Midlist Authors & Online Piracy

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MisterGuyMan

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« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2017, 02:04:43 pm »
If someone sneaks into a performance, do you feel that's legitimate and not theft? You seemed an advocate for performances before, so I'm guessing you don't advocate for sneaking into them....

(click to show/hide)
....So, do you think sneaking into performances is okay? Surely nothing is taken if you sneak into a performance?
The problem with sneaking into a concert is the actual trespassing.  I'm not advocating trespassing.  Aside from that I don't see a problem.  A close example to that would be how people rent out their rooftops so that people can look into stadiums.  I have no problem with that.  Do you?

I just don't get it. Yes, absolutely you are stealing when duplicate something and give it away unlawfully. Semantics all you want, you are taking money from the bank account of the person that would have been paid. The duplicate and the receiver are equally stealing.

And, if you are arguing the inventing a sushi roll is equivalent to creating a work of art - like a book or a painting - there's nothing further to talk about as the difference is self evident. I'll then posit that taking money from your bank account is the same as making a sushi roll because [insert flawed logic].
I'm putting these two quotes from different posts together because I believe contrasting them highlights my point.  You first argue that copying and unlawful distributing is stealing.  Then you somehow argue with the sushi example that some copying and distributing is fine.  In the eyes of IP law they're the same thing.  Otherwise you're arguing that 'stealing' small amounts is OK but once you hit a certain dollar amount then stealing is bad.  If you insist that piracy is theft then stealing the recipe for a sushi roll is just as much theft and stealing something you deem more valuable.

The ideas of sushi rolls should be protected just as much as a manuscript.  If you disbelieve me go look at the lengths that Coca Cola has gone to protect their recipe.  Your own opinion that Sushi rolls shouldn't be protected is a double standard that undermines any argument that infringing is equivalent to theft. 

Your bank example is also stealing.  If you take money from my account then I no longer have that money.  That's an actual loss of property.  The sushi roll example is a copying of an idea.  You believe this is semantics but it's actually the cornerstone of what copyright is.  The word itself identifies the difference.  Copyright is a right to make copies.  It's not related to stealing.  This isn't an insignificant difference.

Here's an example :
You work for a store that sells expensive bikes.
You can't afford the bikes, you just work there.
Neither can 10 of your friends, but everyone wants one....So 22 bikes now are out in the world. No lost sales. But all 22 are thieves.

From the perspective of all the people down the chain,
"there's no loss because I wasn't going to buy it anyway".  This if false. Someone made the bikes, they didn't get paid, the store owner didn't get paid, the bike inventor doesn't get paid.
"I'm not a thief". False. You all stole the bikes. Pretty simple there, don't think this needs explained.

It's exactly the same for digital content. The fact that it was made in a computer is irrelevant . The fact that you weren't going to buy it is irrelevant. It's stealing, both as the person who ripped the content and those who received it are thieves.
Bikes are a physical good that suffer wear and tear.  Simply taking them out erodes their various parts and opens up risk to accidents and breakage.  I'll go back to an earlier example I used.  This example would be better if I took a picture of those bikes and somehow I could replicate those bikes at home Star Trek style.  Then the store has their own bikes brand new and you and your 10 friends have your identical bikes brand new.  You could even have 100 of your friends ride the same bike at the same time to the store to stare at the original 10 bikes.

I honestly just dislike comparing intellectual properties to physical property. There are just very real differences that people sweep under a rug.  Trust me.  If we could replicate matter the way we replicate data, the laws would have to change very fast and it would unethical not too.  Forget bikes.  We're basically talking about being able to solve world hunger but if we used your insistence that replicating things is theft then we couldn't morally copy steaks and salads for everyone.  Laws follow demand and if we could torrent physical matter like we do movies then there is no way the laws would remain the same.

That's actually a great counterexample.  If you lived in the Star Trek universe is replication immoral?  What's the difference in that case?

Your example also doesn't reflect reality.  As I pointed out earlier the most prolific pirates are also the biggest spenders.  So let's assume that your 10 friends steal the bikes every night and ride them all night long.  These sound like very avid bike riders so why would they restrict themselves to nighttime rides?  If they ride that much anyway realistically they'd just pony up the money to spare themselves the inconvenience of only limiting their recreational bike time to when the store is closed.  A more accurate example to reality would be the 10 friends are avid bikers and already own multiple bikes and bike parts and they'll "borrow" a specific seat or bar handle to try it out. Most stores I know would just let them try it out if they're already good customers.  I get the intent of your example but it's just not realistic.

But, there is another side of this you guys dont see and i will use an example from my own real life. When i got into fantasy and after finishing ASOIAF then TSA, i didnt know what to read. Everyone kept telling me to try Malazan, then everyone said it sucked and they couldn't understand it. So, i pirated it, The Gardens of the Moon, that is. And, said to myself if i like it cool if not ill just delete the file. I like it, alot. So, i went to Amazon and purchased every single Malzan written and still do to this day.

