* Posts by Peter

4 posts • joined 11 Mar 2008

Pirate Bay loses trial: defendants face prison time, hefty fines


Dose of reality

First of all, copyright law is seriously broken now. Copyright durations lasting decades or centuries past the death of the creator and so on are there purely to enrich large media companies.

In addition, organisations such as the RIAA are abominable in their actions, their morals, their treatment of artists.

However, having contempt for one side in this argument does not make me fail to realise....

Piracy is wrong. People keep using the following excuses:

"Every pirated copy is not a lost sale". Absolutely true, which is why the "losses" media companies claim are rubbish. On the other hand a *lot* of pirated copies *are* lost sales. Claims that anyone who would have bought a copy if they couldn't get one for free doesn't pirate is as dishonest as claiming that everyone who pirated a copy would have bought it. Piracy does cause lost revenue.

"I always buy a copy if I like it" - this is an excuse often claimed but not always rigorously enforced. How many people who claim this after, say, 50 hours of playing a game and completing it, really do go out and buy it and stick it on the shelf? Really? No, there's always something better to spend your money on, but I really did mean it, honest, it's just this one case....

"The quality is so rubbish, they don't deserve the money!" I heartily agree. Which is why I don't buy rubbish. However "I hated it so I'm not paying for it but I played it for 30 hours", or "It's not worth the money, but I've kept a copy on my hard disk, my iPod and burned a CD" is not exactly convincing. If you don't like it, don't pay for it - and don't pirate it. Easy. Yes, sometimes you can't find reviews, demos or listen to it on the radio before you buy, but in 99% of cases you can. How do you expect to convince companies to make better products without buying the good stuff and ignoring the bad?

"It's not really a crime. You're not stealing anything, just making a copy". Well, sort of true, except that you're not really paying for a small plastic disk. You're paying for thousands upon thousands of hours of work by hundreds of people. These people depend on selling copies of their work for their livelihoods. The image that software, games and music appear by divine creation in thousands of little boxes in a big souless global megacorp warehouse is wrong. Plenty of software houses have gone bust. Maybe if System Shock 2 had sold a mere 25% more copies - and at least that many were pirated - Looking Glass Studios woould still exist.

Quite a few of the above posters really boil down to "I want my free stuff without having to pay for it!" rather than being the moral "freedom fighters" they believe themselves to be. I doubt that many of them depend on sales of their copyright works for their income. But lets do a test. Here's my challenge to you. Tell your boss that you have no objection if he were to "pirate" your work and take a copy from your hard disk instead of paying you for it. Promise you'll continue to generate content for him even if you get no money for it. He won't be committing a crime - after all, he won't be taking your car, or your house, he just won't be paying you for the work you do that he uses, just as pirates don't pay creators for their work that they use.

Let me guess - that's different! That wouldn't be fair! My copying a novel and not paying for it is fine, but my boss copying a report *I* wrote and not paying *me* for it would be wrong! I'm not a hypocrite, it's just different somehow! Because it's me!


Come on, guys...

... this is schoolboy excuse stuff. Google is a search engine which occasionally accidentally links to copywritten material, but removes that link as soon as it is requested to do so.

Do you really, honestly believe that The Pirate Bay, who use a pirate ship as a logo, have nothing to do with piracy? The whole "you can't prove anything!", "actually wthere are lots of legitimate P2P uses!", "You can't blame *us* just because we put up and maintained links to the results of your work so people could copy it without paying you!"

This is the kind of "But you can't *prove* it was me" nonsense that crumb-covered children use when mummy finds that all the biscuits have gone. Unless you can genuinely say that you had no idea that The Pirate Bay was in some way deliberately involved with piracy, why do you think that everyone else, including the judge, was somehow fooled?

Eye-o-Sauron™ poked out by Great Wall of America


The solution is simpler and cheaper than this

If the USA really wants to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico, then stop trying to cure the symptoms and attack the cause. It's not only a lot cheaper, it will in fact be revenue positive for the governement.

Run a lot more check for illegal immigrants. Go down whole streets in afluent neighbourhoods checking out gardeners and maids. Regularly raid construction sites and farms. Make it a $10,000 per illegal on-the-spot fine for the EMPLOYER for a first offense, a $100,000 fine per illegal for a second, and jail sentences for private employers with $1000,000 per illegal for corporations for a third or later offence. To prevent "I didn't know!" defences, make a simple social security number and passport check available by phone.

Take away the demand for cheap illegal labour, and they won't come.

Oh, and start with the homes and families of senetors and congressmen. :)

Dear ISP, I am not a target market


This is legally dangerous for the ISPs

This is probably a seriously bad move for ISPs, and not just because we'll vote with our feet.

At the moment, ISPs are regarded as carriers, like the Roayl Mail. In the same way that the Royal Mail is not responsible for a letter bomb or hate mail, the ISPs are not responsible for online crime, child porn or other horrible activities. This is on the basis that they don't know what they are carrying - their business is simply to carry traffic, and not worry about what that traffic is.

Now, all of a sudden, they are inspecting every packet for content. They know full well what people are looking at, and recording it. They are then profiting from that information by selling it to others. This could well make them legally liable if they don't take immediate action against any form of illegal online activity.

Losing their carrier status would open them up to lawsuits from a thousand directions, and possibly criminal proceedings too. Would you like to be the BT executive who stood in front of a Daily Mail campaign-inspired Parliament Select Committee and had to explain that yes, you had been monitoring that paedophile's connection, and you had made money from selling the info on the web sites he visited, but you didn't do anything else to stop him, not even reporting him to the police?

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