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AP Looks at Piracy, Misses the Point

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the toeing-the-line dept.

406

TechDirt is reporting that the Associated Press has covered several stories recently about what a "huge threat" piracy is in other countries. This article, however, argues that they have perhaps missed out on the whole story by ignoring the other side of the coin. From the article: "the AP doesn't bother to mention how all that piracy helped created new and different business models for musicians in China that let them thrive despite the piracy (actually, in some cases, because of it). Nor does the AP bother to mention how software piracy helped boost certain aspects of the industry in China by decreasing the cost of inputs."

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Is this a surprise? (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662396)

Since the AP believes its own business model is based on copyright, and gives bloggers who repost their articles a hard time, is it any surprise that they would defend copyright?

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

adamlazz (975798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662425)

Exactly. This is exactly why good news is so hard to come by. Too many sources have too much of a one-faced approach to the story, that the last few scentences make you feel like an idiot for not knowing anything about the story before reading it. (As opposed to laying down two solid sides to the argument.)

Re:Is this a surprise? (-1, Flamebait)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662459)

Let's look at the simple black and white of the matter. Piracy is theft. Whether you agree with it or not, it's theft.

So, according to the OP, theft is good.

That's certainly a new one for me.

Re:Is this a surprise? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662581)

Let's look at the simple black and white of the matter. Piracy is theft. Whether you agree with it or not, it's theft.


Assuming you mean unathorised copying of copyrighted works then no, it's not theft. It is, however, illegal in most jurisdictions relevant to anyone here.

So, according to the OP, theft is good.


For Christ's sake. Anybody can do better than that at elementary logic. EVEN if we were to concede that copyright infringement is theft and EVEN if the previous poster had said "copyright infringement is good" that would at most lead to the conclusion that the previous poster believes that SOME theft is good. Which, of course, any reasoning person believes in any event.

If the subject under discussion was the morality of theft then the interesting question is more along the lines of "when is theft justified", not whether it ever can be.

Yes, you idiot, it's defined in US Code as "theft" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662637)

Re:Yes, you idiot, it's defined in US Code as "the (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662670)

I followed a few links from that Google search but failed to find a single one that pointed to a definition in the US code that included copyright infringement as theft. If there is a link there then please post it. Otherwise stop calling a spade a theft.

Re:US Code? (1)

dkarma (985926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662754)

lmao

Re:Is this a surprise? (4, Informative)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662682)

Actually, according to the US Supreme Court, piracy is NOT theft.

They clearly distinguished between copyright infringement and theft in a 1985 case, where they said, "(copyright infringement) does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud... The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use."

Re:Is this a surprise? (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662708)

Piracy is theft. Whether you agree with it or not, it's theft.

Agreed. In fact it's worse than that. Piracy is armed robbery with violence. On the high seas, to boot.

However, copyright violation (which is what we seem to be discussing here) remains copyright violation. And that's also "whether you agree with it or not"

So, according to the OP, theft is good.

Well, if it turns out that TFA really is discussing the violent seizure of goods at sea, then I'd have to conceed you were right. Otherwise, the main point I took was that there remains considerable room for debate as to the actual vs perceived benefits of current copyright legislation.

That's certainly a new one for me.

Splendid! There's nothing like exposure to new ideas to widen ones horizons. Don't you think?

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

Dis*abstraction (967890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662854)

If you keep trying to pretend that copyright infringement is OK because it ain't "piracy," you will be ignored. As you should be.

Re:When is piracy not piracy? (2, Insightful)

dkarma (985926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662733)

When I spend 60 dollars on a shitty game for my wife (Sims2) then the first disk gets messed to the point of not being able to install the game what do you do? I tried emailing EA (bahahahahaha) No response. If it weren't for a copy of the game on the internet that I downloaded I would be screwed out of my money because of a few scratches and crappy software support. I for one am glad that this and all media is out there for people to use for legitimate reasons. As an amateur musician, I also support file sharing as a way of getting out new or hard to find music. The people who bitch about pirating are multi millionaires. *snif* *snif* OOhhh you took .3 dollars out of my 300 million dollar paycheck....please. If I pirate an album and the artist bitches I'll mail them a check for 25 cents because that's what they get if I buy their album. The company who releases it can suck me. 15-20$ for a cd that cost you 10 cents to burn?!!?! Yeah I'm crying for your losses. In addition CD sales aren't dropping because of piracy they're dropping because your music is crap. Also, selling songs online nets them more per track than selling cds and they don't even have any overhead for printing the media in the first place. In short RIAA = GREEDY SCAMMERS Viva La Pirat

Re:When is piracy not piracy? (1)

pegr (46683) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662882)

When I spend 60 dollars on a shitty game for my wife (Sims2) then the first disk gets messed to the point of not being able to install the game what do you do? I tried emailing EA (bahahahahaha) No response.
 
that's funny... My daughter lost the registration code for that same crappy game, and EA was very supportive, considering the reg code is likely to be considered more senstive than the actual media... Ten bucks and a three day wait (for the letter to arrive) and she was back in business. I can't help but think you're full of crap, but perhaps I'm wrong...

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662783)

When since IP law steals from the public domain, and most people support IP law, therefore theft must be good. Another way to look at it: Is stealing from a thief a good thing? An expressed idea belongs to everybody, and it belongs to nobody. You can't steal something that can't be owned.

Piracy verses Theft (2, Insightful)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662834)

It's the difference between breach of trust and denial of goods.

I'm not just talking technically here, but as I can't be bothered to rehash the arguments right now, I'll link to to a post of mine [slashdot.org] in an old JE.

Please also note that I'm not saying that breach of trust is a good thing: society is built on trust. I am only saying that piracy and theft are not the same thing,

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662857)

> So, according to the OP, theft is good.

> That's certainly a new one for me.

That's probably because you totally lack imagination. Now consider a society where a small minority rule others by force and tax away all of their income, so that most die of starvation before the age of 30. The masses then revolt and break into the treasury.

They find you there wagging your finger at them: "No, no, no, bad mob, bad mob, this would be theft, and theft is always bad!"

Good luck.

And before you accuse me of setting up a straw man, consider this. The content industry has shown that it controls the government because it has a lot of money to pay lobbyists and politicians, and we, the consumers, aren't smart enough to understand and organize any resistance. The only difference is that we're not going to physically die without the music or other culture which is being taken from us (legally).

Re:Is this a surprise? (2, Interesting)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662953)

Actually, if you really need to use a more tangiblr crime as a metaphor, I think tresspassing would be a better one. It is the exclusive domain of the copyright holder to permit duplication and redistribution of a given work. Making unauthorised copies infringes upon that domain.