This is called the sampling effect and there are many studies that show it's real.  As I mention before the biggest pirates are the biggest spenders.  I actually don't believe you're in the minority.  Ive bought all the Second Apocalypse books.  Then I pirated the ebooks because they weren't available on Kindle.  Then I bought the ebooks once they were on Amazon anyway.  I also had a master file will each book in the original series that I made to search for terms easier (note that doing this is certainly a violation of copyright but I doubt many if any of the people here have a problem with it).  The same goes for music fans.  If you're pirating terabytes of music then odds are you're spending a good chunk of your money or legitimate songs or going to concerts.  Ditto for videogames.

What I keep trying to bring out is that piracy occurs in tandem with legitimate buying and the big limitation of legitimate spending isn't piracy, it's plain old lack of cash.  Big companies FYI are completely aware of the sampling effect.  While the official company line is always that piracy is bad, software companies have been actively pushing for developing markets to pirate their software.  It was either Bill Gates or Steve Balmer who said that if they're going to pirate anyway, they want them to pirate Microsoft software.  The reasoning behind this is that once thes pirates become accustomed to one program, the more in demand that software will be as the economy develops.  The customers will also just prefer to continue using the pirated software they've always used.  There are similar nuances if we want to examine music or videogames.

Wilshire

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« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2017, 02:50:41 pm »
So MGM, what I see is someone who doesn't have a horse in the race telling people who do how they should operate.

Also, you're whole post, to me, boils down to this:

I honestly just dislike comparing intellectual properties to physical property.
You define the system so you are always right. Which is great, but there's not much to discuss since you are now the holder of the definition. I agree that by your rules, you are correct, and the winner.

If we could replicate matter the way we replicate data, the laws would have to change
Then you go on to make Magic your primary argument

Your example also doesn't reflect reality.
Then you (incorrectly) claim I'm using Magic, which now isn't fair so my argument is invalid. Again, there's little room to discuss.

[Aside]
I submit that by your argument MGM, that there is no such thing as theft - at all. Everything is made of energy, be it digital content or the keyboard you are typing on. Since everyone can just get their e=mcc on and make new stuff for free, there is not property, there is no theft, and there is no ownership.
[/aside]

Anyways, back to reality, what we've got still is this very simple dichotomy:
Creators who create things like to be paid for their work.
Some people think that creators shouldn't get paid.

Choose your own reality.  I support the reality that doesn't lead to a world filled with no creators and only consumers.  You may choose to support whatever reality you prefer.

Since there seems to be a fundamental disagreement on what reality is, and what our different belief structures will lead to, it seems we've gone well past the point of effective communication, and for this I apologize for failing. I hope other's are able to better bridge this gap.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 02:53:59 pm by Wilshire »
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MisterGuyMan

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« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2017, 05:55:39 am »
So MGM, what I see is someone who doesn't have a horse in the race telling people who do how they should operate.
I'm actually exploring self publishing on Amazon.  As a comparable example, you can give your novel away for free on Amazon.  That's functionally the same thing as piracy.  People find doing so worthwhile.  Plus I don't see the reason why my personal stake has any bearing on my actual arguments.

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You define the system so you are always right. Which is great, but there's not much to discuss since you are now the holder of the definition. I agree that by your rules, you are correct, and the winner.
I'm trying not to be blunt but piracy and theft are legally considered different things and the removal of actual ownership is a very real difference.  Theft has existed since before human civilization.  Copyright has only existed for a few hundred years.  You want to equate them with real world physical examples.  I'm just pointing out why such examples are flawed on basic fundamental levels.

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Then you go on to make Magic your primary argument.
You're dismissing the key differences you don't like.  Want to call this magic?  Well that's what online piracy would look like in an accurate real world example.  You create a duplicate where none existed before.  I make that analogy precisely to illustrate the significant difference between actual theft and copyright infringement.

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Then you (incorrectly) claim I'm using Magic, which now isn't fair so my argument is invalid. Again, there's little room to discuss.
You are the one insisting we equate copying with theft with real world examples.  I'm sorry but if you insist on doing that then I will keep pointing out the lack of loss of ownership.

You seem to think that just because you equate piracy with theft that I have to agree.  I don't.  Each time you provide a real world example, I will point out key differences and to make your real world example accurate, we have to somehow make it possible to make physical copies without an actual loss of the original.  That's an undeniable and fundamental fact of copyright infringment.  That doesn't go away just because you want copyright infringement to be the same as theft.

Quote
Anyways, back to reality, what we've got still is this very simple dichotomy:
Creators who create things like to be paid for their work.
Some people think that creators shouldn't get paid.

Choose your own reality.  I support the reality that doesn't lead to a world filled with no creators and only consumers.  You may choose to support whatever reality you prefer.

Since there seems to be a fundamental disagreement on what reality is, and what our different belief structures will lead to, it seems we've gone well past the point of effective communication, and for this I apologize for failing. I hope other's are able to better bridge this gap.
My position is that you're arguing a false dichotomy.  This isn't either/or.  Creators find ways to get paid even as their world's are pirated.  Fans pirate created works and continue to pay for legitimate goods.  It's a point of historic fact that creative arts flourished before copyright was even invented and creators continue to thrive in markets with very high piracy rates.

