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An anti-piracy idea: Hey! Filmmakers watch out…

Did you like this idea?

Yes15%[ 3 ]
No85%[ 17 ]

Total Votes : 20

Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 6:24pm

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Ntpiracy.com

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Hey filmmakers, watch out! You should really watch it out before it is too late. Do you have a bad memory of pirates’ attack? Are you still living your life with those scary nightmares? Do you want freedom? Do really wish for a "good night" to sleep after work? Well, then your nights await you. All you will have to do is a simple task. We know that you are not doing wrong but you just have to add a little spice on it to get a better result and we believe that will set you free.

It is really a very hard work to make a film. Idea, time, labor, technology, music, makeup, artists (actors and actresses), money and so many things are involved in making a movie. After all these works, when we see piracy in the film industry that is really so sad, it hurts us. It means all for nothing.

Read more: http://ntpiracy.com/anti-piracy-idea/hey-filmmakers-watch-out.htm
Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 7:01pm

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rogolo

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Hehe, you should write for The Onion!

And of course...
Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 7:21pm

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Ntpiracy.com

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Was it a joke wink
Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 7:49pm

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rogolo

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If you are talking about the anti-piracy ad, yes that's a joke. However, my response is not.

I would stake my entire collection of "alternatively acquired" movies against your argument that adding a title screen in the end credits would reduce piracy. I can't imagine anyone would simply stop pirating because the movie took thousands of manhours to make.

A quick peek at the comments here is revealing, as far as a pirate's psyche goes. Do they sound like they would comply with your idea? unsure
Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 7:59pm

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Ntpiracy.com

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So, a filmmaker should give it a try. Can you tell us, if you do not give it a try, then how can you come up with a result?
Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 8:43pm

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rogolo

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Live with it. That's my suggestion. As Peter Serafinowicz simply put it, "Artists will always make art, and money-makers will always find a way to make money."
Posted: Sat, 15th May 2010, 11:29pm

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pdrg

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With respect, it's a terrible idea in my mind. Who do things like this punish? Not the pirates or pirate copy viewer, that's for sure. When did you last see the FBI nonsense in a pirated film? When did you last see the commercials in pirated episodes of CSI? Pirates chop around the stuff they don't want to see, it's hardly rocket science to do so. The only people it affects are the honest ones who bought a legit DVD and have to sit through a 30-sec nag screen from the FBI tellling them how evil piracy is, when the guy watching the pirated version is just getting on with the film.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 2:13am

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Struker

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I dislike big-time DVD piracy because I do consider it theft, and I have nothing but contempt for thieves.

But I also dislike the small-time, home consumer version of it, too. I guess that's because I see it as a personification of that sense of "entitlement" that is common among a certain strata of society today. That group seems to believe implicitly that simply wanting something and being capable of taking it makes them unquestionably entitled to have it. Considerations of ethics or honesty are difficult for that kind of mindset to get its head around.

Those "you wouldn't" warnings at the beginning of films are embarrassingly silly attempts to appeal to a certain age group, with their jerky editing, flashy cuts, jittery imagery ad nauseum. It's as if they were made by a committee of old men who told the production team that they wanted the warning to appeal to "the young'uns, dagnabbit!" They're a bad joke. They are so misbegotten and pathetic it almost seems as if they're actively trying to encourage piracy by making a laughable satire about it!

The simple truth is, people pirate films because (1) they can, and (2) they believe they are entitled to.

If film producers were honest about wanting to stop piracy, instead of just making half-hearted attempts to frighten the easy targets out of benefiting from it, they would rethink the whole problem and find a solution at the beginning of the trail, instead of at the end.

The reason why "you wouldn't steal a handbag, or a car, etc" is simply because there are more barriers to overcome than just one's personal integrity. People are usually watching. Cars have alarm systems, handbags are usually held close, etc.. But DVDs don't seem to warrant similar vigilance. Copy protection is not the answer, obviously. What can be encoded can be decoded. But surely all the effort currently being expended on prosecuting the average slobs who helped themselves to a cookie because the cookie jar was open anyway, could better be spent making a better lid.

And it is certainly easy to be sceptical of the claim that piracy causes film makers to suffer financially, when film makers like James Cameron can still come along and blithely spend obscene amounts of money filming screenplays that very clearly do not justify such preposterous spending.

If I was a film maker trying to stave off bankruptcy caused by piracy, I'd add a virus to every DVD I released, targeted at all types of PC and all operating systems, which would obliterate the hard drive of any computer attempting to rip or copy my DVD. Maybe hide the virus in a third layer on the disk.

That, at least, might stop piracy at its source. Of course, it would also prevent the home consumer from making a copy of his own DVD for his own personal use if he wanted to.

It's an interesting problem.

.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 3:12am

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Limey

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Like pdrg said, pirates will pirate. They will find a way.

But what I wonder is why people go to such effort to provide pirated films for people to download for free. How do they benefit?
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 3:35am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Struker wrote:

If I was a film maker trying to stave off bankruptcy caused by piracy, I'd add a virus to every DVD I released, targeted at all types of PC and all operating systems, which would obliterate the hard drive of any computer attempting to rip or copy my DVD. Maybe hide the virus in a third layer on the disk.

That, at least, might stop piracy at its source. Of course, it would also prevent the home consumer from making a copy of his own DVD for his own personal use if he wanted to.

It's an interesting problem.
Amusingly draconian. If I've learnt anything about anti-piracy measures it is simply that they never stop the pirates, and the more draconian they are the more they end up punishing legitimate consumers of the products. As a result, they're totally unacceptable.

Limey12345 wrote:

Like pdrg said, pirates will pirate. They will find a way.

But what I wonder is why people go to such effort to provide pirated films for people to download for free. How do they benefit?
I think one of the ways is by selling advertising. A popular pirate website will draw in a LOT of traffic, meaning any adverts of those pages will receive a lot of views and as a result a reasonable amount of clicks.

-Matt
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 3:42am

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Axeman

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The thing that truly amazes me about piracy of films and music is that the pirates only steal from the people they like. They aren't out there downloading albums or movies by people they7 hate, as if they had some sort of justification. No, its more like they listen to a band and think,

"Hey, I really like these guys. I'm gonna rob them blind!"

In my experience they only steal from the artists they like, which is a lot like robbing only your friends' houses.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:05am

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Struker

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Axeman wrote:

The thing that truly amazes me about piracy of films and music is that the pirates only steal from the people they like. They aren't out there downloading albums or movies by people they7 hate, as if they had some sort of justification. No, its more like they listen to a band and think,

"Hey, I really like these guys. I'm gonna rob them blind!"

In my experience they only steal from the artists they like, which is a lot like robbing only your friends' houses.
That's right, Axeman! Doesn't stop them, though. Maybe because people who routinely download other people's property have already put their brains into neutral. They can do it without any misgivings because they perfected the "don't think about it, and it won't be wrong" mentality.

Probably also the "blame the victim" tactic. If I can steal from them, I should steal from them. If they can't stop me stealing from them, they deserve to be robbed.

Sick old world...
.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:08am

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Aculag

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In the case of downloading music, these days a lot more artists are releasing their albums for free anyway. They do a "pay what you want" style release, and have multiple packages. So you can pay nothing and get a free download, or you can pay $15 and get a free download plus a physical copy, or you can pay $50 and get a free download, physical copy, art book and t-shirt, or whatever.

To me, that is the proper way to respond to piracy. Nothing anyone does is going to stop piracy, whether you like it or not, so the best way to approach it is just to make your stuff available to people who either can't pay for it, or who won't pay for it. As a musician, and an internet denizen, I am fully prepared to embrace that change. My last band's albums were both available for free online, and if they hadn't been, they wouldn't have reached nearly as many people.

Of course, it's a different story with films. But speaking as someone who used to pirate films to watch on my computer, ever since iTunes and PSN have offered movie rental downloads, and Netflix has offered Instant Watch, I haven't illegally downloaded anything, because I haven't felt the need to. It's all available online legally, so why take the risk? If more companies see this, and start offering their films for download or streaming, I think piracy will decrease. It won't ever stop, but giving people more options is the best option.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:18am

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Serpent

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I'll just say I only purchase films that I *really* love and want the bonus features of, or the films of fellow low budget filmmakers whom I respect. I usually only watch a film 1-2 times, so I don't see the need to own it. I'll see it in theaters, or I'll rent/legally stream it when it comes out.

But as a filmmaker I will provide a free version of my films in a computer format (one that isn't too easy to play on a TV for the average joe like the FLVs on my website/Veoh)) and a payed version will be on for a big screen audience presentation, nicely made DVDS with bonus features, and rental sales. Pirates who get in troubled for piracy who are downloading are only usually someone who is made an example of for the rest of them, which I think is cruel and unusual punishment. Information should be free. I'd move up to Hulu if I got big and had a say, so my film could make some money off the free content.

Music is a slightly different ball game, and since I'm not a musician I can't really comment. If it were possible to increase punishment and reduce harshness, it would be better, but that's easier said than done. There really aren't too many advantages to owning a CD these days, so pirates usually aren't missing out on anything (only physical album I bought in the past 8 years was Muse's Resistance, because I specifically like that particular album art/disc art, and I wanted the making of DVD). It's just harder to pirate 4.7GB + print the insert and discs, and they still aren't up to par. Especially for a collector.

I wouldn't compare pirating to robbing at all. Pirating, the artist isn't necessarily losing anything, not even your sale. Some pirates wouldn't buy in the first place, they would listen to it on the radio/Myspace/Youtube/etc., wait for it to come out on TV, watch at friends house, etc. Robbing is taking something someone already has, and taking it for themselves for monetary gain (robbing money, robbing to pawn or sell). If you couldn't tell I'm part of the crowd that likes to call most forms of digital piracy "sharing," not that I support the act. I have a lot of respect for bands like Radiohead and NIN, and studios and filmmakers who screen their work on Hulu.com. I can see a service like Hulu taking down a lot of piracy, simply because a lot of people would feel better not having to "share" it to enjoy the art and sit through a handful of commercials that help pay for the film (along with DVD, on demand, and theater).

EDIT: Aculag slipped in a post before me, I echo what he says on the streaming. Netflix and Hulu are just a couple of the wonderful legal services out there that don't require you to buy or rent, which is usually overpriced for someone who wants to just see the film.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:41am

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Struker

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Amusingly draconian. If I've learnt anything about anti-piracy measures it is simply that they never stop the pirates, and the more draconian they are the more they end up punishing legitimate consumers of the products. As a result, they're totally unacceptable.
Not necessarily, Matt. The fact that very severe anti-piracy measures can have unpopular side effects doesn't make them "totally unacceptable". It only makes them unpopular. If they achieved the desired result, they would be very acceptable to those who stand to lose the most from the ineffectiveness of lesser measures.

If you're using the word "draconian", you're talking about extreme punishments applied after the crime, not extreme measures taken to prevent it. The tactic I suggested would be a preventive measure, not an excessive punishment. The full-time pirates would lose a working computer, but they would retain their liberty, and even their anonymity.

As I did acknowledge, the tactic would have the side-effect of preventing owners from making a back-up copy of the film. But perhaps that could be addressed by charging an additional fee to purchase an unlocking code that would allow one copy to be made on one computer.

As I said, it's an interesting problem. Interesting enough to consider the merits of any and every solution.
.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:51am

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Serpent

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Then one pirate plays it on their TV and rips it from the TV out cables and releases it to the rest of the internet.

Your solution doesn't solve anything, it just makes backups much more difficult, tedious, and costly while potentially punishing people who aren't doing anything wrong.

If that were possible, a hack would be released that bypassed all that right when the technology went public anyways though.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 6:42am

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Struker

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Serpent wrote:

Then one pirate plays it on their TV and rips it from the TV out cables and releases it to the rest of the internet.
I didn't know that could be done, I'm glad to say.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 6:44am

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Aculag

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It's kinda like how people used to (and still do, I guess) record songs off the radio onto cassettes/something else. Technically, that's pirating, but there isn't any way for anyone to stop it from happening.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 7:39am

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Struker

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Aculag wrote:

It's kinda like how people used to (and still do, I guess) record songs off the radio onto cassettes/something else. Technically, that's pirating, but there isn't any way for anyone to stop it from happening.
Yes. I wonder if there are many people who still do that, Aculag. You're certainly right, it was a very common practice once.

The only thing that discouraged it was DJs' habit of speaking over the start of the song. I don't listen to radio at all, so I don't know if that irritating habit is still practised.

Anyway, there I guess you have a genuine example of an anti-piracy measure that actually did inconvenience genuinely innocent people.

.
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 1:48pm

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pdrg

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Some people will never pay to see a film, there's nothing you can do about them.
Some people will buya Blu-ray and play it once.
Most people are somewhere in the middle. Make it easy for people to pay a fair price and they will. ITunes does it, and has arguably caused greater harm to kazaa, limewire, etc than all the inflated lawsuits.

Film will find a way - quality vs price vs convenience still needs to shake out - perhaps the VoD models from BT etc will do it, but there's an absolute mint to be made by the first guy to get it right
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 2:52pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Struker wrote:

Not necessarily, Matt. The fact that very severe anti-piracy measures can have unpopular side effects doesn't make them "totally unacceptable". It only makes them unpopular. If they achieved the desired result, they would be very acceptable to those who stand to lose the most from the ineffectiveness of lesser measures.
Utilitarian I see. But your suggestions wouldn't achieve any result other than damaging the computer, potentially filled with family photos and important work information of someone who accidentally assumed it would play in their computer. One pirate would need to successfully subvert the anti-piracy measure, One pirate would have to upload the data to the torrent network making the film both successfully pirated and with discs damaging peoples computer information worldwide.

To me, that's unacceptable as well as I believe Illegal.

A current example of a draconian approach is Ubisofts anti-piracy DRM. Legitimate owners of their games must maintain a connection to the internet whilst they play the game (even when it is singleplayer) and any loss of the connection results in the game exiting and losing progress. The DRM was hacked and removed by pirates within a week of the games release, so the current state is that pirates are playing the game freely whilst paying customers suffer from being interrupted whenever their net drops. The game can't be played at all if you're somewhere on a laptop with the net.

If you're using the word "draconian", you're talking about extreme punishments applied after the crime, not extreme measures taken to prevent it.
Draconian can mean to be characteristic of Draco, the greek judge and his harsh laws or to simply imply extreme severity. In any case, loading DVDs with material that destroys the computers of people who paid for your work IS a punishment.

To link this thread with our discussion on 3D - I think a lot of studios are pushing 3D, even in places where it doesn't fit is because 3D does something magical even in the eyes of corporate fat cats - it makes the film impossible to pirate. With 3D films, pirates will always be left with a 2D copy.

-Matt

p.s. Struker, I'm not out to get you, honest. razz
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:06pm

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Ntpiracy.com

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Hey... When I started this post, I gave a vote as I like this idea. Look someone else gave another POSITIVE vote (my side).

How many of you gave NEGATIVE vote? And among all of us, at least I got one vote. That means I could able to make someone believe my idea. In the long run, if this idea works for 10% of people... Then I would be happy...

Would you be happy?
Posted: Sun, 16th May 2010, 4:09pm

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Aculag

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Only six people have voted, including you. I wouldn't get too worked up over it.
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 3:31am

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Struker

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Utilitarian I see. But your suggestions wouldn't achieve any result other than damaging the computer, potentially filled with family photos and important work information of someone who accidentally assumed it would play in their computer.
Yes, obviously DVDs would need to display a warning, much as they do now, which would alert home consumers to the fact that attempting to copy the DVD will irrevocably damage their computer.

A current example of a draconian approach is Ubisofts anti-piracy DRM. Legitimate owners of their games must maintain a connection to the internet whilst they play the game (even when it is singleplayer) and any loss of the connection results in the game exiting and losing progress. The DRM was hacked and removed by pirates within a week of the games release, so the current state is that pirates are playing the game freely whilst paying customers suffer from being interrupted whenever their net drops. The game can't be played at all if you're somewhere on a laptop with the net.
Again, I don't call that a draconian measure - just an inefficient one. No anti-piracy system will give 100% results, I agree. And obviously those consumers who have to put up with drop-outs while playing that particular game presumably knew in advance that it was a factor, before they bought it.

Draconian can mean to be characteristic of Draco, the greek judge and his harsh laws or to simply imply extreme severity.
I did know that, Matt. smile

In any case, loading DVDs with material that destroys the computers of people who paid for your work IS a punishment.
Well, you have a point there. But as I said, an owner who wanted to make a copy of a DVD that he owned could pay an extra fee for that privilege and avoid damage to his computer. If he chooses to attempt to circumvent that option, he should expect some repercussions.

To link this thread with our discussion on 3D - I think a lot of studios are pushing 3D, even in places where it doesn't fit is because 3D does something magical even in the eyes of corporate fat cats - it makes the film impossible to pirate. With 3D films, pirates will always be left with a 2D copy.
Well, then that's another thing we have to thank the damn pirates for! They're responsible for more 3D films! evil

p.s. Struker, I'm not out to get you, honest. razz
Never thought you were, Matt. It's cool. smile

.
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 4:47am

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Sollthar

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The problem is the logic that every illegal download equals a lost sale - which just isn't true. Lots of people download things they would never buy anyways.

In fact, looking at my own history, I've never really bought much music CD's. Then Napster came and I started downloading a couple of songs and suddenly found out about a lot of composers and ended buying 3 or 4 CD's a month simply because Napster got me into music.

Similar with games. I downloaded a few of them, then bought a few of them, now I own almost half the steam catalogue.

Many companies haven't yet fully embraced peoples need to watch everything online or buy things online, easily. New market models need to come instead of defending the old ones so rigidly. They're obsolete and some people got that, most still don't.


Besides, a large majority of illegal downloaders are kids and teenagers who don't have the money to buy large quantums of DVD's, music or games. Appealing to people's sense for morale or compassion is futile imo, since I believe most people have neither. They just don't care that what they do might have a negative effect on someone elses life. They also don't comprehend it.
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 8:31am

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Simon K Jones

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Well said, Sollthar and Hybrid.

Some of the suggestions in this topic are terrifying. The idea of allowing corporations to deliberately destroy a computer (or anything) because it allegedly costs them business is staggering. What else should they be allowed to destroy if it threatens their business?

There also seems to be an assumption that pirates operate on their own out of Secret Pirate Bases, using special Pirate Computers. What if they're using a library computer, or an internet cafe computer, or a family computer? The entire computer, or the entire network is destroyed because of one person's actions?

I think 'disproportionate' is the right word to use here.

Ntpiracy's idea isn't going to work - as others have pointed out, pirates will simply remove the title card. I'd say that it's also making an assumption about content creators.

Ntpiracy is assuming that "It means all for nothing" if someone pirates your work. But that's over-simplifying the situation. As a writer, I want people to read my stuff. That's the main thing. If I can also make money from it, that's great.

As Sollthar says, people trying stuff for free can lead to them subsequently buying stuff - studies have shown that people that pirate music are also the people that spend the most money on music. Do you really want to piss those people off?
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 11:50am

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Struker

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Tarn wrote:

Well said, Sollthar and Hybrid.

Some of the suggestions in this topic are terrifying. The idea of allowing corporations to deliberately destroy a computer (or anything) because it allegedly costs them business is staggering. What else should they be allowed to destroy if it threatens their business?
Whoa there, Tarn, you're taking this far too seriously! eek

I can see it's time that I owned up that my "solution" was presented a bit tongue-in-cheek. It was idle speculation more than anything else. I know very well that no corporation would resort to those measures... yet. I don't even know if they could, anyway. You sound like you think I'm advocating summary execution by firing squad of everybody who gets caught copying a DVD!!! razz

No, man, I'm just brainstorming. I, for one, do believe that acquiring anything that belongs to somebody else without paying the asking price is stealing. And I detest thievery of any kind. I was giving my imagination free rein for the cathartic benefit, you see. wink

Having said that, I do reiterate that I believe anyone, whether it's a single artist or a corporation, has the right to protect their financial interests if those interests are under threat. If you, as an individual, waive that right by allowing free access to your work, that's your choice, but it doesn't oblige anyone else to do so. You have a right to allow free access. And other people have an equal right not to allow free access, don't you agree?

The way I see it, this whole issue would not be the hot potato it is, if people simply did the right thing to begin with. Obviously the temptation is too strong for some people to resist, with the unfortunate result that illegal acquiring of other people's digital products, (ie. stealing) is endemic now. Or rather, pandemic.

It certainly seems that people who engage in digital stealing seem to have the notion that if only they keep getting away with it, the rightful owners will eventually just give up trying to stop them. But consider this: if every single legal attempt by an individual or a corporation to protect their interests keeps being attacked, undermined, evaded, blocked, and defeated, I think it's only to be expected that sooner or later they will consider extreme measures. As my Mum used to say, "It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt!"

