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Companies Coming Around To Piracy's Upside?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the why-people-hate-to-call-it-piracy dept.

Media 259

traycerb writes "The Economist has an article detailing how numerous companies are finding piracy's silver lining: 'Statistics about the traffic on file-sharing networks can be useful. They can reveal, for example, the countries where a new singer is most popular, even before his album has been released there. Having initially been reluctant to be seen exploiting this information, record companies are now making use of it. This month BigChampagne, the main music-data analyser, is extending its monitoring service to pirated video, too.' The kicker is Microsoft's tacit endorsement of Windows piracy in developing markets, namely China. The big man himself, Bill Gates, says it best in an interview with Fortune last year: 'It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not.'"

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259 comments

I'd be happy... (4, Insightful)

tyler.willard (944724) | more than 5 years ago | (#24264989)

...if such a mindset would only dispell the myth that a every pirated copy equates to one lost sale.

I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265233)

...that every single time they use the argument that a pirated* copy does not equate a lost sale because they wouldn't have purchased it anyway - that they are primarily defending cheap fuck douchebags who simply want the game without having to pay for it**.

* piss off with your definition of 'pirates' being yo-ho-ho bottle of rum-on-a-ship -only. If you don't like that definition, timetravel to the past and prevent it from being added to the dictionaries. http://www.answers.com/pirates&r=67 [answers.com]

** unless they're pirating the game for purposes of:
- not having to go through insane-o copy protection BS
- wanting to try the game before buying it***, seeing as the developer/distributor decided against releasing a demo
If you are one of the above: congratulations, you are officially part of a minority.

*** 'try before you buy' does not mean 'play the entire game through, play multiplayer online for several months, then decide you didn't like it that much and therefore won't be buying it, not even from the bargain bin where it's available for $9.99 now.'

If you already know you would never pay for the game anyway, then don't be an ass in downloading it anyway. Go find a game that you do like enough to pay for. Or, you know, pick up a free**** game. TAGAP is pretty good fun for a platformer, and it's free!

**** as in beer. Though what beer is free?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (4, Insightful)

Peaker (72084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265293)

If someone avoids downloading software if he won't pay for it anyway, then the productivity he could gain from that software is lost.

If he does download it without paying for it, he gains productivity, while the author of the software loses nothing.

Why is it that you prefer that he loses the productivity, all other considerations being equal?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (5, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265369)

Because software isn't food or clothing. You're not entitled to it. If you can't afford it, use a free alternative, or nothing at all. You'll still be alive tomorrow even if you don't get to use the latest and greatest software.

So let me reverse the question with the above: Why is it that you feel people are entitled to luxury?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265521)

Why is it that you feel people are entitled to luxury?

GREATEST! COUNTRY! ON! EARTH!
EVAR !!!

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266275)

I would mod you insightful but I just blew all my points.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265535)

Microsoft software is luxurious? Hang on a sec... where'd I put my dictionary?...

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266021)

Compared to Linux which can be used for free, it apparently is.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (3, Insightful)

wakingrufus (904726) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265749)

you are putting words into his mouth. The reason a pirated copy != a lost sale is not based on a sense of "entitlement" of the consumer. The consumer looks at a product and says "hey, i like that, but i can't afford to spend $20 on it. so i will not buy it." but now all of a sudden there is a way for that person to get it for free so they obtain it that way. there was never a sale to be made. Not all piracy happens this way, but a lot does.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (4, Insightful)

radarjd (931774) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265933)

The consumer looks at a product and says "hey, i like that, but i can't afford to spend $20 on it. so i will not buy it." but now all of a sudden there is a way for that person to get it for free so they obtain it that way.

Why, then, should anyone pay for the software? There are an almost unlimited number of things to spend money on. I am guessing that most "pirated" copies are not a matter of either I eat or I pay for the software -- it's a matter of either I go-to-the-movies or buy-a-new-TV or I pay for the software. At what point does "I can't afford it" justify the piracy in your mind?

The software clearly has some value to the "pirate". It has filled some useful purpose, and the creator's efforts are going unrewarded (that is, the creator didn't intend to give it away -- he or she wanted to be paid for it). Is the creator who wants to be paid for his or her software simply inherently wrong?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (3, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266325)

Is the creator who wants to be paid for his or her software simply inherently wrong?

Not wrong, but maybe unrealistic. Technology has brought us to the point where bits can be duplicated to any new format or context for basically no cost. The old business model of selling "copies" of information, depended entirely on the fact that that was hard to do.

So the question is: Are we going to give up on the idea that you can produce a particular collection of bits once and then sell it as many times as you like, or are we going to outlaw the general-purpose computer?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (2, Insightful)

radarjd (931774) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266459)

Are we going to give up on the idea that you can produce a particular collection of bits once and then sell it as many times as you like, or are we going to outlaw the general-purpose computer?

I don't think those are our only two choices. Firearms are legal despite the fact that they can be (and are) used to kill other people. Cars kill an unbelievable amount of people every year, yet we don't think of outlawing them. The copy machine has been around for decades, and somehow the printing industry hasn't gone out of business. There is a middle ground, admittedly difficult to enforce, where copying has legal restrictions while general computers are free. I think that there can be behavior that's looked down upon by the community and still be illegal, despite the fact that it's easy to get away with the crime.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265797)

Because i say i am. You don't have to like it or even agree. But screw you. i want free shit.

This world was built on exploiting for gain. Now stfu and gbtw. Your boss wants stuff too. You just got lucky enough to make him pay for it.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1, Flamebait)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265829)

Because i say i am. You don't have to like it or even agree. But screw you. i want free shit.

This world was built on exploiting for gain. Now stfu and gbtw. Your boss wants stuff too. You just got lucky enough to make him pay for it.