This is all economics to me.  Supply and Demand.  There is a demand for created works and it's the creator's job to find efficient ways to monetize their efforts. 

To borrow from history again, you're repeating the same doomsday scenario that media providers have been repeating for the past few hundred years.  You're saying there's a threat of being in a world with no producers and only consumers.  As I mentioned earlier, Edison once pirated his favorite music artist when he invented the monophone.  The artist said that Edison invented something that would ruing all musicians because he reasoned that no one would even attend a concert if they could just listen to their words at home.  Today we found a way to monetize that and the same recording industry is crying that piracy is killing music.  Xerox technology had the same scare for book publishing and it went all the way to the Supreme Court IIRC.  Media companies tried to ban Tape recording VCRs saying people could fast forward through commercials and TV would die.  Today every huge media company touts high DVR rates as a badge of success.  So yeah... I simply don't buy these doomsday scenarios.  The market is very efficient and these new technologies in the long run benefit everyone, including artists.  Everyone has to adapt.

Callan S.

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« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2017, 07:53:18 am »
If someone sneaks into a performance, do you feel that's legitimate and not theft? You seemed an advocate for performances before, so I'm guessing you don't advocate for sneaking into them....

(click to show/hide)
....So, do you think sneaking into performances is okay? Surely nothing is taken if you sneak into a performance?
The problem with sneaking into a concert is the actual trespassing.  I'm not advocating trespassing.  Aside from that I don't see a problem.  A close example to that would be how people rent out their rooftops so that people can look into stadiums.  I have no problem with that.  Do you?

Yes. And what harm is there in trespass, MGM, that you're so against? Isn't trespass like getting to get inside a book and seeing it without paying to get in? Property is just an 'intellectual property' as well, it's made up. How is a property reduced for sneaking onto it and furtively moving around there and experiencing it, eh?

It's like you keep not seeing yourself in the picture here - when you read a book, your brain gets modified. It doesn't matter if 'no physical property is taken', you are getting your brain modified for free in a way you could not do without the author. It seems like, BBT style, you just can't see yourself in all this - you just focus on the physical property.

Quote
You seem to think that just because you equate piracy with theft that I have to agree.  I don't.

Err, you really do. Right now you're just arguing that you just don't have to obey laws. Anyone can say that - and we treat them with some contempt because we get some benefit from following laws and people who don't follow those laws screw up the benefits we get - you're advocating taking from us. People should adapt to laws. You're being worse than the guy that wants to play a boardgame with a group, but wants to cheat at it. In the boardgame piracy and theft are the same - do you want to play with the group and accept the equivalency or go live in the mountains as a hermit? I have to wonder if you avoid social activities where people have to be turfed out if they don't adhere to the rules of the activity.

And suppose a technology comes out tomorrow that stops all pirating. How about adapting to that? You're not advocating for the technology because the technology in this example has cancelled pirating. So what are you advocating? Are you like Saubon, you think you have joined forces with technology, when really it has no loyalty to you at all? You advocate for there being no problem in pirating, but then technology switchbacks and stops pirating - what then, are you going to advocate that pirating was something to stop? If technology enables pirating you advocating pirating, if technology stops pirating you argue against pirating? A puppet?

Again, I think you've just distanced yourself from having to turf out people who don't follow the group activity. It's like we all distance ourselves from the building that kills our meat for us. You don't feel you have to enforce anyone to follow a set of mutual rules and as much you don't feel you have to follow any yourself. That you don't have to equate piracy with theft. Like none of us kill animals to have our meat but still enjoy our meat, you enjoy the benefits of civilization but feel you don't have to enforce or adhere to its rules to do so. Only trespass seems to get to you, to make you feel something wrong is happening. As if only trespass is breaking some kind of rule, but piracy isn't. It's really arbitrary.

EdwardReynolds

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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2017, 09:30:53 am »
There seems to be two camps here, it is completely fine or it is totally bad.

My own opinion runs down the middle, based on some economic theory i can only half remember so bear with my clumsy rendition. This relates to concepts like substitution, exclusivity and elasticity - like I said I dont remember the exact definitions...I did economics years ago now. 

A physical object like a bike can be taken, and the original owner is now deprived of the use (or sale) of said bike.
An abstract object like a digital file, no matter how many times it is copied, in no way impacts the use of said file by the original owner.

For both forms of object, it can be argued, the 'thief' would not necessarily spend the money from their own pockets to acquire.
However when the abstract object is stolen it increases the number of users, rather then maintains or decreases available users. I.E. shifting the bike from Household A with 5 members to Household B with 2 members reduces the number of total people with access to a bike by 3 - with the caveat that in both cases only 1 person can ride the bike at one time.
Digital content, as an abstract, does not have this limitation. This is why people feel less compunction 'pirating' media.

The FBI warnings on DVDs used to say "You wouldnt download a car" - 3D printing puts the lie to this statement.
You're goddamn right people would download a car for cheaper then buying it from the car yard if they could.