If department stores decided not to lock their doors at night any more, or to even place guards, how long do you think it would be before nocturnal looting would be commonplace? Not long, I'm sure you'd agree. And what action would you expect store owners to take under those circumstances? More to the point, what action would you approve of them taking?

There also seems to be an assumption that pirates operate on their own out of Secret Pirate Bases, using special Pirate Computers. What if they're using a library computer, or an internet cafe computer, or a family computer? The entire computer, or the entire network is destroyed because of one person's actions?
Obviously libraries and other public computer stations could very easily disable their computer's DVD drives. World wouldn't come to an end if they did that. wink

I think 'disproportionate' is the right word to use here.
Nah..."Hypothetical" is a better one.

Ntpiracy is assuming that "It means all for nothing" if someone pirates your work. But that's over-simplifying the situation. As a writer, I want people to read my stuff. That's the main thing. If I can also make money from it, that's great.
Well, that's great - for you. But I'm sure you know not everyone feels that way.

As Sollthar says, people trying stuff for free can lead to them subsequently buying stuff - studies have shown that people that pirate music are also the people that spend the most money on music. Do you really want to piss those people off?


Wellll, yes, it can..... I suppose. But realistically, I'd question whether a person who was prepared to break the law once by acquiring a movie or music by piracy, would suddenly discover honesty and decide to pay full price to get some more of the same. Somehow that doesn't sound all that likely to me.

.

Last edited Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:04pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:03pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Struker wrote:

Again, I don't call that a draconian measure - just an inefficient one. No anti-piracy system will give 100% results, I agree. And obviously those consumers who have to put up with drop-outs while playing that particular game presumably knew in advance that it was a factor, before they bought it.
No Anti-Piracy system will yield positive results because no Anti-Piracy system will ever prevent the pirates. The Pirates will.always.find.a.way. Resulting in any DRM resulting in just being a hassle to paying customers.

The Ubisoft DRM example is the most comprehensive gaming anti-piracy system to date and it hasn't impacted piracy at all. If anything it's damaged their sales and hurt their paying customers who unlike the pirates, are stuck with the annoying DRM.

It's worth noting the Ubisoft aren't entirely evil. They shipped Prince of Persia with no DRM, vowing that if piracy of the title dropped as a result they would remove DRM from all future titles. This didn't happen hence the DRM heavy future releases. Somewhere at UBI HQ they've got to be re-evaluating the worth of investing in developing DRM when a title with all the locks and chains is just as pirated as one without.

The Battle against piracy is a waste of time. Time that would be much better spent appealing to and rewarding legitimate fans, customers or an audience. The music, film and gaming industries will realize this sooner or later.

I can see it's time that I owned up that my "solution" was presented a bit tongue-in-cheek. It was idle speculation more than anything else. I know very well that no corporation would resort to those measures... yet.
Actually, I think one company tried this and were sued for it. I also have hazy memories of talk of anti-piracy proposals by a big software company to include a virus that would degrade a machines hardware over a long period of time. Scary!

struker wrote:

As Sollthar says, people trying stuff for free can lead to them subsequently buying stuff - studies have shown that people that pirate music are also the people that spend the most money on music. Do you really want to piss those people off?


Wellll, yes, it can..... I suppose. But realistically, I'd question whether a person who was prepared to break the law once by acquiring a movie or music by piracy, would suddenly discover honesty and decide to pay full price to get some more of the same. Somehow that doesn't sound all that likely to me.
You are aware that piracy doesn't involve boarding a ship full of CDs and DVDs with brutal, murderous force... Right?

I'm in the same boat (ha ha) as Sollthar. A lot of my musical influences when I was young came from illegal sources. CDs/Tapes lent by friends or shared over networks. As a result when I became an adult I started buying music, I've spent a small fortune on the iTunes store.

These days, there are easier ways of both legally discovering and sharing new music, LastFM and Spotify being two of the better examples. They're both invaluable services to me as a music lover and I think they're great methods of monetizing in a market previously dominated by pirates.

Just another great idea that didn't come from a record label too busy suing its fans.

-Matt

Last edited Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:24pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

Whoa there, Tarn, you're taking this far too seriously! eek
Sorry, I can get a bit foamy about this kind of thing. Problem is, it is a very serious topic. The anti-piracy argument is one that is being used by governments all around the world to impose authoritarian control measures on the internet and elsewhere: in other words, piracy is being used as the excuse to sneak in a load of stuff that can be abused very easily by people in power with vested interests.

I know very well that no corporation would resort to those measures... yet. I don't even know if they could, anyway.
Actually, they've tried things like this already. For a while some CDs installed rootkits into computer in an attempt to control what could be done with them - the end result simply being that legitimate customers got screwed over, while the pirates got round it.

Here's more information on that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal

Also: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/15/big-contents-dystopi.html

No, man, I'm just brainstorming. I, for one, do believe that acquiring anything that belongs to somebody else without paying the asking price is stealing. And I detest thievery of any kind.
Absolutely. What remains to be proven is whether digital piracy is thievery. Thievery by definition is to take something that does not belong to you. This makes perfect sense in the physical world. In the digital realm, you can take a copy of something without denying access to it by anybody else, and without costing them anything in terms of replacement.

I'm not saying it isn't thievery - there is of course the (unclear) issue of possible lost revenue. But I do think there needs to be a careful debate about that topic, rather than just an assumption that it's the same thing.

You have a right to allow free access. And other people have an equal right not to allow free access, don't you agree?
Sure, although I think that risks limiting yourself to 20th century economic and marketing models. Although, as you say, that's entirely your choice.

If department stores decided not to lock their doors at night any more, or to even place guards, how long do you think it would be before nocturnal looting would be commonplace?
I would say again that it's not a valid comparison. You're comparing a situation in which physical stock is being removed from the store, which all directly cost the store massively. It's not the same as digital copying and piracy, in any way.

Obviously libraries and other public computer stations could very easily disable their computer's DVD drives. World wouldn't come to an end if they did that. wink
Not the end of the world, but the end result is that you're inconveniencing legitimate businesses (costing them money), and causing problems for legitimate consumers. The pirates go unaffected and enjoy an excellent user experience - the combination of the two resulting in people finding piracy more appealing.

Well, that's great - for you. But I'm sure you know not everyone feels that way.
True, but a lot of entertainment creation seems to be about money these days, rather than actually entertaining. The 20th century gave artists a nice ride, sure, but it won't necessarily always be like that.

As Sollthar says, people trying stuff for free can lead to them subsequently buying stuff - studies have shown that people that pirate music are also the people that spend the most money on music. Do you really want to piss those people off?


Wellll, yes, it can..... I suppose. But realistically, I'd question whether a person who was prepared to break the law once by acquiring a movie or music by piracy, would suddenly discover honesty and decide to pay full price to get some more of the same. Somehow that doesn't sound all that likely to me.
There have been lots of studies that have shown this, though. Unfortunately I don't have any references to hand, which is a bit rubbish of me, sorry. unsure

As Sollthar said in an earlier post, his pirating of music led him to discover more composers, which led to him spending more money. That's not what happens for everyone, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

People are scared because it means the consumer model of the 20th century no longer exists. There's something new emerging - it's up to the creators to choose whether to see it as an opportunity or a problem to run away from.
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:32pm

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Struker

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:



The Battle against piracy is a waste of time. Time that would be much better spent appealing to and rewarding legitimate fans, customers or an audience. The music, film and gaming industries will realize this sooner or later.
Regrettably, that's probably true, Matt. As I said a few posts back, it's an interesting problem. I think even the promise of rewards for legitimate users/owners would probably fail sooner or later. No doubt somebody would find a way of forging an identity in order to qualify for the reward.

I also have hazy memories of talk of anti-piracy proposals by a big software company to include a virus that would degrade a machines hardware over a long period of time. Scary!
That's interesting. So it's been mooted already. Not surprised, actually. Nobody likes being ripped off. Some people resent it very much indeed, and obviously are prepared to go to those lengths. That's one of the reasons why I don't much like pirates, amateur or professional. They're tweaking the tiger's tail, but all of us could get bitten. smile

Anyway, none of us are going to find the ideal solution, that's pretty certain.

Signing off for the night.

.
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:38pm

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pdrg

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That company was Sony, just a few years ago. Their 'CD' had a deliberately corrupted primary MBR (like the index for the disk), so CD players would use the secondary one. If played on a PC, it loaded a rootkit (it even hid itself at a kernel level to make it impossible to de-install. If you don't understand what that means, it's like barcoding your kidneys instead of wearing a name tag.). That rootkit would control/limit the copying. Just what Struker suggests.

And it caused lots of problems - discs wouldn't play on Macs or Linux or in some car players. It interfered with the very core (kidneys) of your computer, your computer was no longer your own. Imagine if the public outrage and lawsuits hadn't kicked it out and made Sony limp away? Next, Universal would do it with a different setup. Then the others all would. Apple users would get frustrated of course, and whine like girls, until they had to install extra software to play their CD's, except that software would be just as awful as the software bundled with most cheap cameras etc. And where does it end? You visit your friends house and put on a CD, and wreck their machine, who's to blame?

Even hypothetically it's bonkers. The fact Sony tried it is double bonkers. It meant it was strictly speaking no longer a 'CD' as it didn't meet the CD standard.

And of course, who does it penalise? It takes *just one* copy to be extracted, and it can be duplicated without limits. Menawhile the whole world population has to install software or change computer or otherwise limit themselves - inconceniencing the legit purchasers whilst the illegit DVD factories will still mean that bloke down the pub will sell knock-offs!
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:46pm

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Struker

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Tarn Sorry, I was about to sign off for the night and then found your reply. I'll have to get back to you tomorrow.

Meantime, I will admit you just gave me a different perspective on the issue. Perhaps the issue may be more to do with the simple courtesy of not using someone else's property without their permission and knowledge.

I'll need to give it some more thought before I can decide if the argument for piracy is valid because of the nature of the digital marketplace, or just very clever sophistry.

Later. smile
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 12:53pm

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Simon K Jones

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To clarify, I don't think there's a good argument for piracy, and I am very much against piracy of any kind.

However, I also think that there's nothing we can do about it, so the best course of action is to look at how we can turn it into a positive thing and maybe even use it as a viral form of marketing, rather than wasting resources trying to stop it.
Posted: Mon, 17th May 2010, 1:21pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Tarn wrote:

To clarify, I don't think there's a good argument for piracy, and I am very much against piracy of any kind.

However, I also think that there's nothing we can do about it, so the best course of action is to look at how we can turn it into a positive thing and maybe even use it as a viral form of marketing, rather than wasting resources trying to stop it.
Yeah, this immediately reminds me of The Downfall parodies takedowns. A little heard of german film got widely advertised because people were providing alternative subtitles for the scene where Hitler is being told that he is facing imminent defeat.

Did the copyright owners cease this opportunity, hold competitions for funniest subtitles, create a website showcasing the best versions, use it as a launching platform for a US DVD re-release?

No, they just had all the parodies taken off youtube. Nice move!
-Matt
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 2:27am

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Struker

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Tarn wrote:

Absolutely. What remains to be proven is whether digital piracy is thievery. Thievery by definition is to take something that does not belong to you. This makes perfect sense in the physical world. In the digital realm, you can take a copy of something without denying access to it by anybody else, and without costing them anything in terms of replacement.

I'm not saying it isn't thievery - there is of course the (unclear) issue of possible lost revenue. But I do think there needs to be a careful debate about that topic, rather than just an assumption that it's the same thing.
This is the nub of the problem. And I guess this is what is difficult for me to concede. And not because I'm still using a 20th century marketplace model as my yardstick. No, it's simpler than that. I'm being pragmatic.

This how I see it.

Notwithstanding the fact that the digital realm is probably the first ever real cornucopia to exist, in that its elements are endlessly renewable and virtually limitless, the fact remains that digital products are made by people. Though the product is mostly virtual itself, it doesn't spring fully-formed from some Virtual Horn of Plenty.

The CDs that sit in your local music store were made by somebody who was paid a wage to do so. The content of the CDs was created by other people who were paid a substantially higher wage to do so. The money that both parties were paid to bring that CD to the music shop for others to buy was part of the circulated economy of the country. And unlike the digital information that it was exchanged for, that money isn't endlessly renewable. It's only exchangeable.

The world's population is finite. The population of one's local neighbourhood is finite. The marketing of any product is governed by that fact. As for any product, a manufacturer of digital products tries to balance the cost of production of each unit against the projected return to itself of its sale. If they manufacture, say, one million physical discs containing the recorded music of a performer, the monies received from the sale of those discs must equal or substantially exceed the cost of their manufacture. The best way to achieve that outcome is to sell every physical disc.

But if, for each disc they actually sell to one person, ten thousand other people actually receive it for free, via piracy, then obviously the company's economic strategy falls apart. If that situation applied to every piece of media entertainment the company produced, the company would be bankrupted. Once every other potential customer for that particular product had had his needs met (having acquired the product without paying), the income to the manufacturer would dry up. It would cease without the books being balanced. In any economic model of any century, that is usually a precursor to bankruptcy.

That's how I see the Piracy/lost sales issue. Whether from a 20th century model or a 21st century model, returns must at least equal expenditure if a company is to remain in business.

I am no expert in economics, and I admit there may be flaws in my summary of the situation. If so, I welcome any corrections.

Again, I say it's an interesting problem. And I think its solution will require an extremely determined effort. Not so much for the sake of the entertainment companies, for whom I must admit I have no special love, but for the sake of the consumer. Because, taken to its logical conclusion, this situation could result in entertainment no longer being accessible on mass-produced media. No CDs, no DVDs, nothing.

You can no longer buy a newly-minted vinyl recording anywhere in the world. What if you could no longer buy a CD or DVD - even a blank one? What if anyone wanting a recorded performance of something was prohibited from getting it without a complex system of validation, hell, maybe even requiring DNA identification, to get it? And then, only via an internet connection, and in no other way? Hands up anyone who thinks that could never happen?

You're right, Tarn, that the problem needs very careful debate. I just wonder if anybody is actually doing that anywhere.

.
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 8:20am

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

You can no longer buy a newly-minted vinyl recording anywhere in the world. What if you could no longer buy a CD or DVD - even a blank one?
I can't actually recall the last time I bought a music CD, or a blank CD or DVD. I'm entirely digital with music these days. I'm also entirely digital with games (except console games, because as usual they're about 5-10 years behind the PC). I still buy DVDs/blurays, but that's only because there isn't a decent digital alternative - although I no longer rent DVDs/blurays, I only rent through the PS3 online store.

Physical media disappearing wouldn't bother me personally.

It may well emerge that musicians etc making loads of money off recorded media could prove to be a 20th century blip in the history of entertainment. Prior to recorded media musicians made a living through performing, rather than recording. In the digital era it may well return to that model, with the digital recordings functioning more as adverts.

One fairly likely result is for the middle-man, the distributors, to disappear as they're no longer needed. That wouldn't interfere with consumption or creation of entertainment, it would just be delivered differently. But it's understandable why the Industry is so terrified - more terrified than the actual artists, who won't be affected much. You might not get mega-stars and super-rich musicians anymore, pushed forward by crazy marketing budgets, but, hey, we can welcome them back to the real world. smile

It's an interesting conundrum, to be sure.
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 8:45am

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Atom

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I was going to speak, but this is far too serious so I'm going to stay out of it past saying this little spill about one facet of the conversation:

I think the idea of 'opportunity cost' in pirating illegal media -be it music, movies, or games- is silly. And minimal.

Yeah, no sh*t people won't pay for something they can get for free. It doesn't mean it isn't lost profit. Not in all cases, but in most it is. And whether a record or film company deserves that profit is irrelevant when you ignore your own transgression.

Sure, I wouldn't have first heard Jack Johnson and later bought two of his CDs had I not pirated the first one off of a torrent. But, I'm not so delusional to believe that this is the case everywhere, or that for some reason that means I'm not costing anyone any money.

I am, in most senses, if not the evil record company- then Jack Johnson the chance to take my money playing a live concert- because I've already got some of the music for free anyway.

I do agree, there needs to be evolution in all of the industries in the way they market and sell themselves; and it's encouraging to see after such a long and staggering decline the music industry's burst bubble finally figuring things out. But that doesn't, by any means, make it acceptable to simply take something someone else pays for.

The tricky part to this is that we have to rethink media and entertainment from the ground up. The idea of paying for music or movies or games is so inflated (or deflated in some areas) these days, people have become polarized. Either you stand apart and substantiate what is essentially stealing in some vague way, or you pay like a sucker.

A middle-ground needs to be found, and we need to understand that opportunity cost is ever-changing. Take for instance the movie Snatch.

Now, that's one of few movies I've pirated- and I did it a long, long time ago. I hadn't really cared to see it, but hey it was free, right? And I really loved the movie, so much so that I bought it afterward. One could say, by some of Sollthar's earlier logic, that I actually raise the studio's profit through my piracy because 'I wasn't going to buy/see it otherwise'.

But, really, isn't this the case with any media? It's not a game of 'either you like it off-the-bat and buy it or you don't'. Music, movies, games- all of them are leaps of faith, inherently. We can still pay to see a bad movie, listen to bad music, or play a bad game. And we can accept that. We have critics, people who decipher tastes of quality for these things in different form, for this very reason.

So why do we treat good media, movies and music and games we end up liking, as something 'I wasn't going to listen to/play/watch otherwise' when we pirate? Does that make it anymore right? I mean, really? We pay for the thrill of the experience as much as we do any tangible part of those things, anyway. Be it a good or bad one, good or bad music, etc., we still agree to give something for that chance. And when we don't- well, it'd be wrong to ignore that as something other than 'our bad' on some level.
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 8:51am

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Simon K Jones

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Interesting points, highlighting how complex the issues are.

This was what caught my eye, though:

Atom wrote:

The tricky part to this is that we have to rethink media and entertainment from the ground up.
I think this is the key point. And unfortunately the entertainment industries simply don't want to be a part of it - they're perfectly comfortable with their 20th century models and will do anything to defend them (see: Digital Economy Act, ACTA, DMCA, etc).

Until the entertainment industries either a) grow up or b) with and die, it's going to be really hard to have a proper debate from all sides and move things forward.
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 10:22am

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Sollthar

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atom wrote:

Now, that's one of few movies I've pirated- and I did it a long, long time ago. I hadn't really cared to see it, but hey it was free, right? And I really loved the movie, so much so that I bought it afterward.
Exactly. That is the thing that seems to be happening to most people according to every study I've encountered about the subject. The people who pirate a lot end up being the ones who spend the most money on something - usually. Either because they come in contact with new media, more media or simply grow older and suddenly can afford it - and honestly, most pirates are teens or students who simply can't afford to buy everything they want.

Does this mean it's morally right to do so? Probably not. But to be honest, the moral side is the most uninteresting part of the issue to me, as the entire moral side is so deeply intertwined with our capitalism logic and is way more complex then people make it out to be when it comes to software. I don't buy the whole "piracy is theft and theft is always bad" talk.
Besides, it's also rather more interesting to me what this says about our society when we just get everything we want, even if we end up getting it illegally, as long as we do end up getting it instead of saying "Well, I can't afford this, so I will just skip it".
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 11:14am

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Atom

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I think you completely missed my point, the point in which I used my entire post and that example to illustrate.

Just because seeing it illegally made me buy it doesn't mean that is universally the case- nor does it make it acceptable. Yes, on a moral level. But on many other levels past that. Maybe a 'common sense' level if there were one. (Definitely a dollars-and-'sense' one! wink) It's a positive by-product of pirating, but not one that is as common as 'hey, let people pirate because they'll buy it afterward when otherwise they wouldn't at all!'

That just doesn't hold any water because, as I said, all entertainment is a leap of faith. You pay to experience it. I didn't want to see Snatch, no. And while I might've paid for it later, that is rarely the case with most people- hell, even with me. What does this mean?

Well, yeah, I bought something after-the-fact. But I didn't pay for the initial experience when I should've. I cheated, I got it for free. Yeah, it showed me that it was a good movie- but to me I think of media as being 'christened' by our purchase: and it's always that first-time experience that is the best for most people. So why, then, do we feel we should be allowed or understood when we don't pay for it? You yourself have mentioned that people don't often watch movies more than once or twice, and that lots don't buy DVDs (or these days, I suppose Blurays) because of this. Doesn't that carry over to pirating, too? Why pay for something you only needed to see once, after all? And something you saw once for free, no less?

Movies aren't a 'try before you buy' product. Neither is music. They can't be demo'd like games, so instead offer a sample and/or trailers and clips.

This sort of 'test-driving' is available basically to everyone, and is the implicit contract we all sign when we decide we want to see or hear something for sale and pay for it. So why, then, do people try and substantiate torrenting and such with 'test-driving' what they want to buy?

