back to article 'Shame on the register to post wrong informations'

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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  1. pcsupport

    Numpties, the lot of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      I DIDNT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE STEALING IS TEALING RIGHT

      1. h4rm0ny
        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.

      2. Miek
        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.

  2. h4rm0ny
    Thumb Up

    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.

    1. stranger

      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!

      1. h4rm0ny

        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.

        1. the spectacularly refined chap

          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.

          1. h4rm0ny

            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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            3. the spectacularly refined chap

              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.

            4. Chet Mannly

              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*

            5. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
              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.

              1. h4rm0ny
                Mushroom

                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? :(

                1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

                  @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

                  1. h4rm0ny

                    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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      3. Chet Mannly

        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...

      4. Wallsy
        Unhappy

        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...

    2. noodled24

      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"

      1. h4rm0ny

        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. ;)

        1. noodled24

          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 ;) ;) ;)

          1. h4rm0ny

            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.

        2. DavCrav Silver badge
          FAIL

          @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?

          1. h4rm0ny

            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!

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        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?

        1. h4rm0ny

          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

    3. PyLETS
      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 !

      1. h4rm0ny

        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.

        1. PyLETS
          Pirate

          @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.

          1. hungry thylacine
            FAIL

            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?

          2. h4rm0ny

            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

            1. PyLETS
              Pirate

              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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        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?

      2. A J Stiles
        Thumb Down

        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).

    5. MJI Silver badge

      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

    6. Oli Wright
      Thumb Up

      @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

      1. h4rm0ny

        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.

  3. Jeebus

    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.

    1. Titus Technophobe
      Thumb Up

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @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.

        1. Titus Technophobe
          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?

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            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.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

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

      1. david wilson

        @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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.)

  4. Titus Technophobe
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: It is totally clear to a everybody

        I *think* that's intentional, but this whole debate is now waist deep in layers of irony and I'm not sure where anyone is standing anymore. For that matter, I'm not sure anyone *is* standing anymore. Perhaps we are all just floating in someone else's "ha ha, only serious".

        1. Titus Technophobe
          Thumb Up

          Re: It is totally clear to a everybody

          @AC Well it is 'total clear to everybody' apart from you it seems? Maybe that is a problem with your understanding of the situation rather than my post? Or spelling it out 'you are just reading it wrong'.

          That aside in a total and utter epiphany here at technophobe towers various universal truths have seen the light of day. One being that whilst SOPA is a US law, and may not apply here in the environs of Tunbridge Wells, everybody should fight the good fight. The time has come to make a stand!

          Other truths that have come to light are -

          Freetards , far from being freeloading scum who in any decent society would be taken off horse whipped, and then pilloried by anybody with a mind for a spot of pillory, are in fact bastions of the whole of human civilization. Bravely risking life and liberty (well possibly disconnection from the internet) in their endless fight to preserve the culture of humanity. They are the most courageous of all. Lets make today a hug a freetard day (well so long as they showered recently anyway).

          SOPA far from being a somewhat over the top attempt by corporations to enforce IP rights, is in fact the legislation of Beelzebub's own hand maiden. Sucking the very life out of the breasts of the creative industries. Dragging them all down to the very fires of hell.

          @Ken - see above mentioned epiphany

    2. sam 16

      Re: Irony ?????

      Ha haa, nice!

      RE SOPA though, as el reg is nominally a UK site, I should point out that we already have laws to that effect here, as seen in action with PB and newsbin blocking. We are an interesting test case, it will be interesting to see if music sales go up following the pirate bay block.

      Personally, I think that 15-30 year olds, who buy the majority of pop media, have a set disposable income to spend on entertainement. Reductions in film and music sales are explained by the games industry - the increase in game spending over the past 10 years is a bout equivilent to the reduction music and movie spending.

      We do need to address this piracy thing, but I think web 2.0 is just as much of a problem. I don't buy music anymore - I just go on soundcloud. If you know a lot of people who are hobby musicians, there is no need to listen to anything else. In a past decade, some of them might have been able to go pro. Not today.

      The same goes for fiction - I don't buy books, my fiction need is met by amatuer fiction groups. Sometimes I contribute stories, most of the time I just read them. In a past decade, some of the writers would have had small success, not today.

      There is an amatuer theatre group in my town, they are quite good. When CGI software gets easy enough that they can hook up with an internet artist group and make battlestar galactica 2, mainstream cinema is screwed.

      Not sure how to fix this, but convinced that it is a bad thing. Creative work is being devalued to the point where I think we will be paid to do boring things, and consume creative things produced by hobiests. Death of an industry.

  5. Ascy
    Unhappy

    Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

    I don’t think ideas should be restricted. Can you imagine the first spear or the first bow and arrow being patented? It’s ridiculous - copying other’s ideas, other’s behaviour, other’s way of speaking, it’s what we do! Somehow we’ve be tricked into putting made up restrictions on that behaviour for the benefit of a relatively small few.

    I do think some rules need to exist. Thus, you shouldn’t be allowed to sell a band’s performance of a song. However, you should be allowed to do your own performance (copying lyrics and notes) and sell that. If you can make a Ford Fiesta cheaper or better than Ford, then why can’t you? Because Ford came up with the design first?

    Contrary to the popularly held belief of progress being stalled, it would probably be sped up - no restrictions on the copying of ideas, no lawyers stopping someone with a slightly improved tablet selling it. The world wants new, better things and as long as money changes hands for those things, people will keep improving items and doing research, even if they can’t then restrict others from benefiting from it also. If I write an amazing program or a fantastic website and someone else wants to copy the look and functionality and thinks they can sell, maintain and run it better than me - then good luck to them!

    The only thing that should be protected is a name - so you know from who you are buying something with, say, Sony written on it, that you really are getting the Sony produced version of that product. There would be some details to sort out for novels and news stories, and even performances of songs by another band - they should clearly have an original source attribute.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

      "If you can make a Ford Fiesta cheaper or better than Ford, then why can’t you? Because Ford came up with the design first?"

      No, because Ford spent untold millions on making the design, including simulations, wind-tunnel tests and crash tests. Copying their design gives you immediate commercial advantage cos you haven't had to do all the R&D.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

      You seem to have heavily confused Patents and Copyright.

      My university researches a new type of a silicon manufacturing process and wants to licence it to others: patent law.

      We make the Avengers movie and want to stop people distributing it without paying: copyright law.

      Pirate Bay is about people getting The Avengers without paying. Not assisting humanity by freeing technological progress. Your post appears to be addressing a patent debate.

    3. King Jack
      Facepalm

      Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

      "you should be allowed to do your own performance (copying lyrics and notes)"

      Have you ever tried to write a song? No? It's not easy thinking up an idea, making words that rhyme, then inventing a tune and arrangement that carries it all.

      In your ideal world song writers would never see a dime as you seem to think songs just appear out of nowhere.

      Here's a project for you. Come up with a new birthday song. New words and unique tune. When the days turn into weeks and you fail, maybe you'll get a clue of what it takes to invent.

      1. Titus Technophobe
        Thumb Up

        Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

        Ascy you have so no hit the nail on the head! I have never seen a more worthwhile comment on these or indeed any other forum.

        I would suggest one minor adjustment to your plan. As is pretty well know by everybody almost all of the stuff produced by the major manufacturers is rubbish, cars, electronics, houses etc. Why pay for the product at all. I would suggest that the government should implement totally new policies.

        Rather than paying for your new Ford Fiesta, only to find it is total rubbish, what should happen is the company just lend you the product. This would be say a decent 100,000 mile, or 2 - 3 year try before you buy period.

        Once your two years, or mileage is up, you can then do one of two things depending on your opinion. Firstly if you think the product was rubbish just drop it back to the supplier (mind with car's they might as well just let you keep it, given it is rubbish and no longer of any value anyway). If the product was OK, then all you do is give the supplier a reasonable charitable donation.

        If you think this through it is very workable. It is pretty well known that companies just rip people off anyway, so they then get a realistic price for the product to cover costs, and the increased sales will more than cover the loss of income when people don't like the product (income let's be honest they never deserved anyway).

        Also given the charitable nature of donations for products the government can't really charge so much tax, which would just be another major saving to the consumer when the product is paid up.

        At the end of the day it is a win - win situation, pretty well nobody loses out apart from a few too highly paid company execs, greedy shareholders, and maybe some tax.

        1. Esskay

          Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

          I realise your post was intended to be facetious, but (ironically?) this sort of practice is not unheard of in the car industry. Many car companies these days will allow a prospective client to "borrow" a car for 24-48 hours, drive around, see how it is (peugeot even allow you to take a car home for a weekend here in Australia during certain promotions) and if you're not happy with it, you give it back, no fees, no problems.

          Sure, people aren't dictating their own price - but if the idea of "try before you buy" can apply to a product that devalues by ~15% the moment it's driven out of the dealership, why is it so difficult for digital media (which is not subject to wear and tear) to have a similar model? In fact (going back to the car example once again) an Australian manufacturer a couple of years back was giving people cars for a whole month (the Holden Epica IIRC) and allowing them to return the car at the end of it if they weren't satisfied.

          Obviously illegal downloads aren't a "right" that people have - but by the same token, the industry has left a large hole for pirates to slip through by effectively ignoring the advantages (from the consumer's perspective at least) of digital distribution for so long.