It is noteworthy that someone who sneaks into a movie or concert without paying is charged with tresspassing, not theft.

Re:Is this a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662717)

Jeez, it's almost like the AP wants to be compensated for its efforts. How dare they! Don't they realize that bored software engineers have the Constitutional right to copy all their articles in their entirety, USENET-style, so that they can pretend to have a discussion with the author?

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

jscheelmtsu (955511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662767)

Part of the reason they give people a hard time about reposting their content is that they have an entire digital content delivery system in place. You pay a fee, mostly through ad-trade usually, to retrieve ap digital content and repost it on your website. When some blogger comes along and takes that content for free, sometimes without attribution, it is like going to a movie without paying for the ticket.

However, the big difference is that a blogger that reposts one article is not exactly a threat to their business, whereas foxnews.com, cnn.com, nytimes.com, or any other major news website would be stealing a substantial amount of material.

Did AP also miss.... (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662397)

reporting on how well glaziers, builders, carpenters and building merchants also did in New Orleans after Katrina?

Re:Did AP also miss.... (0, Troll)

Ryan Huddleston (759930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662655)

But what about all the good things Hitler did?

Re:Did AP also miss.... (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662745)

Shhh, just don't give all the hippes and yuppies driving VW Beetles [wikipedia.org] history lessons.

Re:Did AP also miss.... (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662666)

This is the perfect response to this stupid article! I'm all for less stringent copyright regulation, but to argue that large scale piracy is actually a good thing is a dumb idea. I was trying to come up with an analogy to put it in perspective for people, but you beat me to it.

One thing both AP and the poster missed... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662687)

Is that the word "piracy" is loaded, and that by using it, any writer immediately not only shows bias or misunderstanding of the issues, but also becomes a puppet in big corporations' propaganda show. It's much like the use of the word "war" in reference to the illegal invasion of iraq.

Re:One thing both AP and the poster missed... (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662945)

"Is that the word "piracy" is loaded, and that by using it, any writer immediately not only shows bias or misunderstanding of the issues, but also becomes a puppet in big corporations' propaganda show. It's much like the use of the word "war" in reference to the illegal invasion of iraq."

Ah yes, the "the term 'piracy' was invented by the big corporations" meme.

Back when I was a kid and we pirated software for the Apple II, nobody had a problem with the word. We pirated games, we played them, and everybody was happy, unless they were in the business of selling games for the Apple II.

The "please don't call it piracy, call it copyright infringement" movement is, per my best estimate, about ten years old. In 1841, Justice William Story used the word piracy in Folsom v. Marsh [arl.org] , and anybody who goes to a university can use thier library's copy of the OED to confirm that its use as a synonym for unauthorized copying goes back much longer than that. Anybody who doubts its existence in modern dictionary can simply open Firefox (we do all use Firefox, don't we?) and typing "dict piracy" into the address bar. So what if it's a homonym? We're not confused by "bark" or "desert."

Good luck with the "please use 'copyright infringement instead'" efforts, but "bias" and "misunderstanding" are not terms that you would be correct to apply to somebody simply because they use a word according to a definition that goes back some three hundred years.

Re:One thing both AP and the poster missed... (2, Informative)

Dis*abstraction (967890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662968)

Actually, it shows a command of the English language. [reference.com] Note definition 2.

Is identity theft not theft? Theft of services?

Propaganda (1)

isecore (132059) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662401)

The original AP story just seems like more FUD that originated in the MPAA/RIAA camps.

I'm getting tired of stupid journalists who just bend over and accept the corporate line without investigating the other side of the coin.

What other side of the coin? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662402)

That stealing is ok because it was easy for a few years in the 90s?

Re:What other side of the coin? (1)

remembertomorrow (959064) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662444)

Did you even read the summary/article?

Your question was answered in both....

That is a different coin entirely. (2, Informative)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662460)

This news item does not involve theft. I suggest doing some research into the FBI "UCR" crime reporting files, and other sources of data which distinguish the many different kinds of crimes out there. You will quickly learn that there are many other types of crimes (or possible crimes) out there which are not theft. Copyright infringement isn't t he only one.

Re:What other side of the coin? (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662542)

Stealing is ok because it was easy for a few years in the 90s?

Actually, it is copyright that is an entirely recent development, for it appeared only a few hundred years ago in the West. The ancient world had no concept of "intellectual property", and creators of content in Greece and Rome understood that their work would be freely copied without compensation. As far as I know, they never protested the situation, and the only objection to some copying (in Martial's epigrams) was that often the poet was not being credited, but rather others claimed to have written it. Even today in place like India, the former Soviet Union, and southeast Asia, copyright makes no sense to the local population.

Now, just because there was no ownership of ideas for most of the history of mankind doesn't necessarily make copying just. After all, slavery and wife-beatery was also widespread until the modern era. However, the recent and geographically-limited genesis of copyright should nonetheless make one question if it is indeed a desirable institution, or merely a means of protecting the rich while limiting the rights of the many.

Re:What other side of the coin? (1)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662971)

Actually, I was just thinking about this the other day. IMHO, an artist should be concerned with one thing: the spreading of his art. Art used to be thought of as a means of promoting thought and creativity but gradually began to be thought of as a means of profit and popularity.

Now, do I think artists shouldn't be compensated for their contributions? Of course not. However, I may lean toward the idea that it should be voluntary. Are artists going to make as much money? Probably not. Should that be their focus? I don't think so.

Of course, many would think me an ignoramus just for suggesting it. "Don't you know that people won't pay for it if they don't have to!" Well, my friend, I believe that's just the situation we find ourselves in today, wouldn't you say? So either we clamp down completely with proprietary DRM'ed formats, or we just let music run free and see what happens.

Just my two.

So let me get this straight... (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662403)

Misappropriating and/or "stealing" things that don't belong to you, or just flat out breaking the law (in some jurisdictions), is okay if in someone else's estimation it's actually "helping" them?

Brilliant!

Here's the problem: the new "business model" they talk about is that free music sometimes promotes something else (concerts, merchandise, or something new entirely). Ok, great. What if it's my music, and I don't want you to have it for free, regardless of how else it might "help" me? What if I've voluntarily signed on with a record label because I think that it's in my best interests (and no, I haven't been "brainwashed"), and that record label has a trade group that represents it, and what if the laws of my country support the protections of my creations?

