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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

Draco_2k

Rawr.
He's trying to present piracy as an element of the free market, which is untrue. It's equal to stating that car thefts are an expression of free market in relation to the automotive industry, to use his analogy.
I'm not sure what "Free market" means, but it seems that illegal activities will still have to be part of it, just because they take place.
 

net-cat

Infernal Kitty
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.
So what. What can I say? If you can make a living off what you as a personal project, more power to you. The rest of us should be so lucky.

Very few people walk out of highschool and immediately get the job they want. For some people, it's going to university for 4-5 years and getting internships. For some people it's building a good portfolio to show potential employers. For a performing artist, you're not going to decide one day that you're going to be a performing artist and immediately have people throwing themselves at you. You've got to work at it, the same as everyone else.

In all fairness though what other industry has to contend with theft on this level.
*raises hand* Software industry? Gaming industry? Engineering? Any industry that deals in IP? And yet, those industries are still thriving in the face of piracy because they were able to adjust their business models. (There are still a few hold-outs, but companies like Valve and Redhat seems to be reasonably successful at offering products that people want to pay for.)

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.
THIS.

I'm not sure what "Free market" means, but it seems that illegal activities will still have to be part of it, just because they take place.
Exactly. Pretending piracy doesn't exist by yelling "illegal" and "wrong" at it won't make it go away. Making something illegal doesn't do shit if people want it. (Just ask people who use marijuana.)
 
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mctanuki

Fursuiting Nerd
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?

No, because again, copyright infringement is not theft. It is the copying of an owned work without the consent of its owner. The owner loses nothing (nothing real, that is. Theoretical dollars don't factor into this). Theft of an item or good is not an aspect of a Free Market, because it is not one person doing a better job of making or selling something, it is rather an item being made and then stolen. Digital piracy, or really any form of patent or copyright infringement, is the creation of an item by a party distinct from the original creator or legal owner which is identical to that original creator or legal owner's product, but at a far reduced cost (the cost being a small fraction of the price of running a computer, in the case of digital piracy). It's more akin to Ford figuring out how to make Volkswagen Beetles for half the cost than it is to Ford stealing Beetles from a Volkswagen dealership and then selling them at half price. Whatever else is being discussed in this thread, for the purposes of this point, any legal definition of copyright or patent infringement as theft is irrelevant, because government interference is anathema to a truly Free market. In a truly Free market, copyright and patent laws would not even exist to begin with, because a Free Market system relies upon the ability of people and corporations to make better and/or cheaper products than the competition, and derivative works are the simplest method of improvement.

Now, all that being clear, the thing which I found interesting in net-cat's post was the idea that digital piracy is the ultimate expression of innovation which is caused by the presence of a Free Market. Someone made something, and someone else figured out how to create that same product at a cost so negligible, it is feasible to give away the product for free. This would, if left unchecked, naturally lead to innovation on the part of others who wish to make money off of such products. They can't possibly make them at a smaller cost than 0, so they instead are forced to make better products, which people are willing to pay money for. What we get is a perfect cycle of constant innovation, where we get better and better products, which become increasingly cheap to the consumer.

If you're a Sci-Fi buff, then a fun mental exercise is imagining how Wal-Mart would fare after the invention of a Star Trek-style matter replicator. I think it would be rather the same.
 

diosoth

Banned
Banned
I don't respect copyrights to begin with. If not for the high cost and soldering need of modchips, I'd mod my game consoles and pirate them.
 

gunnerboy

Member
dont give a rats ass (no pun intended). with so many other things wrong with our economy and society, this is like icing on the cake
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
... [ piracy = innovation ] ...
Absolutely. My Cure CD's arrive to me in much better shape than they're sold on the shelves if I pirate them! Well, if I do that, the original band doesn't get their money, but who cares about these fuckers anyway.
 

Mikael Grizzly

Creepy Stalker
No, because again, copyright infringement is not theft. It is the copying of an owned work without the consent of its owner. The owner loses nothing (nothing real, that is. Theoretical dollars don't factor into this).

