similar systems can be applied to e-books, though because of the easy communication of electronic files over the internet, additional effort must be done to smooth out the differences between sovereign states, or to (somehow) limit and control transactions where there are conflicts. As difficult or involved as that may sound, a fair understanding between sovereigns is possible, and if enough money is at stake, effort will be spent to level the playing field (or keep some players off). That effort will have to fight through a lot of "churn," but it's entirely possible, and if enough people desire it, likely.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:27 AM   #96
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I can see both sides of this. For example, look at what I've heard of as Chinese torture - dropping a drop of water on the forehead. Doesn't hurt but repeat 1000 - 1,000,000 times it becomes excruciatingly painful.
Isn't that called 'taking a shower'?

Publishers seem more worried about taking a bath.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:39 AM   #97
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So no a single pirated book (DLed only once) does not represent a "significant" pain to the author but multiply that by 1000 - 1,000,000 and it is very painful.
Only if those million downloaded copies translate into the loss of a million actual books sold. I've downloaded plenty of crud off of the internet simply because it was available, not because I would have bought it otherwise. This is exactly the false "profit loss" projection that the RIAA and MPAA are so fond of.

As for why I would want to download crud, I am a fisherman of the net. I'm a data junkie. I'm an idiot.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:47 AM   #98
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Is small scale copyright infringement really a crime in any of our countries?

People keep saying "theft", "crime" and "criminal" when I think they really should be saying "unauthorized copy", "offense" and "offender".
Yes, technically it is a "copyright violation" which is a civil offense and not prosecuted by the state/fed in a criminal court. However, if they violator is willfully atempting to profit from the "copyright violation" by for example selling those copies online then criminal procedings can be brought.

Now, to me the "theft" of a single person violating the copyright, for example, Joe Blow downloads a copy of a Harry Potter book the theft is the $20 that they did not pay for a legitamate copy of the book. Many here feel this is a gray area, and it certainly is, since there is no physical book taken there was no cost to print and distribute it. But, the author still put time in to write the book. It must have some value if you d/led it and want to read it.

My feeling, it is theft. I also have a bias since I am a software developer and copying my hard work without paying me certainly feels like a "theft". How would you feel if your hard work was coppied without your permission?

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Old 08-06-2008, 10:54 AM   #99
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If you have the paperback edition its ok to download the ebook edition. pAYing twice is ridiculous ...
You own a cassette or LP of some music. You now decide you want to get the CD version. Do you think you should be given the CD version for free just because you already have the music in a different format?

Should you be given the paperback just because you bought the hardcover?

Different content, same difference.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:02 AM   #100
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It must have some value if you d/led it and want to read it.
Not necessarily, it may just be a form of browsing.

Like taking a book off a shelf in a bookstore in order to flick through it.

It may actually generate a genuine sale if the downloader likes what they see (though I think that's more likely for technical books than novels).
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:13 AM   #101
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Should you be given the paperback just because you bought the hardcover?

Different content, same difference.
Well honestly yes, I'd expect to be able to buy for discont, that is only to pay the royalities for printing the paperback, since I did pay the author and publisher already once for the content when buying the hardcover.

Its like a software upgrade. Almost everywhere in software industry for the upgrade you pay quite a lot less than for your first license.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:25 AM   #102
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You own a cassette or LP of some music. You now decide you want to get the CD version. Do you think you should be given the CD version for free just because you already have the music in a different format?

Should you be given the paperback just because you bought the hardcover?

Different content, same difference.
You're talking about going from one physical media to another physical media, which is completely different from going from a physical media to a digital one.

It's more like... You own a CD of some music. You now decide that you want to have them in MP3s instead. Do you think you should be allowed to convert your own CD into MP3s (this is already legal in the US). If you're allowed to make them yourself and you own the CD, then what's the difference between running a "CD-to-MP3 creater" application to get the MP3s versus running a "P2P" application to get them. The results are exactly the same.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:27 AM   #103
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Is small scale copyright infringement really a crime in any of our countries?

People keep saying "theft", "crime" and "criminal" when I think they really should be saying "unauthorized copy", "offense" and "offender".
It's a civil offense, not a criminal one.

If I'm a rights holder, and become aware of infringement, it's on me to take action and bring suit. It's not something law enforcement agencies will care about.

A fair bit of infringement happens because bringing suit is time consuming and expensive. I've been corresponding with a site owner who mentioned a lot of commercial offerings ripped from his site that he can't do anything about. He technically could, if he had the time and money to go after the infringers in court, but most folks running sites as a labor of love devoted to a subject they are enthusiastic about aren't in a position to really take action on infringement.

Note the discussion here a while back on the Bookeen Cybook. It uses a Linux kernel, and Linux is open source under the GPL, but Bookeen doesn't provide the source as the GPL requires. Bookeen can't - the Linux implementation is from the hardware vendor they buy from, and the vendor hasn't released it. Technically, the vendor is in violation of the GPL, but who will take the time and pony up the money to go after them in court? (And the vendor is in China, where attitudes toward such things are different, and you would have lots of fun getting anywhere if you did go after them.)
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:33 AM   #104
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My feeling, it is theft.
Not according to the law, and a "potential lost sale" does not count as criminal copyright infringement for profit (even then it still wouldn't be "theft").

Quote:
I also have a bias since I am a software developer and copying my hard work without paying me certainly feels like a "theft". How would you feel if your hard work was coppied without your permission?
I'm a software developer too. Sure, if that happened I wouldn't like it, but that doesn't change the fact that copying is not stealing.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:34 AM   #105
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It's more like... You own a CD of some music. You now decide that you want to have them in MP3s instead. Do you think you should be allowed to convert your own CD into MP3s (this is already legal in the US). If you're allowed to make them yourself and you own the CD, then what's the difference between running a "CD-to-MP3 creater" application to get the MP3s versus running a "P2P" application to get them. The results are exactly the same.
If you already own the CD. The argument is that most P2P MP3 sharers don't own the CDs, and are using P2P to get bootleg copies of stuff they want but aren't willing to buy.

I have yet to see any analysis that really quantifies the losses caused by P2P activity. I know the RIAA goes on about it, but show me the proof.
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