          1. Titus Technophobe
            Thumb Down

            Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

            Allowing people to borrow a car for 24 - 48 hours is a part of the business model of car sales the 15% depreciation cost will be factored into over all business costs. If the car companies didn't do this then the cars would be cheaper.

            The problem with this model for media products is that most of the time a consumer will only use a media product once. Having seen the latest and greatest 'Harry Potter' movie most people aren't ever going to repeat the experience. Now then the brave courageous freetard (not sure who posted that one, but I found the whole idea nauseous) who downloads a movie watches it will have then had all there is to offer and won't ever then go on to watch that movie again.

            Also these aren't products that are essential for life, nobody forces you to watch films, listen to music, and so on. If you can't, or don't want to pay the price, don't buy the film, music or book. You can argue that the price on release is outrageous but having been released the price will then drop over the next couple of years generally to a point which people can afford.

            I list below the arguments of morality for copyright infringement, and their response, that seem to crop up time and time again are -

            1. Why pay for stuff when pretty well everything produced is 'rubbish'

            Don't pay for it why would you want rubbish anyway?

            2. The price charged is outrageous and just goes to support the large media companies, hardly any of the money goes to the creative artist.

            But if the evil big media company gets less money they are going to give even less to the original artist.

            3. The product isn't available locally

            Now then there is a marginal justification here, but again over time this is generally not the case. As mentioned above you aren't going to die, why not wait until it does become available?

            4. Everybody is downloading

            OK. Now then I do have a car, like a lot of other drivers I also may accidentally break the speed limit, if I get caught I accept that this is illegal. Tell me how you can accidentally download a film?

            5. With the Internet it is almost impossible to stop downloads

            This may be exactly why the big media companies, and governments are introducing laws to stop downloading. The legal and distribution model may be wrong, but that doesn't make downloading right.

            The arguments above do not give any moral imperative for downloading copyright materials. The beatification of TPB in these posts using these arguments is total nonsense. What you are doing is wrong, and at least even if you are going to download stop trying to delude yourself with specious arguments.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Restriction Of Ideas Is Silly

              Actually, a false fact has been snuck past you hiding in all the dubious logic. Cars don't depreciate by 15% the instant someone tries them out for the day. Can you imagine a car seller accepting 15% loss of the gross sale price because the car had been driven about for less than 48 hours?

              You get that sort of depreciation when you *buy* the car. Because people regard a new car from a recognized dealer as safer than buying from a private individual they don't know. But not from a test-drive, not even a 24/48 hour try-out period.

              Just a comment on a detail. Agree with your argument.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Drivel - As Usual

    Hard won rights, that are really useful. What effing planet are you living on?

    Either the buffoon who wrote this article is just being a troll and trying to wind people up for his own feeble gratification, or he is indeed a complete idiot.

    The "freetards" are not against copyright, they are against the misuse of copyright.

    Unlike Mr orlovski I work in the creative industry, I actually create unique works. I expect to have rights to my work. But that does not mean I don't get bloody angry when I see copyright being used as nothing more than a tool to restrict freedom, make money and criminalise ordinary people.

    Mr orlovski may be happy to live as sheep in the warm comfort of illusion.

    Thankfully there are the "freetards" who bring to light abuses of copyright because they possess a quality Mr orlovski does not - courage.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Drivel - As Usual

      "The "freetards" are not against copyright, they are against the misuse of copyright."

      Okay. Quick test of hypothesis. Which do the patrons of the Pirate Bay most use it for? Distributing copies of books from the 1950's which they feel should now have returned to the public domain, or for obtaining the latest blockbuster, comic or TV show that came out this month?

      "Unlike Mr orlovski I work in the creative industry, I actually create unique works. I expect to have rights to my work. But that does not mean I don't get bloody angry when I see copyright being used as nothing more than a tool to restrict freedom, make money and criminalise ordinary people."

      And here we have the Appeal to Authority argument: "I am a small content producer". What does that mean? You've published a novel, recorded an album? What about all the "small content producers" who would disagree with you? I know people who publish role-playing games and they have been hit very hard by piracy. Widespread and organized piracy creates a less hospitable environment for content publishers. That is worse for small content producers than for the big ones that can weather the storm more easily. Your post is high on rhetoric and statements that you know best because you're X, but low on logical argument, to me. We should be having a golden age for small content producers and independents with the marketing and reproduction abilities of the Internet and we are to some extent. But lack of copyright enforcement demonstrably hinders that. I suspect we're about to see an argument about how freely distributed work helps raise awareness for the small content producer. To which I make the same response that I always have: if you want to use such a business model, copyright law doesn't stop you. It just gives you a choice whether you want to use that model or not. So if you really think that "not restricting freedom" is a good thing for content producers, then copyright isn't a bad thing because you're not forced to use it.

      "Mr orlovski may be happy to live as sheep in the warm comfort of illusion. Thankfully there are the "freetards" who bring to light abuses of copyright because they possess a quality Mr orlovski does not - courage."

      I'm finding it an odd juxtaposition how you take such a polite form of address for MR. Orlovski whilst insulting him so personally. Anyone who wants to be praised and told how right they are by people who want to be told taking things for free, can easily do so. Is telling movie downloaders what they want to hear "courage"? Standards have slipped if that's the case. Or you can speak your mind and get called a "sheep living in the warm comfort of illusion" instead. Clearly wanting to be insulted is a sign of moral cowardice in your mind? Or do you have some weird, very weird idea, that criticising copyright law is an act of bravery that defies authority? In which case, well done. I'm sure you have risked the MPAA bashing down your door and beating you up by doing so. Your "courage" is impressive. Because that's totally what happens.

    2. Steve Knox
      Facepalm

      Re: Drivel - As Usual

      Unlike Mr orlovski I work in the creative industry...

      So you don't consider writing part of "the creative industry", then? Which specific "creative industry" are you talking about? Last I knew there were quite a few industries where creative activity (esp. that which benefits from copyright protection) formed the core of the industry.

      But that does not mean I don't get bloody angry when I see copyright being used as nothing more than a tool to restrict freedom, make money and criminalise ordinary people.

      I think you've lost me there, friend. What can you do with copyright except restrict what others can you do with your material? Even the open source licenses such as GPL use copyright to set down a list of what can and cannot be done with the creative material.

      Yes, often that restriction is used to make money, and if we lived in a society which rewarded creative endeavors with goods in kind, that would not be necessary. But we don't live in such a society at this point in time.

      As for criminalising ordinary people, the only person who can "criminalise" one is oneself, either through ignorance of or deliberate breaking of applicable law. If you believe the law is unjust, there are various ways in which you can work to change it. If you believe you must break the law*, that is your option as a free individual, but you should expect to face the consequences.

      There are many ways to bring to light issues with and abuses of the current copyright system. Breaching copyright should be the method of last resort. I encourage you to speak up, in this forum and in others, enumerating the flaws you see in the current system. We all know it isn't perfect, so simply reiterating that fact adds nothing to the debate.

      *Although why anyone feels they need to do so for the type of material on TPB is beyond me -- none of it is necessary for a healthy, happy life, and much of isn't even worth the time needed to download it.

    3. david wilson

      Re: Drivel - As Usual

      >>"But that does not mean I don't get bloody angry when I see copyright being used as nothing more than a tool to restrict freedom, make money and criminalise ordinary people."

      Surely, the whole point of it is to allow people to exploit their own work by very narrowly restricting 'freedom' and giving them a tool to make some money, which they can use (or not) as they wish?

      Though of course, the 'freedom' in question (the freedom to selfishly copy other people's work without giving anything in return) isn't one likely to figure on any Declaration of Fundamental Human Rights any time soon.

      And it only criminalises 'ordinary people' who choose to break the criminal law by doing things like (in the UK) not merely taking copies of other people's stuff but effectively assisting in the publishing of other people's stuff.

      'Ordinary people' is a weasel phrase designed to try and pretend from the outset that the people are by definition doing nothing wrong without actually making a sensible adult argument.

      You might as well say that it's wrong to criminalise 'ordinary people' who choose to drive while ignoring the speed limit.

      >>"The "freetards" are not against copyright, they are against the misuse of copyright."

      'Misuse' typically seems to be something defined quite selfishly by people using their own desires as a yardstick of what is 'right', the way many children might be expected to do.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Facepalm

    My heart bleeds

    "hard won rights which benefit the individual, the small firm"

    Quite apart from the rest of the argumentation, some of which has worth, I would really go slow on the idea that these are "hard won" rights. Throwing in the "small firm" and the "individual" is a straightforward way of pandering.

    Hey, small firm, how about sued of of existence because you came up with the same stuff as someone else? Hey, individual, how about paying an order of magnitude more for stuff that is sold at acceptable prices on the other side of the world but cannot be imported here?

    No need to even throw in copying or sharing.

  8. Whitter

    Why would an author write in a no copyright world?

    Why would an author write in a no copyright world?

    "Ideas and words belong to everyone" claim some folks and lo!, a torrent of torrents.

    Writing is however a job (for most). And a job that doesn't pay doesn't get done.

    It boils down to two concepts: paying for things is not intrinsically bad and everyone doesn't have a right to everything created by everyone else. Sure, if you can remove greed, envy and the desire for authority from the entire human population, then you might have a stab at creating a genuine form of communism where money and property would be irrelevant and writers would write "just because".

