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Old 12-27-2007, 07:15 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by tsgreer View Post
True, but "stolen your identity" and "identity theft" are the names of what is happening. The names that our government gives those situations. Maybe on a technical level this is a poor name, but that's what it's commonly called.
But "identity theft" is ether a technical term that do not need to be related to the technical term "theft" or it is not a technical (legal) term at all. And do you really call people doing identy thefts for thieves?


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I guess I have this view: If the author of a work wants me to have it for free, he/she will give it to me for free. If he/she doesn't offer it to me for free and I take it without paying, I consider it stealing because he/she doesn't want to give it to me without paying.
I have heard some authors say they do not want there books to be sold second hand. So do you in that case consider it stealing to buy the book second hand?

What about ripped copies (copies withou front cover)? Are they OK to sell or buy?

I think that the electronic book market has to give the same functionality as the markets we have today for paper books. Half my paper books I have probably bought second hand for a dollar or so. I lot of the books I have bough I will never read. How do you get this kind of market that corresponds to the paper book second hand market for ebooks?
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:20 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I just want to make sure I understand this, for future reference:

In Sweden, if someone acting without permission of the author/publisher creates an e-book from a printed book that they upload to the darknet, is it legally considered stealing?
No, the crime is something else. And according to this thread also in UK it is no stealing or theft.

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In Sweden, if someone downloads a file that has been obtained without permission (whether they know it or not), is it legally considered stealing on the part of the downloader?
No. The crime is something else. A couple of years ago is was legal to download whatever you wanted. And as I understand it it is still legal in Switzerland (or was it Austria?).
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:24 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
But "identity theft" is ether a technical term that do not need to be related to the technical term "theft" or it is not a technical (legal) term at all. And do you really call people doing identy thefts for thieves?

I have heard some authors say they do not want there books to be sold second hand. So do you in that case consider it stealing to buy the book second hand?

What about ripped copies (copies withou front cover)? Are they OK to sell or buy?

I think that the electronic book market has to give the same functionality as the markets we have today for paper books. Half my paper books I have probably bought second hand for a dollar or so. I lot of the books I have bough I will never read. How do you get this kind of market that corresponds to the paper book second hand market for ebooks?
Good points. The second hand book market certainly complicates my arguments...

As for your identity theft question, yes the media and general public here in the U.S. call them "indentity thieves" and "identity bandits." Or at least in my part of the U.S. They also refer to large groups of people who do that as "identity theft rings"
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:10 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Neko, I follow what you're saying. What I'm not sure about is what this says about the e-book... whether it is intrinsically worth something, or not.

You seem to suggest that, if the e-book is created after the work has been done (and paid for) to create the printed books, then the comparatively miniscule cost and effort involved in e-book production renders the e-books to be a zero-cost item, and essentially should be free.
No, Steve, I'm really not trying to say that. I'm trying to say that the incremental value of the ebook if one already has the pbook may be small. If I don't have the pbook, the ebook is full value of the author's work, the editor's work, typesetting, illustration, etc. Probably production costs and certainly fulfillment costs are lower, so I'd expect to see a discount compared to what the price would have been for a paper version. But the content has value, the labor required to prepare it for publication has value, and I do believe that value should be paid for.

On the other hand, if the publisher does not offer an ebook version, and volunteers prepare ebook versions without asking for compensation for their labor, I find it hard to understand why it is a problem for someone who has paid for the book in paper to receive an ebook version from someone else.

In cases where only an ebook version is available, all this is moot. The ebook has the value of a book, and that depends on the quality of the book, I suppose, and what the market will accept. I would expect a price of somewhere around US$5 for a book of reasonable quality with professional editing.

I am most emphatically not saying that ebooks have no value, whether pbook versions exist or not. The value of any book is the value of the content. If I already own an ebook, especially one without DRM so I can read it anywhere, etc., then by contrast the paper version has quite low incremental value. I wouldn't expect someone to give me one for free, but if I found a stripped version in a discard pile behind a bookstore, and I had already purchased the book as an ebook, I suppose I wouldn't feel bad about picking it up and taking it home. (Other than the fact that I have too many pbooks here already.)