I love how in the AllOfMP3.com story here recently, people talked about it as a new "business model" that the record labels and trade groups just hated. Um, huh? The Russian mob taking things that don't belong to them under the guise of a very weak argument that they can do it under radio license rules (which are designed, ironically, to get people to BUY the content, not as the mechanism for people to permanently obtain pristine digital copies) and selling them for 1/10 or 1/20 of what they sell for via legitimate channels is a "business model"? I guess if you don't believe that anyone should be able to "own" content like that, ever, and that the "legitimate" distribution channels are nothing more than a state-sponsored and -backed mob, ok.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that the the content owners might need to sell the content for 2 or 5 or 10 times more than AllOfMP3.com does to actually support the industry? If your answer is "no, they don't need all these ungodly rich Britney Spears types" etc., and should be able to sell it for just the costs of bandwidth, who the hell are YOU to decide that? Chances are, some of their promotion, advertising, distribution, marketing, and production is what made a particular artist - the popular ones people often pirate - desirable in the first place. And how is it even an argument that, essentially, you can "steal"/copy something on your own and get it for cheaper, and if it's more expensive than some arbitrary value you've set in your head, it's okay to just take?

But why is the anti-copyright argument always the one touted here?

And for those in the "copyright is bad on works that can be effortlessly copied in the digital realm", consider that "art for art's sake" isn't the end-all be-all argument, either. Have you ever considered that since economics isn't a zero-sum game, that there are millions of people who have indirectly benefited economically from the industries that have sprung up around, support, and are supported by, music, television, books, and movies?

I'm not saying the trade groups aren't out for control, and maybe even aren't greedy baby-eating bastards. But this isn't binary opposition: it's not RIAA-like "thuggery", or no ownership rights at all. Where's the middle ground? And no, I'm not saying copyright should be perpetual and infinite, either. But can we ignore A.A. Milne's shit that's 75 years old for a minute as an arguing point, and talk about what's really at issue, which is brand new, current, and popular music and movies?

Your paraphrasing changes the subject entirely. (1, Interesting)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662426)

"Misappropriating and/or "stealing" things that don't belong to you..."

No. Duplication of files does not meet the definition of appriation or theft of files. If you want to get it straight, you shouldn't change the subject to something entirely different in your summarization.

Re:So let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662434)

Misappropriating and/or "stealing" things that don't belong to you, or just flat out breaking the law (in some jurisdictions), is okay if in someone else's estimation it's actually "helping" them?

I love how there's always someone who will bring useless arguments like, "it's against the law", into a discussion about what the law should be.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662476)

I love how there's always someone who will bring useless arguments like, "it's against the law", into a discussion about what the law should be.

and how 'what the law *should be*' is a justification for breaking 'what the law *curently is*'

Re:So let me get this straight... (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662823)

Two words: Civil disobedience [google.com] .

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662489)

I love how there's always someone who will bring useless arguments like, "it's against the law", into a discussion about what the law should be.

I love how supposedly-intelligent people can't realize that at some level, at some point in time, members of a civilized society must have some acceptance of a system of laws and order, instead of just arbitrarily and indiscriminately breaking ones they personally disagree with, if there is to be any value to a legal system at all.

So, since all you could do was pick one thing I said (a reference to some infringement possibly breaking the law in some jurisdictions/nations), what's your solution? No copyright, and anything that can be copied digitally should always be free?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662532)

what's your solution? No copyright, and anything that can be copied digitally should always be free?

My solution would be to restore the balance..

Copyright holders should only have the distribution rights to their own work, not the work of electronic and software engineers just because their devices can be used for "circumvention" of locks designed to remove publically demanded flexibility such as skipping manatory commercials and fair use format shifting.

what solution do you suggest? continue expanding their regulatory control until their power is greater than the fed?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662609)

I'm not saying that things like peer-to-peer networking or file sharing mechanisms should be outlawed, and never did. I don't care about those tools.

But what about people who use those, or any other, tools en masse to distribute something to which they don't have rights? This isn't about BitTorrent being made illegal or The Pirate Bay being shut down.

How should copyright owners be able to assert that right of distribution, as you note they should have? What if they (perhaps "they" here is a complicated network of record labels, trade groups, distribution companies, and so on) decide to use "DRM" to attempt to protect their work? What if the government, for whatever reason, recognizes the value of such protections, and makes circumventing such protections illegal? HOW, precisely, do the content owners maintain distribution rights and control over their own content if they have no teeth to do so?

And speaking of The Pirate Bay, any legal use is incidental. Its main purpose is to act as a hub for the dissemination of information that results in people being able to obtain copyrighted works. I could really care less if the act of "file sharing" or whatever euphemism people want to use is legal in its host country; if it is, then it should only be able to be used there. But oops, people all over the world can easily and quickly use it. How is that okay or allowable, in a model where you say that copyright holders should have distribution rights to their own work, which includes how much they'd like people to pay for it and how and via what mechanisms they can obtain it?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662651)

HOW, precisely, do the content owners maintain distribution rights and control over their own content if they have no teeth to do so?

first off allow me to point out that bit for bit copies of DRM'ed media "en masse" do not require circumvention at all, and still work on all official players. Second I would like to point out that unlike casual users, large commercial pirate syndicates can hire engineers to crack it, that is.. if it doesnt get cracked by hacker camps who have succeeded in cracking everything to come down the pipe so far.

DRM is not an antipiracy tool for the **AA groups, it is a hook to hang lawsuits on which they can use as leverage to regulate any and all playback devices; it is also a tool by which the RIAA can defraud the less savvy by forcing them to purchase rather than allowing them to excercise their fair use rights.

You want teeth.. the teeth are the IP laws. Any large scale distributor, especially if it is in physical copies, is, was, and always will be subject to prosecution under pre-dmca law... without giving the **AA carte blach regulatory control over everything with an integrated circuit.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

G Morgan (979144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662773)

Bit of a contradiction here. Firstly you posted:

"I love how supposedly-intelligent people can't realize that at some level, at some point in time, members of a civilized society must have some acceptance of a system of laws and order, instead of just arbitrarily and indiscriminately breaking ones they personally disagree with, if there is to be any value to a legal system at all."

Then you posted:

"I could really care less if the act of "file sharing" or whatever euphemism people want to use is legal in its host country"

Surely people should accept there is a code of law and shouldn't pick and chose which ones they want to follow.

Anyway I disagree with the sentiment entirely. The original creators of law themselves said that for intelligent people laws are meerly guidelines. Even the Babylonians recognised that unrestricted enforcement of law is bad, sometimes because of fringe cases and other times because the law is quite frankly wrong. Modern society recognised it as well when judges were appointed to arbitrate law, as it stands though they may as well be machines, they don't utilise the license they were clearly put in place to use.

Re:So let me get this straight... (3, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662815)

I love how supposedly-intelligent people can't realize that at some level, at some point in time, members of a civilized society must have some acceptance of a system of laws and order, instead of just arbitrarily and indiscriminately breaking ones they personally disagree with, if there is to be any value to a legal system at all.

