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BOL's lame argument vs. Hurt Locker producers suits

by Slikkster / May 14, 2010 2:44 AM PDT

It never ceases to amaze me how this so-called logic about taking content providers to task for going after illegal P-2-P downloading (in this case, "The Hurt Locker" downloaders) is spewn on the podcast.

I'm hearing absurd arguments that "well, maybe these downloaders will have actually eventually gone to see the movie in the theater 10 times, thereby actually MAKING more money for the producers", etc.

Or, "they're going after people by IP address".

And the kicker, "this may cause ill will with their fans". Huh? Ill will on the part of people who want free copyrighted content?

Let's stop the B.S. about all of this. If you are going to download movies via P-2-P without paying for the content, you're possibly going to get nailed. Period. End of story.

Yes, indeed; the onus is on the plaintiffs bringing these suits to prove their case. If anyone is found to have been accused unfairly, then the claimant should have to pay fees and damages. But short of that, those guilty of this type of downloading need to be prepared to suffer the consequences.

BOL's argument seems to be "well, you're never going to stop this, so you had better think of ways to give away your product for free and while making money elsewhere". Funny; I bet these hosts don't leave their doors and windows unlocked at home and with their cars. Why not? After all, you're never going to stop burglary and theft. Might as well just figure out a way to get replacement "stuff" elsewhere, right? Let the thieves take what they want!

Let's cut the nonsense about how content providers need to change. The responsibility is on those who traffic in this content to change, and actually learn to live within the law. Wow, what a concept. There's so much emphasis on excusing a lack of personal responsibility today --in all walks of life. It does not portend well for the future.

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A bit unforgiving and hardline... but in general I agree
by minimalist / May 14, 2010 4:23 AM PDT

The mantras that get repeated ad nauseum amongst the digerati is that old media and traditional content providers "just don't get it" (or the even more obnoxious "they just need to get a new business model".... as if its just a switch you turn on or off). It's all so sanctimonious and glib.

One day these new media types passing judgement now will have their business model uprooted and they will have snarky 24 year olds telling them they "just don't get it".

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Better stop this...
by Slikkster / May 14, 2010 5:50 AM PDT

People are going to start talking about our agreements, lol.

I'm not necessarily cool with egregious financial penalties that sometimes get handed down...like $25K for each song/movie, or whatever. The punishment has to fit the crime. But even then, most of the time we're not talking about criminal penalties. It's all civil judgments. If I snag a DVD out of a box store, I'm not going to get just a fine. I'm going to potentially get jail time. This notion that because its bits and not packaging and that somehow makes it OK is flat out wrong.

It just irks me when I hear this attitude that downloaders will be downloaders, and what are ya gonna do?

So, I'm simply agreeing that these producers have the right to seek recourse. I would expect that a judge would see fit to make sure that such recourse is commensurate with the offense.

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When someone says "I'm not condoning piracy.... BUT"
by minimalist / May 14, 2010 11:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Better stop this...

I have a hard time taking the justifications that follow that "but" seriously.

Its similar to the way many Southerners will say nasty and mean things about another person and then remove themselves from responsibility by tacking on a "bless her heart" at the end of the attack.

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Disagree with you!
by Nicholas Buenk / May 14, 2010 12:34 PM PDT

You are confusing theft with copyright infridgement. These are entirely different things. You can't take about theft when this is a infinately copiable item, as many times as someone walks in your door and takes it, you still have your original copy and have lost no property. It can not be seen as a property rights issue but rather a law to subidise artistic creation and invention.
Anyway, I'd say the main argument on BOL, is trying to stop piracy is a futile effort, like trying to stop the rain, so it should be seen as competition. And in any event there is no evidence it is harming or reducing sales of movies. Profits are up. So where exactly is the problem? Artists are not in harmless shelters, they are being rewarded. The purpose of copyright law is only that and no more.

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(NT) Excuse a few autocorrect typos, typed on iPhone
by Nicholas Buenk / May 14, 2010 12:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Disagree with you!
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"You are confusing theft with copyright infridgement." [sic]
by minimalist / May 15, 2010 4:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Disagree with you!

Oh come on. That's an argument only a lawyer could make with a straight face.

