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  1. #201
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    Wow! Crazy discussion. Let me jump in with my view.

    1. Theft is theft regardless of your personal views regarding any individual instance. Can it be forgiven or overlooked? Sure, context matters in these situations. But let us not kid ourselves, theft is a serious offense and is treated as such in virtually every country. It is just that intellectual property is not treated the same as tangible property. And foreign intellectual property not respected much at all.

    2. And for “Mister Buy Cheap on Ebay”, a significant amount of the products you can buy for cheap that are new and still in shrink wrap on ebay are stolen property. It just happened to be stolen from warehouses and truck trailers by organized criminals. That sort of theft is epidemic and ebay and craigslist provide a ready market for these thieves.

  2. #202
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    You forgot your age. This is like an AA meeting now!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post

    I do not understand how you can not be for or against piracy. How can you be both? That is moral agnosticism (another ...ism) and an abdication of the responsibility to yourself to make a firm judgment on issues like the ones that are discussed here in this thread.

    I think everyone who knowingly downloads pirated intellectual property knows that it is theft and wrong. They just might not care all that much. If you think of theft as a form of cheating, it turns out that virtually all people will cheat some of the time. People with resources will cheat a little less than people without resources. People who benefit from a good and loving up-bringing will cheat a little less than those who aren’t as lucky. But other than that in any given situation where cheating is an option a larger percentage of people will cheat than will not. The amount and degree of cheating will vary of course and cheating in one area does not predict cheating in other areas. But cheating happens wherever cheating is possible. Cheating is individually deterministic and mostly a function of the situation that the individual finds themselves in.

    I think, although I haven’t seen a definitive study to confirm this but in most cases of pirated intellectual property where the user of the content derived some tangible benefit from the material they more than make up for their initial transgression buy purchasing the original work, purchasing follow-up or new works or by becoming an advocate of the author and their work thus inducing others to make legitimate purchases. This would be consistent with the law of reciprocity that governs most human interaction. For the content that did not provide some tangible benefit to the user I think that they might congratulate themselves on not wasting their own resources in purchasing it.

  4. #204
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larsman View Post
    I think everyone who knowingly downloads pirated intellectual property knows that it is theft and wrong.
    I agree with that statement. That is the reason why so many convoluted excuses are given

    PS. Welcome to SitePoint. I hope that you will stay
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  5. #205
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    Violation yes. Ethically wrong yes. Is it also ethically wrong to borrow a game to a friend to play because he/she can't afford to buy it and just wants to play it or borrow a digital copy of a book to a friend that doesn't have the means to purchase it but the book is not carried at the local library? I don't think so but according to US law I breaking the law. I guess technically I can no longer borrow as I still maintain a copy. That is the whole problem with digital distribution and why I'm in conflict with what is legally/morally right and/or wrong on this issue - there are shades of gray.

    As far as using an alternative to Photoshop, picture this:

    Interviewer: Do you have any Photoshop experience?

    Me: No but I have 10 years experience with GIMP..How about Photoshop Elements? Does that count?

    Interviewer: Sorry, we are looking for someone with Photoshop experience.

    See what I mean? I do plan on buying a regular copy of Photoshop but can't afford it right now. If I could afford it, I would have bought it. Potential employers don't care about that though.

  6. #206
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larsman View Post
    This would be consistent with the law of reciprocity that governs most human interaction. For the content that did not provide some tangible benefit to the user I think that they might congratulate themselves on not wasting their own resources in purchasing it.
    Larsman, thanks for an interesting and thoughtful post. I agree with a lot of what you said, and your comment about the exchange of benefit and it's relationship to human behavior is an interesting way of looking at things.

    I have to say, I do agree with that notion to some degree. But, just to 'some degree' and maybe not enough to sway my position. I will take issue with one thing, and that is the above statement. I think that a lot of people would like it if the law of reciprocity governed human behavior, but I don't think it's quite true. It's a factor, it's real, but it alone does not govern our behavior. One could argue that our various governments and laws are our best effort to manifest the idea of reciprocity (and fairness, etc.) into a codified system that can meet with reality, pragmatism, factions, anomalies, outliers, and all the other things that come into play when theoretic laws meet the ground with reality.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  7. #207
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    Violation yes. Ethically wrong yes. Is it also ethically wrong to borrow a game to a friend to play because he/she can't afford to buy it and just wants to play it or borrow a digital copy of a book to a friend that doesn't have the means to purchase it but the book is not carried at the local library? I don't think so but according to US law I breaking the law. I guess technically I can no longer borrow as I still maintain a copy. That is the whole problem with digital distribution and why I'm in conflict with what is legally/morally right and/or wrong on this issue - there are shades of gray.

