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back to article International copyright talks seek BitTorrent-killer laws

A new international trade agreement could seek to strengthen criminal sanctions against BitTorrent tracker sites that claim not to profit from internet users sharing music, movies and software. Many major tracker sites say advertising revenues and user donations are used to pay server and bandwidth costs. The operators of the …

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Time to get hosted at...

SEALAND BABY! Welcome to 2020 and the birth of datahavens.

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Black Helicopters

Just 'cause you're paranoid ...

Having only scanned through the article and comments (it is late and I have been drinking) it occurred to me that what we have here is something to make "almost everyone" a criminal.

I'm not to strong on the finer points regarding misdemeanours and felonies but over the water doesn't being a criminal remove your right to vote?

...

AC? Well, they might be out to get /me/

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There are no absolutes

I find many of the posters quite rigid in their thinking. unfortunately or fortunately the world is not black and white. If you create something that adds value to someone or something then yes you are entitled to be compensated for it. What many of these people fail to realise is that there will AlWAYS be an element in the community that will attempt to obtain these things for free If you have created something and do not expect an element of theft you are an idiot.

What they also fail to realise is that, as history has shown us, this element will always find a way around whatever barriers are put in place to stop them and the neverending cycle continues. The establishment whines again and louder new laws are passed, the fringe element invent new ways of circumventing them

What I and many others here are sick of is being confined to such archaic business models and practices considering the age we live in Will the establishment finally learn this, probably, but by then it will be too late. There are some out there such as Radiohead and NIN that are taking matters into their own hands and exploring new avenues. Whether these new models are the right ones time will tell. But the one thing I do know is that they should be applauded for their initiative, taking these first steps that the establishment are obviously too afraid to take

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Coat

When I was a wee kiddie at school in the 70's...

...we used to swap cassette tapes of home recorded music. Someone would buy the latest album, tape it, share it and perhaps even return the LP to the store for 'something else as I already have this one, got it for birthday, etc...."

Sky never fell in

No one died

Media execs still got rich and fat

There are loads of music stars about, still.

The recording industry should just treat P2P as 'wastage' or 'shrinkage', stock that is lost.

If their products were BETTER and the prices LOWER they might, just MIGHT, sell more of thier shit to traditional consumers.

Mine's the one with the box of C120's and the RCA jacks in the pockets.

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@Steve and @I don't get it

.....

Bravo Steve. Give the bum a serve!

.....

"I don't get it"

I was going to give you a big serve as well but on re-reading your post I came to the conclusion that your views are honestly held and deserve some respect.

But you are mistaken.

"As for the rest of this, why do people hate copyright so much?"

People don't hate copyright. They just don't think about it. The reason, which should be obvious to the fools who run the "intellectual property" circus, is that it is an artificial, made up idea, which has no basis in the real world.

Millions of ordinary people the world over, who would never dream of walking out of a shop with a stolen CD, don't feel that they are doing anything wrong by downloading copied content. I did a small poll of my family, friends and some of my children's friends. All but one felt comfortable with swapping or downloading copyrighted material. So only about 1 in 30 in my little circle is on-side with the “protectors”. Which explains why they are losing this war (a war, by the way, which they wage on their own customers).

Any micro economist worth her salt will tell you that people make complex and often mysterious decisions about spending money on something. If they see real value for themselves they will spend!

Take my case. I have recently discovered a website which has hundreds of old, public domain movies. It's like a treasure trove to me. Alas, I soon discovered that I have most of the movies I like, already neatly stacked on my shelves, courtesy of the many retro-compilation DVDs which I have already bought.

When I thought about it, I decided that I will continue to buy the physical DVDs because for the five to ten bucks that each one costs me, I get great value. I don't use up my precious bandwidth, I don't run the risk of bad burns and I don't spend my valuable time. And the distributors get to make a handsome profit. (a DVD costs much less than $1 to produce and deliver in volume, because I pay for the postage.) Everyone benefits and I don't even have to sit through the “you are a potential thief” screens at the beginning of each movie, which is what all modern movie distributors greet their “valued” customers with!

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@quick, simple, easy answer - and it is wrong

You, my friend, are dead wrong!!!

If your work is any good, you will be paid by people who value it for itself. Not because it is copyright but because they want you to continue to produce it. Your ultimate audience may only make up 0.01% of the Internet but if you can get to that number of people you've got it made.

People will pay content creators for many reasons, even when they can get the content for free. They pay to show appreciation, to encourage the creator to continue, to contribute to the creative process, to feel they are part of it or because they feel a sense of indebtedness for getting something they value. The cynical view that people will never pay for anything which they can get for free totally ignores the basic human impulse to be fair and generous.

