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Pikachu

"Why I Pirate" - An Open Letter to Content Creators (Very, very, very long read inside)

491 posts in this topic

Since you’re bringing up that “War on Drugs” analogy again: I’m still bemused by the inconsistent reasoning of most of the users here when it comes to how one should treat this matter. Ominous even used the good ol’ “Harder punishments will deter crime” bullshit :lol:

Everyone will have differing opinions on this matter. That should be expected as its not like we're a hive mind or anything like that.

Damn, legend, I expected more from you. Suppose that copyright infringements were legal (or rather, not illegal), do you really believe that there would be no way for people to profit from their creations and innovations anymore? Really? When was the last time you looked at the times before these laws were created? That argument is so overused and nonsensical especially when it comes to art and other creative work. Besides, it’s not money first and foremost that drives people to create things.

Yes, because artists can just live off the air we breathe and the love of their creations we give. This ain't the 24th century bud, artists need dem' green backs in order to working for the love of their craft.

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Everyone will have differing opinions on this matter. That should be expected as its not like we're a hive mind or anything like that.

I think you misunderstand. What this was trying to convey is that I’m surprised how the same people can believe that the “War on Drugs” is pointless for several reasons and yet argue that publishers should continue to try to prevent filesharing at their customers’ expense although the very same reasons would apply here.

Yes, because artists can just live off the air we breathe and the love of their creations we give. This ain't the 24th century bud, artists need dem' green backs in order to working for the love of their craft.

I am not arguing with that, bro. I’m arguing with the claim that they wouldn’t be able to profit anymore if copyright infringement was not illegal.

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I think you misunderstand. What this was trying to convey is that I’m surprised how the same people can believe that the “War on Drugs” is pointless for several reasons and yet argue that publishers should continue to try to prevent filesharing at their customers’ expense although the very same reasons would apply here.

My bad. Haven't had my coffee yet.

I am not arguing with that, bro. I’m arguing with the claim that they wouldn’t be able to profit anymore if copyright infringement was not illegal.

The digital market place would have to be reworked from the ground up. Copyright law also needs revamped but not abolished.

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The digital market place would have to be reworked from the ground up. Copyright law also needs revamped but not abolished.

I do not necessarily disagree with that :)

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Ominous even used the good ol’ “Harder punishments will deter crime” bullshit :lol:

Piracy is an anonymous crime with almost no chance of getting caught.

If there were actual legitimate risks associated with file "sharing" then the number of casual pirates would drop substantially.

You like to steal music? No Internet for you this month!

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Yeah but that’s not what you said. You argued in favor of harsher punishments, not better detection. Of course crime drops if the chance of getting caught is higher. If we were spied on 24/7 then almost no one would commit (planned) crimes anymore. But how would harsher punishments (e.g. Internet ban) have that same effect? And as for the detection, how could this be afforded? Would it even pay off financially?

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Piracy is an anonymous crime with almost no chance of getting caught.

If there were actual legitimate risks associated with file "sharing" then the number of casual pirates would drop substantially.

You like to steal music? No Internet for you this month!

Substantially? More like pretty much completely. The only exception would be the few that make $ off this stuff (bootlegs at flea markets, etc)...generally, file sharers are not the same people that shoplift at stores. These are otherwise 'normal' folk that would shit their pants if they were staring at jail time, or any guaranteed legal action for that matter.

This thread is a great example of how some of those otherwise 'normal' people deal with this, when they feel they have impunity. Take that away...

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Yeah but that’s not what you said. You argued in favor of harsher punishments, not better detection. Of course crime drops if the chance of getting caught is higher. If we were spied on 24/7 then almost no one would commit (planned) crimes anymore. But how would harsher punishments (e.g. Internet ban) have that same effect? And as for the detection, how could this be afforded? Would it even pay off financially?

I don't even know the preferred source of stealing these days.

Torrents seem pretty easy to figure out, right? Is that the most popular way?

Content creators see their shit on BT, contact ISPs with info on IPs that were connecting to the seeds or what ever the fuck they are called and then the ISP verifies the information and lays out the ban hammer.

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Just think for a second, Ominous. Try to guess why this isn’t being done already in a scale that would have said effect.

