Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canadian Labour Congress Considers Reversal On IP Policy

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the consistency-is-overrated dept.

Government 112

An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian Labour Congress is considering a dramatic reversal of its stance on copyright and IP policy. CLC is comparable to the US AFL-CIO, but Canada is over 30% unionized. The campaign 'we must change copyright and IP law to fight evil counterfeiters and copyright pirates' is actually succeeding in Canada. Quoting the CLC's new policy resolution: '... this critical issue requires a far-reaching response involving legislative and regulatory reform, policy change, and allocation of proper resources to combat the problems. The Canadian government must be given the structure and resources to mount a sustained attack on this pervasive problem, both within Canada and internationally. The criminal and civil laws in Canada must provide adequate deterrence. And consumers must be educated that counterfeiting and piracy are not victimless, nuisance crimes, but instead strike at the heart of our long term economic security.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Mapleleafs suck (0, Flamebait)

Reikk (534266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762245)

Mapleleafs suck

Too much kool-aid??? (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762247)

They appear to have drunk too much of the stuff...

What is strangest is that Michael Geist seems to have waited 2 years to comment on this...

Re:Too much kool-aid??? (4, Interesting)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762567)

Michael Geist's comment is about the potential about face by the CLC to be announced this upcoming Monday Feb, 9th.

He referenced a 2007 CLC document to show that their latest positions on Copyright and IP are not in line with their previous positions.

It's a very timely comment by Prof Geist.

Business unions (2, Informative)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762255)

Business unions are sellouts. We need democratic industrial unions. [iww.org]

Re:Business unions (3, Informative)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762709)

Unions supporting intellectual monopoly laws is also self-defeating; costs such as IP added to the economy are one of the reasons western workers have difficulty competing with lower wage countries.

IP laws are not free. Strengthening them is the macroeconomic equivalent of increasing taxation levels such as VAT (which has a similar distribution) across the economy as a whole, and as a non-progressive tax it tends to increase the cost pressure on the lower to mid income groups the most. Pretty much the same group the union members belong to.

Artist and creator compensation are important things, but the current construct of IP laws are far less efficient in getting the money to the right people than even the worst run government programs. Not even a 10th of the money paid by the population reaches the intended group, a level that for any actually accountable and controlled taxation form would cause an uproar.

Re:Business unions (0, Flamebait)

Shadowmist (57488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763141)

And what percentage of your music is paid for? I see a lot of FUD thrown up on how artists don't get compensated but it sounds kind of hollow coming from a group of people that's been stealing music anyway. Where was all the concern about "artist compensation" before enforcement started getting serious?

I always got music without paying (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763207)

And what percentage of your music is paid for?

In my case it's difficult to estimate, but it has never been above a few percent and I'm 52 years old. When I was young, we mostly listened to the radio, recorded a few songs on tape, and not very often bought a record.

These days, the radio is mostly shit, a consequence of a monopoly [clearchannel.com] owning the radio stations, but we have the internet to get music without paying directly for it.

I see a lot of FUD thrown up on how artists don't get compensated but it sounds kind of hollow coming from a group of people that's been stealing music anyway.

Not stealing, I've never stolen anybody's music, I have higher moral standards than some people who sell music [wikipedia.org] .

Where was all the concern about "artist compensation" before enforcement started getting serious?

That "enforcement getting serious" is just the media industry bosses realizing they fucked up, but not admitting it. They had a business model based on getting a very small return per item where the production of each item had a very small cost. When they tried to raise the return per item the market said "NO". That's how capitalism works.

Re:I always got music without paying (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768131)

Not stealing

Copyright infringement most certainly is stealing. It's just that what one is stealing isn't actually the music or anything of quantifiably measurable value... which might cause one who tries to rationalize it away as something that isn't important anyways. Funny how people will almost always try to rationalize any wrong behaviour just so they don't have to feel guilty about it, huh?

Not everybody shares your assumptions you know (1)

ZmeiGorynych (1229722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26769871)

Funny how you assume everybody has the same ethical principles as you and any genuine differences are merely 'rationalization of what they know is wrong' on their part.

Some people just honestly believe that while sane copyright laws would be best (5, at most 10 years protection and no criminal penalties ever, to begin with), no copyright at all would lead to a better world than the one we're living in right now.

Re:Not everybody shares your assumptions you know (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770829)

A world without copyright would merely result in the music and movie industry ending up resembling the current condition of email... that is, it would be so deluged with spam and commercials and advertising to the point that genuinely worthwhile works would be drowned out by the noise.

Sigh... Canadians can copy music, OK? (1)

gobbo (567674) | more than 5 years ago | (#26769881)

Copyright infringement most certainly is stealing.

No, it isn't, unless you are legally and grammatically redefining the term (which the corporate propaganda has steadily worked at, successfully in your case). Stealing is when you take real property without returning it, or pass someone's ideas off as your own. Really, consult the dictionary or law. Copyright infringement is closer to libel or fraud than theft.

And, as a canadian, you should read Canada's Copyright Act before expounding publicly on what is right and wrong about copying. Private copying of music for personal use, for instance, has been supported for quite a while (see section 80), and thus is neither illegal nor unethical.

Re:Sigh... Canadians can copy music, OK? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770747)

When one commits copyright infringement, they quite literally are stealing something from the copyright holder (that is, in the sense that they are depriving the copyright holder of something that he had before the infringement and as a result of the infringement itself, actually does not possess anymore, or possesses less of). As I said, however, what they are actually stealing is not truly quantifiable in any sort of economic sense (even though it can be specifically identified), so I would suspect that most people who are in the "copyright infringement isn't theft" camp would probably insist that such ephemeral notions are unimportant and don't really count as theft.

Re:Sigh... Canadians can copy music, OK? (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26774895)

The way you are going, theft would also be remembering a movie or a tune after you've seen or heard it.

Re:Sigh... Canadians can copy music, OK? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26778719)

I'm not sure where you get your data. Do you even know to what I am referring that is being taken from the copyright holder by copyright infringement?

Re:I always got music without paying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26770033)

If I steal something from someone, they no longer have that thing. The act of theft deprives someone else of their property.

On the other hand, if I download a song from someone, they still have the song. Yes, I got the song without paying for it, but I didn't get it by taking away someone else's access to it.

To put it into a Slashdot Car Analogy(tm), lets say I have some physical copying device. I find the nicest car in the neighborhood and press a button on this device. Almost instantly, a perfect copy of the car appears next to me with the keys in the ignition. I then drive away in my brand new car, leaving the original one untouched in the driveway.

In this case, did I really steal the car? Did I instead steal from the car's manufacturer by not purchasing from them? Or did I instead do something else that the term "theft" doesn't really describe? My point isn't weather this act is right or wrong, simply that calling it "theft" or "stealing" is inaccurate.

Re:I always got music without paying (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770813)

Did I say that copyright infringers were stealing the music? No. Did I say that copyright infringers were stealing money from copyright holders? No. I merely said it was theft. Yes, I am saying that when one commits copyright infringement, even by the definition of theft that you yourself are using, one is actually stealing something from the copyright holder. Simple examination of what copyright is actually supposed to be, that is, the exclusive right to copy the work, illustrates that every copyright infringers is actually stealing some portion of that exclusivity from the copyright holder. After all, since exclusive by definition means that nobody else is doing it, how can the copyright holder actually have the exact same amount of exclusivity over copying the work that he once had if somebody else is doing it? The answer, quite obviously, is that he can't.

Of course, one may be inclined to argue the point by noting that this "exclusivity" isn't anything real or substantial, but I would like to point out that it nevertheless does have worth to most people who possess it, and to deprive anyone of a thing which has value to them, even if one does not put the same value on it themselves, fits the criteria for theft even by the definition for it that you subscribe to.

Re:I always got music without paying (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772657)

By your logic, any attempt to argue that copyright infringement is not necessarily stealing is only merely related to the fact that the arguer stands to benefit from the alleged stealing.

By my logic, you wouldn't even know if your behaviour of classifying all copyright infringement as stealing was wrong, because you are not allowed to question it.

The law should be rational, rationalization is essential to its process and understanding

Do you not care for the extent of copyright law and its value to society and its individuals?

Do you think maybe copyright law can be misused if it cannot be questioned ?