I hope you do not mind once people's definition of what is ok and whats not starts clashing with yours? Exploiting for gain, hmm? You don't happen to have a daughter now, do you?

Though I'll give you a point: at least you're honest, you are exploiting people for your own gain. Thats better than most pirates. My gripe is with people who do exactly like you, but lie to themselves to make themselve feel pristine pure.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (3, Insightful)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265953)

Why is it that you feel people are entitled to luxury?

Irrelevant. If it is absolutely true that the person would not have bought a product he pirated (e.g., a college student pirating Photoshop CS3--I don't know a single college student who can afford that program), then from a utilitarian perspective, it is illogical and detrimental to society for him to NOT pirate it (assuming he will actually use it). Of course, if he will use it once he gets a job and can afford it, then the logic breaks down. In this case, he should make the purchase.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (4, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266393)

I learned 3D animation on a pirated copy of 3d Studio Max. On my own, I could never justify the purchase of this piece of software, as at the time it was just a hobby.

Down the road, when I got a job at a university doing environment design, my boss had a quite understandable interest in not having pirated software installed on school computers. A copy was subsequently bought for me, and discreet inc. has warez to thank for that sale.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

KanshuShintai (694567) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266057)

It's not a matter of entitlement to luxury. If you hold property rights (ignoring the argument of whether IP counts as property) as fundamental to your moral system, then your argument that individuals should do without what they cannot purchase holds. However, the GP's argument is that the good derived by society by the increased productivity of an individual infringing on copyright may be worth more (by some measure) than another individual's "entitlement" to a profit.

The GP's argument is also supported by the difference in logistics between infringing on copyright and stealing physical property. If an individual could not buy the copyrighted material anyway, then the holder of the copyright loses nothing when that individual copies it. However, the holder of the copyright (and the rest of society) may still benefit from the increased productivity of the copier. By this reasoning, the copyright holder benefits more overall than if the copier had not infringed the copyright.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (5, Interesting)

vtolturbo (729585) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266283)

You're right that software isn't food or clothing. It isn't tangible. Thus, whoever created the software must have known that their efforts were going toward creation of a product that can not be bought or sold in the same manner that bread and milk are. With tangible goods, either one has or one does not have the item. With intangible products like software, music, or movies, the question of whether or not one has the item is ambiguous. I think the real problem here is that the global economy is based on the construct that all products bought and sold are tangible. The industrial revolution brought us the ability to make the same thing many times, with a lower unit cost due to volume discount. The concept of mass production is meaningless when the cost of replicating a product is zero. The internet eliminates the distribution cost and allows every consumer to become a reseller in a zero-cost market.

As a software engineer myself, I have come to realize one simple fact about the 21st century global market. I do not and can not sell the product of my efforts. I sell my effort itself. I provide a service for a fee. Eventually, most of the software people need will have already been created, and with any luck the software will be organized and self-governed by open source communities. The people in these communities will not be paid by the users of the software through some sort of licensing system. They will be paid by the companies who produce tangible goods that can be sold in the marketplace, companies who derive benefit from integrating the software into their business model. The software itself will be free. The value provided to these companies by the software engineers will be the integration and application of the software to improve revenue generation of some tangible product.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (-1, Troll)

Jasonjk74 (1104789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266371)

With intangible products like software, music, or movies, the question of whether or not one has the item is ambiguous

Theft is theft. No ambiguity there.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (-1, Flamebait)

Jasonjk74 (1104789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266571)

It's "trolling" to point out the truth? Apparently I've struck a nerve with the software thieves who use pseudo-ideological foolishness to stave off their cognitive dissonance as it applies to stealing.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266447)

<p>The reality is that when a guy pirates a piece of software he wouldn't be able to buy otherwise and gains 'productivity', the company selling the software, wins an advocate that will promote this software to other people, some of them might actually pay for the software.
</p>

<p>His government will also have to support this expensive tool and probably pay for it since most governments cannot just download software... This means the guy who is pirating it is effectively paying for it through taxes, call it a rogue country discount.</p>

<p>I actually think piracy harms the users much more than the companies', in fact my impression for living in a piracy-run country is that the software companies become the only winners.</p>

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265515)

I think that argument can be extended when the author/owner/shopkeeper loses so little so as it is not measurable. After all, what is the difference between "loses nothing" and "loses 0?" OK, if you carried it out to 19 decimal places you could say they were losing 0.0000000000000000012% or something like that. Effectively zero, right?

So, stealing one car from GM results in a loss of what, 1 out of 30 million? Can they even measure that as a percentage? Would this mean the CEO got a nickle less?

How about banks? If a bank has $100,000,000 in deposits then losing $1 is nothing, right?

You can make the argument that that's fine as long as one person does it, but what happens when everyone does it? Well, we are in the same situation today with piracy. Some noobs think they need to pay for music because there is no other way to get it. Some folks think they need to buy a DVD when copying their friend's disc is much cheaper. It is a matter of knowledge being power, and power being respected in the economy.

Sure, when everyone knows how to do this the situation changes. But for now, I think I want to educate someone about what "zero" really means and watch what happens at the Chevy dealer.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265589)

Ok, so person A writes the software, person B benefits from using it. Your argument is that if B "won't pay" for the software, A should give it for free, right? So in your opinion payments for products and services should be voluntary? You don't think this is unfair to A, or more to the point, it doesn;t discourage A from writing software in the first place?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (4, Insightful)

ijakings (982830) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265689)

In my opinion if Person B is using the software commercially to make a profit then they damn well should pay for it.

If person B is using it at home just to mess around with it for personal non commercial projects then there is no harm done, Person B was never going to buy the software in the first place, they arent profiting from it and no harm is done to anyone.

