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  Reply # 573719 26-Jan-2012 17:00 Send private message

nzlemming:
BraaiGuy: 
Same can be said about a movie which is days away from a premier. The product is already complete. Its possible to copy it, distribute it, and charge money for it. That has a huge effect on the Premier (The original product), which some here are claiming is not possible to steal.


Do you have evidence for this "huge effect"?  And I mean concrete numbers, not "Temuera Morrison said so, so it must be true".

The movie industry and the recording industry have long used these arguments to claim stronger and  more restrictive enforcement over copyright material, but they never provide any verifiable evidence.  They also promote the terms "intellectual property" and "stealing" in order to provoke exactly these types of arguments.   Edit: Both industries have had record years for income regularly over the last decade, despite all the "piracy" that's "killing their industries".

It seems to me that, if "intellectual property" was a valid concept, we would have an Intellectual Property Act governing it in New Zealand. We don't. We have copyright legislation, we have patent legislation and we have trademark legislation. These three areas of law all deal with monopoly rights over certain, very different expressions of ideas, not with property.

The conflation of them into "intellectual property" started in the 1960's with the rise of neo-liberal economic thought in which everything is for sale. These are the same economists that brought us "trickle down" and asset sales - policies that have seen the world go to the widest economic gap between rich and poor ever. If they can convert these rights into property, then they can push for perpetual ownership, which means Mickey Mouse (for example) will never enter the public domain. For a view on what that might mean, have a look at Spider Robinson's story "Melancholy Elephants"  - it's okay, you're allowed; he licensed it under Creative Commons. And he saw this coming in 1983.


So if you spent three years writing a computer program, spent many thousands of dollars on development, marketing and distribution and put it on the market for say $90 with a modest payback period you would be absolutely happy if I copied it , and distributed it free to anyone that wanted it.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

71 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 573763 26-Jan-2012 18:26 Send private message

KiwiNZ: 

So if you spent three years writing a computer program, spent many thousands of dollars on development, marketing and distribution and put it on the market for say $90 with a modest payback period you would be absolutely happy if I copied it , and distributed it free to anyone that wanted it.


Straw man. I'm not a programmer, and if I was I'd be doing open source so your hypothetical really doesn't apply.

But I note that for all the availability of various commercial programs, Microsoft is not going broke.


Edit: But you haven't really addressed the points I made previously.

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  Reply # 573771 26-Jan-2012 18:48 Send private message

nzlemming:
KiwiNZ: 

So if you spent three years writing a computer program, spent many thousands of dollars on development, marketing and distribution and put it on the market for say $90 with a modest payback period you would be absolutely happy if I copied it , and distributed it free to anyone that wanted it.


Straw man. I'm not a programmer, and if I was I'd be doing open source so your hypothetical really doesn't apply.

But I note that for all the availability of various commercial programs, Microsoft is not going broke.


Edit: But you haven't really addressed the points I made previously.


The Crimes Act doesn't really apply either but you brought that up in an earlier thread. No one is facing charges in NZ (other than fireamrs charges) so as has been previously discussed NZ is meeting it's international agreements and obligations in agreeing to arrest and hear an extradition application.

I also guess if Microsoft isn't going broke that makes it Ok to steal. Yes I call it stealing because that is what it is. You can dress it up all you like but at the end of the day it's still stealing.

The producers of this content have intellectual copy right on such material. If you then go and take that material without permission it's copyright theft. Theft, stealing, same thing different word.

Unfornatunately open source doesn't cut it for a lot of software. Ever tried purchasing a new digital camera and then getting a linux driver for it, try waiting 6 months.

Trying to argue that you haven't actually stolen anything because you haven't physically deprived the owner of something in this type of case is a bit of BS if you ask me and I think most people with a bit of common sense would also see it that way.

78 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 573777 26-Jan-2012 18:59 Send private message

KiwiNZ:
"No matter how you and I try to debate the semantics it is illegal...illegal....illegal."
"Hint: its illegal to file share protected property."

So what. It's not immoral. It's an unjust law.

There are plenty of examples, for instance it was illegal to educate girls under Taliban rule. Doesn't mean people should accept it.

What's immoral is corporations using their money to buy government laws. (Well, it's immoral of the politicians to accept their support.)

I'm not anti-America. I'm pro-business. I believe in capitalism and working hard. The failure in capitalism is when companies are given the rights of people but can't die like we all eventually do, and when corporations alter the laws of the land to make them less free.

Copying an MP3 isn't hard work. I can do it quite easily. It's ridiculous that someone has a right to be the exclusive copier for 90 years. Why should some government get to control what I do on my computer?

Imagine if it had always been illegal (as well as difficult) to grow vegetables in your garden, and the rights to various vegetables was bought off the government. One day, new technology comes along making it easy for everyone to grow produce. The vege companies complain: "we lost $10 million to people growing their own food, we want the government to inspect everyone's backyard".

