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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 paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:21AM (#37791500)
      "Strong Copyright is *not* about protecting the public"

      sheesh.... No matter how hard I try to proof read, I still screw up! We need to be able to edit our own posts Slashdot!
      • "Strong Copyright is *not* about protecting the public" sheesh.... No matter how hard I try to proof read, I still screw up! We need to be able to edit our own posts Slashdot!

        And yet there are those select few who think you were correct the first time.

        • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ByOhTek (1181381)

        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,

        • 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 ByOhTek (1181381)

            Oh, and indie work isn't piracy.

            Also, it's only when indie work is good (which in my experience, it rarely is, even compared to the shit produced by content mills), will it be sufficient motivator to produce better stuff.

            What we need is more content publishing companies, that way these companies *really* have to compete with each other for their artists, and maybe support more artists overall - which means competing with each other for peoples money, and lowering prices as well.

          • Have you bought a new Cash album lately?

            Actually, yes. Several albums have been finished and released since Cash's death a few years ago. Old archive material that had never been released before, and the projects he worked on in the years before his death. This is only feasible if the copyright on the works extends beyond the owner's death.

            I'm not arguing that current copyright terms aren't ridiculous, but here is a case where a copyright cutoff at the owner's death would have prevented albums from being published (since there wouldn't have been

            • by nospam007 (722110) *

              "Old archive material that had never been released before, and the projects he worked on in the years before his death. This is only feasible if the copyright on the works extends beyond the owner's death."

              So they _copied_ some old tracks and made money because he, being dead, cannot prevent them from doing so and they share the loot with his heirs?
              That's your rationalization for copyright laws?

              How about living, breathing artists getting some money instead of the heirs of a dead one?

            • by Tanktalus (794810)
              I don't think anyone argues that copyright should be "cut off" at the creator's death. Merely that it should be a static number of years, period. (We don't want someone killing Britney Spears just to get her latest hit put in the public domain. At least, not for that reason.) I could also handle a copyright that started at time of first publishing (as "trade secret" laws would likely handle the before-publication part), which would still give those who owned the new Cash albums a reasonable time to gener
        • by Luckyo (1726890) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:49AM (#37792176)

          You're making an argument AGAINST strong copyright. Strong copyright diminishes incentive to produce new work, and increases pressure on new writers due to retarded "you copied me" issues. Art has traditionally influenced other art, and one fundamental part of locking down copyright is to charge for anything that has been significantly influenced by your art.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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.
          • by ByOhTek (1181381)

            There's a difference between quantity and quality.

            10-20 years of STRONG copyright is fine. 70 years is pretty absurd, if for nothing else, except for a few rarities, only books have much value if over 20 years old.

            • You are correct that there is a difference between force and duration, although I don't see a good argument for forceful copyright. The majority of the value for an author is in preventing commercial copying, which is something that would be present in the weakest copyright regimes. Strong copyright limits personal copying and derivative works. Harshly limiting those typically do little for authors, let alone the public. The fact that rightsholders often do stupid things when given power probably doesn'
        • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#37792882)

          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.

          Funny, art was created for thousands of years before it was turned into a commodity. The common theme of "no one will create if they don't receive compensation for it!" is simply not true: Look at all the free software that is all over the web. Look at all the self-produced music all over Youtube. Look at all the self-produced artwork on DeviantArt. Look at all the self-produced novels being printed via Amazon.

          What we're seeing today is a bunch of huge corporations that wrested control of artistic works they didn't in themselves create and attempt to hold on to the rights to it forever, long after the death (and often against the wishes of) the person that actually created it. Piracy is helping destroy their monopoly on content dispersal through mainstreaming other methods of distribution.

          So yes, while we can all shed a tear for the millions of Metallica songs that were stolen via Napster (I guess), I think we're missing the greater benefits to society as a whole that came out of it. Not so good for Big Media, and not so good for the lucky few content creators they allow to become wealthy in order to attract more content creators they can suck up into the machine, but good for consumers.

          We've been making art since we first started scratching designs into rocks and painting on cave walls...and I am quite sure that the concept of paying for said art came much, much later.

        • by Anomalyst (742352)

          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.

          Absolutely, Harry CHapin, John Lennon, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck are all incentivised to keep producing their works of genius for public enjoyment and personal remuneration... oh wait.