This concept works for many things- but the way in which it might work for media consumers just isn't the way they (us) or the record companies/movie studios think that is. Rather, I don't feel there's anyway you can watch a movie and then buy it; even if only by virtue that a movie- in it's purest form- is just a bit of storytelling. And no matter how many times it is retold, that first time is what it was made for.

Let me put it this way: In a handful of years, if I'm lucky, I'll hopefully be working in Hollywood. A handful of years after that, I might even be producing some mainstream stuff. Now, even as the indie filmmaker that I am currently, would I feel any sympathy (or even empathy) for people pirating at that point?

No, probably not. There are solutions and new ways to look at, market, and figure out things. And the internet (and, give them credit, movie studios/record companies/broadcast stations) is being honed by mass media in new and interesting, profitable ways.

I'm not talking about the internet options that have been around for a decade. I'm not talking about new ways of doing things that have been tried out the past few years. I'm talking about what is happening right now. Movies-On-Demand, Hulu, Vevo, Digital Copy. Things are turning very fast and for the better, and whether people notice it currently or not, I notice it. And I like it.

It makes it difficult, then, to see any sort of angle for the pirate when the side of the consumer is ignorant to the progresses in changing media that big businesses are actually trying to help usher in.

Sollthar wrote:

and honestly, most pirates are teens or students who simply can't afford to buy everything they want.
But this, as I see you mentioned lower, is wrong. When people can't afford things, while it's unfortunate, it's still reality. I'm sure my dad would love to drive a Mercedes- but that doesn't mean he's going to go steal one because he otherwise couldn't afford it.

And this is the portion I think falls on the consumer. Just as much as the industry does, we have to grow up. As much as we want everything and feel entitled to every bit of media- we have to realize that isn't going to happen. It isn't a reality. And hey, it probably shouldn't be.

Music, movies, games, media. is, despite all heresay, still something someone (probably a lot of people) put (probably a lot of) work into- and there's no rhyme or reason anyone is or should be entitled to the benefits of viewing/listening/playing that work for free just, I dunno, because they 'feel they should be able to'. This is the problem with teens today and in my day a handful of years ago- and it's why I don't get in a big fuss over the 'evil' record companies or movie studios.

There are idiots, entitled ones, are this end. And it's frustrating to see everyone wanting the world. All of the glory, none of the responsibility, so to speak. Once this changes, maybe the industries will too. We've got to meet halfway, and I think in the past year even- there's been quite a bit of momentum on the industry's side. The ball is in the consumers court, I feel like. It's what makes posts like some in this very thread eyes-rollable and hard to read.
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 11:45am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

That just doesn't hold any water because, as I said, all entertainment is a leap of faith. You pay to experience it. I didn't want to see Snatch, no. And while I might've paid for it later, that is rarely the case with most people- hell, even with me. What does this mean?
Actually, most studies point towards people that pirate also spending the most money on the same kind of media. Again, annoyingly I don't have any sources I can actually give you on that. However, based on the studies that have been made, this mentality seems quite prevalent, rather than rare.

It's a mixture of 'try before you buy' and 'try and then discover other stuff'.

Sollthar wrote:

and honestly, most pirates are teens or students who simply can't afford to buy everything they want.
But this, as I see you mentioned lower, is wrong. When people can't afford things, while it's unfortunate, it's still reality. I'm sure my dad would love to drive a Mercedes- but that doesn't mean he's going to go steal one because he otherwise couldn't afford it.
As I've mentioned earlier, though, this is a false comparison.

How many people that pirate music, movies or games also have a habit of breaking into their local GAME store or Walmart and stealing DVDs? Or steal stuff from other people when they're not looking?

It's really not the same thing.

Which isn't to say that digital piracy is morally OK - but I think it's important to not get too obsessed with the "YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A CAR OMG!?" comparisons, as they tend to obfuscate the central debate.

Just as much as the industry does, we have to grow up. As much as we want everything and feel entitled to every bit of media- we have to realize that isn't going to happen. It isn't a reality. And hey, it probably shouldn't be.
I'm not so sure. The market, and the companies, should be driven by consumers. Consumers want something, the market provides. That's how it should work. If the consumers want always-on access to all music, for example, then the companies should figure out a subscription model, for example, rather than simply saying "no, you have to continue to buy our CDs."

Part of the problem is that companies have tried to switch things around so that it seems as if THEY create things, and then WE want to buy them. Hence they paint the picture that the old model for selling music is the 'right' one, and consumers should simply fall into line.

Personally, I don't buy that - literally. razz If consumers demand something else, it's up to the creators and companies to adapt.

The ball is in the consumers court, I feel like.
Yeah, the problem is that a lot of the industry doesn't even want to play the game. smile
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 12:10pm

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Tarn wrote:

Yeah, the problem is that a lot of the industry doesn't even want to play the game. smile
They obviously do to some extent, I say after just watching 2 hours of Hulu with maybe two to three minutes total of ads, listening to music I bought on iTunes, and watching Pineapple Express earlier on my iPod that I got free with my purchase of the Bluray.

They may not be Lebron James, but the industry is learning how to play ball. We should too, as Sollthar said and I back myself- the consumer-driven response can't simply be "I want everything for nothing". As long as that stupidly-greedy mantra exists on either end; no progress can be had.

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Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 12:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah agreed. And as you point out, some creative industries are way ahead of others.
Posted: Tue, 18th May 2010, 2:24pm

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Sollthar

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I think you completely missed my point, the point in which I used my entire post and that example to illustrate.
I get your point. But we're talking apples and oranges. smile

And in terms of "pirates spend the most money on media" and "most pirates are below 25", studies simply say that's the case. Universally. You might disagree with those studies - which is fine, but to me, a scientific study is always worth more then an unfounded opinion (Unless you base yours on any scientific data I don't know of).
At least, that's the way I work. smile

Again, that doesn't make it "morally right" - but interesting to everyone who thinks "money", which should be... well... exactly the big companies who so rigorously fight pirates. According to science: Their largest customers.

The rest is up to differences in our set of morals or idealism. I do think there's a large difference between stealing someones car and downloading a movie for free. Even stealing a DVD off a shelf and streaming a film.

And we probably also disagree on what or how the access to media should be. I'm totally not into capitalism and the whole capitalism logic myself. I'm more a Star Trek "everything for everyone, everyone for everything" idealist myself.

But I do get what your saying.
Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 12:30am

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Tarn wrote:

Physical media disappearing wouldn't bother me personally.
As long as the power stations keep running.... what if there's a zombie holocaust and there's nobody alive to maintain the electricity supply? Of course, we'll have worse things to worry about, then. razz

It may well emerge that musicians etc making loads of money off recorded media could prove to be a 20th century blip in the history of entertainment. Prior to recorded media musicians made a living through performing, rather than recording. In the digital era it may well return to that model, with the digital recordings functioning more as adverts.
Yep. From wandering minstrels singing for a loaf of bread, to no-talent nothingburgers charging $200 a seat, music entertainment has definitely "evolved". Although, I thought evolution was supposed to improve a species... smile

One fairly likely result is for the middle-man, the distributors, to disappear as they're no longer needed. That wouldn't interfere with consumption or creation of entertainment, it would just be delivered differently. But it's understandable why the Industry is so terrified - more terrified than the actual artists, who won't be affected much. You might not get mega-stars and super-rich musicians anymore, pushed forward by crazy marketing budgets, but, hey, we can welcome them back to the real world. smile
Amen to that! smile
Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 6:53am

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Simon K Jones

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A sort-of related article, which is both tragic and amusing in equal measure:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/18/voltage-pictures-pre.html

Hurt Locker producer (yes, that one) sends abusive email to a film viewer whom had explained politely his opinion that suing film fans isn't the answer.

Chartier's short-sighted response is unfortunately representative of a lot of the industry.
Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 7:05am

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Sollthar

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whom had explained politely his opinion that suing film fans isn't the answer.
Erm, well, what kind of answer were you hoping for to an email that basically says: "You sue people that do some illegal, but who are still GOOD people in my book. I disagree and I will boycott you for that and urge my friends and family to do the same. Na na na na!" smile

The original email ist just as dodgy and naive, it's just worded slightly more polite.
Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 7:21am

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Tarn wrote:

A sort-of related article, which is both tragic and amusing in equal measure:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/18/voltage-pictures-pre.html

Chartier's short-sighted response is unfortunately representative of a lot of the industry.
And that's a worry, I think. While the industry may publicly scold him for being over-zealous about getting Oscar votes, I don't doubt that most of them secretly agree with his response to the email. What should be remembered is that Mr Big Media doesn't really have any love for us - it only loves our money.

Which is why it does seem to pi$$ them off reeeeeeallly ..... a lot. smile It would only take two or three more respected film makers to chime in and support him, and the gloves would be off. And between John Q Public and Mr. Multi-billionaire Mogul, who would last the longest? Who could best afford the legal fees?

One guy there had a reasonable suggestion. Instead of suing their a$$es off, just make them pay the full cost of the DVD they downloaded. To that I would add - levy a nominal fine as well. Nobody really believes that they will ever be dragged to a courtroom to pay, what is it, $60,000 or do ten years for pirating a movie. But anyone can get his head around a $100 fine plus paying for the thing in the end, anyway.

.
Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 8:30am

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Sollthar wrote:

whom had explained politely his opinion that suing film fans isn't the answer.
Erm, well, what kind of answer were you hoping for to an email that basically says: "You sue people that do some illegal, but who are still GOOD people in my book. I disagree and I will boycott you for that and urge my friends and family to do the same. Na na na na!" smile
Well, I'd hope that a grown-up professional such as Chartier had the sophistication to be able to reply with more than a completely dismissive "YOU'RE A MORON!" He could have tried to explain the situation sensible from his point of view, for example. Or just not responded at all.

It's amusing, but it doesn't really show a particularly deep understanding of the issues. razz
Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 8:32am

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Sollthar

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Heh, yeah. The emails make both of them look like idiots as far as I'm concerned.

But you're right. "I HOPE YOUR KIDS END UP IN JAIL" certainly isn't a very professional nor otherwise likeable answer. razz
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 7:39am

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Ntpiracy.com

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Well, you guys believe that we can’t overcome piracy. Ntpiracy.com also believes that it will be very difficult to get over it. Don’t you think when we believe in something in that case it’ll be harder to bypass. Do we think the way: what is branding, what is promotion, what is campaign? Look, Ntpiracy.com is not just arguing as Ntpiracy.com has to ague on piracy. What we believe is, we’ll have to work out together. It’s not possible to wipe out every root of piracy but we can help the world by minimizing it.

Now you can ask Ntpiracy.com that how may we minimize it? The people who believe in anti-piracy, will have to move forward together. Look, we have our friends and family. At least we can send our message to them. If we can make 10% of them understand the loss of piracy then the success will come. That 10% will make another 10% and thus we’ll make a piracy-free world.

Ntpiracy.com introduced “HATE PIRACY” badge ( http://ntpiracy.com/anti-piracy-idea/hate-piracy-badge-by-ntpiracy.htm ). We’ll have to wear it, we can put it on our websites, forum, social communication networks and so on. And then someone (a friend or family) would see it, then a question may arise by them: what’s that and why’s that for? If we answer them and try to make them understand then we’ll see the success.

It’s not a shrot term plan, it’s a long term plan. We’ll have to run this campaign for a long. One day success will come.

Ntpiracy.com knows that you may argue, but we request you not to argue when we have the same vision. When we argue, the pirates will laugh. Can we let them laugh when we have a dream of making a piracy-free world?
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 8:29am

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Simon K Jones

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I respect your intentions, but I would say that it's too late. The world has turned, there's no going back now. Digital technology + the internet has changed, essentially, everything.

Stopping piracy can't be done forcefully, and we can't rewind the clock either. I'd say the only long term, legitimate solution is to embrace the new technologies and evolve the industries so that they work with the new demands of consumers.

I think the focus should be on that evolution and improvement, rather than on anti-piracy efforts. Spending extensive time fighting pirates is a waste of resources, I think.

But maybe that's just me, do feel free to keep fighting them if you want. smile
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 9:14am

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Home Taping is Killing Music! I suspect you're too young to remember that campaign back in the 1980's. The compact cassette was the end of all civilisation as we know it, the sky was falling in, except it didn't, and the music industry went through a period of unparalleled growth and expansion, many would say to an unstable point. They got used to piles of easy life money, and when the market adjusted, as all markets do, they resent the loss even more so squeal even louder. But home taping did anything but kill music, the VCR did not kill the cinema, and pianola reels did not kill off piano playing. Let's learn from history and leave the hysterics behind.

Ps - using the third person to refer to yourself sounds a bit weird, you may want to start using 'I' and 'me' instead. Just sayin'!
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 9:57am

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Back to the Hurt Locker producer: while his language could've obviously taken a higher road and been more mature, there's nothing terribly troubling or short-sighted about his message. The guy is mad, and there's nothing wrong with that- because he's addressing the very problem that is plaguing all of us with piracy that we mention here over and over. That is, we want everything for nothing and fail to see that while the end product is infinitely and effortlessly duplicatable and free, the people, manpower, and real hard work that creates that end-product most certainly is not.

Is he whiney in the way he articulates this? Well, yes, obviously. But the most troubling part of the entire article is the perplexingly illogical entitlement the sending person of the 'complaint/disagreement' has.

Forgiving the fact that the letter is stupid, pointless fuming, and naive as hell- the disagreement is not really a disagreement as much as it is a sad testament to the 'give me everything for free, I deserve it for no reason' idea. Sure, it might be short-sighted for the producer's company to sue BitTorrent- but hey, people are still committing crimes in some sense, knowingly, and although it may be petty to attack them on it, it's still decently substantiated.

The argument of 'you shouldn't sue people because I want and deserve it for free and you're inhumane blah blah blah' is so maddeningly-preposterous, I completely understand the producer's response.

To me the fact that he personally responded shows you not the evil, 'scour-you-for-money' movie industry, but one filled with hard-working, wage-earning people fed up with a buncha naive self-substantiating teens watching their work for free. Hell, I know I would be- especially on something more small-scale like The Hurt Locker. The film was made on a modest budget, with a talented group of people, and was only a minor box office success. If I'm working on that movie and people start illegally dowloading it, you can bet I'm gonna be somewhat pissed.

But then, if I try and do something about it and that person downloading not only tried to substantiate their transgression, but juvenilely voice a boycott and disdain in such an inciting and nonsensical way? Like I said, if that were me you can bet your ass I'd be mad as hell. And if I had the balls to do so, I might even respond like this producer did.

Look, the guy obviously cares about his
movie. He cares about the people who worked on it, and who earn their wage through the success of it and this business. I like that, shows that standing up is sometimes worth a damn, even when you're the 'big evil studio' yourself.

Does it solve the problem? No, not really. But in my eyes this shows progress (and perhaps a revelation) that torrenting and pirating has thrown people into a delusional state of untouchability and entitlement on both ends- and this letter highlights that. Which is, in my mind, a good thing- because hopefully we all grow out of it. These things aren't 'giant company versus innocent poor little kid' anymore. It's person-to-person, and the innocent kid is now more of the knowlingly-acting, morally-ambiguous brat.

At least, that's what I think.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 10:10am

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Atom wrote:

The argument of 'you shouldn't sue people because I want and deserve it for free and you're inhumane blah blah blah' is so maddeningly-preposterous, I completely understand the producer's response.
I'm pretty sure that isn't what the guy was saying, though. His point was specifically that you shouldn't go around suing people that love films. All of those people are potential customers, but if you start suing them, you've lost them for life.

He wasn't defending the right to pirate, he was saying that legal action of this manner is disproportionate and bullying.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 10:15am

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Very well put, Atom.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 10:24am

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Tarn wrote:

I'm pretty sure that isn't what the guy was saying, though. His point was specifically that you shouldn't go around suing people that love films. All of those people are potential customers, but if you start suing them, you've lost them for life.

He wasn't defending the right to pirate, he was saying that legal action of this manner is disproportionate and bullying.
I dunno, Tarn. If someone aims his argument at the severity of a certain penalty that's being imposed for some wrongdoing, he's tacitly agreeing that a wrongdoing has been done. He's virtually saying, Yes, it's wrong, but can you just give me a smack on the butt instead of grounding me?

Reminds me of that joke about the guy who asks a girl if she'd sleep with him for a million dollars. She says, Sure! Then he asks if she'll sleep with him for $50. Outraged, she asks him, Certainly not! What do you think I am?

He replies. We've already established what you are. Now we're just negotiating a price.

.

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Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 10:28am

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

Tarn wrote:

I'm pretty sure that isn't what the guy was saying, though. His point was specifically that you shouldn't go around suing people that love films. All of those people are potential customers, but if you start suing them, you've lost them for life.

He wasn't defending the right to pirate, he was saying that legal action of this manner is disproportionate and bullying.
I dunno, Tarn. If someone aims his argument at the severity of a certain penalty that's being inmposed for some wrongdoing, he's tacitly agreeing that a wrongdoing has been done. He's virtually saying, Yes, it's wrong, but can you just give me a smack on the butt instead of grounding me?

Reminds me of that joke about the guy who asks a girl if she'd sleep with him for a million dollars. She says, Sure! Then he asks if she'll sleep with him for $50. Outraged, she asks him, Certainly not! What do you think I am?

He replies. We've already established what you are. Now we're just negotiating a price.
Nice joke, although not relevant. smile

By linking that joke to this point, you're implying that punishment for crimes don't need to be proportionate in any way.

So should people just be executed, regardless of the crime? Of course not.

Corporate, organised suing sessions are not only disproportionate (company *maybe* loses a bit of revenue on a movie; person has their life potentially ruined), but also self-defeating. It won't stop piracy, it won't really benefit the studios - in fact, the only people it actually benefits are the lawyers and copyright/IP firms that are making craploads by sending out all these notices.

And that, I imagine, is the crux of the matter. The legal guys are the only ones benefiting from this kind of thing.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 10:42am

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Atom

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But see, Tarn, even you have drunk the koolaid a slight bit in the very way you paraphrased; 'you shouldn't sue people who love films.' Love films enough to go through the time and trouble enough to download big files, but not to pay the $10 to see it?

People who have passion and interest and are sued aren't sullied because they're sued if they've REALLY got love for films is what I'm saying. Why? Because we've begun to paint these type of piraters as simply 'people who love movies'- really, that's somehow become the status-quo represntation these days. And that, to me, is most troubling at all. There's no accountability, no admission of guilt, just people who want to 'wait until the industry figures things out' before they themselves stop doing the wrong thing too.

I mean, let's be honest- I just paid $10.50, a price raised $2 since the last time I was in Dallas, to see MacGruber- a movie I didn't even much like. But just because I didn't like it doesn't mean I'm going 'man! I wish I had seen that for free so I knew it wasn't that great!', and even past that I don't think anyone else should either.

That's someone who loves films. Someone who pays for it even when a free option exists. It makes it then, at least to me (the paying customer) an issue of fair and rightfulness. Sure, it costs nothing to duplicate a DVD screener of MacGruber and maybe it isn't directly lost revenue to someone who is watching it but otherwise didn't care to pay and see it. But you know what? That makes me a chump, and that's the hard part. And the unfair one, too. Because ultimately the industry needs my money to keep making movies, even if it doesn't need anything or lose anything from the pirate across from me.

Here is see this as not wrong because of the studio offset, but because of the consumer one. If I regularly pirated movies and got sued with a huge lawsuit, yeah, it would suck major ass-but ultimately if I love movies I love movies, and I should know what I'm getting into. A studio bankrupting me isn't going to change that ignorance OR that passion.

That's why the argument that guy poses as a disagreement is so angering to me. He represents the snarky guy who might pay for movies every now and then, but ultimately substantiates himself as the 'try before you buy' pirate who rarely buys.

I buy every time. If you want an argument to be had, and be valid, let someone who has some case of credibility present it; is all I'm saying. Having a pirate whine like that, with little to no person accountability, admission of guilt or fault, or remorse himself just pisses me off. It's that attitude that I see proliferating as the industries are all broken down to less menacing, more personal levels (hell, this producer's personal frustration in the response proves it!)themselves, and the resulting clash is not only ridiculous, it's incredibly frustrating to watch as an active and legally-participating consumer.

I wouldn't say I'm 'pulling for the industry side', but as a paying customer the issue of 'fairness' is a recurring one, and I feel little to no remorse for people who are exhaustively punished in the same form as they are exhaustively oblivious and guiltless.

But again, maybe that's just me. I'd love to see a blanket $100 fine that could be frequently enforced with piracy and the film industry, and I think that's more reasonable- but that by no means gives me the right to 'skip out' on the current laws and rules the way I feel like far too many people tell themselves they can.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 10:49am

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Atom wrote:

That's why the argument that guy poses as a disagreement is so angering to me. He represents the snarky guy who might pay for movies every now and then, but ultimately substantiates himself as the 'try before you buy' pirate who rarely buys.
Where? There's nothing in his letter to suggest he pirates stuff at all, or supports piracy in any way.