I have spent significant amounts on software, music and other content which was basically given away for free and made payment optional. I have just downloaded the full text of a beautiful book on quantum mathematics in PDF format, including breathtaking illustrations, yet I can hardly wait for the hardcover book to appear sometimes in July, and I even tried to pre-order it. I could sure use the $80-100 which it will cost me but, I would buy it even if it was double or triple that amount.

All artists, writers and other intellectual workers need to earn money (I certainly do), and in my idea of a truly great world they would earn far more than the spivs who live off them. But for truly creative people, earning money is a secondary consideration. I think that we are all bedazzled by the glittering freaks who inhabit the heights of artistic celebrity, with their mega dollars and amoral shenanigans. We forget the millions of creative people whose greatest reward is the acclaim of their audience and who earn a pittance from their efforts (which is not right either). What we need is a platform which pays artists for their creative effort and gives them a means of contacting their audience.

The single most evil thing about “intellectual property rights” and copyright in particular is that it pretends to quantify human creativity in terms of dollars and cents and completely ignores the creative impulse itself. The copyright peddlers want us to believe that if there were no megabucks in it no one will ever write another book, paint another picture or sing a tune again. Their vision of the world enriches them and impoverishes us.

The Internet is an almost unbelievable gift to the truly creative who want to reach out and do what all artists and writers have done throughout the ages: touch their audience.

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Stop

Re: maybe it's about time…

“I haven't downloaded any copyrighted materials, yet. I use bittorrent to get .isos of new Linux releases, and so far, that's about all.”

One of those two sentences is false. I leave it to the reader to determine which one it is…

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Silver badge

There is a terrible confusion

In most people's mind, copyright is about the artist getting a fair return for his works. Almost all of the above comments are in agreement on that.

And Disney, Sony, RIAA and co. are operating heavily on this notion, it is their justification.

Except that, when Lawsuits & Co. goes for a new, more restrictive and uglier anti-consumer law they label "anti-piracy", it is not in order to pay the artist more, it is to keep their own coffers well-filled and their powder stashes bulging.

The real issue with copyright law is that copyright is transferable to a non-physical entity (ie. a company). It is companies that are screwing up copyright law, not pirates.

Make the copyright the sole property of an individual or group of individuals, and make it non-transferable, limited to 25 years or the death of the individual - whichever comes first.

Of course, I realize that the RIAA is a group of individuals, but since they have never produced anything and only bought off the rights of actual artists, they do not count.

Disney is also a group of individuals and that group actually makes things, but the group that really makes the films is the actual people who make it, not Disney.

So let us bring copyright back to where it is supposed to be : the property of the artist who creates, not of a corporation that profits from the creation.

Do that, and the very next day RIAA and co. will dissolve into nothing, and their despicable, freedom-limiting DRM and lawsuits will as well.

Right, time to wake up !

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D
Pirate

@Ima Gnuber

I've not bought software for over five years and have a 200GB mp3 collection that I've not paid for along with hundreds of movies and books. However, since you told me to STFU I've seen the error of my ways and deleted it all. Not.

It may be wrong it may be immoral it may be supporting terrorists and kiddy fiddlers but I don't give a crap and the reality is that the majority of people don't give a crap either. The RIAA and MPAA have been trying for years to stop pirating and it's simply not working and it never will work. Even if they managed to achieve thet technically impossible and destroy file sharing on the internet, then people will just go back to the bloke with the shop full of dodgy DVDs that I used to buy off.

Until publishers get their heads around this reality they will continue to flog a dead business model all the way into oblivion. They could have a lot of money off me, by just charging a few pennies for a song and a couple of quid for a movie, but instead, they try to take the piss and charge silly money and as a result get nothing.

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(Registered Future)

I say hooray for those who would support further education, as "a little commitment" is a small price that the willing are happy to provide.

And where are the *BSD icons ?

-Mine is a link because of the above.

http://openbsd.org/images/openbsd38_cover.gif

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Flame

A couple of points on copyright...

1) Copyright is an artificial concept that has been abused to allow people to make money for no work. To clarify this: Current copyright law protects a work for life of the author + 70 years. Now, if an author creates a work when they are 20, they live until 90, that means this work is in copyright for 140 years after its creation. If the work sells well, that means the author never has to do another day's work in his life. Nor do his kids, his grandkids, or his great-grandkids - none of them will ever have to do any honest work, simply because their grandaddy wrote a book or a song 50 years ago. That's parasitic greed and laziness at its finest.

Now if the concept of copyright law was equally applied to all fields of human labour, then if I build you a computer, you have to pay me for it. So does EVERYONE else who ever uses that computer, for the rest of my life, my kids' lives, their kid's lives, and their kids' lives. 70 years hence, if you begin using that computer, you must pay my children for the computer I made 70 years ago. If as the author of that computer, I choose to sell my work on a pay-per-use model, you and everyone else who uses that computer must pay me, my kids and their kids EVERY TIME YOU USE IT. But that wouldn't be acceptable to you copyright-lovers, is it? No, I didn't think so. So guess what? The word HYPOCRITE applies here.