Ok so if there is a law I disagree with I should encourage its change but not break it until its been changed. Hate to break it to you but thats just what me and many others are doing, I havn't illigally copied a piece of music sence the original napster (at that time the legality was undecided, and parts of it are still now). But you seem to think that if I simply post on a message board the positive effects on free copying (and your right, piracy is probably wrong to advocate, as it advocates breaking the law) that I'm some type of low life that has no respect for property and can not make a rational argument.

You talking about Slashdot? (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662455)

But why is the anti-copyright argument always the one touted here?

Huh? Are you reading a different Slashdot to me? Every time I mention that I might consider download Futurama episodes people get mad at me!

You must be thinking of Digg.

By the way most of the statements you made are false but I won't bother to explain why because it has been done many times before. Read the archives.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662464)

I see this as another example of two (or more) sides not listening to each other, and then the fringes of each camp come up with contrived explainations that back up their sides, refusing to to accept or acknowledge that all the facts are on your side. For the copyright infringement side, there's arguments like the claims made in the article summery, for the industry's side, they claim that every copy loses them full retail price, which is another absurdity as well.

Re:So let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662486)

But why is the anti-copyright argument always the one touted here?

considering the stance you take on your post.. I believe you have the answer already.

You seem to believe that these people should be allowed to control and regulate every other sector of the economy.. that they are some superclass of nobles who have a "right" to revenue. The question should not be weather the 99.999999% of the human population on this planet are not being prosecuted for piracy, it should be why 0.000001% of the population are entitled to hold back innovation with the likes of the DMCA and to pillage the rest of the population with monopoly rents.

Have you ever considered that since economics isn't a zero-sum game, that there are millions of people who have indirectly benefited economically from the industries that have sprung up around, support, and are supported by, music, television, books, and movies?

and do you understand that whole huge swaths of the tech sector have been brought to a standstill for the sake of industries which are hundreds of times smaller and are undeserving of corporate welfare at the expense of hundreds of billions if not trillions in economic growth which would be occuring otherwise?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

EL_mal0 (777947) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662735)

Good land! Do you actually believe what you just wrote? I agree that the tactics used by certain organizations *cough-RIAA-cough* to discourage piracy are heavy-handed and innefective, but this doesn't give anybody the "right" to pirate media.

You state:

You seem to believe that these people should be allowed to control and regulate every other sector of the economy.. that they are some superclass of nobles who have a "right" to revenue.

presumabely talking about the RIAA, etc. Wheras it may be true that these people don't have a right to revenue, somebody does. This group of people are called artists. They make music, movies, etc. I'll admit that it is debatable whether much of what is rolled out should be called "art". Nevertheless, "artists" make this stuff. And, as the original post pointed out, they should be free to decide how to distribute their art, whether or not it provides them with the highest financial return.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662827)

And, as the original post pointed out, they should be free to decide how to distribute their art, whether or not it provides them with the highest financial return.

and exactly what part of that freedom to distribute their work is covered by the DMCA, which distrupts the right of electrical engineers, software developers, inventors, and potential competitors and innovators in the tech sector from distributing their works as they see fit...

they should have a right to independently engineer their own way to interact with protected media if they find the licenses for the "official" method to be too restrictive. That right was robbed from them by the **AA's, and in the process the balance of copyright was severely skewed away from consumer interest.

Copyright used to mean monopoly distribution right for their own works.. now it apparently means carte blanch regulatory rights over all electronic devices.. which is rediculous.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

EL_mal0 (777947) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662939)

It appears I'm missing a key part of the point you're trying to make with this and other posts, or maybe I don't understand the intricacies of the DMCA.

From what I understand, the DMCA isn't disrupting the rights of people to invent new and innovative ways to distribute their work. If you want to produce a new media with a new compression scheme, or for a new sort of player that feeds music directly into your brain, great. But I don't see how it's anybody's right to "interact with protected media". I'm not even sure what that means; are you talking about DJs sampling parts of existing recordings, etc.? If so, you have a point. If you're talking about new CDs not working on old CD players, that is a moot point. Manufacturers aren't under any obligation to ensure 100% backwards compatibility. It would be nice, but they don't have to if they don't want to. To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) old media works on new players, so my right to play music I have already paid for is not being infringed. If I just have to have the latest DRMed Britney Spears CD, then I guess I'd better pay $100 for a new CD player or go to iTMS.

It doesn't matter whether I think anybody's official license is too restrictive. As long as the license is legally sound, I'm bound by the restrictions found in the license. I don't have a right to engineer technology with the express intent to bypass other technologies that try to enforce that license. I'll agree with you, though, that any license that deprives me of fair use of the product I have purchased should be illegal; it's a shame elected officials aren't seeing this.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662571)

Wish I had mod points to mod you UP and to keep pushing it up when someone (and they will eventually) will start moding you as Flamebait and/or Troll.

Apparently most of the /. crowd is completely anti-copyright and they don't like the idea that information/music/video that they like to enjoy has to be made by someone and someone has to pay for this. Basically it is "we don't want to pay for this what you charge, but we still want to have the right to use your creations attitude" around here. Original copyright holders may even decide to distribute their work for free (as in beer,) as long as they can keep control of the distribution channels (for whatever reasons, for example it can be profitable from ads point of view.)

I wish there was a way to use unbreakable DRM and distribute my own stuff with it enabled but it is not a possibility today (yet.)

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

liegeofmelkor (978577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662595)

"Have you ever considered that since economics isn't a zero-sum game, that there are millions of people who have indirectly benefited economically from the industries that have sprung up around, support, and are supported by, music, television, books, and movies?" But what about the millions who have DIRECTLY suffered at the hands of Britney Spears and the Spice Girls because the record companies decide this is what we will listen to. Think of the children!

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662605)

which are designed, ironically, to get people to BUY the content, not as the mechanism for people to permanently obtain pristine digital copies

Have you downloaded music from the net? Pristine is not what you get; it is what the record labels use as an excuse to not allow it. Half the time I get good, or ok copies until I buy the CD. Then I get pristine!

Music that is cut off at the end, has 30 sec of music followed by static, plays half way through then stops due to a bad bit rate change, etc. Sure you can download music but it is in no way PRISTINE!

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662622)

AllOfMP3.com "sells" pristine digital lossless copies of pretty much anything you want for prices like $1.40 for a full album.

That's the "business model" people think is so great, to which I was mockingly referring. It's not a "business model"; it's a bunch of people with no costs taking things that aren't theirs, and "selling" them. Yeah, great "business model".

Questions about AllofMP3? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662659)

1) You claim "AllofMP3" is pristine/lossless. I understood it was MP3, which is lossy. Which is it? What is their file format?