End of the day though, support the people you consume content from. Bakker chooses to not have modern alternative income streams, so go buy his damn book if you like it.
If no one buys books Bakker wont write them for us. Simple as that. Consider how long it takes to read a book, the average fantasy book is less then a dollar an hour for entertainment. Its a no brainer. Skip 5 coffees and pay for the bloody thing.

This is how he chose to make his work available, support it or it will die. Like newspapers and cable companies. It doesn't matter, our man needs sales to continue. Moralising wankery looking at both sides with a calm rational mind aside, it's not a hard decision to make. Be the person that pays for it, or shut the fuck up.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 09:32:32 am by EdwardReynolds »

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« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2017, 01:02:45 pm »
Just out of curiousity MGM/ER, have either of you ever created something to sell and had it stolen, digitally or otherwise?
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Wilshire

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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2017, 02:23:12 pm »
First, ER, I think we're at least somewhere near the same stance (regardless of what I may or may not be discussing here)

Second, can you please explain a bit further as you appear to be able to have a conversation in a way that I can't seem to have with MGM.

A physical object like a bike can be taken, and the original owner is now deprived of the use (or sale) of said bike.
An abstract object like a digital file, no matter how many times it is copied, in no way impacts the use of said file by the original owner.
If you removed "(or sale)" this makes sense, but as soon as sale is thrown in there, I don't understand the logic. I have to think that the availability of the item for free affects the sale of that item.

However when the abstract object is stolen it increases the number of users, rather then maintains or decreases available users.
Digital content, as an abstract, does not have this limitation. This is why people feel less compunction 'pirating' media.

My whole point with the bike example was this very concept, though obviously with the opposite conclusion, and I'd like to figure out why.

My question is, doesn't this come down to how you are viewing/defining the system, or what part of it you are focused on?
From the thief's point of view, in either case, the thing stolen is magically duplicated. Bike shows up in the shop, new file shows up in the computer.
But if we zoom out to the creator - be it the manufacturer or the author - there is a real cost associated with this magical duplication. In both cases the 'real loss' to the system is the sale, not the use of the object. No one cares if you buy a bike and don't use it, or buy a book and don't read it. The loss of that sale is what makes the difference.
To me, it seems there's functionally infinite materials in the world to make an infinite number of bikes, just as there is an infinite amount of electricity to duplicate and store infinite copies of digital media. Once all the metal is gone, and once all the electricity runs out, both can no longer be made. So, to me, the 'physical loss' to the system is equally inconsequential for real vs. digital. Money is the only thing that matters.

So, what am I missing?

"You wouldnt download a car"
You're goddamn right people would download a car for cheaper then buying it from the car yard if they could.
I remember these public announcements with great fondness lol.

End of the day though, support the people you consume content from. Bakker chooses to not have modern alternative income streams, so go buy his damn book if you like it.
Agreed. Its not our job to disagree with his business model and usurp it. Whether anyone can agree that stealing is bad or not is irrelevant.

If no one buys books Bakker wont write them for us. Simple as that. Consider how long it takes to read a book, the average fantasy book is less then a dollar an hour for entertainment. Its a no brainer. Skip 5 coffees and pay for the bloody thing.

This is how he chose to make his work available, support it or it will die. Like newspapers and cable companies. It doesn't matter, our man needs sales to continue. Moralising wankery looking at both sides with a calm rational mind aside, it's not a hard decision to make. Be the person that pays for it, or shut the fuck up.

Yup. Nothing to add to that from my end.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 02:26:13 pm by Wilshire »
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Callan S.

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« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2017, 07:49:59 pm »
ER, like MGM, you seem to not see yourself in the equation. You are having your brain stimulated by the media. Massaged, if you will. It doesn't matter if the medium is duplicatable, the service is occurring and it's freeloading to get the service without paying.

Why do you think you deserve the service for free? At least in this society - if you felt we should all live in a society where everyone is supported and we get easy duplications for free, I could see that as making some sense (because the author would be supported, because everyone would be supported)

But when people aren't supported and go without, why do you think you can argue you don't have to go without? Why should the author go without, but you don't have to?

Isn't it just an argument to saddle others with poverty for your own benefit? The sort of thing we accused wallstreet of during the GFC and hated them for it?

mostly.harmless

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« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2017, 10:26:30 pm »
So MGM, what I see is someone who doesn't have a horse in the race telling people who do how they should operate.
I'm actually exploring self publishing on Amazon.  As a comparable example, you can give your novel away for free on Amazon.  That's functionally the same thing as piracy.  People find doing so worthwhile.  Plus I don't see the reason why my personal stake has any bearing on my actual arguments.

Quote
You define the system so you are always right. Which is great, but there's not much to discuss since you are now the holder of the definition. I agree that by your rules, you are correct, and the winner.
I'm trying not to be blunt but piracy and theft are legally considered different things and the removal of actual ownership is a very real difference.  Theft has existed since before human civilization.  Copyright has only existed for a few hundred years.  You want to equate them with real world physical examples.  I'm just pointing out why such examples are flawed on basic fundamental levels.