People brainwashed by the industry say "it's illegal to grow veges in your garden. You're stealing money that they could have made. They had the rights to it, and you don't. It's theft pure and simple. Read the law. If everyone broke the law, the vege companies would go bankrupt!"

It's the same argument. Just because something's been the case for a few hundred years, doesn't mean it's right. We need to stop giving people exclusive rights to be paid for completely unproductive work (copying a file).

gzt

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  Reply # 573782 26-Jan-2012 19:04 Send private message

Dotcom's security guy has been charged with 'unlawful possession of a pistol' which according to the Herald is a semi-automatic shotgun (?)

The security guy claims both firearms (shotguns) were purchased in Auckland with a licence:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10781329

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  Reply # 573784 26-Jan-2012 19:06 Send private message

tristanb: KiwiNZ:
"No matter how you and I try to debate the semantics it is illegal...illegal....illegal."
"Hint: its illegal to file share protected property."

So what. It's not immoral. It's an unjust law.

There are plenty of examples, for instance it was illegal to educate girls under Taliban rule. Doesn't mean people should accept it.


You know thIs thread is losing all semblance of normality when someone starts comparing copyright law to draconian and evil laws put in place by religious fanatics.

BDFL
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  Reply # 573786 26-Jan-2012 19:14 Send private message

nzlemming: I'm not a programmer, and if I was I'd be doing open source so your hypothetical really doesn't apply.


A bit off topic, but... "Open Source" doesn't necessarily mean "Free". And F in "FOSS" means free as in Freedom, not free as in "gratis".

 




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Master Geek


  Reply # 573795 26-Jan-2012 19:25 Send private message

marmel: 

The Crimes Act doesn't really apply either but you brought that up in an earlier thread. No one is facing charges in NZ (other than fireamrs charges) so as has been previously discussed NZ is meeting it's international agreements and obligations in agreeing to arrest and hear an extradition application.


The Crimes Act applies if you're talking about theft. Copyright infringement is therefore not theft, as it is not covered by the Crimes Act, but the Copyright Act, even in cases where criminal infringement charges may be brought, such as copying for profit. I brought up the Crimes Act because you brought up theft, not because I felt it had anything to do the MegaUpload case. Way to twist logic, buddy.

I also guess if Microsoft isn't going broke that makes it Ok to steal. Yes I call it stealing because that is what it is. You can dress it up all you like but at the end of the day it's still stealing.


My point about Microsoft was to illustrate that the claimed "huge effect" of "piracy" might not be so huge after all. I never claimed that copyright infringement was legal, nor tried to dress anything up. My point is that it is not theft, by definition. I acknowledge that it is illegal, but stealing, it ain't. Many things are illegal and still are not stealing.

Copyright is a legal construct. If you're going to argue about whether it's good or bad, you need to know how it works and what it is and isn't. Otherwise it's like commentating a rugby match without knowing the players' names, the positions or the rules.

The producers of this content have intellectual copy right on such material. If you then go and take that material without permission it's copyright theft. Theft, stealing, same thing different word.


Sorry, no, it's copyright infringement. Because you don't take anything; you copy it. Get over it.

Unfornatunately open source doesn't cut it for a lot of software. Ever tried purchasing a new digital camera and then getting a linux driver for it, try waiting 6 months.


That can be an issue whatever you use, as anyone who was an early adopter of Vista will be well aware. Personally, I do my homework and would buy a camera that meets my needs, including connectivity to the systems I use. By the way, "open source" doesn't just mean Linux. There are large numbers of Windows and Mac projects as well.

Trying to argue that you haven't actually stolen anything because you haven't physically deprived the owner of something in this type of case is a bit of BS if you ask me and I think most people with a bit of common sense would also see it that way.


The thing about 'common sense' is, that it's not very common, and it doesn't make much sense. Theft does require physically depriving the owner of something - sorry, that's the definition, whether you think it's BS or not. And I didn't ask you, incidentally.

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  Reply # 573798 26-Jan-2012 19:29 Send private message

freitasm:
nzlemming: I'm not a programmer, and if I was I'd be doing open source so your hypothetical really doesn't apply.


A bit off topic, but... "Open Source" doesn't necessarily mean "Free". And F in "FOSS" means free as in Freedom, not free as in "gratis".

 


I....don't think I said any of those things, Mauricio. And "free" can mean "gratis" as well. ;-) 

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  Reply # 573799 26-Jan-2012 19:30 Send private message

Yes, "free" can mean "gratis" but in the context of Free and Open Source Software it means "freedom" (or so I was told by the man himself, Stallman).





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  Reply # 573820 26-Jan-2012 19:56 Send private message

The thing about the law is the definitions don't always relate to reality that readily.

Take the definition of a road for instance under the land transport act. I'm pretty sure most people would not be aware just how wide the legal definition of a road can be, including beaches, farm tracks, car parks etc etc.

Now if you went and asked most people if they think downloading prated movies without paying for them if it was stealing I reckon a fairly good majority would agree.