Id say that software should have specific Home Editions which should be alot cheaper, but then Small to Medium business could potentially exploit this system.

Piracy seems to be becoming the new Home Use Only Licence, but only because one isnt provided or is still far too expensive.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (5, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265875)

I totally agree. The problem starts with non-corporate software. Devil May Cry 4 just came out for PC a few weeks ago. I don't foresee many corporations buying it... so what exactly do you do? The answer to this so far has either been: A) put some fucking annoying and useless DRM on it, or B) make games that require a corporate server that isn't being distributed to run (WoW).

So now what do you do? Not very many people will lend their time to make something like that...coding a PC game sucks. The drivers are buggy as hell, there's tons of them, you have to support the lowest common denominator, then there's customer support, etc... so while free software isn't completly out, it will be rare in that field. So exactly what is the solution? These things cost millions to develop, and as technology to push games further comes along, it will take more and more artists to make the graphics and sounds in the game, the voice actors, etc.

I also know a LOT of people who pirate photoshop and do a heck of a lot more than just "messing around", and will openly say that its a critical piece of software for them (its a hobby for them...but hey, sports are hobbys too, and the gears are expensive -too-). So what do you do about those?

The home edition is a good idea and it does work (I've witnessed a lot of people buying Office Home and Student... 150$ for 3 licenses, thats not bad at all), but when people start feeling entitled to the top edition, or we're talking about single player games... I don't see an easy solution.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266541)

The answer to this so far has either been: A) put some fucking annoying and useless DRM on it, or B) make games that require a corporate server that isn't being distributed to run (WoW).

A somewhat rarer solution is C) Use either light enough DRM that people don't care, or no DRM at all.

See, if you use no DRM at all, there are still going to be a fair number of people buying the game -- people who are honest, people who don't yet know about BitTorrent, etc.

If, however, you use DRM so aggressive it can make their computer unusable -- or which limits the number of times you can install the game -- or requires you to be online 100% of the time -- or requires a CD to always be present -- in short, if you use DRM which actually interferes with ways a legitimate customer might want to use your game...

Then they will go looking for cracks.

And they will discover how easy it is to find a decent crack. Or a pre-cracked torrent.

I don't remember the original comment which illustrated it this way, but here you go:

1) Buy game
2) Try to install game
3) Get pissed off
4) Download cracked version

If that's your typical process, it won't be too long till you eliminate steps 2 and 3, and at that point, step 1 becomes "Buy game, to put on shelf." How long before you eliminate step 1?

Too much DRM causes more piracy than it prevents. If you believe that too little DRM lets piracy run rampant, you still have to try to strike a balance -- one most games, in particular, don't get. Or you could err on the side of caution and use no DRM.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266473)

clarkkent09, if piracy discouraged software makers from making software, we would have gotten rid of frigging Microsoft ages ago!. Damn, clarkkent09, why can't you be a normal slashdotter?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (2, Insightful)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265795)

Are you trying to imply that software publishers are stealing from society, by charging for their software?

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

Peaker (72084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266453)

I believe that words like "steal" are subjective and do not contribute to an accurate depiction.

But yes, I do believe that general concept.

I believe that artificial scarcity set on software deprives society of a lot more value than it aids to generate.

I also believe that by allowing distribution of software in closed/binary/secret form, it becomes an evolutionary dead end - further depriving advancements of society.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265825)

Because they can't prove that they wouldn't have paid for it anyway, unless perhaps they are some of the impoverished Chinese that Gates is talking about.

Suppose you did some IT work for a client. Then a month after you were supposed to be paid, you were finally told:

"We've decided not to pay you because presumably you still have copies of the work you did, so you didn't lose anything. It's all digital, right? We don't even think too highly of the work you did, it certainly isn't worth what you are charging. Maybe you should thank us for giving you some experience and exposure. You know what, your business model isn't keeping up with the times. Maybe you ought to sell ads or something!

I don't think you would find this kind of happy Slashtalk one bit clever or amusing.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (5, Insightful)

tyler.willard (944724) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265531)

To put it plainly: go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut*.

I, personally, pay for all the software I use, music I listen to, and movies I watch; despite the fact that I have the technical chops to crack whatever I'd want.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I make my money in software; and, by extension, "IP". Ergo, I want to be paid for my work and I think others should be too.

However.

And, that's a big "HOWEVER", I do not accept the rhetoric, propaganda, and evil litigiousness of the software lobby. The idea that everyone who illegally uses a copy of some software product is either: a danger to society, an irretrievable thief, a tax cheat, or a supporter of terrorism is obscene.

The most disgusting part of this, to get back to the point of my original point, is that all the aspersions cast upon those who engage in such piracy notwithstanding, they still wouldn't have paid for "it" anyway.

So, in the end, draconian laws and mindsets are being fostered for no morally, or fiscally, sound reason.

*Thanks to Kurt Vonnegut for that vignette.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265723)

I pay for very little of the music I listen to - unless I plan on continuously listening to it, or feel that the artist deserves compensation. I don't pay for it the first time I hear it, I download it to see if I like it. Same with movies. If I download a cam of a movie and the movie sucks, I'd feel cheated of my money - I will pay for the experience of seeing it on the big screen, however, if it is good.

Same with software - if I use it, and it sucks, I would be upset if I paid for it, and never use it again.

If your software sucks, and I pay for it, you've been paid for your work, but I get no benefit. Then it was not a fair transaction, and I would feel cheated.

So, I treat all music/movies/software are shareware. If I like it, I buy it. If not, then I don't care how much work you put into it... it isn't worth a cent to me - and asking me to pay for it before I know if I'll use it / like it isn't fair.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265977)

Do you ever refuse to pay the bill at a restaurant because you were unhappy with the food? (I'm talking about the bill here, not the tip).