    As far as using an alternative to Photoshop, picture this:

    Interviewer: Do you have any Photoshop experience?

    Me: No but I have 10 years experience with GIMP..How about Photoshop Elements? Does that count?

    Interviewer: Sorry, we are looking for someone with Photoshop experience.

    See what I mean? I do plan on buying a regular copy of Photoshop but can't afford it right now. If I could afford it, I would have bought it. Potential employers don't care about that though.
    How about the same example, but with a tangible? Say you are trying to get the same job, and you are expected to dress nicely at that same firm. Before the interview, you go into your neighbor's garage where they have a pair of shoes that they've outgrown and can no longer wear. Those shoes are of no use to the owner, so you aren't really hurting him in any way. You wear the shoes and they look fine, so the interview goes well.

    Are you justified in taking the shoes?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShayneTilley View Post

    The reality is that more people pirate our books than buy them, I don't know to what ratio -- I probably don't want to know. And many many people have always claimed, the more that's pirated the more that sells, but I'm still not sure how to take that. Love to hear your input.

    I think that many people buy things like programming books and never get around to reading them before the material is dated (if at all) or the material is already dated because the edition that is sold was published in 2003 and now it is 2010 and web programming is significantly different than in 2003 and the books are not properly discounted or worse are sold under the original hype of their value back in 2003.

    I also think that many people are misguided and think that information should be given away for free. I also think that many people don't write well and plagiarize competent writer's work instead.

    So like I stated in my above post, if the person derives some value, the law of reciprocity kicks in and the author is compensated and if no or little value was derived than no value exchange takes place.

    Of course if your work is pirated to a country where the cost of the book in US dollars represents a month's wages in converted currency it is not likely you will be compensated adequately since neither the fundamental economics nor the transactional mechanisms allow for it. (Unless you have set up an appropriate pricing structure and transaction mechanism.)

    As for the 500 cease and desist orders. What is the viewership is of those sites and the number of downloads.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by larsman View Post
    Wow! Crazy discussion. Let me jump in with my view.

    1. Theft is theft regardless of your personal views regarding any individual instance. Can it be forgiven or overlooked? Sure, context matters in these situations. But let us not kid ourselves, theft is a serious offense and is treated as such in virtually every country. It is just that intellectual property is not treated the same as tangible property. And foreign intellectual property not respected much at all.
    Is it? Because I used to be able to borrow books to friends without being called a thief. Now, the medium has changed and I'm a thief.

    2. And for “Mister Buy Cheap on Ebay”, a significant amount of the products you can buy for cheap that are new and still in shrink wrap on ebay are stolen property. It just happened to be stolen from warehouses and truck trailers by organized criminals. That sort of theft is epidemic and ebay and craigslist provide a ready market for these thieves.[/QUOTE]

    I didn't buy it off of Ebay. I bought it from an online store (can't remember which) that didn't check for any qualifications. Did the store steal it? I don't know. It was a reputable online shop so I didn't give it a second thought. How many people ask walmart if they get their clothes from a sweatshop before purchasing

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    How about the same example, but with a tangible? Say you are trying to get the same job, and you are expected to dress nicely at that same firm. Before the interview, you go into your neighbor's garage where they have a pair of shoes that they've outgrown and can no longer wear. Those shoes are of no use to the owner, so you aren't really hurting him in any way. You wear the shoes and they look fine, so the interview goes well.

    Are you justified in taking the shoes?

    No, I ask to borrow them and I will return them after the interview. Photoshop takes much longer to learn and I don't think adobe is going to borrow me a copy for more than the 30 days.

  11. #211
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    No, I ask to borrow them and I will return them after the interview. Photoshop takes much longer to learn and I don't think adobe is going to borrow me a copy for more than the 30 days.
    Ok, but hopefully you get my point.

