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  1. #176
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I'll restate that I'm not pro or against piracy however when you make comments like this, they aren't anything other than your own opinion based on your own perceived norms of acceptable and unacceptable trends (and don't really have any place in a debate).
    Is it really that hard to even take a cautious stand on the issue? This seems like such a restrained position that you are tacitly approving of piracy. Are you for or against anything? Why the apprehension to take a stand? Do you not care? There is nothing wrong with voicing in opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by risoknop View Post
    How do you define a right to property? Hundreds of years ago the land area of current USA "belonged" to natives. Then, when Europeans came, they claimed their land and killed most native inhabitants. That's how they got their property. After that, they brought slaves from Africa and these slaves built roads, infrastructure, worked on plantations. They created a lot of wealth yet they did not own any of it. All the wealth created by slaves belonged to white men. Was all this property acquired "morally" (whatever you consider morality to be)?
    What, exactly are you trying to say? That property rights are so ambiguous that they can't be defined?

    The reason that US now owns their land is that they simply took it from the natives, as in many countries in the past have and some are doing now. The concept of ownership wasn't as well defined back then, but if you define it as 'whoever is there first' then you could argue that we essentially stole it from the natives. Certainly the treatment of those natives was immoral by current standards, in my opinion. That doesn't seem like a tricky analysis but it leaves a lot of questions about retribution, etc.

    But if I MAKE a sandwich using ingredients that I grew in my garden without taking anything from anyone else, do I own that sandwich? Sure, I think so. And although we can get into esoteric arguments about what ownership really means, I'm not sure it applies here.

    Is there really a question about who 'owns' a song that I wrote, or a movie that I made, or a software program that I created? Is appropriation of land even remotely comparable to software piracy in the modern world?

    I think it's a tangent that doesn't serve the discussion about whether piracy of electronic goods is acceptable, ethical, legal, etc.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  2. #177
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Honestly, I can see things from both angles and there's not really one argument IMO that outweighs the other. They both have their justification and their own supporting statements and I really can't see any way to have an opinion which doesn't conflict with what I see as some reasoned argument from both sides. While I'm not a pirate myself and I agree that we need laws, I certainly can see that intellectual property law has some extreme fundamental issues at the core root level which IMO undermine much of the justification for outright following them "because it's legislation". I just find it really hard to come off the fence on this issue because I can't see it as anything more than a bunch of muddy grey and little which can honestly qualify as black and white if that makes any sense.

  3. #178
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Sounds like you'll do well if you are even interrogated by Congress
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  4. #179
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I'll restate that I'm not pro or against piracy however when you make comments like this, they aren't anything other than your own opinion based on your own perceived norms of acceptable and unacceptable trends (and don't really have any place in a debate). Claiming that "in this case, I'm right and everyone else is wrong" is nothing more than a logical fallacy (argument from authority) and doesn't constitute a justified perspective (in respect to the issue itself).
    Giving an argument from authority there, are you not Alex?

    ---

    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.

    Do you argue ignoring you principles? Do you even have any? Why should I ignore mine? Just because they are not the norm in your opinion?

    ---

    In the end only moral judgments can lead to laws that are just, and in the corrupt morality that is the standard in so many countries today it is no wonder people ignore the fact that stealing from your fellow man is wrong. Period. You can dance around the issue as much as you wish, but in the end you have to come to terms with your own failure to see the wrong.
    Ulrike
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  5. #180
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    "You can't be neutral on a moving train", Howard Zinn
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  6. #181
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    "You can't be neutral on a moving train", Howard Zinn
    Haha, yes, but the train does not move without an engine that is finely tuned
    Ulrike
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  7. #182
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    How is what I said an argument from authority? Not only am I *not* giving support to either side of the debate perspectively I've never at any point stated that one defining group of people (including myself) is more credible to make a judgement on the matter. I suggest you learn the meaning of fallacies before you use them.

    It's quite easy how I can be neither for or against piracy... rather than make rash judgements about the situation I prefer to follow the scientific approach of consider all of the evidence until one side of the argument shows more evidence or credibility to support the basis of it's claims. And as things have gone I am no closer to having a firm decision as to whether it qualifies as right or wrong in context of the variables being considered (based on my own ideals of what I consider a fair point) as there's points on each side I agree with equally. I'm not abdicating the responsibility of having a judgement, I just cannot see any logic on forming a judgement because certain people decide that something is right or wrong (this is inclusive of law which let's face it is corrupt even at the best of times and in regards to intellectual property have passed certain acts which are downright damaging to the infrastructure of free trade). Just because I choose to stand back and examine the evidence before making a objective decision (rather than a potentially bad subjective one) doesn't make it any less or more worthy than yours.

  8. #183
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I'm still amazed that this thread hasn't gotten itself locked yet.

    I would love to do a study to learn what the correlation is between age and the acceptance of piracy as a reasonably legit and ethical thing to do. I bet that there is a strong correlation (inverse) there, but of course it's hard to say.