In fact, his entire letter inherently suggests that he does normally pay for stuff, and that the legal action being taken by the company has changed his approach and he will now not be paying to see films. Note that this doesn't in any way suggest that he's instead going to pirate the stuff: he seems to be to be specifically opting out of watching this guy's movies, regardless of how they could be acquired.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 11:11am

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Tarn wrote:



Nice joke, although not relevant. smile

By linking that joke to this point, you're implying that punishment for crimes don't need to be proportionate in any way.
Nah, just slipping in a bit of humour there. biggrin. If that joke contains any message, it's that a crime is a crime even if it's only a "little" crime.

And to clarify, when I said, "he's tacitly agreeing that a wrongdoing has been done. He's virtually saying, Yes, it's wrong, but can you just give me a smack on the butt instead of grounding me?", I was pointing out that he was, in a way, defending the right to pirate, by trying to downplay it as if it's not really so bad. The corollary of his claim that the punishment was excessive is that the crime isn't all that serious. Frankly, he sounded to me like he was being quite defensive, rather than just morally outraged on other peoples' behalf, at a corporations excesses. In fact, I was sceptical at his claims that he eschewed piracy. I think it would take more provocation that that to make me turn to the Dark Side.

Corporate, organised suing sessions are not only disproportionate (company *maybe* loses a bit of revenue on a movie; person has their life potentially ruined), but also self-defeating. It won't stop piracy, it won't really benefit the studios - in fact, the only people it actually benefits are the lawyers and copyright/IP firms that are making craploads by sending out all these notices.
I'm not denying that mass suings would most likely be counter-productive. What I'm saying is that the people who are on the receiving end of media piracy have a perfect right to feel victimised - or at the very least, mightily annoyed, and to seriously consider taking such extreme steps, even if their lawyers advised them against it - which of course their lawyers wouldn't do...

I think you're probably right when you say that corporations are operating in a business mode that is increasingly incompatible with 21st century sensibilities. I repeat, "sensibilities". Maybe they don't see those new sensibilities as being relevant to them. They have their sales figures. They know how many units of product get legitimately sold, even if they don't know how many are pirated. If they are prepared to sue people, I'd guess it's because they know they're suing a group that's still in a minority. Meaning, they know that they still have a loyal customer base which will keep them solvent.

And the day when we can say, "If everybody's guilty, nobody's guilty" is still far off... fortunately.

Although there is plenty of evidence of the changes that have taken place in marketing in this century, that doesn't mean everybody necessarily wants to adopt those changes. It doesn't even mean they should. If a large corporation prefers to let their sales strategy to stay just the way it is, that's their right. The phenomenum of "people power" forcing huge multi-national companies to their knees has come and gone, and that may turn out to be a very good thing in some cases.

And that, I imagine, is the crux of the matter. The legal guys are the only ones benefiting from this kind of thing.
Agreed. So it's pointless for us to argue about it. Hell, even if for no other reason, piracy is pretty undesirable simply on the grounds that it causes conflicts among people who don't even do it!

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Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 11:28am

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Tarn wrote:



Where? There's nothing in his letter to suggest he pirates stuff at all, or supports piracy in any way.

In fact, his entire letter inherently suggests that he does normally pay for stuff, and that the legal action being taken by the company has changed his approach and he will now not be paying to see films. Note that this doesn't in any way suggest that he's instead going to pirate the stuff: he seems to be to be specifically opting out of watching this guy's movies, regardless of how they could be acquired.
Tarn, you must be a nicer guy than me! I couldn't see anything in his letter to convince me he was as squeaky clean as he claimed to be. In fact, the very fact that he sat down to "put pen to paper" over an issue that by rights shouldn't even impact on him seemed a bit odd to me. It kinda hints to me that he's one of those people who write letters to the Editor which end with, "PS: I am not a crackpot!" smile

Yeah, methought he didst protest too much. Even though he didn't come out and say that he was going to turn to pirating, I don't think it's unrealistic to suspect that he might resort to it if he was really tempted. Especially to spite someone to whom he'd already written a rather enthusiastic letter of complaint.
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 1:00pm

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struker wrote:

The corollary of his claim that the punishment was excessive is that the crime isn't all that serious.
Not at all. The two do not go together.

I think that capital punishment is excessive under any circumstances. That doesn't mean I think murder isn't serious.

Seriously, saying a punishment is excessive is in no way whatsoever saying that the crime isn't serious. They're two separate issues entirely.

Struker wrote:

In fact, the very fact that he sat down to "put pen to paper" over an issue that by rights shouldn't even impact on him seemed a bit odd to me.
So would you only stand up to defend another person if it directly affected you?

I like to think that if I see what I perceive to be an injustice, I would speak up, even if it had nothing directly to do with me.

You didn't have to be black, or a woman, to fight for civil rights in the 20th century. A white man could just as easily fight for the same cause, even if the problems of the time didn't affect him at all. The same applies here.

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing, as they say. And if everybody waited until something directly affected them, it'd be too late.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 1:50am

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Tarn wrote:

struker wrote:

The corollary of his claim that the punishment was excessive is that the crime isn't all that serious.
Not at all. The two do not go together.

I think that capital punishment is excessive under any circumstances. That doesn't mean I think murder isn't serious.

Seriously, saying a punishment is excessive is in no way whatsoever saying that the crime isn't serious. They're two separate issues entirely.
It's a matter of degree. I didn't say that he was trying to claim that the crime wasn't serious at all - just that it wasn't very serious. A trifle. Not worth bothering with. And you must admit the tone of his email seemed to imply that it was a very minor thing. He even tried to defend it on some tenuous "legal" ground that the people who do it aren't intending to make money from it, as if this is the only objection one should raise against theft. Right there, he revealed his mindset more clearly than he probably intended to.

Yet at the same time, he obviously believed he held the high moral ground. He even had the temerity to deliver an ultimatum to the producer, to back up his demand that the producer withdraw all plans to sue illegal users! He insinuated that he intended to actively campaign for a boycott of the producer's films. Assuming he could succeed in doing that, it would result in a major financial loss for that company.

But curiously, that outcome doesn't seem to bother him for a second. His excessive measures are okay, it's only other peoples' he doesn't like.

While railing against excessive punishment by a Company trying to protect its property, he advocates action that would without doubt cause excessive damage to that Company. He's saying, if you punish people who steal off you, I'll see to it that you don't have anything left to steal! Incidentally, in that very threat he again clearly acknowledges (again without being aware of doing it), that it is stealing.

So would you only stand up to defend another person if it directly affected you?
I'm defending the producer of Hurt Locker, aren't I? And I'm not even sure I want to see his film yet.

It's one thing to go in to bat for people who are being mistakenly targeted. But it's a grayer area when you stand up for somebody who is legally, morally, and ethically in the wrong. Only your Mum will do that for you. smile

The way I see it, this guy revealed his loyalties and his colours from the very first sentence; the second he hit the Send key, in fact. Despite carefully wording his email in a pseudo-legal tone, to give himself some sort of "sombre credibility", he nevertheless seemed oblivious of the fact that by sending an email at all he was placing himself firmly on the side of law-breakers. That probably explains the producer's furious reaction. Not only was he being pestered by an unsolicited email from a complete stranger, sternly scolding him and issuing dire, pompous warnings about the aggressive action that he planned to take unless the producer rolled over for him, but he was taking this self-righteous diatribe from a person who was clearly at least a kindred spirit of the very pirates that the producer was plagued by! Hell, I'd have gone ballistic if I'd got an email like that!!! In that light, the producer's tone seems a lot more moderate than it could well have been.

The only people who knowingly take up the cause of the guilty are lawyers, and then only because they get paid a lot of money. But in the workaday world, a man is known by the company he keeps...

I like to think that if I see what I perceive to be an injustice, I would speak up, even if it had nothing directly to do with me.
Well, you're a nice guy, Tarn, so I'll offer you a bit of free advice. Never voluntarily try to make other people's problems, your problems. Most people are only too happy to do that for you, anyway! wink

You didn't have to be black, or a woman, to fight for civil rights in the 20th century. A white man could just as easily fight for the same cause, even if the problems of the time didn't affect him at all. The same applies here.
I don't think so, man. Nobody went in to fight for black criminals, or female criminals. They stood up for the average person. Wouldn't have done their cause any favours by demanding the release of black or female prisoners just because they were black and/or female!

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing, as they say. And if everybody waited until something directly affected them, it'd be too late.
smile

Undoubtedly. So if producers "do nothing" about piracy, it will indeed "triumph".

.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 2:18am

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Pooky

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Apologies if I repeat anything that's been said, this is a very long thread that I just found out about razz

Here's what I think it comes down to: people pirate because the service is better. Compare buying the Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Bluray to downloading an HD torrent, for instance:

Torrent: The HDTV rip has been available for years now, downloads quickly, can play anywhere anytime INSTANTLY with no annoying messages anywhere and no PC-destroying viruses. The movie can be integrated along with all your other video files into a highly customizable and fully-featured Media jukebox like XBMC.

Bluray: The Bluray has just come out, and the quality in some parts is actually inferior to the HDTV rips. The movie only plays on a licensed Bluray player, and cannot legally be ripped. Getting the actual movie to play takes at least 2-3 minutes of unskippable warnings, trailers and menus.

So even if you take price out of the equation, pirating a movie gives you a VASTLY, VASTLY better experience than spending your hard-earned cash on it does. Why would I pay for an inferior product? This is why I have hundreds of HD rips on my hard drive, and spend hundreds of dollars at the theatre every year instead of on Blurays.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 5:51am

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Atom

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Service is better? Haha, that's such a ridiculous argument because you're talking about the very system of watching things.

Even worse, your argument hinges on form and timing. That'd be like me saying 'oh, I just recorded this movie with my camera in the theater, because then I don't have to wait another 3-4 months to see it released on home video. It's faster.' or saying 'My friend recorded this in the theater, but I'm watching it illegally on my computer at home because I'd otherwise have to go to those proprietary movie theaters to watch it and I like my house better.'

I mean, well yeah, no sh*t. That doesn't at all mean that substantiation holds any water. In rare cases, like maybe The Graduate this very day wasn't on Bluray, I'd understand the issue of service. But the fact of the matter is HD ad the standard form of media, and Bluray as the major format, didn't become entirely prevalent until this past 1-2 years. It's absolutely understandable for LOTR not to have been released until now. It doesn't make it right, no, but it's not as atrocious as if it was released on Bluray 5 years from NOW, ya know?

I dunno- I get where you're trying to find the logic in your argument, Pooky, it just inevitably (and unfortunately) plays more as a laughably defensive substantiation than anything else. Which is partly my own habit, but I nonetheless find the 'quality of service' argument highly-preposterous.

Also: holy sh*t, GOD FORBID you have to watch 2 MINUTES of menus and warnings. Ridiculous.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 6:27am

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Serpent

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He was more stating facts/observations than trying to substantiate anything. I don't necessarily agree with it though (look at iTunes video store, great on-demand service that covers most of your bases in your post, bet pirates don't touch it). Though I don't know if iTunes or anything lives up to the bootleg service, but if a legal option that's just as quick and easy and stuff exists then I don't think a typical pirate deserves to make that argument. If I were a HUGE LotR geek and I wanted that pristine version or whatever, I can see that excuse being made for those 3 films. But that isn't where the problem is in the industry, it's people pirating anything and everything so they can watch it quickly and easily for free.

And your analogies don't work totally. What the pirate Pooky is describing is "expecting" is that when the film is released to the public after theaters that it become available in some kind of on-demand form for them to enjoy as they so please, which he is saying isn't really the same quality of service Bluray has to offer, or even DRM iTunes stuff (don't know a lot about this). Pre-Bluray this "model pirate" would be expected to spend over a hundred a year or so in theaters. wink

But while piracy is "good service," a good portion of the time there is going to be a legal service that's just as quick and easy, and depending on the example, just as good quality. The on-demand services should get bigger with more selection and less DRM-like-stuff that keeps us enjoying the stuff we buy the way we want to.

I don't do a great job making my point here, but to sum it up: if films were sold as downloads for a reasonable price with an actually good selection right when they were released after theaters, I wouldn't even be tempted to pirate. Like a combination of iTunes, Netflix on demand, and massive selection. If the industry came up with a system like that, I think a lot of piracy would end. It would also be great for the growing online independent industry who might get a chance to reach a wider audience if something like this were more accessible.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 6:49am

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Atom

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You make a good point, actually, Serpent. And one (for the most part) I agree with.

The one thing I might mention is that I think a healthy staggering from the time a film goes through theaters to home video makes sense to me. It may very well be for promotional or marketing or maximizing profit purposes, but I've always sort of had a love affair with the time inbetween a film's theatrical and home video release. One because it rekindles a sense of excitement and anticipation which I really like, two because it allows me to 'forget' about the specfics of the film (if I've seen it theatrically) in a way and have a greater enjoyment seeing it again, and three because it allows a period of time for people who might've decided to skip the film in theaters to think about whether they might like it and try it out.

That, and releasing/on-demand simultaneously with theatrical releasing would absolutely kill the movie theater concept. And I simply won't stand for anything that speeds that sad inevitability up. wink
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 9:06am

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pdrg

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Atom wrote:

...That, and releasing/on-demand simultaneously with theatrical releasing would absolutely kill the movie theater concept. And I simply won't stand for anything that speeds that sad inevitability up. wink
Luckily I don't think cinemas would die out completely, just evolve. Loads closed through the 70's but then in the 80's they started reopening and changing, more smaller screens, faster turnarounds, greater range. Drive-ins vanished in favour of better audio and a more communal experience, etc. A fascinating trend we're seeing just now is that cinemas are taking a greater range including things like opera live satellite linkups with The Met, and these are enormously popular, despite being, in effect, a TV show. At the cinema my studio is above, when the tickets are released for the opera season, there's a 3 hour queue for tickets, some people dropping $3000 on tickets - it's just an HD satellite playout in a normal cinema, nothing more. That communal experience seems to have value smile I think they'll just keep evolving, or at least I hope so too...

Btw, that gap in release timing is absolutely a financial one, it's the 'sales windows of opportunity', sold in windows of theatrical, vod/airlines/hotels, DVD, premium cable/satellite, ancilliary (prisons, etc), free to air TV - it's that VoD window you're probably seeing, an exclusive period in order to maximise the revenue. There have been simultaneous release experiments to try to maximise the value of the advertising, but I guess they didn't pan out as we still see serial releases.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 1:01pm

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Sollthar

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That, and releasing/on-demand simultaneously with theatrical releasing would absolutely kill the movie theater concept.
Apart from the fact I also don't think that's going to happen, maybe the problem IS the movie theater concept. Or to be more precise, the concept of artificially limiting where, when and how something can be watched.


You have people who want to see a product. Great. Excellent ground for any company to have a product people wish to see. Why not build on that and let the customer decide how and where to watch it? Atom loves his theaters? Awesome, let him watch it there. Pooky loves his PC and wants to watch it at home. Great. Let him do that. Stinky loves his iPod and would like to watch it while travelling to work on a small screen? Great. Here you go.

I sympathise with that. I sometimes watched films through the net that weren't released in cinemas over here, but were out in the US for 2 months orso. I had no option available to watch the films, other then download them. So I did. (by the way, downloading films or music is not illegal according to swiss law so far. It is illegal to distribute something you have no distribution rights to)
I would have paid money for those films, but I was not offered an option. Not in the cinema, no DVD out, or IF it was on an online website I get the "this service is only for US citizens" card. Okay then: Download.

Sometimes I felt like watching a film, but not leaving my house to travel to the city for 60 minutes just to rent a DVD or to wait 24 horus for it to come through the mail. I felt like watching it now.If a payment-service existed, I'd do that. Seeing it doesn't I sometimes download.



One big problem is that companies still force their customers to do things exactly like they see fit. And obviously, some customers don't want to play along. Now these companies just try harder to force people into their model instead of simply accepting that their model might not be ideal for everyone.
I believe that's a rather important marketing thing: find out what people want and provide it. Don't fight it.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 4:35pm

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Pooky

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Sollthar got it closer to what I meant. Legal movie watching only limits your options, whereas Piracy allows you to do whatever you want. No service offers that. You actually got it wrong that I prefer watching movies on my PC though: I stick my HD files in my media center PC that is connected to my HD projector. This is the movie list and this is the movie information. I can sort by actor, director, year, anything. My TV Shows and music are also in there.

Serpent mentioned iTunes, but iTunes rarely offers fully-featured DVD bonuses, which means that in addition to owning an Apple TV and paying 20$-ish for the iTunes movie, I gotta buy the 30$-ish Bluray to get the full experience, which also forces me to buy a Bluray player. Basically, I think the only way of beating Piracy is to offer a better service. You can't beat Piracy, so you can only see it as a competitor. As it stands, Piracy wins.

Let's take money into account. I watch a ridiculous amount of movies. Paying for a DVD or Bluray or iTunes file for each of them would easily cost me hundreds of dollars per month. There is therefore no legal option for a broke student like myself other than not watching many movies at all. Why are there no subscription services? I'd gladly pay 20-50$ a month if I could stream movies to all my devices when I wanted. Netflix is getting close, but that's US-only.
Posted: Sun, 23rd May 2010, 1:59am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

Apart from the fact I also don't think that's going to happen, maybe the problem IS the movie theater concept. Or to be more precise, the concept of artificially limiting where, when and how something can be watched.
When I read this kind of thing, I can't help thinking how much the world has changed. I must admit it baffles me. In the early years of popular cinema and right up to today, people have had the amazing privilege of being able to visit huge, sometimes-palatial auditoriums where, for a small fee, they were supplied with one of the most fantastic entertainment experiences ever available to the public. To watch moving images projected on to a huge screen, and see wonderfully artificial stories presented far larger than life, for their enjoyment.

To provide this amazing experience for the public, millions of dollars have been spent building these gigantic display rooms, and the public has been offered unrestricted access to them for generations. People have been free to wander into a cinema at almost any time of the day or night, pay a small fee, and receive something that far surpasses books, plays, or radio, for entertainment value... huge larger-than-life visions.

Yet, in 2010, people are complaining that these remarkable and unique facilities are "artificially limiting where, when and how something can be watched."

I can't get my head around that kind of thinking, Sol.

You have people who want to see a product. Great. Excellent ground for any company to have a product people wish to see. Why not build on that and let the customer decide how and where to watch it? Atom loves his theaters? Awesome, let him watch it there. Pooky loves his PC and wants to watch it at home. Great. Let him do that. Stinky loves his iPod and would like to watch it while traveling to work on a small screen? Great. Here you go.
But you see, even though film makers have ways of delivering their product to the public in each of those formats to meet that need, at enormous expense, that's apparently not enough for some people. Even when their sense of unfettered entitlement is satisfied by the innovative efforts of film makers, they just want even more. They want it immediately, right this minute, now! And for some reason which baffles me even more, they are utterly certain of their right to have it now, and whether or not they get it legally is irrelevant to them.

There is a limit to how quickly filmed entertainment can be delivered from studio to consumer. I'm surprised that pirates can wait even that long! Next they'll be demanding, as a "Right", access to the studio floor while the film is being shot! Or maybe they'll try to demand that a film maker release his daily rushes to them on demand, so that they can watch the film in installments! Their argument will be, if the public asks for such a thing, it's the duty of the producer to give it to them.

Yes, that's a ludicrous scenario, of course. But to me, it's ludicrous that the beneficiaries of someone else's labour have arrived at the point where they feel entitled to demand it on their own terms.

One big problem is that companies still force their customers to do things exactly like they see fit. And obviously, some customers don't want to play along. Now these companies just try harder to force people into their model instead of simply accepting that their model might not be ideal for everyone.
Okay, now put yourself in the other guy's shoes. A producer's version of that would go like this - "One big problem is that some people are demanding that we run our business exactly the way they want us to run it, (while reserving the right to avoid offering their own labour or risking their own capital). Obviously, we don't want to do that. Now these people just keep trying harder to force us into their model, instead of simply accepting that their model might not be viable or good for us as a company."

I believe that's a rather important marketing thing: find out what people want and provide it. Don't fight it.


That always sounds good in theory. But as we know, movie producers have been giving us worse and worse crud over the years, and "justifying" it by saying, "Hey, it's what the public wants!" Usually, that's news to "the public"!
.
Posted: Sun, 23rd May 2010, 3:27am

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Pooky

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You bring a valid counterpoint, but you're kind of caricaturing the consumer. As a consumer, I choose what I want to buy, and as it stands the movie industry doesn't really offer anything that interests me in the home video front. I do love the moviegoing experience though, and I really hope that doesn't go away in my lifetime.