    But if you can't then don't wreck other people's livelihoods.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Why would an author write in a no copyright world?

      Unfortunately, no-one has a right to a livelihood.The unemployment figures around the [capitalist] are a very sad testament to that fact. Authors, musicians, actors et al are not immune from that.

      Usual disclaimer: I do not, and never have, "pirated" anything using the internet. I do not have any means of downloading a torrent, and never have done. I have format-shifted music albums from one form to another after I have paid for it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: Restriction of ideas is silly

    "No, because Ford spent untold millions on making the design, including simulations, wind-tunnel tests and crash tests. Copying their design gives you immediate commercial advantage cos you haven't had to do all the R&D."

    Further to this, it means of course that Ford (or any other company) would not invest these sums in design and development in the first place, since it would not create any advantage to them because anyone would have equal rights to use their designs.

    And so you'd be lucky if mankind had moved much beyond the horse, let alone the Model T.

    I would accept that many of the patents now granted are spurious, for ideas which are either obvious, or not sufficiently innovative to be worthy of protection. But to suggest that the concept itself of intellectual property being owned by the creator is wrong, or would create some long term benefit to society if discarded... that is completely deluded.

    1. Juillen 1

      Re: Restriction of ideas is silly

      Given that most of the ideas had already happened before the model T, your argument lacks any basis.

      Advancement would always happen (and there's always the theory that it would happen faster).

      The idea of the patent was that someone revealed to everyone how something worked in return for a protection for a limited amount of time, just enough to get them established in the market, before everyone else could join. Prior to this, things were always 'commercial secrets', and jealously guarded. Some great ideas probably perished with their inventors becase the knowledge was lost when they died.

      Patents were supposed to get around this, which they certainly helped do. Now, however the misuse of them is rife (certainly in things like software, which should never have been patentable in the first place). This is actively slowing down progress massively and at great cost. Which is exactly the opposite of its intent at origin. Which means that it needs to be re-thought to fit in with the world as it is now, not as it was a few hundred years ago..

      Part of the deal in anything would be getting time limitations right (software is museum piece at 25 years, a patent term; this is definitely a serious technical abuse of the system).

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Restriction of ideas is silly

        None of the patent debate of course, being impacted by the Pirate Bay. So why bring it up? Patents and copyright differ significantly.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Juillen 1
    Mushroom

    This all ignores the elephant in the room

    That is the big media stealing the public domain. They have no ethical right to do this, as it was established to enrich culture for everyone, yet through legal technicalities (and outright bribery), they establish a legal bastion to do exactly this.

    Everyone is being deprived of what, not long ago was a fully legal right after a timespan.

    Now the deal is being changed in a way too heavy handed way.

    For example, you agree to pay something, and the vendor says "We'll have it there in a reasonable time. We expect 3 working days". You shell out your money, and you're happy. The system works.

    Then a series of vendors get together, and get a legal argument together and say "Well, actually, your goods won't be delivered to you until next month, as we now have a piece of legislation that says that's reasonable".. Then next month they say "Next year, as that's reasonable". Then you get the message next year "Well, technically, infinity years minus one is reasonable as a technical legal definition, therefore you'll never get your goods. No you're not allowed to change your end of the deal".

    Very rough analogy, and I know there are legal ramifications to trying to pull that particular stunt, but this is the kind of trick they're trying to play. We've funded their businesses since copyright was created, a few hundred years ago (and of course, before this, by their argument, nobody would ever have created art would they, without protection of Copyright?) under a basic deal. Someone created a work, and for about 12 years, they could do what they wanted with it. It took most of that time for it to travel across the world! So, effectively, you controlled the work until everyone had bought it, and had a chance to buy it under your deal (set price etc) and nobody was allowed to copy it until it was firmly established in the mind of the populace that it was you who created it.

    Now, however, with the erosion of the public domain, it's somehow acceptable for a business entity to control this in perpetuity, always controlling how, or even if, a work is available to anyone, allowing selective culling of culture at a whim, and allowing social engineering on a massive scale. Also for attempts to criminalise and control people who 'bend the rules' (I'm all for taking out commercial pirates, but it rankles to have the big brother eye cast over every single person; the law was never created with this level of control in mind).

    What we have now is NOT a fair deal. The original one was, at its time, in its context.

    So, when the deal is changed, and you have no control over that, and are told to just sit there and take it, people have no clue as to why some people no longer regard that deal as valid, and ignore it?

    Everything is a balance, not black and white. This article paints copyright as black and white, which misses the entire point (spurious logic; base an argument on a false premise, and treat the premise as axiomatic, then hope that nobody spots the flaw isn't in the progressive argument, it's in the base premise, in this case that copyright is a fair deal that should be obeyed).

    Copyright is no longer balanced. It certainly isn't fair anymore. If one side chooses not to play fair, why should the other?

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: This all ignores the elephant in the room

      Your entire post is basically about copyright terms. If you want to argue that copyright terms are too long, go ahead - you'll actually find many people agreeing with you. But tell me which of the top 22 video results on The Pirate Bay (checked just now) are about people protesting copyright terms:

      How I Spent My Summer Vacation HDTV XViD.AC3-ART3MiS

      21 Jump Street 2012 R5 NEW LiNE XViD - INSPiRAL

      This Means War 2012 DVDRip XviD-SPARKS

      The Avengers 2012 CAM V2 XViD-26K

      Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows (2011) DVDRip XviD-MAX

      Mission Impossible 4 Ghost Protocol (2011) DVDRip

      Gone[2012]BRRip XviD-ETRG

      Chronicle 2012 DVDRip XviD-SPARKS

      Treasure Island 2012 DVDRip XviD-EXViD

      The Avengers 2012 HDCAM NEW XviD-HOPE

      Coriolanus[2011] LiMiTED BRRip XviD-ETRG

      Thor (2011) DVDRip XviD-MAX

      Captain America The First Avenger (2011) DVDRip XviD-MAX

      We Bought a Zoo 2011 DVDRip XviD-NeDiVx

      American Pie Reunion 2012 TS XVID V3 - WBZ

      The Grey (2012) DVDRip XviD-MAX

      Contraband.2012.DVDRip.XViD-NYDIC

      Red.Tails.2012.DVDRip.XviD- SPARKS

      Man on a Ledge 2012 PROPER DVDRip XviD-SPARKS

      Haywire[2011]BRRip XviD-ETRG

      The Hunger Games 2012 TS READNFO XViD-sC0rp

      The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo 2011 DVDSCR XviD AC3-FTW

      If you want to argue that works from twenty years ago should now return to the public domain, we can have that debate. But please do not imply that it is relevant to what the overwhelming majority are actually doing with piracy - that's just a post-fact attempt at justification.

      1. The BigYin

        Re: This all ignores the elephant in the room

        @h4rm0ny

        Nice post, although I do take issue with the use of the word "piracy" but that's just semantics.

        I see Avengers 2012 on that list - can you please tell me how much that affected the box-office take? Because if I remember, it just broke lots of records.

        Obviously that does not excuse copyright infringement one little bit, but it does bring into question just how much damage (if any) is actually being done.

        I don't necessarily agree with TPB (although as a distribution service it is genius) but neither to I agree with the draconian legislation being mooted and forced through.

        Infringement has almost certainly always existed once it became technologically possible (and no, that does not make it right) but what harm has actually been caused? Companies have survived and grown from gramaphones thru LPs to tapes, videos, CDs etc and not a lot seems to have gone wrong. Heck, maybe the infringement was even a boon to some. So despite it having been around for so long and companies/people still raking it in, why should we let them make such an audacious grab for culture with ever increasing terms, region-locks (WTF did those ever do other than force people to infringe?), DRM (as before), and new laws?

        I often wonder what history has to say about all this - what happened when the printing press landed and all the scribes' jobs were in danger; did they demand legislation/special treatment to protect their business? It's the closest equivalent I can think of.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: This all ignores the elephant in the room

          "Nice post, although I do take issue with the use of the word "piracy" but that's just semantics."

          Thank you. I also dislike the use of the term "piracy", though mainly because it makes copyright infringement sounds a lot more glamourous and romantic than it is. But if the Pirate Bay want to call themselves that, then they can. It's the term that everyone uses and unlike metric megabytes, etc. there's not a solid reason to argue against it... But anyway, on to the debate! :)

          "I see Avengers 2012 on that list - can you please tell me how much that affected the box-office take? Because if I remember, it just broke lots of records."

          I cannot tell you precisely how much it was impacted. Probably no-one can give a truly accurate figure. All it is reasonable to conclude is that it has been impacted to some degree. The guy I went to see it with commented that "I'm actually going to see this one at the Cinema" meaning the film was so good that he actually wanted the full experience rather than just downloading and watching on the computer. So maybe you should ask how less successful films are impacted, rather than just the biggest, most special-effects laden films. Unless you think only the biggest Studios and budgets should suffer less? If not, ask about the impact on other films. I remember trying to round up some people for a flim last year and most couldn't because they said they would just download it. If you're saying you wont believe that cinemas are impacted unless someone can give you a figure to the percentage point, you'll never believe it. I could dig out some figures but as the people who are best positioned to know this (the cinemas and the studios) would immediately be dismissed by biased people as biased (ironic), it wouldn't be accepted. Besides cinema takings are only a part of it because cinema gives you something that actually is different to what you download. DVD and Blu-ray sales are a very different matter because in this case, piracy actually can replace the purchase entirely. Some might argue that more people will buy the DVD because more have seen it online. The idea that people who avoided paying for it once will suddenly want to pay for it when they don't have to a second time, is pretty dubious, imo.

