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Old 04-07-2010, 02:17 AM   #16
delphidb96
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Originally Posted by TGS View Post
But the question was, is it ethical - you seem to be suggesting that ethics don't matter in the face of "the law" - law trumps ethics.
But of *course* law trumps ethics. Just ask those pesky Jews during WWII.

Look, law may be used to dis/allow actions, but it cannot change the ethics involved.

Derek
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Madam Broshkina View Post
Randy Cohen who writes "The Ethicist" column for the New York times answers a readers question if it is ok to download a book that you have already bought a hard copy version. He basically states that it is ok. He compares it to buying a CD and transferring it to your iPod.
Can't fault the argument - I wonder how far we can get down the slippery slope with this.
Bought the book then downloaded the ebook version from the darkenet = OK because it's just format shifting.
It's out of print and not available as an ebook and I can't get it second-hand so I downloaded it from the darknet, but would have bought it in any format if it had been available = OK because my intent was not to deprive the author or the publisher, and if I had the opportunity to reimburse them I would.
I could buy the print version but not the ebook version. I have no interest in the book but I would buy the ebook if it was available. So I downloded it from the darknet = OK because I wanted to buy the ebook but the publisher wouldn't let me.
I've no interest in paying £10 for something, whether it's a book or an ebook, if I can get it for nothing. In fact, if I had to pay for it I wouldn't want it. However, I can get it from the darknet for nothing = OK because I was never going to buy it, in any format, whatever the price - so I'm not depriving the author or the publisher of anything.

I guess we all put our own markers down in different places - but how many of those place correspond to "the law"?
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:59 AM   #18
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That's the fun part of Ethics....

I buy the Hardcover, and then I download the ebook from the dark
Cost: HC full price.
Consequence: author and publisher get paid for one copy. I got two copies
The act is illegal in some jurisdiction, and unethical to most people.

I buy the Hardcover used in mint condition from ebay, I scan & OCR myself the book.
Cost: HC half price, 5 hours of work.
Consequence: author and publisher are not paid. I got two copies.
The act is legal with few exceptions, and it is considered ethical almost by everyone.

I buy the HC used, and don't make a digital copy at all
Cost: HC half price
Consequence: author and publisher are not paid.
The act is legal and ethical everywhere.

Let's go one step further:
I sell the HC half price.
If I keep the digital copy, even if it's buried down somewhere in the middle of an heap of old CD-ROM that will be trashed in a couple of years, I'm doing bad.
If I don't keep that copy, nobody will trust me, and everybody thinks I'm keeping it.
Unethical in both cases, maybe illegal somewhere (I don't know...)

Last step:
I haven't got any digital copy at all. The only copy of that book I ever saw, is the Hardcover I bought for 5$ at a garage sell.
I read the book, and I sell it for 12$ on ebay.
Now, not only I read the book without any form of compensation for the author or the publisher. I'm even making money out of it.
And it's legal everywhere, and, I bet, it's ethically fair to almost everybody.


That's why I say that when ethics are involved, Digital is Evil.
The "unheticality" of an action is definitely unproportioned when it's performed in the digital world.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
That's the fun part of Ethics....
What about:

I bought the physical book at some time in the past before I owned an eReader. I want the eBook. I download it the digital copy, and destroy the physical book leaving me one digital copy. The author and publisher have been compensated and one potential used book is taken out of circulation.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #20
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:05 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dadioflex View Post
Oh, I've got one. I buy the hard cover, scan it as an ebook, then destroy the hard cover by beating it off a rare baby condor until it is destroyed, then I use the promise of an emailed copy of the scanned ebook to entice people into downloading my botnet virus, so I can take over their computers... in order to harness the computing power to develop my time travel theories, so I can go back in time and kill Hitler by feeding him a baby condor, sprinkled with poison... ethical, yesno?
Not nice to baby condors (twice) = not OK
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bob Butler View Post
What about:

I bought the physical book at some time in the past before I owned an eReader. I want the eBook. I download it the digital copy, and destroy the physical book leaving me one digital copy. The author and publisher have been compensated and one potential used book is taken out of circulation.
But you destroyed the licensed proof you were entitled to the "shift"

I resorted to leaving notes on both copies (original vinyl LP ripped to CD) to indicate which was master and that a x type copy exised that was tied to the y original just to keep the RIAA off my back.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Robotech_Master View Post
Are you sure of that? RIAA vs. Diamond Multimedia said that consumers had the right to space-shift works they purchased into other media for their personal, noncommercial use. That's the case that legalized CD ripping and mp3 players.
Exactly. The content industry likes to claim that you are only buying the medium. But it's not up to them, fortunately. The law generally disagrees.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:36 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
I buy the Hardcover, and then I download the ebook from the dark
Cost: HC full price.
Consequence: author and publisher get paid for one copy. I got two copies
The act is illegal in some jurisdiction, and unethical to most people.
Really? Have you asked them? Or do you find it unethical and just assume everyone else should too?
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Really? Have you asked them? Or do you find it unethical and just assume everyone else should too?
I've asked around.
74,3 out 100 of the interviewd find it unethical. It's not an official statistic. It's not a scientifically sampled set. It's not a lab experiment driven by psychologist.