If so, I'd be interested in hearing how the discussion went.

If not, then why not? Every time you've dined at a restaurant, you've left reasonably satisfied? Gee, how fortunate!

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

theripper (123078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266365)

If you're dining at a restaurant and you pay for food you do not like then that is your problem.

If I'm dining out I do NOT pay for food that I don't like, I send it back and get something that does not suck.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266569)

I call b.s. on that one.

Give us details. Restaurant, city, and dish, how long you waited for the replacement, and the success of the replacement (did it come with extra bodily fluids from the chef?)

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

hkmarks (1080097) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266595)

If food is unsatisfactory at a restaurant, you don't refuse to pay -- you ask them to fix it or replace it before you've eaten it, and they usually do. If they refused, I'd absolutely leave without paying. That has never happened.

If you go to a movie and it's terrible, you can usually leave within 30 minutes of start and get a refund. If the projector messes up, you can often get a refund or a pass.

If you buy software and it's buggy, you rarely have recourse. Opening or downloading it means no returns. You can ask for a fix or refund, but you probably won't get it.

(Example: bought a copy of WordPerfect Office 2002. Worked for about six months then started crashing regularly. Patches didn't fix it. Installed a while later on a fresh XP install. Still didn't work. Out $300 with no recourse.)

(Example: bought a copy of a custom ringtone program. Didn't work with my phone. Out $30 with no recourse.)

(Example: bought Final Fantasy VIII for PC. Played through 3 disks. Bug in game meant 4th disk would not work. No patch, no recourse.)

None of those led me to piracy, but they were pretty annoying.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

lordofwhee (1187719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265695)

Once again, I get to bring up this example:

Let's say I pirate Photoshop CS3. I now have it, and Adobe has nothing. HOWEVER, I don't have enough money just laying around to actually buy the software, meaning Adobe loses NOTHING.

It's like if I stole a car and the exact same car instantly reappeared, except now there were two of it, one in my possession, one in the owner's. In fact, it's more like I went over the owner's car in great detail then built my own.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266073)

Actually, they have better than nothing.

Let's say you become very proficient, even a master at using Photoshop. Which means that you won't to ever have to use any other competing software... Then say one day you become a professional who needs the use of Photoshop, how more likely to buy it would you be. As an additional plus what software do you think you would recommend to your colleagues?

Apps like Photoshop have a lot to gain from casual piracy. However people who pirate games are just killing the PC gaming industry and have already damaged what used to be a great gaming platform. It annoys me that people will happily buy PS3 / XBOX360 games but pirate EVERYTHING for PC. An additional point to that is anyone who pirates games that run on Linux & Mac deserve to be hung drawn and quartered, companies that release games for these platforms definitely deserve to be rewarded.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266117)

You idiot.
So you think its fine to steal someone else's hard work, because you somehow need a pro graphics program, yet are so fucking useless with it, you cant even earn enough to pay for the tools you use.
Grow up.

Re:I'd be happy if pirates* would acknowledge... (1)

aetherworld (970863) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266557)

Your points are valid. BUT: I have a lot of music which I downloaded because I thought it was good, listened to the album once and THEN deciced it was crap that I would never buy.

I didn't delete the MP3s though but keep them on my storage although I 1) don't listen to it. Ever. 2) don't share it with other people. Just because I have the space and I'm too lazy to delete it.

BTW: I buy about 10% to 20% of the stuff I download after having listened to it for a few times.

Re:I'd be happy... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266227)

What they really need to realize(and most of them do) is that everything I pirate changes sales by plus or minus 5 or more sales!

If it is good, I buy it at least once, and so do several people after hearing me praise it.

If it sucks, then not only do I not buy it, neither does anyone around me after I bitch about how bad it was.

Obviously, then, companies that make really awesome&known&notveryexpensive or any kind of sucky products should hate pirating, and those companies that make unknown||cheap||business||good products should love piracy.

Re:I'd be happy... (1)

tyler.willard (944724) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266429)

I'm afraid I can't agree on that basis.

I certainly agree that word-of-mouth goodwill is important, as is the goodwill of "influential" users (such as yourself).

But I am still of the opinion that people should pay for what the use. I only refuse to accept the hyperbole of "IP" vendors and their propagandists.

yay! now have legit reason to pirate !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266521)

never buy again!! pirate is good for company "selling"!! don't buy!! ever again!! not good for company if buy!! yaya!! make perfect sense!! drink about it!!

This part is old old news. (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265009)

The kicker is Microsoft's tacit endorsement of Windows piracy in developing markets, namely China. The big man himself, Bill Gates, says it best in an interview with Fortune last year: 'It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not.'

I keep telling people that when they pirate Windows or Office they're not taking a poke at Microsoft, they're taking a poke at potential competitors for Microsoft. This isn't news, this is not something Bill Gates just realized, Microsoft USED this when Office was getting established, in all kinds of ways, even allowing business users to use the same licensed software at home, rather than using something else because they couldn't get a second license through their office.

Mod parent up. (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265105)

Not just MS Office.

Back when it was WinNT vs NetWare, Microsoft was happy to allow "piracy" because Novell servers automatically checked licensing and would shut down if you tried to use the same license twice.

Hell, they even had a simple universal key (2, Insightful)

Debased Manc (1313649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265781)

Pre-2000, most MS software could be activated with the universal 1234 1234567 key - I mean, did they have President Skroob on the board or something?

They weren't alone either, Macromedia's entire business model was predicated on piracy. Dreamweaver became the de facto HTML editor, Flash become popular quickly and Fireworks bit out a chunk of Photoshops then-market all because the majority of candidates for web jobs had experience in them, because they were easily to get your mitts on.