2) There is no such thing as original work. Every creator draws upon the work of others to create their own, without paying those others for it. Miami Mike, above, who talks about selling his technical manuals: Assuming these are computer manuals, have you paid Dennis Ritchie for his work on C, which is used in every computer OS? Have you paid Alan Turing for his work on algorithms, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla for their work on electricity, or Michael Faraday for his discovery of electricity? No. You just used their work in your own, without paying for it. Likewise musicians, who hear other people's music, use a melody or chord progression from someone else's work in their own, even subconsciously - with neither acknowlegement or payment.

Now, with these points in mind, I believe a fair recompense for any creator is exactly the same as it is for everyone else; you get paid only for the time and effort you spend in creating it. If it takes you 3 months to write a book, you are entitled to 3 months pay in the writers'/literary wage bracket. No more, no less. After that, the work goes into the public domain. If you want more money, do more bloody work like the rest of us!

Call me a communist freetard if you will, but the capitalist system has clearly shown it results in greed-driven police states exactly as the old communist autocracies did. So what's the difference? Well, I'd much rather live in a society where everyone gets an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, instead of all this artificial bullshit enabling FREETARD "creators" to profit for decades for a few months' work!

And yes, I AM a creator, yes I have published artistic works in my life, yes they have been "pirated", yes I still profited from them, and yes I still create artistic works. No, I don't make a living out of it. But I create art for the love of art as it should be. That's REAL art, the expression of an emotion or an idea, the creation of beauty. Not profit. That's not art. That's just opportunistic exploitation of emotion controlled by an artificial intellectual concept.

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Anonymous Coward

@Steve Roper

"...I still create artistic. No, I don't make a living out of it. But I create art for the love of art as it should be. That's REAL art..."

Does it make you feel better about yourself to think that all of us who make a living from our art must be false/fakes/sell-outs/un-real?

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Anonymous Coward

It's all about the money

Consider this problem, counterfeiting is measured as 0.03% of imported IP goods by value whenever it's been measured (e.g. by random sampling of imports by US customs, & by extrapolating the value of seizures etc.).

The cost of customs checks at borders and ports far far outweighs the value of seized goods (by something like a 2 orders of magnitude). We waste far more tax money chasing pennies in infringing goods than we earn from the blocking of counterfeits.

The response by customs is to claim that counterfeit goods risk lives (i.e. trying to add a non economic element to justify their budget), but that just confirms that the economic element alone can't justify the expense of the enforcement.

Likewise with copyright, when copyright was a civil matter, the minor infringement wasn't chased because you could only get costs plus 3x damages. It wasn't profitable to chase tiny infringement. The market took care of separating the major from the minor infringement. That ensured that we always had a net gain from enforcing copyright. Now that criminalization of copyright has occurred, and insane fines introduced, we've lost that 'market' control. Minor or beneficial infringement is enforced, lots of tax payers money is wasted chasing the most petty of things.

I reckon the solution is to bring it back to a purely civil enforcement, let the market separate the important from the unimportant infringement. If it's not worth YOU spending money to protect YOUR PROFITS then why is it worth the tax payer spending money to protect your profits. The gain to society is really only some fraction of the gain to you, so if you won't spend $1000 to recover $3000+costs then why should society pay it instead.

I hear people saying how they're creators and contribute in 'cultural ways' etc. but it's all about the money, they can create all they like, culture is free, make no mistake it's all about the money. It's "I can do this, I want as much money for it as I can get". No different from any other product or service.

But we have to buy goods and services with money and tax money wasted protecting creators rights is money not available in peoples pockets to pay for food and housing and petrol.

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@Steve Roper

I have argued several versions of your first point many times and invariably I get howled down for daring to compare intellectual work with what mere peasants, like shoemakers in my usual example or computer technicians in yours, do for a living.

Your second point is even more important. Just how insidious this whole farce can get is readily demonstrated by the following scandalous outrage perpetrated by the estate of the late James Joyce as reported here,

http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol2-3/bloomsday.asp

and here,

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/bwriting/stories/s1196227.htm

If this isn't suppressing the artistic spirit in the name of commercial gain then what is?

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Reflection upon itself

@I dont get it...

"I would like to know how you would feal if someone took somthing you made (A picture, code, music, whatever) and used it with out asking, or paying? What if there responce was "well you should be glad of our attention, and if you want paying, we dont want it"? Youd be pissed off wouldent you?"

asking... well I'd atleast like to be notified...

as for paying no... I don't care for that... I have a normal job that brings me sufficient funds... Make

money out of copyright should be a secondary occupation not a primary one. Get

yourself some real education and a real job. I help out in the Free Software world

so everything I create is available to anyone for free. I also write poetry which I also

give out freely. I'm also planing a book that I will also give out freely along with a

payed for version for anyone that wants to support it. I have downloaded many

a thing and 99% of that I delete... the 1% that is suitable for keeping I go out and buy.