On a side note, since your views are based on the notion that all or most filesharers are cheap fucks who will never pay for content no matter how cheap what exactly would be the benefit of stopping them from illegally downloading content?

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Yeah, with super easy ways to get DRM-free music like Napster, Kazaa and Limewire, how could something like iTunes ever take o-.... ohhhhhhh you mean it's possible to be successful even when piracy exists?!

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Indeed. Their arguments get more ridiculous by the minute. As if punishment is the only deterrent from acting immorally :silly:

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Damn, legend, I expected more from you. Suppose that copyright infringements were legal (or rather, not illegal), do you really believe that there would be no way for people to profit from their creations and innovations anymore? Really? When was the last time you looked at the times before these laws were created? That argument is so overused and nonsensical especially when it comes to art and other creative work. Besides, it’s not money first and foremost that drives people to create things.

Copyright and its scope of laws isn't even really relevant to the point. If people just take what they want rather than paying for it, then there is going to be much less motivation for people to make content for others. Companies aren't going to crank out game and after game that costs millions of dollars to produce if everyone just took them and did not pay for them. I don't see how this is remotely controversial.

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Indeed. Their arguments get more ridiculous by the minute. As if punishment is the only deterrent from acting immorally :silly:

It's not an argument. If you got in trouble for file sharing in a similar fashion to say, shoplifting or any related physical theft- the vast majority that do it now, would stop. And that's really the only thing that will make it stop. People just cannot be trusted to police themselves...this whole scenario is proof.

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I think you have mixed up the conversations here. The post you quoted belongs to the “Copyright laws are the only thing that prevents people from downloading everything for free” aspect of the discussion and not the “Harsher punishments / better detection would lead to a decrease in filesharing” one.

Copyright and its scope of laws isn't even really relevant to the point. If people just take what they want rather than paying for it, then there is going to be much less motivation for people to make content for others. Companies aren't going to crank out game and after game that costs millions of dollars to produce if everyone just took them and did not pay for them. I don't see how this is remotely controversial.

I’m not denying that, legend. I was merely contesting your absurd exaggeration that “innovation and motivation will halt” which is simply preposterous in its extremeness. I’m not used to seeing you making such hyperbolic claims which is the only reason why I replied to it in the first place.

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I don't even know the preferred source of stealing these days.

Torrents seem pretty easy to figure out, right? Is that the most popular way?

Content creators see their shit on BT, contact ISPs with info on IPs that were connecting to the seeds or what ever the fuck they are called and then the ISP verifies the information and lays out the ban hammer.

No...That's not feasible. Who would pay for all of that? We already know the ISPs can't afford to do exactly what you're asking them to do. It takes too many man hours and they have no interest in paying for and maintaining an easy to search database of all of this stuff. How do we know? Because ISPs are pissing and moaning the fact that they somtimes get similar requests from random lawyers suing over this stuff. Would you rather have content creators pay? The people who would then pass along the cost of business to paying customers? That's a fantastic idea. How about getting the government to pay for this stuff? Our tax dollars at work to punish people over hundred dollar crimes.

What happens then? Oh, right...At that point you'll see an even less traceable version of file sharing over something similar to TOR. At that point we're back to square one and all of this money has been wasted for no good reason.

It's pointless to go after online piracy. It doesn't accomplish anything and, in the end, will only hurt paying customers.

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I’m not denying that, legend. I was merely contesting your absurd exaggeration that “innovation and motivation will halt” which is simply preposterous in its extremeness. I’m not used to seeing you making such hyperbolic claims which is the only reason why I replied to it in the first place.

I think you're pulling my words out of their context. The gaming industry and many other entertainment industries would be be dead, for all intents and purposes, if everyone just took what they wanted.

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“Dead” or merely smaller and not as bloated? Be honest with yourself.

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“Dead” or merely smaller and not as bloated? Be honest with yourself.

If there is anyone that someone should listen to

on these boards, it is Legend.

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In most cases I’d agree. Here one shouldn’t, it seems :/

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It's not an argument. If you got in trouble for file sharing in a similar fashion to say, shoplifting or any related physical theft- the vast majority that do it now, would stop. And that's really the only thing that will make it stop. People just cannot be trusted to police themselves...this whole scenario is proof.