In my mind, though, it's not really the consumer that's demanding the industry to change its ways, it's more like technology is forcing it to. Piracy developed because computers and the internet allow us to infinitely reproduce any medium and distribute it freely, with no legal consequences... it's only logical that consumers would use it. I'm simply stating that the only way to lower Piracy is to beat it at its own game.
Posted: Sun, 23rd May 2010, 7:52am

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Sollthar

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I can't get my head around that kind of thinking, Sol.
My reply to this is: You don't have to. At all. I can't get my head around a lot of things: People listening to Rap or people actually, on free will, spend money on drugs that will eventually kill them or just turn their brains into a useless pile of mush...
But hey. As I've stated above, people have different expectations and different values. Such is this world. We don't have to "get our head" around everything, but it is a reality.


You're right. The world has changed a lot. It always does. There's no point in dropping tons of things people used to value a lot in the past that have become a common thing today.

The internet and world wide digital globalization is here. It can't be stopped and it has changed a lot. More then we so far realize. There's a lot of danger in it, there's also a lot of potential in it.
Many of the options we have today have never been here ever before. But they are now. And naturally, people have begun to understand and value that.

The difference lies in the point that: I can life with a wait or limitation that is in some way justified. If, for some reason, it is not possible to release a film on some media, I have zero problem accepting that. But this is not the reality. It's entirely possible to release a film on several platforms at more or less the same time and on or through a media that has become a large part of peoples everyday lifes within the last 20 years.


At the end of the day, it's like pooky suggested: The customer decides what he wants and expects. Companies either provide that or disappear.


And the "producers give us crud because that's what the public demands" argument is something entirely different.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 8:31am

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Simon K Jones

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I'm with Pooky and Sollthar (as you probably guessed).

I think services along the lines of Spotify will have a much bigger impact on combating piracy than the likes of iTunes or suing your own fans. Spotify does exactly what Pooky wants - it beats piracy at its own game. It's more convenient, safer, easier and slicker than pirating music, and is still ridiculously cheap and entirely legal.

Once there's a similar service for TV and movies, I'll be there with my credit card.

struker wrote:

The only people who knowingly take up the cause of the guilty are lawyers
I think you'll find there's a lot of people over the centuries that have taken up the cause of the guilty besides lawyers.

Bear in mind that guilty in the eyes of the law depends on the whims of the current government, and those whims aren't always legitimate. People standing up and protesting is an important part of a developing, healthy society.

But that's clearly not your philosophy, which is fine. smile
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 10:13am

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Struker

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Tarn wrote:

I think you'll find there's a lot of people over the centuries that have taken up the cause of the guilty besides lawyers.
Uh, not sure what point you're making there, Tarn. I'll have to presume you're talking about the "guilty" who aren't really guilty... I don't know anyone who comes into that category. No doubt about it, either we're using different dictionaries, or we definitely move in different social circles... unsure

Bear in mind that guilty in the eyes of the law depends on the whims of the current government, and those whims aren't always legitimate.
No no no.....whoa, that's the broadest generalisation I've heard in a long time! While in essence it is true, in some cases, it is by no means altogether true. Try it this way and it might be valid: "The state of being guilty in the eyes of the Law, (depending on the type of crime in question), may occasionally change through time as a result of the changing mores and tolerances of a society. It may also be subject to the values of the government of the day, which may or may not always exercise its powers legitimately."
People standing up and protesting is an important part of a developing, healthy society.

But that's clearly not your philosophy, which is fine. smile
Oh dear, Tarn. Such easy potshots don't become you, my friend. smile And once again, I have to point out the obvious. To wit, I am standing up and protesting!! And I'm protesting with a view to a healthier society, namely, one in which the populace doesn't take it as a Right that all its expectations should be gratified, and all its wants catered for, simply because it shouts loudly for them.

With regard to this topic of piracy and its countermeasures, maybe my point of view is best expressed as that old rule, Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right.

.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 10:19am

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

Bear in mind that guilty in the eyes of the law depends on the whims of the current government, and those whims aren't always legitimate.
No no no.....whoa, that's the broadest generalisation I've heard in a long time! While in essence it is true, in some cases, it is by no means altogether true. Try it this way and it might be valid: [i]"The state of being guilty in the eyes of the Law, (depending on the type of crime in question), may occasionally change through time as a result of the changing mores and tolerances of a society. It may also be subject to the values of the government of the day, which may or may not always exercise its powers legitimately."
That dictionary definition is pretty much the same as what I said, I think, it just states it in a clearer manner.

But that's clearly not your philosophy, which is fine. smile
Oh dear, Tarn. Such easy potshots don't become you, my friend. smile
Sorry, it wasn't intended as a potshot at all. smile My only point is that we do seem to have diametrically opposing views on these subjects. Which is fine, it makes for an interesting debate. It wasn't meant to be a potshot.

And I'm protesting with a view to a healthier society, namely, one in which the populace doesn't take it as a Right that all its expectations should be gratified, and all its wants catered for, simply because it shouts loudly for them.
This is a good point and one worth exploring, but I'd say it's slightly tangential. What we're essentially talking about here is consumerism, and whether companies should adapt to the needs of the consumer, or the other way around.

Whether consumerism is a good thing or not is a separate issue.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 10:27am

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Sollthar

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I agree with Tarn. I was never saying "The populace has a right for ALL it's expectations and should get ALL it wants" - that's a broad overgeneralization of what we're talking about.

I agree, people should understand they can't have everything. But on the issue of products and their availability, that issue is entirely different.


Besides, "guilty" is a subjective point of view. You can be guilty by law, which changes over time and country, or guilty by moral, which changes over time and person. So there's no "objectively guilty" people in any way, only subjectively guilty people. And here, our opinions and view obviously differs.

And I try not to divide the world in black or white and the people in "guilty" or "not guilty", I believe this world is way more complicated then that. So you will find me both defending and attacking people that are "guilty" from my point of view, despite the fact I'm no lawyer. But I'm a person with an opinion.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 11:15am

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Struker

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Tarn wrote:

[i]"The state of being guilty in the eyes of the Law, (depending on the type of crime in question), may occasionally change through time as a result of the changing mores and tolerances of a society. It may also be subject to the values of the government of the day, which may or may not always exercise its powers legitimately."

That dictionary definition is pretty much the same as what I said, I think, it just states it in a clearer manner.
Yes, except for the bit about "depending on the type of crime". Making laws against murder, robbery, rape, etc, isn't a whimsical thing for a government to do, as you'd agree.

Sorry, it wasn't intended as a potshot at all. smile My only point is that we do seem to have diametrically opposing views on these subjects. Which is fine, it makes for an interesting debate. It wasn't meant to be a potshot.
Okay, don't mind me, I do get a bit too wary at times. Wife calls it paranoia, and she could be right. smile

What we're essentially talking about here is consumerism, and whether companies should adapt to the needs of the consumer, or the other way around.

Whether consumerism is a good thing or not is a separate issue.
Well, I made that comment in response to what you and Sollthar were talking about - that companies should respond to market niches and provide products according to the public desires.

From a company's point of view, that's perfectly valid. But I was saying that the popular expectation of that "instant unfailing response to its demands" might not be a good thing to encourage in any culture.

Having everything on-tap all the time seems somehow... I dunno... unhealthy to me. I tend to agree with those "deep thinkers" who say that a healthy society is one in which only the essentials of life are ever taken for granted. neutral
.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 11:33am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

Besides, "guilty" is a subjective point of view. You can be guilty by law, which changes over time and country, or guilty by moral, which changes over time and person. So there's no "objectively guilty" people in any way, only subjectively guilty people. And here, our opinions and view obviously differs.
I should shut up and shut down now, because we're getting into "moral relativism", and I usually get a bit too "enthused" in that argument!! smile

But I'll content myself with this example:

10,000 BC: I come to your cave, kill your family with a club, and steal your meat - is that murder and robbery?

17th Century: I come to your castle, kill your family with a sword, and steal your pheasant - is that murder and robbery?

19th Century: I come to your country manor, kill your family with a flintlock, and steal your fatted pig -is that murder and robbery?

21st Century: I come to your house, kill your family with a burst from an Uzzi, and steal your HD LCD TV - is that murder and robbery?

See, that's why I like to be specific when I'm arguing... Some people call it pedantic, but I like to call it exactitude. biggrin
.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 12:05pm

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Simon K Jones

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OK, now do the 10,000BC, 17th Century and 19th Century comparisons with illegal file sharing. razz
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 12:45pm

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Sollthar

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Hehe, well, I'd argue it wasn't murder 10'000 BC at all, neither in some later cases. Legally, at least. It's not a nice thing to for sure.
But all that's not the issue. smile

I can't help it if you dislike the notion that morals are no absolute and laws change over time and country. It doesn't change that it's the reality we are facing. I'm also for taking things pedantically precise. wink

Case in point: Swiss law does not outlaw the download of music and films. So as long as I stream them, I'm legally ok and not guilty of any crime. At least so far.
Morally? I'm aware it's a grey zone for some at this time, but as stated, I don't believe it's per se wrong or evil. It depends largely on many, many, many factors.

Perceptions and viewpoints differ. smile
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 1:48pm

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Pooky

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It's also important to point out that theft and piracy are not the same thing.

I wouldn't steal a Ferrari, but I'd download one if I could.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 12:24am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

Hehe, well, I'd argue it wasn't murder 10'000 BC at all, neither in some later cases. Legally, at least. It's not a nice thing to for sure.
But all that's not the issue. smile
You don't call it murder?!!! Heh, I'm glad you live in Switzerland and I live in Australia! biggrin

Case in point: Swiss law does not outlaw the download of music and films. So as long as I stream them, I'm legally ok and not guilty of any crime. At least so far.
Yes, that's strange, isn't it. I have to wonder why that is the case. I know Switzerland is reputed to be a very enlightened nation, and its citizens enjoy many such freedoms, but to me that doesn't seem quite fair to the citizens who also happen to be performers.

Morally? I'm aware it's a grey zone for some at this time, but as stated, I don't believe it's per se wrong or evil. It depends largely on many, many, many factors.
Quite so. But it seems to me that the moral debate about pirating is one that is permanently kept on the back burner, while people go ahead and do it anyway.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 12:48am

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Struker

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Tarn wrote:

OK, now do the 10,000BC, 17th Century and 19th Century comparisons with illegal file sharing. razz
I'll go you one better. It's 2010, and after months of toil and trouble, expense and time, you've finally finished editing your short film.

You're very pleased with it, and you can't wait to get it on Youtube so it can find an audience and you can reap the reward for all your labour. All you want from anyone is acknowledgement of your talent and skill, that'll be enough reward for you.

But you happen to show it to a friend, who has a friend in the commercial film business. This friend tells your friend that your film is the best short he's seen in ages, that it stands a very good chance of getting a commercial release in cinemas, and that he wants you to contact him to work out a deal.

You contact him, and you find that he's genuine. He tells you that he can distribute your film in your own country and probably even overseas, and that he's certain that with a little promotion, the film will do business and you'll make a lot of money. You like that idea, because money will help you make another film, bigger and better, in the future... not to mention pay the bills.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... your friend has "borrowed" your film file, and has copied it to his computer, ready to churn out copies for sale, if and when your film becomes successful.

Your film becomes a surprise indie hit. You are talked about, feted, interviewed, and some money actually does begin to roll in from the film.

But rather suddenly, the income dries up to a trickle. You're puzzled, you talk to the distributor, and he tells you it's "These damn pirates! Somebody made copies of your film and is selling them all over the place."

Since it's never been released on DVD, you wonder how that could have happened. Then you remember your friend, and how you gave him access to your film when you thought it was only going to be on Youtube.

Furious and hurt, you ask him why he stole your movie and pirated it.

He looks at you quite calmly, and lectures you that pirating isn't stealing....

When the cops arrive, your hands are still locked around his throat... razz

.

Last edited Tue, 25th May 2010, 12:55am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 12:53am

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Struker

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Pooky wrote:

It's also important to point out that theft and piracy are not the same thing.
Pooky, repeatedly saying that, doesn't make it so, you know.

I wouldn't steal a Ferrari, but I'd download one if I could.
So, you believe that although it takes money for a company to make a real Ferrari, it wouldn't cost them one red cent to make a virtual one that you could download and drive away?
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 4:49am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Struker wrote:

So, you believe that although it takes money for a company to make a real Ferrari, it wouldn't cost them one red cent to make a virtual one that you could download and drive away?
I love how f**king ridiculous that is. Assuming the world reaches a state where a Ferrari is downloadable it won't be one where material wealth or possessions are enough of an issue for anything mentioned in this debate so far to be valid. Kind of like the Utopia on earth that precedes the Star Trek storyline.

Can we drop that one now, you can't download a Ferrari and any world in which you can would bring with it a totally different view and understanding of piracy as we have today.

The bottom line is this : Recently The U.S. Government Accountability Office published its recent findings from a year-long study which analyzed the scope and impact of intellectual property infringement. The results were inconclusive. So to equate theft - an action with a quantifiable negative impact with piracy, an act which in some cases may even have a positive effect, is bogus.

struker's last post
Okay, and now provide me with an example of that actually happening. It hasn't. To build policy on worst case scenarios is pretty dangerous in my opinion. Can't help but notice you've mentioned murder as a reasonable response to theft. Best not get on your bad side. wink

There's a whole lot of lamentation going on here for an industry which last year saw the biggest box office sales in history as well as the biggest movie budgets in history. The legal piracy issues fronted by movie studios aren't about protecting the film industry or about losing money, but about making more money.

This said, I do think Films and Games specifically lose out to piracy more than music due to how each medium generates a revenue. It's in the interests of musicians to have a wide exposure as their fan base forms a group of people who will spend money on the artists away from simply the albums. A game and a film are a one time deal, if you're not buying a dvd or a cinema ticket there aren't really any avenues for that film to generate revenue from you.

I do think it's a problem. But I'm pleased that studies are taking place and that hasty laws are not being made in the absence of conclusive results.

-Matt

Last edited Tue, 25th May 2010, 4:51am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 4:50am

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Sollthar

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You don't call it murder?!!!
Legally? Of course not. The legal ground for "murder" wasn't given 10'000 BC, nor was it the case in the middle ages. Still today, people can "kill" other human beings under circumstances it is not "murder" (death penalty, self defense etc). It's always "killing", but "murder" - in a legal sense - it is not.
I thought you were about taking things precise? wink
So... Where was that murderer analogy supposed to go since you brought it up? I don't quite get it?


Your analogy for Tarn is incredibly faulty Struker. Is it really so hard for you to grasp the concept that it is both a legal and moral greyzone despite the fact you seem to have it figured out so well? For you, piracy is morally bad. For us, it is not that simple.

I have that case. I made a film, a distributor comes and sells it in stores and on Bittorrent, the film has over 50'000 downloads but only a fraction of that in sales. My hands were never around anyones throat nor will they be. The logic that these 50'000 downloads are lost sales is not true.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 5:08am

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Struker

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

I love how f**king ridiculous that is.
Hey, Matt, I'll talk to you but leave out the "asterisk words" okay? Even in disguise, they sound insulting.

Assuming the world reaches a state where a Ferrari is downloadable it won't be one where material wealth or possessions are enough of an issue for anything mentioned in this debate so far to be valid. Kind of like the Utopia on earth that precedes the Star Trek storyline.

Can we drop that one now, you can't download a Ferrari and any world in which you can would bring with it a totally different view and understanding of piracy as we have today.
Well, I give total credit to Pooky for imagining a world in which a Ferrari is downloadable.

The bottom line is this : Recently The U.S. Government Accountability Office published its recent findings from a year-long study which analyzed the scope and impact of intellectual property infringement. The results were inconclusive. So to equate theft - an action with a quantifiable negative impact with piracy, an act which in some cases may even have a positive effect, is bogus.
I wish I could remember my Logic studies better, because I think you just made an illogical conclusion. Or maybe it's as simple as an error in semantics. The word "inconclusive" means that nothing was proved either way. But the word you used, "bogus", means that my assertion is clearly wrong. I can hear the mental gears clashing from here!


Okay, and now provide me with an example of that actually happening. It hasn't. To build policy on worst case scenarios is pretty dangerous in my opinion. Can't help but notice you've mentioned murder as a reasonable response to theft. Best not get on your bad side. wink
Good lord, I never said anything of the kind!! By the way, better if you stayed on Sol's good side - he says that he thinks killing isn't murder!! biggrin

I do think it's a problem. But I'm pleased that studies are taking place and that hasty laws are not being made in the absence of conclusive results.
Pity they aren't a little hastier, since piracy is currently going on while those "studies" are being made.

.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 5:19am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

Legally? Of course not. The legal ground for "murder" wasn't given 10'000 BC, nor was it the case in the middle ages. Still today, people can "kill" other human beings under circumstances it is not "murder" (death penalty, self defense etc). It's always "killing", but "murder" - in a legal sense - it is not.
I thought you were about taking things precise? wink
So... Where was that murderer analogy supposed to go since you brought it up? I don't quite get it?
Well, you recall it was you who raised the issue of "subjective guilt". I offered examples to illustrate cases where guilt was clearly objective. But now I'm amazed to find that you dispute even those examples!

I thought the examples I gave were pretty clear-cut. Somebody bashes you on the head with a club and takes your food - what word would you apply to that act?

Your analogy for Tarn is incredibly faulty Struker. Is it really so hard for you to grasp the concept that it is both a legal and moral greyzone despite the fact you seem to have it figured out so well? For you, piracy is morally bad. For us, it is not that simple.
But but but, just because you and I don't agree on what is moral and what is not, that doesn't automatically mean that my way of thinking about it is "incredibly faulty", Sol!!! Come on, that's just silly. You know better than that. wink

I have that case. I made a film, a distributor comes and sells it in stores and on Bittorrent, the film has over 50'000 downloads but only a fraction of that in sales. My hands were never around anyones throat nor will they be. The logic that these 50'000 downloads are lost sales is not true.
But if all those people suddenly decided to send you a payment for their downloads, you wouldn't refuse them, would you? Answer carefully.... biggrin
.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 5:42am

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Pooky

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The Ferrari analogy demonstrates a very simple concept: when you steal a Ferrari, you take away the owner's right to sell that Ferrari, because he just doesn't have it anymore. He can make some more, but he's lost thousands of dollars right off the bat. If you download an infinitely duplicatable file, you don't DIRECTLY take away the owner's money. I'd never buy a Ferrari, but I'd download one if I could. End result for Ferrari is identical.

I think it's interesting to look at Piracy in the music business, as well. Quite possibly the best thing to happen to music as a medium, ever. Every artist I've seen Live, I wouldn't even have discovered had I not had the option to listen to basically anything I want without breaking the bank. I now go to about one concert per 3 months, and these are good artists that deserve money instead of just what the industry tries to push on us.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 5:55am

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Sollthar

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I offered examples to illustrate cases where guilt was clearly objective. But now I'm amazed to find that you dispute even those examples!
That's because *drumroll* there are no examples for objctive guilt. Because it's nothing objective. We have different sets of morals and different sets of laws as you can cleary see be the simple fact we disagree with ours.
Also, I would be ignoring 20 centuries of philosophy and ethical and intellectual development if I thought otherwise.

Somebody bashes you on the head with a club and takes your food - what word would you apply to that act?
Depends on the circumstances and situation. Survival instinct? Theft? Nature? Did they guy ask and I said no? Are we at war? Would he starve if he didn't? etc. etc.

I don't think in simple cookie cutter good and evil. So your analogies will entirely fail with me as long as they're based on the idea that an action will have ONE SINGLE perspective on it.

I didn't call your way of thinking faulty (Allthough I'm tempted to), I called your analogy faulty. Because your analogy is not the reality for everyone. It wasn't for me. You said you like to be precise.

Oh, another detail: You said to pooky that repeatedly calling piracy "not theft" doesn't make it so. The same goes to you. Calling it theft doesn't make it so either. As I said: it's not theft in my country and if I'm not mistaken, it's not in yours either. It's a case of copyright breah, but not "theft". Two seperate issues.

But if all those people suddenly decided to send you a payment for their downloads, you wouldn't refuse them, would you?
Of course I would. If random people on the street would offer me money, I'd take it too. If you offered me your ferrari, I'd take it... Where is this supposed to be going?

Last edited Tue, 25th May 2010, 9:02am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 7:26am

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Atom

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Pooky wrote:

The Ferrari analogy demonstrates a very simple concept: when you steal a Ferrari, you take away the owner's right to sell that Ferrari, because he just doesn't have it anymore. He can make some more, but he's lost thousands of dollars right off the bat. If you download an infinitely duplicatable file, you don't DIRECTLY take away the owner's money. I'd never buy a Ferrari, but I'd download one if I could. End result for Ferrari is identical.
While I completely understand this argument, I must ask: When you're downloading this Ferrari, are you taking with it the hours of labor and work put into creating it? Does that still exist when you 'duplicate' the original?