And yes I'd be glad for their attention... The only thing I require is that the work is attributed to me

that is all.

@quick, simple, easy answer - and it is wrong

"I see no difference (other than I don't charge anywhere near as much) between what I do and paying tuition at a university - if you want to know what they know about the subject, you have to pay them."

world+dog doesn't need to pay tuition at a university so your point is invalidated. Also ever heard of this brilliant invention called the internet. It has a LOT of information available thus reducing the need to actually go to a university other than for a piece of toilet paper you receive at the end(and for which you are ultimately paying the tuition for not for anything else).

@Steven Raith

Learn to use a search engine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Dark_(P2P)

Here's my modest proposal for those that strive for a creativity based life:

a) make copyrights last 5 years

So that people actually need to do something instead of staring at the ceiling...

b) make patents last 5 years

So that innovation actually progresses not stagnates

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Some respect for 'D'

"have a 200GB mp3 collection that I've not paid for"

"It may be wrong it may be immoral it may be supporting terrorists and kiddy fiddlers but I don't give a crap and the reality is that the majority of people don't give a crap either."

"They could have a lot of money off me, by just charging a few pennies for a song"

I can give a certain amount of respect to someone who has enough self-respect to simply admit that they are a thief and that they don't care.

Unfortunately you indicated that, apparently, you feel you are entitled to steal anything that costs more than you think it should - which is, to me, an odd position and smacks more than a little of whining self-justification and weakens my inclination to give the respect mentioned above (if that is a misinterpretation then I apologise).

At least you didn't pretend that your shoplifting (and that's what it amounts to) wasn't some courageous* attempt to right some 'significant' social wrong.

*Always makes me laugh as there is little to no risk involved. If any real risk appeared all but a very few of these courageous revolutionaries would wet their pants and vanish overnight.

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Go

I agree with Svein Skogen...

but I'm a little more diplomatic in my choice of words.

Unfortunately most of those I have harangued on this subject just look at me as if I've just stepped off the last flight from Mars.

Most people can't get their heads around the idea that not only is it possible to download illegal copies of CDs but that there is plenty of music out there of equal quality that really is free (see http://www.jamendo.com for an example).

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@Andraž Levstik

"as for paying no... I don't care for that... I have a normal job that brings me sufficient funds... Make money out of copyright should be a secondary occupation not a primary one."

So basically you're a hobbyist. Isn't that cute.

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Pirate

Alternative options would have more luck

If they want to stop people downloading illegally, they need to offer real alternatives.

I don't want a CD. I will not buy a CD. I don't have a CD player, I have mp3 players. A CD is of use to me for precisely the amount of time it takes to rip the mp3s. Why would I want piles of CDs cluttering up my home? Offer the mp3s for sale legally, at a decent price, and I will buy them. Offer nothing but CDs and I will find another way to get what I want.

Similar for TV shows. I am not going to wait until UK broadcast, by which time some muppet from the US will have told me who is a Cylon, who dies, etc. Offer me a way to buy the episodes of my favourite shows, legally and at a decent price (not twice what they pay in the US - I'm looking at you, iTunes) and I'll pay it. But I'm not going to wait months for shows just for the warm fuzzy feeling of being a good girl. Again - I will find another way.

They need to make it easier to get things legally than to get them illegally. The trouble is, they're going in the wrong direction, trying to restrict downloading - when if they'd just offer alternatives half the battle would be won.

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Flame

@ all 'thief!' comments

Downloading, copying etc etc IS NOT F*CKING THEFT.

THEFT deprives the previous owner of something. COPYING leaves the original in place.

If you build your own Ford Mondeo out of raw steel, have you 'stolen a car' from Ford? No, you haven't.

See also: "Debate framing" (go and have a look on Wikipedia)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ all 'thief!' comments

I think Ford might have words with you if you decided to make a copy of one of their cars. Unless you made it out of cake. But even then.

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Paris Hilton

"So basically you're a hobbyist. Isn't that cute."

Are you suggesting that there is a difference between "hobbyists" (as being lesser?) and "professionals" (as being better?) when it comes to "artists"?

If you look at distinctions between art and craft for example - the difference may be that craft is something you can educate yourself in and thus then do as a "professional" (for a "living"). On the other hand historically "art" requires something which is not equal to craft but may require (at least some) craft skills as a foundation for expression. Historically artists have often been competent in some craft(s) but not all skilled craftsment have been assessed by others as being artists (no matter what they think about their own ability themselves).