Quote
Then you go on to make Magic your primary argument.
You're dismissing the key differences you don't like.  Want to call this magic?  Well that's what online piracy would look like in an accurate real world example.  You create a duplicate where none existed before.  I make that analogy precisely to illustrate the significant difference between actual theft and copyright infringement.

Quote
Then you (incorrectly) claim I'm using Magic, which now isn't fair so my argument is invalid. Again, there's little room to discuss.
You are the one insisting we equate copying with theft with real world examples.  I'm sorry but if you insist on doing that then I will keep pointing out the lack of loss of ownership.

You seem to think that just because you equate piracy with theft that I have to agree.  I don't.  Each time you provide a real world example, I will point out key differences and to make your real world example accurate, we have to somehow make it possible to make physical copies without an actual loss of the original.  That's an undeniable and fundamental fact of copyright infringment.  That doesn't go away just because you want copyright infringement to be the same as theft.

Quote
Anyways, back to reality, what we've got still is this very simple dichotomy:
Creators who create things like to be paid for their work.
Some people think that creators shouldn't get paid.

Choose your own reality.  I support the reality that doesn't lead to a world filled with no creators and only consumers.  You may choose to support whatever reality you prefer.

Since there seems to be a fundamental disagreement on what reality is, and what our different belief structures will lead to, it seems we've gone well past the point of effective communication, and for this I apologize for failing. I hope other's are able to better bridge this gap.
My position is that you're arguing a false dichotomy.  This isn't either/or.  Creators find ways to get paid even as their world's are pirated.  Fans pirate created works and continue to pay for legitimate goods.  It's a point of historic fact that creative arts flourished before copyright was even invented and creators continue to thrive in markets with very high piracy rates.

This is all economics to me.  Supply and Demand.  There is a demand for created works and it's the creator's job to find efficient ways to monetize their efforts. 

To borrow from history again, you're repeating the same doomsday scenario that media providers have been repeating for the past few hundred years.  You're saying there's a threat of being in a world with no producers and only consumers.  As I mentioned earlier, Edison once pirated his favorite music artist when he invented the monophone.  The artist said that Edison invented something that would ruing all musicians because he reasoned that no one would even attend a concert if they could just listen to their words at home.  Today we found a way to monetize that and the same recording industry is crying that piracy is killing music.  Xerox technology had the same scare for book publishing and it went all the way to the Supreme Court IIRC.  Media companies tried to ban Tape recording VCRs saying people could fast forward through commercials and TV would die.  Today every huge media company touts high DVR rates as a badge of success.  So yeah... I simply don't buy these doomsday scenarios.  The market is very efficient and these new technologies in the long run benefit everyone, including artists.  Everyone has to adapt.
IMHO MGM makes some rational arguments here that have gone unanswered. I feel there's an emotional undercurrent to some responses, which is fine of course, but it feels unfair to pick and choose what to respond to.

What I perceive to be the main disagreement/misunderstanding, is that:
1. Copyright (as applied to Intellectual Property: ideas, patents, music, books) and it's subsequent infringement (unauthorized duplication) is in legal terms different from physical removal and theft of physical objects, or zero-sum property (e.g. a bike or money in your account). And I mean legally, not in perception (although that may also be true). It's not to troll, but I believe that in order to truly look objectively at this you need to define the terms used as clearly as possible. (and this is my attempt, by no means without flaws).
2. Theft in general is understood as the latter: appropriating zero-sum goods from the rightful owner.  Piracy or theft of IP or copyright infringement, is legally called..infringement.

Both trespasses (1.copyright infringement/piracy and 2. Zero-sum theft) 'remove' a potential sale from the creator's pocket. That is both why one side maintains piracy is unequivocally theft, and also why the other side does not: because of the 'potential' nature (and the sampling effect I think).

I will be branded a coward but I can see good arguments on both sides.

The loss of a sale is a loss for the original creator whether that is zero-sum or IP.  Someone appropriated your creation, or a copy thereof etc, without giving you due recompense.

Or, like said above me, someone wanted to try-before-you-buy, and made sure the product was to their liking before buying. Here you could argue that they could also use the 'send sample to kindle' feature, but if you don't have a Kindle or there isn't a sample you're out of luck. Still, I think this is a nice way of countering piracy among a certain group of ppl who might have pirated the books instead to sample them.

And there's the group of ppl that pirate because they don't have enough money to buy all the content/media they want. The 'benefit' to the author is that they expand the fan base and hopefully spread the word. They might buy the books later if they loved the experience (illegally obtained).  The detrimental consequence is that in spreading the word they might advocate the pirated copy, or buy less of their less-than-favourite-authors, because why spend on those when you've spent all your money on your favourite author already?  That sounds like the marketplace at work, and I can see this highly disfavors authors with a small fanbase. Then again, that would also be the case in a world where piracy isn't possible? (Or am I missing something?)

Pirates who pirate just for the sake of hoarding have other issues and I'm not sure where they fall tbh. Would they ever really buy the book, do they even read them? I agree it's unfair, but do these ppl, just by hoarding (not reading), hurt an author? (Disregarding the fact that they help perpetuate an underground/illegal marketplace).