          "Obviously that does not excuse copyright infringement one little bit, but it does bring into question just how much damage (if any) is actually being done."

          I think the worst damage is done to Independents. The bigger you are, the more you can weather adverse conditions. But it varies by media. For example, I know some small press groups publishing role-playing games who basically don't even find it profitable to publish anymore because of piracy.

          The question of how much damage is being done goes beyond the profits of the content producers. This goes back to my first post in which I pointed out that most of the pro-piracy arguments all suppose this a priori content producing entity and see the equation as Industry Money on one side and Public Mony on the other. This is plainly and obviously false. The industry money is wholely derived from public money - specifically from those willing to buy the content. Do pro-piracy advocates honestly think that if they push on one side of the industry, those supporting it on the other side don't feel that push? Do they think that the content publishers are this infinitely squeezable sponge that can be reduced to a profitless sliver of nothing? I honestly think they do. Rather than it being slightly firmer stuff that if pushed by piracy on one side, passes on that pressure to the purchasers of the content. And even it it were squashed to nothing and no studio made profit from any film and all the people involved magically worked for free, you'd STILL have the situation in which one large group of people were fronting all the money for these films and novels and songs, whilst another segment of society lived off the first and gave nothing back. That's the reality of the economics. You disliked the word piracy, as did I. Freeloader is the term that I actually prefer. It is, naturally, shunned in favour of pirate by those who support the activity of course. Yet freeloader is more accurate.

          "I don't necessarily agree with TPB (although as a distribution service it is genius) but neither to I agree with the draconian legislation being mooted and forced through."

          And this is one of my objections to them also. The activities of the Pirate Bay et al. make it very hard for the rest of us to oppose increasing monitoring and restrictions on the Internet. One day, we will urgently need those freedoms again, even in the West. And yet by persistent, wide-spread crime, the freeloaders have justified the taking away of those freedoms. Governments are by nature, evil things. They must, because of what they are, always seek control. But that control doesn't just appear. It is enabled by things such as complaints of content producers asking for such control. And it is a legitimate request for protection they make. So yes, it's not just that some are living off the honesty of others (and to greater or lesser extent passing the costs along through their unwillingness to share that cost), but that I see the erosion of anonymity and privacy accellerated because of them.

          "Infringement has almost certainly always existed once it became technologically possible (and no, that does not make it right) but what harm has actually been caused? Companies have survived and grown from gramaphones thru LPs to tapes, videos, CDs etc and not a lot seems to have gone wrong."

          Well as I said, I know people who can no longer make money doing something they love because of piracy. There's definite harm. There's also the dubious science of comparing our timeline with itself and saying: "what harm has been done". Well we cannot know that. But there's also the worse logic of thinking because something has been this way before, it will always be this way. Despite human history being full of game changers. Has there ever been a system by which anyone in the world can casually communicate with anyone else before? Has it ever been the case before that content could be reproduced and distributed with costs so small per unit that people aren't even aware of the cost per unit? Has it ever been the case before that decentralized, automated organizational systems for the requesting and delivery of content without a central actor was possible? No, none of these things. And each one is huge. And you bring forth the argument that 'it's always been that way, it always will'. The Internet is a huge blessing for small content producers. But piracy is not an intrinsic part of that blessing. It's the worm in the tequilla. (Some people will swallow that worm. Rational people have more sense.)

          "I often wonder what history has to say about all this - what happened when the printing press landed and all the scribes' jobs were in danger; did they demand legislation/special treatment to protect their business? It's the closest equivalent I can think of."

          Yes, entrenched producers always resisted change. The medieval guilds held back development for a long time. But your analogy is flawed. The content producers are HAPPY to lay off the scribes (plastic discs as a distribution method, post and packing, guestimating demand), just as they were happy when the "scribes" were cassette tapes being replaced with CDs. The flaw in your analogy is that it is not the scribes people are not wanting to pay for (e.g. the medium), but the content. People still want the content that the producers sell. They have just found a way to not pay for it.

    2. The BigYin

      Re: This all ignores the elephant in the room

      Copyright (and to a very large extents, patents) were about giving the original creator a window of a opportunity to make money off their creation/invetion (either by direct sales or some kind of licensing). The copyright/patents were all geared around the idea of a creator.

      Now big business is trying to re-gear it all around a corporation. Corporations don't die and are inhuman. Thus they demand ever increasing terms and ever more restrictive laws to "protect their investment".

      What about protecting human culture?

    3. kissingthecarpet
      Facepalm

      Re: This all ignores the elephant in the room

      Exactly - I don't thnk anyone but a small minority disagree totally with some idea of copyright. But the time period is everything. These days, 5 years is a long time - I don't know the figures, but the majority of the revenue from a work must be earned in a short time after release.

      Also there's a lot of rubbish that only makes money because of large sums invested in marketing - in that case who's the real creative? The guy who made the crap film or record, or the guy who wrote the ad that turned it into shit that made money?

      A lot of stuff from pro-status-quo journos seems to presuppose some creative nirvana where money made is proportional to the artists ability, & the artist receives a large share of the profits.

      So many have been ripped off over the years - e.g. a significant number of US pop artists from the 50's & 60's were simply robbed of their rights to multi-million sellers at the point of a gun by members of the Mafia, but of course, the normal tools used are contracts & lawyers.

      The only way to ever combat file-sharing is to reform the system so that its fairer for all, so that it becomes a small minority thing. Northern Ireland is a good analogy I think - at the moment its still the metaphorical late 70's as far as the MPAA et al ar concerned

  12. Bush_rat
    Devil

    My 2 cents...

    The Anti-Piracy Orbital Super Laser, or APOSL, would target pirates by tracking their IP and either destroy the whole house, or the computer, depending on the level of piracy. This simple scale will explain what causes what:

    Conspiracy to Attempt Piracy - The Computer

    Attempted Piracy - The Room

    Pirating 3 minutes of media - The House

    Anything else - The House and Tour bank account

    This system will eliminate the need for sueing people into oblivion, rather the APOSL would zap them into oblivion. Of course the well prepped basement warrior will build his basement under ground(no shit!) which will mean the APOSL will need to be powered directly by the sun.

    Using napkin math, I predict a build time of 27 years at a cost of $34 trillion dollars, but we'll make that money back from all of the pirates that will be stopped because of the system.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: My 2 cents...

      Shirley it ought to be a Low-Orbit Ion Cannon?

    2. Mephistro Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: My 2 cents...

      Yours is a great idea, but the costs are too high.

      What they should be doing is this: equip every human being in the planet with an explosive necklace, of the kind usually seen in cheap SF prison movies. The necklace could be fitted with technology for detecting IP infringement and allow the local government to remotely remove the infringing subjects through surgical -but noisy- strikes . The necklace could also track and/or eliminate political dissidents and protesters, who, as is widely known, always end up becoming terrorists.

    3. amozillo
      Angel

      Re: My 2 cents...

      Your comment was hilarious when I initially read, "attempting piracy of [filmname] 'The Room'"

  13. The BigYin

    Irony

    TPB gets it's panties in a bundle over being copied. Yes, that is hypocritical.

    Andrew gets hit panties in a bundle over TPB allegedly attacking sites and deleting content, but isn't that what the authorities do to the likes of MegaUpload? Actions that Andrew supports. Isn't that also hypocritical?

    The copyright laws are way, way out of control. The stranglehold corporations wish to get on human culture is simply beyond the pale. Sites like TPB are not really an answer (although the tech they use is certainly a boon), but neither are increasingly draconian laws which restrict culture.

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Irony

      Andrew gets hit panties in a bundle over TPB allegedly attacking sites and deleting content,

      Yes, I suppose you could describe his reaction that way -- although it may be a form of thought crime to refer to Andrew Orlowski and panties in a possessive manner...

      but isn't that what the authorities do to the likes of MegaUpload?

      Ummm....no. The authorities took MegaUpload through a very different mechanism. The technical term is "legal action". I won't go into the details, but look it up sometime. It's a fascinating topic. Furthermore they didn't delete any content. There were some concerns that content would be lost as a side-effect of that legal action, but as far as I know, those concerns have for the most part been answered.

      Actions that Andrew supports. Isn't that also hypocritical?

      It would be, if an illegal action by a non-authoritative entity is considered the same thing as an act of law enforcement supported by authority. Is that how you see the world?

  14. Gerard Krupa

    A lesson to be learnt here

    If you're going to sacrifice your reputation as a useful and accurate source of news in exchange for a few cheap and immature laughs then you'd better make sure that what you're writing is actually funny. If I want immature drivel I'll listen to Chris Moyles instead, thanks.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: A lesson to be learnt here

      CM looks like Aristotle compared to your whinging nonsense.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    out of interest

    Does Andrew and his supporting lackeys use ad blockers? As if they do they're just as much a bunch of thieves as someone downloading a shit movie off of TPB.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: out of interest

      If we base the law on the random opinion of anonymous internet folk then you're 100% right. If we base it on facts, your argument starts to fall down. Unless websites make "don't deliberately block ads" a part of their T&Cs, that is. But even that would only partially reduce the stupidity of your argument..

