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Piracy Australia Technology

The Case For Piracy 318

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrr-me-hearties dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A mainstream media outlet has published an article called 'The Case for Piracy. The writer shows how copyright has been hijacked by corporations and that publishers are their own worst enemies. 'One of the main reasons we all have anti-piracy slogans embedded in our brains is because the music industry chose to try and protect its existing market and revenue streams at all costs and marginalise and vilify those who didn't want to conform to the harsh new rules being set.' There's a lot in the article that Slashdot readers can relate to, and it's interesting that so many replies seem to agree with the author."
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The Case For Piracy

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  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:18AM (#37791446)
    The fundamental problem Strong Copyright has with piracy is that technology is going to *continue* to advance. This will make copying even easier in the future than it is now. Encryption and Peer to Peer networks are going to increase in power, and will be easier to use.

    The only way to maintain Strong Copyright is through government force. Increasingly it isn't about stopping people from doing "bad things" like "stealing" content. Instead it becomes a Government managed and controlled system for collecting income for a few favored parties.

    Strong Copyright is about protecting the public. It is about protecting the few at the top that can rake in the dough.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:25AM (#37791590)

    The fundamental problem with laws against murder is that weapon technology is going to *continue* to advance. This will make killing people even easier in the future than it is now. Assault rifles and incendiary explosives are going to increase in power, and will be easier to use.

    The only way to maintain laws against murder is through government force. Increasingly it isn't about stopping people from doing "bad things" like "killing people". Instead it becomes a Government managed and controlled system for collecting income for a few favored parties.

  • To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth (2370816) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:26AM (#37791622)

    Copyright is good. Linux uses it, news sources use it, our society practically requires it to function properly. Good copyright, that is, copyright that promotes the progress of science and the useful arts. Not the life+70 (or whatever the hell it is now, I can't even keep track) bullshit we have now. That? That hinders science and progress and promotes stagnation. That's all that does. Piracy? Well, it's a counter-active force to a broken system, which is itself broken conceptually. It is a practical, if unfortunate, necessity.

    To all media companies out there: give us what we want (not broken with DRM) and when we want it (not 9 months to 3 years later), and you'll see piracy decline significantly. Oh, and make new innovative product rather than coasting off the work of an earlier genius (Disney, that comment is directed precisely at you.)

    I suppose this is too much to ask. So, then, is paying for the same old recycled crap the media produces. So, people won't.

  • Re:Music (Score:4, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:26AM (#37791628)
    Not me. The only time I will ever buy music is from the band itself at a show, or directly from the band online. Or unless I know that the publisher has absolutely no ties to the RIAA or any RIAA-related entity, which is pretty hard to determine. Anything that comes out on an RIAA-related label I will download illegally, in hopes that artists will eventually stop signing to those bloodsuckers. Yes, it hurts for the artists, I make no illusions about that, but when you make a deal with the devil you must accept the consequences... Stop signing with RIAA labels and you will get my money.
  • I am no Pirate! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:29AM (#37791692)

    I don't download music, I don't torrent music, I don't P2P music.

    I am a model citizen.

    More about me:

    * I am over 50
    * I have bought maybe 10 Albums/Cassettes/8-Tracks/Digital Downloads in my *Entire* life.

    Wouldn't the music industry love having an entire market of folks just like me!

  • New Rules (Score:5, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:30AM (#37791720)
    Internet restored old rule: You can make money as an artist IF you are willing to perform your art in LIVE and there is audience willing to pay for it. There was brief window in history, like 100 years, where this rule was changed in a strange way: it was enough to perform ONCE, make recording of it, and then sell recordings instead of performances. This model could work only when sharing of data was difficult. That model is going away, with or without crying loud or imposing (never quite working) copyright walls. It is really bad for films, for example, you cannot perform it live. But, cinemas and broadcasters are giving lots of money to film industry for broadcasting rights. They will only loose "DVD money". I think think they will survive just fine.
  • by ledow (319597) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:31AM (#37791732) Homepage

    Can't get the programme you want, the music you want, the film you want, the software you want? Can't get it in the right format, the right quality, without DRM?

