Piracy

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Norsefire, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    i would agree that "engaging in theft to 'stick it to the man'" is a poor rationalization, but the issue here is the nature of the "theft." it's a lot more complicated when what is being "stolen" is intellectual property.

    with the other sort of piracy--mass producing and marketing replicas of the original--there is a clear analogy with the example you cite: one manufactures and markets virtually identical clothing to the labeled product--but with the piracy being discussed here--making duplicates of recorded music for personal use--there is no clear analogy.

    given your example, consider how the fashion industry works: a high end designer makes a one-of-a-kind garment, which is sold for thousands of dollars to a celebrity who wears this article to a major public event, where it is to be seen by the masses. of course, "ordinary" folk cannot spend several thousand dollars on a single garment, and in the months to follow the design is copied (though the "copies" are far from identical) by other designers for mass production and sale at a vastly more affordable price. is this "theft"?

    hardly a perfect analogy, but this is at least somewhat closer to the piracy being discussed here than the blatant theft of an actual product. still, the several thousand dollar designer garment is far out of reach for the average consumer; whereas the twelve dollar compact disc is not. would the pirate have purchased the cd were it not available for free? would the pirate have purchased the cd were it less expensive? the article Anti-Flag cites above suggests that the pirate would purchase the music if it were less expensive, but this is easy to claim and far more difficult to definitively establish.

    i'll concede that piracy is a sort of "theft"--and obviously, it is illegal (though not always, but we are discussing copyrighted material here)--but i am objecting to two contentions specifically: the gravity of the "offense," and whom--if anyone--is being wronged.

    as to the first, no one has persuasively established that this sort of piracy is of the same order of offense as the theft of personal property: it has not been shown that any entity is actually being deprived of anything. one can speculate all one likes, but one cannot prove that in the absence of pirated copies the rightful "owner" would be any more wealthy.

    and as to the second, the contention that the creators of the product are being wronged is far from the reality. to claim that one is speaking in defense of the musicians, the engineers, etc., is both naive and disingenuous--or perhaps either/or: i honestly can not figure out if Norsefire is profoundly misinformed, or if he is knowingly making a sort of fallacious emotional appeal.

    of course that would be theft, but piracy is hardly the same thing: when you download my music for your own personal use, what am i actually being deprived of? a potential twelve dollars? well, when i have that twelve dollars in my pocket and you steal it from me, i shall object; but when i do not notice that anything is missing, but rather note an increased attendance to my shows, i will not object.

    i've performed throughout all of north america and europe, but i have never performed in japan, australia, or new zealand--yet my albums seem to sell in those places. how are people in these places familiar with me? some promotional material makes its way into these places--periodicals, freeform radio, etc.--and consumers are far more tech savvy these days and shop and browse globally; but i'm also well aware that much of the sales are a result of exposure through "illegal" downloading.
     
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  3. John99 Banned Banned

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    Parmalee, you just keep added more extenuating circumstances. Some circumstances you feel it is ok just because you can sell some tickets to a show. what if an artist is not capable of performing? They should just work for years on their music and their musicianship and remain in poverty? or does somone pay 99 cents to compensate them for their hard work? Is 99 cents too much?
     
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  5. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    "extenuating circumstances"? "stipulations"? what the hell are you talking about? i'm offering examples, can you distinguish?

    and did i say that all musicians perform? no. there are studio musicians, soundtrack composers, engineers, etc. etc. etc. regardless, have you--or ms. chicks or mr. diddy--established that what is downloaded for free would automatically translate into sales were it not available for free? have you established that such does not effectively translate into promotion? no, well then what is your point?

    and what is this "99 cents" all about?
     
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  7. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    I'm not interested in lecturing you, I'm interested in throwing you in prison.

    They haven't consented, however. And it is their product.

    Then you can pay for all of your music, and so can they. It isn't enough to do good here and there, and then do bad; you have to always do good to be a good person, at least, where ever you can help it.

    You pay for alot of music? Great. So pay for all your music, like you're damn supposed to.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    39,421
    Rav:

    Interesting that you write a long post defending your illegal actions when you "just don't care", don't you think?

    Everybody else is immoral, so why should you be moral? Yeah, I get it.

    Other people are worse than me, so my illegal behaviour is really ok. I get it.

    The moral fortitude I display in other areas more than compensates for my lack of moral fortitude in this area, so my illegal behaviour is really ok. I get it.
     
  9. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    whose product? you'll note that i said the producers of the product, and whom are you referring to?

    consider the example in post #144. it is only peripherally related to piracy, but very much related to matters of intellectual property:

    now, what would the "good" person do in this instance? legally, one is obliged to pay the harry fox agency; but robert wyatt was the composer of the piece--would the "good" person pay eight hundred bucks to the harry fox agency or robert wyatt?

    fortunately for us all, not everyone shares your narrow criterion for what is "good"; and neither does everyone feel obliged to strict adherence to the law in any and every circumstance, with nary a consideration of every factor involved.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  10. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    i noticed the terms "mafia" and "racketeering" in the tags for this thread. just out of curiosity, what entity or entities are these terms intended to evoke? the pirates or the RIAA?

    the use of the term "piracy" to denote copyright infringement goes back a few centuries; in fact, the term in this sense predates copyright itself. (piracy as "copyright" infringement: ca. 1603; copyright: 1710)

    yet contrast this usage with other, and earlier, senses of piracy (as distinguished from privateering): "maritime piracy ... consists of any criminal acts of violence, detention, or depredation committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft that is directed on the high seas against another ship, aircraft, or against persons or property on board a ship or aircraft." (source) interesting. how is one to distinguish the actions of the RIAA detailed above--specifically, "collect(ing) money through compulsory royalties" from internet radio stations, regardless of whether such have broadcast material registered or affiliated with the RIAA--from pillaging?
     