Wrong. It is theft, and as previously stated, "theoretical dollars" are quite real when your ass is sued. I'd love to see you use your argumentation in a court of law and prompty lose it,.

Theft of an item or good is not an aspect of a Free Market, because it is not one person doing a better job of making or selling something, it is rather an item being made and then stolen. Digital piracy, or really any form of patent or copyright infringement, is the creation of an item by a party distinct from the original creator or legal owner which is identical to that original creator or legal owner's product, but at a far reduced cost (the cost being a small fraction of the price of running a computer, in the case of digital piracy).

What?

It's not creation, it's the thief making the stolen goods (intellectual propety) available. He's publishing other people's work without their permission.

It's more akin to Ford figuring out how to make Volkswagen Beetles for half the cost than it is to Ford stealing Beetles from a Volkswagen dealership and then selling them at half price.

No, it's rather someone stealing Fords and handing them out.

Whatever else is being discussed in this thread, for the purposes of this point, any legal definition of copyright or patent infringement as theft is irrelevant, because government interference is anathema to a truly Free market. In a truly Free market, copyright and patent laws would not even exist to begin with, because a Free Market system relies upon the ability of people and corporations to make better and/or cheaper products than the competition, and derivative works are the simplest method of improvement.

Uhum, too bad true free market turned out to be a total failure, since all it led to were monopolies. This is why government intervention is essential for a truly free market, since it hampers the aggression of larger, more powerful entities against smaller competitors.

Now, all that being clear, the thing which I found interesting in net-cat's post was the idea that digital piracy is the ultimate expression of innovation which is caused by the presence of a Free Market.

Stealing other people's work is innovation? It's plagiarism.

Someone made something, and someone else figured out how to create that same product at a cost so negligible, it is feasible to give away the product for free.

No. The very essence of copyright infringement is that someone took other man's work and published it without his permission. You don't really understand the subject, do you?

This would, if left unchecked, naturally lead to innovation on the part of others who wish to make money off of such products. They can't possibly make them at a smaller cost than 0, so they instead are forced to make better products, which people are willing to pay money for. What we get is a perfect cycle of constant innovation, where we get better and better products, which become increasingly cheap to the consumer.

Where did you pull that out? All piracy is doing is creating widespread paranoia in publishers which ends in the end user being harassed by crap like StarForce or SecuROM.

If you're a Sci-Fi buff, then a fun mental exercise is imagining how Wal-Mart would fare after the invention of a Star Trek-style matter replicator. I think it would be rather the same.

Except someone has to provide the raw materials for the replicators, not to mention that not everyone would be able to afford a replicator.
 

mctanuki

Fursuiting Nerd
Wrong. It is theft, and as previously stated, "theoretical dollars" are quite real when your ass is sued. I'd love to see you use your argumentation in a court of law and prompty lose it,.

As I said, laws are irrelevant to the point I'm making.

What?

It's not creation, it's the thief making the stolen goods (intellectual propety) available. He's publishing other people's work without their permission.

I think the big difference here is that you are seeing intangible things, such as ideas, as equivalent to physical goods. I find such an equivocation absurd, because it is entirely arbitrary then where theft ends and invention begins. Somebody invented the idea of a wheel, so shouldn't every wheel not made by them or somebody empowered by them to make wheels be considered theft? Philo Farnsworth invented the television, so isn't every television not built or approved of by him then stolen from him? Ada Lovelace made the first computer program. So isn't this entire web site, and in fact the very computer you are using, stolen from her? No. That would be absurd. Because ideas are not capable of being owned. Information wants to be free, as the saying goes.

No, it's rather someone stealing Fords and handing them out.

Ridiculous. Taking Ford automobiles and handing them out causes a loss on the part of Ford, because they supplied the parts which comprise the cars in the first place. We are not discussing physical objects, but rather information. Technically, sets of computer instructions for reproducing sound and/or images, much like, as in my earlier example, sets of instructions for building cars, rather than cars themselves.