2) You claimed that AllofMP3 is "people with no costs taking things that aren't theirs". Do you have evidence of this? Did they actually steal the CD's they use as source? If, instead, they duplicated files without authorization, then they "made copies without authorization", and took nothing. Taking something and making something are two different things.

Lossless is an option (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662845)

1) You claim "AllofMP3" is pristine/lossless. I understood it was MP3, which is lossy. Which is it? What is their file format?

You can choose the file format and bit rate when you purchase.

FLAC (a lossless format) is one of the options.

However unlike most stores, you pay per megabyte so you have to consider if having lossless is really worth paying many times the price for a relatively small increase in quality over some of the other formats available such as ogg.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

HappyCycling (565803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662633)

>>Music that is cut off at the end, has 30 sec of music followed by static, plays half way through then >>stops due to a bad bit rate change, etc. Sure you can download music but it is in no way PRISTINE!

You're getting it from the wrong places then.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662848)

Get better sources then? Theres no reason to ever get worse quality than you could buy, often you'll get better(like full soundtracks for movies that only sell limited ones, or getting hdtv rips of tv shows rather than buying the lower quality dvds)

Re:So let me get this straight... (5, Insightful)

honkycat (249849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662639)

You raise some very interesting points.

The thing that I think makes this such a difficult problem is that, it would seem, the music/movie/entertainment industry as it is and has been since the middle of last century (ie, since the advent of practical mechanical/electronic publication of music/movies/etc) is built on a model that fundamentally requires that high-quality duplication be expensive. That is no longer true. As a result, one of two things will happen. Either the system will be changed so that it IS once again expensive to duplicate these products, or the production system will change to be compatible with free or near-free copying.

The legal wrangling that's been going on is all essentially trying to make duplication expensive. It's not technically expensive any more, so the powers that be are adding legal and social costs (through laws or public villification of offenders). They're also trying to make it technically expensive through artificial means (copy protecting hardware, e.g.).

In my opinion, this is destined to fail. I don't believe you can achieve the level of enforcement necessary to rub out piracy (arrrrr) or the technical sophistication to outwit all the world's engineers who want to make a high-quality copy of a file they possess. The cat is out of the bag, technologically, and it ain't going back in.

It's a scary prospect, both for the entertainment producers and for the end users. No one knows what a market compatible with near-free duplication costs will support. It's never been done before. The producers stand to lose a lot, since they can't predict where to go to protect their interests in this unknown environment. The end users also stand to lose since it is quite possible that the number of artists who can be supported will fall drastically. Of course, it could end up being better for everyone in the long run. But it's really pretty close to impossible to predict.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I don't have any prescriptive answers for how to deal with this phase change. The best I can do is urge copyright reform to help society face up to the fact that free and easy copying is going to be the way of the future and hope that we can responsibly manage the transition.

Oh, and screw the **AA. :-)

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

pcguru19 (33878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662737)

First, I can't say for sure if piracy lead to the death of the album as a desired purchase or downloading; but there is almost no artist out there that's producing albums. Instead, it's 2-4 singles and filler to get to 12 songs or so. Because of that reality, almost nobody wants to buy an entire cd. I frequent iTunes and have yet to click on the "buy CD" link on any record released after 1982. I think the "business model" that's come of piracy is pay-per song, which isn't really a new business model if you grew up in the age of 45's.

My real point is that few artists make their mark long enough to develop a genuine revenue from record sales. The "first deal" is heavily slanted towards the record company, and fairly so because they assume the risk of the 20 records that tank for every one that sells well. Compound that with the dwindling number of artists that actually write their own music and the result is most of the royalty income from the RIAA goes to the record companies and their staff of songwriters that are actually talented musicians that use the latest good-looking puppet to sing their songs for them. The issue with that is people don't see the artist as the victim in downloading, they see a faceless songwriter and a record company getting 95% of the royalties and their favorite artist getting squat.

So instead, kids will download the music for free and pay to see them in concert, thinking the artist will get more money that way; which is another false assumption for artists in their first record deal. Video did indeed kill the radio star.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

dbc001 (541033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662758)

talk about what's really at issue, which is brand new, current, and popular music and movies?
We no longer need copyright to encourage people to create new music. There are almost ZERO barriers to entry when it comes to making a musical recording. 50 years ago, you needed an expensive studio, you had to pay people to work the equipment, etc. Now you just need an el cheapo computer and a cheap microphone from Radio Shack. Want some proof? How about the 2 million+ bands on myspace? Or how about searching google for some free music? [google.com] You probably can't find any Creative [goingware.com] Commons [legaltorrents.com] music out there...

So we have the "brand new", "current" thing covered, but what about popular? Well if you define popular as "what's playing on commercial radio because of marketing budgets", then you're right - that is definitely in jeopardy. But if you define popularity as what people actually listen to, because they actually like it - I am 100% confident that there is enough free, decently-produced, well-written music out there to keep you busy for a very very long time.

But what about video you ask? Well video is just starting to boom with Google Video and YouTube and all the other new sites. But the fact remains: Copyright is no longer necessary as an incentive for musicians. That argument just doesn't hold water. And video is following quickly.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662826)

Where's the middle ground?


Copyleft.

MOD PARENT DOWN PIRACY IS NOT THEFT (0)

nead (258866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662888)

according to the US Supreme Court, piracy is NOT theft.

They clearly distinguished between copyright infringement and theft in a 1985 case, where they said, "(copyright infringement) does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud... The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use."

Fuck off (1, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662960)

I put "stealing" in quotes in my post for a reason. Christ, the way you fuckers insist it be called "copyright infringement" or "nonauthorized duplication" stinks of PC in the vein of "undocumented migrants" and "differently abled" to high heavens.

I fully understand the deprivation argument, thanks. And you ARE depriving them of something: the ability to sell and control their product, their creation, as they see fit. You act is if just because something can be copied nearly effortlessly, it should be, and indeed, MUST be, for the good of all humanity.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

JulesLt (909417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662890)

>But why is the anti-copyright argument always the one touted here?

Yes, I do find it odd, as I would wager that a very large number of /. regulars work in proprietary 'content' development of some sort, but seem to be desperately in denial of this fact.

I think the problem is that copyright gets in the way of what we want to do with technology, therefore it must die. I will not be told what to do with my computer by law, and god forbid me if someone tried to impose a technological restriction on me. I think that is an entirely fair attitude within your own home. I feel entitled to copy my VHS to DVD and vinyl to MP3, regardless of the actual legality.

The problem is that we have all been handed a personal printing press and CD pressing plant. We can act like publishers. Many of us do - we screw over artists for our own reasons.

Can you imagine the typical reaction here if Warners or Sony announced that it was not going to pay artists because 'they make millions from concerts anyway'?

