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Heard the one about The Pirate Bay being ripped off? This week there was a lovely story of the Swedish scofflaws being annoyed by clone sites. Many of you enjoyed the wedding-cake sized dollops of irony in this, but some furious freetards didn't. El Reg has got it all wrong, they insist. MarKo1 is a newcomer to the Reg forums, …

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Numpties, the lot of them.

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Paris Hilton

I DIDNT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE STEALING IS TEALING RIGHT

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FAIL

Did you just randomly attach your post to the earliest there was despite having nothing to do with it, so that people would see it? Oh, you did.

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Coat

"IS TEALING RIGHT" -- No, it is a place in Angus. The Caps-lock key, however, is RIGHT below the TAB key F.Y.I.

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Creationsists

That's the nearest parallel to the mental contortions I see from pro-Piracy types when trying to justify piracy. Some of us pay for content and fund the industry. Others live off our spending for free. But pro-piracy arguments never confront that. They always make up weird reasons based on this idea that the content industry is some a priori fact of existence, rather than a product of average people working and spending their money to buy movies and music. And no-wonder the arguments always take this approach. It's a lot more palletable to the pro-Piracy advocates to argue that they're ripping off some Evil Industry than be open about the unarguable fact that they are skiving off the money paid by those of us actually willing to buy movies, ebooks, etc.

Most of the remotely "legitimate" reasons for priacy have long since been stripped away (I want it in an MP3 format, it's over-priced) or are rapidly being stripped away. Leaving the truth that the real reason is primarily because they feel they can get it without paying and not get caught. The more honest said that upfront. Only in weird echo-chambers like Slashdot do you find people despearately trying to twist things round to show how their taking stuff for free helps the artist or the industry. Weird notions that the studio behind the Avengers would make more money if they shared the movie online and relied on sticking ads in it or something. Or that people would contribute money if they thought it deserved it. Or people arguing that because distribution and reproduction methods are cheaper now, that the products should be free. As if the worth of a novel is in the paper and the stamps used to post it to you, rather than the writing itself. (As some have argued eBooks should be free now).

I can rent movies in HD. If I want to buy them, I can get most of them for less than a tenner. Even blu-rays if I'm willing to wait a few months which I usually am. I can buy songs for .79 or less delivered straight to my phone or for less than a tenner a month, I can have access to enormous quantities of music on demand.

At least most of the people I know who pirate in real life acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong, but that they do it anyway. Only online do I find this weird Creationist-like mindset that argues living off the spending of others (or where do they think the content industries come from if not us) is somehow beneficial.

Ooh, I nearly forgot my favourite: "if I take your car, you no longer have a car. But if I copy it, you haven't lost anything". Well actually, yes, I've lost the reason I created a car to sell in the first place.

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Re: Creationsists

while I do agree with a good part of what you wrote, I will have to point out that you skipped on one important argument that the industry is refusing to address: Regional lock on physical and digital goods.

As someone who live in one of those other countries, I can't buy any digital movies nor music nor some ebooks. I have to take my chance on the blu-ray copy and hope that it will be worth owning!

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Re: Creationsists

"I will have to point out that you skipped on one important argument that the industry is refusing to address: Regional lock on physical and digital goods."

Ahh, now there I agree with you. Regional lock-ins are a pain in the arse. They're one of the "legitimate" arguments for piracy. (Quote marks because by legitimate, I mean a case can be made). Of course the ethical thing to do with that is, if pirating, to purchase it when it does become available. But yes, a good point. Happily, I think that is radily eroding. Not fast enough, but eroding. It's particularly a good thing for those in rich countries (or ones where we get heavily rripped off like the UK) because it forces prices down to more of an average. It's bad for poorer countries, because they find goods being priced upwards higher than the optimal that they're local market would bear.

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Re: Creationsists

I think this is the crux of the problem. Time and again we see examples where people are willing to pay a substantial premium for only a slight benefit - for example look at the local supermarket where people spend more than £2 a peice on heads for the latest Gillette razor when right by them el cheapo disposable razors work out at 3p each or less.

The problem with regional coding and any other form of DRM is that people are being asked to pay a premium for product that is inferior to a cheaper alternative. Why go to itunes and get a product that only works with a single manufacturer's equipment and I can't freely transfer from device to device when the MP3 from the file sharers has none of those restrictions?

For all the creative industries cries of innovation they are still wedded to old pricing models. When a CD cost £10, governed largely by the costs of manufacture, exces stock, and distribution (including fat margins along the way) you needed a certain level of profit per copy to preserve your magins. When the cost of distribution reduces to approximately nothing the prices didn't change too much - it was all additional margin. Why hasn't the reverse happened? Why not encourage a gorge of consumption instead and charge 5-10p for that same album? Bundle them up - e.g. £5 per month for up to 50 albums, and people would be happy to pay for convenience.

You wouldn't need DRM then, since the price paid is nothing compared to the convenience of having everything properly catalogued and available from a reputable source, at decent speed, where you know what you downloaded is what is claimed to be, and none of that messing with P2P port forwarding. The attraction of pirating a copy then disappears when you can get the legal copy more easily for a nominal amount of money already paid out. The industry benefits from getting more money per punter even if the cost per copy is through the floor - £60 each per year is far more attractive than three or four CDs per year picked up at Tesco.

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Re: Creationsists

"Some of us pay for content and fund the industry." There lies the problem. "content". A plant growing from the earth is not "content" - until you take a picture and demand people pay to look at it.

The film industry does NOT need to spend 80 million to tell a story. They spend more and more each year, the price of cinema tickets goes up year after year (even before broadband). Harry Potter broke box office records and they still complained about piracy. The killer blow, No refunds. Go to the cinema or buy a DVD and you dont like the film. Tough.

1 CD Album 12 tracks £9.99

1 mp3 Album 12 tracks £11.88

HOW CAN AN MP3 ALBUM COST MORE? It doesnt make sense. No packaging, no distribution, no CD burning. Of course it doesn't cost more to make. But the the precious industry (upon seeing how popular mp3s are will jack up the price) Ever heard the phrase "could have bought it for a song" - it comes from the notion that songs are inherently worthless.

"Avengers would make more money if they shared the movie online and relied on sticking ads in it or something. Or that people would contribute money if they thought it deserved it. " Like if the whole movie was an advert for the toys? - and presumably you did think it was worth it and contribute? So they were bang on there.

I nearly forgot my favourite: "if I take your car, you no longer have a car. But if I copy it, you haven't lost anything". Well actually, yes, I've lost the reason I created a car to sell in the first place.