I am in favour of good copyright laws, but they need to be fairly carefully managed to be fair - the circumstances have changed so much beyond their original intentions, that they are being abused to maintain the wealth imbalance

Re:I always got music without paying (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773873)

By your logic, any attempt to argue that copyright infringement is not necessarily stealing is only merely related to the fact that the arguer stands to benefit from the alleged stealing.

Actually, it is my assertion is that even though it can be shown how copyright infringement is completely equivalent to theft, a person who would want to argue otherwise would likely dismiss it anyways because they like the benefits that they get from infringing on copyright and do not want to feel guilty about it.

I am in favour of good copyright laws, but they need to be fairly carefully managed to be fair - the circumstances have changed so much beyond their original intentions, that they are being abused to maintain the wealth imbalance

You'll get no argument from me on that one... but I also maintain the position that two wrongs cannot make a right. I do not believe it is right to retaliate against excessive abuse of the copyright system by large corporations by wilfully stealing something from the copyright holder.

I think that the key problem in all of this is that what an infringer actually does steal from the copyright holder by committing infringement likely has no measurable value to the infringer who does not believe that copyright infringement is theft, rather, it only has value to the copyright holder, and so they utterly fail to recognize it as theft. Further, because of the benefits they receive from infringing without the effects of having to feel guilty about it, I maintain that most such people would continue to infringe on copyright even if they were shown how their actions equated to theft, using a rationalization that essentially amounts to the premise that because what is being supposedly stolen is of no real value or benefit to the infringer (despite the inarguable point that it has value to the copyright holder), that it isn't really theft.

Re:Business unions (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763963)

And what percentage of your music is paid for?

I've had an emusic subscription since I heard of them, so pretty much all of it. Which exchanged maybe three or four CD purchases per year for $12 per month, ie, at least tripling the amount I spend on music. Of course, I also get at least six times as much music so it's a fair deal.

Where was all the concern about "artist compensation"

The concern over artist and creator compensation has always been there, since the beginning of copyright. The fact that you apparently don't know that indicates you may need to study up on the topic.

Copyright, and in fact, most IP, is simply a horrendously inefficient way to get money to the supposed purpose. With more than 90% of the funds lost on the way it means it's costing the economy huge sums for nothing; an efficient allocation system could support ten times as many artists and creators as the current one. For the exact same money consumers are spending today.

before enforcement started getting serious?

Enforcement is irrelevant; next-gen systems will be encrypted stealthed multi-protocol friend-to-friend darknets which will make any monitoring impossible, basically the computerized and automated version of the sneakernet friend-to-friend copying. If the pressure to move to such systems becomes significant, any chance to ever exert any form of control will be permanently gone. And with it goes any chance to monitor any other transfers and communications, as well as much of the efficiency (what there is) of transfers. The whole of social communications will have moved to a clandestine cell system. For better or worse.

The window of opportunity to implement a productive solution to the issue is closing. But whatever else happens, the current model is dead.

Yes, sensible reforms are needed! (4, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762257)

Its good to see them backing sensible reforms to end needless piracy by shortening the copyright term to 18 years with a single 18 year extension while also reforming patent laws to outlaw software and buisiness model patents and change the review process for normal patents to make it easier for 3rd parties to file prior art.

Oh wait a minute, I think when they said "reform" they meant to say "ruin."

Re:Yes, sensible reforms are needed! (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26766645)

Yes... meanwhile the local crack dealer, convicted for the ninth time for dealing, got another suspended sentence while two people died of an overdose last night. Isn't the justice system great!

Re:Yes, sensible reforms are needed! (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26767555)

if by justice system you mean prison industry, then yes, everything is working as intended!

Re:Yes, sensible reforms are needed! (2, Informative)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768533)

In Canada we don't send people to prison -- we send them home. Or to the country club minimum security prison. The only way to get thrown in the maximum security facility is to intentionally kill someone and eat their eyeballs. Or bring a camcorder into a theatre in Quebec.

Re:Yes, sensible reforms are needed! (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26777117)

Mmmm... eyeballs....

Sigh (4, Insightful)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762267)

I'm running out of places to move to.

Anybody want to take over a small island with me, in the interests of (intellectual) freedom? Seriously, I feel as though the realm of ideas is my favourite playground, and with each extension & perversion of copyright law another bully shows up. Today I can't use the slide. Tomorrow, the swings. Content should be created to be used, not merely sold like some cheap toy. /bitter

Re:Sigh (0, Troll)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762283)

Content should be created to be used, not merely sold like some cheap toy.

Agreed. Human labor shouldn't ever be compensated. When are you coming over to change my oil?

Re:Sigh (5, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762331)

Your sarcasm is inaccurate.

Copyright (and patents) was created so that artists and inventors could work for themselves, rather than a rich patron, which had been the case for centuries before. It had the goal of encouraging the creation of new works and allowing for more artistic freedom than existed.

It failed.

I'll grant that it may have worked for a time, but big corporations eventually came in and perverted it into a state-enforced version of the old patron system.

Copyright was never about trying to make labor compensated, and for good reason; it's an asinine idea. Why should someone make money simply for doing what they want? If what they do is worth money, someone out there will pay for it. It is not the state's place to try to protect *ANY* person's business. That's the basic principal of the free market, which the US and many of the other copyright-loving countries supposedly believe in.

Even if you refuse to accept that copyright was not intended for that purpose, it's obvious it does a piss-poor job of compensating effort. The few people who happen to have been taken under the wing of their corporate patrons are richer than the vast majority of humans, and most everyone else trying to produce some kind of artistic work is as much a 'starving artist' as ever, and by most measures worse off.

By now, just shortly into copyrighting works if you look at the big picture, we're already running out of totally original ideas. Some say such a thing doesn't even exist, but it's debatable so I won't assert that. It is, however, a fact that it is almost impossible to create any kind of work in the modern world without running the risk of violating someone's copyright, patent or trademark. The effect? The bar of entry is raised to only those who can afford it... the ultra-rich, and the media conglomerates.

The simple fact of the matter is, copyright just ensures that the old patron system not only live on, but is more entrenched legally AND socially than ever before. It has failed it's purpose, it has failed us, and we as the people who it was supposed to serve now need to take back what is ours.

Re:Sigh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762421)

All of which has NOTHING to do with the GP's comment that the parent was responding to. It's possible to oppose the existing copyright regime without becoming a zealot like the GP.

Re:Sigh (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762793)

Actually, nobody knows what the impact of copyright and patents is. There were plenty of creative works before copyright, but the cost of replication has gone down. The reason IP has not changed is that people are afraid to change it, not any rational reason.

The 100% solution all the time except Tuesdays (1)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763011)

It is not the state's place to try to protect *ANY* person's business.

When arguments go too far. Next up, business owner robs competitor, says arrest amounts to encouraging monopolies.

and we as the people who it was supposed to serve now need to take back what is ours.

That explains the Ace of Base tracklist. You didn't listen to it though... right?

Re:Sigh (0, Troll)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763125)

Copyright (and patents) was created so that artists and inventors could work for themselves, rather than a rich patron, which had been the case for centuries before. It had the goal of encouraging the creation of new works and allowing for more artistic freedom than existed.

It failed.

I'll grant that it may have worked for a time, but big corporations eventually came in and perverted it into a state-enforced version of the old patron system.

Not exactly. There are plenty of original works being created by people everyday. To say that Big Media is the rich patron and the only way to make money is a reasonable statement, but that does not mean the concept of a copyright failed. Big Media is simply the largest "purchaser" of copyrighted works and the largest "reseller". If you are an artist and your work is deemed to have value by Big Media, you are contractually giving them "access" to your own copyrights. That is a choice.

Copyright was never about trying to make labor compensated, and for good reason; it's an asinine idea. Why should someone make money simply for doing what they want? If what they do is worth money, someone out there will pay for it. It is not the state's place to try to protect *ANY* person's business. That's the basic principal of the free market, which the US and many of the other copyright-loving countries supposedly believe in.

That's an interesting argument, I'll give you that. However, I don't truly think that anyone wants a free market, or a regulated market. It's about the middle.

Even if you refuse to accept that copyright was not intended for that purpose, it's obvious it does a piss-poor job of compensating effort. The few people who happen to have been taken under the wing of their corporate patrons are richer than the vast majority of humans, and most everyone else trying to produce some kind of artistic work is as much a 'starving artist' as ever, and by most measures worse off.