    Say you need the shoes for 90 days, the same time you'd need a copy of Photoshop and learn it well. And say your neighbor isn't home, you've never met him/her, but they left the door open and you happen to know the shoes aren't being used.

    The idea is to see if these rationales for taking intangibles translate to taking tangibles. The example is intended to ask the question, 'if you had a similar circumstance that involved a tangible, like using someones shoes, sneaking into an movie, etc.' then would the same arguments work?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Ok, but hopefully you get my point.

    Say you need the shoes for 90 days, the same time you'd need a copy of Photoshop and learn it well. And say your neighbor isn't home, you've never met him/her, but they left the door open and you happen to know the shoes aren't being used.

    The idea is to see if these rationales for taking intangibles translate to taking tangibles. The example is intended to ask the question, 'if you had a similar circumstance that involved a tangible, like using someones shoes, sneaking into an movie, etc.' then would the same arguments work?
    I agree with you and that's why I'm on the fence because I also see the point of others. I don't torrent and I try to buy everything legally so maybe I'm different than many people. Yes I bought the wrong version of Photoshop but at least I bought it. I could have easily torrented it but chose not too. Yes, it still goes against the EULA. The problem is that there are still gray areas. The book borrowing mentioned before as an example. (Now don't go on a witch hunt because I buy all my books and haven't borrowed any including Sitepoint books)...this is just an example. Other examples include borrowing a PC game from a friend or borrowing a friends burned cd because he doesnt't want the original ruined. As soon as I receive the backup copy I'm a thief even if I later give it back to him.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    I think that a lot of people would like it if the law of reciprocity governed human behavior, but I don't think it's quite true. It's a factor, it's real, but it alone does not govern our behavior. One could argue that our various governments and laws are our best effort to manifest the idea of reciprocity (and fairness, etc.) into a codified system that can meet with reality, pragmatism, factions, anomalies, outliers, and all the other things that come into play when theoretic laws meet the ground with reality.
    Sagewing,

    The law of reciprocity is not theory it is a law. It has played and continues to plays a critical role in the growth and the continued viability of human society. It is only one of many fundamental aspects of human nature. And it won't ensure that all will be fairly compensated for their intellectual property. It is not a law that is written down and has absolute values assigned to various transactions. However, it is real and it works.

    Copyright laws are valuable and good and essential to to strength and growth our society but lets not think that they are the end all to the problem.

    Governments are highly susceptible to interests that want nothing to do with fairness and the balancing of competing factions. Lawmakers themselves are mostly interested staying in office and so are available for sale to those interests that they deem are most capable of providing job security. In fact one of the biggest values for your corporate dollar outside of a first class postage stamp is a US Congressman or Senator.

    We won't even mention those countries where thugs and despots are in control of the government and their family members and cronies are in control of industry and local government.

    The Walt Disney Company's desire to prolong the copyright of Mickey Mouse has been the driving force behind the changing of the US copyright laws. And who thought of granting patents of genes and proteins of the human genome to private corporations which the government paid to map and sequence.

    The government has whole agencies who regularly steal other countries intellectual property and secrets. It (WE) regularly pay for the acquisition of intellectual property and then give it away in sweetheart deals that do nothing to benefit the stakeholders in the property or do so poorly. There are also international policy and political issues where intellectual property rights are just another chip at the poker table of getting international cooperation.

    It pays for one to be vigilant about one's intellectual property but it also pays not to be overly bitter about someone getting it for free. Especially if one is unable to determine whether or not the intellectual property was of any value to them or not. Who knows, maybe some one will improve on your intellectual property that allows you then make another breakthrough and thus provide you with even more fame and fortune. And maybe you came across the improvement in a situation that you determine does not call for you to provide any compensation to the originator of the improvement. (I am using "you" generally.)

  14. #214
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    Wow, I had no idea this would blow out to a 212 post thread! Certainly some interesting and varied opinion here, thanks so much for everyone that chimed in.
    Shayne Tilley

    My slightly left of center thoughts on
    marketing, business and life in general.