Then why can't the studios and artists be as honest? "No the movie is shit, but we'll sell millions of toys off the back of it" OR "no this album isn't my best work, hence the bonus tracks"

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Re: Creationsists

"Why go to itunes and get a product that only works with a single manufacturer's equipment and I can't freely transfer from device to device when the MP3 from the file sharers has none of those restrictions?"

I have this hunch that it's been a while since you actually PAID for music. Whenever I buy music online, it comes down the pipe as a high-quality MP3 that I can do what I like with. Amazon sells them this way, so does Zune. I've got quite a few of them going back a few years. Movies tend to be DRM'd but then, really, is the inconvenience of buying something from a shop or waiting a day for delivery now the justification for not paying at all? If it is, then surely one could download it whilst waiting for the movie to arrive, but I'd lay money that's not what most downloaders are doing.

"For all the creative industries cries of innovation they are still wedded to old pricing models. When a CD cost £10, governed largely by the costs of manufacture, exces stock, and distribution (including fat margins along the way) you needed a certain level of profit per copy to preserve your magins. When the cost of distribution reduces to approximately nothing the prices didn't change too much - it was all additional margin"

I don't think so. Six years ago, I could easily pay over a tenner for a CD. Now an album purchased typically as a download costs me around £7.99. And in that time, the price of other things has actually risen. Food has gone up by about 20% over the last year or so alone. Inflation is the bringer of pain. And it's easier to pick and choose songs from an album too so even though they're a few pence more than if you buy them in bulk, I still end up paying less than I used to. Besides, what makes you an authority on how the costs of distribution compared to production of the content, etc. break-down? If I buy a song on CD or as a download, they're both going to end up as files on my hard drive. The download version is actually more convenient for me yet costs less. I see positives here, to be honest. I'm getting the same as I got before for less money and with less hassle. Anyone who complains the prices haven't gone down when they haven't gone up, needs to look into how prices of everything else have risen in the same time frame. I think you'll find that music and movies are competitive. Blu-rays have sunk down to being just a slight mark-up on DVD costs when they used to be double and I can easily find older DVDs for a fiver or less in HMV.

"Why hasn't the reverse happened? Why not encourage a gorge of consumption instead and charge 5-10p for that same album? Bundle them up - e.g. £5 per month for up to 50 albums, and people would be happy to pay for convenience."

Probably BECAUSE of piracy. The lower prices get, the fewer qualms people have about pirating them. Maybe that sounds counter-intuitive to you, but it's actually the case that if your product costs 5p, people think nothing of just downloading it free. Though I think you have an unrealistic idea of how low prices can go and be profitable. Take a small time band. If they're lucky, they might sell a thousand albums online (if they're lucky). For this, you would give them 5,000 - 10,000 *pence* by your figures. Let's pick the middle figure: you've said they've made £75 before taxes and hosting costs. That's slightly over an hour of time renting the recording studio down the road from me. Eek! There go the small time musicians. Lady Gaga might just squeeze out a living under your expectations of what is a fair price, but sucks to be a less world famous musician.

But this masks a different issue. You are setting yourself up as arbitrator of how much things should cost. You're saying to other people: your work is not worth what you think it is, it's worth how much I think it is. Do you think you're not? Well in that case, you should be looking for a system whereby people can work out how much they think something is worth as a group. Ah, wait. We have that - it's called the market. Charge more than people think it's worth, and people don't buy. Charge too little and the same people buy but would have given you more. Piracy is a way of opting out of negotiations and forcing the artist to sell at a price they have not agreed to. Again, sucks to be them.

"£60 each per year is far more attractive than three or four CDs per year picked up at Tesco."

I have that. Zune music pass. It's actually £7.50 per month and gets me an absolutely massive and growing selection of music that I can pull down onto any of the devices I own and play happily. There is DRM, but they've long since managed to make it all but invisible to me. So you've more or less got what you wanted there. It's a rental rather than a purchase, but if you want to purchase an album that you can play forever and ever and ever (as high quality MP3s without DRM), it's a bit more than a fiver.

Everything the pro-piracy people said they wanted in exchange to stop pirating, is now here. And to be fair, many people have stopped pirating and now buy. So that's good. It just leaves a few seeking ever more insane concessions in exchange for not taking people stuff for free. I'm of the opinion that such people just like taking things for free. :(

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Re: noodled24

Yes, this is the tortured, Creationist-style logic I referred to. In essence your post is: 'I pirate it because it's shit'.

Or argument like how Avengers is wrong to charge so much because it's actually an advert for the toys. Yes indeed. I was in a showing with several hundred adults and I'm sure they all rushed out to buy little plastic figures thus letting the studio recoup the fortune it cost to make.

As to your befuddlement at a CD costing more than an MP3 album, firstly, you missed off the specific album. I assume that you're comparing the same album in the two different formats and not being dishonest I hope? And these prices are similarly from the same seller because you know different places sell things at different prices? And this is a newly release album because you are aware that prices change over time and there aren't a legion of super-robots making sure everything is updated simultaneously everywhere all the time and you are aware that often with physical media content producers have to guesstimate eventual sales and sometimes over-produce and therefore discount a product in order to partially recoup their investment. As with, for (just to pick a completely random example) CDs?

The stuff about how "a plant growing from the earth is not content" is so dislocated from being a intelligible argument it's hard to actually address. Yes - a photograph of a plant can be art, even though the photographer did not create the plant. In fact, it's very common for photographers not to create plants. I have some startling news for you about portraiture also. ;)

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Pirate

cult of celebrity

"At least most of the people I know who pirate in real life acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong, but that they do it anyway. Only online do I find this weird Creationist-like mindset that argues living off the spending of others (or where do they think the content industries come from if not us) is somehow beneficial."

The religion isn't creationism, it's the cult of celebrity. A full blown religion requires guilt, repentance and sacrifice without which redemption can't occur. We get the sermon about how copying without paying is a kind of theft and illegal downloading is threatening our celebrities, which we can't skip through when we watch a DVD. I don't know anyone who doesn't infringe copyright somehow at least once a week or so, but for the celeb cult to survive, we at the very least have to be made to feel guilty about it.

Don't even allow yourself to consider for a moment that copyright is a recent law in the scale of things and laws are by their nature political. If you do, you're violating the basic tenets of this religion which requires acceptance of its doctrines without rational thought. Copyright, so we are told, is "a human right" of artists, clearly not shared by ordinary mortals. Others must consider ourselves a lower form of life for the term 'artist' to have other than its ordinary meaning.