When the ability to market and distribute your work was limited in the past it made it difficult for an artist to make sales by themselves. They had to partner up with a "rich patron" and benefit from distribution channels in order to increase sales. This was a good thing for the "rich patron" as they had more leverage in negotiations and a bad thing for the artist. The copyright itself did not do a poor job of compensating the artists effort in the past, it in fact preserved it. Without the protections of a copyright, "rich patrons" could just duplicate any work and then use their own advantages with distribution channels to profit. The amount of compensation may not be to your liking, but that does not mean the copyright failed to compensate effort.

Artists are even better off today than they were in the past since the distribution channels are far easier to acquire. Big Media is losing it's hold on these distribution channels from all sides. Once again, without copyrights today an artist could not protect themselves from Big Media as it is. There are plenty of examples in which Sony, HP, Microsoft, etc., have all abused smaller artists and firms by infringing upon copyrights. AFAIK, quite a few lawsuits have gone to court that have been favorable to the "small guy". How could they have defended themselves without the copyright?

By now, just shortly into copyrighting works if you look at the big picture, we're already running out of totally original ideas. Some say such a thing doesn't even exist, but it's debatable so I won't assert that. It is, however, a fact that it is almost impossible to create any kind of work in the modern world without running the risk of violating someone's copyright, patent or trademark. The effect? The bar of entry is raised to only those who can afford it... the ultra-rich, and the media conglomerates.

This is not entirely the fault of the copyright. Blame for this lands squarely on the judiciary. The failings in our court systems is what makes it so hard on small artists to defend themselves against claims of derivative works. This is the primary motivation for these artists to pair with their "rich patron" to reap the benefits of expensive legal counsel and expanded spheres of influence.

Where copyright fails here is that the duration is unreasonable and only serves the "rich patrons" and not the artists. Artists would not run into "derivative" works problems if the durations were shorter and works actually expired. Permanent copyrights are certainly not in the interests of society.

As for the barrier to entry, that only makes sense. The average artist lacks the capital to properly market and distribute their works. They need to capitalize on the experience and resources that a "rich patron" provides. Having large numbers of works under a single group is only a problem when the judiciary is corrupt and copyrights are too long in duration.

The barrier for entry is changing however. Numerous music groups, and artists have shown that you can create successful business models using the Internet alone.

The simple fact of the matter is, copyright just ensures that the old patron system not only live on, but is more entrenched legally AND socially than ever before. It has failed it's purpose, it has failed us, and we as the people who it was supposed to serve now need to take back what is ours.

Just what is it that propose taking back? Without copyrights, what is your plan to compensate the artists for their efforts? Do you plan on compensating the artists for their efforts? How do you propose protecting the artists from rich patrons that can take advantage of greater resources to duplicate and distribute works?

To say the system has problems is reasonable, but I don't see you offering a solution and the lack of copyrights would create more problems for the artists right now then it would solve.

Re:Sigh (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762433)

Content should be created to be used, not merely sold like some cheap toy.

Agreed. Human labor shouldn't ever be compensated. When are you coming over to change my oil?

When are YOU going to pay to the guy/gal who told you that oil has to be changed? You took away information, it had been very useful to you, you probably freely shared it around although it was not your original work in first place, and yet chances are you never actually compensated that person, even worse, you deprived that person from her income and deserved fame (the person had remained anonymous to this day and probably poor) by telling everybody, for free, about changing oil.

You should be thrown into slammer with the rest of those pesky sharers!

compelling labor vs. not (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762465)

If someone voluntarily showed up and changed your oil, unasked, they would be out of line to demand payment.

Re:compelling labor vs. not (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762569)

True, but I invited him over to do some labor for me free. Come to think of it ... do you have a sponge and some Mr. Clean? I could think of few other labor intensive tasks I wouldn't mind having freely performed.

Yes yes yes, to any pedants who wish to point out that it is trivial to duplicate a song but not trivial to clean out my storage closet ... seriously, I get that. By the same token, it seems that people who are so hip on "file sharing" seem to forget that creative products are incredibly time consuming to make. Yes, distribution is cheap, but by focusing only on distribution, the entire creative process is ignored. It may take years for a singer to acquire the skill and find the inspiration to write an excellent song. Yet the people who love the song can't dig up a buck for iTunes or a quarter for Emusic? Even at a buck, that song is barely an eighth of minimum wage.

The whole "file sharing" thing seems to me like a bunch of whiners with an entitlement complex justifying their actions by saying "corporations are evil." Yeah, maybe they are. But so? That's a justification, not a reason.

no one's requiring them to make music (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762593)

If I commissioned a symphony from a guy, he went off and spent 6 months writing it, and then I refused to pay him, sure, he'd have a legitimate beef, and that would be analogous to "hiring" someone to come clean your place and then failing to pay him.

But if some guy goes off, entirely unasked, and writes some music, I don't see why he has the right to expect any money in return. Maybe people will buy something from him anyway, or donate money in appreciation of his art, but it's not as if they hired him for a job that he did; he just went off and did some job, which yes may have been difficult, without anyone requesting him to.

Re:no one's requiring them to make music (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762739)

I don't understand why you think you have a free right to the music somebody made which you did not commission. I never asked Colgate for toothpaste. Does mean I can go get a free tube whenever I want? Not unless Colgate decides to let me have it, which they could do. I never asked anyone to make Linux distros -- luckily all the people involved said "have at it", with certain restrictions, so I can whenever I want to. The problem in the digital world for people who would try to make a living doing some art, is that duplication has become meaningless whereas once it was a difficult thing, and people have confused the present costs of duplication with the cost of creation. Then someone like you comes along and says, "hey, if I didn't specifically ask you to do it, I can have it free." What is that? Just because a person hasn't "asked" someone to do something, doesn't give that person the right to use another's product or labor of another without permission. I haven't asked you to mow my lawn. That means you must? Or do you mean, you won't mow my lawn unless I ask and you agree? I suspect you would go with option two, in which case I have to wonder, have you asked permission to use the "shared" music and has the artist agreed?

ah, the old intellectual-property canard (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762927)

The only thing Colgate has the right to, imo, is the physical product in their warehouses. I cannot go steal it, because then they would no longer have it. Similarly, IKEA has a right to keep its shelves, and I can't go take them. But if I can get an IKEA-lookalike shelf without buying one from IKEA (say, I buy some plywood and recreate their design), they don't really have a right to stop me. Artists also have the right to all property they own; I cannot go steal their LPs, or their couches, or their tour bus. However, they don't have some abstract "property" right inhering in all copies of items.

Of course, they can keep their music private if they don't want anyone to have it. If they only want some people to have it, they can give it to those people under a non-disclosure clause, and sue them if they disclose it to other people.

This is entirely unrelated to the inane lawn-mowing example. If you could ask me to mow your lawn and your lawn would get mowed without me showing up at your house or doing any additional work, of course that would be no imposition on me. The only thing wrong with asking me to mow your lawn unpaid is that it would force me to come over to your house and mow your lawn. Since me getting an artist's music for free does not require them to come over to my house and record a new copy of it, it's not a similar imposition on their time.

Re:ah, the old intellectual-property canard (2, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763333)

Of course, they can keep their music private if they don't want anyone to have it. If they only want some people to have it, they can give it to those people under a non-disclosure clause, and sue them if they disclose it to other people.

BAM! That's a copyright dude and you just contradicted yourself.

A copyright is a legally binding contract between you, the government, and the artist. Among other things, it grants the artists the right to restrict duplication and distribution, both of which are alluded to in your reference to a non-disclosure agreement.

Your real issue, since you agree with the principle of a copyright (evidenced by your support of a NDA), is that government is getting involved in the enforcement of the legal contract, when it should not be doing so.

If the government can legally enforce copyrights, then why the hell don't they legally enforce judgments in a courtroom the moment they are made? Why should those judgments be the only ones in which the plaintiff is required to do all the work collecting?

So clearly you don't like copyrights the way they are, but support some rights for artists. Well which is it? How do you want it to work?

Re:ah, the old intellectual-property canard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26764581)

> A copyright is a legally binding contract between you, the
> government, and the artist

VERY WRONG! Copyright is after the fact, binding upon third parties. It is not a contract. Trade secret would be a contract between you and the artist, with enforcement support by the government. Copyright is a whole other thing, legally, it affects (and steals from) everyone.

If you don't want something copied, don't fucking release it. If you don't want to sink a load of costs into producing a work, don't fucking sink a load of costs into producing a work.