  15. #215
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    I have friends that torrent probably because it is so easy. One in particular says that why buy something if he can get it for free. He only buys things that provide him value in his eyes. For example: he torrents songs and audio books which usually he listens to a few times and then it sits on his hard drive. He says those things were merely okay. He does however buy movies once in a while. If I ask him the difference he will tell me that he really liked the move so it was worthy of his purchase. Not my thoughts but that is they way he thinks.

    Pirates will never be stopped so maybe trying to offer something of extra incentive or value if you purchase the legal version would convert these pirates into buyers but this has been said before.

    Also DRM only punishes the legit buyers. The pirates still get their copy. I have another friend who purchased a single player game that requires an online connection every time the game is launched. He wants to be able to play that game when he is disconnected from the internet which he usually is. He can't return the game even if it hasn't been opened because of the piracy issue. He therefore found a hack online and applied it so that he can play offline and the game does not try to connect to the DRM servers. In other words he broke the law to play his legit game when he wanted to play it. In other words DRM doesn't work.

    I know this was a little off topic but I just wanted to respond to the original post.

  16. #216
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    gtech,

    I am sure that borrowing a book from a friend or lending one to a friend falls under fair use.

    And let us be clear that it is not my intention to label anyone here a thief for any "alledged" instances of questionable knowledge getting.

  17. #217
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    Reading this thread has been fascinating, like watching a car wreck in slow motion.

    It's painful for me to realize that people actually believe it's okay to grab and use the work created by another without any respect for the time, thought, energy, discipline and hard work that person put into it.

    I'm 60 year old, self-employed since I was 35. I'm a web developer in Denver Colorado, formerly a graphic print artist. I have purchased PhotoShop since version 2. A couple of times I could not afford an upgrade and had to limp along on an older version until I could earn the money. By then it had jumped to a higher level and I ended up buying that version instead.

    *SOMEHOW* Adobe has to keep developing new upgrades. Those of us who choose to spend our hard earned money for things we value end up paying vastly inflated prices precisely because millions of freeloaders are stealing it.

    If every person who uses PhotoShop actually paid his fair share for the software, each version would probably cost about the same as a music DVD. But instead, I pay hundreds for each new upgrade. This hurts me, whether you who pirate want to acknowledge it or not.

    And it hurts Adobe because they lose the ability to pay the high wages needed to keep their original developers. So their best and brightest quit to pursue more lucrative jobs, which are becoming harder and harder to find. Wonder why?

    So stop pretending that "no one gets hurt." When you pirate, you are bringing the standards down for everybody... even if you don't see the results immediately. You haven't gotten away with anything.

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Hmm, Alex, you are a victim of social think. What the majority thinks has little to do with what is right or wrong. Just look at all the beliefs around the world. Are they all right or are they all wrong? Do you give every belief an equal value?
    On the issue of copyright you are WRONG. Copyrights are granted by the people and can thus be taken away.

    I do not think that elected politicians are representing the public's will on the issue of copyrights. Again, what if the people were allowed to vote on whether or not to abolish copyrights. What would the outcome be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    haha. I do not claim divinity, I am just not a collectivist
    I'm not a collectivist, either. In fact, I am a free-market supporting Conservative.

    I am, however, able to recognize the fact that big money donated to politicians to get the copyright laws extended in the United States to ensure a constant stream of future revenue. In other words, the laws were passed to ensure that big corporate entertainment interests continue to get money for nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    I would be willing to bet that the majority of people in the US would say that software/music/movie piracy is wrong, and that the laws that reflect that are proper.

    Of course I have no data for that, but I think it's true.
    I think you are wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    There are lots of articles like that. I think it's probably pretty easy to demonstrate that music sales have plummeted, even when you account for things like Rhapsody and iTunes. Without getting into the correlation of piracy, etc. it's hard to really make a statement about it, but certainly sales are down - this is now an old story.
    Sales can be down for many reasons such as the economy or the fact that the music industry is producing garbage these days.

    Back in the 1960s or 1970s the biggest musical groups put out new albums every year or two. There was always new music. Nowadays, these same big groups put out new albums once or twice a decade. Metallica released two albums of new material this decade as did AC/DC. They used to put out new albums every year or two. That alone will reduce album sales. Instead of buying one new Metallica CD every year or two, fans can only buy one new one every five years or more. That fact alone will depress sales.

