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It's not theft unless tangible goods were taken from the owner!

Is it theft if no tangible goods were taken from the owner!

  • Yes

    Votes: 40 64.5%
  • No

    Votes: 22 35.5%

  • Total voters
    62

Mikael Grizzly

Creepy Stalker
We're talking about copyright infringement in general.

One exception to the rule (non-extensive) are situations in which the software in question is unavailable commercially, abandonware. While technically still copyrighted, the works simply cannot be procured legally in these circumstances.

Also, worth is subjective - you either agree to the supplier's terms and have it, or you don't and don't have it. Simple economics, really.
 

net-cat

Infernal Kitty
And if you as a supplier are trying to offer a product or service at a higher price than your customer base believes its worth, they're going look elsewhere. Whether or not the alternative suppliers are "legitimate" or not enters into the equation very little. Sure, you can swear up and down that it's "wrong" and "theft" and "illegal." But in the end, words are no match for dollars.

I'm not saying copyright doesn't have a place. As someone who deals in IP for a living, I very much understand the value of copyright. However, I'm more concerned with making my paying customers happy so they keep paying me. The fact that Little Billy downloaded some of my C code from a year ago and built it on his Pentium II that his daddy gave him concerns me very little.
 
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Mikael Grizzly

Creepy Stalker
And if you as a supplier are trying to offer a product or service at a higher price than your customer base believes its worth, they're going look elsewhere. Whether or not the alternative suppliers are "legitimate" or not enters into the equation very little. Sure, you can swear up and down that it's "wrong" and "theft" and "illegal." But in the end, words are no match for dollars.

It's against the law and punishable. I assume you'd also use the same reasoning to excuse shoplifting?
 

net-cat

Infernal Kitty
I thought we were talking about copyright infringement? That's a very nice straw man, though.

Shoplifting is akin to breaking into someone's website or online service and downloading the content that's already there. In that case, you're stealing from them. (Well, hacking. But close enough.)

What we're debating here isn't that.

Suppose Honda comes out with a new way of manufacturing cars that are just as good as they always were, but they can do it twice as fast for half as much money. So, wanting to sell more cars, they pass those savings on to their consumers. If something like that were to happen, you're not going to see Ford or Mazda complaining about how Honda is stealing their money and it should be illegal and its wrong. They're going to adjust and try to come up with a way to do the same.

This is how it is in basically every other industry.

When Intel started making 45nm processors, you didn't see AMD trying to sue them to get them to stop because they were still making 65nm processors. AMD is working their asses off to catch up.

When DVD came out, you didn't see VHS makers suing and complaining about it. You saw them start making bloody DVD players instead.

If I, as an engineer, don't keep up with the latest technologies and incorporate them into what I do, I'm not going to have a fucking job.

Anyone who cries about not being able to sell CDs anymore doesn't get any sympathy from me. If you want to succeed at life, you have to work at it. Artists don't get a free pass. If you can't adapt to the changing world and technology, too bad. The rest of us have to.


-- EDIT --

... and all that actually has very little to do with copyright infringement. To bring it all into perspective...

Copyright is important. Taking something and claiming it as your own? Bad. Profiting off something you didn't create without compensating the creator (if they want compensation.) Also bad.

Whining that you can't sell an outdated media and that you're losing money because you didn't try to figure out the new media that is replacing it? Boo-hoo. Don't care.
 
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Anyone who cries about not being able to sell CDs anymore doesn't get any sympathy from me. If you want to succeed at life, you have to work at it. Artists don't get a free pass. If you can't adapt to the changing world and technology, too bad. The rest of us have to.

What do you think artists should do to adapt to this kind of theft though, lower the price of their products until they're no longer profitable, or simply give everything they make away? People will always complain that things are too expensive no matter how cheap they get, and infinite free supply is impossible to compete with?
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
What do you think artists should do to adapt to this kind of theft though, lower the price of their products until they're no longer profitable, or simply give everything they make away? People will always complain that things are too expensive no matter how cheap they get, and infinite free supply is impossible to compete with?
Use their own head.

Publicity versus exclusivity is a tricky concept, but you can take it by the horns if you need to. Per se, lots of great (on-line) artists release their pictures for free to get publicity and recognition, but keep full-resolution ones for potential buyers.
 
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net-cat

Infernal Kitty
Go back to doing the things they did before recording existed, maybe?

New material? Live Performances? Commissions? Exhibitions? Demand for those things will never go away.