      1. nigel 15
        FAIL

        Re: Re: out of interest

        Drivel

        if someone downloads a film they have not agreed to any terms that say they shouldn't do it. so if T&C's are required your argument is nonsense. what's more they don't cost the films creator anything. If you use an adblocker you steal bandwidth and server load.

        I don't think you should be calling anyone stupid unless your own arguments hold water.

        1. david wilson

          Re: out of interest

          >>"if someone downloads a film they have not agreed to any terms that say they shouldn't do it. so if T&C's are required your argument is nonsense."

          If there are general laws saying 'It's against the law to help in the provision of copyright content' and someone breaks the law, the absence of any specific terms and conditions is.

          Effectively, the 'standard legal terms and conditions' are already widely known, just as they are in the case of other illegal activity.

          As for the website, there is no law saying people aren't allowed to use ad-blockers, and a website which wished to restrict access to only allow people who were not blocking ads could do so with relative technical ease, if they believed that doing so would actually profit them.

    2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: out of interest

      How is using an adblocker stealing? I don't look at adverts in papers. Never have. I gloss over them. They are so many levels of wrong, I could not understand the hyperbole and lies they spout if I tried. However, if I do the same automatically on a PC, it's stealing?

      1. sam 16

        Re: out of interest

        The intention of an advert is generally not to sell you a product, even if it appears to be advertising one. The intention is to make the brand visible, and assosiate it with the product. So that when you want a netbook, the word Samsung pops into your head, because you have seen samsung next to netbooks out of the corner of your eye many times.

        You do not have to read the ad for it to sink in. I know the ad on the right is for microsoft, even though I haven't looked close enough to see what product it is for. It has a man in a suit. He looks responsible in a rugged sort of way. Look at his confident expression. Your brain recognises symbols (the MS logo), human charecteristics, and colour, without concius thought. Thinking buisness? Think microsoft.

        Nintendo spend twice as much on advertising as they do on development (software and hardware). Why?

        Because price is set by Supply and Demand. R&D creates supply, and Advertising creates demand, it directly effects the price you can charge for the product. We have no way of knowing a true price for most things we buy, which is really better out of 2 similar spec laptops. But we will pay twice as much for Microsoft hosted office web app compared to some nobrands feature matched web app. Because we care about uptime. Because Microsoft means buisness. Because the guy in a suit looks like he means buisness, even if we never really noticed him.

      2. Killraven

        Re: out of interest

        "How is using an adblocker stealing?"

        Millions of people have been using your same rationale for years, but the entertainment industry has been claiming for those same years that any technology that allows people to skip television commercials (either live or recorded) is tantamount to theft, because they see the product without the advertising meant to help pay for it. The rationale works the same with website advertising. Heck, the industry has even claimed that even muting your TV during commercials is theft.

        I've stated before that my use of The Pirate Bay, or similar sites, is to download television programs that I already pay my local cable company for the right to view, rather than watch them at the broadcast time. I'm repeatedly told that I still count as stealing, because the downloaded programs don't contain the commercials.

        Evidently I'm also a thief because I spoof my IT address in order to watch YouTube videos for music that the entertainment industry doesn't want to sell in my country in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: out of interest

          I find this thread amusing,

          "how is using an ad blocker stealing?"

          Quite simple, the IP of a website is often paid for in part by advertising, and as such by blocking that advertising you are not paying for the IP you are also not paying for the cpu time you're using and the bandwidth you are using. So you are stealing.

          But it's worse. You see often you go back and steal from the same site again and again and again, denying the creators of that site and those that provide for it their just rewards. While a person only steals a movie once and generally a movie they'd never have paid for in the first place.

          It is quite clearly theft, you're enjoying a service without the ads that help pay for its creation and maintenance.

          While at the same time arguing that downloading a movie is theft and being ignorant to your own repeated theft.

          I find it quite funny. You deny the right of web site owners from earning money for their property but at the same time support the "entertainment" industries rights to earn money from their properties.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: out of interest 19:09

            Again I ask, how am I stealing if I choose not to look at adds in a news paper?

            I have eyes, and I can choose to use them. If I choose not to load up an add, it's the same choice.

            How is that stealing? If they insist on a pay per view, they should be honest about this an put up a pay wall.

            If they want an honour system, they should be honest about this too. I pay for the Humble Bundle etc, even though they are DRM free. So I don't steal.

            I could decide my posts cost 1 million dollars for anyone who wishes to read them. If they refuse to pay, have they stolen from me?

            1. nigel 15
              Paris Hilton

              Re: out of interest 22:46

              how do your eyes know not to look at the ads, before they've seen them?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: out of interest

            Interesting what you say about CPU / bandwidth. Rich media are using unasked for CPU on my machine, and bandwidth out of what I pay for (I'll avoid net neutrality culs-de-sac here). So a quid pro quo is arguable on that aspect. Indeed if someone's machine is being used to contribute to running e.g. some massive calculation / simulation, the advertiser is effectively stealing from the academic / charitable organisation.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Igglepiggle doesn't need his blanket, he's not in bed.

  17. frank ly
    Pint

    " .. lawmakers find it so unwordly .."

    I read that as 'lawnmakers'. After the reference to the MP Black Knight, I started thinking about The Knights Who Say 'Ni !' Saurday evenings eh?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irony

    The additional irony is that by pointing out the irony that the Pirate Bay's problem could have been reduced if there were a strong copyright system, Orlowski has dramatically raised public awareness of the risk and thus reduced the impact of the issue by more than any copyright system could have managed, so by espousing strong copyright systems he reduces the need for them.

    Good going.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Irony

      I don't think Orlowski's intent is to help scammers target people whether they are pirates or not. Besides, someone dumb enough to pay for a torrent probably isn't reading El Reg. in the first place. (Probably).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Irony

        Three pints says there are already half a dozen tumblr links to the article.

      2. Killraven

        Re: Irony

        I think Andrew's only intent is to openly ridicule people that don't agree with him.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all cool

    TPB deserves exactly what they get and they ain't gonna like it. What goes around usually comes around. I don't think TPB will get the last laugh nor will the Freetards.

    The song lyrics are : "I fought the law and the law won."

    1. Killraven

      Re: It's all cool

      Is that a copyright violation I see? Quoting song lyrics without attribution of credit to the copyright holder and/or song righter? Did you get permission from the rights-holder to quote that?

      Oh, that's right! Due to Fair Use laws you were allowed to do that without fear of punishment! At least in some countries, and for the time being. Right up until the entertainment industry gets it's way and removes those pesky "rights".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll say it again

    People who use the word Freetard are themselves Retards.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    I'm no freetard!

    Because some of the stuff I download isn't free at all, so there!

    Oh darn, wait a sec....

  22. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    To the editors of The Registers.

    The censorship of comments on this site has made my contributions pointless.

    The most vociferous participant in this censorship is AO, he is incapable of accepting any criticism and I can only assume it is due to his arrogance.

    I will be deleting my account as The Register has become a bastion of ego driven self promotion where all negative criticism is denied.

    I will not spend an more of my time pandering to an organisation which denies a voice to anyone who dares utter any negative thoughts towards its writers.

    I have no doubt that this comment will also be censored but I do hope whoever rejects it has the courage to pass it onto the editorial management.

    1. Boris S.

      DENIAL is the Word. Look it up!

      AO's views are his and he is free to express them just as you are yours.

      Reality is that piracy is NOT going to go unpunished. The vocal minority can cry me a river and they will still be punished for piracy. It's not the copyright holders who are violating law, it's those in the minority who believe they are above the law. They make prisons for folks who can't deal with reality.

      Rarely does The Register censor comments even meritless ones like yours.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: To the editors of The Registers.

      FWIW, any "censorship" of comments is because a) they are legally unsafe; b) witless insults - you've got to do better than call someone a nob: step up to the plate and flash us your wit; c) they simply (and exclusively) demand someone be fired. News flash: they won't. See (a).

      An amusing and intelligent putdown will be accepted over a lame duck "u r all takin bribes lol" missive, that much is obvious. Apologies if you've been rejected. Maybe you tripped the above guidelines.

      C.

      1. Mr Young
        Pint

        @diodesign

        Hehe - I was going to post but you pretty much said it. Anyway - if somebody (like the Reg) runs and pays for a website they can decide for themselves what the fuck is on it? It's not what I'd call censorship?

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: To the editors of The Registers.

        Hey, off-topic and I apologise for that, but while there's a mod around, can I put in a plea to get rid of the Anonymous mask for anonymous posters. It's not the same thing and it's a bit untidy conflate the two.

        1. Steve Knox

          Re: To the editors of The Registers.

          It would be on-topic if you posted it on the following forum instead:

          http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/03/21/Drewc_New_Forum_Wishlist_-_but_read_roadmap_first/

    3. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
      Meh

      Re: To the editors of The Registers.

      Make sure you let them know where to send the refund.

  23. NozeDive
    Pirate

    Does anyone remember when we used to borrow a friend's cassette tape for a day and copy it at home? Or maybe use it to make a mix-tape? It was a simpler time for pirates.

    1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      Guilty! Your honour.

  24. jake Silver badge

    Regardless of rhetoric ...

