Everyone, it's been nice talking to you, especially seeing the viewpoints of people involved in a very different creative field than me. I don't think I have anything useful left to say.
Back on point, I find the following wrinkle with your argument that the amount of free copies floating around doesn't affect the author/creator... For sake of argument let's say an individual spends their lifetime cultivating knowledge on a financially lucrative subject and they also happen to be a great teacher so they decide to focus their energies on writing their life's work, a series of books that revolutionize the subject. Let's say that anyone who buys a set of these books will have an immediate advantage in the field because it does such a good job of explaining the subject. The books are a success and the author can make a living off of his life's works
...Except that a number of people pirate the books and flood the internet with copies of the book so that anyone can get a copy. As a matter of fact, there are so many copies that you can't help but find them when you're searching for information on the subject. Now instead of going to the authors distributor, people are just taking a "free" copy off the web without a second thought for the author because it's so easy to just download a copy.
What if the proceeds of the books were going to support a hospital for sick children or an after school program for poor kids... What about the children
Yes, I'm just messing around but that is a plausible scenario and I did some quick searches on Google... "jQuery book download" returned Sitepoint's book over at Rapidshare and "jQuery novice to ninja" found a site called Filetube which I'm guessing isn't one of the authorized distributors.
Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
Principal / Internet Development
Did we learn anything in this thread? I learned that they are more people than I realized who were not only willing to pirate things, but were also willing to construct a whole mentality around it. Themes included some publishers 'being rich enough' or 'having made enough money' and the biggest one, "there is no damage to the publisher so everything is ok'.
I still struggle with my same old question. If these arguments hold water, then shouldn't they be equally applicable for tangibles? There are examples of tangibles that can have unauthorized use without damage to the owner - why do these arguments not apply to those?
If the idea that a lack of damages to the owner changes the equation, then why is that scenario is exclusive to digital goods?
Of course, I think everyone has settled into a position and without some focus it will be hard to get any further. I did learn a bit about the mentality of those who support piracy, and those who claim not to support it directly but take no issue with it.
19 pages is probably enough now. Thanks all for an interesting discussion
Mike Swiffin - Community Team Leader
Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....
I started out with nothing... and still got most of it left!