Just as home taping never killed music, mass copied Blob CDs filled with software didn't kill software companies, neither will pirating ever kill software companies or music labels. The sooner everyone got around to figuring that out, the quicker everyone can act like adults about it.

Re:Hell, they even had a simple universal key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266137)

Most of the early software had a key, but it wasn't checked for anything. It would just be displayed/asked for when you called support.

Re:This part is old old news. (4, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265121)

Correct. They didn't start offering low cost MS Office editions (Home and Student, 3 licenses for 150$ as long as you're not using it commercially) until people started looking at alternatives (Linux, Mac OSX, etc), -not- when people started pirating (since years and years before that).

Re:This part is old old news. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265283)

Yeah, even the fact that Gates said it in an interview is (10 year) old news [cnet.com]:

"Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software," he said. "Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

Re:This part is old old news. (3, Informative)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265843)

They still do this through the Home Use Program which is so cheap it may as well be free. I got a legitimate copy of Office Enterprise 2007 under this for £17.99 including P&P.

Linux users: don't support proprietary software! (5, Insightful)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265021)

This is the reason that Slashdotters who support Linux shouldn't be fixing every Windows PC around and giving others pirated software. So many people think they're sticking it to the man by using pirated proprietary software, but it only increases the user base of it.

Microsoft is happy to let the Chinese pirate everything, because it locks them in and increases their user base. Without it, alternatives like Red Flag Linux might actually have a few users.

Software Is NOT A Religion... (4, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265099)

...and I'll help people with whatever they have and want to run. Linux, Windows, whatever, so long as they are willing to pay the service rate.

The one thing I will NOT do is install or provide any assistance or other service with pirated software or any illegal activities. Non-negotiable, it ain't happening.

Re:Software Is NOT A Religion... (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265215)

"The one thing I will NOT do is install or provide any assistance or other service with pirated software or any illegal activities. Non-negotiable, it ain't happening."

Amen.

Re:Software Is NOT A Religion... (2, Interesting)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265419)

Yes, but *my* service rate is higher for MS products, and I explain its because Windows is such a bitch to admin. And it is.

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (1)

coolguy2k (885942) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265111)

"first one is always free" sounds like good marketing to me.

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (4, Insightful)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265115)

This is the reason that Slashdotters who support Linux shouldn't be fixing every Windows PC around and giving others pirated software. So many people think they're sticking it to the man by using pirated proprietary software, but it only increases the user base of it. Microsoft is happy to let the Chinese pirate everything, because it locks them in and increases their user base. Without it, alternatives like Red Flag Linux might actually have a few users.

The majority of people donâ(TM)t care whether a program is proprietary or open source because the majority of people will never modify their operating system. A free launch is a free launch regardless of packaging and I have no doubt that most of the people who have Linux computers use it because it is free, just as most of the people who use Windows use it because it came with their system. The only difference between the two people is that one person knew how to install an operating system and/or build a computer and the other guy didnâ(TM)t.

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265385)

Most people won't care if their car uses gasoline or solar energy because most people won't be fixing their engines when they break. Heh. Lots of people *do* care. If its Free Software, then many painful headaches go away in terms of licenses paid for but whose activation is problematic. (Wolfram, Microsoft, and Paradigm, you three should be listening.) The straw man fallacy that one needs to be a programmer to care about Free Software is getting old.

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266175)

So true. I'm not a programmer. I use free software everyday.

Why? For years, I was able to keep up with the security issues in Windows. Then one day, when Service 3 for XP came out, I saw the advisories saying to wait until certain bugs had been cleared up.

So on the one hand, I needed to install a new update, but on the other hand, I couldn't until the rebooting issues had been clarified. During the time I waited, we got hit by a virus and the computer froze up.

Luckily, I had a Linux workstation running already and I was not stopped in what I was doing. But when I got around to re-installing Windows, it took me 4 hours to just do the base. Then the applications, and then the updates for the applications.

Never again. Now when I help people to fix their computers, I offer Linux for free and charge market rates for Windows for a re-install.

And when I see that they have pirated software installed, I never offer support for it unless they pay the license for it.

I've read enough about the bsuiness practices of MS to know that I don't want to support their products. Unfortunately, they're everywhere I want to work. So I have to find open minded employers who want to make a change and are willing to work with me to do it.

Arrrrghhhh!

Scott

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265207)

Nice to see this modded up.

You have a great idea. Let's all tell our friends they are idiots for using Windows and refuse to help them recover their $800 appliance from problems incurred by what their kids downloaded or from an email from their boss. Instead of just performing a simple action of making the computer like it was yesterday and leaving the user with THEIR opinion of windows we'll do this instead.

Then we'll fawn over them and solve every one of their problems when we leave them with they switch to linux because the only other option is to go to geek squad and spend $200 in software and labor getting it fixed.

You actually think they'll be thanking you or something?

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265407)

"You actually think they'll be thanking you or something?" Yes, the ones who learn do voice thanks in time. And they are way more appreciative than if you'd merely helped them limp along. Giving a fish vs. a fishing pole...

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265409)

ok, now tell this to your girlfriend. or your mum. face the massive iron attack.
if you survive, then I might try it next. until then, I'm forced to maintain good relationships with friends, parents and relatives.
it's not that I do not believe for the cause. It's that 5 min of my time could save hours and weeks to them - well, if they have the original of the software, I'm talking about support here, not piracy.

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265633)

If relationships with family and friends are more important to you than Linux you should really take a look at your priorities. Everyone you know will eventually die, but free software lives forever.