    ... the simple fact is that anyone can copy digital content, and give anyone, anywhere on the planet, a copy.

    That's reality. The publisher no longer controls the distribution channel(s). People can, will, do and are copying digital content. This will continue for far longer than I will be living on this dampish rock.

    Note that I'm not commenting on the right or wrong of this simple fact. I'm just pointing out that this is a fact. The publishing companies need to understand this, and change their business model. Again, I don't expect this to happen in my lifetime ...

    That said, I only use FOSS ... and I have store-bought physical media for all my personal audio entertainment. Seems cleaner that way ...

    1. SleepyJohn
      FAIL

      Re: Regardless of rhetoric ...

      Yes, this is the inescapable fact that all these hysterical, sanctimonious 'anti-piracy' arguments ignore. Copyright may well have been a useful tool for creators back in the days when monks spent whole lifetimes copying two or three chapters of a book with a sharpened quill, but in the digital age of today, when anyone can copy anything in a millisecond at no cost, it is about as relevant as a nosebag of hay on the front of a bullet train.

      Morality does not enter into this argument - the world is changing and, as King Canute noted, we must change with it or die. Every day we see countless examples on the internet of businesses that make huge sums of money by giving away things infinitely more valuable than some crappy popsong or maudlin movie, or charging for freebies in return for a service; they are working hard to successfully adapt to these changes. Why should the powerful Media Corporations of America, for they are the ones who control and profit from all this, be given a free pass to the future when everyone else has to earn theirs?

      The digital internet has created huge difficulties for the old distribution channels, ones that I am quite certain, and hope, will prove to be insurmountable, but it has brought unbelievable opportunities, mind-blowingly huge markets and virtually cost-free facilities right to the front doors of creators with a bit of gumption. If Mr Orlowski's much-reviled 'freetards' hasten the departure of the corrupt, greedy, criminal middlemen who stand in the way of this, thieving from artists and customers alike and propping up their outmoded industry by sueing, bribing, extorting and threatening everyone within reach, they will be doing the rest of the world a favour - artists and fans alike.

      I do not think future generations of artists will thank us if we allow the crass, culture-less American Media Industry to steal the magical networking system we should be bequeathing to them and turn it into a private Paythroughthenose-GarbageTV Channel.

  25. kosmos
    FAIL

    Andrew misrepresents the truth again.

    What Andrew has left out of this article is the fine detail of what SOPA and PIPA would actually do to the browsing experience of every user. Andrew is a fundamentally conservative writer and social contrarian, but he only presents half of the issue.

    The Key problem with SOPA and PIPA was that they not only eliminated safe harbor protection for ISP's and web sites, they actually reverse the burden of proof requiring anyone who posts content to the internet, be it a youtube video, a narrative, a commentary or even a link to a website ensure that none of it breaches anyone else's copyright or IP. The legislation gave media corporations the right to pursue ISP's, websites, users, and even to edit or change DNS records without warrant on the say so of the media companies.

    Since the people who generate most of the content on the web are not Fox or Yahoo, its private citizens, we are the ones getting policed. Now, here is the real effect of SOPA it costs money to police user content, if it costs even as much as 5c a post that can be enough to destroy a website's profitability especially if their DNS records have been changed.

    SOPA and PIPA handed over control of content production and even the links to that content, to a few media corporations who could make a claim without warrant that anything posted or linked to on a site infringed their copyright. It made websites and ISP's responsible for the content posted by their users even though they cant control their users anymore than I can control Andrew's inability to present all the information.

    SOPA and PIPA are not about paying for content they say nothing about freetards, they are pieces of legislation that deal with the control of content on the net. They handed control of content policing to the media corporations whose very existence is challenged by the news/media/content that s posted and/or produced by private citizens.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reasons why people steal digital media is...

    ... because:

    1) It is very easy

    2) You're unlikely to get caught

    3) If you get caught the punishment is usually trivial

    4) The consequences to the victims are not readily apparent or relevant to the perpetrator.

    This is how the majority of human beings' value-systems work, it's got nothing to do with any high-brow philosophy around freedom and copyright.

    The looting that took place in the UK last year is a good demonstration that if circumstances bring these four points to bear into the world of physical products, the same thing happens. A lot of the looters were "normal" citizens (ie not known criminals), they were behaving in the high-street just like they do online because for a few days the same rules seemed to apply.

    Here's how this can be stopped:

    1) Education. Tell everyone in the country through TV, Radio, Billboards, classes in school, that downloading digital media without paying for it is theft and will be treated as such. Just like shoplifting. Then the ignorance defence goes out the window.

    2) Enforcement. Put some proper effort into tracking down people illegally sharing files.

    3) Prosecution. Treat infringements as a crime like shoplifting. No three chances. You get caught, you get convicted, you get a substantial fine & community service & criminal record. Keep doing it and you get jail time.

    This is why it's worth the effort of tracking down the looters from last year and hitting them with heavy sentences. The next time there's any "legitimate" social unrest, it'll be much less likely to be used as an excuse for looting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

      You do realise many would argue that there is no such thing as "stealing" publicly distributed data?

      If something is private or recalled, they would happily do so. To take that information would be to do so against someone's wishes.

      If something is published in papers, magazines, films, books, videos and the internet, then they see it as "publicly distributed". Thus, 1 extra copy is not seen as stealing, but "copying". Now, if someone insists "you must pat ££££s to make copies" then what does that mean?

      Look at things like "The Humble Bundle" and other self distributed media. These have zero command over the copying rules (they are DRM free!). Yet make just as much money as those who want copies want to pay the creators.

      However, if you criminalise everyone who wants a copy, then why would they all want to remunerate you for calling them a criminal?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

        There are many arguments that try and legitimise digital media theft and there are alternative digital media licensing & distribution models than the ones used by the mainstream media producers - but that's pretty irrelevant because they don't use them, probably because they're trying to run a business not a commune. None of these arguments alter the fact that taking a free copy of digital media that you would otherwise have had to pay for is theft - regardless of how it is distributed. It's no less theft than going into a shop and walking out with a DVD and not paying is theft - after all, you're only stealing one "copy" of the DVD, not the whole lot, and the shop is a publicly accessible place, so it's being distributed publicly, all be it on physical media, yes?

        I have anarchist friends who justify shoplifting on the grounds that they don't want to support global corporations by paying for their products. It's pretty much the same argument put over by digital media thieves. I don't see why my anarchist friends should be criminalised for their principles when digital media thieves are not. At least my anarchist friends don't try to deny what they are doing is illegal or claim that it should be made legal. And when they get caught, they stand up and take their punishment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

          Sorry. Still don't understand what you mean.

          How is walking into WHSmith, seeing a DVD on the shelf, and walking out with only the memory of said DVD, stealing? You never picked up the DVD.

          Now, if technology means we can copy anything we see, with little to no cost, how is that stealing?

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

          Unless your argument is that we need to change the legal definition of theft, which is very mature and which works very, very well, thank you very much, then copying digital media (or anything else, for that matter) is not, and never will be, theft. At the moment copyright infringement is, in the context we are talking about here, a civil, not a criminal, matter and so prison sentences are not available, and, unless the media industry scores a major coup, never will be.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

            @Intractable Potsherd

            You're right about the law on theft being very mature (ie old & out-dated), wrong about it working well in the context of digital media. It worked fine when illegal copies of media were generally so poor that people were still willing to pay for legal copies. But now it's possible to download perfectly adequate copies of films in HD that are practically indistinguishable from the legal version. This should be classed as theft and become a criminal offence on a par with shoplifting.

    2. Mr Young
      Go

      Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

      Shut up AC! Actually, no, I have a question for you - how many people DIDN'T loot and riot? Reg units answer will be fine

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reasons why people steal digital media is...

        @Mr Young. The majority of people didn't loot, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't prosecute looters or adequately police communities to prevent looting happening in the first place.

        The majority of people don't steal digital media (or are you suggesting they do?) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't prosecute digital media thieves or adequately police digital communities to prevent digital media theft happening in the first place.

        What's your point?

        1. Mr Young

          What's your point?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

  27. Chris Tierney
    Happy

    TMI

    I'm bored of this discussion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TMI

      Yet you post here?

      Or do you mean we are bored of Reg pulling it up out again and again? Yep. I really wish they could be more productive in their arguments.

    2. SleepyJohn
      Headmaster

      Re: TMI

      I suspect many of us are bored with anyone who is bored of anything.

  28. Jop
    Black Helicopters

    The TPB has become another image of internet freedom in a world where governments and media are trying to take more control of it.

    We live in a world where copyrights, patents and lawyers are holding back creation and progress. Supporting those that stand against this is one way citizens can show their displeasure and feel they are taking a stand, even if they do not get off their backsides to do so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope, wrong again

      This discussion is painfully laughable. So many clueless, so much time for them to spew their foolishness.

      When you have something worth protecting then you'll understand copyrights and patents. Being technically ignorant in addition to being socially ignorant doesn't help your futile cause one bit, but it clearly illustrates where the problem is.

  29. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What DRIBBLE !

      The world seems to disagree with your POV. That is why patent and copyright laws exist.

      Piracy most definitely is evil and pirates will continue to be punished. Copyright holders will also continue to protect their copyrights - as REQUIRED by law or they will lose them.