Those that try to sell the material are criminals because they try to make a profit out of someone else's creative efforts.

End of late night rant.

Sent from mobile using Tapatalk


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« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2017, 01:31:43 am »
Can people stop trying to act as if a pirating/theft 'distinction' is the real crux of their argument? There are fines or imprisonment for pirating. There are fines or imprisonment for theft. If people were arguing there should be no fines or imprisonment for pirating, it'd make some sense to argue that distinction. But as is, it has nothing to do with your argument, you're just insisting pirating can just happen and that's okay, even as it's pointed out bluntly to you that it gets fines and potential imprisonment.

You suffer a fairly nasty penalty for either of them if caught. See the equivalence?

We call it theft as a reference to 'you get fines or imprisonment for this if caught'. Because we agree that should happen - if you're sitting in prison but saying 'Ah ha, but I'm not here for theft, I'm here for infringement!' and you think it makes a difference, at best it's silly.

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And there's the group of ppl that pirate because they don't have enough money to buy all the content/media they want.
No, that's an example of a sampling effect. People don't pirate because they lack money. People might steal food if starving, but when they lack money that doesn't somehow drive them to pirate.

mostly.harmless

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« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2017, 08:06:12 am »
Can people stop trying to act as if a pirating/theft 'distinction' is the real crux of their argument? There are fines or imprisonment for pirating. There are fines or imprisonment for theft. If people were arguing there should be no fines or imprisonment for pirating, it'd make some sense to argue that distinction. But as is, it has nothing to do with your argument, you're just insisting pirating can just happen and that's okay, even as it's pointed out bluntly to you that it gets fines and potential imprisonment.

You suffer a fairly nasty penalty for either of them if caught. See the equivalence?

We call it theft as a reference to 'you get fines or imprisonment for this if caught'. Because we agree that should happen - if you're sitting in prison but saying 'Ah ha, but I'm not here for theft, I'm here for infringement!' and you think it makes a difference, at best it's silly.

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And there's the group of ppl that pirate because they don't have enough money to buy all the content/media they want.
No, that's an example of a sampling effect. People don't pirate because they lack money. People might steal food if starving, but when they lack money that doesn't somehow drive them to pirate.
Callan I think we're not understanding each other. I wasn't saying that the distinction is the crux of the argument. It just seems that that part of the discussion is where opinions diverge. I gave context as to why I think that that happens. Quite different from what you're suggesting. Maybe I didn't explain it well enough but that was my intent.

And I didn't say, or subscribe to this:
"But as is, it has nothing to do with your argument, you're just insisting pirating can just happen and that's okay, even as it's pointed out bluntly to you that it gets fines and potential imprisonment."

I never said it can just happen or that it was okay. I was describing the groups as I see them IRL, or think they exist. I also, bluntly, pointed out I see some merit to both sides, but that loss of a sale, whether through theft or infringement, is a loss to the creator. That part didn't count?

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Callan S.

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« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2017, 09:54:32 am »
I never said it was specifically directed towards you, MH. But it was a charitable reading - just saying 'Piracy or theft of IP or copyright infringement, is legally called..infringement.' as if it was just a technical observation and was nothing to do with MGM's argument - well, that would be a non sequitur given the discussion before that point. A kind of random thing to say if it doesn't actually weigh in on any side or make an argument. Currently it feels like you're weighing in for for the 'theft/pirating is different' argument, by the way you're saying things which try to outline differences between theft/pirating.

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I see some merit to both sides, but that loss of a sale, whether through theft or infringement, is a loss to the creator. That part didn't count?

You'd said it's a loss to the creator...OR someone might want to try before they buy...or they might not have the money to buy it. What does 'or' mean there, but 'it's a loss...or it's actually something else'?

If you're saying it's a loss and that's it, then there is no 'or it's something else'.

mostly.harmless

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« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2017, 10:28:08 am »
I never said it was specifically directed towards you, MH. But it was a charitable reading - just saying 'Piracy or theft of IP or copyright infringement, is legally called..infringement.' as if it was just a technical observation and was nothing to do with MGM's argument - well, that would be a non sequitur given the discussion before that point. A kind of random thing to say if it doesn't actually weigh in on any side or make an argument. Currently it feels like you're weighing in for for the 'theft/pirating is different' argument, by the way you're saying things which try to outline differences between theft/pirating.

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I see some merit to both sides, but that loss of a sale, whether through theft or infringement, is a loss to the creator. That part didn't count?

You'd said it's a loss to the creator...OR someone might want to try before they buy...or they might not have the money to buy it. What does 'or' mean there, but 'it's a loss...or it's actually something else'?

If you're saying it's a loss and that's it, then there is no 'or it's something else'.
It was indeed a random thing, and a technical observation because I strongly believe that understanding (which does not mean agreeing with!) each other comes first through making sure we all know what we're talking about.
It was indeed a clarification or a technical observation.
Said technicality is not a reason, certainly not my reason, to handwave the argument away. It's sole purpose was to clarify. Semantics matters when discussing something. Especially when it involves legal labels. 