This is what is so bizarre about this thread. From the first few pages I have been referring to obtaining copyrighted material from sites such as MegaUpload as stealing because that is what I believe it to be.

Some people seem to be going out of there way to justify not only Dotcom but movie/software priacy in general. I mean is that what people really think?

I'm not going to keep flogging a dead horse here, I'm just going to keep paying for my online content and hope that those that choose to do otherwise are dealt with accordingly. If that means the 3 strikes and your'e out letters then so be it.

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  Reply # 573826 26-Jan-2012 20:02 Send private message

nzlemming:
KiwiNZ: 

So if you spent three years writing a computer program, spent many thousands of dollars on development, marketing and distribution and put it on the market for say $90 with a modest payback period you would be absolutely happy if I copied it , and distributed it free to anyone that wanted it.


Straw man. I'm not a programmer, and if I was I'd be doing open source so your hypothetical really doesn't apply.

But I note that for all the availability of various commercial programs, Microsoft is not going broke.


Edit: But you haven't really addressed the points I made previously.


My point exactly YOU would chose to release the program under GPL ( Open source) which is fine, but by sharing  a non open product the file sharers are taking away the choice made by the developer.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 573837 26-Jan-2012 20:34 Send private message

marmel: The thing about the law is the definitions don't always relate to reality that readily. 

Take the definition of a road for instance under the land transport act. I'm pretty sure most people would not be aware just how wide the legal definition of a road can be, including beaches, farm tracks, car parks etc etc. 

Now if you went and asked most people if they think downloading prated movies without paying for them if it was stealing I reckon a fairly good majority would agree. 

This is what is so bizarre about this thread. From the first few pages I have been referring to obtaining copyrighted material from sites such as MegaUpload as stealing because that is what I believe it to be. 

Some people seem to be going out of there way to justify not only Dotcom but movie/software priacy in general. I mean is that what people really think? 


There is a broad spectrum of belief in this discussion, from people who believe that intellectual property doesn't/shouldn't exist for many different reasons (libertarians to anti-capitalists), to other people who believe that if the law is there it should be followed.

In order to have a discussion, a common language must be agreed upon.  Much the same that "theory" means something different when talking to a scientist than it does when talking to anyone else, theft has very specific meanings in discussions about copyright.  That's why we talk about copyright infringement, and not theft of intellectual property.

Back to the spectrum.  I have found it informative to know where in the spectrum I am.  For example, here's a spectrum of copyright violations.  Where to draw the line?

1) Are you willing to tape a movie off of FreeView and watch it multiple times (MySky/Tivo)?
2) Are you willing to lend that tape to a friend?
3) Are you willing to let them take a copy of that tape?
4) Are you willing to copy the tape to your PC and to transfer it to your iPad to watch on the train?
5) Are you willing to edit out the advertisements using iMovie?
6) Are you willing to edit out the "naughty bits"?
7) Are you willing to send your friend a copy of the digital file using a USB key?
8) Are you willing to send it to one friend using MegaUpload?
9) Are you willing to do that for all of your friends at work using MegaUpload or Bittorrent?
10) Are you willing to do that for everyone?
11) Are you willing to slap your own advertisements around the download link?
12) Are you willing to insert your own advertisements into the file?
13) Are you willing to burn the movie to a DVD and sell it?

Some people might even be unwilling to do "1".  Some anarcho-capitalists I know would say that Intellectual Property doesn't exist, freedom of thought is absolute and there should be no way you can stop me from expressing a long string of numbers....

To be clear, I have ripped every single one of my BluRay and DVD's to my server, converted them to H.264 and edited out all of the advertisements.  I watch these videos in violation of NZ Copyright Law every day of my life.

Finally, can you ever _steal_ intellectual property?  Sure.  You just need to make sure you steel the original and all of the backups. :)




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  Reply # 573840 26-Jan-2012 20:37 Send private message

You guys think it's crazy now, we're going to be doing this all over again in about 10 years with 3D printers and real objects. Imagine going over to your friends house, loving their cutlery, borrowing a place setting and then duplicating them. Is _that_ a crime?




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  Reply # 573844 26-Jan-2012 20:46 Send private message

KiwiNZ:
nzlemming:
KiwiNZ: 

So if you spent three years writing a computer program, spent many thousands of dollars on development, marketing and distribution and put it on the market for say $90 with a modest payback period you would be absolutely happy if I copied it , and distributed it free to anyone that wanted it.


Straw man. I'm not a programmer, and if I was I'd be doing open source so your hypothetical really doesn't apply.

But I note that for all the availability of various commercial programs, Microsoft is not going broke.


Edit: But you haven't really addressed the points I made previously.


My point exactly YOU would chose to release the program under GPL ( Open source) which is fine, but by sharing  a non open product the file sharers are taking away the choice made by the developer.


The funny thing is that the GPL relies on copyright to ensure that the license is adhered to.  Without copyright, the GPL couldn't exist.  Same for any other software license other than public domain.

 




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