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anubis26

The ethics of downloading

47 posts in this topic

Obviously labels provide value, otherwise artists would not sign what most people consider to be crappy deals.

Obviously artists don't have much choice.

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Wow, almost 30 posts in only a couple of days. Glad I got a lot of you to think ;)

To sum it up, I guess what most people are saying here is that its bad becuase it takes away revenue from an artist. I would agree. However, I also think that the negative effect disappear when people actually go out to buy the CD after hearing it from P2P. I've found myself downloading a song or two, liking an artist that I never even heard of before, and then buying their album. Also, lets take into consideration people who have legally owned the music/movie/game/whatever, and then have to download because the original was lost or damaged (ie. very badly scratched after years of use). And then they get buttraped by their ISP too.

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You're confusing initial distribution with consumer rights associated with the product. I'm with you for consumer rights: if I buy it, I should be able to use it how I see fit.

Right to make a copy for my fried or to share it on the net with anyone who wants it.

1. Car manufacturer A spends $$$ on research to create a car. You have a device to clone that car for free. You do so, against the wishes of car manufacturer A. Car manufacturer A gets no $$$. Everyone else does so. Car manufacturer A is now screwed for cash.

I don't see a problem with cloning it for personal use at all. It's only on the part when you start selling it and making money at the expense of the work of the other that I disagree with.

If everyone can just do the same it's time for a new business model where the creators can gain something else from that process or where it's not the distribution of the product that grants the incoming but something else.

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You're confusing initial distribution with consumer rights associated with the product. I'm with you for consumer rights: if I buy it, I should be able to use it how I see fit.

Right to make a copy for my fried or to share it on the net with anyone who wants it.

1. Car manufacturer A spends $$$ on research to create a car. You have a device to clone that car for free. You do so, against the wishes of car manufacturer A. Car manufacturer A gets no $$$. Everyone else does so. Car manufacturer A is now screwed for cash.

I don't see a problem with cloning it for personal use at all. It's only on the part when you start selling it and making money at the expense of the work of the other that I disagree with.

If everyone can just do the same it's time for a new business model where the creators can gain something else from that process or where it's not the distribution of the product that grants the incoming but something else.

Sharing on the net is not personal use. Sharing with a friend, is. Friend is personal. Distributing to anyone and everyone isn't.

Whether you sell it or not is irrelevant in this context. You are giving away their products, for free, or for money. Either way, that means people get it from you instead of them. The products they aren't giving because of /your/ activities, results in losses on their end. Perhaps not 1:1 losses, but losses none the less. Yes, it's time for a new business model. But piracy is not a business model, because it's founded on the underlying principle of not giving the people who made the stuff money. Thus, the more people who pirate, the less those who are pirated from are able to make money back.

Piracy is not a valid business model. Distributing on the Internet can be part of a business model, or a business model if it is in accordance with the wishes of the content creator. But then - that isn't piracy is it.

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Why do I get the feeling that even the people speaking out against piracy are probably on IRC or P2P getting whatever they want when they need it. Yarrgh matey, there is booty to be had. Speaking of which, how about all that copyrighted porn you all won't admit to downloading :ninja:

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Piracy is not a valid business model. Distributing on the Internet can be part of a business model, or a business model if it is in accordance with the wishes of the content creator. But then - that isn't piracy is it.

Again, for the 500008934397^342435th time, no one ever said it was. This piracy issue is just a transitional period that will either force the RIAA people to adopt a new business model, or kill them off. I'm certainly hoping for the latter.

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I'm certainly hoping for the latter.

I second that

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Sharing on the net is not personal use. Sharing with a friend, is. Friend is personal. Distributing to anyone and everyone isn't.

That makes sense. But it's still limiting my rights with something that is now mine.

Whether you sell it or not is irrelevant in this context.

To me that makes all the difference when talking about ethics or morals.

One is making money at the expense of others, the other is not.

You are giving away their products, for free, or for money. Either way, that means people get it from you instead of them.

Right, and?

That tought process is all based on the principle that one can own an idea or a piece of information. One cannot so... If I give you some piece of information I've relinquished total control of that piece of information, shared it with you. You can now do the same with other people and that doesn't affect my power to do the same.

The products they aren't giving because of /your/ activities, results in losses on their end.

Results in losses on the number of people that will go get the products from them instead of from me, not in losses on their ability to give those products in the first place. This is why I don't have any problems with it, consider it moral and actively defend it.

Yes, I do consider myself a moral person. I fully see this problem as one of selfishness where the creator wants to be the only distributor of something that anyone can effectively distribute. That is selfishness, nothing else.

But piracy is not a business model, because it's founded on the underlying principle of not giving the people who made the stuff money. Thus, the more people who pirate, the less those who are pirated from are able to make money back.

Piracy is not a valid business model. Distributing on the Internet can be part of a business model, or a business model if it is in accordance with the wishes of the content creator. But then - that isn't piracy is it.

Right once again. Piracy is not a business model (money economy model), it's gift model (gift economy model). It doesn't kill the creative process or the will to create. It just kills the ability for one to controll how the product will be distributed.