(If you do believe in 'free culture' like you believe in Free software then support it. Pirating 'non-free' culture is like running a pirate copy of Microsoft Office. You aren't contributing to the solution, just depriving 'the man' of some money).

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662915)

Corporations exist for one purpose: to externalize costs, to make someone else pay. Piracy does the same thing. Corporations and piracy were made for each other. Payback is a bitch, and money isn't free. It all comes down to who is willing to use the gun first, and we all know who that is. Fuck them. Make the bastards shoot. They want to anyway. You know they do.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662921)

Misappropriating and/or "stealing" things that don't belong to you...

You're also missing the point. The things described here don't rightfully belong to anybody exclusively. It is a misappropriation of government power to grant such ownership. That's the real theft.

...that there are millions of people who have indirectly benefited economically from the industries that have sprung up around, support, and are supported by, music, television, books, and movies?

And there are many who benefit from contraband, prohibition, war...Just because a particular group of people benefit from something, doesn't automatically make it a good thing.

A business model based on exclusivity, though profitable for some, is not necessarily a good way to run things. It causes an artificial scarcity of resources where none would exist otherwise. It depends on the misery of many for the benefit of a privileged few. It is based on the premise that if there was no poverty, nobody would do anything. Most of us live on land that was stolen from somebody else, even if indirectly. So maybe you should think twice on where to apply the term "theft".

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

tweakt (325224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662936)

If your answer is "no, they don't need all these ungodly rich Britney Spears types" etc., and should be able to sell it for just the costs of bandwidth, who the hell are YOU to decide that?

We are the market. It's called capitalism.
Some artists have mass market appeal and become rich regardless of piracy.
Some can't even give their songs away. It's all market demand.

And in other countries not under the stranglehold of the US copyright system, where we cannot get our act together and supply what consumers want, other people are stepping in and doing that. Have you not learned anything from the phenomenal success of the iTunes Music Store?

Completely off topic (-1, Offtopic)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662411)

Completely off topic post but slashdots probably the best place to ask. You can take my karma in payment for it if you wish.

Does anyone know a program to record guild wars which will run on windows 98 please?

piracy works! (0, Flamebait)

jest3r (458429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662422)

Piracy helps Microsoft maintain their monopoly ...

Re:piracy works! (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662482)

Funny post.

But slightly more seriously, if piracy somehow was stopped, would people switch to other operating systems, or would they go out and pay for a copy of Windows?

What would happen to the price of Windows as a result?

Addition... (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662501)

But slightly more seriously, if piracy somehow was stopped, would people switch to other operating systems, or would they go out and pay for a copy of Windows?

What would happen to the price of Windows as a result?


I forgot to mention: In your answer you might want to consider richer countries (America/Europe/etc..) and poorer/3rd world countries separately.

Re:piracy works! (1)

TechnologyX (743745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662669)

What fucking monopoly? Is there only one choice in operating system available? No. The other ones just happen to suck fucking ASS, and are "supported" by zit faced faggots like yourself that would rather jack off to their mom's underwear than solve a mission critical problem.

Re:piracy works! (1)

G Morgan (979144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662789)

In most countries around the world sellers will only distribute Windows so yes a monopoly. Something that isn't a monopoly is when theres a choice at the point of purchase.

Re:piracy works! (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662895)

There is a choice, it's just that the choices do not do most of the things that a consumer expects (play Windows games, work with any piece of hardware, correctly display Microsoft documents, etc.)

Dell sell Linux PCs and you can purchase and use Linux on the desktop if you want. Microsoft still has a monopoly though because most people are forced to use Windows for one reason or another (For example they may already own $1000s of software and hardware that only works with Windows and not want to lose their investment).

Fansubs - beneficial piracy (5, Interesting)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662483)

As an anime fan, I download fansubs. Now, for the most part, this is piracy. These are television shows that have been recorded or ripped from DVDs, give subtitles, and been made available for free trade online through P2P networks.

However, it proves beneficial. Take for instance, Funimation. At conventions, the Funimation booth runs contests, and on the entry form you may list anime that you would like Funimation to consider licensing. They know these shows are being downloaded, and instead of condeming the person downloading like some other organizations, they ask if they should bring it stateside so that it may be introduced to a wider audience through American television.

I would prefer to see many organizations take this approach. I would love for record labels to ask "what unsigned artists are you listening to that you think we should consider signing".

Piracy can actually be used to a company's advantage at times, and too many seem pre-occupied with the short term loss of a $20 Ashlee Simpson CD to notice.

Is anyone losing money in this? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662513)

I am guessing that these anime, if they are for sale at all, are released with DVD region codes for a region other than your own. A sure indication that they don't want money from selling them to you anyway. If they did, they would have sold copies region-free or copies specifically for your region as well. They just can't whine about "lost profits" when they clearly don't want your money anyway.

Correct me if I am wrong (and the anime companies DO sell DVD's for your region)

Re:Is anyone losing money in this? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662695)

More often that not, at least as far as I've seen, regardless of region, most anime exclusive to Japan on DVD do not contain english subtitles, thus making region codes a non-issue. As any sites where I find "import" anime is most often bootlegs and not actually an import at all, I use that to reach the conclusion about the subtitles. I am not an expert on the region coding.

The companies make their money when a pirated anime (such as Naruto) gets licensed and not only shows up on Cartoon Network, but at Best Buy as edited volumes and un-cut box sets, and at Spencers as t-shirts, etc...

Re:Fansubs - beneficial piracy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662520)

I burglarize houses. Hey, it keeps the cops employed. And the door repairmen. And the insurance adjuster. The list goes on...

Re:Fansubs - beneficial piracy (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662650)

I burglarize houses. Hey, it keeps the cops employed. And the door repairmen. And the insurance adjuster. The list goes on...
And the owner has the ability to shoot you in the chest with a shotgun. The difference being that the Japanese companies choose not to shut down every bittorrent site linking to their products, realizing they will get paid for popular releases stateside.

Re:Fansubs - beneficial piracy (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662712)

Fansubs are the one thing that i belive make the best point.

many people download them and share them .. but that is for the simple fact that it is the ONLY way to watch them.. once they bring them stateside 99% of the fansub sites drop the files and most of the people (atleast the ones i know) go and buy the DVD's because they want to support it and want the nice disks and art and good quality..

And i am glad to see (from what i have seen) that most anime producers realize this and don't go after fansub sharing people because they know that it is to their benifit..

now when it comes to music.. the only online thing i have come to like is http://www.magnatune.com/ [magnatune.com] ...

