Patents

IP is for Intellectual Property (and also for Invading Privacy)

Recent court rulings and new policies result in the term Intellectual Property becoming increasingly synonymous with Invading Privacy.

A common initialization in the news these days is IP, as an abbreviation for Intellectual Property -- a misleading label for a grab-bag of legal policies covering copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Particularly since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law toward the end of the Clinton Administration, there has been increasing debate over the appropriateness and ethicality of such laws, as well as their effectiveness at encouraging innovation -- the supposed most important reason for such laws. Keeping pace with the debate, industries whose business models have historically been tightly tied to such laws have thrown their full economic, legal, and political weights behind efforts not only to maintain and enforce, but strengthen such laws.

Judging by the shift in public perception, from a general assumption that copyright somehow embodies a moral right akin to the Marxist assertion that laborers have a right to ownership of the means of production to growing questions and outright opposition to "intellectual property" laws, it might look like the anti-IP crowd is winning. Judging by the consistent narrowing of the doctrine of fair use in courts and the regular passage of copyright strengthening laws by legislatures around the world -- particularly in the United States -- it appears clear that the pro-IP crowd is winning even more thoroughly.

As industry lobby groups continue to encourage the tightening of "intellectual property" laws, we find a troubling trend developing: governmental policy toward enforcement is sacrificing privacy on the altar of copyright. This is borne out in the courts (See Rulings in a recent PS3 jailbreaking suit should worry you) and  elsewhere (see the March 2011 Administration's White Paper on Intellectual Property Enforcement Legislative Recommendations PDF), which points to a possible future where IP means not only "Intellectual Property", but also "Invading Privacy."

From the document:

The Administration recommends three legislative changes to give enforcement agencies the tools they need to combat infringement:

  1. Clarify that, in appropriate circumstances, infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony;
  2. Authorize DHS, and its component U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to share pre-seizure information about, and samples of, products and devices with rightholders to help DHS to determine whether the products are infringing or the devices are circumvention devices; and
  3. Give law enforcement authority to seek a wiretap for criminal copyright and trademark offenses.

Regardless of your thoughts on the legitimacy of copyright as a moral right, or its effectiveness as a means of encouraging innovation, this should raise red flags for anyone who cares about privacy. It gets worse in the immediately following paragraphs, where government is then empowered to share information it has gathered about potential copyright, patent, and trademark infringers with civilian organizations:

The Administration recommends two legislative changes to allow DHS to share information about enforcement activities with rightholders:

  1. Give DHS authority to notify rightholders that infringing goods have been excluded or seized pursuant to a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) order; and
  2. Give DHS authority to share information about, and samples of, circumvention devices with rightholders post-seizure.

The document identifies a number of other legislative recommendations made by the office of IP Enforcement Co-ordinator Victoria Espinel, then goes on to describe them all in more detail. At the same time, networking technologies necessary to the advancement of communication technologies and security are making such laws more and more difficult to enforce, prompting lobbyists and government officials to push for even more privacy-violating legislation. A vicious circle is born.

About

Chad Perrin is an IT consultant, developer, and freelance professional writer. He holds both Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and is a graduate of two IT industry trade schools.

87 comments
cwarner7_11
cwarner7_11

apotheon- 1. I don't generally "advertise" my "secrets" for sale- these are techniques/information, etc, that make me more effective (i.e., more competitive) in my chosen market. If you want to know the details, we will negotiate the value between us. 2. I frequently publish openly information that I find interesting, but of limited commercial value to me (i.e., someone has already paid for it, or it was something developed in my spare time in pursuit of goals, etc.). Once published, I no longer make any claims to ownership. Examples can be found here: http://cr4.globalspec.com/blog/134/OpenSource-Solutions-for-Computer-Aided-Engineering or here: http://www.researchgate.net/group/Open_Source_Scientific_Software_OSSS/files/ or, you can download one of my papers here: http://www.adrive.com/public/db828d71f80eb56e0bc3401d24fd81c260e10f25ef2ec99324fac34f9bde6699.html You are free to use any of the information included in any of these (or any other "published" work of mine) in any way you see fit- note, however, the second reference includes work by others, and they may have different ideas. I am not even all that concerned if you want to claim the work as your own- that's your problem, not mine- although any citations are always appreciated. The reason I make such information open and available is because it enhances my profile in market segments in which I am interested, I have already extracted a reasonable value (which may or may not be economic value) commiserate with the effort expended, and "prior publication" protects me from someone trying to block my own access to my work. 3. If you feel I have "secrets" that may be of value to you, then let's negotiate. You set the price, I decide if giving up my secrets is justified by what you are willing to pay, and if we agree on a value, then after receipt of compensation, the secrets become yours to do with as you see fit, and I agree not to publish or resell the secrets to anyone else (in the particular form for which you paid, and possibly subject to other restrictions you may be willing to pay for). In other words, full IP rights are transferred to the purchaser, except that I reserve the right to continue to use such information/techniques in pursuit of my own interests. After more than 30 years of this sort of arrangement (with variations that have evolved over the years), I find this a very functional arrangement.

cwarner7_11
cwarner7_11

The reality of the situation today is that, unless you have very, very deep pockets and are willing to make a bunch of lawyers extremely rich, copyright laws are pretty much inaccessible to you. In fact, once you have shared your ideas with even one other person, they are no longer your private Intellectual Property- you have, essentially, given up control of the distribution of that information. Good stuff will spread virally (along with a lot of garbage), and quite often, someone who may access your "proprietary" information and use it for their own purposes may not have the slightest idea that you claim any copyright to the material. Others of us, of course, prefer information that can be validated through some source, which means we have a preference for copyrighted material (to be properly credited, cited, and, if necessary, paid for), just for the sake of credibility. By the same token, I have no problem with using Open Source software (issued under one of the various valid licensing agreements out there- and yes, it is possible to run a sophisticated engineering consulting business with nothing but Open Source software these days) because I do not want to be held hostage by some software behemoth that thinks they know better what I want than I do. The musical artist or the author of a book faces the same quandary- either give up your rights to some major corporate entity that has the resources to persecute offenders, or forget about protecting your interests. I am not passing moral judgment or offering a legal opinion here- this is the reality of the world I live in. By the way, if you want access to some of my really good ideas or secrets (that I haven't already published as Open Source), then put some money on the table first...

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I agree, the current model absolutely fails her. It needs to be gutted, simplified. I don't really know what it should look like. Though I am inclined to believe a model based on clear disclosure, and public enforcement might be the most practical (i.e. a system is provided to clearly and easily identify creators and usurpers, and the public can then choose to support the creators and... not-support usurpers. I realize I am putting a lot of faith in humanity to "do the right thing". I tend to believe that most people will make the correct choice, given accurate information to work with.).

cwarner7_11
cwarner7_11

Shardeth- The REAL tragedy is that, if our hero is struggling to meet her current debts, she is unlikely to have the resources to defend her rights against the usurper, no matter what the law says. Unless, of course, she is willing to sell her rights for pennies on the dollar to a group of patent toll lawyers who will also likely be willing to help guide her through bankruptcy...

cwarner7_11
cwarner7_11

I do not generally partake of musical or film products, but do find myself "collecting" other intellectual property- for instance, I have downloaded a copy of this document for future reference (acknowledging, of course, an obligation to properly cite the reference to the original source, should I ever have cause to use the information in a derivative work). This article is copyrighted, I am sure. Is my possession of an "unauthorized" copy of this article a violation of the law? Or, perhaps, I should ask, is this actually not an "unauthorized" copy in the first place, since the original source published it in a form where I could easily copy it (similar, I suppose, to xeroxing a copy of a magazine page). I do use bittorrent to download content- for the most part, Open Source licensed software or out of print books. For the most part, I do my best to limit my downloads to "legal" content by limiting my sources to those that appear to be "playing fair". But, there is a good chance that at least some of the content stored on my computer violates someone's perceived rights, although it has not been my intention to do so. You will find no music tracks (except those "samples" that came with the original operating system) or videos (except perhaps, again, samples that came with the OS, or perhaps a few "Youtube" shorts I find amusing or informative. But you will find a large volume of technical literature, including published articles, digital books, etc. As I read the US laws, were I to cross the US border with my computer, the fact that I have a lot of content on my computer immediately makes me suspect of intentionally breaking the law, and the Border Patrol has the authority to deprive me of my personal property without due process just on the suspicion that my stored content may violate some copyright law, or worse. This is NOT right; this is actually unconstitutional (Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution). Furthermore, the government using any information gleaned from my personal collection of data as evidence against me seems to be a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment clause against self-incrimination. I know of no legal defense based on "personal intent" (i.e., I was unaware of the violation), but I do know there is a legal tenet "ignorance of the law is no excuse". This whole debate is very, very scary, because it could put a whole lot of unsuspecting "violators" at risk. Meanwhile, don't look for me to be crossing any international borders with anything even remotely resembling an electronic storage device...

lshanahan
lshanahan

Copyrights and patents are CONSTITUTIONAL rights. Enforcement is a Constitutionally enumerated power of the Congress. Article I, Section 8, clause 8 of the United States Constitution: To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. In general, the creator of a work has the exclusive constitutional right - with certain exceptions - to determine where and how a copyrighted work is produced, sold or otherwise distributed, performed, displayed, etc. Briefly it is about getting permission to copy, distribute or perform a copyrighted work regardless if money changes hands in the process. This concept was so important to the founders of our country it was specifically written into the founding document of the nation and would require a Constitutional amendment to eliminate it. This isn't something to be tread upon lightly. Copyright law ultimately undergirds the First Amendment by giving ultimate control of a published work to the author/creator, at least for a time. The question is not whether enforcement of infringement violates privacy. The question is does such enforcement including the various means of gathering evidence violate due process (effectively the 4th and 5th amendments). For example, law enforcement officers can violate the privacy of your home with a valid legal search warrant. They can violate the privacy of your communications, via wiretap, etc., in like manner. The point here is that privacy is not the determining factor, due process is. Where the rules cited in the article get tricky is in disclosing information to non-law-enforcement entities. Copyright law already requires the courts to provide adequate protection against improper disclosure of impounded infringing materials. I could understand informing a rights-holder that possibly infringing materials have been seized post-seizure (to enable the rights holder to bring their own civil suit if desired against an alleged infringer), but not pre-seizure disclosure to the rights holder of actual information about products/devices. It would be more appropriate and a better protection of due process for the rights holder to disclose their information to law enforcement officials so they could make the determination of infringement using independent experts. A rights holder should pursue a civil infringement case (assuming law enforcement doesn't) to receive information about alledgedly infringing materials through the normal judicial discovery rules to preserve due process of both parties. All that said, one area I do believe copyright law has gone astray is in the definition of "limited times." The founders clearly did not intend such protection to be effectively unlimited by granting multi-decadal exclusive rights. In fact, the original duration of copyright was at most 14 years (one 7 year exclusion with the ability to receive a second 7 year exclusion if desired). At *most* I could see a 25-year exclusion, maybe.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

They are supposed to be stopping people with bombs in their underpants. I don't want that resource distracted, hunting for pirate copies of Lady Gaga's lastest.

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

How can anyone have the hubris to believe that IP infringement can be stopped by the US Justice Department? The best that it's been able to do is a campaign using FUD around a tiny number of well-publicized prosecutions. That has as much chance of stemming the tide as death penalties for murder have had in preventing drive-by shootings. No government in history has been able to effectively prevent its citizens from doing things outside the law, even when the majority of people wholeheartedly support it. In the US today barely half the citizens care enough about government to vote- the last 3 presidents have been the preferred choice of less than 30% of the population. Indeed, it could be argued that government and the tiny number of wealthy corporations who back it are responsible for promoting the activities that government ostensibly tries to prevent. With its indefensible, porous borders,both electronic and physical, the US has no chance of preventing IP infringement. So long as the use of internet continues to rise faster than population growth, and downloading of content grows faster than the number of worldwide users, it will be virtually impossible for the DHS or any other body to stop or even slow IP infringement through digital copying of files. Remember that the authority of the DHS stops at the border of the US network - it has no authority at all, and no capability for enforcement among the people who live outside the US - 96% or of the population. Even if the US were the primary source of IP, this limited authority of the DHS would be as unable to limit IP infringement as the Border Patrol is unable to prevent illegal immigration or the DEA is unable to prevent drug smuggling. But the US is no longer the predominant source of "IP" . Sure, the apps and OSs from companies like Microsoft and Apple get a lot of press coverage, but the actual sources of their products is increasingly foreign nationals who are free to return to their countries or origin, taking all that they have learned with them. One person, David Cutler, was the key architect behind the creation of RSX-11M, VMS and VAXELN systems of Digital Equipment Corporation, and Windows NT which is the basis of the OS2 and Windows kernels. Two tiny companies in Washington and California were responsible for the widespread adoption of computers by business. The US - including Apple - accepted the Intel x86 architecture as the basis for all its commercial desktop/laptop products for almost a decade. The entire world is now rapidly turning to UNIX/LINUX derived OSs. China and India now lead the world in producing new engineering graduates. Even if you were to unwisely assume that heir average capabilities were less than those of the US peers, simple statistics would dictate that SOME of them should be equal to or surpass their US counterparts. This means that the predominant source of intellectual property in the future, as well as the hardware to support it, and the consumers who use it, will be physically outside the US.

pgit
pgit

When do the words "court rulings and new policies" become moot?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

As soon as you hit music and video, basically these are industries that spend loads of mioney getting us to buy the same shite again. They have to spend loads otherwise we wouldn't buy any of it. That's the investment they have to recoup. Ot's proabbly a bit off the wall, but may be if they went for something new and high quality, it would sell itself. Most of it isn't worth the bandwidth of downloading it, and is about as intellectual as Beavis and Butthead purport to be.

bill.tkach
bill.tkach

I agree that you need to have some sort of protection for your creations, because no one wants to to work very hard on a project, develop produce and sell it, only to have someone copy it the day after it hits the shelves, and sell it for half the price, because they had no R&D costs. However, no one wants to have their privacy decreased. We already live in a society where our privacy has been shrunk down to what's in our house, pretty much. And even inside of our house, there are tendrils of government or private companies entering and snooping through our computer systems, be it by when we go on the Internet via a browser and use cookies, or we allow a virus checker to sniff through all our files on our computer, or any number of advertisement companies that 'watch' us constantly, and serve us things that they think we need/want. The toughest thing right now is music & video copyright. Companies spend 100's of millions of dollars to create these projects, and create thousands of jobs as well. As much as I like to be able to get a movie off the Internet by finding a torrent and downloading it... it is stealing. Just because the process of you getting the video/music might have very little cost, the actual cost of the initial creation was probably substantial. However, if these companies actually put their products at a reasonable price point, maybe less people would be inclined to steal their overpriced products. But then again, maybe not. Either way, I don't think the solution is to slide towards 1984.

apotheon
apotheon

> 1. I don't generally "advertise" my "secrets" for sale- these are techniques/information, etc, that make me more effective (i.e., more competitive) in my chosen market. If you want to know the details, we will negotiate the value between us. Good luck. I don't think anyone's going to give you money to buy things without knowing something about them: "I have something valuable. Do you want to buy it?" "I dunno. What is it? Is it a car?" "I can't tell you that without getting paid first."

apotheon
apotheon

> By the way, if you want access to some of my really good ideas or secrets (that I haven't already published as Open Source), then put some money on the table first... 1. Do you have a list of these things? 2. Under what terms would you provide these "ideas" and "secrets"?

apotheon
apotheon

Actually, I'd say the real tragedy looks something like this: Our hero is violating the rights of others to try to enforce a business model based on monopolistic practices so she can pay her debts, and it doesn't even work because of the fact she can't effectively protect her monopoly against monopolists with greater resources. In short, she's violating the rights of others for nothing. That, to me, is the real tragedy.

apotheon
apotheon

> This article is copyrighted, I am sure. Is my possession of an "unauthorized" copy of this article a violation of the law? Or, perhaps, I should ask, is this actually not an "unauthorized" copy in the first place, since the original source published it in a form where I could easily copy it (similar, I suppose, to xeroxing a copy of a magazine page). It's not strictly "authorized" as far as I'm aware, but the doctrine of fair use in the US should in theory obviate the need for explicit authorization in this case -- as long as you hang onto it only for your own personal reference use. I'm not a lawyer; don't blame me if this defense doesn't work in court some day. > This whole debate is very, very scary, because it could put a whole lot of unsuspecting "violators" at risk. Meanwhile, don't look for me to be crossing any international borders with anything even remotely resembling an electronic storage device... I sympathize.

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

Its too bad that the laws and regulations that have been put in place to, in actuality for almost any right, has had its meaning and intentions revised and put into law that actually kick the founding fathers in the groin. I seriously doubt that the founding fathers wanted a non-theist government, or a government selectively condemning and wanting to penalize religions for their beliefs (while selectively ignoring other religions,) nor to have patents and copyright lifespans so long and infinitely renewable as to permanently keep others from using some innovation or work. Then again the powers that be, the ones behind the money, don't care about that so long as it don't infringe on their abilities to control.

apotheon
apotheon

Everybody makes mistakes. edit: Wow -- a downvote for that? I wonder what <whoever> found objectionable about my statement.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." Fair use limits the right to dictate where and how art is consumed by content license holders. It's also been a long time since copyright/patents where actually used for anything but a chilling affect on innovation and new content creation. I'm glad you also mention the "limited time" component now regularily extended and renewed to maintain chilling affect to support failing business models rather than premote innovation and creation. It's mondboggling to realize that things which entered the public domain have regularily been plucked back out of it under some renewed copyright/patent. The whole point of the limited time monopoly was so that creations would eventually enter the public domain so other's could build on it after giving the original creater time to recoup costs and profit a little. (sitenote: have they done any work on this new site since it launched? I'm still having to log out and back in between every bloody post and any viable way to track discussions I'm active in remains missing in action. WTF TR... are you actively trying to drive away your readers?)

apotheon
apotheon

The real DHS job description is: 1. Give the general populace the appearance of security, even when it undermines actual security or violates rights. 2. Provide excuses for enacting and enforcing policies whose real purposes have nothing to do with security, and which would otherwise be rejected outright by the general populace as too egregiously violating individual rights. 3. Do Congresscritters', lobbyists', and the President's dirty laundry. In this case, I think we're mostly looking at number 3 on that list.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If terrorists can't be well entertained in transit, they'll stop carrying out attacks that involve travel. :D

apotheon
apotheon

I agree fully. Worse, the draconian policies adopted by the US effectively force increasing focus away from the US as a source of new intellectual industry production -- including music and software. The situation is much the same as with export controls on cryptographic technology; in the effort to stop control of information from slipping through their fingers, US-based corporations and government agencies are in fact guaranteeing the loss of control will accelerate. Unfortunately, as long as the US keeps enacting and enforcing draconian policies like these, those of us within its borders will suffer.

apotheon
apotheon

Unfortunately, I'm not sure exactly how you mean that question to be taken. I'll operate on a working assumption for now, and say: They become moot when the percentage of the general populace that ignores the law (legislative or case law) on the matter, and just does what comes naturally, overwhelms the dominant business model predicated upon enforcement of artificial scarcity, resulting in laws on the books becoming entirely irrelevant to how the world works. I really don't think it's likely to be more than fifteen years at most before that's effectively the case.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think people really need to get over the knee-jerk reaction and mass media brainwashing of "if it's a torrent, it could only ever be theft". The transfer protocol does not dictate the legal standing of the content and I think it's very dengourous to premote the believe that it does. Maybe the content producer made it available for torrent download. Maybe I have a valid content license in the form of physical media with content contained in such a way as to make transfering it to my media player impractical. Even keeping within the context of movies, it's not simply RIAA's beloved "torrents are only ever theft". For someone who has downloaded content they don't own a license for and won't be paying for after preview; fair enough. That is copyright infringment (not theft since no one is being deprived of there content copy due to the download). That's hardly the only single and universal state of affairs; we really need to stop pretending it is. In terms of pricepoint, I do agree. A little less greed in media company management would go a long way towards improving the situation. There will always be people who won't pay due to whatever excuse they can dream up but most people are happy to pay a reasonable price for content. It's not like Itunes is destroying the music industry through rampant infringement even without DRM crippled music content. A study in Japan actually showed increased sales of Anime due to content downloading (disk rentals down, disk purchases way up). RIAAs contant noise seems an awful lot like ice delivery men screaming for protection laws rather than adapting business to new technological opertunities; waa.. home users are not locked into our old business model.. we need laws to protect our business rather than.. say.. adapting to change.

seanferd
seanferd

no one wants to to work very hard on a project, develop produce and sell it, only to have someone copy it the day after it hits the shelves, and sell it for half the price, because they had no R&D costs. This is rarely the case for which infringement is prosecuted. Selling infringed content is rarely ever the cause of legal action - simply accessing the content is. The toughest thing right now is music & video copyright. Companies spend 100's of millions of dollars to create these projects, and create thousands of jobs as well. Citation needed. As much as I like to be able to get a movie off the Internet by finding a torrent and downloading it... it is stealing. No, it is infringement. It isn't right, but it isn't theft, either. But in the real world, what it amounts to is free advertising. Just sticking with the music and movies sector, they are making more money all the time - not less. Pirated music and movies enjoy higher sales as a result of infringement - including movies in theaters, not just DVD and streaming purchases. So, these content producers (mosdtly distributors, really) are just shooting themselves in their feet by choosing moral outrage and wasting the resources to fight minor cases of infringement, instead of running with a new distribution model which has already been created for them. The only group getting anything out of all this is the lawyers.

apotheon
apotheon

> I seriously doubt that the founding fathers wanted a non-theist government Actually, I think the founding fathers wanted a purely secular government -- but not an anti-theist government. Many of them were nondenominational deists, anyway. > nor to have patents and copyright lifespans so long and infinitely renewable as to permanently keep others from using some innovation or work. They certainly did not want any such thing. The evidence is right there in the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, by the way, was profoundly skeptical of the whole idea of copyright and patent law. He basically conceded the point because he was prone to having brilliant insights, then abandoning them at the first sign of opposition, even when that opposition completely failed to make a valid argument. > That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

pgit
pgit

I was having similar issues. It would tell me I'm logged in, so I would write a lengthy post and when I submit I get a "you need to log in first" message. I log in, and the post I wrote has evaporated. Not even the back button retrieved it. I cleared out basically everything in firefox and started new, with every password, cookie and script policies etc. Not sure if that was the fix but the 'log in/r u logged in??' problem went away.

pgit
pgit

you hit the nail on the head, I tend to see #2 as the more important to the purveyors of this agenda.

pgit
pgit

I see some extraneous factors in the wings that may well blind side the bulk of the people, and take systems down very rapidly. Some of these could happen as soon as today. So definitely within 15 years the world will be vastly different, without a "United States" potentially. I believe the fuse is going to be lit this year and by the end of next the grand shakeup will have been largely accomplished. The federal reserve note will be eliminated in favor of a global currency that may appear to independent national issue but really will be the sole conveyance of the most elite of the global banksters. That is if the people don't wake up before it's too late. You read my question correctly and gave the more practical, likely answer. I was dreaming about a million more years of human evolution when I asked...

jslozier
jslozier

Torrents are often used to download very large files such as Linux DVD image that one can obtain for NO MONEY to the producer because of the license it is issued under. Talking about bands making money from a record deal ignores the issue of who actually owns the music copyright. Often a precondition of the deal is the copyright for the music is signed over to the record company with the band retaining usage rights. So if someone is not paying SONY or some other large label, they probably are not hurting the band. The band will not see any money in most cases, partly because they do not own the copyright.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

There are actually sites which distribute music and movies via torrents. Legally. VoDo, Jamendo and ClearBits are some examples. For those starting out, it provides a practical way to distribute their works directly to a large population for consumption, with a relatively low start-up cost. I don't know if the models being formed could ever support big budget films, or "epic" games. But for books and music and lower budget movies and games, It could quite easily develop into a practical business model for creating and distributing content for profit, without the overhead of RIAA/MPAA, Labels, Distribution and Marketing.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

For those newer movies crippled by DRM and shredded up out of order on the disk making ripping impractical; I'd like to see every content license owner go torrent a copy of the movie on principal. They own a license for the content, not the physical media it's stamped on. They should be fully within their rights to obtain a copy of that content which does not restrict fair use. (yes, the digital copies shipping with Blueray packs are nice to have but even they go out of there way to attack content license owner's fair use under copyright law.)

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

Are you sure it's really "Pirated music and movies enjoy higher sales AS A RESULT of infringement"? Can't it be more like "Pirated music and movies enjoy higher sales DESPITE of infringement"?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've been running into that too with the first post of the session. At least in that case I can accept that it's a stale session my browser is presenting; log out, log out, login (two logout buttons to hit now of course). it's when my comment directly after that returns a nice red bar telling me I'm still not logged in.. Seems to be behaving today though

apotheon
apotheon

I found an error of presentation in my own elaboration: > even when it undermines actual security or violates rights Violating rights is, in effect, another way to undermine actual security. I should have phrased that differently.

apotheon
apotheon

I guess I need to move forward on my planned reorganization of investments sooner than I thought.

pgit
pgit

Numerous fundamentals indicate that appearances will not be easily maintained, the truth of the fact that financial ruin of "The United States" is an irreversible done deal is slipping into the consciousness. It is also known increasingly that none of this is inevitable, or any "natural" force, all government whining vis "nobody could have foreseen!!!" isn't working any more. Then consider Obama needs his "new Pearl Harbor event" vis Clinton's inside job at Oklahoma City and Bush's 9-11, lest the messy necessity of grooming a new stooge to grace the white house will need to happen, and I don't think the global power brokers are in a spending mood at the moment. They consider that they have spent enough and want results. I agree that local barter and even organized currencies will increase in the near future. It's anyone's guess as to who wins in the short run; global rip off artists hiding behind titles like "banker" and "senator," or the will of free people. I am an optimist, generally speaking, I believe the dialectic will soon cease to be a viable tool to wield against the public. But it's going to be a ride through hell until then, and I'm not sure I'll live past the bottom of the low times ahead. I saw similar factors at play back around April of 2001, and over that summer became known to be a bummer in social circles, issuing dire warnings of very bad events soon to come. I would often be telling someone some piece of bad news and how it fit the agenda, and the natural conclusion being there's 'no way out' for the perpetrators, they'd have to do something spectacular to divert attention. I would say "they're going to have to pull the trigger soon." I was totally unsurprised on 9-11-01, in fact I was quite let down by the lack of imagination. Can't they at least try yo pull the "space alien" scenario? Alas, Obama seem to be laying more plain ol war on the table, eg his admin recently blurting that there are 160 "dirty bombs" buried around America just itching to go off... like I believe that. Is Hollywood really that far ahead of DC?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I actually like how the Space Odissy books evolve with their conteporary technolgies. The second book recognizing or mentioning space probes that had not been sent out yet when the first was published.. that sort of thing. If one is going to choose a distant future setting, that's a great way to deal with changes between books for readers like me.

apotheon
apotheon

> I believe the fuse is going to be lit this year Why do you think this year, specifically? I'm curious. > The federal reserve note will be eliminated in favor of a global currency I'm not sure how effective that would be. Local currencies seems to be gaining popularity in various parts of the world, as day-to-day pocket change replacements for national currencies; such things would probably only increase in practice if a global currency edged out national currencies. In addition, given the increasing awareness of the dangers of fiat currencies, other alternatives may also arise, such as cryptographic alternative currencies. Some legal suppression is sure to occur, but I'm not sure it would be much more effective than attempts to suppress online file sharing around the world -- and, frankly, I think a kind of "free market" in competing currencies is a good thing. > You read my question correctly and gave the more practical, likely answer. I was dreaming about a million more years of human evolution when I asked... I don't think there's any way to reasonably speculate about such long-term futures. We're going to have a tough enough time speculating as far ahead as forty years from now, after the equivalent value of a thousand dollars will probably buy someone more computing power than six or seven billion human brains can provide. A mere fifty years in the future may well be wholly unrecognizable. I may have wings and a direct link between my brain and encrypted "cloud" storage on the Internet by then. Members of Radiohead may finally have perfect bodies and perfect souls, designed on their nanorobotic computer clusters and manufactured by their desktop molecular assemblers. On the other hand, Skynet may reign supreme. I try to stick to the nearer future when making anything like concrete predictions. Science fiction authors (of which I am one, to some degree, actually) are mostly following suit these days, as the rate of technological change accelerates so quickly that the time between writing a book and getting it published might encompass advances that render the author's speculation obsolete.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

There is a laundry list of examples of perfectly legal bits being transfered over bittorrent.. even if one accepts the absurdity of attributing morals or ethics to a network transfer protocol.

apotheon
apotheon

Torrents are also used for legal purposes like distributing open source software.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The various disks we've baught that included digital copies seem to transfer to osX or Windows without anything more than the DRM code to unlock it. Is that the digital copies that one can download seporately or the ones that ship with the original DVD/BR on there own seporate disk? I'll have to watch for that either way. Now as for dropping that digital copy on our media server at home to play through the tv or onto my *nix notebook to play for our little one when traveling, both lacking Quicktime Player or Windows Media Player, no prompt for the DRM code.. useless..

techrepublic
techrepublic

The digital copies of movies that often come with BluRay are in many cases completely useless as in many cases they have a use-by date. Don't watch it by that date, too bad for you. I see that as stealing from the consumer as he no longer has access to something he paid for.

apotheon
apotheon

It looks to me like you've been trying to induce me to disagree with you. You have spent thousands of words giving me arguments in favor of examples of how bad it is for us to violate someone's claim to creative monopoly in response to my statements to the effect that monopolies are bad -- but never mentioned that you don't actually support a law that enforces that monopoly until two comments ago. It looks like you don't actually disagree with me in the manner in which you have given me reason to believe you disagree, at all. You just wanted to argue, or something like that. If there's no point of disagreement in principle, stop disagreeing with me.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

You recall this started with you attributing me being in favor of granting an artist the legal power to dictate monopoly powers, right? I have been trying since then to clarify my view, hoping to better understand your view, and to carry on a rational discussion about mores, and ways to support them without creating restrictive laws. But we aren't ever going to get there are we? For some reason you find me offensive. You are comfortable with that, and that is where you intend to stay.

apotheon
apotheon

It looks like your short answer is "No. I don't even disagree with you. I just like pretending to disagree."

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

To establish laws that create an artificial monopoly, however, there are 3 primary issues that seem to result from this: 1. It is too great a temptation to abuse this monopoly power: To place too high a tax burden for re-use, or to protect "artistic vision" to excess. 2. As a result of 1., innovation can be stifled, by making it too costly for others to advance new ideas based on prior ideas. This one can be mitigated somewhat by having reasonable limits on the monopoly power. 3. This legal system spawns large quantities of waste industries - organizations, such as riaa, mpaa, patent research and litigation, lobbyists... which consume resources, and produce nothing. Thus, while I can't say I am adamantly opposed to very limited laws, granting very limited monoply powers (both in scope and duration - our current set of laws fails on both parameters.), I do think there might be better ways: perhaps a system whereby creative works/ideas are "registered" to their creators, in a system which would allow a potential consumer to easily determine whether the source they were purchasing from was a valid creator, or a freeloader. The onus would then fall on the consumer to "do the right thing", as opposed to any legal enforcement. This would allow, by democratic choice of the consumers, for creators to prosper and cheaters to ... not prosper. That is a rather long answer to your yes or no question. Sorry for that. given the question, I didn't think yes or no really covered it. To try and be more concise, no I don't think it should be illegal, but I do think a society should have a system in place where consumers can be easily and accurately informed, and able to act in the best interests of creators/innovators.

apotheon
apotheon

Do you, or do you not, think it should be illegal for someone to duplicate the medication created by your hypothetical researcher?

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I proposed no law, only a particular set of mores. (Though I disagree with your inference that laws are of necessity punitive, but that is an entirely different discussion). You mention Cory Doctorow... From what I have read, his position is very similar from mine. He favors allowing unfettered information distribution, with attribution, and no commercial redistribution. At least that is what he seems to present as a preferred model in his conversations, and it is the model he releases his own works under. Let's see if I can clarify a bit what I am saying by applying some numbers to it (these are not to scale, and don't account for many real losses, but thus provide a simple model which hopefully makes the point clearer). Hero produces something ( a book, a cure, a song...). Hero invest 1000 hours to produce it. There exist exactly 100 thousand buyers. Scenario 1 - Hero sells for 5 cents/unit, resulting in a $5/hr income. Scenario 2. freeloader buys 1 unit for 5 cents, then resells to the other buyers for 1 cent. Lets say the freeloader invests an entire hour of effort to do this. Then freeloader, who created nothing, realized $1000/hr income, and hero realized 5/1000ths of a cent/hr income. My position is - This is bad, and it makes sense for a society to have a mechanism to prevent this. I am NOT saying punitive laws are necessary, effective, or desirable to accomplish this.

apotheon
apotheon

The law is a gun to the citizen's head. Every time you contemplate a law, ask yourself whether it's important enough to shoot your grandmother in the head if she is not willing to comply. > All I said was that morally, I don't think anyone has the right to be a leech, and make their fortune off someone else's hard work and financial investment. I didn't suggest any model of enforcement- not how, not what. Fine -- there's no reason to disagree, then. Do away with copyright law; no model of enforcement. > The point was this individual was sellng at the lowest practical point whereby financial recoup was possible. Even at that point she still can't compete with someone who simply repackages her idea as his own, and sells it for pennies above manufacturing cost, which was what I was attempting to convey. Life is tough. That doesn't mean (analogously speaking) that just because person A has a failing kidney and has worked hard all his life, he has a right to one of person B's kidneys against person B's wishes. > The book suggestion then becomes a rinse and repeat of the same scenario. . . . and yet, Cory Doctorow makes a living selling books that people are allowed to redistribute in digital form all they like -- even modify them and distribute derivatives. You're acting like every other copyright-obsessed apologist for monopolism, pretending that it is impossible to make a living without having agents of government force people to give you money. This is not only demonstrably not true, but willfully ignorant of the violations of individual rights that are necessary to maintain and enforce such a monopolistic business model.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

All I said was that morally, I don't think anyone has the right to be a leech, and make their fortune off someone else's hard work and financial investment. I didn't suggest any model of enforcement- not how, not what. As for your suggestions, thanks for finally offering something, however, they don't answer to the point I was attempting to make. Perhaps you didn't understand. The point was this individual was sellng at the lowest practical point whereby financial recoup was possible. Even at that point she still can't compete with someone who simply repackages her idea as his own, and sells it for pennies above manufacturing cost, which was what I was attempting to convey. The book suggestion then becomes a rinse and repeat of the same scenario.

apotheon
apotheon

Charge less, do the talk show circuit, and write books that will sell well thanks to your name being associated with a drug that is being sold for a price people can afford. It's not my job to tell you how to make money, anyway. That's all secondary to the simple fact that you should not hold a gun to my head telling me I'm not allowed to resell what I own.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I didn't expect you to write up a real-life "fool-proof" model. But I was hoping for something with a little more substance than "you're dumb." The shoe analogy? What was that? That didn't even make sense. It's like that slipped in from another completely unrelated conversation you were having.

apotheon
apotheon

If you want me to come up with a business model for you, you had better be ready to pay me a lot of money up front or cut me in for a nontrivial percentage of the profits -- because there is no one-size-fits-all business model. You're doing the equivalent of telling me you want shoes that are good in all weather and last a long time, then asking me what size you should buy.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

But I have known individuals who would take that position. I don't know you well enough to know where you stand. Which is why I posed the question, to attempt to obtain clarity. I posed a scenario to define a particular set of mores. I posed no laws or restrictions, within that scenario, apart from saying the current system of laws did not support the mores in question. And you have been on the offensive ever since. The only non-snide comment I have seen was the suggestion that they "come up with a viable business model...", yet you offer nothing tangible when I asked for clarification. Are you saying they should follow the Coca Cola approach and keep the recipe secret? What business model(/s) do you believe will account for the provided scenario? I am happy to engage in an open discussion of ideas, beliefs and possibilities, I am even happy to agree to disagree if belief systems are incompatible. I am not interested in engaging in pseudo-political debate. I find it pointlessly counterproductive.

apotheon
apotheon

I ask you if your "interpretation" of something I said was a bit extreme -- and you admitted it was, then somehow turned that into an implication that it's me who is somehow intentionally misconstruing what you said. That's bass ackwards. If you don't want to have a conversation, there are better ways to opt out than trying to blame me for your lack of interest in communication.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

Which is why I attempted to further the conversation, in an effort to try and understand your position, or possibly identify and correct your misperception of my position. However, since you show no interest in discussing rationally, and instead have reverted to snide comments, there isn't much left to say. (except perhaps "Your mom goes to college" -Kip).

apotheon
apotheon

> It appears you are advocating absolute personal freedom within a social framework, with a complete absence of personal and social responsibility. Your definition of "responsibility" must include slavery.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I sincerely don't understand where you are going with your comments (Apart from insulting me for not agreeing with and/or understanding your viewpoint). As I read your comments, It appears you are advocating absolute personal freedom within a social framework, with a complete absence of personal and social responsibility. I suppose it is possible that really is the case. If so, then I would imagine we are at an impasse, and no further discussion is helpful. If not, then perhaps there is(/was) further opportunity for illumination.

apotheon
apotheon

Do you really not see how making rules for what I'm allowed to do with what I possess is a case of not leaving me alone? Don't play dumb. I'm pretty sure you're capable of thinking these things through.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I don't see how you are addressing the issue of R&D recoup. Nor do I see how what i presented has anything to do with you being left alone or not.

apotheon
apotheon

I get quite annoyed when people give up logical argumentation in favor of attacking others' character with insinuations that they're just trying to justify "stealing". It's intellectually dishonest, willfully ignorant, prejudicial, and rude. As such, I find it very difficult to resist the urge to point out where such fallacious arguments are being made. I also prefer to avoid treating such statements as justification for ignoring everything else someone says, though. The fact someone is a bigot does not mean that everything the person says is worthless, after all. If a bigot tells me that the right-front tire of my car is low, I'm going to check to see if the right-front tire of my car is low. What if he's right?

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

"Want to guess how much the average pop artist nets from a 15$ disk purchase at Walmart." The exact same amount they get if some retailer puts it on sale for $10, or sells it at $20 regular price. I remember an interview with Pat Traverse years back where he was telling fans he didn't care where they bought it (his music) from, because his "cut" of the sale was a fixed amount. I too would rather pay self-respecting artists fair money than pay some RIAA Gestapo member organization that would rather see me trash something I no longer want than to sell it used, or use bands just so they can live on champaign and caviar and buy sex and drugs. (For the few in the industry, and sadly few is the keyword, that are better than that. kudos to you, just remember the rest of your "brethren" are out to rape and pillage any money source they can legally get away with.)

apotheon
apotheon

Poor girl. She has the business sense of a gnat. How is this my problem? Why should I not be able to dispose of what I possess as I see fit? How does her desire to make a profit without thinking about the potential necessity of getting a business partner who knows something about economics trump my right to be left the hell alone?

bboyd
bboyd

I thank you for your words of support in this discussion Apotheon. Suffices to say that I like most any human am a hypocrite. I like free cookies of the edible kind. Golden rule tells me to treat JALs opinions as equally valid as mine. Even given that your counters to his opinions of my speech are rather amusing.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I am merely attempting to flesh out my mores onthe subject. Say someone spends 5 years of their life and 5 million of their dollars and develops a medicine that cures cancer. Let's also assume that this person is a genuinly decent person, and she did some number crunching, and figured that by selling it for 5$ per treatment, she can make sufficient profit to recoup her investment in 10 years time. So thats what she sells it for. Now say some other, unscrupulous chap comes along, copies the recipe, and starts selling the product for 2$ per treatment. He can afford to do that, he has incurred no debt developing it, so the mere pennies profit he is getting is pure profit. Meanwhile, Our hero no longer is able to repay the loans she took out in order to complete the research. I think in such cases, there should be some protection for the creator. I don't think the current laws do that at all.

apotheon
apotheon

> I mean, It makes sense that if someone spends days/weeks/years creating a song, video, program, etc... That they should be protected from someone else taking the credit and money. Why should they be protected? Why don't they have to come up with a viable business model on their own, like the rest of us -- rather than have a business model manufactured for them by Congress? I'm certainly willing to entertain valid arguments (based on agreeable premises) in favor of a need for such protection, but I have yet to encounter such an argument. > Though perhaps it is not so much control as it is attribution assurance that I am in favor of. Attribution is a separate matter, and not actually the focus of copyright law at all. Mis-attribution is plagiarism or fraud, and not infringement of copyright. Copyright is merely the enforcement of a monopoly privilege that allows the copyright holder to use the law to prevent others from disposing of what they possess as they see fit.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I mean, It makes sense that if someone spends days/weeks/years creating a song, video, program, etc... That they should be protected from someone else taking the credit and money. Leaving them, the original creator without the created work, or the food and shelter they had intended to purchase with proceeds of said work. So in that sense, yes, I think they should have some degree of control. Though perhaps it is not so much control as it is attribution assurance that I am in favor of.

apotheon
apotheon

> ... not as in (the bank) buying something (the cookies) and giving it away (to customers). I know. Please read what I was saying; don't just read into it to find some straw man to attack. You said that getting something for free was the supposed only motive for some act, as if that in and of itself was a bad thing. I pointed out the error in the way you made that assertion, then asked you to explain how getting something for free even in the case of "free sampling" is wrong -- since you've only suggest it is wrong, without actually giving any account of how you arrived at that conclusion. > And, hypocritical or not, the fact is that the record labels pay the artist for their work to sell copies of it. You have a funny definition of "pay". What the major RIAA record labels do is saddle the signee with interminable debt, use that to coerce continued work out of them, and deduct profits the artist never sees from that debt total over the course of a decade or more until either the band finally produces enough music for the label's advantage that the label can no longer claim to be owed anything or the band finally just gives up, declares bankruptcy, and goes to work at McDonald's (or on reality TV shows for washed-up old rockers). The number of bands that actually gets out from under that kind of debt within a decade (or ever) without simply declaring bankruptcy is a fraction of a percent of the total. Meanwhile, I've known folk musicians who made a profit from day one by playing original tunes in local coffee shops and around the Renaissance Faire circuit and have actually managed to make a modest living that way, debt-free. The entire contract system employed by RIAA labels is specifically designed to avoid ever having to pay one red cent to a band. > Yes, "free sampling" also hurts the artists that choose to work with record labels. No, not usually. They only think it does if they buy the RIAA's propaganda to the effect that "piracy" is the only reason they aren't making enough money to pay off their advertising, distribution, and other costs (fronted by the RIAA label because, of course, the RIAA label makes a profit pretty quickly, making it worthwhile for the label to make that investment). I suppose it might hurt the artist's feelings, though -- or hurt the bank accounts of artists like Metallica that made enough millions to dig themselves out of debt to the label and finally have a more equitable relationship with a label that's afraid to lose Metallica (or whomever) to another label, but that's such a vanishingly small percentage as to be rightfully regarded as an aberration rather than a meaningful part of the whole.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I accept I am probably a bit of a Wierdo, but I doubt I am THAT much of a wierdo. I will admit, I have met some fairly... misguided individuals, who were quite adamant that it is immoral to ever charge for any mp3 "because it doesn't cost anything to make copies". But I have always found them to be the minority. Most people seem to recognize that it is fair and proper to pay for the labor of others. I believe most people are happy to pay for that which adds value. The problem in the current media manufacturing industry is that there are so many processes which add no value for the customer. The media manufacturing industry, like any other mature industry must cut out the waste processes. Most pepole are decent. Most people also don't like being treated like criminals from the get-go. When it comes down to it I suspect most people aren't really bothered so much by the violation of privacy as the violation of respect.

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

... not as in (the bank) buying something (the cookies) and giving it away (to customers). And, hypocritical or not, the fact is that the record labels pay the artist for their work to sell copies of it. If copies of that same work are available for free, then the record labels won't be as interested in paying the artists. Yes, "free sampling" also hurts the artists that choose to work with record labels.

apotheon
apotheon

> English is only my second language but I am sure that "if sampling and word of mouth are so good to content producers, one would suppose that no-one needed to force it down their throats like giving medicine to a non-cooperative child" is pretty easy to understand. It's not actually the labels (or especially the artists) that are fighting the phenomenon of online music sharing, most of the time; it's the RIAA, an organization that magics up shaky statistics gathered under questionable circumstances to support its campaign to drink the blood of artists and drain the labels' bank accounts, to justify and fund its ongoing litigative existence. > And if you don't like the way Sony or any other record label does business, just don't do business with them. This means "don't use their products", not "use their products but don't pay them". Take note of what bboyd actually said. There's nothing in there about using what Sony/BMG produces without paying Sony/BMG.

apotheon
apotheon

You both seem to agree that the artist has the right to dictate how you buy music. On what basis (following what premises) of ethics or morality do you come to that conclusion? As for me . . . I buy music only rarely; when I do, I buy from 1. independent labels that make use of free distribution channels as marketing (e.g. Alfa-Matrix and Metropolis offering royalty-free play rights for Internet radio "stations" like Digital Gunfire) 2. artists who market their work directly and offer the opportunity for free or near-free downloads to determine whether it is worthwhile to pay for anything (e.g. NIN, Harvey Danger, and Radiohead offering pay-what-you-like or free downloads) 3. music that is freely licensed in the first place or whose recording artists encourage free sharing (e.g. The Grateful Dead, or Metallica in the '80s before they went psycho and started attacking Napster and the band's fans) 4. even more rarely, independent music stores with large used CD sections Regardless of the potential rightness of copyright (which is, contrary to popular believe, quite subject to debate), the behavior of the RIAA and its member labels is dead wrong, and I refuse to support that organization and the labels that fund it. More to the point, I'm acutely aware of the utterly crappy quality most music the major labels produce, the fallacies and outright lies in the RIAA's propaganda, and the fact that except for manufactured superstars basically every band in the world signed to an RIAA label makes pretty much no money off music sales, and has to tour or hold down separate jobs to keep itself fed and housed (because public performance is much more lucrative, with CD sales serving as nothing but advertising for live shows from the business success perspective of the band itself. In addition to having been friends with members of bands everywhere from small local acts all the way up to internationally touring acts who actually get radio play, I have a huge advantage in understanding how these things work over most people; I read, and not just from one source. I won't waste my money on music I've never heard from a band I don't already enjoy who probably won't see a penny from the purchase. I'll very occasionally buy something under circumstances that serve both the artist(s) and me, or at least me; I'll go to live shows if I feel the urge, and buy a CD there if I like the music enough; and I'll enjoy the ungodly numbers of songs I already have on my gigantic CD collection, gathered before about a decade ago when I started boycotting anything associated with the RIAA. I urge others to do the same. . . . and I urge others to examine their belief in the importance of copyright law to see if these beliefs are founded on something more than social programming and unquestioned assumption.

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

English is only my second language but I am sure that "if sampling and word of mouth are so good to content producers, one would suppose that no-one needed to force it down their throats like giving medicine to a non-cooperative child" is pretty easy to understand. And if you don't like the way Sony or any other record label does business, just don't do business with them. This means "don't use their products", not "use their products but don't pay them".

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

The statement should have been "FOR 99,9% OF THOSE WHO 'FREE SAMPLE', there is only one motivation behind it: benefit from other people's work without paying them". The limits on copyright's owner (better than "the artist") can be discussed but wether his/her contents are free or not has to be within his/her rights.

apotheon
apotheon

> Are those the only albums you have or the only ones you paid for? This is a particularly egregious case of an ad hominem circumstantial fallacy, of the special form "appeal to motive", because you not only insinuate discredit in the opposition's character as a means of undermining the argument, but invent the circumstances that supposedly produce such a motive in the first place. If you are going to try disputing others' arguments based on slinging the names of informal fallacies, perhaps you should avoid using logical fallacies to try to erode others' arguments yourself. > About sampling and word of mouth, shouldn't it be a choice of those who pay to produce the content with the purpose of selling it? Why? It's an honest question. I want to get down to the basic premises of your argument. > No matter how much people defend "free sampling", there is only one motivation behind it: benefit from other people's work without paying them. Any time something is free, and is the product of someone else's work, that is true. It does not, however, imply wrongdoing. I used to use a bank in the branches of which there would often be fresh-baked cookies for customers. They were free; people who ate them sought to benefit (from the enjoyment of a good cookie) without paying the people whose work produced the cookies, but there was nothing wrong with that. To make a convincing, valid argument that people should not be allowed to make copies of what they have acquired, and share those copies -- and that others should not be able to enjoy the consequences of that sharing -- you will need to provide some kind of additional conditions for determining right and wrong that applies in this case. Just implying that it is wrong does not make it wrong. > And anyone (not necessarily you) replying that that's what record labels do to artists - so it's okay to do the same to them - is being an hipocrit.[sic] Who said that? The fact that the record labels screw the artist is a great reason to come up with business models that do not rely on the RIAA and its member labels, but that doesn't mean that anyone saying so believes the reason it might be okay to "screw" the label has anything to do with the label screwing the artist. In fact, even in cases where it looks like that is something someone is saying, chances are good the person's actual point is that the label is being hypocritical in claiming people should not acquire music through file sharing services because of the effect on the artists.

bboyd
bboyd

I would add a third possibility. The feedback loop of popularity. Consumer A hears the music in any form, buys, copies or comments on music Consumer B is affected by the purchase, popularity count or word of mouth Consumer C sees two people with CD, the hit count or word of mouth Repeat until fad is grown and dissipated at natural Pareto optimal rates dependent on real and perceived utility. My favorite example is the recent resurgence in popularity of a swede pop band "Caramell" because a Japanese PV mix clip used one of their tracks. Selling many more albums now that they are defunct 10 years later than when they played concerts.

apotheon
apotheon

> Can't it be more like "Pirated music and movies enjoy higher sales DESPITE of infringement"? That's possible. Evidence seems to suggest the opposite, however, given that there is no third compelling commonality between infringement rates and sales numbers that has been brought to light. It seems more likely, given the facts known, that there is a causal relationship between infringement rates and sales numbers -- and, given the fact that a wave of infringement generally precedes a wave of purchasing, the most likely causal relationship seems obvious (especially since I am aware of no valid argument that sales retroactively cause infringements). . . . but it's true that there is no unarguable proof of the apparent causal relationship exists, just as there is no proof that I do not live in a solipsistic universe in which you are all figments of my imagination.

bboyd
bboyd

Except for fair use copies loaned to me. Those I return to the original loaner and buy if i like them and they are directly purchased. And yes I consider a stray track digitally "loaned" fair use. As for forcing it down my mouth, listening to pop radio will leave me with something in my mouth, vomit. My favorite way to purchase an album is at the concert. I've been known to toss in extra if the live was great. Want to guess how much the average pop artist nets from a 15$ disk purchase at Walmart. I'm glad to pay the artist. Paying $%^&heads who put root kits to attack my computer like Sony or put track distortion techniques so when I add the song to my play list it has pops is just not high on my list.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Uh-huh.. and what branch of RIAA are you currently employed by? "No matter how much people defend "free sampling", there is only one motivation behind it: benefit from other people's work without paying them." Would you be so kind as to provide evidence that "free sampling" has only ever resulted in taking other's work without paying for it? You have information showing that no one has ever sampled content and then gone out and purchased it? To be clear, it's your "world is black and white" representation of RIAA myths I take issue.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

Does the artist have the right to decide? At first blush I would agree. However, artists by nature of their work do give up certain rights, don't they?(We all do, really, by our career selection, I suppose - normal flow of choice and consequence). When an artist releases a book, album, movie, etc. Do they really have the authority to control where it is sold? What media outlets distribute it? Fair use doctrine obviously puts some restriction on their authority - such as parody, non-profit educational purposes and so forth. How much authority do they/should they really have?

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

"there is only one motivation behind it: benefit from other people's work without paying them"

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

I asked you a question. How does that make me "dead wrong"? Or did you mean that I am "dead wrong" about those who produced the contents having the right to decide to allow "sampling" or not and trust in word of mouth or not? About "sampling" music: friends who bought albums, radio, television, concerts and free samples. About "sampling" films: friends who bought them, television, theaters and rentals. About "sampling" games: friends who bought them and demos. No matter how many albums, movies or games you bought after "sampling" an illegal copy, you don't get to decide that you have the right to "sample". You have the right to make that decision exclusively on the contents that you produced or which copyrights you bought.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I have thousands of dollars worth of CD's Movies and Video Games (yes, I purchased them). I don't listen to radio much. My taste in music are rather eclectic, and radio is rarely an enjoyable listening experience. I rarely go to theaters - I don't care much for the "Theater experience". And there is NO WAY I would blow $50 (or even $20) on a game without taking it for a test drive first, to make sure it isn't complete rubbish. A couple decades ago, my source for samples was friends; we'd lend tapes/CD's/Diskettes to each other, or make tapes for each other - carefully documenting song, artist and album, so that it was easy to identify and purchase after sampling. We were not kind to those who used the system for free music/movies etc.(Peer pressure can be quite effective). The advancement of the internet allowed me access to more music etc. then ever before. I discovered the Corrs through a P2P resource (I Have purchased nearly every album they've made). I discovered Paramore and Apocalyptica through YouTube. I bought the Firefly DVD set after a friend sent me a DVD with copies (hadn't heard of it before then). "Free Sampling" has been the starting point for nearly every Music, Movie and Video game purchase I have made. I am happy to pay artists for good art. I am even willing to accept that I must also fund the mixers, producers, camera men and other people who contribute to the production of said art. They are part of the value-add. The lawyers, lobbyists, and PR engines however are not value-add. They are waste - a drain on creative resources. The internet provides mechanisms to eliminate much of that waste, via (nearly) free, direct marketing. Sure it will be harder perhaps for an artist to make millions, as they would have to compete with a much larger base. But... Tools evolve. Businesses must adapt, or die. This isn't anything new nor is it unique to the entertainment industry. And lobbying to protect the status quote isn't going to cut it. BTW - I have all but stopped buying music, movies, etc... in the past year. I am saddened that it is the case, as there are many artists I would like to support, and much new art I would like to collect, but I won't buy media with restrictive DRM, and I am tired of funding the aforementioned lawyers, lobbyists, etc...

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

Are those the only albums you have or the only ones you paid for? About sampling and word of mouth, shouldn't it be a choice of those who pay to produce the content with the purpose of selling it? I mean, if sampling and word of mouth are so good to content producers, one would suppose that no-one needed to force it down their throats like giving medicine to a non-cooperative child. No matter how much people defend "free sampling", there is only one motivation behind it: benefit from other people's work without paying them. And anyone (not necessarily you) replying that that's what record labels do to artists - so it's okay to do the same to them - is being an hipocrit.

bboyd
bboyd

They both hold sway. Some people buy the content after getting a free sample. Others get the content after word of mouth from user who have copied. Yet more just fill the normal legal channels. Industry responses are those of a thrashing mastodon failing to adapt and stuck in the tar pit. Personally the only albums I buy are ones directly from the artist. I'm done paying record labels to interfere with music. As for movies pay in the theater and that is the way I want my experience. Don't really need to buy a movie rented for 1/15th the cost. I'm not watching it 15 times or loaning it out. I think the movie industry needs to move to large format (IMAX or other) and really provide theatrical value.