    From your CNN article:

    Now just 44% of U.S. Internet users and 64% of Americans who buy digital music think that that music is worth paying for, according to Forrester. The volume of unauthorized downloads continues to represent about 90% of the market, according to online download tracker BigChampagne Media Measurement.
    The will of the people is for there to be no copyright protections for music. Thus, the will of the people should rule and copyrights should be abolished for music (and for movies).

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    True but you don't really hear about the general public in any country asking to stamp down on piracy itself, usually when the public are behind a law and don't consider it acceptable (like murder) there's a public outcry when such violations occur on a grand scale, from all the reading I've done in such matters I've yet to find any kind of public outcry to strike down on music piracy (with any significant population approval).
    Excellent point.

  19. #219
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Those of us who choose to spend our hard earned money for things we value end up paying vastly inflated prices precisely because millions of freeloaders are stealing it.
    If we're being fair here I doubt that's the reasons why Adobe have vastly inflated prices, Adobe have always used piracy as an excuse for their justification for the US list price but when it comes to the UK price they have used a different argument in the same context (which is currency conversion). There have been regular calculations done through the various incarnations of Adobe's products and taking the most extreme example (Creative Suite Master Edition) if you add tax, even shipping and import duties and delivery onto the price (post conversion to GBP) their price hiking policy extends as high as a 200% price increase (it's around $3,000 USD difference), now every time people have asked Adobe why the price increase they have stated that their price reflects the conversion from one currency to another... so apparently if that is indeed correct £1 GBP = $200 USD. Considering the basis that Adobe apparently have the mathematical skill of an infant with severe learning difficulties, I would firmly state that any speech Adobe gives about their pricing policy should treated like the garbage it is.

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenaissanceNOW View Post
    It's painful for me to realize that people actually believe it's okay to grab and use the work created by another without any respect for the time, thought, energy, discipline and hard work that person put into it.
    Nobody is constitutionally guaranteed the right to a perpetual stream of income from intellectual property created decades ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by RenaissanceNOW View Post
    *SOMEHOW* Adobe has to keep developing new upgrades. Those of us who choose to spend our hard earned money for things we value end up paying vastly inflated prices precisely because millions of freeloaders are stealing it.

    If every person who uses PhotoShop actually paid his fair share for the software, each version would probably cost about the same as a music DVD. But instead, I pay hundreds for each new upgrade. This hurts me, whether you who pirate want to acknowledge it or not.
    No. Software has large profit margins. Let's compare a few companies. Let's look at their 5-year average profit margins. (I assume the data is current.)

    5-Year Average Profit Margins

    Microsoft
    Gross profit margin: 84.1%
    Pre-tax profit margin: 38.8%
    After tax (net) profit margin: 28.0%

    Adobe
    Gross profit margin: 96.8%
    Pre-tax profit margin: 29.3%
    After tax (net) profit margin: 21.7%

    Wal-Mart
    Gross profit margin: 25.5%
    Pre-tax profit margin: 5.4%
    After tax (net) profit margin: 3.5%

    ExxonMobil (Oil Company)
    Gross profit margin: 34.7%
    Pre-tax profit margin: 17.9%
    After tax profit (net) margin: 10.2%

    UnitedHealth (Health Insurance Company)
    Gross profit margin: Not listed
    Pre-tax profit margin: 8.2%
    After tax profit margin: 5.2%

    Software companies are more profitable than retail, health insurance, and oil companies. Software companies are among the most profitable companies in terms of profit margins.

    It is the ridiculously long patent and copyright laws which enable them to maintain those huge profit margins. When Wal-Mart sells a t-shirt, they make a profit on the sale and no more. When Adobe creates a software product, they maintain the patents, copyrights and thus an income stream on it for decades.

    So no, if pirates actually paid for Photoshop (which they would never have paid money for in the first place), Adobe would not lower the price. The additional revenue would continue to pad their already huge profit margins.

    Quote Originally Posted by RenaissanceNOW View Post
    And it hurts Adobe because they lose the ability to pay the high wages needed to keep their original developers. So their best and brightest quit to pursue more lucrative jobs, which are becoming harder and harder to find. Wonder why?
    Let me ask you this: how many companies choose Photoshop as their software because it is what people know how to use? Of the people who know how to use Photoshop, how many learned on a student or pirated version?