No, they probably won't make millions and millions of dollars anymore. But if you're good at what you do and are willing to put the effort in, there's no reason you can't make a living off it.
 

pheonix

back'n up back'n up
Most of the time free means sealing these days but hell who doesn't get free music, movies, and games off the internet.
 
Go back to doing the things they did before recording existed, maybe?

New material? Live Performances? Commissions? Exhibitions? Demand for those things will never go away.

No, they probably won't make millions and millions of dollars anymore. But if you're good at what you do and are willing to put the effort in, there's no reason you can't make a living off it.

Well having to create new material continuously is a given if you want to keep making money, this is the case with or with out downloading, where as touring, especially for a less mainstream band, is not a viable source of income. You lose more then you gain so to speak. As for commission work there are jobs like movie and video game sound tracks I guess, but that's kind of irrelevant if people are just stealing those too. Also if the industry reverts to this state the amount and variety of music available will plummet.
 

net-cat

Infernal Kitty
There's plenty of work out there. Small venues such as clubs and bars needs bands to play gigs. If you apply yourself, you can get jobs doing art professionally. I know of at least one artist who does support herself and her husband through commissions. (Buy from her. She's cool.)

Sure, it may not be exactly what your artistic vision is, but you know what? Nothing is. I love what I do. But I have personal projects that I'd much rather work on that what I'm doing at my $job right now. But they pay me to do it.
 

Mikael Grizzly

Creepy Stalker
I thought we were talking about copyright infringement? That's a very nice straw man, though.

Shoplifting is akin to breaking into someone's website or online service and downloading the content that's already there. In that case, you're stealing from them. (Well, hacking. But close enough.)

No. Shoplifitng is theft, just as is procuring commercially released software without paying for it.

What we're debating here isn't that.

Suppose Honda comes out with a new way of manufacturing cars that are just as good as they always were, but they can do it twice as fast for half as much money. So, wanting to sell more cars, they pass those savings on to their consumers. If something like that were to happen, you're not going to see Ford or Mazda complaining about how Honda is stealing their money and it should be illegal and its wrong. They're going to adjust and try to come up with a way to do the same.

Uhm, what? This is completely unrelated.

We're talking about the relation consumer - provider, not provider-provider.

You're talking about normal competition, not the situation of stealing other people's work without paying for it.

Whining that you can't sell an outdated media and that you're losing money because you didn't try to figure out the new media that is replacing it? Boo-hoo. Don't care.

So shut up. If you don't care, why are you posting?
 

capthavoc123

Master of Disaster
But again, you (this is the plural "you) seem to be ignoring the fact that the owner does not lose anything, and thus nothing was taken from them. What happened was something they own was copied.

And I say again, loss of potential profit is legally recognized in the United States as an actual loss. Please stop ignoring this fact.
 

net-cat

Infernal Kitty
We're talking about the relation consumer - provider, not provider-provider.

You're talking about normal competition, not the situation of stealing other people's work without paying for it.
Provider-provider relationships are still important in this discussion, though. If a provider refuses to compete, then they shouldn't be surprised when their consumers start leaving. In my example, if Ford or Mazda refused to compete with Honda's hypothetical advance, then they'd likely go out of business.

This is no different. Large content providers have basically refused to compete, insisting on keeping their old distribution channels at their old prices and have tried to kill off new distribution channels. And their customers are leaving them. I am neither surprised nor sympathetic. They dug and are continuing to dig their own graves.

I do have some sympathy for the small-time content providers as their major source of income is slowly being eroded out from under them. As I've said, copyright is important. It prevents plagiarism and keeps people from selling things that they don't have a right to sell. What will save them, however, is offering a better product that people are willing to pay for. Again, it gets back to not sitting on your ass expecting what you came up with in the late 1980's to continue to work for you forever.

So shut up. If you don't care, why are you posting?
Fine. Replace "Don't care." with "You get no sympathy from me." Silly me for thinking you could get that from the context of the discussion.
 

Mikael Grizzly

Creepy Stalker
Provider-provider relationships are still important in this discussion, though. If a provider refuses to compete, then they shouldn't be surprised when their consumers start leaving. In my example, if Ford or Mazda refused to compete with Honda's hypothetical advance, then they'd likely go out of business.

This is no different. Large content providers have basically refused to compete, insisting on keeping their old distribution channels at their old prices and have tried to kill off new distribution channels. And their customers are leaving them. I am neither surprised nor sympathetic. They dug and are continuing to dig their own graves.