        • by Fned (43219)

          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.

          This USED to be what Strong Copyright was about, but back when you were little/before you were born, it got hijacked into a system to protect corporate profits indefinitely. This was even before computer technology reduced the discrete value of any copy of information to zero.

          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.

          Crowdsourced patronage is the ONLY technological way to restrict access to digital or digitizable works. Get people to pay to have it made, and then make the product and publish it. Just like movies and books and records are made now,

        • http://www.baen.com/library/ [baen.com]

          1. Online piracy — while it is definitely illegal and immoral — is, as a practical problem, nothing more than (at most) a nuisance. We're talking brats stealing chewing gum, here, not the Barbary Pirates.

          2. Losses any author suffers from piracy are almost certainly offset by the additional publicity which, in practice, any kind of free copies of a book usually engender. Whatever the moral difference, which certainly exists, the practical effect of online piracy is no

      • by Ja'Achan (827610)

        "Strong Copyright is *not* about protecting the public"
        sheesh.... No matter how hard I try to proof read, I still screw up! We need to be able to edit our own posts Slashdot!

        Actually - they won't allow you to edit Slashdot posts in order to protect the public.

    • by Thiez (1281866)

      > Encryption and Peer to Peer networks are going to increase in power, and will be easier to use.

      There's really no need for encryption to increase in power. Unless new weaknesses are found, most of the standard encryption schemes will take far longer (by many orders of magnitude) than a human lifetime to break. For the purpose of piracy, that should be long enough; you can't get prosecuted for copyright infringement when you're dead.

      • by mistiry (1845474)

        However, as technology increases, the amount of time necessary to break today's encryption schemes will be reduced, thus making the need for stronger encryption schemes.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          However, as technology increases, the amount of time necessary to break today's encryption schemes will be reduced, thus making the need for stronger encryption schemes.

          A 256-bit secret key algorithm is already unbreakable through brute force by any means known; the problem is that encryption is useless for copy protection if you also have to give the recipient the key.

          You'd have to build a computer which was 'secure' from the ground up and wouldn't even boot an operating system which wasn't signed by a 'trusted' developer, which had DRM built into the core all the way through to the output device.

          Oh, wait...

        • by Thiez (1281866)

          No, it won't. In the absence of cryptographic weaknesses, a 256-bits key can never be brute-forced, not even in theory.

          • Not by conventional computers. In theory, a quantum computer could break public key encryption, since it can factorise products of two primes in O(log(n)) rather than O(2^n). Such devices may become available, but not for another decade at least. I don't know if one would be any good on symmetric encryption though.
        • Encryption is feasible now that would require the entire mass of the universe to be working on breaking it and still be infeasible in the lifetime of the universe. For most algorithms, adding one bit to the key length adds a small (fixed) amount of complexity to the process of encoding or decoding, but doubles the effort required for a brute force attack. You don't need to do this very many times before you end up with something that is completely secure against brute forcing on a classical computer (quan
    • by Moryath (553296) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:37AM (#37791884)

      The secondary problem with "strong copyright" is that copyright has become disconnected from the lifetime of the medium on which the performance/art/work is rendered.

      Copyright is what now, 95 years for "work for hire" and life-of-author-plus-70 for independent? Compare that to the sales lifetime (or even TWICE the sales lifetime) of a standard video game console - a "decade lifetime" is pushing it. Atari 2600's and original NES units are considered antiques. Good luck even FINDING a working Vectrex.

      Hell, even for non-gaming - a while back Slashdot had a story about a guy who built a homebrew Cray-1 replica [slashdot.org]. His biggest problem? FINDING SOFTWARE TO TEST IT WITH. Nobody kept the discs around, and the few discs that are even findable today have succumbed to bit-rot.

      From that article:
      After searching the internet exhaustively, I contacted the Computer History Musuem and they didn’t have any either. They also informed me that apparently SGI destroyed Cray’s old software archives before spinning them off again in the late 90s. I filed a couple of FOIA requests with scary government agencies that also came up dry. I wound up e-mailing back and forth with a bunch of former Cray employees and also came up *mostly* dry. My current best hope is a guy I was able to track down that happened to own an 80 MB ‘disk pack’ from a Cray-1 Maintenance Control Unit (the Cray-1 was so complicated, it required a dedicated mini-computer just to boot it!), although it still remains to be seen if I’ll actually get a chance to try to recover it.