I agree with voluntarily entered-into restrictions (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26767947)

In the NDA scenario, the only person liable is the person who signed the NDA and then violated it. I think it's perfectly legitimate for people to choose to voluntarily enter into contracts, and for there to be legal proceedings if they violate those contracts.

On the other hand, if I go download some music off the internet, I'm not violating any contract with the artist, because I never signed one. Why the music is on the internet in the first place, I don't know. Maybe the artist put it there, or maybe someone violated their non-disclosure agreement by putting it there. That's between the artist and that person, if so, and has nothing to do with the person downloading the music.

It's sort of like trade secrets and classified information. When the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, someone was committing a crime by disclosing classified information. But the Times was not committing a crime by receiving and republishing it.

Re:no one's requiring them to make music (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26763085)

I never asked Colgate for toothpaste. Does mean I can go get a free tube whenever I want? Not unless Colgate decides to let me have it, which they could do.

That's because materials are limited and in this case owned by Colgate. You didn't ask them to invent toothpaste, but since they have a limited quantity and you can't make it yourself, you're damned right you have to hope Colgate decides to let you have some. Usually their answer is yes - for a price.

However, if replicators existed that could fabricate toothpaste, you bet you could get a free tube whenever you want - if not for the artificial IP laws designed to place a limit on things that are limitless.

For another example, If you wanted a Big Mac at Mcdonald's you could potentially have to pay them for their grease. But then if you could get the supplies to make your own and knew how to make a burger, you certainly don't have to pay them a penny and perhaps wind up with a Big Mac that tasted a heck of a lot better than the version they're trying to overcharge you for. You know, that derivative idea.

Labour only applies to performance, not composing. (1)

gobbo (567674) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770211)

creative products are incredibly time consuming to make. Yes, distribution is cheap, but by focusing only on distribution, the entire creative process is ignored.

As Jacques Attali has pointed out, the exchange value placed on music, since the 1500's, has always dealt with this problem. There is simply no way to accurately compensate the labour of composition. Because of this, reproductions (sheet music initially and recordings now) are priced according to their use value to the audience, i.e. what the market will bear. It has been used as a rallying point for capitalism, especially in the early stages.

So, your argument about the creative process is unfortunately deflated by 500 years of european history. The industry has had to use a workaround, controlling distribution of reproductions. Now that that business model has failed due to technological innovation, so have the ethical arguments that shore up that business model.

Performance, on the other hand, can be assessed a fee fairly easily. This is where the artist gets compensated for labour. Commissioned works are included in this.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762549)

When are you coming over to change my oil?

as soon as you will agree to pay me monthly for that ONE oil change .. for the rest of my life

Re:Sigh (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780997)

as soon as you will agree to pay me monthly for that ONE oil change .. for the rest of my life

Hey, that's a bargain! If you were a musician, your children's children's children would keep getting paid for 80 years after your death. Or so the current law says, I'm sure that Mickey Mouse will get some more protection before time's up.

Re:Sigh (2, Interesting)

ThatCanadianGuy (1238738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762349)

wasn't the Pirate Bay going to buy one at one point? as a Canadian i oppose this, but none of our MP's or any Government employee is worth a damn. I wrote a strongly worded letter, and got a very nice Christmas card in return. go figure.

Re:Sigh (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762403)

I'm running out of places to move to.

Try "Washington, DC".

More knee jerk (4, Insightful)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762293)

The latest in a string of bad lawmaking in an attempt to solve the piracy problem with a bad solution.

Let's just take a step back and look at the big picture for a moment. Piracy is only a problem because some (not all!) information and media businesses depend on a consumer cost downloads business model, which is marginalized by mass consumer circumvention of piracy.

Our collective response (or rather the collective response of our lawmakers) has been to increase penalties and (attempt to) increase control and regulation of the internet. This, however, always fails to achieve the desired effect. The endgame to this trend is complete and total regulation of the internet.

What does that mean? The only way to logistically enforce noncommercial copyright infringement committed by ordinary internet users is to monitor absolutely everything and cripple everyone's ability to make encrypted transmissions. The very openness of the internet has to be totally and utterly obliterated before true enforcement of antipiracy laws can occur.

I submit that since this is an unattainable goal, that we should just say screw is and legalize noncommercial copyright infringement. An unenforceable law doesn't belong on the books. As soon as lawmakers and our economy stop subsidizing clearly obsolete business models, then we can truly move on and realize the full potential of what the internet offers our society: limitless copying of information at negligible costs to everyone. A truly amazing ability.

The only alternative is to destroy the openness of the internet, which won't happen, or the slow, painful, inevitable market failure of businesses which depend on consumer cost downloads. For better or worse, they'll die at the hands of piracy if they don't find a business model that's actually enforceable.

And for those of you who might counter with an argument about how prices are decided by what the market is willing to pay, I respectfully ask you to again look at the bigger picture. What the market is willing top pay is fluid and is on a downward trend. The mp3 is 99 cents now. In ten years it may be 50 cents. In twenty it may be 10 cents. In thirty it may be less than ten cents. In forty it may be fractions of a cent. In fifty it may be free.

Actual time lines may very, but the end will be the same, a race to the bottom. If consumers don't get what they want from the market, they will resort to piracy. Businesses impacted today and in the future will either have to adapt or die. Draconian laws will not save them, nor will misguided moralizing. It's not our moral responsibility to subsidize their obsolescence, nor is it our duty to invent replacement business models for them.

Re:More knee jerk (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762533)

I'm willing to give intellectual ideas and any other non-cultural intellectual property 7 years. This includes patents on scientific ideas of every kind you can imagine. Cultural patents (music, literature, etc.) I give 15 years. A generation can listen to and love music for 15 years. After that, its the next generations turn. No one is really going to listen to their parents music. 7 years for the other, because you might be the brightest in your generation, but the second brightest should be given a chance too. If it was a great idea, 7 years should be enough for you. If not, let someone else try. Copyrights and patents both. Brand names can be protected for longer, its the only exception to the rule, but must be re-filed every 5 years. Anything else, and someone is being overly greedy.

Re:More knee jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762679)

Sure, it would be great if we could give artists and inventors intellectual property rights without totalitarian control of all digital data access... but we can't. What are you going to do about that?

And anyway, isn't it illegal to start the next generation at the age of 15?

Re:More knee jerk (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762977)

And anyway, isn't it illegal to start the next generation at the age of 15?

That is dependent on geography. In some states a few relatives with shotguns, a preacher, and a quick shindig make it legal.

Re:More knee jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762683)

I prefer 1 year for cultural things. That should be enough time to wrest profit out of the newly created art.

Software, 3 years. After 3 years it is probably obsolete anyway.

Re:More knee jerk (1)

Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki (895364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26771459)

That would really hurt long-term fiction. I'd say something between 10 and 20 years is optimal.

Re:More knee jerk (1)

ptx0 (1471517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762629)

I think those guys in Pacific Mall in Toronto should be looked at more closely.. I didn't know Wii games were only $3 these days.

Re:More knee jerk (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26765997)

I spoke to an RCMP officer about this once and the reply was "there's MUCH worse stuff going on there than the counterfeit sales".

So what societal problems would you prefer they focus on? Stuff that endangers lives, or stuff that makes a small dent in corporation's revenue? (Law enforcement budgets are not infinite, so you can't answer "both").

That said, they frequently do large stings that close up lots of shops and seize huge amounts of goods, all over Toronto at the same time. (I hear about such stings at least every few months). The costs of patrolling and prosecuting on a daily or even weekly basis just isn't feasible. Keep in mind every arrest/charge also requires court time.

Re:More knee jerk (1)

gobbo (567674) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770253)

So what societal problems would you prefer they focus on? Stuff that endangers lives, or stuff that makes a small dent in corporation's revenue

May I add that market-stall counterfeiting is petty fraud, compared to the crazy big money fraud that is far too common on Bay Street in Toronto. The social costs just don't compare: Counterfeit Al is defrauding Corporation X out of a few bucks, but Con Broker Bruce is defrauding 'widows and orphans' out of billions. Every frakkin day.

Attainable -- not desirable, however. (1)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762961)

I submit that since this is an unattainable goal

Perhaps attainable, actually. A full lockdown would be possible if it were made law and enforced at the source.

If USA says that all users must subscribe to the internet from the USA, and also stipulate that all ISP must follow the strict guidelines applied, then you have an enforced internet.