I do have some sympathy for the small-time content providers as their major source of income is slowly being eroded out from under them. As I've said, copyright is important. It prevents plagiarism and keeps people from selling things that they don't have a right to sell. What will save them, however, is offering a better product that people are willing to pay for. Again, it gets back to not sitting on your ass expecting what you came up with in the late 1980's to continue to work for you forever.

This still doesn't allow customers to steal the first provider's stuff.
 
Provider-provider relationships are still important in this discussion, though. If a provider refuses to compete, then they shouldn't be surprised when their consumers start leaving. In my example, if Ford or Mazda refused to compete with Honda's hypothetical advance, then they'd likely go out of business.

This is no different. Large content providers have basically refused to compete, insisting on keeping their old distribution channels at their old prices and have tried to kill off new distribution channels. And their customers are leaving them. I am neither surprised nor sympathetic. They dug and are continuing to dig their own graves.

I do have some sympathy for the small-time content providers as their major source of income is slowly being eroded out from under them. As I've said, copyright is important. It prevents plagiarism and keeps people from selling things that they don't have a right to sell. What will save them, however, is offering a better product that people are willing to pay for. Again, it gets back to not sitting on your ass expecting what you came up with in the late 1980's to continue to work for you forever.

Fine. Replace "Don't care." with "You get no sympathy from me." Silly me for thinking you could get that from the context of the discussion.

Seems like you're making excuses for people who don't want to pay for music using capitalism and I don't really agree, the cost of music is not keeping up with inflation, it's getting comparatively cheaper, people just found a way to get it for free not so their doing that instead. There's no competing with easy theft. If a CD has 15-20 songs and costs $10 that between 50 and 75 cents a song, why is that so unreasonable? That's less then most of these legal downloading sites cost is it not? And what about said downloading sites, how is offering a legal alternative note competing?

Mixing capitalism and art is a terrible idea anyway because in a fiercely capitalistic field success in art has less to do with merit and more to do with being willing to whore yourself and pander to idiots, and then people turn around and complain about how shitty music has become. I'm not saying that all artists should get a free ride, but the more time they spend as businessmen the less time they have to be artists.

When the artists suffer, the art suffers, and then the consumer suffers. Downloading more then anything is the consumer shooting themselves in the foot, and then shooting the artist's feet too. I'm not worried about the millionaires, although in all fairness if you make something that entertains millions of people why shouldn't you be a millionaire? It doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me.
 

net-cat

Infernal Kitty
Seems like you're making excuses for people who don't want to pay for music using capitalism and I don't really agree, the cost of music is not keeping up with inflation, it's getting comparatively cheaper, people just found a way to get it for free not so their doing that instead. There's no competing with easy theft.
Actually, no. I don't really care why other people do what they do. This is just the way I personally see it.

If a CD has 15-20 songs and costs $10 that between 50 and 75 cents a song, why is that so unreasonable? That's less then most of these legal downloading sites cost is it not? And what about said downloading sites, how is offering a legal alternative note competing?
A CD is unreasonable because after the $13-$15 price, the dollar worth of gas and or shipping and the time spent trying to obtain it, I have 14 songs that I don't give a shit about and 1 that I want. All for the low, low price of $16 and a bunch of my time.

As for the legal downloading services, show me one that works on my computer and has a good selection.

Apple has their heads up their collective asses about Linux and Windows x64 and you can't use their products on non-Apple MP3 players without going through the whole burn/rip/retag rigmarole.

Microsoft-based solutions, of course, are Windows only and still only work on a handful of players. Not to mention that there's no guarantee that Microsoft won't decide their current scheme sucks and pull the rug out from under you. (It's happened before.)

And non-DRM straight-up MP3 services like Amazon and eMusic, while they would work on my computer and MP3 player, don't have any selection. (To be fair, this may not be the case anymore. I haven't actually downloaded music from anywhere in a long while. I know the *AAs have been getting a bit fed up with Apple.)

There you go. A list of things that would make a viable (for me, anyway) online service. (It wouldn't satisfy everyone, though.)

And before anyone says anything about the DRM: Clearly it's been so effective up to now. It doesn't help matters that simply downloading music is purely a civil matter while actually breaking DRM is a criminal matter punishable by something like up to a quarter million dollars in fines and five years in prison. (Double check those numbers. It's in the DMCA.)



Mixing capitalism and art is a terrible idea anyway because in a fiercely capitalistic field success in art has less to do with merit and more to do with being willing to whore yourself and pander to idiots, and then people turn around and complain about how shitty music has become. I'm not saying that all artists should get a free ride, but the more time they spend as businessmen the less time they have to be artists.
This is why they get managers and such.