In order for us to accept with copyright terms which are suboptimal in relation to consumer interests, the artists who are the most visible beneficiaries have to be elevated by the legal and journalistic priesthood of this religion to the status of gods and godesses. That's what 'celebrity' really implies; an earlier form of this cult used to use the 'idol' word directly. Then the economic case that new artists get an unduly small share of limited revenue and consumers get a bad deal because less new art is encouraged than would be with shorter copyright terms, can be dismissed with the theology that infidels (freetards, thieves, pirates etc.) don't appreciate that artists and celebs must have their pensions provided for unto the third and fourth generation. What purpose 'celebrities' as recognition of otherworldly status if they are not to be ascended unto a state of paradise on earth ? Priests of the cult must portray unbelievers as mentally and morally deficient, because we don't properly appreciate art.

But for a minor cult to become a full blown religion, its gods require sacrifice. That's what you used to think of as your freedom of speech as a programmer if your expression is copyright threatening. Do that now and you go to jail. It used to be when you purchased some consumer electronics you thought it was yours and you controlled it. No longer. If you thought you had a right to privacy of communications that's gone too. To protect you from copyright sin your Net connection has to be spied upon, and you and your family have to be threatened with disconnection, casting your life out into the darkness.

Idolatries must enslave their followers, that's in their nature. Our fundamental liberties are not too great a sacrifice to pay are they ? They are ?? Freetards, parasites, be damned the lot of you until eternity minus a day !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Regional locks

At times I've bought DVDs from other regions, ripped them using DVD Decrypter, and then burned them in region-free format to a disc of my own. It takes time, but at least people get paid etc.

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Re: Creationsists

The reduction in the price of CDs is down to a shift in the market and nothing to do with the studios themselves. The supermarkets now shift more CDs than anyone else but of course they only stock the most popular titles. The big warehouses (e.g. Amazon) fill out the long tail. The traditional record store model is falling by the wayside as uneconomic. Look at prices in HMV and you don't see any evidence of a price crash.

Last year including both physical and digital sales, the UK sold roughly 120m albums and 180m singles. That's 2 albums per person and 3 singles. Perhaps £25 per head spending. Half of that is going to the retailers and distribution channels (yes, these figure are not made up on the spot). Manufacturing costs have to be taken out too so we're talking about £10 per head getting as far as the studios. If you spend £60 on a digital service, £45 of which goes to the studios, which is more? You'll note I didn't suggest getting out a credit card to pay 10p per time: the virtually-all-you-can-eat subscription model trades volume for margin: it's easy to persuade people to spend more to get more. Half of all physicaly sales occur over the Christmas period anyway, and people are still goign to want something tangible to give to the music lover of some form or other.

If we take your 1,000 selling album then at the moment the sales figures are financially an irrelevance to the artists anway - the majority of albums never earn enough to pay even their advance. On the other hand if the album is effectively free as part of a bundle that most users will never use up, users can download it simply out of curiosity, either browsing the online listings, or hearing about them somewhere. There's no longer a buying decision to be made so it becomes tens of thousands. If not, well those albums have been paid for whether they are downloaded or not - it is still money going into supporting the industry.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DVD Regions

It's worth remembering what thinking gave us DVD regions... There was a problem with VHS versions of movies not being released for a very long time after the initial release of the film. This annoyed film viewers. The reason this came about was because the actual film of each film was only duplicated a number of times, then those duplicates were displayed in regions. That is: The US got the film first, then Europe, then other countries, allowing for the fact that some subtitled or dubbed versions were also released in specific regions. Duplicating film is fabulously expensive, so the studios were reluctant to duplicate too many copies of a film, in case it was a flop. They were then forced to only release VHS copies after the full first run of the film had finished, because once a VHS release had been made, no-one had any reason to watch the film in the cinema (the most profitable place to see it.)

When DVDs were being designed, some bright spark from the film industry suggested that they make DVDs in such a way that the distribution of a DVD could track the films, a coupe of months afterwards. The upshot being that film lovers could get their personal copies much quicker, after the cinematic release of the film, with less incentive to copy a VHS or just get one and not see the film in the cinema. So, it was actually something to please customers, rather than penalise them - you'll notice that films which don't get a cinematic or televisual release (ie: porn) tend to not be region encoded.

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Re: cult of celebrity

Well that's one of the most bizarre strawmen pieces I've ever read. I have to say, amanfrommars does it a lot better.

Basically, you rail against a cult of celebrity despite no-one in this discussion so far as I can see doing this wailing about the starving celebrities that you seem to have written four paragraphs repudiating. No one has talked about celebrities being different to "ordinary mortals" except for you. In fact, I think yours is the first mention of "celebrities". My post to which you've replied was actually talking about pirates leaching off US - i.e. the people whose money funds all this content and whom the pirates benefit from without sharing the financial burden. You've done exactly what I said would be done in my first post: created an argument completely blind to the fact that it's OUR money that funds the content's production and thus it is us that the pirates leach off. Instead, as I said you would, you've gone straight for an argument that treats the content industry as this magical discrete entity that just exists (and is evil) rather than actually being something a lot of people have put their money into because they want this content to exist. You were obviously just looking for an opportunity to put your argument out there, even when that argument didn't fit. The examples I used in my post were small press publishers of role-playing games and (iirc) The Avengers movie. So... what? You think people are buying tickets to see that movie because they're indoctrinated members of your "Cult of Celebrity", not because they might actually have an interest in seeing it? No, I think you just tied your rant to my post even though it didn't actually fit as a reply because you wanted to rant.

If we strip away all the unsupported rhetoric about how sermons and guilt trips and idols (none of which have been actual arguments here), we find two very sparse actual arguments in your post.

1. "Don't even allow yourself to consider for a moment that copyright is a recent law in the scale of things and laws are by their nature political"

So recentness invalidates a law does it? So laws against beating your partner (either sex) or sacking someone for being gay or the Geneva Convention... all more recent than copyright law (which goes back a pretty long way)... these are invalid because they're recent? No? Okay so your actual logical principle that forms the basis of the above doesn't make sense. The law is by nature political? So copyright applies to some political factions but not others. No? It's non-partisan? Well perhaps it applies only to some classes and not others. No? Any writer regardless of who they are qualifies for the same terms for their work and period of expiration after their death? Well in that case, maybe it's no more a political law than a law against murder or theft and you just said what you thought sounded good.

2. "Copyright, so we are told, is "a human right" of artists, clearly not shared by ordinary mortals."

Copyright is applicable to all of us. For example, many people here have written saleable software. They are able to be paid because of copyright law. Perhaps they are not "ordinary mortals". Well, those of us who can program in C++ aren't, I'll grant you that. ;) But I don't think that's what you meant. I think you were just off on your perculiar and UNPROVOKED rant about your "cult of celebrity".

You did comment on how you objected to authorities pushing to inspect our Internet traffic. I'll agree with you on that one and some of us who have been politically active in trying to oppose that would have had a Hell of a lot easier job doing so if it hadn't been for the large numbers of people committing wide-spread copyright infringement and providing half the justification for it.