Perhaps that's a fair example. If you owned a hardcover book that you had paid for, and came across a stripped paperback (front cover removed and returned to the publisher for a refund), and you wanted the paperback for reasons of convenience (lighter weight, smaller, etc.), would you take it? Let's assume that you're not planning on doing something like giving or selling it to someone else, or even loaning it out while you read the hardcover.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:52 PM   #50
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Okay: So what you're saying is that the first copy you get, in whatever format, has full value to you, but any supplemental copies you get, in any format, do not have the same value to you by virtue of the fact that you already have the first one?
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:56 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
No, the crime is something else.
This was probably lost in the translation, but do you mean it is a crime different than stealing? Or are you saying some other act is stealing, and this is not?
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:23 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I actually don't know who used "Rip, mix, burn" as a slogan, though I have heard the phrase (somewhere... probably here). You notice, though, that the word "steal" is not included among them!
Steve Jobs used the phrase to market the iPod; I am still confused why it's ok to demand free mp'3 given that you have a cd, and it's not ok to demand a free e-book given that you have the print book - from a "theoretical", "moral", however you want to call it, point of view.

As it happens, I understand that in practice, it's easy to do "rip, mix, burn" with cd's, while it's hard to do "scan, ocr, burn" with books, so there is a difference. But that's in practice and has nothing to do with morality.

Regarding the value of a book, I tend to ascribe the majority of it in its content rather than format, so of course a second copy has far less value to me than the first one.

However in the real world, a value of the book resides mostly in its format, considering the vast price differential between hardcovers and paperbacks, and this is one of the main reasons e-books are perceived of having very little value.

So when people claim that the value of the book resides mainly in content, the counterargument why this book costs 25$ and that book costs 6.99, both being first editions of books in the same genre, by similarly successful authors is very hard to refute. Personally I think that is just due to the way real world operates in complex ways having a lot to do with contingency and chance, but if you want to talk in "absolute morality" terms is hard to deal with these facts...
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:28 PM   #53
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If intellectual property is property in the strict sense, and thus copyright violation is stealing in the strict sense, then why is the right of ownership to this kind of property limited in duration? After I die, the ownership of my house can be transfered from one generation of my descendants to the next in principle forever. Not up to 70 years after my death (or 50 in the UK). If I am a "thief" to violate the copyright of an author in the 69th year after his or her death, why am I suddenly not a thief if I do so in the 70th year?

As a society, we have decided that it is in the general interest to grant the author or inventor a limited-time monopoly for his or her works. The fact that the duration of the monopoly is limited implies that this is not a right according to nature, but only a privilege granted for society's benefit.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:46 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
This was probably lost in the translation, but do you mean it is a crime different than stealing? Or are you saying some other act is stealing, and this is not?
I do not get the question. Yes, there are acts that according to the law is stealing. This is not such an act. These acts are called something else which is hard to translate since the legal systems works differently. Copyright infringement might be a translation that points in the right direction but it can also be a bit misleading I think.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:06 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
I do not get the question. Yes, there are acts that according to the law is stealing. This is not such an act. These acts are called something else which is hard to translate since the legal systems works differently. Copyright infringement might be a translation that points in the right direction but it can also be a bit misleading I think.
No, you did get the question, and that was the answer I was looking for. Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:12 AM   #56
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The Constitution of the United States says that (I'm paraphrasing "Congress will protect the rights of inventors & authors to have exclusive use of their creative works for a limited time."

Today, Congress protects the rights of organized crime syndicates to have exclusive use of everyone's works for an indefinite time.

Authors and inventors must be rewarded if they are to create the best IP. OTOH, the public domain must constantly grow to allow fertile ground for low-cost education, and to allow a base to build from when creating new IP.



I would never take a work that an author or inventor is still selling without paying for it. I would never pirate a copy of a Terry Pratchett novel, if I could buy it in a format that works on my PRS-505.

I am d/ling torrents of Terry Pratchett's appearances on the BBC reading his books, as these are not for sale.

I would not pirate a copy of Red Hat Linux that was available, but they don't sell 6.2, which I needed 6 copies of. This is not just any version of 6.2; I need the version that supports 4 to 8 XENON processors. I tried for months to scavenge eBay. I finally burned discs, and I'm still shopping.

I have paid and paid for copies of Microsoft software, only to have it refuse to work for obscure reasons not mentioned in the EULA. If Office 2007 will not install on 2000, SAY SO!

I recall buying a copy of Windows NT 3.51, Multi-Processor Edition. I paid $200 for it because the version I had said it was only license for use on a single machine, which was defined as a single CPU. After blowing more than a month's disposable income (as a broke college student) I found the same wording in Microsoft's EULA for the Multi-Processor Edition - IT COULD ONLY BE USED ON ONE CPU!!!

Then I started comparing license agreements, and found that Microsoft's in-bx EULAs were different from the ones posted on their web site, which were different from the ones in the click-wrap agreement.