Uhum, too bad true free market turned out to be a total failure, since all it led to were monopolies. This is why government intervention is essential for a truly free market, since it hampers the aggression of larger, more powerful entities against smaller competitors.

I suggest you learn more about history, because the idea that there ever was a truly Free market is patently false. As long as there has been trade, governments have interfered with it.


Stealing other people's work is innovation? It's plagiarism.

I never claimed it wasn't plagiarism. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive, oddly enough.


No. The very essence of copyright infringement is that someone took other man's work and published it without his permission. You don't really understand the subject, do you?

I don't see how you've contradicted what I said at all. They found a better way to produce a product which was created by another person, allowing them to give it away rather than selling it. I did not claim that is not copyright infringement. In fact, I do believe I specifically noted that copyright and patent law is immaterial to my point, as I am discussing the topic from the point of view of the operation of the Free Market, which can only exist in the absence (or ignorance) of governance.

Where did you pull that out?

net-cat said a thing, which caused me to think of the topic from a new, more interesting perspective than I had been previously.

All piracy is doing is creating widespread paranoia in publishers which ends in the end user being harassed by crap like StarForce or SecuROM.

I see these things as temporary. They're desperate attempts by copyright and patent holders to keep change in the market from occurring which is disadvantageous to them. Eventually, the unstoppability of piracy will, I think, cause them to innovate in the manner I described earlier, rather than continuing to rail against the shifting market.

Except someone has to provide the raw materials for the replicators, not to mention that not everyone would be able to afford a replicator.

Well, obviously you aren't a Trekkie, because if you were, you'd know there are no raw materials needed. The matter is created from energy generated by a combination of recycling, fusion generators, and matter/anitmatter reactors. As seen on Voyager, a replicator can function all on its own for many years, without need of non-naturally occurring power sources. If replicators were introduced in the modern world, it would cause all manufacturing to become as needless as music CDs ;p

And everyone could afford one, because you can just replicate them!
 
Ridiculous. Taking Ford automobiles and handing them out causes a loss on the part of Ford, because they supplied the parts which comprise the cars in the first place. We are not discussing physical objects, but rather information. Technically, sets of computer instructions for reproducing sound and/or images, much like, as in my earlier example, sets of instructions for building cars, rather than cars themselves.

Actually his was a very accurate statement because the musician had to supply the time, money, and equipment to produce the CD. You comparison would only be accurate if pirating consisted of people giving out instructions for writing and recording music, and that is not the case. It's not information, it's a finished product.
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
Actually his was a very accurate statement because the musician had to supply the time, money, and equipment to produce the CD. You comparison would only be accurate if pirating consisted of people giving out instructions for writing and recording music, and that is not the case. It's not information, it's a finished product.
This is rather eloquent of you. Good job.
 

Tungen

Cantankerous Badger Dude
Yes, it is theft. Downloading music is theft.

Of course, so is what Robin Hood did, you know. With the stealing money from rich fucks who didn't need more of it... *Cough* Not that I'm suggesting anything, mind.
 

Mikael Grizzly

Creepy Stalker
As I said, laws are irrelevant to the point I'm making.

They are very relevant, since laws govern our everyday life.

I think the big difference here is that you are seeing intangible things, such as ideas, as equivalent to physical goods. I find such an equivocation absurd, because it is entirely arbitrary then where theft ends and invention begins.
It's actually quite clear, provided you're sane.

Theft: Acquisition of finished product without paying for it/the owner's consent
Invention: Creating something new

Somebody invented the idea of a wheel, so shouldn't every wheel not made by them or somebody empowered by them to make wheels be considered theft?
Idea =/= Application

Philo Farnsworth invented the television, so isn't every television not built or approved of by him then stolen from him? Ada Lovelace made the first computer program. So isn't this entire web site, and in fact the very computer you are using, stolen from her? No. That would be absurd. Because ideas are not capable of being owned. Information wants to be free, as the saying goes.
Ideas, no. Their applications? Yes.