    Quote Originally Posted by RenaissanceNOW View Post
    So stop pretending that "no one gets hurt." When you pirate, you are bringing the standards down for everybody... even if you don't see the results immediately. You haven't gotten away with anything.
    Yes yes. We should extend patents to 1000 years and copyrights for eternity so the most lucrative industry can become even more lucrative.

    By the way, Google's 5-year after-tax profit margin is 24.7%.

  21. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Can anyone give an answer to my question, "why do we have all these reasons that it can be OK to take intangible materials, but it's not OK to take tangible materials under similar circumstances of need, empathy, etc?"
    Yes, I think I can.

    Clay Shirky spoke about this at sxsw 2010.

    In brief, we humans feel very differently about:
    1. sharing tangible goods
    2. sharing services
    3. sharing intangibles (eg. information) at no cost to ourselves

    Quoting from the notes of Shirky's talk:
    http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5394

    Sharing physical things - goods - gives us a negative emotional jolt. We don't want to do it, by default. We imagine that giving this thing away means that we no longer have it, and that hurts. Sharing services is a little easier, but still carries the negative idea that you might be giving up time. But the easiest thing for us to do is share information. That spawns almost no bad feelings at all.

    And in my notes of Shirky's talk, I wrote: "we're biased to *like* sharing information, esp when the sharing is at no cost to ourselves."

    Sharky's not talking law here, he's talking hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution. Similar behaviours are observed in monkeys.

    The book to read on why humans co-operate:
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Cooperate-.../dp/0262013592

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Ok, but hopefully you get my point.

    Say you need the shoes for 90 days, the same time you'd need a copy of Photoshop and learn it well. And say your neighbor isn't home, you've never met him/her, but they left the door open and you happen to know the shoes aren't being used.

    The idea is to see if these rationales for taking intangibles translate to taking tangibles. The example is intended to ask the question, 'if you had a similar circumstance that involved a tangible, like using someones shoes, sneaking into an movie, etc.' then would the same arguments work?
    If someone took my shoes for 90 days, shoes that I couldn't possibly need, and used them to do some good, I'd be happy and interested to hear the tale

    The same arguments work the opposite way. What if a neighbors house caught fire, and they used your hose to put it out? Theft is theft?

    Tangible, intangible, it makes no difference to this discussion. What damage is done, and what benefit is received are the only questions that are worth acknowledging. I see plenty of benefits in this thread, and no damage being done aside from some perceived damage on behalf of the guy who didn't even know his shoes were missing.

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    This has been an interesting debate. However, there's a lot of difference between a forum debate like this which is, by its very nature, slow and clunky, and a face to face discussion in which neither side can get away with evasions, errors or dodgy arguments without instantly being challenged and forced to respond. There's nowhere to hide in a face to face discussion.

    If the typical "I want it for free" pirate downloaders or their apologists were to meet the product owners/creators face to face, one on one, I doubt if they would be so confident and outspoken as some of the posters on this thread. The fancy words, ludicrous evasions, pseudo-legal mumbo jumbo and mangled political theory of the piracy apologists would fall a bit flat in the cold light of day, staring into the owner/creator's eyes. It's not a meeting I think the typical pirate downloader would be prepared to attend.

    Imagine the scene: a musician, or it could be a film producer, or a game designer, sitting at a table. A typical pirate downloader on the other side. The musican says, "I worked hard to write and record that song. It took eight years of playing in small clubs before one of my songs made the charts. For every song that is successful I write and work on thirty or more that never make it to release. That song is my product. I sell it to make an income. It is my song, I own the legal rights to it and I have the paperwork to prove it. If no one buys it I make no money. If people buy it I make some money. The song is for sale for $2. You've heard it on the radio, and you've had the opportunity to legally preview an excerpt online, so you know that you like the song. However, I believe you downloaded a pirate copy of my song, for which you paid nothing. Do you think that's fair to me? Can you now give me my $2 please?"

    How does the typical pirate downloader reply? Can a typical pirate downloader justify, face to face, to a musician why he should have the song for free while everyone else pays $2. I doubt it. That would be a rather depressing argument to witness. Not so clever now, face to face, eye to eye...