People won't tolerate that, however. They will bypass it.

The goal of a regulated internet is attainable, yet not with the desired results. The effect would be devastating. The real thrust argument that we should simply not waste our money regulating the internet. As soon as the internet becomes regulated, pirate internets will spring up and circumvent the internet or bypass security measures. People would go to jail for helping that happen, but it would still happen. We would wash away a ton of money trying to fix a leaky dam.

Wireless technology is continually improving to the point that some day we will be able to have a full internet experience without every having anything connected via wires. It would be possible for pockets of subversive internets to piggyback the signal and thrive for quite some time.

Re:Attainable -- not desirable, however. (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763163)

People would go to jail for helping that happen, but it would still happen. We would wash away a ton of money trying to fix a leaky dam.

Uh huh. You mean like the War on Drugs?

The U.S prison system is the largest in the world, but it is also the fastest expanding system too. It serves private interests to the tune of billions to create policies that fill these prisons as fast as possible. Every single person is worth between 30K and 100K per year to the system.

Why would creating a whole new War be that far fetched? There are people in prison now simply for possessing a plant that kills nobody by itself, has proven medicinal values, and on it's own is harmless. These people do not represent a danger to society, and the only real danger is created by the illegal transactions through the policies themselves. They are however involved in a controversial argument which is used to turn them into highly profitable "cattle". The rest of society pays this bill in ever increasing amounts each year.

Your future may actually come to pass where I am in prison and your tax dollars are paying for me to be there, simply because I participated in an unregulated communications infrastructure that might possibly facilitate the infringement of copyrights.

Re:Attainable -- not desirable, however. (2, Insightful)

Heather D (1279828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26765449)

The U.S prison system is the largest in the world, but it is also the fastest expanding system too. It serves private interests to the tune of billions to create policies that fill these prisons as fast as possible. Every single person is worth between 30K and 100K per year to the system.

This is one of the main reasons why I suspect that our general slide towards either communism or fascism may be unstoppable. It's becoming more cost effective for the lower 25% or so of the demographic to be in prison than it is for them to be out of it.

This, of course, is not economically sustainable, but it is useful to create what amounts to a slave class to whom work is more important as a means of staying out of prison than making a living. All that's needed is a socially acceptable way to make prison worse than life in a slum.

We couldn't bring back debtor's prison so we're working on another way to achieve the same thing.

Re:Attainable -- not desirable, however. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26769625)

People (including plenty of businesses) wouldn't tolerate a sudden and complete lockdown of the internet, but such extreme measures are unnecessary. All the media fat cats need to do is buy enough regulation to make pirating less convenient than paying is for the average person.

Die-hards may seek asylum in "pirate internets," but those things are likely to be far beyond the understanding and attention span of the average consumer, so are unlikely to be of much interest. Besides, such things tend to require everyone be a node, transmitting lots of other people's data. The bandwidth caps many ISPs are installing on their reasonably priced accounts will serve as an added layer of inconvenience.

Mesh networks as a solution will be a non-starter; any such network of non-trivial size would implode due to spam and security problems.

Basically, the media giants are gonna win this one eventually. The real undesired result will be that they won't see much increase in profit from it.

Tell me (1)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762385)

"we must ... must be given ... must provide ... must be educated"

Why?

Give us reasons, not rhetoric.

Not in Canada (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762509)

There is a difference between such nonsense gaining traction in Canada and a couple business people in power. A BIG difference.

Canadian Content? LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762517)

The problem with these copyright czars in Canada, is that they are clearly only here to protect the bigwig American content providers. How is this causing a $22b loss for Canada? There isn't enough Canadian Content (CANCON) to be pirated to cause $22b in damages.

Maybe if they advocated the piracy of content from the US, it would balance out our exchange rate again.

Utter Crap (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762645)

And consumers must be educated that counterfeiting and piracy are not victimless, nuisance crimes, but instead strike at the heart of our long term economic security

Counterfeiting is actually quite rare. It's difficult, costly, and dangerous. The vast majority of that crap occurs at swapmeets and shady street vendors. It makes up a very very small percentage of copyright infringement. It's also the easiest to stop, in Canada or the U.S at least. Forget about it in China, or some other country. Rule of thumb, is that once your copyrighted works leave the country, they are no longer your copyrighted works. Good luck with China and a myriad of other countries.

Piracy is far more prolific, since the supply is easier to attain. Just go to any number of public or private torrent trackers and you have huge amounts of content to infringe upon its copyrights.

Striking at the heart of the long term economic security of Canada or any other country? Pure, Unadulterated, and Absolute Fucking Nonsense.

Every Specific Action of Copyright Infringement != Loss of Sale

If the average person has 10 pieces of gold total to spend 1 piece of gold each on copyrighted works and instead pirates 1,000 different copyrighted works, you cannot say that the market lost 1,000 pieces of gold. That's just common sense.

If an entire country's "heart" of its economy is sales of copyrighted works, ITS FUCKED. It can never get above the 10 pieces of gold each in the first place, all the while pushing inaccurate data about losses that are at least 10 times the total amount of possible revenue.

Counterfeiting and Piracy are the smallest and most insignificant impact on the economy. What is dying is an outdated business model that cannot adapt to changes in society.

Trying to turn it into some national security issue is just a farce.

Re:Utter Crap (2, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762747)

If the average person has 10 pieces of gold total to spend 1 piece of gold each on copyrighted works and instead pirates 1,000 different copyrighted works, you cannot say that the market lost 1,000 pieces of gold. That's just common sense.

It's also total strawman.

Consider the piracy of software, for instance. Let's take...ooh, I don't know, err...Photoshop for instance. Massively pirated, and pretty expensive. You might correctly say that should I pirate a copy of Photoshop, Adobe has not lost a sale of Photoshop since I was never going to buy it anyway.

This is too simplistic though. I wasn't going to buy Photoshop, so what could I have done? I could have used any of a number of other programs - Adobe's cut-down versions, on my platform (Mac) I could have used Pixelmator. I could have used Paintshop Pro on Windows, I could have started using GIMP or derivatives (I like Seashore myself - GIMP with a more familiar interface). All those applications are quite definitely within my reach, and whilst it's true they don't have the full capabilities of Photoshop if I needed that level of control it's not unreasonable to expect me to pay for it.

So I've not deprived Adobe specifically of a Photoshop sale, but I've damaged the market (including GIMP's free) for alternatives. It's still a damaging act by me to do this.

I don't support some of the ludicrous draconian penalties being chucked around, but I also don't support the 'pretend it's all ok and the companies are just stupid' attitude that I hear far too often on here.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Utter Crap (1, Flamebait)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762903)

If the average person has 10 pieces of gold total to spend 1 piece of gold each on copyrighted works and instead pirates 1,000 different copyrighted works, you cannot say that the market lost 1,000 pieces of gold. That's just common sense.

It's also total strawman.

The most prolific use of the strawman logical fallacy, is the strawman logical fallacy itself. Your assertion that it is so, does not make my statement any less valid. What I have stated is a FACT. Additionally, it is not a position that I am merely attributing to my "opponent". That is the actual position of copyright holders, as it has been stated many times by those claiming to represent their interests. I have refuted with logic, the position of my "opponent". My statement never met the requirements of a strawman logical fallacy, and therefore, cannot be one.

Don't try using the strawmen argument against somebody that actually knows what it means, especially when you should know it did not apply to this situation in the first place as you agreed with position and did not even refute it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch........

If your going to evaluate the loss of revenue that piracy has caused, you MUST consider the actual purchasing power of consumers in your market. When you claim losses that exceed the purchasing power of your consumers, it is ludicrous. At the point, everyone SHOULD ignore your pleas for help since there is no logic and/or truth to your arguments.

Consider the piracy of software, for instance. Let's take...ooh, I don't know, err...Photoshop for instance. Massively pirated, and pretty expensive. You might correctly say that should I pirate a copy of Photoshop, Adobe has not lost a sale of Photoshop since I was never going to buy it anyway.

Ummm, exactly my point. Yet, this fact does not stop Adobe from claiming that as a financial loss and misrepresenting the lie to further their own goals.