I will buy a book, rip it to .PDF, and use that PDF in violation of the copyright notice that says it can not be reproduced. I then refuse to take the advice of others to return the book I bought, or to give them a copy of the PDF. The author deserves to be rewarded. The publisher's brain-dead copyright notice is absurd.

I'm a pirate, and an anarchist, and I'm proud to be both.

Andy
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:20 AM   #57
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It isn't theft because you aren't depriving anyone of property. No one ca steal a copy of an electronic anything from anyone, because they still have it.

"Potential revenue' isn't YOUR property. "Potential revenue" isn't...anything

You are infringing on their exclusive distribution rights. So no, an electronic version of a property by definition, and law, cannot be stolen.
Perhaps we should stop bickering about the exact words. People have settled on the word "piracy", and everybody knows what's meant by that. Technically, piracy means something else (what with people raiding ships and all) and that's the same thing as people using "chemical" to mean "poisonous" or "hacker" to mean "computer criminal" - but everyone here in these forums knows what's meant.

It's also not "theft" to sneak into a movie theater without paying, or to hitch a ride on a train or bus without a ticket (the train is going anyway, so you might as well use it for free, right?).

One can argue that the business model is broken till the cows come home, but the assumption that you can divide real costs by an expected number of payers and add your profit seems to work just fine for many things. Even for old-fashioned, product-in-your-hands kinds of business. How much do you think it costs to make one car, or one computer?

You can argue that "pirates" are a fact of life, and if they really couldn't get around paying they simply wouldn't get the product. It's not so much as a publisher I am annoyed by pirates, just as insurance agencies aren't really worried by fraudulent customers. Because you know what? They simply increase their premiums to account for it. Same thing with ebooks: publishers will simply factor in how many of their readers will simply not pay, and increase the price accordingly for us poor suckers who will.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:22 AM   #58
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6-8%? SIX TO EIGHT PERCENT?!!

I seriously hope that's wrong because otherwise publishers are nothing more than gangsters in fine suits and the very idea of using them to publish your books is sheer madness.

And here I am, thinking of how damaging piracy is to the people who work to bring the product to the people...

I'm being hopeful now, but with the continued expansion of the internet one can freely assume that publishing intellectual property by yourself will become feasible enough to remove the need for publishers entirely (and I dearly hope that this will come about while I still have interest in books). In such a world, the current file-sharing networks could serve as the infrastructure for distribution of intellectual property.

Of course, theft would be easier but I suppose that reclaiming the other 92% would cover it up if not outreach it.

On the topic of piracy - before one goes on to debate the morality of the issue one must understand the full underlying absurdity of it. I feel free to say openly that I support piracy and no moralistic propaganda spewed by the publishers can change that. Why?

I have no personal qualm in paying $20 for a good book or a video game which I could obtain legally. However, I do have a problem when the same costs in excess of $50 or even $100 as it does here. In such a scenario, I feel no guilt in paying someone $4 dollars to get a pirated copy or not at all for the same thing.

Off topic: I look forward to participating in this community as it has some really interesting stuff going around.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:33 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkai View Post
"Originally Posted by Steve Jordan
Okay, then, here's the question:

Is an electronic version of a property considered to be a coherent thing that can be stolen? Would the supposition that an electronic document is created "from nothing" be considered a "subterfuge" in such a case? (Okay, 2 questions...)"


It isn't theft because you aren't depriving anyone of property. No one ca steal a copy of an electronic anything from anyone, because they still have it.

"Potential revenue' isn't YOUR property. "Potential revenue" isn't...anything

You are infringing on their exclusive distribution rights. So no, an electronic version of a property by definition, and law, cannot be stolen.
However, intellectual property CAN be stolen in the U.S., and when you make unauthorized copies of an e-book, you are stealing intellectual property. U.S. law makes it clear that IP needs to be protected, specifically because of people who feel that others do not deserve due compensation for their ideas simply because they are not physical objects, and rob them of "potential sales." (Smart guys, those Founding Fathers.)
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:38 AM   #60
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On the topic of piracy - before one goes on to debate the morality of the issue one must understand the full underlying absurdity of it. I feel free to say openly that I support piracy and no moralistic propaganda spewed by the publishers can change that. Why?

I have no personal qualm in paying $20 for a good book or a video game which I could obtain legally. However, I do have a problem when the same costs in excess of $50 or even $100 as it does here. In such a scenario, I feel no guilt in paying someone $4 dollars to get a pirated copy or not at all for the same thing.
So... when things are more expensive than you want to pay for them, you don't do the honest thing and walk away, you just... steal them?

Yup. You're a pirate, all right. No morality debate there.
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