    Well, that meeting's not going to happen, but I think it's interesting to consider that situation, and some of the differences between theory and the real world.

    In the end, piracy comes down to the greed and selfishness of the "I want it for free" downloaders, and their knowledge that they are unlikely to be identified or brought to account, thanks to their (in practical terms) anonymity. I don't believe that a significant proportion of the pirates would be able to - or even attempt to - make a logical and principled defence of their behaviour. It's just an opportunistic action for most - something for nothing, with no thought or care for the wider implications of their behaviour.

    Selfish and greedy, that sums it up. "Me, me, me" and to hell with everyone else.

    Why anyone would want to defend pirates remains a complete mystery to me, despite reading all the fine words on this thread.


    Paul

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    How does the typical pirate downloader reply? Can a typical pirate downloader justify, face to face, to a musician why he should have the song for free while everyone else pays $2. I doubt it. That would be a rather depressing argument to witness. Not so clever now, face to face, eye to eye...
    Yes, I can. Take away my stolen music collection, I don't care, that's why I wouldn't have bought most of it anyway. I'll just turn on the radio. So my argument would be: nice songs, I hear them on the radio 10 times a day, but I can't listen to them on random play from my pc? Perhaps I'll buy a concert ticket and t-shirt when you come to "mysmalltown". You could also turn this argument around: Hi "author" I read all your books, but I got them from the library/borrowed them from a friend, please don't hate me.

    Stop distracting from the real point here: does this sharing help or hurt. IMHO It is massively beneficial to society as a whole.

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    I wasn't going to participate in this thread as i've seen it before so many times, but i can't sit and watch this anymore without making a comment.

    some of the things i read here is so amazing that i almost can't believe it.

    Everyone wants something for free, and everyone has all these excuses for justifying their claims. It's almost fynny how there are people walking around that truely believs that, just because downloading is so easy, and the risks of being cought is so small - it's a perfectly ok thing to do.

    And then all these excuses, - they are so lame that it almost makes me physically ill.

    oohh, it's too expensive for me, and they earn too much money from it, it's also impossible for me to buy it where i live and the people should deside what, how and how much money they can make from it, and i really deserve it for free because i'm having a hard time etc etc...

    Doesn't all these excuses give you a bitter taste in your mouth?

    Is there no morality, honor, shame, conscience or distinguish between right and wrong anymore?

    just because it's easily accessible, doesn't make it right. And just because you feel you're worth it, doesn't justify it - and repeating a lie many times, doesn't make it the truth.

    if you don't think you're worth the investment of a software, ebook or whatever - you are probably right, you're not worth it. But that doesn't make it ok to just take it.
    Go find some other job, for if you don't have the skills or believes in yourself to do some investment based on your needs in the arena you work in - then you are in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing.

    people always tries to justify why they do these things with all kind of excuses to try to feel better about it, but this is just a psychological factor - a mask. take the mask away and they have no place to hide.

    The thief is not sad because of the crime, but he is sad about going to jail.

    professionals must face reality and use professional tools - if they can afford it or not, they have to make economical room for it to survive, so if you think you can not afford to buy these tools - then you may not be as professional as you like to believe.
    Amateurs and hobby artists tend to use tools directed to this group, and there is no doubt that here is where you belong - no matter what high thoughts you must have about yourself.

    I will never be able to trust someone with such an attitude, that it's okay to make use of illegal products - if you just get some benefits from it. (This is one of the biggest BS i have ever heard)
    Since this is an attitude that goes deeper than this, and it probably doesn't stop at electronic products and services...

    I have this friend who has a small company. To start this company he had to invest more than $10 millions of money that he didn't have. Now he's doing ok with a yearly revenue at about $6 million.

    If he didn't feel he was worth the investment, he wouldn't do it. If he didn't work hard to make it happend, he wouldn't be there. Nothing comes for free.

    In the nineties I coded for almost 3 years with just notepad, and a free c and asm compiler, and I never felt that I deserved more than I was really worth.

    I don't care about what people download, but they should stop pretending that it is right.

    Well, that's just my opinions.
    nothing was written with the intention of offending anyone, and i will not participate more in the thread.
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar



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