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Why Web Pirates Can't Be Touched 402

gwoodrow writes "Forbes has a brief article about, essentially, the ultimate futility of fighting online pirates. From the article: 'As the world's largest repository of BitTorrent files, helps millions of users around the world share copyrighted movies, music and other files — without paying for them ... That's illegal, of course — at least it is in the U.S. But when Time Warner's (nyse: TWX — news — people ) Warner Bros. studio accused them of breaking U.S. copyright law in 2005, the pirates gleefully reminded the movie company that they didn't live in America, but rather in the land of vikings, reindeer, Aurora Borealis and cute blond girls.' The article also touches on the many YouTube clones and"
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Why Web Pirates Can't Be Touched

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  • Just wait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by edizzles ( 1029108 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:52PM (#19166697) Journal
    At some point the US will get pressured by the RMIA which will in turn force there home country to Hand them over to the US, It happened with the blogger from AU.
  • by Maliron ( 1026708 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:04PM (#19166963)
    Honestly, who is really loosing out on pirating? Some would argue the musicians are. Last I checked Metallica (oops just violated the DRM, thought about them without having a license) STILL makes more money than any pirate. If the group is small all they should care about is that their music is getting more exposure. Some would argue the movie industry. I wont even go into the elevenity billion dollars the studios are still making despite pirating. If they would make more of a effort to get the movie to DVD quicker there would be less pirating imho. Who wants to take the chance of blowing 50$ (without snacks) for your family to see a movie that sucks, which quite a few now days do. Really though, when did the entertainment industry stop being about entertainment, and more about milking every cent out of it they can.
  • by HollowSky ( 680312 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:19PM (#19167257)
    Okay, TPB doesn't host any pirated content, it merely points to pirated content. The *AA contends that's still bad. Whatever.... But what about Forbes? They just told me about all these other sites I didn't know about. Forbes just provided me a directory to illegal content. Doesn't that open them up to lawsuits? Journalistic freedoms don't apply when aiding a "crime?"
  • Because "stealing" is illegal in the US, the US govt could make laws to prevent credit card companies from processing transactions involving the purchase of these illegitimate MP3's ( Didn't the US just pass laws to prevent such transactions for the offshore gambling websites?
    However it's not actually stealing. It's copyright infringement. And unlike gambling, copyright infringement is not illegal.
    That's why it's illegal for me to use my Mastercard to gamble online, but I'm free to use it to buy from There really is nothing the govt can do short of forcing ISPs to block the IP range of these "pirate" websites. Do we have a politician stupid enough to even attempt that legislation? Something tells me that in California, we do, and it's just a matter of time.
  • by BosstonesOwn ( 794949 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:35PM (#19167619)
    The problem is Forbes is a business magazine (shill ?). To them everything not being bought at full price is stealing.

    Allofmp3 operates under Russian laws and operates by the letter of the law. We should not be trying to influence the worlds by having them follow our laws.

    The RIAA is pissed because it can't collect from the agency over there. It is not Allofmp3's problem it is the RIAA's problem. Deal with it like a normal company would , don't buy try and buy the people to fight your battle with my tax money ! Use your own damn money.

    With today's global economy, we outsource all these tech jobs, why can't we outsource other things over the internet as well ? Or is this global economy only so business can make more money off the little guys.

    Bunch of BS spewing lawyers will lead to the downfall of the USA. All hail King BUSH !!!
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:41PM (#19167737) Homepage Journal
    as valid.

    not only every country's representatives are presold suck-ups to big buck. surprise, surprise, RIAA member crooks, you might have bought laws in united states for harassing "the people", who are the reason united states was founded for, but, look, your walled does not leverage any weight in many other countries. oh you poor riaa crooks you.
  • Re:That's because... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rolando2424 ( 1096299 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:27PM (#19168657) Homepage

    I beg to differ...

    That's because there are not enough CHAINSAW wielding Ninja Wizards...

    I mean, think Gandalf meet Hannibal Lecter meet a ninja (if I knew his identity, then it wouldn't be a ninja right?)