The problem is, it's not a similar crime. When you steal something, you are causing financial harm to someone. They had to pay to produce/buy the goods that you stole. When you pirate something, the worst you are doing is causing someone to miss an opportunity to make money. A copy costs nothing to produce.

That's not an argument that people shouldn't be angry that their stuff is getting ripped off (especially if they depend on that income), but you really can't compare it to theft. It's not the same thing, not by a long shot. And to assume that piracy has a net financial loss to content creators is also absurd. It's like saying that someone who owns a copy of a game shouldn't have a friend over to play it, because that friend is stealing the content that someone worked hard to create. If that friend then turns around and decides to purchase the game that they had no interest in purchasing on their own, it's a net win. In the world of the ESA/RIAA/MPAA, what that person did would be considered copyright infringement, because the friend did not pay for the content before (s)he consumed it initially.

As other people have mentioned, there's at least a fair amount of piracy that's due to companies not realizing there's a market there (or being unwilling to take advantage of it). Companies like itunes and steam and hulu and netflix have recognized that there are plenty of people out there that are willing to pay if the distribution and pricing is right, even though pirating would be free.

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In order for your ideology to work Demut, you' pretty much have to become a Star Trek like society where currency is abolished and people create not only for the love of the craft, but to better themselves and humanity. While currency remains, your ideal world where business can exist and thrive in a world where free content & idea sharing is rampant happens to be nothing more than a fools dream. Humanity isn't ready for such a radical change.

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Have you read my original post? Such a time did exist and guess what, creative people were still able to make a living off their works. While the utopia that you described would be even nicer we don’t even have to go that far. There are other business models (such as ones based on donations) that work as well.

Besides, as I (and others here) have said before: It’s not the illegality of filesharing that keeps most people from doing it. Or would you start leeching till your Internet connection smoldered as soon as filesharing became legal?

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“Dead” or merely smaller and not as bloated? Be honest with yourself.

How far are we taking the hypothetical of everyone just taking what they want? If we extend it fully, then it would be effectively non-existant because there would be almost no one with the means to create computers since everyone just steals from each other. And those who did, would somehow have to get people to make games for their homemade computer.

Or are we limiting it to just software piracy? If everyone just downloaded what they wanted, then the gaming industry would be a pale shadow of what it is now. Almost none of the games we enjoy today would be created. What you'd be left with is the set of games that constitute freeware. Of course, even those would be massively limited in their technical abilities because the gaming industry which fueled graphics card development and construction would have never been. There would be lots of percolation effects like that such as to the software everyone uses to make games. The state of the industry would not be worth mentioning in comparison to what it is now.

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Have you read my original post? Such a time did exist and guess what, creative people were still able to make a living off their works. While the utopia that you described would be even nicer we don’t even have to go that far. There are other business models (such as ones based on donations) that work as well.

Besides, as I (and others here) have said before: It’s not the illegality of filesharing that keeps most people from doing it. Or would you start leeching till your Internet connection smoldered as soon as filesharing became legal?

Do you have any idea how much more technology, medicine, and the arts evolved over the past 100 years compared to any other time in history?

You can make the argument that innovation wouldn't "die" all you want, but that's pretty weak compared to what we have right now and what we've had over te past century.

Good institutions foster innovation, creativity, and growth. And this has actually been shown empirically, including the fact that (reasonable) copyright laws stimulate innovation.

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Do you have any idea how much more technology, medicine, and the arts evolved over the past 100 years compared to any other time in history?

... and you are saying that this is the doing of copyright laws :| ? Really?

Good institutions foster innovation, creativity, and growth. And this has actually been shown empirically, including the fact that (reasonable) copyright laws stimulate innovation.

Shown empirically, huh? Citation needed :nottalking:

How far are we taking the hypothetical of everyone just taking what they want? If we extend it fully, then it would be effectively non-existant because there would be almost no one with the means to create computers since everyone just steals from each other. And those who did, would somehow have to get people to make games for their homemade computer.