      Under current "copyright", his asking for software copies is technically a violation of copyright.

      "Copyright" has ceased to be what it originally was. The promise of copyright is that the protected creation is protected for a limited time, WHENCE IT SHALL ENTER THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND BE AVAILABLE. Increasingly, copyright has instead become a fucking scam to promote forced obsolescence and premature death-of-product and prevent even historians from preserving the work for posterity.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        And why are you so sure? If people are unable to make sound decisions it is because of all the information they are bombarded with about it already (bought and paid for). I think people can, and did, make reasonable decisions about copyright that have become outdated and eroded by industry for increased profit at our expense.

        • How many people who pirate stuff really care about copyright/licensing/patent issues in depth though? I doubt many do.

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      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.

      Yes, that is an issue, but not the fundamental problem.

      The fundamental problem is fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

      No...wait, that's not it.

      Look at movies and home video. Movie studios were so fearful of video tapes and home video, so fearful of change. And now? It's not that home video hasn't bankrupted Hollywood, it's in fact made Hollywood more profitable. The "pirates" saved the movie barons from themselves.

      It's the same with music. I'm convinced the CD was o

  • Mainstream - maybe,maybe not. But to see a balanced view from a government owned media outlet is encouraging.

  • 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.

    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      >

      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.

      I think you missed one. I would phrase it like this: Give us what we want, when we want it, and where we want it.

      The last one is important too, I basically mean format shifting should be allowed and trivial. I have no use for the latest DVD on my smartphone.

      • by Baloroth (2370816)
        I included that (mentally) under the "what" part, but yes, that too.
      • 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?

        • 2.50 for a movie? .50 an episode? 0.02 a song? Do you have any idea how many songs you would have to sell to make a living as a musician at that rate especially with people gouging your music sales? Assuming you make all the profits from your songs, you would need to sell :

          40,000 dollars per year / 0.02 dollars per song = 2,000,000 songs / year

          That seems ridiculous to me. A dollar a song is plenty cheap, and albums usually are packaged cheaper. I can see maybe .50 for an episode since most TV shows have

        • by richlv (778496)

          (think of it as promotion, we'll be more likely to go see live concerts and buy merchandise - honest!)

          i've bought band t-shirts and other merchandise of bands that i found out about from downloaded material. next monday i'm seeing a gig of two bands that i discovered the same way. i even bought a cd from one of them in the last concert - not because i couldn't get it otherwise, that would be trivial - but because they're kinda cool (i didn't even like that one as much as the older ones, but i already had those :) )

          is the total amount huge ? oh, surely not. but, no offence, piss off :)
          we like music, we go to

  • Many of the latest movies are not shown here in English, downloading the DVD is therefore the only way I can watch the movie.

    Ganty

  • 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!

    • I too don't download music, don't torrent music, don't P2P music. I too am a model citizen.

      More about me:

      * I purchase 50-100 CDs per year.
      * Every single one of them is purchased used, from used record stores, from Goodwill et al, from Amazon resalers, from friends, from garage sales. I rarely pay more than $3. I then rip them to mp3 and store the CDs in wine 12-pack boxes in my closet.

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

      P.S. I'm willing to wait t

  • 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.
    • 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.

      I disagree that it's really bad for films as consumers are still very inclined to buy a DVD or Blu-ray even with options like Netflix and Red Box.

      • Exactly. The customer is king in a free market. The only point you have made is that customers value physical Blu-Ray or DVDs for movies, even though they can download the movie for free. And to extent that they do value that physical media, you can sell it to them. If you find some way to provide something that customers value, they will pay for it. If you don't, and you don't get the government to help you intimidate them into it, they won't buy.
    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      This might be the case for music, although I don't think it's as black&white as you paint it, but for video and games this is not the case.

    • Thinking more fundamentally, without government force, you can only sell people things that they want, and don't already have, and can't get from somewhere else cheaper. In other words, you have to offer something of value to convince people to give you money.

      Government force is about the only way you can make money off something which is copied for \approx free, transported \approx free, durable, and storable. We all know that data is infinitely copyable and has a real cost of approximately zero. So, in th
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:31AM (#37791726) Homepage Journal

    '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.'