The big problem is that the business model is based on the distribution process and not on the creation process.

When creating information, nowadays, you either keep it to yourself and, maybe, a few trusted ones (meaning private information and privacy), or you give it to everyone else who wants it. There is no middle term. Paying for information makes sense only in a reward way.

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I don't think you should focus too much on revenue, but rather on rights to distribute. If you focus on revenue, you are basically saying opensource developers have no right to control how their works are used, which I disagree with strongly. This is a broader issue than just media files, and money is not the core issue here, control of the output of my creative work is.

Piracy removes that control, and instead of it being placed in the copyright holders hands, it is not being placed in some pirates hands, and thats what makes piracy unethical in my book, you are stealing the right of the copyright holder to distribute his property under his terms, regardless of what those terms are.

(...)

That is what it comes down to at the end of the day, respect for the copyright holders right to distribute a work how they see fit. None of this other stuff like nonreduction of sales, its for personal use only, etc really matters, you are still taking away the copyright authors ability to distribute the work under their own terms. If it's okay for a pirate to do this, then it should be okay for a corporation to modify linux without releasing the source. The same copyright that protects the first also protects the second.

Your point of view is fully logical. I simply disagree with the premise!

I don't think that the creator has the right to controll how his idea/information can be distributed. He has the right to do it or not in the first place and to decide how he, himself, does it, but he has no right in deciding on how anyone else that also has that information does it nor does he has the right of stopping some else of doing it.

What if two creators develop the same piece of information independently? Should one be removed from the controll cycle just because the other did it first? That's what pattents where made for. There actually exist some examples of this in history.

The fact that someone else also distributes the information in some way does not interfere with the creator's right to continue to do so in any way he desires.

Information is intangible. It cannot be controlled that way.

I'm only opposed to making money at the expense of someone else's work like selling pirated information or, using your example, selling some slightly modified version of any open source project, not because it means removing that controll from the hands of the creators but because it means making money at their expense.

I'm all for recognition. Any one that acomplishes something deserves it as well as any adequate compensation. What I'm against is closing the information and ransoming it after it was produced.

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Copyrights do not apply to ideas, only creative works. You seem to be confusing the two. I have no problem with 2 people coming up with the same idea at the same time and each making use of it. I do have a problem with people trading off of my work (the implementation of the idea, not the idea itself!). There is a big difference between the two.

I do tend to use the terms "idea" and "information" on this context interchangebly. My mistake. Sorry for that.

The implementation of an idea is still an idea on how to implement another idea and both are information, so it is all the same to me!

Read my previous posts with this in mind and I will think about that and try to be more carefull in the future with it.

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The reason this is unethical is obvious, and the only people who don't get this are those who have never created anything of value in their lives.

I get it, I just don't agree with it.

And that's a fallacy.

I'm sorry that you think that I'm a fool, but that's your problem, not mine.

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Right once again. Piracy is not a business model (money economy model), it's gift model (gift economy model). It doesn't kill the creative process or the will to create. It just kills the ability for one to controll how the product will be distributed.

The big problem is that the business model is based on the distribution process and not on the creation process.

When creating information, nowadays, you either keep it to yourself and, maybe, a few trusted ones (meaning private information and privacy), or you give it to everyone else who wants it. There is no middle term. Paying for information makes sense only in a reward way.

I disagree.

Think about a movie, or a song. Short of including advertisements, or some kind of spyware, there's no way for the creator to make money simply by having someone listen to their tunes, or watching their films. The current works would have to be altered from whatever they are now (non revenue generating). The quality of the original product would be tainted, however it may be.

Now you could have a "free" version with advertisements, and then have a "pay" version without, but then again - you're relying on distribution. And distribution, according to yourself, cannot be a model. So you're stuck in a logic hole. Not to mention the fact that getting sponsorship of any sorts is extremely difficult, especially for smaller bands/movie-producers/etc.

No, distribution is still very much the key to this. But let's go back to your point that piracy is a gift economy model. First off, I wouldn't call it a gift model, because "gift" implies that the work was originally paid by person A, but person B got the goods. That to me is still part of regular business. So I'll call it the "anti-economic model." It rides on the distinction that the work is never, and will never, be paid for.

Now onto how I do think that the "anti-economic model" kills the will to create:

Creating some things can cost nothing but one's time. ie. writing software. But let's say you make a movie, that costs losts of money. It's going to cost me $6,000+ to make H4CK3R5. Factor in that I make $10,000 a year, and of that $7,000 goes to pay university. The rest is living expenses, but I'm still in the hole just to live. Now if it turns out that everyone has (and enjoyed) my movie, but I never got a cent from it, I'm screwed.

My /business/ model includes free distribution of a streamed flash version online, with watermark advertising. I'm hoping that it's enough to incite people to buy the DVD. But if people don't go for that, I'm screwed. And it will kill my ability to make another movie, because I'll still be paying for the first one for years to come. My problem with making piracy acceptable is that you're basically forcing me to compete with free. I who spent $6,000 of a (mis-used) school loan; to compete with someone who spent nothing. If this cost me nothing, I'd be more than happy to give it away for free, without restriction.