    See? Sounds nice right? I mean, the pirates wouldn't even stand a change.

    Imagine this: Pirate calmly downloading some X-Rated movie illegally.

    Ninja cast a Spell of Silence on the chainsaw of slaughter +5

    Ninja approaches from behind...

    and then...

    WHACK!!!! Off with the pirates head!

    Now if you excuse me, I'm going to patent the idea and embrace the legal papers while murmuring "My PRECIOUSSSSSS!"

  • Re:Please everyone: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by missing000 ( 602285 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:30PM (#19168709)
    He may not make creative content for a living, but that doesn't make his point any less valid.

    I personally make a lot of creative content, preform publicly and even market my works all without requesting any monetary contribution.

    I realize that others may be profit motivated, but a lot of musicians simply play for fun.

    There wouldn't be any lack of music or a lack of films if the MAFIAA closed tomorrow and the studios closed their doors.
    If that were to happen you may indeed see a cultural revolution of sorts where Britteny Spears and Spiderman 4 are replaced with actually creative works.
  • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:33PM (#19168779) Journal

    The DMCA, is a law that steals from most American citizens, and penalizes no-one outside your borders. The DMCA hinders your economy, because without it your *IAA industries would need to adapt to survive - and they do have the means and technology to successfully adapt and survive in a manner that allows you value and fair choice.

    It would if we were still a manufacturing economy, where our primary product was widgets. But you, and most of slashdot it seems, are still living in the past. Nowadays, anyone can crank out widgets, and there is no profit margin left. The vital resource has become information.

    Western economies are primary information-based now. Manufacturing is for chump^H^H^H^H^Hthird-world countries, who justly desire to pass through that phase and become information-based too, because honestly, an assembly line is no place for a human mind.

    But good information is expensive to produce and valuable to its possessor. Movies, for example, are a high-grade form of information... one which you and others seem to value so highly that you would embrace your handily provincial ideology that tells you that information is not widgets, and therefore it lies outside of the concept of 'property'.

  • Re:Please everyone: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:50PM (#19169109) Homepage
    There's also the muddying of the waters that most people who pirate expensive software wouldn't buy it so the makers of the expensive software have not lost a sale. However without the pirating of their software they would lose market share which can have value if it leads to ubiquity of the software pirated to the detriment of their competition.
  • Re:Please everyone: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Knara ( 9377 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:51PM (#19169131)

    Gotta love frothing rants in response to well-reasoned arguments, but I'll respond in spite of it.

    oh please... you are missing out the description of your brave new world business model. Where nobody gets paid for creating ANYTHING that can be easily copied.

    I suspect that you've deliberately misunderstood and are intentionally misrepresenting my statements, since I didn't write that. However, if you make paper airplanes and try to sell them, should no one else be able to make copies of your paper airplane?

    Do you have ANY idea how much work is involved in making something like Photoshop, or The lord Of The rings? or Halo? Why the fuck is anyone going to spend any money on making entertainmnt if it can be freely copied without compensation?

    Because by and large consumers like to pay for the Real Thing. This is the idea behind the Windows Genuine Advantage bit, though obviously it was clumsily implemented. If you have a shitty product, no one is going to buy it. Should we be also legally guarantee that if someone makes something, they will get revenue from it, even if it sucks?

    Lord of the Rings cost a ton to make, but also made a hojillion dollars in merchandising, home video releases, etc. Why? Quality product and merchandising that consumers wanted, and it was all sold at a price they wanted to pay. Photoshop may indeed cost a lot to make, but it's obviously not sold at a price consumers want to pay. Adobe's answer to this, it seems, was to make Photoshop Elements. PSE is up to version 4.0 I think, so it at least hit some sort of pricing sweet point.

    let me guess, you dont care, because like most copyright infringers, you dont make creative content for a living, and are just loving the excuse to take other peoples work for free arent you?