Re:Linux users: don't support proprietary software (2, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265685)

I don't install Windows products and especially not pirated software because of how much of a pain it is to support, not because I want to push a certain agenda.
 
For pirated software you would have to make sure any update mechanism is shut off, and that causes security headaches if the updates patch holes. The user will also want to install a new version if they come across it and notice they have an older version, which will probably not work with the crack used to cause the program to activate/validate/whatever. Who knows if the program will expire at a later date and maybe the crack doesn't know about it. Windows/Office activation is another annoyance. Maybe not for a Windows user, but primarily as a Linux user I don't need to keep up with that because I'm not bothered by the issues caused by activation. I don't really need the hassle of keeping up with the latest news on cracks.
 
As for just Windows support in general, that too is a headache. It's easier to figure out how to lock down a desktop on Linux, just my opinion. You have to look in many different places and do a lot of theorizing and testing to set up a good scheme in Windows. It's easier to get a usable desktop in Linux, you just apt-get a bunch of stuff. You can make a script to grab and configure a good usable desktop. In Windows, you have to hunt down driver packages, various codec packages, and find out what programs you need to replace and which ones you have to add to fill in the functionality holes.
 
Also I don't know if this has changed, but in Windows if you stick a hard drive image on some computer, it's not guaranteed to work well. If you ever replaced a motherboard and you used Windows, you know just how badly Windows is at detecting hardware from scratch on an old install like that. Even silly things like oh, this computer has more hard drives so now the DVD-RW is on F: and now I have to change a bunch of program defaults to reflect that. With Linux, you can configure a great usable image and then slap it on any computer.
 
If someone has Windows for a good reason, I leave it. But if someone ever asks me to "get software" for them, I will just give them a great open source version suited for them. Since OSS parts can be re-used and since there are multiple programs for any given use, I can find one that's advanced enough or dumbed down enough depending on the target user.
 
I think not only is the original post a little off topic, but also is a little off target.

Pretty poor (0, Troll)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265029)

The writer of TFA still has head up his butt, qualifying the presented "silver linings" stories with lots of good old-fashioned "unauthorized copying is theft" crap and "imaginary property is a god-given right" style assumptions.

Re:Pretty poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265465)

you have any idea how stupid you sound when you use the words 'imaginary property'? get a fucking grip and stop trying to justify theft.

People like you are fucking pathetic. If you don't want to pay for other peoples hard work, at least admit you are a fucking thief and leech.

Re:Pretty poor (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265699)

It is imaginary, you jackass. Get a fucking grip and stop trying to justify your inability to adapt to the new paradigms ushered in by technological advancement. If you don't want to grow and learn how to create new business models that work, at least admit you are a fucking moron and a luddite. The world doesn't owe you a living. It's you people trying to keep an outdated business model viable by creating artificial scarcity who are the real thieves and leeches. Self-righteous twit.

Re:Pretty poor (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266133)

presumably the poster is someone who is a content creator. How is someone who actually PRODUCES content the thief and the leech?
Whereas clearly the pirate is the one making a contribution to society... yeah right

Re:Pretty poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266411)

The buggy whip manufacturers kicked and screamed too, but it didn't help them in the end.

Re:Pretty poor (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266539)

How is someone who actually PRODUCES content the thief and the leech?

Nice straw man you got there. The statement you ignored was, "It's you people trying to keep an outdated business model viable by creating artificial scarcity who are the real thieves and leeches". And it still stands because it makes sense. Your capitalist religion cannot help you, and down-modding me won't change it either.
I'm a musician myself. I create content and release it under CC 3.0. It's free for personal use, licensable for other uses. That's because I'm a realist, and I know that content is no longer naturally scarce due to our technology. People who prefer to live in denial are just holding us all back. Get real or get lost, that's the law of nature. If you don't like it, take it up with with whomever you call god, I didn't cause it. And neither did the people you hope to criminalize with your backwards, obsolete ideas of "how the world should work".

Male singer? (0, Offtopic)

nih (411096) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265033)

even before his album has been released there

so, we talking about Iran?

Market Power (1, Redundant)

partowel (469956) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265081)

If 1 million people use your product legally, good for you.

If 100 million people use your product illegally, good for you.

Market share is POWER.

Its that simple.

How people get their power is a technicality.

But people like power. They always have.

The government will allow you to do

"bad" things, as long as the gov't gets their

cut. Smoking, casinos, private healthcare which

only "healthy" people can get coverage, etc.

Popularity has a downside. Everyone wants it,

and they don't care about the laws of man.

Music, video, drugs, etc. Its all the same.

People want it. People get it.

Re:Market Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265165)

I think those pirated line breaks you purchased as a cheap bundle aren't working out that well.

Re:Market Power (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265421)

People would be better if they were more like wood and you could sand them smooth.

Also, squirrels; there's a cheerful bunch if I ever saw one.

Re:Market Power (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265785)

The government will allow you to do 'bad' things, as long as the gov't gets their cut.

Wouldn't all illicit drugs be legal and heavily taxed if this were true? Right now the US Government spends billions every year to fight the drug war. It would be much more lucrative for it to decriminalize and tax.

Re:Market Power (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266101)

Remember that the War on Drugs was effectively started by a bunch of lobbies who feared that hemp would put them out of business. Everyone profited: The government (or rather certain parts of it) received funding from the lobbies and the lobbies received safety from competition.

So yeah, while for certain drugs legalization and regulation could have a positive effect on society and the country's finances, that's not going to happen because harsh bans have a net positive effect on the lawmakers' bank accounts. Same as it has always been, same as it always will.

Old news for most (5, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265173)

That article reads like a young adult suddenly realizing how the world really works, but still stuck in the idea that everything they learned before must still be true.