Or are we limiting it to just software piracy? If everyone just downloaded what they wanted, then the gaming industry would be a pale shadow of what it is now. Almost none of the games we enjoy today would be created. What you'd be left with is the set of games that constitute freeware. Of course, even those would be massively limited in their technical abilities because the gaming industry which fueled graphics card development and construction would have never been. There would be lots of percolation effects like that such as to the software everyone uses to make games. The state of the industry would not be worth mentioning in comparison to what it is now.

Well, now we’re back at the beginning. First of all, I disagree with your notion that removing copyright laws would lead to everyone ripping off everyone else’s work. Believe it or not, but there are people who feel grateful for what content producers give them and thus they would continue to support them like they’re doing it right now. You can already see this frequently happening nowadays.

Would the decriminilization of filesharing increase the number of people who do so? I doubt it. Only minimally if at all. The likelihood of getting caught is already virtually nonexistent so why would this next step change anything in a dramatic fashion? Just because it wouldn’t be illegal that does not mean that people would suddenly forget that it is immoral.

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... and you are saying that this is the doing of copyright laws :| ? Really?

Shown empirically, huh? Citation needed :nottalking:

Why, of course:

1)

The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation

Author(s): Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, James A. Robinson

Source: The American Economic Review, Vol. 91, No. 5 (Dec., 2001), pp. 1369-140

2)

Unbundling Institutions

Author(s): Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson

Source: Journal of Political Economy,

113(5), October 2005: pp. 949-995.

Abstract:

This paper evaluates the importance of property rights institutions', which protect citizens against expropriation by the government and powerful elites, and contracting institutions', which enable private contracts between citizens. We exploit exogenous variation in both types of institutions driven by colonial history, and document strong first-stage relationships between property rights institutions and the determinants of European colonization (settler mortality and population density before colonization), and between contracting institutions and the identity of the colonizing power. Using this instrumental variables strategy, we find that property rights institutions have a first-order effect on long-run economic growth, investment, and financial development. Contracting institutions appear to matter only for the form of financial intermediation. A possible interpretation for this pattern is that individuals often find ways of altering the terms of their formal and informal contracts to avoid the adverse effects of contracting institutions but are unable to do so against the risk of expropriation.

All the data is available and ready to use on Acemoglu's website, http://economics.mit...aculty/acemoglu

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Well, now we’re back at the beginning. First of all, I disagree with your notion that removing copyright laws would lead to everyone ripping off everyone else’s work. Believe it or not, but there are people who feel grateful for what content producers give them and thus they would continue to support them like they’re doing it right now. You can already see this frequently happening nowadays.

Would the decriminilization of filesharing increase the number of people who do so? I doubt it. Only minimally if at all. The likelihood of getting caught is already virtually nonexistent so why would this next step change anything in a dramatic fashion? Just because it wouldn’t be illegal that does not mean that people would suddenly forget that it is immoral.

No it wouldn't lead to everyone doing it and that was never my point. My point is the behavior of people just taking what they want is not conducive to a functioning society and therefore our government should reflect that. The way the government deters that and how they spend their resources on it is an implementation issue, but does not change the fact that pirating should be shunned and dealt with in appropriate ways when detected.

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Errr ... I haven’t read it yet but that abstract makes it sound like this is a paper about actual property rights and not intellectual property which is a whole different matter.

No it wouldn't lead to everyone doing it and that was never my point. My point is the behavior of people just taking what they want is not conducive to a functioning society and therefore our government should reflect that. The way the government deters that and how they spend their resources on it is an implementation issue, but does not change the fact that pirating should be shunned and dealt with in appropriate ways when detected.

Then I misunderstood your initial sentence, it seems. My bad.

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Errr ... I haven’t read it yet but that abstract makes it sound like this is a paper about actual property rights and not intellectual property which is a whole different matter.

Then I misunderstood your initial sentence, it seems. My bad.

Except it's not a whole different matter, physical property rights is what is used because it is what was avaiable back then. The point of the paper is grander than just property rights, it's about the quality of institutions in general and what drives growth and innovation as incentives. And as far as incentives for innovation go, the "but it's not really stealing since nothing physical was taken" distinction is immaterial.

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