So while being a craftsman is being a "professional" - being an "artist" is not. By definition learning and practicing a craft means copying by application of skill best practices and products of others, with or without personal touch. Not by definition necessarily "art"...

If you look at many of those that we recognize as great artist through the western history you will find that many did not "became" artists until after their death. A lot of artists that were recognised and could make a living did so by combining their "artistery" with some craft or profession - and thus went beyond the "craft" where they practiced. In other words they got a salary for "designing" a house, "conducting" an orchestra, "painting" a room, "writing" a piece specifically for a happening (after which it was expected to be copied by others)... etc etc.

So you assume yourself being a "professional"... That may very well be cute....

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Re: @ all 'thief!' comments

"If you build your own Ford Mondeo out of raw steel, have you 'stolen a car' from Ford? No, you haven't."

As Sarah has pointed out, Ford might have words with you.

However if you wish to ignore that then I would like to ask you you how you reproduce the music you like - do you use musical instruments, your voice, your talent? To get it closer to your Ford argument - do you build your copy out of raw sound?

When you can say that this is the way you 'copy' music (rather than just a few clicks of the mouse) then, and only then, will your argument make any meaningfull sense.

I won't hold my breath.

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Stop

@ sarah bee

Never heard of the kit-car market?

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d32/ktetch/NigelsVehicles03.jpg

Neither of those are made by Jeep (a part of chrysler) or any other company. They look just like a WW2 willies but they're not. The one at the back is made from 70's ford escort parts, the front with suzuki bits. I used to go with my friend to car shows with the back one. One old army guy was amazed 'they made one with left hand drive' until he touched the body, and found it to be plastic.

I blieev the front one will be at the Woodvale rally as usual this year (at RAF woodvale) and probably other car shows around the north west.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ sarah bee

Yeah, fair point, I guess, Andrew. It was a lousy analogy to start with, though. As are most analogies when it comes to this set of subjects.

I knew someone who had a Caterham kit car, looked like Brum. Someone else built it. The gearstick came off in his hand. Oops.

Carry on!

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@AC RE:"So basically..."

"Are you suggesting that there is a difference between "hobbyists" (as being lesser?) and "professionals" (as being better?) when it comes to "artists"?"

Not at all. I am a professional and I know some 'hobbyists' who are far better than many professionals I have had the misfortune to come in contact with.

Andraž may be exceptionally good at what he does -however when someone who does not have a serious stake in the debate regarding 'payment for protected work' makes remarks those remarks are nothing more than theories unconnected to the real world. That is a mistake made by 'cute' hobbyists.

And if you are going to lecture me again, please refrain from merely stating the obvious.

Jeezus I'm in a bitchy mood today.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: RE: I dont get it...

"It no so much the hating of copyrights. It's the abuse committed by the likes of Disney (20+whatever years extension to copyright) to protect profits from a mouse."

I don't get what this has to do with downloading copyrighted music. I hate McD's, but I wouldn’t go in there and steal from them (and no, im not making a parallel with copyright theft). I just don't go there. There are plenty of Indy labels (real Indy labels, not the fake ones owned by the multi nationals). If you want music, help them grow. Braking copyright under this argument dose not stop the big music companies. It just makes you feel justified.

If you are making a genuine stand against the way copyright works, then good on you. You don’t need to break the law to change it. My real problem is that people are using some perceived injustice to justify breaking the law.

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good old brum

Saw it up close a few times. It's built by Rex Garrod, whom people might recognise from Robot Wars (cassius, etc) - top guy.Always had a blast when I was down around Ipswitch.

I know all about the analogies, however. I've been working on a book on this subject for 3 years, and working in general in this field for 10. Don't think there's one I haven't heard now (or for that matter, used at one time or another).

The only thing this whole area is analogous to, is itself. Thats what makes it so hard for people to understand.

Meanwhile, back on topic. If people want to help prevent these sorts of laws, the one thing they could do is join their local Pirate Party - A list of over 30 national parties are on www.pp-international.net

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@ImaGnuber

Could say that you produce it out of raw sound if you assorted the bits into a perfect copy, in that way bt could be described as an instrument since it's making things out of raw sound :-) Sound doesn't have to be analogue. You seem to think that whether music is a copy or not is down to effort put in. In that case mass-producing CDs isn't valid music, and so is being sold under false pretences.

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Copyright Schmopyright...

I am a plumber / ex computer engineer.

When I fit a bathroom for a customer, I give them a quote, they accept it, I do the work, they pay me. They have free use of the bathroom. In perpetuity.

I do not expect them to pay me a fee every time they flush the toilet, take a bath, or wash in the basin. Or if a friend comes to stay. Or they sell the house to somebody else.

Why should IP be treated any different?