It isn't the kids who can't afford to buy the movie that I'm worried are going to pirate this. It's the people who /can/ afford it, but chose not to buy it, because they got a copy illegitimately. It is /those/ people that I'm worried about. And according to my research, that's a fair amount of the people out there.

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Right once again. Piracy is not a business model (money economy model), it's gift model (gift economy model). It doesn't kill the creative process or the will to create. It just kills the ability for one to controll how the product will be distributed.

The big problem is that the business model is based on the distribution process and not on the creation process.

When creating information, nowadays, you either keep it to yourself and, maybe, a few trusted ones (meaning private information and privacy), or you give it to everyone else who wants it. There is no middle term. Paying for information makes sense only in a reward way.

I disagree.

Think about a movie, or a song. Short of including advertisements, or some kind of spyware, there's no way for the creator to make money simply by having someone listen to their tunes, or watching their films. The current works would have to be altered from whatever they are now (non revenue generating). The quality of the original product would be tainted, however it may be.

Now you could have a "free" version with advertisements, and then have a "pay" version without, but then again - you're relying on distribution. And distribution, according to yourself, cannot be a model. So you're stuck in a logic hole. Not to mention the fact that getting sponsorship of any sorts is extremely difficult, especially for smaller bands/movie-producers/etc.

No, distribution is still very much the key to this. But let's go back to your point that piracy is a gift economy model. First off, I wouldn't call it a gift model, because "gift" implies that the work was originally paid by person A, but person B got the goods. That to me is still part of regular business. So I'll call it the "anti-economic model." It rides on the distinction that the work is never, and will never, be paid for.

Now onto how I do think that the "anti-economic model" kills the will to create:

Creating some things can cost nothing but one's time. ie. writing software. But let's say you make a movie, that costs losts of money. It's going to cost me $6,000+ to make H4CK3R5. Factor in that I make $10,000 a year, and of that $7,000 goes to pay university. The rest is living expenses, but I'm still in the hole just to live. Now if it turns out that everyone has (and enjoyed) my movie, but I never got a cent from it, I'm screwed.

My /business/ model includes free distribution of a streamed flash version online, with watermark advertising. I'm hoping that it's enough to incite people to buy the DVD. But if people don't go for that, I'm screwed. And it will kill my ability to make another movie, because I'll still be paying for the first one for years to come. My problem with making piracy acceptable is that you're basically forcing me to compete with free. I who spent $6,000 of a (mis-used) school loan; to compete with someone who spent nothing. If this cost me nothing, I'd be more than happy to give it away for free, without restriction.

It isn't the kids who can't afford to buy the movie that I'm worried are going to pirate this. It's the people who /can/ afford it, but chose not to buy it, because they got a copy illegitimately. It is /those/ people that I'm worried about. And according to my research, that's a fair amount of the people out there.

Well that won't necessarily solve things, as people will just buy one copy of the movie and redistribute it (I know I won't). Give me your mailing address and I'll send some dough as a donation... it should help, but I definitley won't be able to physically buy it. I think you should persue some sort of internet distribution too.

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Well that won't necessarily solve things, as people will just buy one copy of the movie and redistribute it (I know I won't). Give me your mailing address and I'll send some dough as a donation... it should help, but I definitley won't be able to physically buy it. I think you should persue some sort of internet distribution too.

Oh I know people will pirate it, but my point in this whole debate is that this kind of stuff should stay where it is in terms of social acceptability. It should remain underground, and not become mainstream.

And actually, I've put H4CK3R5 on hold because I really, really, can't afford the cost (still reeling over the documentary, lol.) I'm working on another project to try to gain some capital over the summer (a comedy, sort of like Clerks), so I won't need donations. But thanks :) I'll see how the internet distribution aspect can work with the comedy. Maybe charge $20 for the DVD, $5 for the DVD ISO as a download, and a free ad-supported flash streaming version. If it works there, I'll try it with H4CK3R5.

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I also agree that in a capitalist society (and let's face it, the world as a whole is capitalist) piracy is not good to have in the mainstream because money is a necessity. However, if it needs to come into the limelight for a little while in order to violently push the need for a new, more up-to-date, and more efficient business model, I'm definitely all for it.

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There's not much of a difference between movies and software, software costs a lot more than time, a lot of times. A lot of the software development costs are not associated with the development itself, like travel to communicate with customers, hosting costs, costs to purchase new machines for automated builds, colocation services, etc. Doing a project right is expensive, with a lot in common with movies, judging from your budget of your documentary anyways.

In both cases, you can produce stuff very cheap too, each project has its own specific needs.

Now onto how I do think that the "anti-economic model" kills the will to create:

Creating some things can cost nothing but one's time. ie. writing software. But let's say you make a movie, that costs losts of money. It's going to cost me $6,000+ to make H4CK3R5. Factor in that I make $10,000 a year, and of that $7,000 goes to pay university. The rest is living expenses, but I'm still in the hole just to live. Now if it turns out that everyone has (and enjoyed) my movie, but I never got a cent from it, I'm screwed.

True that true that. Sorry, didn't mean to undermine how much goes into producing software. :)

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