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Re: noodled24

No, in essence thats not what I said.

Avengers stuff - well maybe they were comic book geeks. Or maybe they had kids. Who cares, it was an example. We both know how marketing works. Although granted in your eyes any child who doesn't have the available funds to view said content should be excluded from the fun. Rather than seeing the film legally or otherwise and then wanting the toys for their birthday.

CDs - Browse HMV. Or anywhere that sells CDs. They're overpriced. Consumers are only too aware that CDs have been over priced for years. Hence part of the reason for the decline in sales and increase in piracy. People aren't stupid. Creation and transfer of MP3s costs next to nothing. Albums and singles are just adverts for the live shows. Infact. You can write, compose, record, and distribute a whole album from one laptop (if you wanted). In terms of the artists, they make more from live gigs than they do albums.

There is a backwards logic of people claiming to create content. Then complaining when people take an interest. The amount people spend to create that content is down to them.

The simple truth is that the majority of "pirates" are poor people. Who wouldn't rather go and see a film in 3d on the big screen. But many can't afford it. Constant marketing, and denial of "content". Of course people bend the rules.

There are different degrees of piracy, as well as different forms, and formats. In failing to acknowledge any of this your argument is undermined by your own naivety. I've tried not to use any metaphors this time since when I do, they cause your neurons to misfire ;) ;) ;)

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Re: Creationsists

"As someone who live in one of those other countries, I can't buy any digital movies nor music nor some ebooks"

Hit the nail on the head!

I'd also like to add in regional locks and price discrimination. Where I live everything on itunes (for example) is up to 50% more expensive than the states for exactly the same digital product, from the same server, purchased through the same systems etc.

If I didn't have a VPN (which lets me pretend I'm in the States so I get their prices) then TPB et al would be looking mighty justifiable...

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Re: Creationsists

""Why go to itunes and get a product that only works with a single manufacturer's equipment and I can't freely transfer from device to device when the MP3 from the file sharers has none of those restrictions?"

Whenever I buy music online, it comes down the pipe as a high-quality MP3 that I can do what I like with...Movies tend to be DRM'd"

So you 100% agree that movies ARE restricted to certain manufacturers equipment.

Way to shoot down your own argument!! *slaps forehead*

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Re: noodled24

"I've tried not to use any metaphors this time since when I do, they cause your neurons to misfire ;) ;) ;)"

It was more their innaccuracy that was bothering me really.

"Avengers stuff - well maybe they were comic book geeks. Or maybe they had kids. Who cares, it was an example."

I care. You used it as an example of how it was an advert for the toys and implied the studio was double-dipping into people's pockets somehow. I pointed out that the example was flawed in many ways. If you make the argument: "this is true because look at X", and then someone points out X isn't true, a response from you of "it was an example, who cares?" kind of shoots down the entire argument unless you want to find another film where you think costs just be lower or nothing because there is an associated product range. In fact, you'd have to show that this was generally true. If the Barbie movie helps stimulate toy sales, that hardly provides a justification to pirate Chronicle or Corillanus. The entire line of argument is flawed in several ways. It's just nonsense really. If anyone wants to take the business model of "here's the content for free, now please buy associated merchandise" then they are absolutely free to do so. Copyright doesn't stop them. But for you personally to insist others must use your (frankly unworkable) business model, is inappropriate.

"Although granted in your eyes any child who doesn't have the available funds to view said content should be excluded from the fun."

And here, even though you've been persuaded to drop outlandish metaphors, you still can't resist making your arguments based on personalised emotive examples. We discuss piracy in the general and you create your literal poster child of a poor kid who is being excluded from fun by mean anti-piracy types. So what are you saying? Whenever parents couldn't afford something their child wanted, it's okay to grab it without paying? Or that all pirates are poor children disadvantaged and its their basic entitelment to a copy of any movie they want? Way to teach a child ethics and about working for something, btw.

Again, not only silly arguments, but ones now deliberately created to personify and persuade by creating victim imagery. Given that you began by writing a four paragraph rant against those making arguments by personifying and creating victim imagery for celebrities (which no-one here had actually done, amusingly), it's both ironic and hypocritical for you to use such tactics in support of your own viewpoint, is it not?

"CDs - Browse HMV. Or anywhere that sells CDs. They're overpriced. Consumers are only too aware that CDs have been over priced for years."

So if you make a product and want to sell copies at price X and a crowd of people come along and say: "X is too much, we're taking it for free", you'd be happy? You're a liar if you say you would be. And yet you think you should decide how much other people can sell something for. Because you know best! There will always be people who want things to be cheaper than they are. Right? Should these people be the ones that get to choose how much something is sold for? At that point, things would always be sold for £0.00. No? Okay, so perhaps it should be a group decision. We could use a system whereby, oh I don't know, people vote with their wallets. Too high, don't buy, prices come down. But they only sink to the level at which people are willing to pay. Hmmm. Isn't that what we have?

Unless of course people are forced to buy the product because it is an essential, like heating or food or water. Movies and books aren't essentials? Well then I guess voting with the wallets really does determine what the market will bear. So just because you think CDs are overpriced, doesn't mean your opinion is a justification for taking them for free.

"Creation and transfer of MP3s costs next to nothing. Albums and singles are just adverts for the live shows"

This is below stupid. "Creation" of MP3s costing nothing assumes the music appears from nowhere. How about you factor in the recording time, the years of study. I'll tell you what, if someone asked you to debug a device driver for them and you spent all day on it and then they said: "but the cost of you sitting at a keyboard all day was nothing, just some electricity, here's 5p", would you be happy? I wouldn't. So go ahead, find me an argument against that that isn't also an argument against a musician. Seriously, you think you can put the argument that "creation and distribution of MP3s is next to nothing" and that all the effort, skill and costs that went into making it just get lost in the detail?