See, Farnsworth invented his particular TV set. He patented his particular TV set technology. The scientific principles are free, universal and known to everyone. Information is free.

It's applications aren't.

Ridiculous. Taking Ford automobiles and handing them out causes a loss on the part of Ford, because they supplied the parts which comprise the cars in the first place. We are not discussing physical objects, but rather information. Technically, sets of computer instructions for reproducing sound and/or images, much like, as in my earlier example, sets of instructions for building cars, rather than cars themselves.
No, we are not discussing information. We are discussing works someone created, invested time, effort and money in. You can twist words as much as you can, but that doesn't change the fact that a pirate steals a finished work and creates damage by releasing it to the public for free.

I suggest you learn more about history, because the idea that there ever was a truly Free market is patently false. As long as there has been trade, governments have interfered with it.
Problem is, there will never be a pure free market, since that will be the end of fair trade. The closest we came was in the first half of the 19th century, and, as I said, that ended with monopolies emerging that resulted in competition becoming non-existent.

Your point?

I don't see how you've contradicted what I said at all. They found a better way to produce a product which was created by another person, allowing them to give it away rather than selling it.
They stole it. Do you understand that? They didn't produce it, they stole it and released it for free.

I did not claim that is not copyright infringement. In fact, I do believe I specifically noted that copyright and patent law is immaterial to my point, as I am discussing the topic from the point of view of the operation of the Free Market, which can only exist in the absence (or ignorance) of governance.
Theft is not part of the free market.

net-cat said a thing, which caused me to think of the topic from a new, more interesting perspective than I had been previously.
Problem is, it's blatantly untrue.

I see these things as temporary. They're desperate attempts by copyright and patent holders to keep change in the market from occurring which is disadvantageous to them. Eventually, the unstoppability of piracy will, I think, cause them to innovate in the manner I described earlier, rather than continuing to rail against the shifting market.
Piracy will kill the industry. How will the industry have money to innovate if they can't raise any due to lost sales, have you ever thought about that?

Well, obviously you aren't a Trekkie, because if you were, you'd know there are no raw materials needed. The matter is created from energy generated by a combination of recycling, fusion generators, and matter/anitmatter reactors. As seen on Voyager, a replicator can function all on its own for many years, without need of non-naturally occurring power sources. If replicators were introduced in the modern world, it would cause all manufacturing to become as needless as music CDs ;p

And everyone could afford one, because you can just replicate them!
See, this is why I ain't a Trekkie - the series are so full of bullshit they're not even funny anymore.

Yes, it is theft. Downloading music is theft.

Of course, so is what Robin Hood did, you know. With the stealing money from rich fucks who didn't need more of it... *Cough* Not that I'm suggesting anything, mind.

Pirates aren't like Robin Hood. They are greedy lowlifes, who don't want to pay for luxury items, so they steal them.

See, Robin gave the money back to the poor so that they could affor food, clothing and shelter. What do pirates do?
 
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So what. What can I say? If you can make a living off what you as a personal project, more power to you. The rest of us should be so lucky.

Very few people walk out of highschool and immediately get the job they want. For some people, it's going to university for 4-5 years and getting internships. For some people it's building a good portfolio to show potential employers. For a performing artist, you're not going to decide one day that you're going to be a performing artist and immediately have people throwing themselves at you. You've got to work at it, the same as everyone else.

The problem is that all this hard work amounts to nothing if everyone just turns around and steals it. It's like a farmer works all season to produce a crop, and then everyone just takes it and doesn't pay him, so now if he wants to produce more food he has to get a second job so that he can afford the costs of doing so as well as support himself. I know you think that that's different because the farmer actually lost something so let me put it this way. The farmer grows this food, someone comes along and copies it and gives it out for free. As a result no one wants the farmer's crop and thusly he makes nothing for all his hard work. He didn't lose anything, except all the money he would have made selling his crop. Now the problem is that the guy who copies the food cannot make food himself, he can only make a copy the food other people make. So he depends on the farmer to continue to produce food so that he will have new food to copy, and that won't happen if he makes it impossible for the farmer to do so. Piracy is parasitic, it feeds off the artists it depends upon.