As to the latter half of your message. I don't see all of that as mutually exclusive. Piracy is a loss of a sale that should have rightfully taken place.
Piracy also happens, sometimes, because people want to try before they buy. Or because they are <insert other reason>.
One thing is to establish WHAT something is. The other is WHY do people do it. That's not an either/or situation. They are totally different things, but can be discussed together.
I'm not trying to be antagonizing but Im not blind to your annoyance with me so I will show myself the door.

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Wilshire

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« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2017, 11:36:18 am »
Mostly.Harmless, thanks for weighing in.

I do see what you're saying, but I don't think that the semantics play a particularly important role because, as Callan pointed out, most people really just use them as misdirection.

Yes, copyright infringement falls under a different legal definition as theft. But, in most cases, piracy of all kinds is treated as a much more severe crime than petty theft. There is no petty piracy, tens of thousands of dollars in fines and years of jail time per occurrence. So really, if we all want to go down that silly path, piracy is one of the worst crimes possible.

On top of that, the law works in two ways, which everyone knows but likes to pretend like they dont. There is 'the letter of the law' and the 'intent of the law'. Which again brings us strictly to talking about semantics rather than the issue.

So using legal language is flawed on many levels, more levels imo than just talking about it. I used a story (painted a word picture) because thats how people understand eachother. Quoting definitions and pulling up studies is just a waste of time. We can all find studies and definitions that fit our assumptions. That's a zero sum game, and again a waste of time.

So rather than sitting around quoting wikipedia, I choose to actually think about the issue and attempt to  discuss it in what I think is a more meaningful way, rather than hiding behind overly complex legalities and online 'research'.

So, MH, while I seriously appreciate your contribution and believe it will help some people, I don't think that tactic is an effective way of communicating differences in feelings. Mostly because I'm pretty sure that most people here (maybe not elsewhere on the internet but in this place specifically) understand that there are differences in the semantics at play. I think we're all communicating in a way that people can understand if we so choose.
Does that make sense?

Or explained another way: It really is as simple as "taking something that isn't yours is [bad/good]" - circle one (or: right/wrong, legal/illegal, morally acceptable/reprehensible). We all know how laws work, we all know about morality, we all know about right vs. wrong. We don't need legal definitions and scientific studies to help us out, as it all boils down to 'what you feel' regardless. Here in the Bakker noosphere we all understand that right/wrong, good/bad, even legal/illegal, are a matter of personal preference, so understanding why the difference becomes far more important in this discussion. We could all lawyer up and have teams of researchers posting articles, and we'd be no closer to reaching an understanding than if we could just have a discussion. We all know the basics here, so lets talk to eachother, rather than around eachother.



You're definitely right though that there are high emotional states here at play. And while things could certainly be worse, I think everyone should do a gut check before each of their posts (I do include myself here) ((for the record, I think ER and MH in their last few posts have done a better job than than the rest of us)).
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:56:15 am by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

MisterGuyMan

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« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2017, 02:21:30 pm »
My response is a little outdated.  I go from WiFi spot to WiFi sport sometimes days apart and I just respond to the points I see and by the time I can post them there's more.

Anyway I think there are 3 main ways to argue copyrights and infringement.  Morally, Legally and economically.  The arguments against seem to be weighted towards moral arguments but I see a bit of the others sprinkled in there to justify why it's morally wrong.  I feel like we should discuss the three perspectives separately because weaving between the three is counterproductive.

Anyway here's my replies as of a few days ago:

Yes. And what harm is there in trespass, MGM, that you're so against? Isn't trespass like getting to get inside a book and seeing it without paying to get in? Property is just an 'intellectual property' as well, it's made up. How is a property reduced for sneaking onto it and furtively moving around there and experiencing it, eh?
If the problem is merely that it's wrong to "get into a book without paying" then going to a bookstore and looking through books is wrong.  Or at least refer to the example I made earlier with people renting out their rooftops to look into arena events.  Is that wrong?  The analogy with trespassing is that trespassing has actual risks involved.  If some one breaks into my house, my first assumption is that I'm probably in danger and I have legal recourse to defend myself even possibly with lethal force.  There's also just physical limitations as to how many people a venue can accommodate. 

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It's like you keep not seeing yourself in the picture here - when you read a book, your brain gets modified. It doesn't matter if 'no physical property is taken', you are getting your brain modified for free in a way you could not do without the author. It seems like, BBT style, you just can't see yourself in all this - you just focus on the physical property.
Ok so am I morally obligated to compensate someone everytime external stimuli modifies my brain?  Here's an actual example from today.  I'm walking down the street and overhear some one one humming some catchy tune.  I have no idea what song it is but it's stuck in my head so there's no question that my brain was modified.  So am I supposed to track down the IP owner of that song and compensate them for modifying my brain?  According to copyright law that tune belongs to some one and some one's copyrighted property modified my brain. 

I'll get into the problems with actual *not* breaking copyright law later.

I actually like the modifying brain argument since it illustrates an important point.  That's the inherent difficulty of discussing intellectual property like it's physical property.  EVERYTHING modifies your brain but copyrights try to draw arbitrary lines as to which types of brain modifications count and which don't.