It's a nonsense, dishonest argument to focus on the distribution medium and claim this is more important than the content itself. Your suggestion that "You can write, compose, record, and distribute a whole album from one laptop (if you wanted)" illustrates how disingenuous you are being. Certainly that is technically true. Does it have any relevance to 99.99% of the albums out there that weren't? No, of course it doesn't. Your assertion that "Albums and singles are just adverts for the live shows" is just your point of view. I buy far more music these days than I go to to hear at live shows. Who are you to say that this is how things must work and that all musicians must bow to your ideas of acceptable business models? If a group want to give away their music for free and make all their money from live shows, then copyright law doesn't stop them. If what you say were actually the case then the artists actually would be giving away their music. And yet they don't. So clearly they disagree with you. And that is their choice. And note how you have reflexively gone back to the music industry, when we were discussing movies. Is the Avengers just an ad for live performances? Oh wait, I forgot. You think it's just an ad for toys. Yes indeed, everyone is going to rush out and buy plastic figures where the real value lies! What the fuck? Do you not see that your entire idea of an advert having more value than the thing it is advertising is economically and logically insane? And yet you have asserted that this is the case. My Basement Jaxx album (yes, I'm showing my age), which has been played many times, has more value to me than actually seeing them perform (I mean, they're music is remix based. You think they're doing all that on stage with laptops? Well you probably do). And yet you seem to think that something more valuable is "just an advert" for something less valuable. I'm having flashbacks to Bill Hicks talking about Dinosaur Fossils, here: "God put them there to test us!" :D

More nonsense: "The amount people spend to create that content is down to them."

Yep. And they spend the money because they can sell it. Again, the twisted logic which attempts to avoid that it is other people's money that is being spent to create that content, through purchases, and an attempt to discuss only this idea you have of some Industry as if it wasn't the money of everyone who is willing to pay going in, because you think you sound more noble ripping off an evil profit-laden "Industry" than the shoppers who the money actually comes from and which pirates freeload off. Go ahead - try and make a case that the money the pirates freeload from isn't coming from the people buying products. That content producers are just inherently rich.

"The simple truth is that the majority of "pirates" are poor people. Who wouldn't rather go and see a film in 3d on the big screen. But many can't afford it. Constant marketing, and denial of "content". Of course people bend the rules."

I don't think there's anything about that "truth" that is simple. I live in a mix of demographics, but of the reasonably well-off people I know - programmers and technical people with jobs paying at or significantly above the national average, piracy is pretty common. And the amounts downloaded are huge. You suggest that it is someone too poor to go and see a 3D movie. The reality is that people download dozens of DVD rips. At what point does your sense of entitlement end? When you've said: "I am too poor to afford this £100 worth of DVDs, I'll just download them". £200? £1000? Someone who has grabbed thirty DVDs to watch is not making a case that it's socially unfair for them to not have been given those DVDs so they're entitled to take illegal copies. They're luxury goods. This is your final argument. One that presupposes a basic right to a copy of someone else's work. Your sense of entitlement is out of control.

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Re: Creationsists

Actually a lot of torrenting is TV which is not available in your country, or was on free to air TV but now poached by a pay channel

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Re: Creationsists

And as someone who has lived on both sides of the world... it's a real arse having to have a separate DVD player connected to the telly, just in case you want to watch one of your "old" movies...

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@h4rm0ny Re: cult of celebrity

"Only online do I find this weird Creationist-like mindset that argues living off the spending of others..."

Well, you're the one who's post started accusing the other side to this debate of religious irrationality. Sauce for the gander to respond in kind given the laughable character of the goose's quacking.

As to laws, especially those which have stood the test of little time being political or moral, well yes they are political and may often be moral, but from where I'm seeing, new laws are not unquestionably both invariably and entirely moral. So a new law doesn't automatically mean those whose previous activity is restricted suddenly need to feel guilty (in any fundamental moral sense) about matters they had no need to feel guilty about before, unless you believe in that contemptible kind of proposed "moral framework" where political authority is the sole determinant concerning what is right and wrong. My primary guide here comes from a more ancient source than the longer lasting laws still governing human relations which were derived from this.

The Bible survived because people didn't need to contact and clear rights with dead authors' estates to authorise the copying of it. From your perspective you may dislike its survival but I don't. It informs us that the worship of idols is sense destroying and enslaving. Many recent artistic and cultural works are now at great risk of being lost due to copy restrictions and would be at greater risk without unlicensed copying. Take the Morcambe and Wise 1st series as an example of significant cultural material which has been lost, as little of this series has survived: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Morecambe-Wise-Surviving-Footage-Complete/dp/B000NVI2E2 . If more is ever recovered, it will be thanks to those who took and kept video recordings at the time, but in a DRM controlled and strict copyright-enforced future, the mass extinction of much important cultural work becomes inevitable. That would be moral only in the sense that the ability of the Party constantly to rewrite history in George Orwell's 1984 dystopia is moral. So who is being more moral here ? Those who succumb to political dictates to a digital future where power and money determines how the past is to be recorded and can revise this at any time and to any extent to suit its immediate interests, or those who choose to live outside this framework ?

Also if you take a few minutes to read my post more carefully, then perhaps instead of flying off your handle into your singular personal orbit, you may spot that far from being "blind to the fact that it's OUR money that funds the content's production", this post is proposing a more cost effective way to achieve the funding of content (by prioritising newer art through shorter terms based on the assumption of directing a given public purchasing budget for newer work instead of for older work, the latter having already been appropriately remunerated.

Your argument claiming those who enjoy content without paying for it are parasites: "thus it is us that the pirates leach off" seems to me as far off the wall as the idea that someone whose bedroom window happens to be next to a cricket ground from which a match can be watched without payment is "leaching off" those who buy tickets. If there were evidence that people would stop playing cricket for such reasons then you might just have a point. But artists will continue to have a monopoly over ticket sales for live performances, and are able to continue collecting license fees where public commercial use of recordings is made (e.g. radio, music in restaurants etc.) by going after the readily identifiable businesses and organisers for licenses at prices commensurate with the contribution made by the art to the scale of the business and benefit obtained by the latter, and not after these large and diffuse audiences. And so it should be with the extent to which art contributes to a more useful and interesting Internet, whose service providers should be licensed to transmit on similar terms.

The best laws are those which are so widely respected that the respect most people have for them results in what enforcement is needed rarely having to be heavy handed. We could hardly be further from that state of affairs with copyright law as it now stands. So I'm with the Pirates on the issue of reform based upon the consumer interest, and so choose to post under their flag.

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Re: Creationsists

The other stupid thing about pricing is this:

Go to the iTunes store. The soundtrack album for the Titanic movie costs £7.99. Alternatively you can get the entire movie for only £6.99.

Why does an hour or so of music cost more than a couple of hours of film?

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Re: DVD Regions

Well these days the films go to the cinemas on 350GB hard drives. Even at post flood prices, that isn't too expensive, and the drives can be reused, so what's the excuse now?

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Re: Creationsists

"Go to the iTunes store. The soundtrack album for the Titanic movie costs £7.99. Alternatively you can get the entire movie for only £6.99.

Why does an hour or so of music cost more than a couple of hours of film?"

You pay extra not to have to watch Titanic

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Re: @h4rm0ny cult of celebrity

Fine, glib words, and a masterful confusing of the concept of what constitutes ownership but it won't hide the baloney in the sandwich for long. 'twould be a fine post were it not for the rationalisation of theft. Where's the morality in making money from someone else's work and not paying for it?