    Is there anyone out there who doesn't associate anti-piracy slogans with hilarity? Don't copy that floppy!

  • 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 RogerWilco (99615)

      If you can't pay for it, but still want it, find something else to want.

      Sounds easy, but might be hard to do.

      Nowadays communities often span the globe, but copyright is limited by borders. To watch or listen to the same things as your friends, copyright sometimes needs to be bent or broken. Unless you suggest you suggest that I should find new friends, only from my local area?

      And even then, some of my friends have moved to the USA, Sweden, Portugal, India, Japan and New Zealand. Nowadays with Skype and such, it's easy to keep in touch. I don't think that limiting myself and the

    • by poity (465672)

      Asking /. to seek change from themselves rather than from others? Prepare for disappointment

      (I share your sentiments, though)

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:37AM (#37791904)

    Digital data is unique as it can be copied over and over again without loosing anything. It can be done for cheap and any individual can do it.

    Old media Each copy degrades per copy. And making the media was expensive.

    This is the problem.

    Copyright law is based on the old media. So those large fines for violations were fair laws. Because if you were to say pirate 10,000 records, or 100,000 books at a near production quality. Then you have already have invested a substantial money to do this, with the idea of making more money from it. So if you get caught then you probably already have a lot of wealth acquired illegally.

    Now that violating the law is much too easy, now the fines are hurting the "innocent" people who's crime is closer to sneaking into a movie theater without a ticket. Even if they have hundreds of thousands of illegal material, and shared it millions of time.

    The root cause of the piracy like any black market activity is the fact there is demand for a product that is priced too high, or is treated in a way people do not want. Or they legally cannot get it otherwise. To lower piracy Media companies need to expand their internet usage of their media (That is what people want), Make it affordable (Now that you have greatly increased your supply capacities as you are sharing data not physical stuff), and make sure people who want it can get it.

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:39AM (#37791954)

    My parents had maybe 100-200 albums, and paid a certain percentage of their income for music.
    I have 1000-2000 albums, but I certainly am not going to pay 10 times as much as my parents (if only because logically I listen to them 10 times less on average, and because I have only some Mb of harddisk space, rather than a fancy disk in a nice cover on a real shelf).

    The music industry just have to get to grips that prices have to drop dramatically for people to stop downloading. I cannot afford to buy music now.

    • by poity (465672)

      Why do you have 2000 albums? I can't imagine having that many unless I'm getting entire discographies -- and even my favorite musicians aren't that good on a consistent basis to justify getting ALL of their work. What I see, though, is a lot of people filling their iPods with what could be termed "status content" which is to say they have it just so that others can see they have it. These are usually the "popular classics" that they may suffer through once or twice (play count is usually stuck at 1) and go

  • OK, so if we accept that corporations/publishers are evil and worthless, the MPAA and RIAA are worse than worthless, and they don't deserve the benefits of copyright..... what about individual creators? As someone who has developed software, written stories, and created art, all as an independent creator, why should I be expected to relinquish all my work to the Pirate Domain? Why should I have to depend entirely on a day job to support myself, while everything I manage to create in the rest of my waking

    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:01AM (#37792442)

      It's hard to argue with supply and demand. Once created, the supply of your work is infinite, it is effectively 0 cost to make another copy. Having an unlimited supply is going to drive prices down to near zero as a matter of course. Rather than asking 'why' you shouldn't be paid, you should be asking 'how'.

      You can try to artificially restrict your supply with DRM but that pisses off your customers. You can try to litigate, in which case you aren't really selling your works, you're selling a no sue guarantee, and also pisses off your customers (especially since if you sue enough people you will eventually catch an innocent person in your net).

      Or you can accept that some X% of your users are going to pirate, and you can charge the rest enough to make your money. Some anecdotal evidence even suggests that properly managed piracy can increase sales, so actively go out and use the pirates as a free advertising agency. More radically, you can put your old works out in public domain, and make a preorder for your next work available, basically a modern day, crowd sourced patronage model. I can think of at least one author who has managed that effectively (Charles Stross). Or you can publish your works to your blog and get some extra money from advertising. Or, if your product is software, you can give it away for individuals but require payment from businesses (who are less likely to pirate given the higher risks they face).