    Anyone care to continue the crash and burn of this thread by chiming in with their age, occupation, and an up or down vote on whether piracy is acceptable/ethical? Alex, you should abstain on this one

    Or is this just too much? Really we should put our political lean in, too, but that won't go far!

    I'm 41, software developer / RE investor, and firmly against piracy on legal and ethical grounds.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  9. #184
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    He he he, I am an artist and creator of things that are copyrighted. I have lived 64 years. I am also a firmly committed Capitalist with a strong ethical base to reject any kind of theft, no matter what people might call it.
    Ulrike
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  10. #185
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I'll add myself in anyway (even though I'm undecided): I'm 26, web designer / content writer / software developer, and I'm of the IRC generation

  11. #186
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    So this is turning into pirates anonymous now?

    I'm 25, developer / online entrepreneur, and against any kind of piracy.

    This thread has surprised me. I always thought that it goes without saying that piracy is wrong and anyone who thinks it isn't is simply unaware about the issue. But I'm amazed to see people arguing with passion that it's right.

    I had my share of downloading pirated stuff and I always knew it was wrong. I never tried to justify myself, I just put up with it and promised myself I would pay for it as soon as I can. Unfortunatelly it always was not an issue of money but availablility where I live. It still is and for example, it's nearly impossible to buy music legally. I wish I could by mp3 on Amazon or iTunes and I'd spend thousands, but it's unavailable. That's a serious issue and a big piracy igniter.

    But even if I give in to the dark side and download a song I love because I just can't get it otherwise, I shouldn't justify it. It's bad, and I should burn in hell for it. But you bet I'd buy it as soon as I find where to do it legally to try and redeem myself.

    Another thing, did anyone of you pirates have asked an author to give the product to you for free? I know that in most cases it's impossible, yet there are many cases of small businesses who actually would.

    For example, when I was selling my software, I was asked if I would give a copy away and I did.

    Also, if you're unsure if it's right or wrong, how about asking the author? Want to pirate an SP book? The first post should answer the question if it's right or wrong.
    Saul

  12. #187
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    Sorry for my intrusion into this thread. I follow sitepoint regularly but haven't had the confidence to offer responses to most threads as there are many more people more qualified than I so I lurk in the shadows and just try to learn. So at the risk of chastised........................

    I have been reading this thread intently because I am also on the fence in regards to this situation and if you bring morals into the situation, thing become grayer. Let me submit the following examples:

    A lady at work picks up a woman's magazine. She decides she likes a recipe that is included so she makes a copy and maybe gives a copy to a couple of friends...she has just broken the law

    A volunteer soccer coach in the US buys a book with the rules of soccer to teach his 1st grade soccer team. He copies the rules that would apply to their age group and distributes the copies to the children/parents. I think every school in America is guilty of this/

    These are very common issues. These people may not even know that technically they have potentially broken the law. Also, If I purchase a physical copy of a book, I can borrow that book to a friend. If I do the same thing with a digital copy I have just broken the law.

    The reason this is all gray for me is that the copyright laws have not adapted to digital media. One day I borrowed a book to a friend and was considered nice. The next day I'm a criminal......What is right or wrong?

    Don't get me wrong, I buy all my books, games, movies, etc. and think many practices are illegal but my wife shouldn't get thrown in jail or heavily fined because she is trying to teach soccer to a her first grade class and I should be able to borrow a book to a friend.

    I am a 36 year old PC tech at a medical facility.

  13. #188
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    A lady at work picks up a woman's magazine. She decides she likes a recipe that is included so she makes a copy and maybe gives a copy to a couple of friends...she has just broken the law
    It depends on the way that the work was copyright protected, but I bet that is not legal. And in my view, it shouldn't be - that information was for sale, not for free.

    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    A volunteer soccer coach in the US buys a book with the rules of soccer to teach his 1st grade soccer team. He copies the rules that would apply to their age group and distributes the copies to the children/parents. I think every school in America is guilty of this/
    It also depends on how the work was copyright protected. I know that there are common exclusions for educational purposes, and that these exclusions tend to be quite generous. My wife is a professor of sociology at a public university and they are quite serious about enforcing copyright law (which, btw, serves to contradict the idea that piracy is 'the norm'). She can legally copy and distribute tons of things in the context of teaching a legitimate class, and I know that in some cases that includes coaching and sports if it's affiliated with a legit school (not sure of the details, legally). She can show films without specific authorization, music, etc.

    So, maybe the woman who took the recipe stole it, while the coach used it legally. Any copyright lawyers?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  14. #189
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    One issue I have with intellectual property is that technically you're not legally (for example) allowed to play music where people outside your household (fair use) would be able to hear it without paying royalties (same for DVD's). And trading books or lending someone your book also constitutes a violation (at least in the UK).

    PS: I dunno about you guys but this thread is certainly along the way for being the thread of the year if we carry on like we're doing now. 8 pages of debate on piracy (a highly controversial subject) and apart from a few friendly pokes at each others principles it's actually remained pretty grounded and too the point.