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Re: @h4rm0ny cult of celebrity

PyLETS wrote: "Well, you're the one who's post started accusing the other side to this debate of religious irrationality. Sauce for the gander to respond in kind given the laughable character of the goose's quacking"

It doesn't work like that. If someone accuses you of doing something you are actually doing, that doesn't justify you accusing them of the same thing if they're not. I'm confident that what I wrote is rational argument. Your latest post is now talking about how the Bible teaches us not to idolise celebrities. (Again, is even worth pointing at this stage that you're the only one charging this strawman about hard done by celebrities? The rest of us are talking about businesses.)

PyLETS wrote: "My primary guide here comes from a more ancient source than the longer lasting laws still governing human relations which were derived from this. The Bible survived..."

This and the entire attached paragraph it comes from is so warped it would take a whole page to unpack all the false assumptions it makes and fallacies in it. But briefly, you made an attack on copyright law saying it's a relatively recent invention in human history (well, if you think several centuries is relatively recent). I pointed out that recentness doesn't make something invalid and gave several legal examples (e.g. against domestic abuse). You've responded by saying just because something is recent doesn't make it valid. Well yeah, the point is that if recentness isn't the determining factor then your attack about how copyright law is only a recent thing (by which you mean 400 years) is wrong from the start. You arguing that recentness is irrelevant, is arguing against yourself. Though you later on change your position and start appealing to authority of tradition and age once more when you start talking about what the Bible teaches us.

PyLETS wrote: "The Bible survived because people didn't need to contact and clear rights with dead authors' estates to authorise the copying of it. From your perspective you may dislike its survival but I don't. It informs us that the worship of idols is sense destroying and enslaving"

Again, you're back to your original strawman. And this is becoming one of Nicolas Cage burning proportions. You keep making these ranty attacks on people for idolising celebrities. But oddly enough, no-one here is. We're talking about how pirates are getting things for free off the willingness to pay of other people like ourselves, putting the financial burden on us. That's consistently been the point I made from my first post and the first thing I wrote was that piracy-apologists immeditely brush aside the fact that they are doing this and instead try to create an argument that assumes the Content Industry is some a priori thing that just exists because it sounds more noble to be ripping off a studio or "celebrities" than the people who the money actually comes from. And that's repeatedly what you are doing. Your issue with "celebrities" is some weird monomania that was raised as a subject by you and which others don't really care about. My original example was some small press publishers of role-playing games finding they could no longer make a profit because of piracy. What Kim Kardashian et al. have to do with that, only your mind will ever know. :D

And as to my dislike at the Bible's survival. No, I'm happy for all historical works to survive from the Bible to Mein Kampf. We as a culture must learn from our mistakes. More straw laid at my door. Though to be honest, having the Bible's moral authority waved at me as a counter-argument in a debate about copyright, just brings us back to your posts being high on rhetoric and low on actual reasoning

PyLETS wrote: "but in a DRM controlled and strict copyright-enforced future, the mass extinction of much important cultural work becomes inevitable"

Wow. I think that's the first actual argument you've made that isn't based on your own personal assumptions. I don't think it is true though. Your example is a comedy TV show from the 1950s where some episodes have been lost? I think it's fair to say that the 1950s precedes DRM substantially. Therefore DRM is not responsible for these episodes being lost. Further, your argument is only a rationalisation. It's not to do with what is actually the case. For example, all of the movies and music being shared on the Pirate Bay is, as far as I know, available DRM-free to buy. Technically DVD's and Blu-rays have a sort of content protection on them, but it's not the device specific sort of DRM that would be relevant to what you say, it's stuff that is universally unlockable should "human culture" be in danger of using it . You can't possibly argue that

(a) the movies and albums being shared on Pirate Bay are in danger of being lost because of DeCSS, et al.

(b) that modern digital technology and interest in long-term sales by the content producers is comparable to the BBC sticking an old can of celluloid in a basement somewhere (in an era when they often broadcast live without actually recording, which shows what priorities were attached to it)

(c) that you haven't just come up with this reason as a post-act justification and that you seriously think we should suspend copyright or alter law because of this.

Let's be absolutely clear on this: DRM is a response to copy-right infringement. If we ever do lose parts of our heritage because of DRM (which is highly unlikely), it will be the fault of the pirates that brought about DRM.

PyLETS wrote: "Also if you take a few minutes to read my post more carefully, then perhaps instead of flying off your handle into your singular personal orbit, you may spot that far from being "blind to the fact that it's OUR money that funds the content's production", this post is proposing a more cost effective way to achieve the funding of content (by prioritising newer art through shorter terms based on the assumption of directing a given public purchasing budget for newer work instead of for older work, the latter having already been appropriately remunerated."

There are two issues with this. First I am not convinced that "PyLETS" is the best person to determine how much should be paid for content. We have a system to work that out in which people buy it if they think it's worth the money and don't if they don't. There will always be those who think something still isn't cheap enough. Secondly, as I pointed out elsewhere, the most heavily traded files on the Pirate Bay are all the latest things being taken for free. This simple fact shows that this isn't about copyright terms. That is, again, just another post-fact justifaction you have sought.

PyLETS wrote: "Your argument claiming those who enjoy content without paying for it are parasites: "thus it is us that the pirates leach off" seems to me as far off the wall as the idea that someone whose bedroom window happens to be next to a cricket ground from which a match can be watched without payment is "leaching off" those who buy tickets"

It's undisputable that those taking content for free are leaching off those who pay for it. Unless you think movies, music, books, software all just magically appear without funding. And that's true however it "seems" to you. The cricket comparison? Yes, it's the same principle. But taking the same principle and putting it in a vastly different context in order to make that principle appear wrong, is rather poor argument. Someone watching cricket from their bedroom window *IS* leaching off those that buy tickets. Do you think that 'wins; you an argument? No-one cares about four or five people craning their necks to see the cricket without buying a ticket. Why? Because the harm is minimal and the product is different (leaning out of the window as opposed to having a seat in the grounds). Mass, organized flawless reproduction of digital content that makes a direct competitor to legally purchased content? Not really the same as a few people leaning out of their windows, is it? Similar principle in the same way that a kid punching another in the play-ground is not a crime but someone hitting you with a glass in a pub is. Principle exactly the same but do you want the person in the pub simply told off by a teacher; or the child in the playground convicted for GBH? No? Then congratulations, you're now capable of taking a more sophisticated view of principle application that simplistic reduction ad absurdem. Now try applying it to piracy.