See, here's the thing about "whoring" yourself. Everyone does it. Everyone has to. If people don't want what you're selling, you don't get paid. Yes, people complain about how "shitty" music has gotten. And yet, they're still buying it.

Artists are not "special." They're exactly the same as the rest of us. They don't get a pass to work on their personal project over money-making endeavors any more than the rest of us. In much the same way artists would love to sit around and work on their own projects, I'd love nothing more than to be able to sit in my apartment all day and putter around with any of my various unfinished circuits and experiments that I do for myself. And yet, that still won't pay my bills.

When the artists suffer, the art suffers, and then the consumer suffers.
You can make this same argument about any field.

I'm not worried about the millionaires, although in all fairness if you make something that entertains millions of people why shouldn't you be a millionaire? It doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me.
Millionaires tend to be pioneers and entrepreneurs. Bill Gates is a billionaire because he was at the right place at the right time and took a risk. The recording industry is where it is today because it provided a service that noone else could at the time, and when they first started they were reasonably fair about it.

Few people (except heirs and heiresses) ever became a millionaire by riding someone's coattails.
 
Actually, no. I don't really care why other people do what they do. This is just the way I personally see it.

A CD is unreasonable because after the $13-$15 price, the dollar worth of gas and or shipping and the time spent trying to obtain it, I have 14 songs that I don't give a shit about and 1 that I want. All for the low, low price of $16 and a bunch of my time.

I've never had this problem, perhaps you're listening to the wrong bands. A lot of mainstream bands work this way. A couple of professionally written singles and then an album fill of filler. I agree this is a problem but this is a result of capitalism infecting art, and this problem will get a lot worse if the situation continues to deteriorate. This kind of decline in quality will manifest in non-manufactured bands. Writing one good song takes a tone of time and effort, you can't just throw one together in a week or two. A whole album is a huge undertaking, and if artists have to tour constantly and take on tonnes of side projects to make ends meet they can't write good albums.

As for the legal downloading services, show me one that works on my computer and has a good selection.

Couldn't tell you I'm afraid, I only buy CDs, the kind of music I like would lose a lot if it was only available for download I think. Ordering online isn't much more expensive then buying downloads seems to be anyway.

This is why they get managers and such.

See, here's the thing about "whoring" yourself. Everyone does it. Everyone has to. If people don't want what you're selling, you don't get paid. Yes, people complain about how "shitty" music has gotten. And yet, they're still buying it.

Artists are not "special." They're exactly the same as the rest of us. They don't get a pass to work on their personal project over money-making endeavors any more than the rest of us. In much the same way artists would love to sit around and work on their own projects, I'd love nothing more than to be able to sit in my apartment all day and putter around with any of my various unfinished circuits and experiments that I do for myself. And yet, that still won't pay my bills.

I think I didn't explain my point properly, what I'm saying is that the way things are going artists won't have any money making endeavours left. Touring and merch alone could only pays the bills for the most popular bands. Every one else would have to start working full time again, which means way less music for everyone, and a drop in quality of what's left.

You can make this same argument about any field.

In all fairness though what other industry has to contend with theft on this level. It's not like people can tell farmers, "well if I think you're charging too much I'll just illegally copy the food you grow."

Millionaires tend to be pioneers and entrepreneurs. Bill Gates is a billionaire because he was at the right place at the right time and took a risk. The recording industry is where it is today because it provided a service that noone else could at the time, and when they first started they were reasonably fair about it.

How are they being less fair now, seeing as taking inflation into account music is cheaper then ever? The difference now isn't that music is too expensive, it's that people found an easy way to steal it and now any price is seen as too expensive.
 

sherajie

New Member
i agree about the music
isn't too expensive, it's that people found and Easy way to steal it and now any price is too expensive

it's happening more with videos now
 

mctanuki

Fursuiting Nerd
net-cat, I find your idea of digital piracy as the expression of the Free Market very intriguing. I think you may have changed my view on the topic altogether.
 
net-cat, I find your idea of digital piracy as the expression of the Free Market very intriguing. I think you may have changed my view on the topic altogether.

In that if people can get something for free instead of paying for it that's what they'll do? Wouldn't that make any form of theft an expression of the free market?
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
If I understand correctly, net-cat isn't advocating any sort of piracy rather than describing the situation for what it is: if people can steal something, they will.
 
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