Because the difference in media is that it absolutely does. People who make movies, music, games, etc. put entirely real work, time, and money into creating something- an 'experience' sort of entity. Because it is infinitely and knowingly duplicatable, they realize and submit in creating that work that their money returned for their work (aka 'the profit') comes from someone listening to/watching/playing that entity. (or in this case, intellectual property)

Sure, it can be copied freely and easily- but the work on that first master copy that made that all possible simply cannot. Ultimately you're encroaching on a line of fairness whether you like it or not, even with your Ferrari example.

Okay, so you can duplicate someone's Ferrari and download it freely for yourself. That's great. But did the person you're duplicating from pay for it? If they did, why shouldn't you have to? If you downloaded it off a website for free, was it initially created at a cost to the distributors? If so, how do they recoup that? What it their motivation to continue to create stuff, if it's purely going to be taken on the precedent of 'it's infinitely duplicatable and costs you nothing'.

Well, it does cost something. It costs opportunity. How this is so blindly overlooked in this 'theft-versus-piracy' semantic shit-spewing completely bewilders me. Time, money, and work go into everything that is produced as an intellectual property. That's just the fact of the matter. It may not cost anything to copy like a tangible object was- but you've got to ask yourself: Was it made as a tangible object itself in the first place?

I know that if I'm a filmmaker my money is in selling an experience and in someone watching my film. That's what I'm working hard at creating, that's what I'm putting my time into producing, and that's what I want to make my profit back on.

It's not 'Oh, I'm selling this packaging of a DVD that can't be freely duplicated like the media can'- no. I'm selling the media itself. The experience. Something entirely intangible and intellectual property. I'm very congniscent of this- so why must pirates try to act like I'm not. Like I'm trying to sell some physical product and they aren't taking anything physical, so they must be in-the-clear and not 'stealing'? I know what I'm selling, it's an experience. If you're copying that experience- even in an intangible way- you're taking from me what I worked hard to put out there.

That's just how it is.

Like I mentioned much earlier in this thread, yes the industries need to adapt. But alike, we as consumers need to understand that more than tangible, physical objects are sold as goods- there is a brave new level of involvement, work, and production- and it's on ideas, experience, and intellectual property. To ignore this consciousness, and to treat it as harmless to copy or take, is to ignore the very work that created it. This being said, there needs to be more accountability on both sides, but hopefully my point and perspective are clear.

Also, the idea that movies should by some unexplained virtue be available immediately, on any venue the consumers sees fit or feels they 'deserve', and not just movie theater screens (which are great- I hope to god this growing attitude doesn't kill them), completely amazes me. There's something to be said for following and nurturing consumer behavior, yeah, but come on. Ultimately the producers of goods, materials, whatever have the call on what they do with their work. No one can or should be able to dictate that. It might cause them to lose their business, sure. But that's the side of it the consumers decide and have weight with- not the overall decisions. When things work, consumers agree. When they don't, consumers won't buy whatever it is and the method dies out.

Pirates saying 'I'm watching a pirated copy of so-and-so because it isn't offered anywhere but so-and-so and I don't like that' simply isn't a strong enough argument; because ultimately you're watching the work of someone or some group than intended it for so-and-so, and your contract as a consumer is forged when you agree to the terms of watching the product of that work. Hell, if enough people didn't legitimately, legally watch it in that venue and shared the same sentiments- it wouldn't be economically viable, and the option would die out on its own, ya know?

But maybe that's just me. Either way, some scarily preposterous and defensive posturing is being done in this thread- and much of it either startles me or makes me chuckle.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 8:55am

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Sollthar

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I agree with a lot of what you just wrote atom. And even on those points I don't agree with, I can totally see where you're coming from and understand them.

That's why I too believe the piracy issue is something that does indeed NEED to be adressed and can't and shouldn't go on the way it does at the moment. However, that debate should be clear minded and factually oriented instead of a simple battle about who is morally guilty to what degree. And it will require a complete rethink of many of the "values" we have grown up with.

There are complex legal issues at play here and no, piracy is NOT theft. No lawyer could make a case for "theft" even if his life depended on it. It's a breach of copyright which is something different. And the whole idea of copyright is also something that might, just might, be behind it's time in the way we currently have today.

The reality is: The digital age has come fast and offers possibilities that have never been here before. Neither our social, economical nor ethical values keep up. So things need to change. Sometimes, several wrongs do make a right. Otherwise, many things we have today - democracy, free healthcare, civil rights, right to choose etc would not exist. They all were "wrong", still are in some areas of this world.

The world changes. So need we.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 9:29am

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Simon K Jones

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There's very few people in this topic actively defending piracy (except maybe Pooky). Several people have pointed out that there are potential positives to some aspects of piracy, but that's about it. What most people who aren't frantically anti-piracy are saying is that it needs a proper debate.

It's very easy to disregard people that aren't overtly anti-piracy as being pro-piracy and of dubious moral character. But it simply isn't true.

It's similar to the patriotism question that reared its head last decade during the Fear Years, in some ways. Just because you're not a die hard patriot doesn't mean you're against your country. It just means you have a tendency to question things and think about whether, maybe, there's a different, or better way.

I'm a writer and a filmmaker at heart, which is why this debate is important to me.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 9:45am

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Atom

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If you're referring to me, I'm just pointing out how simply surprised I am by such favorability (or perhaps more of lack of disapproval) of piracy there is in this thread. Not because I believe it to be 'right' or 'wrong' in any sense of the word; just because it is not something I expected at the start/creation of the thread.

That's all I'm saying.

The issues are more complex than we give them credit for, and from some I anticipated certain responses. Say, from an educational perspective such as Sollthar I expect and empathize with the argument. I'm just surprised, all personal feelings aside, that even a proponent and businessman of software like yourself Tarn, who could fall victim very easily and detrimentally to pirating- are still more lukewarm towards either end. Not because you should be geared any specific way, just that I'm surprised you're not stringently against.

Not for discounting or overestimating your own opinion or openness-of-mind, just........I dunno.......I suppose I'm surprised. This goes for many others in this thread.

Even Struker, who seems to be actively opposing pirates, has continually made incredibly intriguing and insightful points- and such a rather no-name/no-avatar FXHomer to me I am equally surprised has been such a contributing and thoughtful voice to this thread full of bigwigs and oldies of FXHome. wink I'm sure even he hadn't expected to be in such a polarizing position- and even then he's handled it with compelling defense and opposition, and grace.

Again, not to say he isn't entitled to his opinion. It's just, once again, surprising.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 10:10am

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pdrg

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This also raises the grander question of civil vs criminal offence - a criminal offence is prosecuted by the state and can have the potential of custodial sentencing (prison time), a civil one can result in court judgements.

Civil cases include breach of contract, debts, disagreements between individuals, etc
Criminal ones include murder, kidnap, rape, theft (ie taking with the intent to permenantly deprive), disagreements with the state, etc

Copying a DVD is arguably a breach of contract, or at least a civil offence - but somehow, doubtless with a lot of lobbying over generations, it has been merged into criminal law. This means that IP holders can use the state to collect revenue on behalf of private enterprise. A private dispute became the state's problem. The state has to pay the cost of enforcing private enterprises profits.

Doubtless, when it was introduced into criminal law there were good arguments for it, etc., and I'm not. Making the case for piracy, but times change - we're no longer talking about pianola rolls here, or magic lantern slides, or printed words. And the IP lobby has grown and grown. You may as well wave goodbye to the public domain as originally intended - the period covered by copyright protection is extended every time Mickey Mouse is about to fall out of copyright - there are too many profits at stake, so lobbying is breathtakingly well funded.

And countries where copyright isn't so jealously protected by criminal law (noteably China), you can't apply American /Western constructs in a country that has no place for those. It has a bigger economy, bigger population, frankly they can and do do what they want. Or Sweden, The Pirate Bay was arguably legal in Sweden. Copyright issues are not a crime worldwide. Just sayin', really...
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 11:26am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

I'm just surprised, all personal feelings aside, that even a proponent and businessman of software like yourself Tarn, who could fall victim very easily and detrimentally to pirating- are still more lukewarm towards either end. Not because you should be geared any specific way, just that I'm surprised you're not stringently against.
I'm most certainly against piracy in general. It's how we can address the issue that I disagree on. I think we need to look at why people pirate, why it's appealing, and where the 'official' routes are going wrong, and then adjust accordingly. What I don't think we should be doing is clamping down through excessive DRM and lawsuits in an attempt to force the genie back into the bottle.

I used to think quite differently, along the lines of "every pirated copy is a lost sale!!!" and "piracy is theft!!!" and "we need better security on our software!!!" etc. Over the years, though, I've increasingly got the sense that all of that simply isn't true, or it's vastly too simplistic an analysis.

Working within the software industry, plus being extremely interested in the games industry, is specifically what's brought me to where I am now.

There's increasingly a move towards subscription or service-based models. Take a look at Steam, or Spotify, for example. By thinking outside the box they're creating entirely new models and systems which do what 'generation web' consumers want. It's a shift from individual product (a CD, a DVD, a game, etc) towards a continual, access-anytime stream. It's going to be a tricky road to start with, but these are the innovative companies that will come out of this difficult period as the pioneers.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 11:35am

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Atom

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I think though pdrg that the problem herein lies that piracy finds itself between civil and criminal action. No, it isn't the same as murder or rape. But theft? It's decently close; and arguably the same thing.

Now, now. I know many people disagree on this facet- but the idea of depriving someone of benefits of their work, even past a tangible product means, is still there. And we all generally except that there is clear and knowledgeable wrongdoing taking place- even if the severity of that wrongdoing is debated.

This being said, it has merits of a civil case as well- but hits an arguably more-serios/severe chord. Therefore I believe it should be listed somewhere in the middle-ground.
Posted: Tue, 25th May 2010, 11:36am

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Simon K Jones

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This is an interesting development: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/10152623.stm

I can't help but feel that it's a classic case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 3:07am

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Struker

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Struker wrote:

I offered examples to illustrate cases where guilt was clearly objective. But now I'm amazed to find that you dispute even those examples!
[quote=Sollthar] That's because *drumroll* there are no examples for objective guilt. Because it's nothing objective. We have different sets of morals and different sets of laws as you can cleary see be the simple fact we disagree with ours.

Also, I would be ignoring 20 centuries of philosophy and ethical and intellectual development if I thought otherwise.
Okay, I'll make it as easy as possible. A convicted murderer/rapist is given parole and goes that very day to your house, to find your wife/daughter/sister/aunt/mother/grandmother and he takes a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver and a long hunting knife with him. He acquired the gun and knife by breaking into a house and taking it from the householder's gun cabinet.

When he reaches your house, he breaks in and rapes and stabs to death your wife/daughter/mother, whichever female is there. When you arrive home, he fires several .38 bullets into your stomach, chest, and head.

What would you expect your surviviors to say to a moral relativist who defended the man's actions by glibly asking you, "Hey, what is morality anyway, dude? Get over it, man! You might say that's immoral, but man, that guy had a different opinion, that's all! neutral

You said, "I have that case. I made a film, a distributor comes and sells it in stores and on Bittorrent, the film has over 50'000 downloads but only a fraction of that in sales. My hands were never around anyones throat nor will they be. The logic that these 50'000 downloads are lost sales is not true."

The implication in your nonchalant attiitude to that situaion is that you don't really consider that the film you made warrants a payment for viewing by others. How then, could you justify accepting payment offered after the fact from people who downloaded it? Shouldn't you simply hold you hand up and politely refuse, since so many people had already acquired your film for free. It would be unjust, unfair, and even dishonest of you to accept payment from some but not from others, don't you think?

You'd be obliged, (by simple honesty even if not by morality), to tell them that since other people got it for free, you'd let them get it for free, too. That's nothing to do with morality or ethics, it's simple honesty.

And if you agree that you should be bound by honesty, why would you argue that the freeloaders shouldn't?

I mean, when all is said and done, downloading other peoples' work without their knowledge, and not revealing your identity so that you can avoid paying for it, is dishonest. You can debate the relativity of morality and ethics all day long, but dishonest is dishonest.

.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 4:51am

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Serpent

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"I mean, when all is said and done, downloading other peoples' work without their knowledge, and not revealing your identity so that you can avoid paying for it, is dishonest. You can debate the relativity of morality and ethics all day long, but dishonest is dishonest."

I'm assuming you mean "downloading illegally." Even so, one could argue that by downloading and appreciating the art is enough. It's not factually dishonest. Most pirates are pretty damn honest, actually. You need to be able to see it from that perspective, even if you don't agree with it. All Sollthar was saying was that it's pretty difficult to make a case for such a thing being completely objective. Not exposing a fact about your personal activities to the world is not dishonest. If someone smokes a joint, for example, are they dishonest for not telling the world? How about speeding while driving (you are putting innocent lives at risk!!!! wink)? If you accidentally nick someone's car then drive away without telling them, to me, THAT'S dishonest. One could also live by the other side of the spectrum from my hypothetical situations where they think any form of law breaking is dishonest if you don't come forward. I personally don't care which you subscribe to, but you've got to realize there are drastically different perspectives out there.

Your murder example is decent for illustrating your point, but it doesn't really go hand-in-hand with cavemen killings or piracy. Though, if you thought about it, you could easily say that this rapist murderer is not guilty. They are the victim of extreme mental disturbances, abuse, psychological damage, mental disorder, etc. It usually does take something like for someone to go *that* far. Personally, I thing they are "guilty" and should be locked in a mental hospital or humane prison for the rest of their lives. That is punishment enough for anyone for any crime in my opinion, no matter the extremeness of it. People that for whatever reason end up like that and are a danger to society need to be separated from society. Someone who finds them legally guilty and wants them to go to a prison for the rest of their lives doesn't even need to necessarily believe that they are guilty by their standards. By the way, let's leave death penalty and prison cruelty debates out of this topic though, again, that's just my opinion.


Does it really matter if the pirates are labeled bad, guilty, or dishonest? No, not really. Fact is, it's almost impossible to enforce whether punishment should be given or not. And I think even you'd agree it's silly to use the law to make examples out of people, that isn't equal rights. Hollywood just needs to embrace the strategy that the television industry is embracing and take the things that have come up in this debate into consideration. I think it was Pooky who put it pretty well: they need to see piracy as a competitor in their own distribution game, and they need to do a better job at it than the Black market.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 5:20am

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Struker

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Serpent wrote:

I'm assuming you mean "downloading illegally." Even so, one could argue that by downloading and appreciating the art is enough. It's not factually dishonest.
What's the difference between "dishonest" and "factually dishonest"?

Most pirates are pretty damn honest, actually. You need to be able to see it from that perspective, even if you don't agree with it.
Well, if you showed me some proof of that claim, obviously I would be able to see it from that perspective.

All Sollthar was saying was that it's pretty difficult to make a case for such a thing being completely objective. Not exposing a fact about your personal activities to the world is not dishonest.
It is, if those personal activities impact on other people who didn't even suspect they were involved.

If someone smokes a joint, for example, are they dishonest for not telling the world?
In the case of them simply smoking a joint at home, then all they're doing is minding thier own business. But if they smoke joints at work, and neglect to tell the boss, what do you think it is?

How about speeding while driving (you are putting innocent lives at risk!!!! wink)? If you accidentally nick someone's car then drive away without telling them, to me, THAT'S dishonest.
Of coutse it is. That's self-evident.

One could also live by the other side of the spectrum from my hypothetical situations where they think any form of law breaking is dishonest if you don't come forward. I personally don't care which you subscribe to, but you've got to realize there are drastically different perspectives out there.
The mere fact that different people hold different perspectives is absolutely irrelevant to the concept of honesty. This particular bit of Relativistic sophistry is the reason why I usually avoid this topic.

Your murder example is decent for illustrating your point, but it doesn't really go hand-in-hand with cavemen killings or piracy. Though, if you thought about it, you could easily say that this rapist murderer is not guilty. They are the victim of extreme mental disturbances, abuse, psychological damage, mental disorder, etc. It usually does take something like for someone to go *that* far. Personally, I thing they are "guilty" and should be locked in a mental hospital or humane prison for the rest of their lives. That is punishment enough for anyone for any crime in my opinion, no matter the extremeness of it. People that for whatever reason end up like that and are a danger to society need to be separated from society. Someone who finds them legally guilty and wants them to go to a prison for the rest of their lives doesn't even need to necessarily believe that they are guilty by their standards. By the way, let's leave death penalty and prison cruelty debates out of this topic though, again, that's just my opinion.
Please don't let me be debating with a person who blames "society" for a person's criminal behaviour!!! Because then we'd have to get on to the topic of Free Will, and that's another topic that usually gets me mad in the end. smile
.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 6:10am

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Sollthar

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I really have trouble following your arguments Struker. You seem to put words into my mouth I haven't said or base your arguments on "implications" that only you see. Difficult to answer.

You seem to desperately try to find a case where you and I agree on a moral issue. To what point? Just that you can go "HA! Told you so! Morals are objective!"? They're not. Even if you find a case the both of us agree, the simple fact the killer in your example obviously disagrees with the notion again shows that, depending on who you ask, the moral ground is wobbly and not bound to any law.

The philosopher Imanuel Kant was the last one in philosophy to argue a "cathegorical imperative" - a set of morals that is universally true. His books are still of use today, but he did in fact make one of the best cases against that set of believe and the idea that ethics are in any way a universal rule is nowhere to be found anymore in any philosophy (except religion, but let's keep that out). I have no time to teach that to you or make it plausible to you if you hold so dear to your killer stories, which are entirely irrelevant to the case of piracy anyways.

But just to see where this is going: Okay, I agree with your story. Terrible terrible thing done by an evil evil man. And what I'd expect the survivors to say to somone who shows so little social etiquette to tell them such a thing to their face after they just lost someone? "Go **** yourself", probably. I would.

Now what?

Some stuff about being honest and implications
I can't follow that last part at all. Neither did I say anywhere that I wouldn't like payment for my work nor can I even begin to grasp where honesty and an oblige to give it away free because other people have it free too come in.

Non capisce. Sorry. neutral

if you agree that you should be bound by honesty
I don't. Not in all cases. Honesty is another of those a bit more complicated matters.


Okay, so once again explicitly: I'm not FOR piracy, I'm AGAINST piracy. But my case against it is much much much much more detailed, complex and abstract then a simple "it's illegal, dishonest and evil" approach because there are a ton of facets to it - at least to me, because I really try to be exactemento - that get completely lost in that approach and that are vital if we want to find a good solution for it.

But to make matters even more fun: My country says it's ok and legal for me to stream films and download music off the internet. Who are you to tell me what my country says is wrong?

Please don't let me be debating with a person who blames "society" for a person's criminal behaviour! That's another topic that usually gets me mad in the end.
Do you get mad often then when talking about matters being more complex?


Judging by your posts I get the feeling we are stellar opposites, Struker. Let me end with one of my favorite quotes by a german philosopher:

"Every complicated problem has a simple solution. And that's the wrong one."
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 6:18am

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Pooky

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Sollthar wrote:

"Every complicated problem has a simple solution. And that's the wrong one."
I think that may be my favourite quote ever biggrin Got any more of those?


Simple clarification, by the way: my view of Piracy is more nuanced that I'm letting on, I just enjoy playing devil's advocate every now and then smile As I said, I go see a ton of concerts, go to the theatre often and buy all of my games. These just happen to be the very best methods of encouraging the actual artist that you like, rather than the production company.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 7:04am

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Serpent

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Nonono Struker, you need to learn how to read. wink (Though admittedly my post isn't as eloquently thought out as possible.) The perspective I was referring to (which is what my entire wasted post was about), is the fact that not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye on what "dishonest" is.

And the fact that you even thought that I was one who blames society on criminal behavior really shows your neglect to read for comprehension. The whole point was: THAT is an extreme perspective, and you have to acknowledge that perspective when you throw around the words "fact" and "objective." If you want to ignore other people's perspectives when having discussions, by all means, you can take that perspective, but I won't be joining in said discussions (which I'm sure you aren't devastated about). Also note, there's a difference between dishonesty when describing a blatant lie, and not divulging the truth, in my opinion. Also keep in mind that I have a different perspective on the morals of piracy. So, to me, if a pirate decides to download all the Lost episodes in HD rather than watch the commercials in streaming without contacting ABC, the creators of Lost, and the Federal government admitting his "guilty" action, I don't think he is "dishonest" (see what I did there?).

Please don't let me be debating with a person who doesn't read my posts. Hopefully that got my point across better? Ah well, I'm probably done with this thread, PM me if you want to discuss anything about the nuances of our exchange one-on-one.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 7:43am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

You seem to desperately try to find a case where you and I agree on a moral issue. To what point? Just that you can go "HA! Told you so! Morals are objective!"? They're not. Even if you find a case the both of us agree, the simple fact the killer in your example obviously disagrees with the notion again shows that, depending on who you ask, the moral ground is wobbly and not bound to any law.
See, what you're saying, in essence, is that Everybody Is Right. By that reasoning, even a killer can legitimately declare himself innocent, simply on the grounds that his own moral stance on murder permits him to commit it. It follows that if another person punishes him for his murder, that person is violating the common wisdom, the "trusim" that "Nothing Is Wrong". You might even say that person is violating the murderer's right to hold a differing moral stance than you.