You write a song, go on tour. Record sales should be a bonus.

I recently heard an album torrented by a friend. I liked it, copied it, and then went and spent over 50 squid on two tickets for a gig, a t shirt, and some badges for my daughter. I will not be buying the CD.

I'm sure the band made a LOT more out of this than they would have from a single CD sale.

Paris. Because she get's more out of live action than recordings.

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Whining Millionaires

THe Greatful Dead allowed anyone to copy their music or make their own tapes at their concerts and circulate. They still made millions. They became so popular, people still purchased their albums, but also bought a boat load of merchandise. Has to be a million dollars worth of Dead Head stickers still on old cars.

I also get a kick at how liberal Hollywood and many musicians are except for the fact of copyright. If they weren't already making millions they would probably get more sympathy. However, I think the majority of people still purchase most of their goods instead of breaking copyright laws. With the exception of perhaps the 12-24 year old demographic. Yet Miley Cirus is still making a killing; some 18 million last year.

Point is... nobody wants to hear millionaires griping, whining and beoxching unless they are watching baseball. Get over it.

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@Shakje

The CD is a container holding someone's work (the artist's and the production company). The CD containing that work is offered for sale. You may purchase that product with money - money represents work you have done. You are exchanging your money/work/effort for the work offered in the container (CD). By offering the work in CDs the artist/production company is allowing a wider audience the opportunity to exchange effort in the same way that a live audience might exchange effort with the artist/production company - though the CD method offers it at a (usually, comparatively) reduced rate. If you don't think the effort represented by the CD/recording is worth what is being asked then don't offer a representation of your work in exchange (in other words - don't buy it).

Clicking a mouse and ripping off someone's work is not a sufficient exchange of effort.

And Note: Thinking that the artist/production company is asking too much in exchange is not sufficient justification for theft... nor is complaining that the production company is not giving enough to the artist - it doesn't matter how often you hear those excuses used.

(I suppose a download rip-off could, at a stretch, also be viewed as the equivalent to sneaking into a performance without paying. And no doubt there would probably be some people who would think they were clever for doing that too.)

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@ImaGnuber

"The CD is a container holding someone's work (the artist's and the production company)."

Your whole argument about copyright is based on this premise. But not only is it false, it is a demonstratively stupid idea

A CD sold on the market does NOT hold the artist's work. It is a reproduction of his or her work. The original master may be said to be the work and it is the thing which takes effort to make. From then on technology takes over and it has nothing to do with artistic effort.

In fact this whole issue only exists because technology has enabled the capture and reproduction of artistic works - not just music but painting, writing and real soon now, sculpture as well, thanks to the emerging 3D printing technologies. As it stands it takes the same effort for an artist to make a single CD as a hundred million CDs. Before the advent of these technologies an artist who wanted ten audiences to hear her work would have had to to sing it ten times. Of course she would be paid ten times to do so, which is the correct thing to do. (What painters did in those days is even more interesting.)

As for the production/distribution company: you are of course correct. Their capital investment and expended work is represented by each CD they sell and they have a valid claim for payment. So I have no objection to paying them the 90c per CD which represents their costs plus about 200% profit. That should see them grow rich and fat because most other retail industries only dream of returns like that. Of course if I find an alternative production/distribution channel they are likely to go the way of the buggy-whip makers. The market giveth and the market taketh away.

The irony in all of this is that technology, which enabled this idiocy to arise in the first place has now enabled the public to take back the “public domain”. The governments of the world, egged on by vested interests, can pass all the laws they want and they can bash down as many doors as they want and they can fine or imprison as many people as they want. The jig is up. Artists will once again be paid per performance. Those amongst them who are smart will distribute their works via available channels and make that 200% themselves and grow rich and fat – and good luck to them. And their descendants for the 70 years after they die will just have to live off the interest!

By the way, I deeply resent the way “thief”, “pirate” and other derogatory terms are waved around in this discussion, by you no less than others. There are indeed thieves and pirates in this field but a careful examination of the history of this topic will quickly reveal which side of the counter they are on.

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@Joe M

"A CD sold on the market does NOT hold the artist's work. It is a reproduction of his or her work."

You might want to have a look at aesthetic/philosophical discussions which have been going on for several decades.

"What painters did in those days is even more interesting."

They often produced multiple copies, or paid others to do it (usually employees/apprentices) and got paid for each 'copy'. Printmaking is another method of multiplying the profit/making the artist's work more accessible to more people. Any moderately good history will mention these and other methods.

"So I have no objection to paying them the 90c per CD which represents their costs plus about 200% profit."

I assume you have taken into account the costs/payments due the performer and the staff and the production/manufacturing facilities etc? I'll take your word on that and should assume this is just your way of objecting to what you perceive to be 'excessive' profits? I hope this isn't the usual half-assed whining justification for theft as in 'I think they make too much money so I'll teach them a lesson'?

