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  1. #101
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    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?"
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  2. #102
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post

    It's not an argument from intimidation, I just think it's easy to throw down judgement on people when you have no empathy for circumstance.

    PS: Don't use "morels" in an position relating to legality please, morels are highly subjective and thereby conflict with logical arguments.
    Any time you get personal versus staying on issue it is an empty statement and an argument from intimidation.

    Empathy for circumstance has nothing to do with what is right and wrong.

    Haha, morals are the base for law. It can not be more relevant to use morals/ethics as judgment. Sure, laws have been corrupt for a long time now, so have the attitudes of people who steal
    Ulrike
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  3. #103
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Off Topic:

    Alex, twice now you've mentioned morels... aren't those some kind of fish?
    I'm pretty sure that morels are some kind of mushroom.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  4. #104
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    I think the MAJOR question being posed here is this.

    Is theft the unearned gain of a product for the consumer, the undeserved loss of profit for the developer, or both?

    My personal definition is both.

    I'm guessing that those who believe theft is the loss of profit are those who believe piracy is fine because technically there is no loss in profit.
    Jake Arkinstall
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    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  5. #105
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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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?"
    There is no answer of course, for all the reasons are justifications at best

    It is ignorance about how things are created, what it entails in mental investment to produce something.
    Ulrike
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  6. #106
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    There is no answer of course, for all the reasons are justifications at best

    It is ignorance about how things are created, what it entails in mental investment to produce something.
    Well, that is one perspective

    The reason I continue to beg the question is simply because if we can use fairness, empathy, need, etc. to justify the unauthorized use of products like software, music, etc. then certainly we could apply that to tangible things like cars, clothing, iPhones, etc.

    Without an answer to the question, I continue to feel that it's just so easy to take electronic/intangible products that people can't resist
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  7. #107
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Well, that is one perspective

    The reason I continue to beg the question is simply because if we can use fairness, empathy, need, etc.
    That is just it. Those PC terms have been put to use as thumb screws to make people who do not want to give away what they own feel guilty. Another term is: Sanction of the Victim, forced onto them by accepting the terms the bad set for the good.
    Ulrike
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  8. #108
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    And we're back with Ayn Rand, right??
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  9. #109
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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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?"
    I would put forward that unlike physical goods, digital goods don't have any added cost for duplication and distribution (excluding bandwidth - which isn't an issue as most pirated mediums appear through networks built to distribute them). While the cost of a CD or DVD (or even a seat at a movie) has an associated production or cost directly attributed to the materials themselves, post the applications creation the product itself has no attributable physical cost in respect to duplication or copying - the tangible costs went either into the products creation or into the upkeep and maintenance of future versions... their not synonymous with the individual copy which was illegally obtained or produced (just a thought). Let's face it, there's no additional cost (apart from the "loss of sale") for the download of a pirated medium, any money made through the software is profit (offset from the initial creation costs) via license in opposition to cost for materials resulting from physical theft (such as a car). All of these comparisons with physical and digital goods is an apples and oranges argument, while they both end up with a product and work goes into the product itself, its a false dichotomy to reduce every creation into two constants when their individual value is different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    It is ignorance about how things are created, what it entails in mental investment to produce something.
    Really? I know people who pirated software who were software producers themselves (in fact, I know software producers who pirated the very development environment they produced software in - before Microsoft released an express version of .NET), that point is entirely non-sequitur and from what I can tell, totally unjustified (unless you have evidence to show that everyone who pirates something have not or ever been connected to that industry).

  10. #110
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    And we're back with Ayn Rand, right??
    Indeed. My moral compass.

    Understanding things from a philosophical angle takes the blinders away
    Ulrike
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  11. #111
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post

    Really? I know people who pirated software who were software producers themselves (in fact, I know software producers who pirated the very development environment they produced software in - before Microsoft released an express version of .NET), that point is entirely non-sequitur and from what I can tell, totally unjustified (unless you have evidence to show that everyone who pirates something have not or ever been connected to that industry).
    You are concrete bound Alex, ignore your little examples and start thinking in principles, for if you want to understand this truly you must. Otherwise you just run around in circles on this and justify things that have no justification.