      It's time to get in touch with reality because no one is going to legalize piracy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What DRIBBLE !

        Why the 'REQUIRED' in caps? Since when has the law been the bastion of sanity, morality, or common sense? When you can take me to an asian internet cafe that has licensed all it's software using the recommended western pricing models, and an asian factory that doesn't make anything with rounded corners out of the genuine concern they have for Apple's moral right to round corners, then, maybe, you might be able to say that the world disagrees with me.

      2. Titus Technophobe
        Thumb Down

        Re: What DRIBBLE !

        And as a minor point both of Einstein and Pythagoras would have had a copyright on the papers in which they published their respective theories.

  30. amozillo
    Gimp

    Wow... By fast-forwarding thru Letterman's ads on my S-VHS VCR I was stealing millions (1996 dollars) from CBS/Westinghouse/World Pants etc... I must be the greatest criminal in history

    Syllogistically-- Maxim:Bay :: men too chicken to buy porn:men who aren't veteran legendary thieves like moi

  31. nobody really
    Linux

    The true cost of being a "freetard"

    "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it" Pubilius Syrus ~100BC

    I pay about $2,500 per annum for effectively unlimited access to Movies, Music and TV (especially Live Sport).

    Unfortunately for the "artists" (cos they're the one's we're really worried about here right?) my money goes to my ISP ($1,200 per annum), SkyTV ($960 per annum), and 2 sites of ill repute ($150 per annum). The sites of ill repute started getting my money after new legislation was introduced in my country to fix global piracy (well done my government, another winner there!).

    I pay for a season ticket to see my favourite team in my 3rd favourite sport, and I pay ad-hoc to watch my favourite teams in my first 2 favourite sports.

    I paid ~$3,000 to watch my very favourite team win a World Cup here at home last year. (a kiwi freetard, probably the worst kind)

    All of these things are worth the cost to me.

    Basically I have an entertainment budget somewhere in the region of $3,000+ per annum.

    Seems to me someone getting paid the BIG bucks (read: media industry CEO) is missing out on my money.

    I'm not certain, but I think there might be more like me.

    And yes, I steadfastly refuse to pay $10-$50 (local currency) for a blu-ray copy of a movie I can't even play on my Blu-ray player (I'm looking at you Sony)

    A f@#ken stupid Freetard to boot.

    *Never posted before, is that the freetard logo?

  32. amozillo
    Terminator

    Famous Titles for 400

    btw I only read Maxim for the ads

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i see the problem a little like this...

    1. that prices of content are much higher than they would be if copyright were a mere 5 years, for example.

    2. that most people only get paid when they work. say you do job automation, do you get recurring payments for life+99 years everytime someone wants to run your script?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lets take a look at software. plenty of free software. plenty of freeware. plenty of pirated software. plenty of software revenue too. not so many free games. many freeware games. plenty pirated games. games companies are actively developing new business models - casual games, online gaming, steam, etc

    why books, music and movies so special? why can't there also be a mix of free music, free-as-in-beer music, pirated music and sold music? why so greedy , the music industry?

    1. h4rm0ny

      "1. that prices of content are much higher than they would be if copyright were a mere 5 years, for example."

      Defintely wrong. If you have less of a period you are allowed to make money during, then you will try to make more during that period. If you know you can't sell copies of a film next year, then you increase the cost of it for this year. Besides, being unable to profit reduces the incentive to keep producing that content, re-releases, etc. Instead, the content fades into history because the moment anyone tries to invest the effort into re-marketing it, cleaning it up for Blu-ray, whatever; others could take what they've done and re-distribute it for free. Thus, content could actually be lost.

      "2. that most people only get paid when they work. say you do job automation, do you get recurring payments for life+99 years everytime someone wants to run your script?"

      For jobs that require a lot of initial investment or development time, this model is actually necessary. For example, I could spend a year writing a software application. How am I making money by doing that? I'm not. It's an investment based on the expectation of being able to make the money back by selling the product at the end. So for someone to spend a year writing software, it is necessary that they are able to sell copies later *after* they have stopped working. Or to put it another way, yes, we need to be able to charge people "when they run my script".

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: The true cost of being a "freetard"

      "*Never posted before, is that the freetard logo?"

      No. You've used Tux which is the Linux logo here. Someone writing O/S software is almost the opposite of a Freetard in concept. A Free Software programmer gives freely. A Freetard takes freely.

      "Seems to me someone getting paid the BIG bucks (read: media industry CEO) is missing out on my money."

      Well the thing is, if you can sell the same product as someone else but you don't have to pay the development or production costs because someone else has done that, then you can sell it for cheaper. I.e. if you pay £10mil to the venues and athletes, etc. in order to be allowed to film the match, you hire the cameras, etc., you're going to have to cover your costs. If someone else then takes the finished recording and sells it themselves, they don't. So it's not really a case of the legitimate seller being stupid for not charging as much as the illegitimate one. They will NEVER be able to compete with someone who takes their product from them and re-sells it illegally. Just logically not going to happen.

      And no, btw. I don't know where you got the idea that we're only worried about the "artists". I'm actually rather sick of some people leaching off the willingness to pay that the rest of us show. Piracy ultimately leaves the burden of the cost of production on those people who buy content. Maybe if piracy persists at the scale it does, enough people will get sick of paying for it and then we'll see a lot less money going into producing the content. No more big budget movies or sports extravaganzas*

      (*This is usally where some snob comes in and says how modern culture is trash anyway. Before pirating the shit out of it).

      1. nobody really

        Re: The true cost of being a "freetard"

        Thanks Harmony, you seem to be the authority on the topic here?

        I don't think I made my point very well. What I am saying is that I pay a lot of money to be branded a criminal freetard, but the fact is I cannot get the product I am after through legitimate means. I think the 'entertainment' industry is missing a trick here. Here's what I want, and here's what I am prepared to pay to get it (actually it is what I *do* pay to get it) and I think it is a fair price (hence the quote from Pubilius).

        Maybe I don't fit the same definition as TPBtards.

        IMO however, the entire industry is completely out of whack. Does (purely for illustrative purposes) Tom Cruise deserve to get paid what he does for acting? Seriously? Does any actor? If he was curing cancer then sure, saving lives yes, but memorising some lines and acting?

        Perhaps the industry is realising now that the *real* money is not and has never been in the content itself, but in the distribution of said content (from physical media to bit and bytes). Unfortunately they don't 'own' the new distribution channel and are finally facing some stiff competition. I know for a fact ISPs in my country are not interested in blocking torrent traffic and the like because they all charge by Data Caps not bandwidth caps. They make big money off freetards and paytards alike because they own the distribution channel.

        I know this is a slightly different angle to the regular argument vis a vis is it stealing or not, but I think it needs to be pointed out. They made their bed, but they're not getting much sleep in it.

        Not everything is black and white.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: The true cost of being a "freetard"

          "I don't think I made my point very well. What I am saying is that I pay a lot of money to be branded a criminal freetard, but the fact is I cannot get the product I am after through legitimate means"

          Ah, see now that's one of the "legitimate" reasons. Quote marks because by legitimate, I mean its not simply about not being willing to pay. It's in there with availability in different reasons. I'm not actually going to argue against that. I think it's one of those things that is just an artifact of the newness of online distribution and it will resolve itself in time as the companies wise up to the business opportunity of selling directly to the customers in different regions. What I am saying is that there are very few of these "legitimate" reasons left and most of what is put forward (certainly on here) has merely been rationalisation of taking things for free, rather than actual consistent reasons.

          "IMO however, the entire industry is completely out of whack. Does (purely for illustrative purposes) Tom Cruise deserve to get paid what he does for acting? Seriously?"

          Personally, no, Those sums are out of proportion to other careers that I thnk have greater contribution to society. But then that's my personal view and it's not really up to me to say how much a company (e.g. a studio) can pay its employees (e.g. Tom Cruise). They obviously think he's worth paying that much (it's funny how critics both accuse movie and music studios of being impossibly greedy and cheating their artists whilst in the next post complaining about how overpaid the artists are. Not talking about you, btw. Just that I see this a lot). Anyway, more to the point, the public are willing to pay for it. I don't really know whether Tom Cruise, the script writer or the pyrotecnics girl are getting more than they should. I just buy the product and leave it to the shareholders to deal with it if Tom Cruise's salaray is eating into their profits.

          "Perhaps the industry is realising now that the *real* money is not and has never been in the content itself, but in the distribution of said content (from physical media to bit and bytes)."

          See now there we disagree. It's the middle people who are going to ultimately lose out by new distribution methods. High street shops selling DVDs, etc. Bad times for them. But the content producers would love to be able to sell things online. Do sell things online. I can buy quality MP3s or movie downloads and it is fine. I don't think any of them have any issue with the new distribution methods other than that people use them to take without paying.

          "I know this is a slightly different angle to the regular argument vis a vis is it stealing or not, but I think it needs to be pointed out. They made their bed, but they're not getting much sleep in it."

          Go ahead. I'm arguing with the idiots who try to explain why they are entitled to something for free and why they aren't freeloading on what other people pay when they download the latest movie. That's what "Freetard" means. Yours is one of the more intelligent posts here.

          "Not everything is black and white."