*raises hand* Software industry? Gaming industry? Engineering? Any industry that deals in IP? And yet, those industries are still thriving in the face of piracy because they were able to adjust their business models. (There are still a few hold-outs, but companies like Valve and Redhat seems to be reasonably successful at offering products that people want to pay for.)

I was talking about these things as well, I use art as and example because piracy seems to be the most prevalent in the entertainment industry, because people seem to think that making art doesn't cost anything and doesn't take any hard work or training. Art is no different then any other trade a agree, which is why it bothers me when people say that artists should just be happy that people like what they've made and not care about getting ripped off. Would anyone say that to a craftsman or a farmer? Also how would producing better products combat theft? Seems to me artist would just be working even harder to make something that people would just steal.

I'm interested in these changes in business model you mentioned, what are they?
 

Tungen

Cantankerous Badger Dude
See, Robin gave the money back to the poor so that they could affor food, clothing and shelter. What do pirates do?

... Eat? Retain control over their computers? Not hurt anybody?
 
I don't respect copyrights to begin with. If not for the high cost and soldering need of modchips, I'd mod my game consoles and pirate them.

What are you doing here? I thought you quit the internet 'cause nobody liked your fan fics or something.
 

makmakmob

Member
I don't pay for music or movies because getting them for free takes less effort than paying for them. Pretty selfish really, but that's it.
 
Now, all that being clear, the thing which I found interesting in net-cat's post was the idea that digital piracy is the ultimate expression of innovation which is caused by the presence of a Free Market. Someone made something, and someone else figured out how to create that same product at a cost so negligible, it is feasible to give away the product for free. This would, if left unchecked, naturally lead to innovation on the part of others who wish to make money off of such products. They can't possibly make them at a smaller cost than 0, so they instead are forced to make better products, which people are willing to pay money for. What we get is a perfect cycle of constant innovation, where we get better and better products, which become increasingly cheap to the consumer.

This couldn't be more wrong. Piracy undermines artistic innovation, you seem to be saying that pirates are the same as artists, that they're both capable of producing the same thing yes, so really its competition rather then theft. The problem is that pirates are not the same as artists, pirates can't make art, they can only steal and re-distribute it. If there were no artists there would be no art because the pirates would have nothing to steal. They aren't competitors, they're parasites, and if they make it impossible for artists to produce anything, then the industry doesn't thrive, it dies.
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
This couldn't be more wrong. Piracy undermines artistic innovation, you seem to be saying that pirates are the same as artists, that they're both capable of producing the same thing yes, so really its competition rather then theft. The problem is that pirates are not the same as artists, pirates can't make art, they can only steal and re-distribute it. If there were no artists there would be no art because the pirates would have nothing to steal. They aren't competitors, they're parasites, and if they make it impossible for artists to produce anything, then the industry doesn't thrive, it dies.
This is correct. This is also not a reason to dismiss it as a phenomenon.

Raises hand.
I mean, at all.
 
This is correct. This is also not a reason to dismiss it as a phenomenon.


I mean, at all.

So did I, I don't have any mp3s on my comp, all my music is in CDs I bought, same as all my software. The only thing I would ever download is music from a CD that's gone out of print, since shelling out an obscene amount of money for a used one doesn't really help the artist anyway, and I'd buy it if the CD was ever re-printed. Mostly I just wait for the re-print and listen to other things in the mean time though.
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
So did I, I don't have any mp3s on my comp, all my music is in CD form, same as all my software. The only thing I would ever download is music from a CD that's gone out of print, since shelling out an obscene amount of money for a used one doesn't really help the artist anyway, and I'd buy it if the CD was ever re-printed. Mostly I just wait for the re-print and listen to other things in the mean time though.
*growls*

Fine.
 
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