    Ahh, strawmen. I make plenty of creative content. Don't make much money from it, but I do make it. But let's apply this to a well-known set of intarwebs content creators: Gabe and Tycho of Penny-Arcade. They're on record (as a matter of fact in writing at the back of their first hardcopy collection, of which there are 3 so far, and I've bought all 3 because of the added value in buying them at a decent price) as saying that hiding your content from your users because you're afraid they'll take it is kinda silly (which I tend to agree with, and why I think the subscription based Modern Tales group goes about the whole thing the wrong way - and why I think PVP's add-on animated subscription featurettes are a great idea; you get the meat for free, and if you want the dessert you shell out a little cash for it). PA was once in dire straits due to the ad network collapses and the loss of revenue thereof. They didn't have the financial resources to go down the failing route of the RIAA and MPAA, instead they adapted and are thriving to this day. None of their strips require you to pay for them, and there's no silly DRM preventing you from doing Save-As on a strip. Even so, people pay cold hard cash to get their books and their merchandise. Why? Cuz they know how to make what their target audience wants and what price their audience will shell out for extra stuffs.

  • Re:Futile? Hardly... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swilver ( 617741 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:53PM (#19169169)
    I seriously doubt we will be needing much from the US in 20 years from now. The US is rapidly making itself irrelevant, not to mention the laughing stock of the world. Here in Europe, we snicker at your stupid patent laws, your incredibly corrupt political system which borders on a theocracy, your gas guzzling cars and RIAA's jihad on their own citizens. I could go on about the lack of gun control, your disrespect for the environment, your unprovoked actions in Irak and general disrespect for other forms of government and human rights. Pretty soon all the US will have left to export is natural resources (food stuffs), entertainment (which we'll just copy), lots of posturing (which we'll just ignore) and law school graduates (which we won't be needing).
  • I ((mostly)) listen to indie bands. But I also enjoy older stuff from the major labels. So I either pirate the music I want that comes through the labels (no, I don't feel bad about it, the musicians would have seen maybe all of 2% of the money I might have spent on one of their albums), or, if and only if I like a good number of the songs on a cd, I buy the cd and feel guilty of providing the recording industry more money to use in their war against the consumer. No, it's not a perfectly idealistic way to combat the labels, but it's a helluva lot better than 90% of blind sheeple that don't even realize that it might be an issue. And I'm ok with that.
  • Re:Please everyone: (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:49PM (#19170359)
    No, I don't think you are getting it. Even if a product is worth having, if it is priced beyond what the market will bear people will not buy it and will continue to find a way to obtain it otherwise. Digital items cost what to produce? Next to nothing yet producers try to garner hundreds and thousands of dollars for a digital copy of something that costs nothing to manufacture. Yes, development does cost money, but if the end result is crap it is still worth nothing. The market will pay what the market will pay and there is no way you can convince me that a piece of plastic that they can reproduce at will for pennies is worth what they want you to pay for it.

    Yes people queue up in torrents for SPECIFIC titles and I am willing to bet those real title sales aren't hurting much either. You and the *IAA just assume because someone downloads a mp3 that there is a lost sale. What if I own that CD or movie or game and I just want a copy, but don't want the hassle of ripping it myself? Has anyone lost a sale because I downloaded a copy of something I already own?

    I won't even go into how many former pirates routinely purchase things today now that they are older and more financially capable of making those purchases. The ability to download digital content exposes a product to a larger audience than any advertising ever will. I can guarantee you that will foster more future purchasers than you will encourage more pirates. If something is popular enough to pirate it is popular enough to purchase and it will get purchased, they just need to stop dwelling on supposed lost sales and provide better value in the hard copy of whatever at a price the market will bear and they will not have to worry about the little mp3s and screeners on torrents.

    I have downloaded the Matrix and others in that series. I also own the collectors box set specifically because of the extras that come with it. I had at one point a PS2 fully modded and easily 50-60gb of games on my harddrive. I now own an unmodded PS2 and xBox360 and over 50 retail games now, some used, some new. Microsoft knew back in the day the value of letting customers copy away their product. I don't think you or anyone else can argue the intelligence of that move, yet here we are trying to argue that pirating is hurting anyone's business when it has been proven in the past it actually has the opposite effect when the quality of the product is high.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva