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back to article Freetard-friendly MP allegedly cuffed after scrap in Commons bar

The freetards' second-favourite MP, Eric Joyce (sample quote: "It's highly debatable that downloading is theft") has allegedly been arrested following a fight in the Strangers Bar at the House of Commons. An anonymous eyewitness quoted at Total Politics alleged that Joyce, 51, head-butted a Conservative MP and punched a Labour …

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If there's one thing we can take from this is that his arrest totally won't be used as a sledgehammer to invalidate his political work.

Oh wait, this is the UK, I'm surprised the Daily Heil hasn't decided that piracy funds illegal muslim house prices under sharia law.

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And cause cancer.

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Anonymous Coward

Makes you go blind.

Hairy palms is not uncommon either.

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"piracy funds illegal muslim house prices under sharia law."

Piracy may well do. Copyright license infringement? No so much.

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Anonymous Coward

That's all well and good, but...

What about the swans?

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Anonymous Coward

I've never heard of him, and have no idea of his political work, but he sure does sound like a charming chap. Brawls, drink-driving, £1m expenses claim; sounds like exactly the sort of person I want in the House of Commons...

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Sorry, but I don't want that man representing anything to do with my country, or its politics. Failing to provide a breath test, long history of breaking the law and now a punch-up in the Commons. This guy isn't a politician, he's a government-paid thug.

You can be sure that if *I'd* done those things in my local pub, I would lose my job, whether or not it happened in a work bar. What the hell is the political system coming to when this kind of thing even HAPPENS within earshot of the halls of government by its own representatives?

He's a law-breaking thug. It makes me question exactly how he got to where he is (A degree in religious studies? Really?), the power he has, the budget/expenses he's given, and what methods he uses in his work-life if a head-butt is used in his personal one.

I'm apolitical, because of shite like this. How many of you would be allowed to keep your job after refusing a breath test and/or a punch-up with your work colleagues? Remind me again what happened to some of the rioters who did a lot less?

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Anonymous Coward

don't know why anyone's surprised

Put a scotsman in a bar with saasenachs and alcohol.

What thinketh us would happen.

It doesn't require a genius level talent in inductive reasoning to predict this, does it?

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Pint

Gross Dereliction of Duty

You could have stayed for another. Just one more, one and I'm gone. And then another.

You never said which one you'd leave after.

Cheers!

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So

What beers were they serving?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So

I gather "Top Totty" is no longer available there .... probably for the best as I read demand for it elsewhere has soared since their Westminster advertising campaign!

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Megaphone

Re: So

Who was buying the beers and has it been declared?

Or were you just lobbying to bring back hanging for Pirates?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Re: So

Don't be silly lad.

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Posting in an epic thread

since Andrew has actually enabled comments in an article using the word "freetard"...well done sir!

It's actually good to see an MP that actually understands the stupidity of today's copyright laws. Downloading is not theft, it's copyright violation, and saying so does not make anyone a "freetard", Andrew, which is mere ad-hominem name-calling and does nothing to validate your point of view.

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Ru
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On conflation

The fact that copyright violation is not theft has very little to do with "the stupidity of today's copyright laws". Personally I'm very much in favour of the copyright status quo in the UK, with the exception of the current trends towards shifting the balance of power in favour of big content distributors and lengthening copyright terms.

Also, I think I'd probably go as far as saying that 'copyright violation is not theft' is not freetardery. It is when you then go on to say things equivalent to 'copyright *is* theft, man!' that you enter the realms of the freetard.

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Stop

Re: On conflation

In many realms of live we can observe shades of grey; absolutes, yielding black-and-white choices, are rare. But I'm afraid you've stumbled across one. Copyright on art is property, for among other reasons, one very good one, which ought to incur the sympathy of policymakers and the public alike: copyright is the only form of property in music composition and movie creation, the fruit of its makers' professional lives. If you don't pay, they won't get paid, and there won't be art, and their lives will also be shit. Copyright violation in the form of downloading without paying the asking price, is therefore not only theft, but deplorable, disgusting, an evil.

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Re: Posting in an epic thread

But what else other than copyright comprises the property in art, such that those who give their lives to making it can be paid, and others who would make it, are able to? How can taking without paying for the only part of such art which can be sold, be other than theft?

Footnote - you misunderstand and misuse the term 'ad hominem'. It's ad hominem if I say you've got no argument because you have a big nose. It's not ad hominem if I tell you you're in the grip of an infantile, delusional, self-interested, fallacious belief that people should be able to take the fruits of others' labour without paying for them.

Epic fail, and no messing.

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Re: Posting in an epic thread

Agreed.

We have allowed private interests to push the agenda that copyright infringement is equal to theft, whilst it clearly is not - theft deprives a person of something physical and tangible, for instance if your car is stolen, you no longer have a car.

Copyright infringement is just that - it deprives the copyright holder of a potential lost sale. note the use of the word potential. large copyright holders like to claim that a potential lost sale is equivalent to an actual lost sale. This, also, is clearly not true.

There is also an agenda being pushed that copyright infringement is equivalent to counterfeiting. There is a world of differnece between making a copy of something contained only in a digital form available, and manufacturing and selling counterfeit goods. In the case of the latter, I see no problem with the prosecution of the perpetrator, seizure of profits and claims for damages for lost sales. This, however, should be a civil, not criminal matter.

Mixed in with all this is the use of the word 'piracy' to describe copyright infringement. This is a deliberate attempt to associate crimes such as murder, rape and theft with a relatively minor civil matter, in the eyes of the public, and should not be allowed to stand.

As to whether downloading things for free is right or wrong - that is irrelevant. Stating that, "It's highly debatable that downloading is theft," is a statement of fact that doesn't support one view or the other. The MP in question may be many things (and personally I don't much like the sound of the man), but the term 'freetard' is a lazy, petty ad hominem attack.

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@Tapeador

To claim that someone is, "in the grip of an infantile, delusional, self-interested, fallacious belief" sounds pretty ad-hominem to me. It sounds like you are accusing someone you don't know of being infantile, delusional and self-interested. Just because you are sayig that about the person's beliefs, not the person directly, doesn't make it not so.

The problem that many people have with copyright laws as they stand are myriad. Here are a few:

- In many cases the rights to a work or performance lie not with the artist, but with businesses who profit from owning those rights. The original artist sees little or none of the profit.

- It is arguable that copyrights last way too long. Why should someone continue to be paid for a recording made 30 years previously, each time a copy is made. Why should such rights last beyond the lifetime of the original author?

- An original artwork retains its value if a copy is made - which is worth more, an original Picasso painting, or a print of the painting?

- Musicians and performers make their money from performance, not from selling recordings of the performance. The people which purchase the rights to the recording of the performance make their money from selling copies of the recordings, not from the performance itself. These two entities are not usually the same people. When they are, they are not usually the 'victims' of copyright infringement to the same degree (e.g. performers selling CDs for a few pounds at a gig).

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Posting in an epic thread

You're jumping to conclusions there Steve.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Posting in an epic thread

The idea that information and art should be shared freely is retarded....to the retarded who suffer from a massive lack of vision and/or intelligence. You want to pay money for things that are worth nothing and can be trivially reproduced forever, ad infinitum, knock your stupid self out. Be my guest.

If artists stop making their art because of a lack of financial remuneration then that's just fine by me, because they're the ones producing vapid, empty shit anyway. Any artist who produces art from passion (which is what art is and should be) will get paid, one way or the other. Be it personally by fans who attend their shows/concerts, or donations. Paying a bunch of leeches in the middle makes no sense to me. They don't do anything, apart from take money.

If someone builds me a house, I'll pay for it. I cannot do it myself, and I cannot `copy it`. Even if I could, it would be OK, because all of the labour would be my own. If someone sings a song, once, and I can put that song on a disc that I OWN, and with no effort whatsoever duplicate it.... why is it worth anything (other than the cost of the physical disc ?).

Methinks Andrew lives in the world of that mad cow, Ayn Rand and Mr Gault. Poppycock.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Posting in an epic thread

You clearly demonstrate that you have absolutely NO understanding of the concept of THEFT. A quick scan through a dictionary should suffice.

If I download one `copy` of a song, I have stolen one copy? If I then write this information onto 99,000 discs, which I keep for myself, have I `stolen` one copy, or 99,000 copies? Has the artist lost out on 99,000 sales? Of course not. Does the artist still have their song in their possession? If they do, how has it been stolen at all, whether once or 99,000 times?

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Anonymous Coward

@Tapeador

To put it simply: You are wrong.

Theft is taking something without the owner's permission whereby you deny the owner the use of that thing. Copying a thing is not, therefor, theft, for the thing still remains in the owners possession. For example: I copy the Mona Lisa. The original is still there on display, but now I have a copy. I copy a track from a CD: The CD is still in the possession of the owner, but I now have a copy. If I download a copy you made of a CD, I have a copy, but the CD is still in the hands of the owner. I do no take possession of the original, and I do not take possession of the copyright.

Copying the music without permission is, however, breaching the rights of the copyright holder, and for that they can choose to pursue me and bring a private, civil prosecution against me.

Copying the music and distributing it is facilitating and encouraging the breach of the copyright holder's rights, and opens me up to a more severe penalty. But it's still a civil offense. One the copyright holders will want a lot of compensation for, but it's still in the land of civil offenses.

Selling copies of the music is criminal: It's fraud. Why? Because I'm implying I have the right to sell the music when I don't. Still not theft, though. Not unless I stole the original to copy it...

The only time you could claim someone has stolen copyright is if that is what they've done: Taken the copyright away from the owner and claimed it as their own. But please note before you argue that's what copying is doing: It isn't as the owner of the copyright still has the copyright and can still enforce it. To steal the copyright is therefor somewhat difficult.

However, it's more intimidating to say 'copyright violations are theft: You can be arrested and locked away for ten years!'. It even sounds plausible to people who do not understand the law.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Use of the term Freetard in this article

For the record: Andrew didn't intend to call Joyce a freetard, he used the term 'Copyfighter'. As the editor around here, I changed it. We have previously called Joyce "the freetard's friend" and similar things, but in this instance, if you are cross with Andrew about the use of the term "freetard", don't be. Be cross with me instead by all means.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Re: Posting in an epic thread

"If artists stop making their art because of a lack of financial remuneration then that's just fine by me, because they're the ones producing vapid, empty shit anyway. "

Would you work for free? Thought not.

It's talk-like-a-teenager day.

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Vic
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Re: Re: On conflation

> Copyright violation in the form of downloading without paying the asking

> price, is therefore not only theft,

Except that it simply isn't. Not in the UK, at any rate.

Theft is described in the Theft Act 1968. A core part of the definition is that it must be an attempt permanently to deprive the owner of his property.

So even if we use your "copyright is property" argument[1], downloading a copyrighted work does not deprive the owner of his property. That means it is not theft.

Copyright infringement is a problem - although I couldn't say how big a problem. It deserves to be dealt with by the courts. But conflating it with theft is simply an error; copyright infringement is not theft, just as driving at 95mph isn't burglary.

Vic.

[1] I don't accept your premise, actually - but that makes no difference to the point I'm making here.

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Ru
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Re: Re: On conflation

Copyright, and copyright violation are abstract things, property and theft rather less so. By violating your copyrights or other intellectual property, I am limiting your ability to do with your creations what you will, but I am not removing that creation from you. Rendering the creation financially unviable forever, by giving it away to the world for free, is still not theft regardless of the value of that creation.

You are using 'theft' for its emotive value, not its meaning.

"Copyright violation in the form of downloading without paying the asking price, is therefore not only theft, but deplorable, disgusting, an evil."

And speaking of emotive... evil? really? It is senseless, thoughtless, greedy, selfish... it grants short term gain at the expense of long term availability of creative talents and the things they can produce. This is ultimately a very unfortunate thing, for society as a whole let alone the people whose livelihoods have been made unviable, but evil? That's a bit of a stretch. For evil, have a look at what the Chinese and Soviet communists did, back in the day, to the 'wrong' sorts of artist.

Incidentally I speak as someone who has made a modest sum of money from my own creative talents, and I very much value the ability to exercise my rights as a creator. Couching your argument in the terms you have serves no useful purpose, and is right up there with the 'copyright is theft' folk on the other side of the discussion.

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Re: Re: Re: Posting in an epic thread

>>"If artists stop making their art because of a lack of financial remuneration then that's just fine by >>me, because they're the ones producing vapid, empty shit anyway. "

>Would you work for free? Thought not.

I think that's his point. Without backing him or arguing against him, I'll just point out that I think he WANTS the "vapid shit" as he puts it, to go away. To stop being produced, you know?

If they won't work for free, they won't produce said vapid shit.

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Re: Re: Re: Posting in an epic thread

Talk like a teenager day?

Indeed. Standing in the vicinity of teens does let one overhear much ignorant name-calling based on nothing more than a difference of viewpoint.

As a responsible parent, I teach my children that it is not appropriate to ridicule people because of such things. Name-calling is childish behavior. As a parent of a child with an autistic spectrum disorder I find the term "retard", and it's derivatives, to be particularly insensitive and immature.

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Pint

I wonder

what did you do, Andrew?

What did you whisper in someone's ear that resulted in the fisticuffs?

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Black Helicopters

I'm more curious to know

Why he was there in the first place and which MP was keeping him topped up with well-kept ale.

.....actually, why would an MP be buying our beloved editor drinks....?

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Happy

Re: I'm more curious to know

executive editor I believe

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: I wonder

I am an INNOCENT MAN.

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Happy

Re: Re: I wonder

Andrew.

nice to see you joining in the fun.

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Meh

Interesting story, but it would have been nice if Joyce's stance on the link between downloading copyrighted content and theft had, you know, *anything* to do with the story. (Was he trying to "liberate" someone else's drinks when the scuffle kicked off? Or was it just that sticking Freetard in the headline was likely to attract more clicks?)

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Yes, that's the tech angle.

C.

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Coat

@underpants

Clearly he was testing the adage "free as in beer".

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Debatable?

"It's highly debatable that downloading is theft" - that's a silly thing to say. It's not "highly debatable" at all, it's not theft by any stretch of the imagination or English language.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Debatable?

Exactly, you're not stealing or denying possession of something to anyone unless you take the physical item from them, leaving them with nothing.

All you are doing is denying an income from a copyrighted work.

Stealing a CD from a shop is theft, copying a CD is unauthorised duplication.

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FAIL

Re: Debatable?

I think, then, you're referring to your imagination, which must be practically nonexistent. I say this because not only is downloading music, film, games without paying the asking price for them theft, it is an appallingly destructive form, which destroys vast numbers of jobs, and whole industries - often those which have traditionally enabled those without expensive educations to make a great success of their lives. Not only have you the imagination of a beansprout, you have the empathy of a brass button.

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Thumb Up

Re: Debatable?

...yet certain people sit around, well, debating it nonetheless.

Doesn't that make it debatable? ;-)

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Stop

Re: Re: Debatable?

Could you explain which 'whole industries' have been destroyed by people downloading films, music, games etc?

As far as I'm aware there is still a film industry, music industry, game industry.

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Re: Re: Debatable?

Destroys vast numbers job jobs and whole industries? Post proof or retract.

No, the demise of the Amiga due to the rise of 3D-capable cheap PCs, over-priced Amiga parts and a complete lack of development after the CD32 is not an example, though people do love to say "Piracy Killed The Amiga" a lot.

They certainly don't have an underactive imagination.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Debatable?

Your right after all "Home Taping is Killing Music".

Since early the early 1980's no music has ever been made. All recording studios, production companies and distribution companies are now bankrupt.

1 download != one lost sale.

And no I don't "illegally" download music or films.

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FAIL

Re: Re: Debatable? (@Tapeador)

I can only assume you are employed by one of the music companies, or more likely one of the enforcement companies they've setup. Evidence........you have no idea of the legal definition of theft; have no idea of the customer; have no evidence to back your argument (re job losses etc.) and insult everyone all the time.

In fact, the evidence is all around that this sort of copyright violation doesn't really do any harm, especially to artists. Adele (for instance) is a very recent artist who has not had long to harvest money and yet is reportedly (new house in Sussex etc.) doing very well thank you very much. I don't really notice loads more poor bands and artists than say during the 70s and I don't really notice any lack of very rich artsists either. The balance seems much the same as during the 70s and 80s, hence it doesn't really seem to have affected anything.

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Re: Re: Re: Debatable? (@Tapeador)

I'm sure a bot churns these out.

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@Mad Mike

If they earn 10k they say it should have been 100k. Evil pirates!

If they earn 100k they say it should have been 1M. Evil pirates!

If they earn 1M they say it should have been 10M. Evil pirates!

Repeat to ∞

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Facepalm

Not this old chestnut again

Downloading is not theft, Andrew. Go read the Theft Act. He may well be a Freetard, but saying that downloading is not theft merely indicates that he knows how theft is defined in English law.

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Re: Not this old chestnut again

Also, various studies have shown that unlicensed downloads have no affect on sales.

Further more, the industry is doing just fine.

That majors? Oh, well, they are suffering but that's their own fault (hence ".music" etc. and having laws enacted so that they can act as gatekeepers to culture).

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Re: Not this old chestnut again

This is a satire of a 13-year old freetard. Er, right?

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