Re:Fansubs - beneficial piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662883)

actually, you are only commiting piracy if the anime is lisenced in the US
even the DVD rips (if not lisenced by a US company). Admittedly, there are some cases (okay a lot) where even lisenced anime is subbed but many fansubbing websites (lunar anime, animesuki) drop lisenced anime.

Re:Fansubs - beneficial piracy (1)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662904)

There was an article [cnn.com] on CNN not all that long ago about this issue. I found it particularly interesting because it contains quotes from people in the US anime/manga industry who claim that the activities of fansubbers actually make their lives easier.

fansubs vs bootlegs (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662986)

I agree that fansubbing is a good example of how "piracy" can be a good thing for all involved. Bootlegging of licensed anime, on the other hand, is a real problem. I went looking for Haibane Renmei and various Miyazaki films on ebay the other day and was somewhat surprised to find that the majority of anime on ebay appears to be bootlegs. American companies like to whine about the Chinese pirating their work (perhaps for good reason), but not much has been said about Americans buying Chinese bootlegs of Japanese shows and movies. It seems like American authorities shouldn't turn a blind eye to piracy of foreign work if they want our "intellectual property" to be respected in foreign countries. Maybe the problem is that, according to American arrogance, only American IP is worth anything. If other countries take similar attitudes, is it any surprise that "piracy" is rampant? Perhaps we should remove the plank from our own eye before removing the mote from our neighbor's.

Just So Long As You're Satisfied. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662522)

Nice one! Dig up some bilge from an obscure source, for which English seems to be a second language, to support your twisted and view. Sure, everyone else is wrong and biased! Piracy is good for musicians, the industry and the world at large. So says the supposedly unbiased pirate!

Look, if this tripe satisfies your pirate conscience then fine, just keep right on lying to yourself. But, I'm sick of this bullshit! I don;t want to hear anymore from pirates on the subject. When Madaonna and Britney Spears and the Black Eyed Peas start saying that P2P and music piracy is great and helping them, then I'll listen but, when it's just pirates that have never produced ANYTHING themselves, FOAD you commie theives!

Re:Just So Long As You're Satisfied. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15662553)

You can't be a communist and a thief. If you believe in communism (ideal but pointless for the human race) then everything that you are theoretically stealing is free for the entire world.

Re:Just So Long As You're Satisfied. (2, Interesting)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662839)

How about the Offspring? They even tried to release one of their albums for free off the internet but were stopped by the record company.

American example (4, Interesting)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662541)

"Nor does the AP bother to mention how software piracy helped boost certain aspects of the industry in China by decreasing the cost of inputs."

And nor does AP bother to state that the US itself explicitly encouraged the pirating of foreign works in its 1790 Copyright Act:

[N]othing in this act shall be construed to extend to prohibit the importation or vending, reprinting or publishing within the United States, of any map, chart, book, or books, written, printed, or published by any person not a citizen of the United States, in foreign parts or places without the jurisdiction of the United States.

Only in 1891 the US started protecting foreign works under the Chase Act. It serves to remember that the US justified pirating foreign works as being economically beneficial for the country. Even the Chase Act wasn't too friendly to foreign authors: it did protect their rights, but the Manufacturing Clause prevented their publishers from publishing their works in the US. This clause was removed only in 1986. It took the US 101 years to join the Berne Convention [wikipedia.org] .

kinda obvious (2, Insightful)

WhitePanther5000 (766529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662565)

Goes back to the old saying, "one person's pain is another person's gain" Of course piracy has benefits, but usually it only benefits the people pirating.

This article is a bit vauge. (4, Interesting)

sharopolis (819353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662572)

TFA and it's linked stories don't really go into much detail about what the actual benefits for the chinese industry are.
Can anyone supply some more information?
It's easy to invoke the old arguments about a colapsing business model and the failure of big companies to react to the market etc. etc. but how and why are chinese artists better without a working copyright system?
This isn't a rhetorical question, I'd like to know.

inputs of production (4, Insightful)

hardwarehacker (748474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662573)

You have a good point, but let's take it one step further. In a developed country, such as the US, capital (software in this case)is relatively inexpensive and labor is relatively expensive (ie why we have H1B visas).
Now in the case of a developing nation, such as China, labor is relatively inexpensive and capital is relatively expensive. Numerous microeconomic models have different ways of combining capital and labor which yields output. The important thing here is that "cost" of captial goods are often the limiting factor for a developing nation. Piracy does lower this cost allowing developing nations to deliver capital intense (techy) goods at a lower per-unit cost. So one could make the arguement that by people in developed countries (such as the US) they are in effect allowing developing nations to produce good at an artifically lower price. However I don't see how lowering the price of music/videos much effect on a developed nation ...

Piracy Undermines Culture (4, Insightful)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662729)

Tim Wu just had an article [slate.com] on Slate last week about how China is trying to grow their own film industry.

One of the interesting points: China has to orient (no pun intended) their films to an American audience because rampant piracy in China means that there isn't enough of a local market to support Chinese films.

I've heard the same thing from Chinese video game makers, they have to make games that will sell in places where copyright is to some degree respected because they would starve trying to live off the money they can make in their home market.

If everyone pirated everything we would have no Lord of the Rings movies, no video games like Halo or Grand Theft Auto -- we'd still have small indy films and subscription games like WoW, but piracy only works now because it's a group of parasites feeding off media that the rest of us pay for.

Re:Piracy Undermines Culture (2, Interesting)

Dis*abstraction (967890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662771)

It's true. Hong Kong had a thriving film industry until the late '90s, when pirated DVDs started flooding the sidewalks and subways. Dozens of studios went out of business. Others went downmarket and only do low-budget cheap thrills anymore.

Just one example of many. It astonishes me how many people here on Slashdot can't tell truth from fantasy even when truth looks them in the eye.

"Undermine" culture? (1)

PAPPP (546666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662838)

Culture isn't something you create, sell, market, purchase, and/or trade. Culture is something that happens amoung a people. You're eating up the line the entertainment industry keeps making that they "produce" culture, when they at best ride the cultural wave, making products that pander to, and to some degree shape, the prevailing cultural movement. The sucess of indie films, blogs, grassroots movements, and services like YouTube should be evidence enough that they aren't in control. If a large part of the Chinese populance wants western entertainment, then that IS a part of the culture.

Re:Piracy Undermines Culture (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662959)

Except that there is a different business model.
One model that works for some content is the subscription model.

The street performer protocol.
Basically piracy is non-existant under that system because the creator makes all their money before the content is released. Once they
release the content they allow freely copying and transcoding the content. The only thing they might restrict is the creation of derivitive works.
Using a trusted escrow service this is very much possible.

A date can be set where if the funds are insufficent they are returned to the donator (pre-purchaser).
Or perhaps the donators can change their mind and pull out. One of these systems would encourage participation by the public,
because they do not have to fear that the target is never reach and therefore they wasted their money.