    Just because people in the industry do it, just because 100 gazillion people do it does not make it right.
    Ulrike
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  12. #112
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Thought it was worth putting these points in as there seems to be some miscomprehension of digital creations... I would put forward that unlike physical goods, digital goods don't have any added cost for distribution (excluding bandwidth - which isn't an issue as most pirated mediums appear through networks built to distribute them). While the cost of a CD or DVD (or even a seat at a movie) has an associated production or cost directly attributed to the materials themselves, post the applications creation the product itself has no attributable cost in respect to duplication or copying - the tangible costs went either into the products creation or into the upkeep and maintenance of future versions... their not synonymous with the individual copy which was illegally obtained or produced (just a thought). All of these comparisons with physical and digital goods is an apples and oranges argument, while they both end up with a physical product and work goes into the product itself its a false dichotomy to reduce every creation into two constants.
    Thanks for a thoughtful response.

    Ok, I can certainly accept that digital goods, for the most part, can be duplicated without a material cost/damage to the original producer. I still don't accept that as something that legitimizes the distribution or use of such products in any way, but I understand your point.

    But what about something tangible that can be reproduced without damage to the original manufacturer? I can think of a few:

    1) The Nike shoes example. Say I open a secret factory that makes and sells perfect copies of Nike shoes, including the logo, with a street price of $4. I claim that I am selling these shoes to people that could never afford the authentic shoes at $100/pair. Is this acceptable?

    2) Same example, but with a book. I buy a book at the store that isn't out in paperback yet and reproduce it at a cut rate. Then I sell it in paperback form for $6.95 before the real publisher has even finished their hardcover sale. I argue that many people would never pay the hardcover price, and probably wouldn't not have bought the book at any price or at any time. Is this acceptable?

    3) How about tickets to a general audience concert? If a band comes to town and allows 50k into a stadium, would anyone know if I were to print up 300 tickets and sell them for 10% of the face value? The promoter and band could still sell out the concert, and they don't lose any actual money. I argue that the people who went to the show couldn't afford the authentic tickets in the first place, and it was only fair that they get to go. Is this OK?

    Ok, I think you get my point. I would agree with you that when there are no damages to the original producer of a product, it's much easier to swallow the idea of taking their content without paying. However, that doesn't make it right.

    But what about an example like the above where you don't cause a material damage to the original producer, but you do reproduce their goods. Note that the examples above would still be interesting if the products were simply given away, so it shouldn't matter if the counterfeiter actually benefits in a material way either.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  13. #113
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Indeed. My moral compass.

    Understanding things from a philosophical angle takes the blinders away
    Ayn Rand is an excellent source of ideas for considering this kind of thing. But as a moral compass, we need more than just her. I would throw the Dalai Lama into the mix and try to practice some compassion - Alex seems to be trying to engage in a thoughtful debate and that intent alone is enough for me to accept his answers.

    I wouldn't insinuate that anyone has blinders on. Frankly, I am pleased that this debate thread has been as peaceful as it is!
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  14. #114
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Ayn Rand is an excellent source of ideas for considering this kind of thing. But as a moral compass, we need more than just her. I would throw the Dalai Lama into the mix and try to practice some compassion - Alex seems to be trying to engage in a thoughtful debate and that intent alone is enough for me to accept his answers.
    Compassion is not excluded from my thinking at all That is a false notion that is widely held by people about Rand. I certainly am not against giving away something that I own, I am not against charity and helping out where it is really needed, but I am against force of any kind, that includes the force that is put upon people by theft and demand to share

    You see the difference?
    Ulrike
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  15. #115
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I certainly get your point Sagewing that other goods can be duplicated at no physical production cost to the original owner and I'm not trying to say that it in any way validates the reason for it occurring (therefore I won't answer to whether it's "right" or not), however with the reproduction examples you stated, there seems to be an issue of cost (as in people paying for non genuine materials), where as with much of the pirating that occurs online, it's usually for free and thereby not taking cash for illegal services (it's simply offering them as reproductions without restriction). Perhaps worthy of distinction as it's not causing an issue of funding criminals. And almost all counterfitting has attributed costs associated with it (with physical goods) which thereby requires an incentive for profiteering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Just because people in the industry do it, just because 100 gazillion people do it does not make it right.
    I'm not saying that it is making it right or justifying it, I was using it as an example because your statement was a straw-man argument trying to rationalise your perspective (as you implied) that pirates were for lack of a better interpretation ignorant of the effort gone into the product (which is entirely untrue).