This is too simplistic though. I wasn't going to buy Photoshop, so what could I have done? I could have used any of a number of other programs - Adobe's cut-down versions, on my platform (Mac) I could have used Pixelmator. I could have used Paintshop Pro on Windows, I could have started using GIMP or derivatives (I like Seashore myself - GIMP with a more familiar interface). All those applications are quite definitely within my reach, and whilst it's true they don't have the full capabilities of Photoshop if I needed that level of control it's not unreasonable to expect me to pay for it.

It's not simplistic. Your point does not represent a complexity that I have purposefully overlooked as it would detract from the validity of my argument. Your usage of GIMP as an example is a poor one. Not using GIMP is not hurting or "damaging" the GIMP community. The vast majority of users of open source are NOT contributing to the projects themselves. GIMP is not hurting because I am not using it.

The crux of your argument here is that although Adobe has not lost a sale, the market as a whole has lost my participation in the cheaper and free alternatives. I deny that assertion, as any program that costs money would still not be purchased, and open source projects are not hurt by the loss that specific user.

Furthermore, I never stated that a copyright holders wish for you to compensate them IS UNREASONABLE. That is a pervasive misconception when arguing about copyrights, privacy, and draconian laws that affect them. If somebody argues against the current trend of totalitarian copyright protection and the draconian laws being created, IT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE A PIRATE OR SUPPORTIVE OF PIRACY.

That's like saying if I have questions about the existence of God, I must be a Satanist. It's damaging, and prevents productive dialogue between all parties when discussing these issues.

So I've not deprived Adobe specifically of a Photoshop sale, but I've damaged the market (including GIMP's free) for alternatives. It's still a damaging act by me to do this.

Once again, it's not a damaging act either to the open source projects or the businesses developing proprietary solutions. 90%+ of all piracy is by individuals that LACK the purchasing power to obtain the product in the first place. Infringement by professionals is actually quite rare as the risks are very high. I am in 100% compliance with licenses for all copyrighted software products that I use as a professional. On a personal level I am aware of limited number of people that have pirated Adobe, and other development tools. They are all still in the "learning stages" and have not yet entered the workforce. I used to be one of them with pirated software, now I am the latter.

I don't support some of the ludicrous draconian penalties being chucked around, but I also don't support the 'pretend it's all ok and the companies are just stupid' attitude that I hear far too often on here.

It's good that you don't support these laws at will ultimately destroy freedom itself as the only way to truly protect copyrights in this environment is do away with the notion that we can have anonymity, privacy, and control over our own "areas in cyberspace".

As for the "pretend it's all OK and the companies are just stupid attitude", I suspect that is largely due your own perceptions and labels you are applying to people such as myself. I never made mention of any positions for or against the acts of piracy. My objections were to the logic itself in assuming all acts of piracy were lost sales and then trying to make the statement that it actually affects the "heart of an economy". The closest I came was to saying the only people getting hurt were those interests that have dying business models. That is not supportive of piracy either, as it just an observation of the environment we find ourselves in now.

Re:Utter Crap (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763035)

"The crux of your argument here is that although Adobe has not lost a sale, the market as a whole has lost my participation in the cheaper and free alternatives."
Yes. An awful lot of italics and capital letters could have been saved by just writing that one sentence...

"I deny that assertion, as any program that costs money would still not be purchased, and open source projects are not hurt by the loss that specific user."
Ah, now here we part company then. I directly assert that use of a product or project is likely to contribute to its success. For instance, I've never contributed code to Firefox but my use of it has increased pressure on web designers to support it, thus increasing the success of the product. It's years since I've contributed code to Linux, but my use of it has helped put pressure on certain hardware manfuacturers to increase compatibility and so contribute to the success of the project. Plus having a large number of users may well have attracted many people to develop or contribute code themselves, something they may not have been interested in doing for a one-man-and-his-dog project.

"Not damaged by the loss of that specific user" is interesting too - at what point are they damaged? By the loss of ten specific users, a hundred, a thousand? If all people take the piracy route, then yes - they are most certainly damaged. This happens too - think of all the pirate copies Office, if some marvel occurred and all people suddenly had to pay the real rate for this software, the use of OpenOffice and its ilk would rocket and the market would look very different - more skewed towards interopability thus allowing further choice down the line. Again, I have no justification for Office's price so I installed OpenOffice and bought iWork - they fulfil different niches for me and I use both.

"Any program that costs money would still not be purchased" is also an interesting statement. Again, I refute that. I was looking for photo manipulation software, I chose to buy Pixelmator based on the fact it was functional and priced sensibly for me. In other words I prioritised my budget for software and spent accordingly. I could have ignored that budget and pirated Photoshop instead even though I had the means to buy an alternative - that action would have directly damaged the market in functional alternatives to Photoshop.

Summary: if you're artificially propping up a particular piece of software (or music band, or whatever) by pretending its price is zero and copying it, you damage two sets of people: the people producing the original, and the people producing alternatives to the original. The second is important too - without alternatives, you'll get less incentive to produce improvements, less incentive to produce real innovation (as opposed to the corporate-speak use of the word) - things just stagnate.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Utter Crap (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763291)

"The crux of your argument here is that although Adobe has not lost a sale, the market as a whole has lost my participation in the cheaper and free alternatives."
Yes. An awful lot of italics and capital letters could have been saved by just writing that one sentence...

Ahhhh, but tell me what you really think. It's interesting that you did not reference what was in italics, namely your failed attempt to use the strawman logical fallacy to refute my post :) It's okay, keeping complaining about the italics, bold, grammar, etc. Just don't dare touch on the content :D

The rest of your arguments are illogical.

Firefox is not a good example, as web browsers are not pirated. IE market share surely affects standards on the web, but piracy is not a factor here is it? It's bundling of IE with Windows. The dirty truth is that Microsoft has received far more revenue from licensing than it ever should have. Practically every computer sold had a Windows license sticker on the bottom that never got migrated to a new system. Piracy of the Windows OS in Western countries is a MYTH. We all have the right to migrate that license to another computer an unlimited number of times. Yet, people keep buying new licenses and throwing out old computers with a sticker still intact and worth $150-$175. That is not a generalized "I know my rights dude" either, but an actual contractual one granted by the EULA.

You seem to be using a single logical fallacy in all of your arguments here. You say that Piracy is causing the damage, when in fact, it is the choice that causes the damage. In carrying out that choice, Piracy can be used. However, a choice involving a purchase causes the same damage. They are not different from each other, and Piracy should not be elevated to a special level of importance.

If A, B, and C based operating systems were all free due to open source licensing and Piracy, the choice is still being made by the consumer. Why then is A chosen more often than B and C? It's not that A is free, it's that it is more popular and more in demand.

Pirates have just as much freedom of choice when choosing a product as a traditional consumer. It's illogical to say that Piracy is affecting the choice. It isn't. They choose based on their perceptions of quality, performance, support, beer commercial promises, etc. Just like any traditional consumer does.

Based on that logic I have harmed the GIMP community, and numerous other open source projects by choosing to use a different piece of software. That's fair to say. I don't feel I owed them my patronage, whether I paid for the competitor or pirated their competitor, the result was the same.

So stop contributing the result of that choice to Piracy, as it never affected the decision making processes of anyone.

Copyright violations IMPROVE the market (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763289)

So I've not deprived Adobe specifically of a Photoshop sale, but I've damaged the market (including GIMP's free) for alternatives. It's still a damaging act by me to do this.

You are contributing to improve the market, not damaging it.

When the Gimp developers notice that many people prefer to copy Photoshop illegally instead of using Gimp legally and free, they will take a closer look at what Photoshop has that Gimp lacks. They will try to add equivalent or better features to Gimp. In the end, the Gimp users, even those that never used Photoshop, will get a better product.

Of course, many free-software developers add features based on their own needs, but still there's a lot of ego among them. They like to know people prefer their products over the competition, free or commercial.

You can be quite sure that there are people right now working on adding features to free software motivated by competition from commercial software, even if they get no pay for increasing their market share.

isn't that actually *good* for the IP firms? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768231)

Your argument sounds like a pretty good case for piracy being damaging to free alternatives (like open-source software), but possibly a case for it being beneficial to large, established purveyors of expensive software, like Adobe and Microsoft. It seems like, if piracy were 100% stamped out tomorrow, it would lead to a significant loss of for-cost-software's market share.

Re:Utter Crap (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768929)

"Consider the piracy of software, for instance. "Let's take...ooh, I don't know, err...Photoshop for instance. Massively pirated, and pretty expensive. You might correctly say that should I pirate a copy of Photoshop, Adobe has not lost a sale of Photoshop since I was never going to buy it anyway.