I mean games like Halo could easilly get enough pre-orders to meet the ransom posted by the developer.

I tend to think the piracy just means the business meathods should be re-evaluated.

You've got to be kidding, right? (4, Insightful)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662749)

Missed the point? You've got to be kidding me.

Do the math: AP provides stories to publishers. Publishers are owned by large companies who publish stuff--like books, music, movies.

Did you REALLY expect them to bite the hand that feeds them?
Why would they publish a story that favors piracy helping people when they could push the agenda their way to protect the interests of the corporations pirates are hurting?

Look--piracy is stealing no matter what kind of spit shine you put on it. Are the BSA, MPAA, and RIAA going a bit over the top about it? Yes. Does that somehow make piracy right? No. It's still stealing. Just because the AP isn't picking up on what some techblog mentioned on slashdot doesn't make them morons. I think we glorify our own technical punditry beyond the tempest in the teapot that it really is.

It's never about what is the "best"--it's always about what's more popular. That's where the money is. Windows and VHS are testments to that. It's all about margins and paying off the share holders.

The REAL story is going to be which of the publishers (movie studios and record labels included) survive the learning curve of the new business model--the computer as an entertainment hub. The whole MP3 thing blew up not because of piracy but because it was EASY and CHEAP. That's what consumers want--easy and a fair price. The content providers are catching on--hence all the TV-a-la-carte on the iTMS.

Is it the best? Probably not. But is it lucrative? Hell, yeah. You don't have to be Warren Buffet to figure that out.

It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

Re:You've got to be kidding, right? (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662981)

Piracy is NOT stealing. It is as WRONG as stealing, but it is more correct to call it for what it is: Copyright Infringement. This myth that piracy = theft is actually hurting the *AA's war against it. If they would call it for what it is, they could get the proper assistance from the government and be far less likely to lose in court to the few defendants who are brave enough to take it that far. According to the statutes on every US State's lawbooks(with the exception of "Theft of Services" in some states), to be charged with Theft you must deprive someone of something of value. In other words, you physically take possession of it and they physically lose possession of it. If you break into someone's house (burglary) and take a CD and put it in your pocket (theft) you have stolen it. If you download a CD without paying for it when the only way to legally download it IS to pay for it, you have committed copyright infringement. The person or company you downloaded from still has it; you didn't take possession of it. you COPIED it, hence the term COPYright infringement.

The thread poster has a wierd sense of right/wrong (3, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662809)

1) Real piracy is wrong, no matter what. There are NO 'positive effects', anymore than more allowing pick-pocketing has the positive effect of giving pick-pockets a job.

2) There ARE real other sides to this issue. For example shmucks calling things "piracy" when they are just fair-use. Or vile corporations pricing things WAY WAY too much, then ripping off the artist by paying them a fraction of the profits, then saying that "piracy" is killing their business. Or those same corporations, understanding that modern technology will destroy their buiness model, do everything they can to sabotage the new technology then complaining when people turn to piracy, not to steal the media, but instead just to put get it in a fair/reasonable format for their MP3 player that the )(*@#$ labels did not want them to.

Re:The thread poster has a wierd sense of right/wr (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662914)

1) Real piracy is wrong, no matter what. There are NO 'positive effects', anymore than more allowing pick-pocketing has the positive effect of giving pick-pockets a job.


You're joking, right? Positive effects can stem from just about anything, so you're clearly overstating your argument. If there were no positive effects whatsoever, or if the negative effects dramatically outweighed the positive effects, I doubt that "piracy" would be as popular or widespread.


From my perspective, when it comese to a person's natural right to copy and redistribute data and information, it is "wrong" to try to force them not to.

A Greater Threat Is Closing Fast (3, Insightful)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662855)

Let's not forget the historical roots of piracy. Sir Francis Drake [wikipedia.org] , as well as being the first Captain to circumnavigate the world and an able Vice Admiral was also a privateer [wikipedia.org] or a pirate by any other name. I think we will be said to have reached level one civilization when we have a world government and world courts. As an aside I think only when we have reached such a level of civilization will we be able to manage the Solar System.

Contrary to the above our current state pushes innovation and geopolitical invention. While the status quo states of the developed world push IP as a last ditch form of imperialism, developing nations and "pirates" derive new venues by running outside the highways of the status quo.

When these last issues are put to bed with one power group climbing into bed with others then the innovation that comes from the hurly burly of piracy will leave us with a status quo installed and fortified by international law. It may be that what is now seen as piracy is the last invigorated period of innovation we will see.

just my loose change

TechDirt Misses the Point (-1, Flamebait)

fatdog789 (982614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662909)

It's not the AP that's missing the point here. It's TechDirt. Ignoring the other side of the coin of piracy? What other side, the illegal side? Last I checked, artists shouldn't *have to* change their business model just because some young punk decides to steal their stuff. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? And since when is boosting productivity a justified goal of productivity? Isn't that what open source software is for? Just because piracy makes something easier or cheaper doesn't make it right to do. This article is akin to saying that talking about how murder is illegal misses the point because it doesn't take into account how murder makes the life of the murderer easier. If China can't advance it's economy without pirating and leeching off the backs of others, it doesn't deserve it in the first place.

Futurama (4, Insightful)

MasterC (70492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15662944)

Ok, I guess I'm a bad geek or something. I just never watched Futurama. Perhaps because I can't stand ads so I rarely watch TV to begin with.

That said, I didn't watch Futurama until I downloaded some episodes quite some time since the first run was cancelled. Then I downloaded the entire series and watched them. Now I own all four volumes on DVD and am looking forward to the next run.

Maybe this example is the exception and not the rule, but the fact of the matter is that my "piracy" or "illegal download" led to Fox getting some cash out of my pocket for the DVD. Cash that they would not have gotten otherwise. At the end of the day, I don't care what the AP says or does not say: piracy has caused me to spend more money than I would have without it. I'm tired of crappy entertainment or lack of creative writing talent ([sarcasm]I can't *WAIT* for the remake of the revenge of the nerds[/sarcasm]). I want to use it and then decide if it's worth my money: if not I move on; if so I buy it.

If I can't do that then I'll abandon/boycott/ignore the whole damn thing until I can. It's like being in the matrix and taking the red pill: once you snap out of the mindless, lemming-like world of the MPAA/RIAA/whatever-there-is-for-TV-networks-AA you take note of how crappy it was being Thomas A. Anderson [wikipedia.org] .

And I'll watch nothing but TV ads & infomercials before I get suckered into the "you don't really own X any more and you have to pay $1.99 ever time you want to watch it." Sorry, but fuck that. Keep your damn blue pill.
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