I would write more, but that's all I have time for. People can work out for themselves whether they agree with your rants about celebrities, the Bible, translating piracy into grossly different analogies and other rhetorical tricks. I think your posts here have done more to highlight the double-standards and false assumptions of piracy apologists than I could ever have done myself. So thank you. ;)

When someone is reduced to putting things in a completely different context to

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Re: DVD Regions

And since movies are often sent to cinemas in digital form nowadays, without incurring the cost of making so many film prints, then that argument has become considerably weakened.

By the way, TV series released on DVD often tend to be region-coded. All in all, it's a good job multi-region DVD players are so readily available (mandated in certain countries, even).

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Re: @h4rm0ny cult of celebrity

Why should everyone on the same train or flight as me have to pay the same price for a ticket ? Does it really hurt if some people take a bus and some people cycle to get between the same (A,B) pair ? Even on the same train or bus, single price ticketing doesn't work, it would so greatly diminish operator revenues and service utility that many transport services would cease to be viable. There have always been and always will be some people paying more for the same music than others and some paying nothing. If you hear a song on the radio or played in a public place do you have to pay for it directly ? No, but the chances are that someone else pays for it to be played. That's how our cultural and economic world works and we may as well get used to it.

When copyright law first came into being it was expressed as a deal in order to benefit the future public domain. But your blinkered and menial argument that everyone must be expected to pay the same price to experience particular art, (that every horse must be put in harness and have its sights restricted to pull the same share of the load), recognises no moral concept of later public domain benefit - which might give the voting public reason to want to allow this particular monopoly to be legally established in the first place. Is the wonderful excitement of those fans who will pay top price to see the live performances, the first public showings, the most limited autographed merchandise to prevent those less enthusiastic from experiencing something a little less, or must the enthusiasm of the fan club be artificially dampened so all pay the same price ? Again this would square neither with reality nor anyone's interests.

It's true as you say that the weak and ineffective DRM on DVDs won't suppress their preservation. But being able to see something legally which is in the digital limbo equivalent to being "out of print" can become another matter. More highly developed and much harder to break DRM systems coming along in various formats are much more likely to have this undesirable effect. I'm not opposed to the right of developers to develop and sell these systems, but it is a terrible idea to suppress discussion of how the constraints imposed by such systems can be overcome. It would be outrageous if the only copies of some documentary series which survive in future are low resolution flickering cam recordings taken at risk of extradition and jail by enthusiasts exploiting the analogue hole. If too many of these heroes of widening cultural access are locked up for long, who will be willing to take the risk of preserving locked down content in future ?

Clearing the rights to documentaries legally to be reshown can become extremely difficult and expensive as the Eyes on the Prize history demonstrates:

"Therefore, in the spirit of the Southern Freedom Movement, we who once defied the laws and customs that denied people of color their human rights and dignity, we whose faces are seen in "Eyes on the Prize," we who helped produce it, tonight defy the media giants who have buried our story in their vaults by publicly sharing episodes of this forbidden knowledge with all who wish to see it."

The problem with long copyrights here is that makers of historical documentaries tend to have to purchase time-limited rights for reuse of content owned by hundreds or thousands of rights holders for budgetary reasons. Programme makers have to focus on short term viability for a project to succeed prior to their likely financial bankruptcy. Perhaps one in 20 such documentaries might later attract concerted enough fundraising campaigns needed to clear rights for future public showings as occurred for the above iconic series, but the rest, which can't attract the same intensity of common purpose, will only be available illegally through file sharing for perhaps a century or more before these works suppressed by the massive transaction costs involved in rights clearance can legally be reshown.

It's true that copyright law has been around for a couple of hundred years. It wasn't contentious while its effects limited the actions only of a few owners and operators of industrial scale copying machinery. That is still a very recent development compared to the understanding of right and wrong which derives from a deep and honest study of the Bible. But the digitisation of mainstream culture is a very recent and different phenomenon, and it's becoming increasingly clear that the many hamfisted and control-freakish attempts we've seen by copyright beneficiaries to extend old concepts of copyright into this new domain do not meet our wider cultural needs. Some property relations are ancient and natural, others are constructs of law. If I were to take away a man's coat this is morally of the first sort. If I sing a song I heard from someone else you haven't convinced me the second sort fits the same moral category. So where to draw this line ? - If our wider cultural needs are not met by what is offered in return by the carpetbaggers who would extend the first category into the second, then we must reject their phony claims to moral authority and start making our own minds up.

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@OP

Agree with almost all you say, except one thing (and don't wholly disagree):

"Most of the remotely "legitimate" reasons for priacy have long since been stripped away (I want it in an MP3 format, it's over-priced) or are rapidly being stripped away."

The only caveat I'd put here, where it relates to the argument of "I pirate so I don't get a product neutered by DRM", is that these reasons are still alive and kicking and, in some cases, getting worse in the game industry. Always having to be online to play, etc. etc. Certainly it tends to be limited to certain studios (Ubi ...) and many are providing much better solutions (gotta love Steam tbh - reasonably unobtrusive and the trade-off of control is that they backup all your games for you*), but I wouldn't say in that case that it's "rapidly being stripped away".

* or, more cynically, they're holding onto all the games they sucker me into buying in their quite daftly awesome sales until I can spare the install space

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Re: @OP

You might have a reasonable case for the games. I don't play them so I'm not well up on games DRM. I am aware it causes people problems. But the two things I would observe on that is whether the people downloading the games are also buying them and just using the pirated copy. That would be an ethical behaviour but I suspect in the overwhelming majority of cases, they are not. The second thing is that the degree to which DRM is obstructive on games is probably a result of the very high levels of piracy. DRM came second, after all. No games company *wants* to have to make the experience less pleasant for their legitimate users and they certainly don't want to have to pay extra money to DRM producers (or spend developer resource on it if it is in-house).

I fully take your point and it's a rational argument which I respect. But I think the above two points are significant.

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@h4rm0ny

"As to your befuddlement at a CD costing more than an MP3 album, firstly, you missed off the specific album. I assume that you're comparing the same album in the two different formats and not being dishonest I hope? And these prices are similarly from the same seller because you know different places sell things at different prices? And this is a newly release album because you are aware that prices change over time and there aren't a legion of super-robots making sure everything is updated simultaneously everywhere all the time and you are aware that often with physical media content producers have to guesstimate eventual sales and sometimes over-produce and therefore discount a product in order to partially recoup their investment. As with, for (just to pick a completely random example) CDs?"

First album to come to mind, first retailer to come to mind.

Amazon.co.uk

Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin (Audio CD - 1997) - Original recording remastered

Buy new : £4.89

69 new from £3.79

40 used from £1.93

Download MP3 Album: £7.12

Next album to come to mind:

The Wall [Discovery Edition] by Pink Floyd (Audio CD - 2011) - Double CD

Buy new : £9.99

50 new from £8.43

3 used from £17.37

Download MP3 Album: £12.49

No searching for examples, just first two albums. I could continue this game, but am bored now.