  15. #190
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post

    PS: I dunno about you guys but this thread is certainly along the way for being the thread of the year if we carry on like we're doing now. 8 pages of debate on piracy (a highly controversial subject) and apart from a few friendly pokes at each others principles it's actually remained pretty grounded and too the point.
    Yep, pretty civilized all in all. It is a tough issue to tackle, emotions flare because it cuts so deeply into the core values each of us carries
    Ulrike
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  16. #191
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Yep, pretty civilized all in all. It is a tough issue to tackle, emotions flare because it cuts so deeply into the core values each of us carries
    Oh screw it, let's just start insulting each other!
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  17. #192
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    What about fair use? I buy a dvd that doesn't offer a digital copy for my medium (psp). If I try to convert the dvd which I purchased to that medium I believe I am also a criminal even though I paid for the original. What about a backup copy of that dvd. I purchase the dvd and make a copy of it because I love the movie and don't want it to get destroyed. Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't fair use let me do that? According the terms that come with the dvd any reproduction is punishable by law. So now protecting my purchase is illegal?

    That's the problem with the current laws...everyone is a criminal even if there is no malicious intent. Even if I'm making a copy for myself.

  18. #193
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Oh screw it, let's just start insulting each other!
    Yea, how about calling each other pin heads (I hope that you get the multi layered meaning ha)
    Ulrike
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  19. #194
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Is that true? Very ambiguous language on http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html, also some interesting copy on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripping#Legality.

    But, this kind of thing isn't really the thrust of this thread. Using a copy of something that you own a copy of is more of a personal convenience, even though the legality isn't clear (to me, at least).

    But when we are talking about piracy in this context, I think we really mean the traditional act of getting a copy of a film, music, or software package that you have no license to use whatsoever.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  20. #195
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    What about fair use?
    http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
    Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself. It does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

    The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.

    When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered fair nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.
    Ulrike
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  21. #196
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    Sorry. I wasn't trying to move from the original focus of this thread. There is a problem with digital media though. Before the internet took over our lives I could borrow a book, cd, or a game to or from a friend. Now with everything going digital it becomes illegal, however, many people don't know its illegal they just are trying to help a friend.

    I also heard on the radio a few months ago that the RIAA is lobbying to get a law passed that would require all radio stations to pay royalties for every song that is played This is crazy.

  22. #197
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Ok, fair enough. But what is your position on the type of piracy that we're talking about here? And your age and occupation, too!!!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  23. #198
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    I also heard on the radio a few months ago that the RIAA is lobbying to get a law passed that would require all radio stations to pay royalties for every song that is played This is crazy.
    See, things like that only fuel the fire. This would backfire and bite them in the butt. They have the right, given to them by the authors, to charge whatever they want, but the users (in this case radio stations) have the right to choose not to use the product. Considering radio stations is their source for free advertising, they (the radios) may as well charge the authors for playing their songs.
    Saul

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    36 year old PC tech.

    As far as this topic goes, I don't know if there is one absolute answer. I thought I was against the copying and redistribution of content that was not paid for but now I'm not so sure. I want the creators, publishers, etc. to get paid for their work. I buy my books, music, games etc. so I'm against piracy right? I'm also a gamer so lets say a game I want is no longer available. The game is no longer being sold by anyone. I would purchase it if available but its not so I have to download it. (I've never actually done this even though I have come close). One thing I have done along time ago was to buy a multiplayer PC game that i wanted to play with my kids. I felt that if I bought it I should be able to put the game on both PCs because the game would never leave the house..this is illegal. In addition, I want to be a web designer. I know that every job out there requires photoshop experience. Photoshop is too expensive but I couldn't bring myself to copy it so I bought the educational copy. While this is illegal (although not in the same way), I can see why many would copy it just to have a fighting chance.

    Now I'm for pirating....or am I?....I just don't think its always black and white. Now I don't know what i think

  25. #200
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtech View Post
    36 year old PC tech.

    As far as this topic goes, I don't know if there is one absolute answer. I thought I was against the copying and redistribution of content that was not paid for but now I'm not so sure. I want the creators, publishers, etc. to get paid for their work. I buy my books, music, games etc. so I'm against piracy right? I'm also a gamer so lets say a game I want is no longer available. The game is no longer being sold by anyone. I would purchase it if available but its not so I have to download it. (I've never actually done this even though I have come close). One thing I have done along time ago was to buy a multiplayer PC game that i wanted to play with my kids. I felt that if I bought it I should be able to put the game on both PCs because the game would never leave the house..this is illegal. In addition, I want to be a web designer. I know that every job out there requires photoshop experience. Photoshop is too expensive but I couldn't bring myself to copy it so I bought the educational copy. While this is illegal (although not in the same way), I can see why many would copy it just to have a fighting chance.

    Now I'm for pirating....or am I?....I just don't think its always black and white. Now I don't know what i think
    Ok, what about the Photoshop example. Would you at least agree that you are in violation of the license? And that there is an ethical question here?

    Can you use one of the many alternatives to Photoshop instead? Would using one of the other, less expensive/free editing tools would you really forgo your 'fighting chance'?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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