Fancy legal parsing still doesn't excuse the practice of illegal downloads. The average person on the street knows this. The downloaders know it too (otherwise they wouldn't bother coming up with an endless string of excuses to justify their behavior (music sucks nowadays anyway so its not worth paying for, I support artists by going to live concerts, I use P2P just to sample music, I want to stick it to the RIAA, if music was reasonably priced I would buy more of it, etc).

Even the godfather of the <i>copyright-is-broken-movement</i> (Lawrence Lessig) understands that the answer is not to toss the baby out with the bathwater. The current copyright system may have issues but the problem isn't the concept of copyright.... that a creator deserves a certain amount of control over his or her work as an incentive for him or her to continue to create work. The problems mostly revolve around fair use. And nobody in their right mind can argue that downloading movie or music off of torrent sites is "fair use".

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I'm not against copyright law

But I'm saying it's a red herring to talk about theft. This is just a system of government subsidisation by forcing people to pay for infinitely copiable things, to ensure that artists and inventors are rewarded for their work. For the purporse of encouraging the creation of works.
How this relates to the topic of this thread, is that piracy is a way over stated threat to this system of subsidisation. The government is over-reacting in the extreme with the provisions in ACTA, content companies are making absurd claims not backed by any evidence.
Content is plenty profitable at the moment, and artists and inventors are getting enough subsidisation. There is for the moment at least, no need for a panic over piracy.

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Just because something is infinitely copiable
by minimalist / May 16, 2010 12:12 AM PDT

does not make it acceptable to do so. Just because a crime is easy to commit does not make it any less a crime.

ACTA is a horrible as is the way companies are using the the DMCA as a club to squash any consumer use whatsoever (even the fair ones). But in spite of these things, the problem is still not the concept of copyright. Its a lack of clear guidelines on fair use.

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Yeah, I've never understood that cop out of an excuse
by Slikkster / May 16, 2010 7:08 AM PDT

It's like "but they made it so easy to steal!". Please... It's absurd. Again, all of this is just rationalizing theft, plain and simple.

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Calling it "subsidization" is inflammatory and misleading.
by minimalist / May 16, 2010 7:34 AM PDT

Copyright law is no more "subsidizing" intellectual property than laws against theft are "subsidizing" the ownership of physical things. Using such politically charged language is an attempt to dismiss the value of IP as if the government is doing these artists a favor by throwing them a bone. The fact that something is "infinitely copiable" is inconsequential. The value of IP is not in the physical bits... or the vinyl, or the paper or the celluloid. Its in the idea contained within those mediums. That's why the "but its not REAL property so its not stealing" is specious.

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No

It's being honest and calling a spade a spade. The fact is it's not at all like theft. Copying a recipe is not the same as taking food off your plate! This image succintly says it all.
http://brianrowe.org/IMT550/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/2m7xd851.jpg

I'd infact say efforts to call it theft are just political propaganda by the content industry.

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Do you have any concept of private property whatsoever?
by Slikkster / May 16, 2010 10:45 PM PDT
In reply to: No

You keep rationalizing this as OK because someone could copy it. OK, let's run with that.

So let's say I actually invent something --some product or service-- that will certainly improve lives in any number of ways. What if it was an actual gadget that legitimately quadruples gas mileage in any vehicle. Surely it could be "copied", so would you say that I have no rights to this invention and that anyone and everyone should be able to use it?

Yeah, I know...we're talking patents vs. copyrights. But the concept is identical...both are the outgrowth of the toil and creativity of the originators. In your world, it seems like any result of personal creativity automatically belongs to everyone.

Should Apple be forced to allow anyone to "copy" its iPad designs and internal construction? After all, it could easily be done by an entity with the proper resources.

I'm not getting that.

If someone chooses to give their product/service/works away, that's their preogative. But short of that, this notion that because someone can copy something and that makes it free to use is rather odd, to use a conservative word.

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Throwing a bone

Is a great description of how copyright law works and it's purpose. Outlaw something that's a pretty natural human activity, sharing information, to encourage and reward creators. It's subidisation through regulation and law. I do not see there being any valid natural rights argument when it comes to IP.

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