And I've never expressed my personal view about it.


Now, change the word "most" with the number you like.
And tell me what you think about the whole story, if you want.

The point is: if you do with digital goods the same things you do with non digital ones, you're doing wrong.

Let's stick with the last example only: buy used and resell at a higher price.
Do you find it unethical? No? Why?

Last edited by Format C:; 04-07-2010 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:41 PM   #26
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Format C: -- there are a few bugs in your analysis. I'll address them interspersed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
That's the fun part of Ethics....

I buy the Hardcover, and then I download the ebook from the dark
Cost: HC full price.
Consequence: author and publisher get paid for one copy. I got two copies
The act is illegal in some jurisdiction, and unethical to most people.
Opinions on the ethics of this one vary. It clearly involves an illegal act in many jurisdictions—the UPloading of the copy you downloaded. The act of downloading is legal in some jurisdictions and not in others. YMMV, and all that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
I buy the Hardcover used in mint condition from ebay, I scan & OCR myself the book.
Cost: HC half price, 5 hours of work.
Consequence: author and publisher are not paid. I got two copies.
The act is legal with few exceptions, and it is considered ethical almost by everyone.
Actually, the author and publisher were paid. They got their money at the original sale of the HC -- and that's all the law says that they are entitled to. Most folks (IMHO) agree that neither author nor publisher has any claim on any part of subsequent re-sale of the HC. Law and ethics both satisfied in my opinion. As always, YMMV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
I buy the HC used, and don't make a digital copy at all
Cost: HC half price
Consequence: author and publisher are not paid.
The act is legal and ethical everywhere.
As with the previous example, the author and the publisher WERE PAID IN FULL when the original purchaser bought the HC. That's exactly why this is legal and ethical everywhere! Your analysis of the consequence is flawed.
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Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
Let's go one step further:
I sell the HC half price.
If I keep the digital copy, even if it's buried down somewhere in the middle of an heap of old CD-ROM that will be trashed in a couple of years, I'm doing bad.
If I don't keep that copy, nobody will trust me, and everybody thinks I'm keeping it.
Unethical in both cases, maybe illegal somewhere (I don't know...)
Keeping the digital copy when you sell the original violates is a copyright violation. The fair-use argument for time- and format-shifting supported by the US courts is that your legal possession (ownership, really) of the original copy is necessary to make the shifting fair-use. If you sell or give away the original, you "must" delete any format-shifted copies. Note: "must" was in quotes because no sensible person will care about that old archived backup of your hard disk (or whatever). But you really should make a reasonable effort to get rid of your copies. At least delete them from your active storage (whether that storage is hard-disk, flash drive, or CD-on-the-shelf).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
Last step:
I haven't got any digital copy at all. The only copy of that book I ever saw, is the Hardcover I bought for 5$ at a garage sell.
I read the book, and I sell it for 12$ on ebay.
Now, not only I read the book without any form of compensation for the author or the publisher. I'm even making money out of it.
And it's legal everywhere, and, I bet, it's ethically fair to almost everybody.
Gong! Same analysis bug as before. The author and publisher already got their compensation for that particular copy of the book.
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Originally Posted by Format C: View Post
That's why I say that when ethics are involved, Digital is Evil.
The "unheticality" of an action is definitely unproportioned when it's performed in the digital world.
No comment one way or the other on this last bit.

Xenophon
(Who is not a lawyer, and is not providing legal advice!)
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:58 PM   #27
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:31 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theducks View Post
But you destroyed the licensed proof you were entitled to the "shift"
OK, I save the copyright page in my files. I don't have room for the whole book, but I can keep many title pages in a small space.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:49 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TGS View Post
- law trumps ethics.
I have a hard time with that. If that were true. Then the US shouldn't exist. India would of never freed itself from Britain. Pakistan wouldn't exist. South Africa would still be run by apartheid. What happened to the Jews is fine. Portugal should still be under a communist government. Israel shouldn't exist. The Iron Curtain (politically) should still exist today.

Um I could go on and on and on and on and on and of course on.

Ethics is what the law should be derived from. Law without ethics is unsupportable. The world has shown that over and over.

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Old 04-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS
- law trumps ethics.
Just to clarify (though why I feel the need to clarify my position to a bunch of people I only "know" through screen names and avatars is itself an interesting question), when I said "law trumps ethics" it was a rhetorical statement. I was suggesting that the poster to whom I was responding was advocating that view. My own view is that, at the point that the law is constructed so as to be in the interests of the powerful at the expense of the less powerful it becomes decoupled from ethics.

Phew...I feel much better now
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