Re:Old news for most (5, Interesting)

traycerb (728174) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265315)

That article reads like a young adult suddenly realizing how the world really works, but still stuck in the idea that everything they learned before must still be true.

[disclaimer: i'm the submitter]

definitely true, and to be expected from The Economist; like the WSJ and FT, it's just always going to have a rah-rah business attitude.

still, i think this is good insight into the big businesses' mindsets, and these are encouraging first signs of cracks in the old thinking, and maybe even a sneak preview of how things may change.

Re:Old news for most (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265623)

Multi-tiered (possibly web-based) software subscriptions are where things are headed. The lowest tier may be free or dirt cheap and lack support (or offer very basic support), while the higher tiers offer additional features and more comprehensive support. Basically, what Google is doing. Not sure how I feel about that approach, but it's getting harder for the big guys like Microsoft to justify upgrading to the latest and greatest versions of their software when an older version pretty much does it all (think Office).

I guess it was inevitable -- sooner or later Word was going to do everything you could ever possibly want a word processor to do, and Excel was going to do everything you could ever possibly want a spreadsheet application to do. We're at a point now where in many categories of software there are at least one or two applications that pretty much do it all, and besides a few bug fixes and performance/UI improvements there's not much left to add. A small example: I've been an avid fan of console emulation on the PC since the mid 90s, particularly that of the Super Nintendo. I remember the days when the emulators were primitive and could only play demos, or if they could play commercial games they did so poorly (VSMC and the obscure Super Pasofami come to mind). Fast forward to today and you have emulators like ZSNES and Snes9x that not only emulate the SNES perfectly but do so even better than the actual console. They even have all kinds of extra features, like network play, video recording, etc. That said, SNES emulation is, for all intents and purposes, "done" and there's nothing left to do. Similarly, barring any massive and unexpected innovation in the world of Word Processing or whatever, eventually all applications reach that point. For the folks who put together ZSNES and Snes9x (both of which are free), that's not an issue -- to them, their long-term pet projects have finally come to a close and they can move on. For companies like Microsoft who rely heavily on the money they receive from sales of software like Office, it's a big problem. A subscription-based model, however, completely changes the paradigm in their favor.

Re:Old news for most (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265943)

things never get to the point of doing everything one could ever possibly want. they got to the level of being a commodity, they get to the point of being enough for large part of the community, but there's always room for improvement and innovation.
take a look at washing machines, refirgerators, cars, operating systems. while good enough has been reached some time ago, that's just... not enough :)

Old news (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265193)

Larger software companies like Microsoft and Adobe have always known the benefits of piracy, the most prominent of which is the market dominance they achieve when people become dependent on the "Microsoft Way" or the "Adobe Way" after using their pirated software all their lives. They just can't come out and explicitly endorse the practice because it is a) actually illegal, despite what certain people may say, and b) it would obstruct theirs and the BSA's efforts against the "big offenders" like large companies, who they can milk for cash later on through licensing/settlements.

That said, Gates didn't make an endorsement of piracy, he merely stated a fact: nobody in a developing country is going to spend the equivalent of a month's pay on a piece of software, so if MS isn't going to get money from the deal anyway they can at least get market share for the time being before it's gobbled up by, say, Linux. Then, once those developing countries eventually move over to the "developed" column they'll not only be dependent on the Microsoft Way but actually able to afford paying for legit licenses and services from Microsoft.

Re:Old news (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265457)

"A months pay." Hmmm...since in 2006 the average income (in China) was $2,025. Will $168.75 (before taxes) pay for Win Vista and Office? If you aren't a student (and thus getting software w/o an update path?)

The PC Software Industry has known this for years (3, Interesting)

mark99 (459508) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265201)

For example MS, note that it was only with XP that they even tried to introduce some anti-piracy, and it is decidedly half-assed and low priority.

Good software companies have managed to have it both ways since the 80's and benefit from piracy and cracks spreading their best efforts, while making lots of noises about how bad it is so that those with money will be inclined to purchase it rather than take the risk. To my knowledge they only prosecute big black market dealers who are probably interfering with their attempts to set up profitable distribution channels.

I am sure they have numerical models in Redmond telling them exactly how much piracy vs. prosecution will maximize their profit in the various markets.

Only idiots like the RIAA are stupid enough to actually sue and thus alienate their basis directly and for all time.

It's easier... (1)

ypctx (1324269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265279)

"It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not."

It wont's save you from losing though. Da phuture iz open source!

MS only really cares about large scale piracy (4, Interesting)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265347)

When it comes to individuals pirating their software (their OS, Office, Visual Studio), Microsoft actually would prefer those people pirate their software instead of using alternatives. This is also the same reason they offer Windows, Office and Visual Studio at student discounts for well, students.

Microsoft would rather have young programmers pirate their Visual Studio and get used to developing in that environment rather than let's say Ubuntu + gvim + gcc. Also there is a chance that the average Joe who's on a pirated WxP copy will go out to BestBuy and buy Vista before calling in the slashdot cousin to upgrade his OS - which the average Joe wouldn't do if he was running Fedora. (This paragraph is directly from a Manager at Microsoft's Active Directory Services team - everything except for the /. cousin).

As someone else here has noted, MS only cares about piracy when businesses do it or large scale piracy happens (someone's making money from it). I get my genuine copies of Microsoft Software from their employee store (buddies of mine work at MS) at really cheap prices (35$ for XP Pro, Windows games at 10-20$, Xbox 360 games at 15-25$) but I know it costs next to nothing for MS to print out those copies - even 25$ == profit.