I used the Sushi example.  Ichiro Mashita is the inventor of the CaliRoll.  Are all eaters of Americanized Sushi morally obligated to pay him since his idea modified their brains?  What about the example of watching arenas from your roof?  Is that immoral?  Please answer because it highlights why we're even having this discussion.  The most important question is why?  Why do you think those things are different?

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Err, you really do. Right now you're just arguing that you just don't have to obey laws. Anyone can say that - and we treat them with some contempt because we get some benefit from following laws and people who don't follow those laws screw up the benefits we get - you're advocating taking from us. People should adapt to laws. You're being worse than the guy that wants to play a boardgame with a group, but wants to cheat at it. In the boardgame piracy and theft are the same - do you want to play with the group and accept the equivalency or go live in the mountains as a hermit? I have to wonder if you avoid social activities where people have to be turfed out if they don't adhere to the rules of the activity.
If you insist on arguing this on legal grounds to justify a moral argument then I suggest you look at this:
https://muse.jhu.edu/article/481096
Like it or not, if you're trying to attack me for breaking copyright laws then you're being a hypocrite likely without knowing it.  You break copyright laws too wether you like it or not.  In our society, it's unavoidable.  That's why I liked your "modified brain" phrase.  Copyright defines any idea as owned property at the moment on inception.  So functionally speaking where does copying start?  So im actually not a hermit at all.  I'm a regular old everyday pirate that infringes on copyrights... just like you.

Here's another way of looking at this through a socio historic lense.  I'm guessing you're probably in a well developed country.  Generally the richest countries with the highest valued IP laws push for the strongest copyright laws.  Developing countries have very lax copyright laws.  This makes sense because copyrights and also patents are defined as intellectual monopolies and those with monopolies push for laws to protect their monopolies.  By the numbers though, most of the world's populations don't value copyrights as highly as developed western countries.  Even the USA, the one pushing for ever stronger copyright laws was always this way. Historically, when the USA wadeveloping nation, it defied European IP because the fledgling nation couldn't afford them.  This fueled the American Industral Revolution.  So the perspective that infringing copyrights is stealing is tied directly to how wealthy one's country is.  The richer countries want to maintain their IP monopolies.  Poorer countries don't.  Bakker uses the term "the inference of the purse" to identify self serving ideologies.  Copyright, historically, is exactly that.

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And suppose a technology comes out tomorrow that stops all pirating....If technology enables pirating you advocating pirating, if technology stops pirating you argue against pirating? A puppet?
Even discussing a hypothetical piracy free world is hard.  I actually posited this same question earlier.  What does a world with no copying of ideas even look like?  Superman and Captain Marvel were at one point decided to be too similar to each other.  Patent laws are broken specifically because patents prevent the copying of innovative ideas even when the one who made the idea never actually did anything with it.  Music borrows from past music all the time.  Here's a great copyright infringement lawsuit example:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/songs-on-trial-10-landmark-music-copyright-cases-20160608/vanilla-ice-vs-queen-and-david-bowie-1990-20160608
So is every 5 note sequence now owned by someone?  Adding a fifth note to a four note sequence is piracy?

I dont believe you understand how pervasive copyright law is since youre asking me to comment on a society that would be incomprehensible to the one we live in.

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Again, I think you've just distanced yourself from having to turf out people who don't follow the group activity. It's like we all distance ourselves from the building that kills our meat for us. You don't feel you have to enforce anyone to follow a set of mutual rules and as much you don't feel you have to follow any yourself. That you don't have to equate piracy with theft. Like none of us kill animals to have our meat but still enjoy our meat, you enjoy the benefits of civilization but feel you don't have to enforce or adhere to its rules to do so. Only trespass seems to get to you, to make you feel something wrong is happening. As if only trespass is breaking some kind of rule, but piracy isn't. It's really arbitrary.
I refer you again to the Infringement Nation article I cited earlier.  How does your position change now that you know that you're breaking these rules weekly if not daily?  If you play videogames at all you probably violate those EULAs that you agree to.  One common clause says you buy a single non-transferable license to play the software.  So, if we're talking technically, you're violating your contract if you let your friend play a game you bought.  How do you justify this or will you say that your rule breaking is OK but trespassing is not ok?

My position is simple.  Laws are laws.  Just because something is a law doesn't mean it's good or bad.  You seem to be hitching all your horses on "if it's a law then you have to follow it."

Just out of curiousity MGM/ER, have either of you ever created something to sell and had it stolen, digitally or otherwise?
I mentioned earlier how I'm considering self publishing to supplement my income.  My basic position is that if anyone pirated my work without interacting with me, it's my failure as a businessman.  I want to offer something better than torrents.  Offer it free on Amazon for a limited time, offer free chapters for review on Patreon.  I'd also probably leak a version of it myself on torrent where it starts and ends with "thank you for your interest" message and I ask you to support me.  I know of more than one successful artist that allows downloads of all their books on their official website.  I'm honestly exploring all of this to see the best way/sequence to implement them.