As I said, arguments about this topic do my head in, and I really shouldn't engage in them. I've found in the past that a moral relativist can not be persuaded by even the most provocative argument I can muster. I think that's because I am arguing from "givens", while you are arguing that there is no such thing as a given. To you, everything is in flux, and reality is negotiable. It's impossible to have a productive debate under those terms. In any debate, certain parameters must be established and agreed upon by the participants. But since I'm trying to make a point about morality, while you are denying that any such can even be defined, we have no basis for a debate.

I can see that you're floundering at my posts, but I can also see exactly what you're espousing, and its connotations. The trouble is, you can't see them. That is, you can't see the implications of your moral relativism in action.

That's why I presented you with a murder, and made it personal to you.

Yet still, we can't arrive at anything like a common ground.

The philosopher Imanuel Kant was the last one in philosophy to argue a "cathegorical imperative" - a set of morals that is universally true. His books are still of use today, but he did in fact make one of the best cases against that set of believe and the idea that ethics are in any way a universal rule is nowhere to be found anymore in any philosophy (except religion, but let's keep that out). I have no time to teach that to you or make it plausible to you if you hold so dear to your killer stories, which are entirely irrelevant to the case of piracy anyways.
Oh, Hahaha! Sol, you certainly needn't feel obliged to "teach" me anything!

I think we'd best close this debate, since it's much more than just a disagreement on a point - it's more a clash of ideaologies than anything else. And that's a waste of time. Agreed? smile
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 8:01am

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Sollthar

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I don't even agree on that, no. smile

Different viewpoints are a neceßity for a debate. If we agreed, there would be no debate. There would be nodding, patting on each others shoulders for being so insightful and no intelectual progress in any way. Seeing intelectual progress is my main driving force in this life, I never avoid a debate.

I can see that you vastly misunderstand the concept of constructivism and relativism. And to what you seem to understand it to be, I sympathise with disagreeing with it. I would too.
It's not "everybody is right" and "do whatever you please" at all.

We don't arrive at common ground because your anecdotes aim at my emotional feeling towards something being evil rather than my intelectual acceptance of my or your feelings being universally true. Your stories get the first, but don't even adress the other.

Be that as it may, I respect your desire to withdraw and wish you well!

Last edited Wed, 26th May 2010, 12:05pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 9:21am

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Too bad, this was actually one of the cooler and more interesting debates we had back in High School Philosophy.

I think what I came to believe is a somewhat personalized version of consequentialism... basically, morals depend on judgement and on end results. It's purely a case-by-case basis, as trying to make sweeping generalizations would inevitably lead to discovering their flaws. A person who can reason correctly is thus better off taking the more complex route of tackling each moral dilemma on its own.

In this case, if we look at the end result, I'm actually giving more money to the artists themselves by going to concerts, going to the theatre and by buying games new than many other people do by spending a fortune on albums, DVDs and used games. I generally try to give as little money as possible to the dinosaur bigwigs in charge of suing single moms- err, I mean funding and distributing.

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Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 9:24am

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Simon K Jones

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I'm not familiar with the technical terminology, but do seem to come down on Sollthar's side with regards to responsibility and concepts of guilt etc.

One only has to look at government sanctioned war to see that the concept of 'murder' is very, very, very fluid.

Agreed, this has been a very interesting debate from all sides. It's great that we can have these sort of debates here without resorting to name calling and anger. Mostly, anyway. smile
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 10:18am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

Different viewpoints are a necessity for a debate. If we agreed, there would be no debate.
That goes without saying. But we don't just have different viewpoints, Sol. We don't even agree on what we're actually arguing about!

I can see that you vastly misunderstand the concept of constructivism and relativism.
You meant "Deconstructionism", didn't you? You'll just have to take my word for it, Sol, that I understand Moral Relativism quite well.

It's not "everybody is right" and "do whatever you please" at all.
In effect, it is. Relativism claims that there are no absolutes. That is, no absolute truths that apply universally. Of course, that claim contains a flaw in logic, since if there are no absolute truths, then the statement that there are no absolute truths is false, and therefore there must be some Absolute Truths. .. but I won't pursue that one... I'll only point out in answer to your question that Moral Relativism says that the truth or otherwise of anything depends solely upon the individual who is declaring it. Thus, everything is "true". Thus, everybody is right.

People who claim to espouse moral relativism really should never enter into debates with anyone else. Because if his opponent is not a Relativist, the argument will never get out of the gate... as has happened here. And if his opponent is a Relativist, a debate is impossible in the first place!

We don't arrive at common ground because you at my emotional feeling towards something being evil rather than my intellectual acceptance if my or your feelings being universally true. Your stories get the first, but don't even address the other.
Sorry, Sol, I didn't get your meaning there. But it doesn't matter. One thing we seem to agree about is that we're not going to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion here, no matter what we say.

So, signing off for now. smile
.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 10:25am

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Struker

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Tarn wrote:


Agreed, this has been a very interesting debate from all sides. It's great that we can have these sort of debates here without resorting to name calling and anger. Mostly, anyway. smile
Yes, it was fun. Best to quit now, though. Relativism of any type is almost as dangerous a topic for debate as religion or politics!

Debates about it usually ends up with A being contemptuous of B, and B being despairing of A. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 11:30am

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Simon K Jones

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I'm no expert - at all - but given the practicalities of actually living, surely only the most stringent and literal constructivist would go down that extreme route?

From what I can see, the concept is about warning of the dangers of taking notions for granted, or assuming that they are 'god given' or 'universal'. It's a reminder that every interpretation of events (as opposed to the events themselves) is entirely man-made (constructed) and thus open to error, re-interpretation and improvement.

So doesn't seem to be saying "everybody is right" or "do whatever you please". In its most practical sense, what it seems to be saying to me is "don't take things for granted."

But, as I say, I could be entirely wrong. I'm sure Sollthar will appear to clarify matters from a more educated point of view. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 11:34am

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Sollthar

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We don't even agree on what we're actually arguing about!
Which is, in my experience, very common when it come to philosophical debates. A friend of mine which I write a philosophical dissertation / book with and I had a debate for several months - some of which was spent on getting eye to eye with each other just in terms of what we actually mean with what we say. That's why so many philosophers invent their own terminology - just to prevent semantic misunderstanding. smile

You meant "Deconstructionism", didn't you?
No, I mean "constructivism" just like I wrote.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivist_epistemology

Of course, that claim contains a flaw in logic, since if there are no absolute truths, then the statement that there are no absolute truths is false, and therefore there must be some Absolute Truths. .. but I won't pursue that one...
Oh, you're welcome to. That "flaw" is something we adressed in our first semester of philosophy and you're right - it's a semantical and logical paradox. However, if you're as familiar with constructivism as you claim, you will also know the linguisitic and deductive nature of said paradox. Besides, constructivists don't claim "nothing is true", so it's irrelevant.
But I'm also a critic of constructivism myself, despite the fact it is my own philosophy. smile

Thus, everything is "true".
No constructivist claims "everything is true" either though. It just claims that the "truth" of something can't be seperated from the entity it claimed it as true and the time it was claimed as true.

People who claim to espouse moral relativism really should never enter into debates with anyone else.
People who have no understanding that other humans might have different perspectives on things and not everything THEY believe to be true actually IS true really should go back to school.

One thing we seem to agree about is that we're not going to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion here, no matter what we say.
I never said that at all. I find the debate interesting. You wish to end it because you believe it won't lead anywhere and because you find it annoying. Again: Don't judge from yourself to others. I neither wish to end the debate nor do I think it leads nowhere - I never said that anywhere and I don't think that. I accept if you do however. But I don't agree. Mark it. smile


Oh, and well put Tarn. Practically, that's what constructivism means.

The concept is about warning of the dangers of taking notions for granted, or assuming that they are 'god given' or 'universal'. It's a reminder that every interpretation of events (as opposed to the events themselves) is entirely man-made (constructed) and thus open to error, re-interpretation and improvement. In its most practical sense, what it seems to be saying to me is "don't take things for granted."

When it comes to ethics - ideas about good and evil - the philosophy claims that it aims at subjective man made ideal. Facts declare how the world is, ethics declare how the world is supposed to be. And people disagree on that because they construct their worlds differently (even down to their brains which decode the exact same input from outside differently), look at it from a different perspective with a different history and therefore have a different result in their aim for how the world should be.
People disagree on facts too and for good reason, but mostly, the can't even separate the two.

But ethics are necessary. To have an idea "how the world should be" is what drives any sort of action. Acting so that the world changes from how it is to how it should be. So even a constructivist like me has a strict set of morals. They are however mine and I don't expect nor believe them to be universally true. That's the only difference. But a major one.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 5:01pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Rating: +1

I can't help but feel that Struker's viewpoint on the subject of piracy is one both forged and cemented in yesterdays law. We are all aware that piracy or copyright theft is illegal and as a consequence, is subject to prosecution by law.

However, many of us who have paid attention to government discussion on subjects such as the Digital Economy Bill and how the Law has addressed internet related topics. And as people who spend their day to day lives around modern technology have discovered that both our government and justice system simply aren't prepared or knowledgeable enough about the subject to be in a position to make rulings about them (with few exceptions).

Those who paid attention to the Pirate Bay trials were shocked at the amount of misinformation and lack of understanding existed at the highest levels in regard to the simplest factors of the trial - how torrents work or what they even are.

Those who paid attention to the Digital Economy Debates will have see how 5 people who knew what they were talking about were over-ruled by a majority under the effects of a triple whip, influenced quite literally by the music industry itself.

Those who paid attention to the Twitter Joke Trial will have been shocked at the Judges absolute lack of understanding of how Twitter operates.

On all sides, there are people who want the law to stay how it is regardless of its inability to address modern digital issues, and the lack of knowledge which seems created by what I see as a generational gap symptomatic of the Internet's 7 year growth spurt is being taken advantage of by corporations who through either laziness or again, ignorance of this change causing miscalculations in how to profit are campaigning for the law not the change.

But the world has changed. And the old Law that now applies to this new Digital World needs to change with it. Justice relies on fairness, punishment relative to the crime - and at current, we simply do not understand the weight of the crime of illegal downloading beyond the provably bogus statistics corporations have provided, and you already know what my impressions are of some of them.

To advocate prosecution or crazy anti-piracy measures because piracy is happening right now is again, to misunderstand piracy altogether on several levels. Firstly that it is equal to physical theft, we already know it's a much more complicated issue. Problematically - those prosecuted for illegal downloading have suffered dramatically higher, life destroying fines and punishment than those who have stolen from record stores. For stealing a car you can get 1-5 years jail time, for downloading an album you can be stuck with fines that will be with you for the rest of your life ($150,000 per song, which is more than many a Ferrari costs). This is not justice.

Secondly, it makes the assumption that piracy can ever be stopped and that methods that affect the legitimate customer and that the pirate will simply circumvent. This is particularly relevant to the original direction of this thread. Nothing short of completely halting technological progress will prevent piracy.

Maybe arguing what is morally right, or Just is the wrong approach given that the corporations involved are not interested in Justice so much as they are in making more money (this is evidenced by lawsuits prosecuting for millions, being settled out of court for under $3000. To do a struker and mention murder and rape here, if someone did rape and kill your wife would you then readily accept the killer being prosecuted for J-walking instead of murder?). Take a look at the box office figures for the year compared to the previous. Look at the budget of films that were released this year. Record music single sales aided by digital distribution. These are the same corporations claiming they are going extinct.

Yes, Piracy is a problem. But there are successful ways of addressing that that don't involve costly lawsuits with minimal financial return. There are ways of acknowledging that illegal downloading is not an absolute negative in terms of effect on the industry and in some cases maybe even recognizing that piracy is a symptom of areas the industry has not adapted to - TV series airing a year earlier in the states than the UK for example is something I bet leads to a lot of illegal downloading.

Human civilization is defined by technology, whether you like it or not our species ability to adapt and invent is what has separated us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We are defined by technological change and throughout our history. The Anti-Piracy stance from corporations as it stands is largely resistance to that change.

Now you tell me, throughout history what happened to those who didn't adapt to technological change? Does anyone honestly believe technological advancement and increased net speed is going to make piracy more difficult? And how is your conclusion evidenced by the last 7 years?

Regards,
Matt
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2010, 6:59pm

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Sollthar

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I'll raise a glass to that (a glass of ice tea obviously, seeing I don't drink) wink
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 12:30am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

No, I mean "constructivism" just like I wrote.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivist_epistemology
Okay. I thought, since it seemed to me that we were stumbling over philosophical semantics... viz, "killing" isn't "murder" etc....

Besides, constructivists don't claim "nothing is true", so it's irrelevant. But I'm also a critic of constructivism myself, despite the fact it is my own philosophy.
I believe that, in effect, they do claim exactly that. You can't declare that a "fact" is only a fact in relation to the individual who promulgated it, but not necessarily to anybody else, without insinuating that therefore nothing can be relied upon to be true - at least by anyone else. It might be fun to make that claim when you're discussing it with a group of a dozen or so people, but the world's population is today around six billion individuals. For constructivism to be true to itself, it has to acknowledge that every one of those six billion people see a certain phenomeum according to their individual perception - which means there are six billion different "truths" about any single event/object in existence. That statement is tanatamount to saying either, "Everybody is right", or "Everybody is wrong". But to make matters even more inimical to sanity, Constructionism doesn't recognise the validity of the words "right" and "wrong" anyway! (I don't mean "right" and "wrong" in any moral sense there, btw. Just in the sense of "correct" and "incorrect".)

No constructivist claims "everything is true" either though. It just claims that the "truth" of something can't be seperated from the entity it claimed it as true and the time it was claimed as true.
See above.

People who have no understanding that other humans might have different perspectives on things and not everything THEY believe to be true actually IS true really should go back to school.
You obviously took my comment as a criticism, and you thought you had to hit back. It wasn't a criticism. I said Moral Relativists shouldn't enter into debates with those who don't embrace Moral Relativism because it's bound to be fruitless. While a Moral Relativist theoretically cannot lose a debate, he also cannot win one.

You wish to end it because you believe it won't lead anywhere and because you find it annoying. Again: Don't judge from yourself to others. I neither wish to end the debate nor do I think it leads nowhere - I never said that anywhere and I don't think that. I accept if you do however. But I don't agree. Mark it. smile
Once again, see above.

The concept is about warning of the dangers of taking notions for granted, or assuming that they are 'god given' or 'universal'. It's a reminder that every interpretation of events (as opposed to the events themselves) is entirely man-made (constructed) and thus open to error, re-interpretation and improvement. In its most practical sense, what it seems to be saying to me is "don't take things for granted."
That's an attractive notion to many people, I know. To be candid, I have to say I've always thought that one reason the concept appeals to some is because it is a kind of balm to any intellect that is trying to make sense of the world and being hindered in that effort by its self-doubts. By that I mean, I think it probably appeals to people who haven't yet developed a completely reliable confidence in their own judgement.

Of course, on the other hand, it may be attractive simply because it relieves one of the burden of decision. Chronic equivocation as a posture can be a comfortable state of mind to embrace.

When it comes to ethics - ideas about good and evil - the philosophy claims that it aims at subjective man made ideal. Facts declare how the world is, ethics declare how the world is supposed to be. And people disagree on that because they construct their worlds differently (even down to their brains which decode the exact same input from outside differently), look at it from a different perspective with a different history and therefore have a different result in their aim for how the world should be.

People disagree on facts too and for good reason, but mostly, they can't even separate the two.

But ethics are necessary. To have an idea "how the world should be" is what drives any sort of action. Acting so that the world changes from how it is to how it should be. So even a constructivist like me has a strict set of morals. They are however mine and I don't expect nor believe them to be universally true. That's the only difference. But a major one.
That section illustrated for me the dilemma of Constructivists and/or Moral relativists. You used phrases like "Ethics are necessary", "Facts declare..." and People...construct their worlds differently...", and "Brains...decode the same input", and, "to have an idea...is what drives any sort of action".... All of those phrases sound suspiciously like unequivocal postulates, (even though you used them to arrive at a conclusion which you yourself admit is totally subjective, ie, your personal morals..

But Sol, I really wish this debate would finish. I know it's interesting to you, but I have had it many times and I know the outcome, and it's never edifying. In one of my debates on this topic, it almost seemed to me that my opponent was looking for some kind of assurance that life was worth living! He was so equivocal about everything that he was virtually a non-person! That debate left me with an aversion to the topic. I am sometimes seduced into discussing it, but I'm always sorry when I do.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 5:06am

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Sollthar

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Well, you're welcome to stop the debate any time you wish. I won't obviously because I have no intention to and have no problem with it. So I'll continue to reply.

which means there are six billion different "truths" about any single event/object in existence.
Practically, that's not the case though. People from similar societies in similar times tend to agree on a lot of things. We agree on a lot of things (of course someone stealing my food and killing my family is "evil" in my perception). But there are also things different societies in different or even the same time might disagree (womans rights, religion, politics, viewpoints of science), or even different people in the same time and same society.

I perfectly agree with you. In order to live together in a functioning society that isn't based on anarchy, it's absolutely important to arrive at some sort of common ground and make a decision in best knowledge. This is often made into a law and that's good. I don't agree with everything the swiss law book says, but it's a sort of "agreement" people in this society have - willingly or unwillingly. It's also important however to aknowledge that these agreements are momentary and relative - which essentially makes them negotiable and in a constant state of change (this is where constructivism comes in). So we never stop constructing the world and the rules it works by and we should operate by and keep changing and adapting. And in my view, this is exactly how it should be.

I have no problem making a decision and taking a point, I can assure you. It also doesn't contradict my consructivist nature or my philosophical knowledge to do so. But in every decision I make and every moral stand I have and sometimes even enforce onto others like everybody else, I'm aware that I'm not following some universal truth or absolute value, but a subjective conclusion the entity Marco von Moos himself has arrived at and chosen to follow and act upon. At least for now.

To come back to the case of piracy: this is the very moment this reconstruction obviously has to take place and more and more people disagree with the common ground we have or at least realize that the common ground we used to have somehow doesn't really work anymore.
Hence the result to me is: The common ground must adapt in some sort of way and perceptions of what is illegal and moral/immoral has to change. The result to you is: People must accept the universal and timeless rule of what was decided to be illegal and/or immoral.

The solution will be somewhere in between these two I suspect.

You obviously took my comment as a criticism, and you thought you had to hit back. It wasn't a criticism. I said Moral Relativists shouldn't enter into debates with those who don't embrace Moral Relativism because it's bound to be fruitless. While a Moral Relativist theoretically cannot lose a debate, he also cannot win one.
Of course I take "Constructivism should never enter a debate" as a criticism. And someone who believes he knows the absolute truth should also never enter a debate because he can't be argued or reasoned with, since he's essentially claiming to be god. (Which is an extreme counterpoint just as unproductive as the one you made in my opinion, hence I state it)

Also, debates aren't always about winning or losing. I have no intention of "winning" this debate. Even if it might bring nothing but headaches to you, I've mainly enjoyed it so far because it makes me rethink and re-evaluate my point. The main reason I enjoy almost any debate.

By that I mean, I think it probably appeals to people who haven't yet developed a completely reliable confidence in their own judgement.
Or people who have arrived at a point where they want to take their judgement to a more precise level. People who have the intelect to realize that there are no easy solutions to a complicated problem and no simple model of thought for something as complex as this world.
Doubts can be hindering, the lack of doubt can be just as hindering.

It's a shame you only see the negative sides of that way of thinking and don't even aknowledge anything else. I don't expect nor aim for you to turn into a constructivist, but I would hope that you can at least aknowledge that it has a ground and appeal that is motivated in something positive rather then "doubt" or "lazyness" or the "fear of making a decision".

All of those phrases sound suspiciously like unequivocal postulates, (even though you used them to arrive at a conclusion which you yourself admit is totally subjective, ie, your personal morals..
Exactly. They are postulates made by the entity Marco von Moos in his understanding of constructivism and in effort to make it understandable and deduct rules of it according to Paul Watzlawiks books and his understanding of constructivism and his effort to deduct rules for it.
And even the truth of constructivism can only be seen within the time it was made and by the people it was made. I'm fully of aware of that. It's not much of a dilemma though.