          Please tell that to the person I'm arguing with upthread who insists celebrities are evil. ;)

          Cheers,

          H.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why authors/musicians/directors so insecure about their abilities to produce new material that their customers will pay for? i have no issues with others copying my scripts(only that i'm shy about it - they're not good enough), i'm confident that the next customer will pay me to write new ones customised to their requirements - its really my employer that thinks the drivel is secret.

    1. Titus Technophobe
      Thumb Down

      Copyright

      This being the employer who pays you for writing code? The same employer who then looks to make some money selling your code and so that they can pay you some more money?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Sir

    I'm not sure if anyone has covered this point yet, apologies if so.

    The reason there are 'pirates' is because the 'industry' needs them. How else could they drive through Orwellian controls over the internet without a bogeyman?

    Same principle applies in government and social controls - you need a bogeyman[person?] in order to put fear into the populace so that they will accept more controls.

    This frog is boiled.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignorance is bliss

    Denial and ignorance do not change law. All civilized societies enforce copyright and patent laws - as they should. Those who believe they are entitled to other people's property without compensation are idiots.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Ignorance is bliss

      Define "civilised".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ignorance is bliss

        That would be countries who understand the reasons for copyrights and patents and the need to punish criminals who steal other people's "art".

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Ignorance is bliss

        For purposes of this discussion? Societies that believe the person responsible for producing a good thing should receive benefit for it and that others don't get to force the person producing the good thing to produce it if they don't think its worth their time to do so. I.e. a producer can set a price as they wish for non-essential things they make.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think they understand

    I think pirates understand but they just live in fantasy land.

    I think Ferrari's are over-priced and that their Biz model is all wrong so I should just be able to take a new Ferrari and use it for as long as I want without paying for it... Why should Ferrari be able to charge so much money for their cars when I don't have enough to pay for one? This is unfair and so I'll just take what I want. /S

    1. SleepyJohn
      Go

      Re: I think they understand

      When you can download a Ferrari direct from the Pirate Bay to your 3-D printer and knock it out for the price of an old banger then Ferrari WILL have to change its business model, just as the Media Industry needs to now. When commodities can be manufactured by anyone for virtually nothing, those with a brain cell or two will give them away free in order to tempt you into buying an associated valuable service.

      This is the reality, and many people are making huge fortunes on the internet by understanding it. Even your ISP makes money by offering you a better service than you can get for free sitting in your car outside the neighbour's unsecured WIFI. And as for Google - they give you information for free that a few short years ago would have been quite literally priceless - a dozen Ferraris could not have bought it.

      Supermarkets have been doing it for years - what do you think a 'loss leader' is?

      The reason the American Media Industry cannot grasp this simple concept is that their 'business model' is based on that of a gormless street-corner drug-peddling gang: there is only one rule - anyone who tries for a freebie gets their legs cut off. I have seen more intellect in a chicken.

      The state-of-the-art incompetence displayed by the US Media Industry in its abject failure to grasp the incredible opportunities presented by the Digital Revolution will be quoted to future generations as a near perfect example of how not to do it.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: I think they understand

        "When you can download a Ferrari direct from the Pirate Bay to your 3-D printer and knock it out for the price of an old banger then Ferrari WILL have to change its business model"

        Ahhh, car analogies. Is there any better tool for someone who wants to shift an argument into a woolly metaphor where they can gloss over actual details?

        Once again, someone has deliberately focused on delivery and reproduction costs, rather than development costs. You could spend a year writing a piece of software and that software could then be reproduced and distributed for fractions of a penny. And by your logic, it should then be free because it only costs that tiny amount to reproduce and distribute. And once again, a pro-piracy apologist has set themselves up to say that they should be the one who decides how much things should cost rather than seller and buyer actually agreeing on the price through negotiation (aka the Market). The arrogance of people who declare that they should set prices when they had no involvement in producing the thing is astonishing.

        Always we come back to two things: an a priori assumption that they are entitled to the results of someone else's work and a belief that they represent the customers rather than the people who are actually paying the money for products and whom the pirates freeload along with.

        1. SleepyJohn
          Go

          Re: I think they understand

          READ this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/01/paulo-coelho-readers-pirate-books

          Here is a snippet: "Bestselling Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho is joining in with a new promotion on the notorious file-sharing site the Pirate Bay, and calling on "pirates of the world" to "unite and pirate everything I've ever written".

          Coelho has long been a supporter of illegal downloads of his writing, ever since a pirated Russian edition of The Alchemist was posted online in 1999 and, far from damaging sales in the country, sent them soaring to a million copies by 2002 and more than 12m today."

          Musicians and other writers are seeing things similarly: give songs/ebooks away free and build up a large market for much higher profit-margin items like paperbacks, T-shirts and concert tickets. Many software vendors give their products away free then charge for maintenance and improvement. The more freely available a product is the more people will use it and the more people will pay for it to be maintained or improved.

          If a Ferrari becomes effectively free then a lot of people will download Ferraris and thus create a large market that the experts (the makers) can mine for maintenance, customisation and so on. If a product costs nothing to make and distribute then it effectively ceases to be a product and becomes an advert - effortless free publicity.

          For intelligent digital entrepreneurs, making money out of this model is a no-brainer. For those mired in materialistic nineteenth century marketing concepts, it is a death-knell. For those criminal parasites who have always lined their pockets by ruthlessly preying on an artist's inability to market and distribute, it is the end of the road.

          1. SleepyJohn
            Go

            ... and this from Techdirt

            "We recently wrote about Paulo Coelho convincing his publisher, Harper Collins, to run an experiment, in which they offered up nearly all of his ebooks for just $0.99 (the one exception being his most famous book, The Alchemist). In the comments, we had an interesting discussion, in which someone suggested that even dropping the price by 90% would mean it was unlikely that he got 10x more sales to make up the difference. Others pointed to similar experiments -- such as those by Valve, in which dropping prices by large amounts increased sales by much, much larger percentages.

            Paulo himself contacted us to share some of the initial results -- pointing out that, according to Amazon, the sales of a bunch of his books increased between about 4,000% and 6,500%. Yes, that's multi-thousands of percent increases. I would think that more than made up for the difference in price... "

            There are a lot of people out there and the more you can reach the less you have to charge in order to do very nicely thank you. I wonder what percentage increase the 12 million extra Russian sales represent, courtesy of a free download? It is a new world, and it is there for the artist's taking. We must not let the Luddites, or the MAFIAA close it off to us, through either stupidity or criminal self-interest.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: ... and this from Techdirt

              "We must not let the Luddites, or the MAFIAA close it off to us, through either stupidity or criminal self-interest"

              No-one is. Copyright law doesn't stop anyone from distributing copies or allowing others to distribute copies, for any work they are the copyright holder for. So the example of the author you keep citing... There is no body or legal authority *trying* to stop him using that model. He's perfectly free to do so. Your implication that copyright law restricts him is utter straw-manning.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ... and this from Techdirt

              Very true... sales increased 6000+% and they STILL lost money at the end of the day after processing the orders.

          2. h4rm0ny

            Re: I think they understand

            "If a product costs nothing to make and distribute then it effectively ceases to be a product and becomes an advert - effortless free publicity"

            That only works if the thing you're advertising is worth more than the advert itself. It's non-sensical to give away something of siginficant value to advertise something that is not. E.g. how exactly does someone getting an exact digital reproduction of a movie from somewhere I'm not getting paid for it help me when the product I'm trying to sell is an exact digital reproduction. Your example is a Brazillian author who found sales of a physical print book increasing in a market where he had no presence (Russia) because of file distribution. You miss so many things in this. Firstly, copyright law doesn't stop anyone from doing this at all. If you really are touting this as a better business model, fine, you are free to distribute your work this way. So is Paulo Cohelo. So is anyone else. If it's that much better as a business model you don't *need* any changes to copyright law, just go ahead of legally distribute your books. What you are arguing for is that other people should have to use one particular business model, i.e. a reduction in choice. Secondly, this example is from over a decade ago when people still wanted physical media - he was happy because physical sales went up. That's not going to be as true today when eBooks are becoming popular and it's going to be even less true in the future as digital versions of books become the preferred option. And it isn't true today when music, movies and software are pretty much preferred in digital format. Once someone has the iso of a DVD, they gain nothing more buy actually going out and buying the DVD. The products are the same, unlike a print book and a bad scan over a decade ago being read on a desktop or 1997 laptop which actually are different experiences. Also what's true of an author who is unknown in a country is not going to be true of a current popular movie, etc.

            Your whole car analogy remains only that - an analogy in which you arbitrarily state that selling services and maintenance will recoup cost of investment and make more profit than actually selling the cars. In your analogy that is true, *because it is your analogy and you can say that's how it is*. It doesn't mean that the economic model actually works for any given product. Yet you want to force people to use that model without their consent. If I write a novel and anyone who wants it takes it for free, then I'm not going to make a lot of money on maintenance or offering support and I'm not interested in advertising *myself*. The only thing I'm interested in is advertising the novel. So I'm hardly going to want to give away the novel as an advertisment for itself am I? Because I am not a Brazillian author trying to break into a market where I am unknown and capitalise on print sales vs. ereader technology from the 1990s. And you do realize that without copyright, *anyone* can sell the physical copies of the books, movies, software, etc. without giving the creators a penny for it?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think they understand

        When you actually pay for a good or service you can have it. Otherwise you go to prison.

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