  11. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

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    Why is Mafia a tag? Teens are the major ones pirating stuff. DVD's especially.
     
  12. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    note this excerpt provided by gustav:
    clearly, the RIAA was the intended referent--correct?
     
  13. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    3,270
    Norsefire:

    please respond to post #226, as in post #44 you posted--along with countless other bits of misinformation you've posted in this thread--this bit of misinformation:

    also, please show me your source which establishes that capital punishment is an effective deterrent to piracy, or any crime for that matter.

    i take it that being informed and the capacity for critical thinking are not attributes of the "good person"?
     
  14. John99 Banned Banned

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    22,046
    Enough with the ad homs. were having a simple debate.

    You dont just make up you own circumstances to win a debate.

    and they all get a percentage. you think it all goes top some mythical bad guy with a curly mustache. i see plenty of independent artists on sites trying to make a living selling their music. from the poorest parts of the world.
     
  15. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    2,422
    Does your moral fortitude on the issue of piracy compensate for your own lack of moral fortitude in all other areas of your life? Or are you a perfect human being? It wasn't a justification, it was a comparison. You're laying it pretty damned thick on a person who engages in what is a small amount of copyright infringment if you compare it to what I have legitimately purchased. If everyone in the world was like me, there wouldn't need to be a war on piracy because the enemy would actually be a friend who made you a shitload of money.

    The thing is, James, that your perspective on this issue is skewed. You see in black and white. You are unable or unwilling to make a distinction between selfish people who think they should get everything for free, and people who, while they might engage in some civil disobedience from time to time by infringing on copyright, are also people that the record, film and software industries wish everyone was more like.

    Because you seem to be trying to force me, and people like me, into the category of criminal, it's only natural for me to wonder about your own life. About what small things you do that you shouldn't do. How you either directly or indirectly do wrong by other people. How you might directly or indirectly support something terrible that is happening in some part of the world. My morality, my worth, is about the overall contribution I make to the world, and the issues that I stand firm on and how critical they are. Even in this area I am not above reproach, but I would hope that if I was to ever be judged, I would be judged on my overall contribution, and whether or not the world is better with me or without me, even if my influence has only been very small. It is reasonable for anyone to hope for the same.

    If people had decided to discuss the issue of copyright infringement here, without the extreme condemnation which is more appropriate when discussing issues that are much more damaging to the wellbeing of others, then I wouldn't be here trying to throw it back in anyone's face. But some of you people just can't hold back. Your own character is necessarily called into question when you dive so completely into an intense attack on mine, especially when you're assuming the moral high ground. I don't think that you have it. But the fact that I don't think you have it is not a justification. I am responding to your attitude more than I am responding to your position. If this discussion had been more intellectual in nature, I probably wouldn't have chimed in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    39,421
    Rav:

    I don't have a major argument with what you've written.

    The problem is that some of the other people in this thread seem to be examples of those people you mentioned who think that for some reason they should get everything for free.

    At least you recognise that some of your actions are illegal. Some people here seem to think that they are special and should be able to engage in illegal activities just because they are who they are. They make the mistake that so many make of thinking the world owes them a living just for existing.
     
  17. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    2,422
    It's nice of you to be reasonable James. And I understand that you aren't conceding any ground on the issues in play, which I'm fine with. It seems clear that my response is really directed at those who aren't, reasonable.

    Some of the copyright infringement that I engage in is due to laziness rather than contempt. Once I jumped on the Steam bandwagon I found myself spending money on games alarmingly quickly. Easy to acquire, prices are decent (and sometimes exceptionally good value) and you don't have to deal with all of the usual annoying copyright protection mechanisms. It feels like a good faith relationship between the publisher and the customer, and it feels like someone has finally paid attention to what we're after and designed something that works for us. It's just the kind of thing that's been missing for a long time, and I'll support it.
     
  18. Gustav Banned Banned

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  19. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    6,231
    Who specifically are you referring to? Because although I've seen a wide variety of explanations for why people pirate in this thread, I don't recall seeing anyone claiming that they should "get everything for free." Or is that just your way of dismissing anyone who has an honest objection to any aspect of the current copyright laws?

    It seems to me that there are many problems with current copyright laws, and many situations in which piracy is actually beneficial to society in general. Since IP rights are artificial rights that only exist for the benefit of society, it seems moral (although still illegal, or course) to violate IP laws in those situations.
     
  20. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    I don't understand. Where does piracy began? For example I bought my brother a CD for his birthday. He owns the CD but he has more than one copy of it. He copied it onto his Xbox 360 and he has a copy of it on his Ipod. All songs are from the same CD, that I only paid for once is this pirating? There is only one CD but it has been copied for personal use about 6 times or so.
     
  21. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    No, because under the law you have a right to create digital backups of any purchased digital media, such as games, and music and such.

    It is piracy when you share it, because you are duplicating it and providing it to others, and so they aren't paying for it.
     
  22. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    3,485
    So the fact that I and my father also have copies is illegal? Is that piracy? Or is that some sort of shade of gray?
     
  23. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    It's technically piracy; though if there is any 'shade of gray', this is it, because you have purchased a copy that your family is enjoying. It is still one copy, however, and so it's quite different than distributing it to millions of people illegally without the consent or approval of the record companies.

    Put yourself in their shoes: if you wrote a book or made a song or whatever, and you discovered that a lot of people were pirating it and you were therefore losing a ton of money, wouldn't you be angry? And what if people not only pirated it but claimed it as their own? And plagiarized your work?

    Intellectual property rights are important.
     

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