Re:MS only really cares about large scale piracy (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265921)

You're quite correct about Visual Studio. Many aren't aware of that, but technically speaking, Microsoft -wants- to give all editions of Visual Studio away. They're not really profit makers to begin with, but only an indirect feature of Windows. But if they don't charge for VS, then all of the third party tools will die out (there already aren't that many for Windows development, compared to Java or Linux development), and that would hurt em in the end.

The worse bit of piracy is when people print a shiny windows CD (one that looks legit, hologram and all), and then sell it to some poor soul for 50$+, even though its not legit... then its really a user that would have paid for it (so the "they wouldn't have paid for it, so its not a lost sale!!" bit doesn't hold: they WANTED to pay for it, but got cheated out of it), but the money got channeled elsewhere. Those are incredibly common (my parents got caught more than once), and its the one MS wants to deal with first.

Re:MS only really cares about large scale piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266257)

"When it comes to individuals pirating their software (their OS, Office, Visual Studio), Microsoft actually would prefer those people pirate their software instead of using alternatives. This is also the same reason they offer Windows, Office and Visual Studio at student discounts for well, students."

Well, here in Sweden all students gets Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Ed., Microsoft Visual Studio Professional Edition & Microsoft Expression Studio for free.

They don't need to offer free Office licenses, as my teacher told me "If you wanna to work at home ask your mum to purchase you Microsoft Office". // timtux - http://timtux.net/

Re:MS only really cares about large scale piracy (1)

Jasonjk74 (1104789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266555)

We get free MS software in the US as well. With my student MSDN account I've gotten the following for free in the last two semesters:

Visual Studio.net 2003 Professional

Visual Studio 2005

Microsoft Expression

Windows Vista Business

Windows XP Professional w SP2

Windows XP Pro

and some other things I don't recall at the moment.

Missing the point. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265445)

All these claimed benefits are from the technology, not anything intrinsic to piracy. If the media companies had their own Internet distribution setup, and didn't hamstring it so much that their customers felt they were paying for nothing, they'd have all these benefits from legal sources, and some revenue to boot.

It's one thing when something is popular that costs nothing, it's another when it's popular and people will pay for it, and yet another when something seems unpopular because it's simply unavailable.

hah. they noticed it at last eh ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265469)

i bet many of those who were p2ping for the last 5-10 years have thought that. its SO evident that you'd be stupid not to see. the popularity of a game gives out how well it is doing for example. direct correlation. release a game one day, and if you monitor how widely game is pirated you'll know that how well your game is going to sell. and this happens half a day after release, even before, and doesnt cost a dime. to get such sales forecast reports in real life you have to spend huge money. with piracy, its free.

you can see how well a game/software/movie/series is doing long time after release, and therefore understand that what kind of product approach is being successful on the market too.

It's nothing new.... (1)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265543)

Piracy been around for ages and some ways it helped the software company to be widely known by everybody. Cheap advertising so to speak.

Once the user base reaches critical mass they can roll out the "security fix" to start validating the licenses. This is what happened with Windows XP awhile back when they released SP1. Alot of people gotten away with it using leaked enterprise license keys until they apply the SP1 which disabled their pirated copy.

Now Microsoft changed it again with SP3 for WinXP to allow installs without license keys for 30 days. This is a blessing for me as I do alot of software testing and hate using keys over and over again when the PC is going to be reformatted. Only gripe is if I try to perform software updates manually it'll ask for the license key.

Realistically Microsoft should make their desktop OS free and charge for their apps such as Office. If that happens it'll effectively kill off Linux desktops for good.

So they're profiting from piracy? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265597)

Isn't that illegal?

NIN did this recently... (5, Interesting)

DaFork (608023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265669)

Nine Inch Nails gave out their new album (The Slip) for free and used the geographic data from the torrent downloads to plan their tour schedule.

I'd like to have been in the meeting... (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24265711)

... when someone asked:

"Did you correct for how the varying standards of each country's anti-piracy measures affected the numbers?"

"That correction... was redundant"

Typical Slashdot Discussion On Theft, Er "Piracy" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265731)

Posters who tell others to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut are modded Insightful while others who call theft theft are modded Troll.

The moderation system here is seriously broken.

Re:Typical Slashdot Discussion On Theft, Er "Pirac (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266149)

nope, the mindset of the posters is seriously broken. Apparently its wrong for people who work hard to create popular content to expect people who use it to pay for it, but its just fine to sit on your ass and consume the entire worlds output of creative works for fuck all.
Something to do with 'sticking it to the man'.
Exactly who the man is, is never mentioned, but presumably its 'everyone else'.

Re:Typical Slashdot Discussion On Theft, Er "Pirac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24266409)

Yeah there may be an opportunity for someone to establish a tech news/forum site for people who haven't bought into the Slashdot line (virulently pro file-sharing/anti-copyright except when it comes to the GPL, or any copyright that Microsoft might be in danger of violating).

In other words, a discussion site for grownups.

Here's the future of music.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24265807)

..not that anyone will read it. :D

Record companies will be replaced by advertising agencies, to whom piracy is a benefit through and through.

When you hear enya, think tampax. Once this association has been made, it's powerful.

As old record companies die, advertising agencies can step in to fill the vacuum in the media space, and the machine currently working to sell music itself will be reborn, to sell detergent and cereal.

Look at the past 10 years of the music industry, and the trend is clear.

Some will bemoan the seeming death of the art, but really the musicians who were in it for the art never had much help from the big record companies anyway.
They will live and die by the fans as they always have.

Ice to Eskimos (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24266111)

Statistics about the traffic on file-sharing networks can be useful. They can reveal, for example, the countries where a new singer is most popular, even before his album has been released there.

At first I wondered why people would buy an album they've downloaded from the Internet, then I thought about all of the songs I used to hear on the radio before the album was in stores & it made more sense.

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