This is too simplistic though. I wasn't going to buy Photoshop, so what could I have done?"

There is a fundamental, philosophical, problem with the traditional means of distribution: the product is abundant.

Cars are not abundant. It takes a significant expenditure of materials and effort to put one together. When I drive off in one, I cannot simply dupe it and give the dupe to my friend. The laws of physics dictate a level of scarcity to this good, and as such it makes perfect sense to expect to receive money from every person who obtains a car.

The world of "data" follows different laws of physics. Once I have the data in my hot little hands, I can dupe it and give it to my friends at zero direct cost to the producer. There is no deprivation of use nor loss of mineral resources nor expenditure of manpower nor anything of the sort on the part of the original developer when I dupe the game. None. And I can keep duplicating this ad infinitum, at the same cost (of zero). Furthermore, my friends can do the same thing with the copy I gave them...there is no quality loss. Once the good exists, it can instantly exist everywhere. It is "abundant."

So, since data follows these laws (rather than the laws of physics as they apply to physical goods) people feel like they are being cheated when they are asked to pretend like data follows the laws of physical matter. They feel like they are buying into a game of control that is unfounded in reality and ultimately to their detriment (since they have to pay money for something that doesn't cost anything to produce *at this point* (excluding initial development costs).

I think that is the crux of the issue. We all know the good is abundant, and we all feel like pretending it is not abundant is just silly, and harmful to us (our money is valuable and if we can get games for free then we have optimized our entertainment budget and have more money left over to spend on things like real cars or educations for our kids or what-have-you).

What about the potential sale that we are "stealing" by copying a game? We tend to respond to such a representation of the situation with great cynicism. We feel like the only reason you feel entitled to every single "potential sale" is because of your insistence in everyone pretending that an abundant good is not abundant. We also feel that the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism doesn't guarantee a ROI on any kind of development project, so when you pound your fist in frustration at your inability to monetize your efforts we just say, "so try something else...thats what every other entrepreneur in the world has had to do...what makes you special? If you can't make money making games, do something else, and stop whining." That is the same answer we get when we complain about being downsized, or having low-paying jobs, or what-have-you...so we are just responding in turn.

Lastly...the age-old mantra that if you can't get money for every copy of a game sold then nobody will produce games. I call BS. Piracy has been alive and well since before the computer games industry even existed...and since long before DRM existed...and the games industry thrived anyway. And it still thrives, despite the continued piracy. Enough people pay for the games (even though they don't have to) that the industry remains profitable. If that model suddenly stops working, alternative models will take its place (subscription-based games and so on). If that doesn't work, and we actually reach a state of utter cultural impoverishment where no games (or music or movies, for that matter) are being produced because nobody can figure out how to make a living doing it (and no hobbiests manage to churn out anything but crap)...which I maintain is an economic impossibility...but if it actually does occur THEN it might make sense to talk about legislation...and there would be a conscious buy-in to the legislation from the masses who are hungry for cultural enrichment. However, this has not happened, and I therefore submit that it makes no sense to try to preemptively pass laws based on the premise that it might happen (given that it is unlikely and that the situation could be remedied after the fact anyway).

Re:Utter Crap (2, Interesting)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762787)

Agreed... if you dont have something tangible to produce and your entire market is based on 'Intellectual Property' well I got news for you not every country is a signatory to these copyright treaties. Even then there have been Canadians who have had their copyrights broken in England and England just gave them the finger for the most part because they didnt sign some super new upgraded treaty (WIPO) that the US wants everyone to sign now that'll force governments to adopt ridiculous DMCA like laws.

Counterfeiting, rare? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26764129)

I think that depends on what you qualify as "counterfeiting" and where you live. In big cities (Toronto, Vancouver/Richmond, etc) you can usually find quite a few places (usually in Chinese malls, etc) that sell bootleg CD's, DVD's, etc, as well as imitation name-brands, etc

There's a mall full of shops like this about 5-10km from where I live, and probably at least half of what they sell there is fake/counterfeit.

Re:Counterfeiting, rare? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26767987)

Counterfeiting is rare when you compare against the instances of Piracy. Even if every swapmeet in the U.S and Canada had 100% of its booths dedicated to counterfeited wares, it would still represent less than 1% of all cases of infringement. That is what makes it rare.

Re:Utter Crap (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26764137)

Counterfeiting is actually quite rare.

Not really. Its all over the place in flea markets, and god did my family get caught a lot. Its not the main way piracy occurs, correct, but its a significant chunk anyway. Very typical of small computer stores that will "sell" you photoshop and MS Office for cheap...

Every Specific Action of Copyright Infringement != Loss of Sale

If the average person has 10 pieces of gold total to spend 1 piece of gold each on copyrighted works and instead pirates 1,000 different copyrighted works, you cannot say that the market lost 1,000 pieces of gold. That's just common sense.

You're right, not all copyright infringement is a loss of sale, that is undebatable. Saying that if someone has "10 pieces of gold", they only have 10 pieces to spend, is also a total falicy though.

First, people want their stuff. Even if its a bad game, a bad movie...many want it anyway, just...cuz. If they couldn't pirate it, they'd sacrifice something else. One less meal at the restaurant, one less iPhone (ok, thats pushing it I guess, they MUST have their iphone...), and their priorities would switch around. Some will find the money elsewhere to take that 10 pieces and make it 20.

Case in point: When I was about 11, during the early-ish days of the SNES, as games were starting to hit the mass... I had a friend who was really getting into them. THey were expensive, and he wanted a lot...so at 11, he was doing odd jobs...babysitting, newspaper, doing the lawns, and ended up quite a collection, waking up at 5 in the morning to do stuff before school started. As people got jealous of him, a couple started doing the same, to get their game fix. Others would rent them instead... That was before all of the rental stores went bankrupt in the area (and that predates gametaps). When Chrono Trigger came out, there was 40 copies on the shelves of the local rental store. You're not going to see that today. Those are still sales (and in many cases, the rental place pays a premium for the right, too).

Today, anyone who wants the games that bad and cannot afford em, will just get a pirated copy. I'm talking hundreds of sales, just from the people in my immediate surrounding. And whenever some DRM scheme or whatever manages to delays piracy by a little bit, or a lot (like MMOs...not DRM, but if you want to play for "real", not much choice but to shell out), whoops, look at that, sales start pouring from these same damn people.

All that to say: yes, each action of copyright infringement is not a loss of sale. But taken together, it IS significant loss of sales.

Re:Utter Crap (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768149)

Counterfeiting is actually quite rare.

Not really. Its all over the place in flea markets, and god did my family get caught a lot. Its not the main way piracy occurs, correct, but its a significant chunk anyway. Very typical of small computer stores that will "sell" you photoshop and MS Office for cheap...

No really, it is. It's not even significant. When you compare all cases of infringement, counterfeiting represents far less than 1% of all instances. That's rare by any definition. It's far more concerning as a case of infringement since it actually is a loss of a sale.

You're right, not all copyright infringement is a loss of sale, that is undebatable. Saying that if someone has "10 pieces of gold", they only have 10 pieces to spend, is also a total falicy though.

Fallacy? Hardly. That is a fact. I was making a simple statement about the total purchasing power of a consumer. You want to argue that it is a fallacy simply because one could prioritize their spending on different items. That does not make the observation about purchasing power a fallacy.

You only have so much income to spend in a given month. Lines of credit screw the numbers up, but it still comes down the same thing. You cannot say at any time that your possible losses exceed the total amount of income of your consumers. When I stated 10 pieces of gold, I was referring to the TOTAL amount of gold earned in a given pay period.

Its not even possible to prioritize your spending on copyrighted works to spend 10 gold pieces. Unless you starve the whole month and don't mind being evicted. The losses that people are claiming for Piracy are exceeding the capabilities of people to pay PERIOD.

Sure, you could possibly turn 10 pieces of gold into 20. Only though lines of credit. Purchasing power still applies here though. Now you are spending 1 piece of gold just to pay the interest on your lines of credit, 2 pieces of gold to actually pay of the debt. Eventually, you are paying 6 pieces of gold on your lines of credit and only have 4 left. Those lines of credit have dried up and you are STILL left with only 4 pieces of gold now.