    Then DON'T buy it. Don't consume it. If the producers of Lost want to play those sorts of games (and they are hardly innocent here - they sign the deals that say who can distribute their product how), then stop watching the damn thing. The reason these companies continue is that people STILL buy that crap and still desire product from people that are crapping on them. Don't be one of them.

    Personally, when something comes up like that, I not only don't BUY it, but I do everything in my power to stop requiring it too, including seeking out alternatives that are completely legal and legitimate.

    I've witnessed businesses go from MS Office to LibreOffice for just that reason - you cannot get what you want, for a price you want to pay, and use it the way you want, so you go elsewhere even if it's an inconvenience. Some people would turn to piracy but as a business you can turn to other, more enticing, offers like free Office suites that have MOST or ALL of the functionality you require.

    The problem I have with piracy is that most of it is unnecessary. There's possibly an argument that some third-world country can't afford first-world licensing and so pirates to make their businesses operate. But TV, DVD, Blu-Ray, iPod's, etc. are luxury items. They are NOT necessary. That's what gets my goat about piracy - you're only ripping off stuff that you don't actually NEED (like the people I've seen who download EVERY episode of EVERYTHING "just in case" they get around to watching it at some point, and then rarely watch 10% of the stuff they've downloaded).

    If you NEED it, you'll do whatever you need to do.
    If you only WANT it, then pay for it.
    If you can't pay for it, but still want it, find something else to want.

  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:37AM (#37791902) Journal

    It is about protecting the public, but not in the sense that the GP believes.

    It is about protecting the public by keeping an incentive for the produces of works of art, to keep producing. That incentive is financial compensation. It allows them to produce these works as a job, rather than in their free time, allowing them to produce more. This then provides more options for public consumption. There's arguments for some kind of patronage system - but what incentive do the patrons have - if it is a painting, something where the original can be easily determined and have a set value, something displayable on a wall for all to see, with appreciating value, then that is one thing. But with books, music and movies, that doesn't work so well. These patrons usually don't won't money by dumb luck, they have it because they want to make it - that means they are not going to pay thousands to millions of dollars for something that will give them a few hours of enjoyment, unless they can expect to get some financial compensation back - usually in excess of what they pay.

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:37AM (#37791906)

    Actually, if you are not murdering people, those that don't die benefit. Mostly this is the public, as weapons are rarely trained on the rich and the wealthy that can afford to avoid dangerous situations and pay for protection. It is the common man that mostly gets mowed down. And if the government is preventing the sell of new weapons systems to people, then those at the top are getting punished.

    You are trying to tie the idea of the Government enforcing laws that protect the public with Strong Copyright which does not protect the public but just the favored few. Any amount of effort looking at the differences between copyright and weapons systems, and it is clear that your analogy totally breaks down. The right thing (control weapons to save lives) benefits the public and takes away from the profits of those at the top. The right thing (weaker copyright to grant more freedoms and less liability as people share and develop content) benefits the public and takes away from the profits of those at the top.

    In the case of copyright, "those at the top" are not the actual content producers by far and large. Copyright now extends 70 years AFTER the content producer is dead and buried. How is copyright about funding content producers if more than half its term is after the content producer is dead?

    Try again.

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:43AM (#37792056)

    Strong Copyright is NOT about protecting the public. It is about protecting the few at the top that can rake in the dough.

    No doubt about this, the truth is the public can't defend itself the money power because only a small portion of the population even understands the issues correctly to make any kind of sound decision regarding policy.

  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:46AM (#37792140)

    Contempt for customers

    He then goes on to demonstrate several instances of where the local TV stations screwed the audience.

    You are not TV's customers. You are the product being sold to the advertisers.

    One Time Warner exec when so far as to say that people who TiVo shows and fast forward through the commercials are thieves. (As well as people who switch channels, or use the euphemism during a break)

    If TV exec's could Ludovico you, they would.

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:47AM (#37792152)

    Copyright extends 70 years after the Content Producer is dead and buried. If more than half the term is after they are dead, how is that an incentive for the producers of works of art to keep producing?

    Have you bought a new Cash album lately? Watched a new Hope movie? A new Carry Grant film?