"Artists will once again be paid per performance. Those amongst them who are smart will distribute their works via available channels and make that 200% themselves and grow rich and fat – and good luck to them."

I somehow doubt that 'and good luck to them' was meant ironically though that would be the more accurate interpretation.

"And their descendants for the 70 years after they die will just have to live off the interest!"

Oh dear, he objects to the money someone else might receive. I wonder if you would refuse it if a significant amount came your way? Give it away to feed the less fortunate perhaps? I'm sure you would, Joe.

Object as much as you want to the terms 'thieves' and 'pirates'. Someone who steals is a thief no matter how they justify it to themselves and 'pirate' has long been an accepted term for someone who, yes, pirates recordings etc.

Correct me if I'm wrong but your objections seem to be to the amounts of money someone else is making - yes? Well, you don't have to pay those amounts do you? Oh wait - you can refuse to pay and still get what you want - by stealing! Wow! What a solution! Isn't there a term to describe that? Something about having your cake and... oh, what was it, Joe? Joe?

Oh and I would appreciate it if you would send me your name and address so that I can be certain of never hiring you for anything - you might object to something I do (like making more money than you think I should) and use it as a justification for stealing from me - you devilish little revolutionary, you.

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@ AC Re @Steve Roper

"Does it make you feel better about yourself to think that all of us who make a living from our art must be false/fakes/sell-outs/un-real?"

Considering I never actually said that, or even implied it... nice strawman. So yes. It makes me feel all warm inside. Especially when I have the guts to put my real name to what I say and you don't.

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@ImaGnuber - Oh dear, oh dear

There is little point in responding to your entirely fatuous scribble except that you have put words in my mouth and twisted the meaning of my post.

“I somehow doubt that 'and good luck to them' was meant ironically though that would be the more accurate interpretation.”

No. It was not meant ironically and only a twisted mind could have implied it to be so. It was meant as a wish and a complement. I have a deep regard, affection and respect for creative people, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to deal with many of them daily in my life. I wish them the best, always.

“I'll take your word on that and should assume this is just your way of objecting to what you perceive to be 'excessive' profits? I hope this isn't the usual half-assed whining justification for theft as in 'I think they make too much money so I'll teach them a lesson'?”

Wrong again. I have absolutely no objection to anyone making any amount of money in any way as long as it is legal. It is preferable that it should also be ethical, but hey, this is the real world and I accept that people will always try to find a wrinkle and work it to their advantage. And, no I'm not a socialist and I don't object to windfall profits either.

The 90c is what a CD is worth to me and I was pointing out that by paying this amount I am not actually depriving anyone of what is due to them. If they want to sell the product at $30 and people buy it at that price, good luck to them as well!

“Oh dear, he objects to the money someone else might receive.”

You are a real dope my friend! Can't you read anything without putting a cynical twist on it? I don't object to, I applaud the fact that creativity will benefit not just artists, but also their descendants. All without Disney twisting legislative arms on behalf of Mickey Mouse.

“I wonder if you would refuse it if a significant amount came your way? Give it away to feed the less fortunate perhaps? I'm sure you would, Joe.”

This and your further comments are below contempt and show you up to be a silly, cynical, grubby little man (or is it woman?) whose primary concern in life appears to be money and little else. I will be generous enough to wish you well in your financial endeavors, but please in future don't pollute the intellectual space with your puerile name-calling and innuendo.

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D
Paris Hilton

@Ima Gnuber

If you want to keep calling it theft, don't expect to be taken seriously. Theft is the act of illegally depriving somebody of their property and no matter how desperately you want breaches of copyright to qualify for the the label with it's more dramatic connotations, they don't. It's just a rather pathetic ploy used by the recording industry for what is a trivial breach of laws that only a tiny minority have any respect for.

And then you set up a straw man argument with

"Unfortunately you indicated that, apparently, you feel you are entitled to steal anything that costs more than you think it should"

Which was a sad but predictable.

All that it lacks is the accusation of supporting terrorists or drug dealers or whatever other group of social pariahs the recording industry likes to associate with music pirates. That's because most people know that the recording industry is simply a parasite that takes from the music industry and adds nothing of real value.

It's a shame that you said you appreciated my honesty and then went on to make such a dishonest argument yourself thereby disgracing yourself.

Paris, because even she could probably spot the flaws in your argument.

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Coat

My six year old daughter started singing a song from the charts

whilst we we driving along in the car. Normally I would have just thought "that's cute", however after reading ImaGnobbers comments I immediately called the police to have her arrested for what was clearly a breach of copyright. She told me that everyone at school was singing it, but I told her to save it for the judge, theft is theft and there's no excuse.

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Thank you D...