The only dilemma is that in debate or politics for the average joe, the guy who says "listen, I know X" is always in a stronger position then the guy who says "Listen, I assume X is but I'm not sure" - even if X is a complete load of bullcrap.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 5:18am

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Struker

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Well, I've learned one thing from this debate. Constructionists are temperamentally volatile! Translation: you guys sure get real riled real quick! Seems surreal to me that a person who doesn't really trust anything can be so dogmatic about it! wink

So, Sol, if this debate is going to keep coming back to me as long as I keep posting...... I'll just have to say 'bye for now. smile
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 7:17am

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

To be candid, I have to say I've always thought that one reason the concept appeals to some is because it is a kind of balm to any intellect that is trying to make sense of the world and being hindered in that effort by its self-doubts. By that I mean, I think it probably appeals to people who haven't yet developed a completely reliable confidence in their own judgement.
Interesting. As Sollthar has pointed out, it's actually more about improvement. Having known Sollthar for many years, I can say he's one of the most clear-headed, insightful people I know, with very clear views on the universe and himself. However, he's also perfectly willing to re-examine things to see if there's a better way or viewpoint.

Rather than this being caused by self-doubt or a lack of confidence, I'd say it was exactly the opposite: constructivists are secure enough in their own selves to re-examine things. They're not scared of what could be uncovered.

I would attribute self-doubt and a lack of confidence to exactly the opposite kind of people; those who don't dare look at themselves or the world in a critical light, for fear of discovering something they don't like or don't agree with.

Of course, on the other hand, it may be attractive simply because it relieves one of the burden of decision. Chronic equivocation as a posture can be a comfortable state of mind to embrace.
Being open to new information and new interpretations doesn't mean avoiding decision. In fact, it's specifically about making lots of micro-decisions, continually.

So rather than deciding at some point "THIS is how the universe is", and then sticking with that forever, it's about continually re-analysing things to see if you can come up with a better analysis. Which doesn't lead to indecision: it leads to a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the topic (in theory, at least; obviously that won't work for everyone).

As I say, I'm not familiar with the formal concepts, but this certainly seems to be how constructivism works practically - it's certainly how Sollthar works, having observed him for the last 10 years. razz

Fascinating stuff either way. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 7:49am

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Pooky

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I think Struker is approaching all of this with a decidedly practical viewpoint rather than the theoretical viewpoint everyone else is adopting. As in, he believes we should set generally accepted objective facts to hold society together, because not doing so would essentially lead to anarchy. In that sense, I'm sure everyone agrees, considering that's the world we live in today. We have to agree on what is right and wrong.

Struker, if what I said is correct, then I'm sure you also agree that there are different interpretations for everything. You just think we should work to find common ground on important stuff like morality.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 8:30am

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Struker

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Pooky wrote:

Struker, if what I said is correct, then I'm sure you also agree that there are different interpretations for everything. You just think we should work to find common ground on important stuff like morality.
Oh dear, Pooky! What do I say to that? On the one hand, it reads as if you're being broad-minded and giving me the benefit of your doubts about me.

On the other hand, it sounds patronising....

I'll just say this. While I agree that there are potentially 6 billion different interpretations for every observable phenomenum, I do not proceed from that premise to the point of saying that therefore, no specific individual interpretation is valid.

I think that is the sticking point for you and my other opponents. It appears that you don't understand how I can deny what you all think is self-evident. I can deny it because your determination to "educate" me to your point of view is evidence that you believe your point of view to be The Correct One. Unfortunately, that itself contradicts your point of view...

I have no interest in working to find a common ground. In fact, to attempt to do that with people who do not believe in a common ground would be stupid of me. The only common ground that would satisfy my opponents and bring the debate to a close would be my acceptance of their belief that there is no such thing as a common ground. In which case, there would be a common ground.

You see, this is why I will not embrace constructivism. In my view, it is inherently absurd.

Can we finish now?
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 8:36am

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

I think that is the sticking point for you and my other opponents. It appears that you don't understand how I can deny what you all think is self-evident. I can deny it because your determination to "educate" me to your point of view is evidence that you believe your point of view to be The Correct One. Unfortunately, that itself contradicts your point of view...
Actually, I think the point most of us are making is that things aren't self-evident, and that some of the key concepts need to be re-examined. The only viewpoint we're trying to convince you of is "let's take a close, fresh look at this stuff, rather than working on assumptions." It's about examining the topics in an informed, careful manner, that's all.

I still get the feeling that you think we're pro-piracy and are trying to convince you that piracy is a good thing. Which is about as far from the truth as is possible.

Can we finish now?
You can finish whenever you like by not posting/reading in this topic anymore. razz I find it all really interesting, though.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 9:17am

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Struker

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Tarn, my friend, I'll answer this one but that'll be the end of it for me. To tell the truth I have a raging headache and my sinuses are causing me such agony it's making me nauseous. Bad cold definitely in the works. sad

I don't think you're pro-piracy.

I do think you're "soft" on piracy.

I'll finish on this note. There's one point that nobody has addressed yet, and to me its absence speaks volumes.

Nobody has yet said that they recommend that casual domestic piracy by the everyday citizen should be abstained from until the debate about its legality has arrived at a satisfactory conclusion.

That's the position I take, but nobody seemed prepared to discuss that option.

Sorry, man, gotta go.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 9:21am

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Simon K Jones

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Struker wrote:

Tarn, my friend, I'll answer this one but that'll be the end of it for me. To tell the truth I have a raging headache and my sinuses are causing me such agony it's making me nauseous. Bad cold definitely in the works. sad
Ouch, nasty. We just recovered from an office-wide cold that resulted in about 5 or 6 of us having to take time off, so I sympathise!! Hope you get better soon.

Nobody has yet said that they recommend that casual domestic piracy by the everyday citizen should be abstained from until the debate about its legality has arrived at a satisfactory conclusion.

That's the position I take, but nobody seemed prepared to discuss that option.
And to think you were critising the constructivists for being impractical. wink
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 9:54am

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Pooky

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I wasn't trying to come off as being patronizing, I'm simply trying to summarize what you're saying so the other guys see you're all more or less on the same page.

Basically, you agree that there are 7 billion different interpretations for everything, but in the practical scheme of things, we need to agree on common morals and ideals for society to function correctly. These common conceptions can be modified at any time if flaws become apparent. Everybody agree with this?
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 3:49pm

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Sollthar

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Struker wrote:

Well, I've learned one thing from this debate. Constructionists are temperamentally volatile! Translation: you guys sure get real riled real quick! Seems surreal to me that a person who doesn't really trust anything can be so dogmatic about it!
You have a rather fascinating inability to grasp the concept of what I'm trying to explain to you. It seems almost as if you had some bad experience with people who argue badly or were making bad points, put me into the same basket as them, don't really read clearly what I write and shoot back out of the misexperience you had with others. Highly intriguing to me.

I'm glad you've learned something from the debate. Even if it's just hardening your prejudices.
I certainly walk out of this debate in a postive way and enjoyed it. So it wasn't a waste at all in my book.

Struker wrote:

It appears that you don't understand how I can deny what you all think is self-evident.
It's not self-evident though. It needs an awake and very sharp mind to even grasp the concept and a rather strong will and persona to turn it into practice. Took me a while before I understood it too. In detail, I still have my issues with it, just like you. Interestingly, on similar aspects as you. But I have issues with all the philosophical directions and agree with parts of them, no matter what. They're all just perspectives that offer something for those who listen.

Hence my philosophy teacher called me "the most descriptive person he's ever met" after my final exam. wink

Struker wrote:

I have no interest in working to find a common ground.
Well, that's probably it then. How "I have no interest in working to find a common ground" is a good attitude to have when dealing with other people escapes me. But it does offer certain explanations on why it is so hard for you to follow what I'm saying.

Struker wrote:

this is why I will not embrace constructivism.
You don't have to nor are you expected to. I would have hoped for a bit of understanding and more then disrespect for it, but that's just wishful thinking on my part. You can't always get what you wish for. smile

Struker wrote:

I have a raging headache and my sinuses are causing me such agony it's making me nauseous.
I wish you well then and hope you get better soon. I just burst my eardrum this morning so my head is also not in the best of states.

Better health soon to the both of us then. smile
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2010, 4:03pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Blizzard supremo Frank Pearce has told VideoGamer.com, “We need our development teams focused on content and cool features, not anti-piracy technology.”

It accompanies the announcement that StarCraft II’s single-player mode will not require constant online connection to Blizzard’s Battle.net. Describing DRM as “a losing battle”, Pearce states that their company is far more interested in creating an online community that will endorse and support paying customers.

To play SCII’s single player game will require a registered Battle.net account, and a one-off online activation. But after that it can be played without needing to be connected. However, Blizzard hope that players will find that being online and connected to the Battle.net servers, while not essential for playing the game, will be attractive enough that would-be pirates will feel they are missing out.
Bravo, Blizzard.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2010, 6:44pm

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videofxuniverse

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You know what i find amusing? most people in the UK will notice this, but when you go out and buy a dvd, before you get to the menu, that really annoying anti piracy advert comes on and you cant skp it or fast forward through it. You know the "you wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a purse, downloading is stealing" that ad.

Well heres what makes me laugh, That advert is telling me not to steal or download the film i have just bought. Well top marks pal, thanks for the heads up.
Posted: Sun, 30th May 2010, 11:28pm

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Simon K Jones

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videofxuniverse wrote:

You know what i find amusing? most people in the UK will notice this, but when you go out and buy a dvd, before you get to the menu, that really annoying anti piracy advert comes on and you cant skp it or fast forward through it. You know the "you wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a purse, downloading is stealing" that ad.

Well heres what makes me laugh, That advert is telling me not to steal or download the film i have just bought. Well top marks pal, thanks for the heads up.
Yeah, there's something tragically hilarious that they think pirates will retain the copyright notice. razz

Anyway, this sounds like a very interesting book:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/30/history-of-piracy-re.html

Somebody has actually taken the time to investigate and analyse piracy properly, addressing many of the issues raised in this topic here at FXhome.com. I may well have to pick up a copy.

Particularly interesting, given the way this discussion went, is the assertion for "the need to view piracy as a business-model crisis, not a moral one". Which is essentially what some of us have been trying to say (less eloquently) for several pages now.
Posted: Sun, 30th May 2010, 11:55pm

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Arktic

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Rating: +2

That book does indeed look good. Tarn - if you get a copy, can you photocopy the interesting bits and fax them over to me?

[/hilarious-piracy-and-retro-tech-joke]
Posted: Mon, 31st May 2010, 9:18am

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pdrg

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Arktic wrote:

That book does indeed look good. Tarn - if you get a copy, can you photocopy the interesting bits and fax them over to me?
Or indeed borrow the book, something made a lot more difficult where it is DRM protected to only work with Tarn's eyes...
Posted: Mon, 31st May 2010, 4:21pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Arktic wrote:

That book does indeed look good. Tarn - if you get a copy, can you photocopy the interesting bits and fax them over to me?

[/hilarious-piracy-and-retro-tech-joke]
Hahahahaha.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jun 2010, 7:56pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Warner Brothers are also being sued for pirating anti-pirate software. More on that here : http://www.geekologie.com/2010/06/wrong_thats_how_you_did_it_war.php
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jun 2010, 8:28pm

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pdrg

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That is just brilliant - you hit paradoxes so quickly when the system is so broken :-$
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jun 2010, 10:48pm

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Sollthar

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Ah well. Pants down I guess.

Allthough big money companies doing dodgy business is hardly news and again shows the point that "moral" is a tough thing to enter into a piracy debate. There is no "good vs bad" battle to be had from either side.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2010, 8:22am

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Simon K Jones

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There have been similarly amusing cases with legacy computer games, in which companies have actually incorporated pirate code into the games in order to remove old, broken DRM so that they can keep selling the games.
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2010, 7:27pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Interesting TED Talk on the psychology of behavioural economics. How corporations are disconnected from what people actually want.

http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/208375/TED-Sweat-the-Small-Stuff.html

Bottom line - It provides evidence that I was right, softly softly approaches encourage positive responses compared to heavy handed approaches, which cost more money to implement and yield negative results.

-Matt
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 12:44am

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I am pro-piracy, but lets give it it's real name - free advertising.

You might say artists would be insane to give away their work free, how could they possibly earn a living from that? Why would people pay anymore when they didn't need to? And yet it happens everyday with musicians and radio. Yes, radio certainly destroyed the recording industry!

The bottom line is that if you make something good, people will pay for it. Getting the word out makes far more difference than a few people getting something for nothing.

The only ones who are really hurting from piracy are the big advertising and distribution companies who are becoming unnecesary in the age of the internet. They don't want to adapt and come up with new more suitable models of content distribution because they can see that the future doesn't really need them.

Axeman made a point early on in this thread that when people copy content they hurt exactly the artists that they like but 'the industry' doesn't help people like you or me use their talents to go and earn their fortune. It takes those talents and milks them for all they are worth and if you are lucky you get some dregs. The artists are just as much a victim of the current system as the consumers. In dealing direct to consumers in more progressive model, most artists would get a bigger slice of the pie and are likely to actually make more money. And how much better would you feel at the end of the day to know that every penny of that was earned directly as appreciation of your talents rather than conned and weaseled out of people's pockets?

The music and movie industries like to say that piracy is theft but that is wrong on so many levels. Piracy is cutting out the middle man. Piracy is giving artist the respect they deserve. Piracy is about destroying the manufactured band or lame 4th sequel. Piracy is experiencing content on whatever device you like without jumping through hoops. Piracy is sharing an experience with your friends rather than being told what to like. Piracy is watching/listening to something when it suits you. Piracy is openmindedness. Piracy is imagination. Piracy is good. Piracy is the future.

Yarrr
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 8:37am

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pdrg

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That's quite a simplification there! Whilst many artists, especially the younger ones, find out they earn less than everyone around them, they still enter into the system in their droves. If they didn't, they'd still be playing in pubs.

That system lends them money to go into a studio, then does the artwork, promotes their music, pays to press the discs, handles the shipping, gets the radioplay, etc on behalf of the artist. The artist is welcome to do any or all of that themselves, but there comes a time when it's easier to get someone else to do it so they can get on with making music. All those people with all those fees add up quickly. Even managing all those people to perform those services for you costs money. Sure, there are a few very well paid execs at the top of some of these companies performing services for hundreds of artists, but the grunt workers are paid normal salaries.

Radio play is not free. Radio stations pay a fee for each record they play in the majority of the world. That money goes to a 'collection agency' who then pay it to the artist (or whoever is handling their rights), radio is not pure altruism.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 8:43am

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Atom

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Because why wouldn't Kid pick a long-passed controversial topic with a silly, oversimplified, opinionated statement to make as his comeback moment on FXHome. smile
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 8:53am

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Simon K Jones

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Interestingly, a US judge (can't remember the State right now, sorry) recently ruled that it is perfectly OK to break the DRM on something if it is for personal use. Or, more specifically, it is only illegal to break DRM if you are doing so for financial/malicious reasons.

eg, if you've bought a song that plays on your iPod, it's perfectly fine to break the DRM so that you can also play it on your computer and your main stereo. Or if you've bought an ebook for your Kindle, it's perfectly fine to break the DRM so that you can also read it on your iPad, etc.

It's an interesting ruling, and completely opposite to what most US/UK courts have ruled to date. Hopefully it'll at least prompt a proper, informed debate on the topic.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 11:15am

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Kid

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Atom wrote:

Because why wouldn't Kid pick a long-passed controversial topic with a silly, oversimplified, opinionated statement to make as his comeback moment on FXHome. smile
Funnily enough I found this thread when I was searching for Stracraft 2, a game that I have the oppotunity to pirate and yet paid for the collectors ed. because I think it is worth it.

I don't think that my statement is over simplified at all.

The current system has no basis on worth, only newness. 2 albums or dvds (of a very narrow industry selected choice) that come out at the same time are priced the same. If I love one and only like the 2nd I can't pay propotionally, I have to wait months/years till the price drops to something that I am prepared to pay. If I see an old film that I really love and would pay a high price for I still only pay a little because it has been out for so long. Plus with things like films there is no way to tell how much you liked it until after you paid.

For this sort of thing to work it would require a societal change from the 'buy, buy, buy. gotta catch em all. get things as cheap as possible' mindset to one which is more 'if I reward what I like then I will get more of it'. A system based more on what people like than what the industry forces foward not only naturally provides more choice but would spread the money around more evenly and give more amateurs a chance.

There is a place for companies supporting development but not in return for selling your soul. To say that artists need that is really selling them short. Original ideas and talent are far more important to success than production in the grand scheme of things. The problem traditionally is that you had to get past the industry approval stage to get to the people approval stage. With the internet that simply isn't the case any more. Content with much lower production values goes out, reaches huge popularity, then artists have the funding already to go back and make what was succesful better (as well as not waste time and effort on what was not succesful)

What I propose is more like a global busking system smile
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 4:40pm

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pdrg

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Global busking, nice idea, and yeah, why not?

I do some work with some small and large bands, and of course I hear the larger ones wishing they hadn't sold the publishing rights to their music when they were starting out...however a lot of the smaller acts are still desperate to get a publishing deal so they'll get £10k advance against royalties so they can live, write, and sustain themselves in between gigs...

Yep, you can get stuffed to some degree by the companies, but when they are fronting £50k for you to record an album and tour and promote it, hoping to get it back... Those guys are taking a big punt, they want their money back, and that comes out of the band's royalty. The record company *advances* them money (basically a loan out of royalties) to cover the costs. You could say those effective loans carry too high a price, which is arguably right. However, the alternative is the bands have to find the £50k themselves and get to work, and most musos aren't in that position.

If you ever find yourself with an advance for your band, something else important to remember is that every penny you spend is your own money - so if you want 'company' in your hotel room, and the record company pays the bill, they're paying it out of your account/your money - it's more you have to pay back on top of that advance loan.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 6:16pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Kid wrote:

[a game that I have the oppotunity to pirate and yet paid for the collectors ed. because I think it is worth it.
I hope you have a really good anti-virus. wink
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 10:35pm

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Pooky

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Fxhome Dude wrote:

Kid wrote:

[a game that I have the oppotunity to pirate and yet paid for the collectors ed. because I think it is worth it.
I hope you have a really good anti-virus. wink
Piracy's ridiculously safe, simple and convenient if you know what you're doing. In fact, it's a much better experience than pretty much every music and video distribution system that currently exists, with the exception of iTunes and Netflix Instant Streaming. Steam is the only service I can think of that has actually managed to beat Piracy in terms of convenience, and that's probably why it's such a wild success.
Posted: Tue, 3rd Aug 2010, 9:35am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Kid wrote:

Atom wrote:

Because why wouldn't Kid pick a long-passed controversial topic with a silly, oversimplified, opinionated statement to make as his comeback moment on FXHome. smile
Funnily enough I found this thread when I was searching for Stracraft 2, a game that I have the oppotunity to pirate and yet paid for the collectors ed. because I think it is worth it.
I appreciate what you're saying. I think it was Nine Inch Nails who released a free album, with pay for special editions of varying ridiculous lavishness - and they all sold well. People will pay money for things they feel have value, and the Starcraft special edition was something I had to stop myself from buying.

However, it's no small detail that you can't play pirated versions of Starcraft 2 online due to the Battle.net system. razz

-Matt
Posted: Tue, 3rd Aug 2010, 11:09pm

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Kid

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I don't think that will be the case for very long though, just as people setup their own wow servers. I guess it really depends on how polished and transparent the paying experience is though. When it is done well as more than just an antipriacy measure and adds real value then it won't be such a target to break. That should be a lesson to other developers.

Compare it to the crap that Ubisoft has done where you get booted out of the game without saving for any little glitch in your net connection and you can easily see why those games have piracy figures through the roof.
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 2:08am

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anothercheney

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I had a few pirate problems with Recon 7 Down and Cheney's Tomorrow never comes?. But you know whats worse I released some films Made by someone else. Not only did the 6 of them combined sold less than 25 DVDs. No one pirated them at all. At the end of summer I'm having party with friends a few kegs and Lotta food and a wood chipper. (I'm having the resellers/retailers ship them back to Me.) Were playing toss the Superteam DVD in the Chipper if you miss you have to drink. I wanted to bag it and sell Superteam Mulch but it would kill plants I think.
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 8:41am

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Arktic

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anothercheney wrote:

I had a few pirate problems with Recon 7 Down and Cheney's Tomorrow never comes?. But you know whats worse I released some films Made by someone else. Not only did the 6 of them combined sold less than 25 DVDs. No one pirated them at all. At the end of summer I'm having party with friends a few kegs and Lotta food and a wood chipper. (I'm having the resellers/retailers ship them back to Me.) Were playing toss the Superteam DVD in the Chipper if you miss you have to drink. I wanted to bag it and sell Superteam Mulch but it would kill plants I think.
.... ?

Am I the only one who's confused by this post?
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2010, 8:42am

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Simon K Jones

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anothercheney wrote:

But you know whats worse I released some films Made by someone else. Not only did the 6 of them combined sold less than 25 DVDs. No one pirated them at all.
Ouch! As they say, the one thing worse than people saying bad things about you is people saying nothing at all about you.

Arktic wrote:

Am I the only one who's confused by this post?
It does raise some interesting questions, that's for sure. smile