    • +1. Your innovation, your profit. That's entirely fair. I'm all for stopping corporate abuse of individual rights, but we need to remember creators are individuals too.
  • The fundamental question is, do authors and artists "own" their works? Do they have a right to control what they have created?

    Sure, the "system" is stilted and unfair. But try buying a car. Do you think the dealer is going to give you a fair deal? NO WAY! They are going to use every trick and lie in the book to relieve you of as much money as they can, while making you think you're the winner. But just because the dealer is crooked, doesn't give you the right to steal one of their cars.

    Publisher
  • 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.

  • Taken out of context (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997)
    I'm an english major, though I'm also a computer scientist. My preference is to speak as simply, rapidly and directly as possible. I find that there are often misunderstandings where people should have been able to make inferences but were distracted or under a false impression initially.

    I think everyone has things in their life that if taken out of context could be interpreted poorly. Friendships with people who became troubled. Comments that could be taken out of context. Teenage angst that if applied t
  • The constitutional rationale for "exclusive rights" is to encourage the arts and sciences. This is probably unnecessary - both existed before so-called intellectual property protections did.

    The whole idea of claiming responsibility for a creation is shaky; good creators copy, great creators steal. When 'IP" protections kick in after the creator has climbed onto the shoulders of prior giants, it seems inherently unfair.

    Practically speaking, as to science, there's enough of a money motive for new technology

  • I'm a bit of a fan of ABC. For a government-funded institution, they're surprisingly willing to present unpopular opinions. As someone who is a firm supporter of copyright and decrier of piracy, I do still applaud the issue being brought out into the open like this, on mainstream media. This issue must be talked about, because marginalising it does no favours for either side. May the best logic win!

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:54AM (#37792286) Journal

    My new sig is relevant.

    (copied to body for future reading: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/10/alt-text-ultraviolet/ [wired.com])

  • by sohmc (595388) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:15AM (#37792762) Journal

    ...that summarized that the reason MPAA and RIAA get their panties in a bunch is because they no longer control the market? They've always controlled distribution, sales, etc. Now, artists have less and less of a need to have a publisher since they can publish directly to itunes, amazon, etc. leaving the companies in the analog dust.

    My issue with legit copies is that there is sometimes so much protection and so much annoyances (e.g. FORCING me to watch an ad on a DVD) that it's almost easier and more convenient to pirate.

    • by hawkeyeMI (412577)
      Here are some options regarding DVDs:

      1. Pre-rip DVD, sit down to watch it from NAS on TV, enjoy content
      2. Watch DVD in legit player. Wait for ads for shows and movies I don't care about, anti-piracy messages, studio names and animations, etc, finally get to watch content.

      Which option is more appealing to you? Every time I choose option 2 I am appalled anew at the crap they make you watch before you can actually watch the DVD. I don't own a Blu-Ray player, but I assume it's just as bad?
    • by k6mfw (1182893)

      >Now, artists have less and less of a need to have a publisher since they can publish directly to itunes, amazon, etc.

      or maybe putting their tunes on their own webpage and burning their own CDs. A local up and coming band was featured a few weeks ago in SJ Mercury News. These 20-somethings have become a sensation (though I'm an older guy so I never heard of them before, and forgot name of their band) and these artists talk about they are almost to a point where they can leave their day jobs. They ment

  • So you want to hear music, what would you like to listen? Good music that isn't owned by RIAA? Goodnes gracious, no! Listen to the latest boxed artificially flavored crap from Britney Mandy Simpson. Or whatever. Or listen to the rebellious millionaires who sing about being depressed.

    What! There's a way for people to access music we can't sell them and don't want to re-release? NUKE IT FROM ORBIT!

    It was never about copyright, it was always about control. If the album you want to listen is not on the reco
  • It's a well-written article, and touches a couple of excellent points on necessary changes in Big Contents' business models, but one issue remains only lightly touched on by way of a link to Mickey Mouse Copyright Term Extension Act: excessive copyright terms, with no further explanation what this actually means for the average user. The Public Domain going mainstream is what Big Content is afraid of more than piracy.

    The 33 rpm vinyl recording was introduced shortly after World War II ended; as you can imag

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