I was just trying to get over being grumpy about poor old Ima when I read your post. It restored my sense of humor in one go.

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@Joe M & D et al

Yes, cynicism is an expression of distrust of someone's motives... I was, whether correct or not, impolite. Suffice to say that we differ and probably always will... unless you come to your senses, of course :-)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some ranting and raving to do elsewhere.

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off hand rant about copyrights

my wife is a singer and had been offered a "nice" deal with one of the mid sized record labels. i say "nice"deal in most ironic way possible especially after running the contracts(several drafts) through several diffirient lawyers for translation from legalise double talk to plain english majority uses. after all that the filtered version cames down to this:

1. artists get no royalities accept what we feel like

2. you have no rights to your intelectual property once you sign

3. we hold the copyrights for as long as we want even if you are the originator.

4. money? what money you think you are getting?

5. we are free to take any of your creations and use them at will.

6. your job for us? in condensation you pay us to work for us

7.union dues for the artists are not covered.(this appeares very well hidden btw)

8. you are kidding right? you want to get paid?!(this last one is so spread out through the contracts that is next to impossible to even find unless you have three lawyers and a group of paralegals and a class of lawyers to be and they almost missed it too)

what really got to me was the unfair structure of how they tried taking my mrs hard earned and worked on songs for no money and have her even pay for it herself. btw we also tried some smaller more independent studios and imagine my suprise that the contracts were also very similar in their filtered down versions

after about 2 years of bashing our collective heads toghether and a lot of research into copyrights by my friends in legal extortion industry we came to conclusion that most part of the copyright laws is just bunch of what you stepped in after fido does its bussines and what lawyers/politicians leave behind when they open their mouths.

about 80% percent of the copyright law in usa is so outdated that the entertainment industry gestapo of thoght RIAA/mpaa practicaly made a bussines model out of it in order to rape and pillage the minds and hard work of people they are in theory supposed to protect.

sadly as long as these specters of doomed thought (riaa/mpaa) exist we as consumers will be getting the shaft as often as possible and artists with original thoughts and new things will be neutered on sight to keep old and tried remade repackaged crap to be continually made. and this is enough ranting on part for now.

now for some possible sollutions

1.copyright laws MUST be revised from ground up and updated to reflect the state of current and possible future technologies

2.RIAA/MPAA or anything similar must be dismanteled and never be allowed to be remade, reformed renamed or rebuild in anything similar in the future. 3.international laws regarding copyrights must also be revised to reflect the current and possible future technologies as they come to be

4. common sense should be used when doing all of the above

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@ImaGnuber

"Andraž may be exceptionally good at what he does -however when someone who does not have a serious stake in the debate regarding 'payment for protected work' makes remarks those remarks are nothing more than theories unconnected to the real world. That is a mistake made by 'cute' hobbyists"

You are missing several points completely. Everyone who are the potential customers of copyrighed material have a very real and serious stake in the debate. Not only those that happen to be creators of copyrighed material. Wether or not someone is a "professional" creator or is completely irrelevant to the issue of getting paid for their activities I assume you are not suggesting that copyright should only be granted to "professionals" and not to "amateurs"?.

You are treating the issue in complete insulation from 'customers' of copyrighted material. I apologize if I state the obvious here but all contracts and responsibilities are TWO-WAY. Especially when they are state sponsored through legislation in a democratic society.

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Pirates and profits

I used to download lots of movies, via USENET, as I wasn't able to attend my local cinema. Loss to Hollywood $0 as I would not be donating cash via the cinema to them. The ones that were decent motivated me to buy the DVD.

I also downloaded lots of TV shows, unavailable in the UK, via USENET. Loss to TV companies $0 as I couldn't buy it in the shops. Sometimes they even became available and so were purchased.

I have also downloaded a lot of CDs which never got burned to any disc as they were rubbish, loss to record Companies $0 as I wouldn't have paid the cost in the shops for a non-returnable purchase. I used to be able to return LPs saying I didn't like them and get them exchanged for something else, but that avenue has been closed now, as shops seem to assume that I've ripped the CD.

I have several thousand vinyl LPs, hundreds of CDs and dozens of DVDs. Profit to Hollywood / Record Companies etc. many, many thousands of $

I'm quite happy to buy when I see value, even paying over the odds to buy LPs on the day of release or import CDs with different tracks, for example. I will pay for a 'proper' copy of a CD even after getting a copy for free, but I'll keep the copy to play in the car.

So, I am both a Pirate / Thief and a consumer? Loss is $0, but I'm to be branded a 'freetard'? Companies have made a lot of money from me and would have made more had they provided me with a means to get content cheaply and quickly - pay double the dollar cost in £ and several months later for DVDs? Why?

Reality is much more complicated than a simple "all downloaders are pirates / thieves".

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