It's easy to say a person will find a way. However, that's a bit simplistic and in the end you will be constrained to live within your means. It is happening in the U.S right now :)

All that to say: yes, each action of copyright infringement is not a loss of sale. But taken together, it IS significant loss of sales.

No. You cannot say that at a small scale, or individually it has no effect, but then claim that a large scale it does. That is a fallacy.

At no point is infringement through piracy a loss of a sale. Infringement occurs for two reasons: 1) Lack of purchasing power. 2) The work was made free through Piracy, or easy duplication.

If duplication became difficult, or Piracy was made impossible, than this type of infringement would not occur. If people were forced to pay, the vast majority would just no longer want the work as it was longer free. These instances could never be converted to a sale.

Lack of purchasing power can never be converted to a sale.

Shibboleth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762771)

but Canada is over 30% unionized

Undoubtedly the work of a crack commando unit of chemists

unionized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26762819)

Is that union-ized or un-ionized?

Re:unionized? (1)

ptx0 (1471517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762897)

That would be deionised.

Re:unionized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26763263)

nah. de- means it was ionized at some point, un- conveys no such meaning.

Re:unionized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26771133)

If de-ionized means it never was ionized, then un-ionized means it is not and never has been ionized.

wow (3, Funny)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26762971)

If I was a Canadian, I'd be pretty pissed.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26763031)

If I was a Canadian, I'd be pretty pissed.

I am Canadian and I am pissed.

Re:wow (1)

ptx0 (1471517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770549)

I'm Canadian and I am worried. There are an increasingly alarming number of laws going onto the books in developed countries, practically putting the Internet into a police state. Australia has nation-wide mandatory monitoring. The US' MP/RIAA are working with the ISPs to prevent the downloading of material, and Canada's doing this now? Then there are the issues of bandwidth caps being implemented. Everywhere. ISPs keep increasing bandwidth and restricting download allowance; Comcast has 60mbit now, but what use is it when you can only download 150GB (sic)? Bandwidth limits are for premium, dedicated bandwidth, not this shared garbage. Whatever happened to the idea of net neutrality? The CRTC will not step in for Canadians and halt the anal raping that our industries thrust upon us. Rogers and Fido merged, creating one giant GSM company in Canada. What happened next? Prices went up. There's a "System Access Fee" across most Canadian cellco's of $6.95. It's not government-mandated, and if you ask the company about it, they say it's for future network buildout; Isn't that what the subscription is supposed to pay for? Why include these hidden fees after we sign up for a (three fucking year) contract? God damn it, Conservatives. Grow a pair and take care of your people instead of condemning them.

copyright (1)

packrat2 (686953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763171)

  should be shortened. we generic drug industry (also xerox) shows what happens when you open things up.
  besides, it's MY cd now and I can do what i want with it..
  NOT theirs.
pat

Can it be won? (1)

Max_W (812974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763319)

Monks, who were re-writing the bibles by hand and drawing nice pictures in them by hand, also were trying to stop the newly invented printing press. In some countries printing press was illegal for 200+ years.

I mean can this one be won? IPs, laptop check, looking for CDs in hand baggage? And what about flash drives with the size of a penny and a capacity of 100 GB? HD of 1TB? And it's only a modest beginning.

Re:Can it be won? (1)

Max_W (812974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763339)

Instead of fighting wind mills the industry should invent a new set up. I do not see how file exchange in one form or another can be forbidden. It's like trying to make people riding horses again instead of vehicles.

It's the principle of the matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26763507)

Every time someone is paid a dollar, that person believe the dollar has been undeniably earned. Hence, if they get paid less the next time around, they believe they are being cheated. No one wants to think that they were ever overpaid.

The content industry has made a pretty penny by ramping up demand and tightly controlling distribution. By gaming the system, they could get far more money than their product is actually worth. But now they see their tight controls on distribution loosening. By applying the above fallacy, they conclude that they deserve to have all the rewards of their previous business model, and that they are being cheated if they get paid closer to what their product is worth.

It's not about IP (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26763629)

The CLC is a major component of Canada's socialist axis. They don't give a damn about IP, but they can be depended on to support anything that involves more regulation, the more invasive the better.

What it's really about is what Greenpeace calls "moving the needle". It's about getting people adjusted to having the government regulating the most trivial aspects of our lives. When a sufficient level of docility has been reached, an authoritarian socialist state can safely be established.

What gets my attention is the Swedes. The most obvious characteristic of the Swedes that might explain their tolerance of socialism is "how nice they are".

They say the same thing about Canadians. That scares me.

Re:It's not about IP ...or u Pee (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768941)

Well of course! We Canadians have a "secret agenda"!
We plan to slowly dribble southward, turning your god-fearing christian society into socialist homosexual commies like us!
Mwaahhaaa haaa!
Not much you can do about it, now that Wall st has tanked. The US military is next...
Hey, Obama is our first plant.

Re:It's not about IP ...or u Pee (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772761)

Speak for yourself, Darlin'.

The agenda isn't secret--It's been open since at least Lester B.(Nobel Prize-Winning Twit) Pearson.

Moreover, there's no plan to change anything about the US. Our left-wing NGOs have their hands full just changing Canada and turning it into a colony of the United Nations. Among other problems, the Albertans and Outer Ontarians refuse to cooperate, and an attempt to disarm the population seems to have failed.

IP Maximalism? Bring it on. (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26765317)

I think things will have to get worse before they get better. Let them deploy the most draconian measures they can - if they want to learn the hard way, then so be it.

This is the Prohibition of our era, and it's going to be just as disastrous. But freedom always wins in the end.

I predict that this is the start of the end of the net at we know it, and the beginning of the new systems that will replace it - beyond the reach of the IP maximalists, the bloodsucking commercial interests and the media monopolies. We have the wireless mesh routers, the power-over-wifi, the huge storage capacities, commodity hardware and anonymous protocols - and much, much more.

Oop - just seen a fairy in the fireplace!

Good thing we have levies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26765383)

Good thing we're already paying levies on blank media to cover this atrocity!

Beware of anyone (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26766345)

who wants to "educate" you on their opinion.

Strike (1)

asamad (658115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26766537)

I think it is time for the users / buyers of audio and video to strike. Not to buy anything new for 1 week. Let us show them how pissed of we are.

United we stand !

Before and After... (1)

Strake (982081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768699)

Harper's new Senators are appointed.

Is this IP V6? (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26768887)

Screw it. I'm stickin' with IP4. The CLC can go fukemselves!
.
-

Victimless crimes (1)

SeeManRun (1040704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770055)

I would imagine people wouldn't think of them as victimless crimes if the people and corporations they were ripping off most of the time were multi-millionaires.

Re:Victimless crimes (1)

ptx0 (1471517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770577)

I'll buy a game from the app store if it's from an indie developer and I find it worth it. This is why http://www.appulo.us/ [appulo.us] has existance, it's for 'pirating' apps to test them, and then purchase them if they are worth it. However, if it's music, I'll buy any Machinae Supremacy, Barenaked Ladies, Radiohead, or NIN CD that I feel I want. If it's Jay-Z, Britney Spears, or any other commercialised artist, fuck them.

Citizens need to see the benefit to society (1)

lpq (583377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26770937)

If IP law is "good for our country" or "our society", then the average citizen should be able to see the benefits. If the average citizen can't see any benefits or sees only benefits for corporations, but none for the citizenry/society, then it's a 'one-way' deal only benefiting a select group.

That is inherently unfair in a free and equal society.

I assert that the problem is the "Mickey-Mouse" copyright extension and a similar problem with patent-life in relation to the useful life of technology and technological ideas.

The purpose of copyright and patent was to encourage invention/creation to the benefit of the public good. Unfortunately, with copyright terms like 75 years after death of artist -- the public will never see any benefits of honoring copyright. Therefore -- the entire idea of "copyright" is "void". The benefit is all "one-way" for giving the artist a monopoly on copying and distributing his work just as with technology patents -- by the time patent term ends, at least in the computer industry, the technology is usually obsolete -- and again the original purpose of benefiting society is voided.

Given the long length of copyrights and the long life of technology patents (vs. their useful life), I assert the concepts are antithetical to benefiting society as a whole or its citizenry.

I think this is a perfectly good explanation for the increase in 'piracy' -- piracy is the only way to return the benefit to the citizens in the absence of a just government.

Referendum (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26776021)

Why don't they run a referendum in every country on the IP/copyright issues? Let's see how most people feel about it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?