    How about a new hit from the folks that brought you "Happy Birthday?" (I would have used their name, but we don't really know who wrote it, but Time Warner Music still gets 2 Million a year off its copyright anyway).

    I think there would be more incentive to produce if Content Providers had to compete with a larger body of free work. Their stuff would have to be better to sell, but hey! They could actually use "Happy Birthday" in their movie without paying Time Warner Music (That Great Content Producer!) 10 grand for the right to use a song written in the late 1800's.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:49AM (#37792182)
    You don't need STRONG copyright for that. 10 years has that covered easily if you hold that notion to be true. Also, copyright is a weird holdover from medieval economics. Legal monopolies pretty much only make sense for utilities, and the economics of artistic works is the polar opposite.
  • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:22AM (#37792906)

    Give us what we want, when we want it, and where we want it.

    Okay...
    what - Everything!
    when - Now!
    where - Everywhere!

    Very well. That will be $15/movie, $2.50/episode of a series and $1.99/song, you can log into our media portal and pay via credit card and paypal.

    Not acceptable, right?

    That's because you forgot two...
    price - Preferably free, but we're not unreasonable pirates - $2.50 for a movie, $0.50/episode of a series and $0.02/song (think of it as promotion, we'll be more likely to go see live concerts and buy merchandise - honest!)
    how - Nothing against portals, but we're not too keen on you lot having all of our data and you'd just be doing it wrong anyway by trying to shove crap at us instead of the content we want. So instead, allow anonymous public downloads from an open searchable system (interfacing with imdb and the like would be grand, thanks) and use payment processors to allow anonymous payments for the service. Yes, that does sound like an honor system - why do you ask? Do we not seem like honorable pirates?

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:03PM (#37793694)

    No, the length of copyright is an incentive for the investors (I would say publishers/labels/studios/etc. ) to take ownership of the copyrights, and deny the creators compensation at all.

  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:27PM (#37794094) Homepage

    I didn't say that copyright wasn't broken. I said that piracy is not the solution.

    Nobody says piracy is the solution. People says that piracy is INEVITABLE. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent people from sharing information, save a completely totalitarian regime. In all other regimes, people will be able to freely communicate. Hence, they will be able to pirate digital media, which is nothing more than a collection of bits.

  • by green1 (322787) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:29PM (#37794110)

    Why doesn't anyone dispute short term protection?

    For that vast majority of human history there was no such thing as copyright, or trademark, or patent, and the world did just fine.

    When Shakespeare wrote his plays you were free to watch a play, and then get your troupe of actors together and reproduce it exactly in another theatre with no legal ramifications.
    When Beethoven wrote his symphonies you could copy the sheet music and have your own orchestra play it.
    Think of all the art in any form that existed back then. Think of the inventions that happened despite a lack of any protections.

    Why shouldn't we dispute the whole concept of protection for imaginary property? Nobody has ever provided any proof that it provides a net societal benefit, but much damage to society is obvious in it's enforcement.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:34PM (#37794192)

    There is nothing the public could possibly have to gain from strong copyright. Balanced copyright I can see, but once the balance has been tipped towards "stronger", the public is the loser.

    A balanced copyright allows creators to actually create and live off their creation. Which is not only ok, it's pretty much mandatory in our time and age where (aside of music) most content is a matter of investment. Computer programs and movies are a matter of spending a lot of dough in their creation. If that money cannot be recovered, they will not be produced. Don't quote me the "love for art" or similar things. They will produce a few Blair Witch Projects and Worlds of Goo, or other low budget movies and games, but as we all know the majority of good, quality movies and games comes from a lot of people spending a lot of time doing a lot of work they don't really do for the "love of it". For the "love of it", you'll get what the programmer or the movie director wants to do. Which is surprisingly rarely what the customer actually wants to see or play.

    But copyright went overboard, we're at the point where it's no longer just to recover the money spent. Copyright is about control today, more than ever before. How many movies, how many games are simply gone because whoever created them doesn't want to sell them to you? How many ideas, characters and plots cannot be brought back to life because those that had an idea to use them are not allowed to use them, and who may doesn't want to for whatever reason?

    This is where copyright failed, and where it hurts the public. Balanced copyright means more content. Stronger copyright leads to less in the long run.

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