  16. #116
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Compassion is not excluded from my thinking at all That is a false notion that is widely held by people about Rand. I certainly am not against giving away something that I own, I am not against charity and helping out where it is really needed, but I am against force of any kind, that includes the force that is put upon people by theft and demand to share

    You see the difference?
    I wasn't implying that you were lacking in compassion, and I'm familiar with Rand's work (my ex-girlfriend was a professor in philosophy, objectivism fan).
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  17. #117
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I certainly get your point Sagewing that other goods can be duplicated at no physical production cost to the original owner and I'm not trying to say that it in any way validates the reason for it occurring (therefore I won't answer to whether it's "right" or not), however with the reproduction examples you stated, there seems to be an issue of cost (as in people paying for non genuine materials), where as with much of the pirating that occurs online, it's usually for free and thereby not taking cash for illegal services (it's simply offering them as reproductions. Perhaps worthy of distinction as it's not causing an issue of funding criminals. And almost all counterfitting has attributed costs associated with it (with physical goods) which thereby requires an incentive for profiteering.
    Ok, but isn't that a little slippery? I can certainly agree that counterfeiting is different than just duplicating, and that the costs of creating fake goods brings the incentive for profit taking, sure.

    But my question remains: can you use the arguments of fairness, need, access, etc. to say that these activities are acceptable or ethical? Let's say that they counterfeit goods are given away, not sold (I mentioned that in my post for this very response). Taking away the profit completely, can you apply a Robin Hood mentality to this in a similar way that we apply it to software piracy?

    How are these two statements different?

    1) It's OK to take a copy of Photoshop if you could never afford to buy it in the first place, it's priced unfairly anyways and nobody loses.

    and

    2) It's OK to give someone a fake ticket to a general admissions concert if that person could never afford to see the show anyways, it's an overpriced show and nobody loses.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  18. #118
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Well in that case, concerts have a limited capacity which means that a paying individual may lose out due to the fake (thereby resulting in an actual loss for profits). And as stock may be an issue with general thievery that could also apply in such instances. However with digital downloads stock and numbers isn't finite.

  19. #119
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Well in that case, concerts have a limited capacity which means that a paying individual may lose out due to the fake (thereby resulting in an actual loss for profits). And as stock may be an issue with general thievery that could also apply in such instances. However with digital downloads stock and numbers isn't finite.
    Ok but note the detail in my example: the concert is general admission so the promoter/band can still sell out. They won't even know if a few extra people come in! No ticket sales lost, no money lost, they might even sell some extra beer.

    Nobody loses, right??
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  20. #120
    SitePoint Guru risoknop's Avatar
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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?"
    I think it is ok to take tangible materials under certain (extreme) circumstances.

  21. #121
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by risoknop View Post
    I think it is ok to take tangible materials under certain circumstances.
    Well, at least someone came out and said it

    If someone is desperately hungry and they steal a loaf of bread, that might be one of those circumstances.

    But what about shoes, phones, software, movies, etc?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  22. #122
    SitePoint Guru risoknop's Avatar
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    Ayn Rand is not a very good philosopher. I would rather read some reputable philosophers that are thought at universities on this subject.

  23. #123
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I'm not saying that it is making it right or justifying it, I was using it as an example because your statement was a straw-man argument trying to rationalise your perspective (as you implied) that pirates were for lack of a better interpretation ignorant of the effort gone into the product (which is entirely untrue).
    Alex, it actually was not a straw-man argument at all.

    The idea out there that is so prevalent is that taking from the fat cat producers of stuff is justified by the mere fact that they have enough, that they do not need to make more (by what standard?). How about that little guy who can barely support his life? Is he not entitled to some of the largesse? Why should the fat cats own everything and live a life full of luxury and ease?

    The producer of stuff has gone through many steps of learning and thinking and working to come up with an idea to make a product, a tangible one or an electronic one, in the future who knows what one. It might have been a team of people who came up with this idea.

    Now these people should have the right to determine if they want to give their product away or want to charge for it. The price is set by them so that they can make a profit and be rewarded for the input and at the same time to have a product that people can afford to buy. The higher class products can never be purchased by regular folks, they do not have enough money to buy those. But those people are also often (not all of course) the very people who do not understand the process of production of these goods, ignorant of it, so therefor they are more likely to assume that it is their right just to take this product and benefit from the labor by others.

    That was the thought behind my statement
    Ulrike
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  24. #124
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    The funny thing about this thread, which I fear is deteriorating rapidly, is that it seems to have increasing nuance that is leading us towards the classic political debate of ________ism vs. ________ism. Dont ya think? or is it just me?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  25. #125
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by risoknop View Post
    Ayn Rand is not a very good philosopher. I would rather read some reputable philosophers that are thought at universities on this subject.
    Can you make a more specific statement? What is the standard you applied here?
    Ulrike
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