How's your arse feel after that buttfucking your argument just received?

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Headmaster

Re: Creationsists

You were making sense, until you said "high-quality MP3"

The use in MP3 of a lossy compression algorithm designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent an audio recording. The compression works by reducing accuracy of certain parts of sound, fine for your in-ear 'phone while you are on the train, but play it on a real HiFi and it's shit, not much better than an FM broadcast.

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Re: Creationsists

"You were making sense, until you said "high-quality MP3"

I just modded you up. Yep - I should have known better. The MP3s they sell are at 320kbps. I can tell the difference between lossless and MP3 at 192kbs. By the time it gets to 320kbps, I'm struggling. But yes, fair point. Unfortunately I think we're a victim of the lesser format winning out. I would be quite happy if the shop popped up a window saying "Would you like FLAC?". Unfortunately I think the seller would get drowned under emails saying: "it wont work in my MP3 player. I want my money back, you suck!" Also, it would be nice if music were actually recorded with the expectation that it might be played on decent speakers. It's not just the slightly crappy encoding format. I want to hit play and have my 5.1 speakers give me some spatial awareness with the music. Yes, they sound good with stereo. But - particularly for classical music - why can't they sell me it with the information for my 5.1 speakers to really take advantage of it in the way they could? :(

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Re: @h4rm0ny

DavCrav wrote: "How's your arse feel after that buttfucking your argument just received?"

Didn't notice. I think you need a bigger dick. Possibly also you should have read what I wrote in more detail. You seem to actually be supporting my argument. One of the things I wrote is that with physical media, it's hard for suppliers to accurately guess how many they will sell so they usually get it wrong. In fact, they always get it wrong because you *cannot* know how many people will buy it to the number. If you underestimate and think there is more demand, you end up doing a second run. If you don't think there is demand, then you don't do a second run. What this means is that logically you always reach one of two end games. You have no inventory left, and you've decided not to gamble on another run. Or you have an excess.

If you have an excess, then to shift it you discount. Particularly if you see that people these days aren't really buying CDs anymore. MP3s don't have to play that guessing game, so they don't get discounted. I note your examples are pretty old. What you're seeing is people discounting the physical media to recoup what they can from it because it isn't selling and unlike MP3s, the physical media costs are already sunk. And guess what. That's what I actually wrote in the post you replied to!

"Buttfucking!" My arse!

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@h4rm0ny

I find that I can tell the difference between MP3 and any lossless format on my HiFi, it dosent seem to be an issue of quality as such just that the mp3 sounds a bit harsher with less dynamic range

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Re: @h4rm0ny

I can tell the difference up until close to the 320kbps mark. Maybe with some Classical music that is big on strings I can still tell the difference. Beyond that, I can't really tell the difference between comparable formats. I.e. difference between a 320kbps and a FLAC, v. hard to tell the difference and with most recordings I don't think I could. Difference between either of those and something that kicks in my Dolby system (i.e. non-comparable sound formats), I can obviously tell the differences.

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Andrew selectively quotes people and uses the platform he has to his advantage, instead of addressing the factual flaws in every single thing he writes, truly a child.

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Me too

Yes, Andrew should be ashamed for publishing an article ridiculing the true victims of these malicious copyright thief's.

Also constantly banging on about SOPA, OMG if this ever gets the poor denizens of Internet might have to leave their Mothers basement, walk out to a shop, and pay like real money for stuff. These people are ill, all sorts of agoraphobia and aspergers, sunlight could really hurt, why does the The Register allow it?

Frankly it is a monumental disgrace, I'm constantly astonished that Andrew isn't severely punished by the editorial team at The Register.

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Selectively quoting? Well, at least he's quoting -- {{citation needed}}, Jeebus!

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@The Indomitable Gall

Quite.

But then I guess someone with a problem seeing irony might not see the irony in their own posts complaining about 'factual flaws in every single thing someone writes' without giving a single effing example of that having happened.

That they then finish by calling the person whose arguments they don't like 'a child' when the epitome of 'childish' argument is to dismiss everything someone says as wrong without giving any grown-up reasons, or even any reasons is just more icing on the irony cake.

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@Titus

"Frankly it is a monumental disgrace, I'm constantly astonished that Andrew isn't severely punished by the editorial team at The Register."

Bring back the moderatrix.

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Go

Re: @Titus

@AC the moderatrix was in mind when I suggested punishment by the editorial team, but then I remembered that almost all journalists are into BDSM anyway..........

The only worthy punishment I could think of was being forced to eat broccoli. Maybe cooked for minor infringements, and a plate of raw broccoli for massive ones?

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Anonymous Coward

Ahem,,,

No, you're a child.

So there.

(By which I mean: I don't like everything Andrew has to write, but I don't accuse him of being factually wrong in all articles. Maybe you should cite - at the very least - one, maybe two times he has been wrong on the subject in question in the last year or so. And by wrong, I mean actually wrong, not just you not agreeing with him.)

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Re: @Titus

I like broccoli, both raw and cooked, so what exactly are you saying. Then again, I'm a bit of an iodine freek.

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WTF?

Irony ?????

OMG. It is totally clear to a everybody that SOPA, and it's ilk will seriously restrict the commercial opportunities for authors, musicians, actors, and the software development industry. The Pirate Bay provide an invaluable service to these industries by providing a channel to allow purchasers of creative products to obtain a good copy so they can evaluate their purchasing decision.

There are just endless examples of how TPB, and other humanitarian download sites, are ultimately benefiting the creative industries. For example -

* who in there right mind just buys a DVD and just watches it these days. Everybody knows that they are all rubbish, people really have to download the film first, decide it is rubbish before they decide not to buy.

* other folks are so poor, and the malevolent publishing companies insist on charging astronomical prices. Such that only one of any group of say 250,000 people can afford the real copy, clearly to the publisher one sale per 250,000 is so much better than no sale.

* doesn't Mr Orlowski realize some of these products aren't even available on the Internet, how the **** is the cyber armchair warrior ever going to get a copy without these sites? OMG it's just possible that if SOPA ever takes off these poor folks might have to go to a real shop (so 20th century, get with the program, these people are really suffering)

The real irony is that these are the self same companies who insist on dragging SOPA up again and again. My sympathies go to the Pirate Bay, and their worthy users, irony doesn't cut it they are so totally the victims.

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Anonymous Coward

It is totally clear to a everybody

Well done for a most moronic start to a post. Stating as fact that it is clear literally every single person agrees with your own viewpoint as a matter of course.

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