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US Survey Shows Piracy Common and Accepted

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the socially-and-morally-irrelevent dept.

Piracy 528

bs0d3 writes "A new U.S. survey sponsored by the American Assembly has revealed that piracy is both common and accepted. The surveys findings show that 46% of adults and 75% of young people have bought, copied, or downloaded some copyright infringing material. 70% of those surveyed said it's reasonable to share music files (PDF) with friends and family. Support for internet blocking schemes was at 16%."

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Sauce for the goose (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38581974)

If it's OK for the media lobbies to steal our public domain works from us in perpetuity, then by all means let's even the score.

Once more into the breach for Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1841 & 1842 [baen.com] :

I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot.

You'll find a commentary on the first speech with references on Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] .

And in a final bit of irony you can buy these 160 year old public-domain speeches printed in a paperback book for $21.24 from Amazon.com [amazon.com] . So there is even no need for long onerous copyright if there's profit to be made in public domain works.

Re:Sauce for the goose (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582022)

If it's OK for the media lobbies to steal our public domain works from us in perpetuity, then by all means let's even the score.

Hell, it's okay for them to steal current works from artists and then sell the music thousands of times over for cash. Big Media did that in Canada and got a slap on the wrist for their commercial bootlegging. It's not who's in the right morally, or even legally, it's who has more money to buy lawyers and politicians.

Unfortunately it's the 1% who calls the shot (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582130)

The folks on Capital Hill don't listen to the common people.

Their only master is the 1% who can pay them.

From patent trolls to perpetual copyrights to SOPA to ..... those a_holes in Capital Hills are killing American ingenuity as we know it.

Re:Unfortunately it's the 1% who calls the shot (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582224)

And they just made it a law that they can come in the night and take you away for threatening to ever remove them from office

Re:Sauce for the goose (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582028)

You'll find a commentary on the first speech with references on Kuro5hin.

My god! A link to K5 from when it was more than just ascii art penis pictures!

when was that exactly? (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582364)

lets see... was it somewhere in between people writing about eric raymond's sexual adventures and people asking Rusty where the money went?

funniest part about my post there (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582386)

is that i did not look at the front page when i wrote it. i just remembered back to the sort of thing going on in the comments and story queue... eric raymond fan-fic was what popped to mind.

and so i go back there, 10 years later, looking at the front page... what is there? same damn thing. eric raymond fan fic.

Re:Sauce for the goose (0)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582370)

I wish I had mod points. 3

Re:Sauce for the goose (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582080)

This looks bad for the US economy, long term. Software (in the broad sense, including movies, music, books, and games) is what we do best, compared with the rest of the world. We don't make much electronic hardware anymore because those industries have pretty much migrated to the Far East.

Now even American citizens think that software should be taken for free by whoever wants it. Only hardware (made in China) and infrastructure (overpriced and sold with shitty service and fees from robber barons descended mostly from the old AT&T) are considered worth paying for.

Nice going.

Re:Sauce for the goose (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582126)

A few years back there was an absolutely amazing music torrent called oink.me which offered unprecedented selection and quality, all assembled by dedicated contributors. Naturally, it was shut down. I, and everyone I knew, would have gladly switched to a subscription model, and it could have been a gold mine for the recording industry, because it offered quality, selection, and organization unmet anywhere else. But of course like many dying industries, they decided they were more interested in control than profit, and arrogant enough to think they could maintain that control.

Forgive me if I don't shed any tears watching them crash and burn. I feel bad for the artists and other content creators, but I suspect they'll survive the transition better than the parasites.

Re:Sauce for the goose (4, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582178)

I feel bad for the artists and other content creators, but I suspect they'll survive the transition better than the parasites.

Think again !

Average stage lifespan for a garden-variety artist is 3 years.

Those parasites have lived much more than that.

Re:Sauce for the goose (4, Insightful)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582234)

Maybe the artists will survive better when they aren't constantly pressed for novelty and new merchandising opportunities, hum?

Re:Sauce for the goose (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582176)

The author of those speeches, Thomas Macaulay, was also an author of such works as "The History of England". He stood to lose a lot if copyright were extended so much that the people refused to cooperate with such unfair terms.

The fault for the demise of copyright as a cultural imperative lies not with the pirates, but with Sonny Bono and Disney.

Re:Sauce for the goose (4, Funny)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582198)

Of course, we took a leadership role in the media industries when we had some of the weakest copyright laws among industrialized nations. We told the Berne Convention to fuck off for more than a century, and still have more expansive fair use policies than most of the rest of the world

Re:Sauce for the goose (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582220)

This looks bad for the US economy, long term. Software (in the broad sense, including movies, music, books, and games) is what we do best, compared with the rest of the world.

Not really, what the US does best is promotion of said things, there is plenty of high quality of the stuff from other countries. (Some of it finds it's way into the US if it's translated but a lot of high quality movies/music/books never gets translated into english.)
What I can agree on is that Software is what we do best compared with other things we do.
The problem is that software only has virtual scarcity, don't expect people to be willing to pay for it and it is foolish to try to base an economy on it.

Re:Sauce for the goose (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582286)

> If it's OK for the media lobbies to steal our public domain works from us in
> perpetuity, then by all means let's even the score.

You are more than welcome to make a version of the Little Mermaid to rival Disney's film. You just need to stump-up the $20 million to create and distribute the film.

Just remember that people like you demand that it should cost no more than $1 to buy the DVD, so you'll need to sell about 100 million copies to make the money back.

You don't have the $20 million handy? Oh, perhaps your business model is broken.

Re:Sauce for the goose (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582416)

Disney does not have to spend $20 million dollars making and distributing a movie and no one would care or miss something that never existed. We only watch Disney's movies because they are there. If Disney didn't do it, others would and people would enjoy the alternatives just as much. There is limitless entertainment for free in the world and accessible on the internet made by people that do it for very little money if any at all. The average person just don't have much interest wading through the crap to find something they like. The people with the money and the control get their creations to the top and "out there" through promotion and big recognizable "stars". Those two things do not naturally make them better works at all. They just help you make your decision of what to what to watch or listen too easier for you. Just like cable TV every time you sit on the couch. Only 100 or so channels to pick from, 50 of which your not interested in at all so you surf the other 50 and stop on the one that interests you most and you are happy. Less channels to surf so the decision is easier. Imagine having 10000 channels? There may be 9500 other things out there better but you don;t feel like finding them.

double-edged sword (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38581994)

It's too bad they're too busy downloading and sharing music to call their congressmen, threaten not to vote for them if they vote for SOPA/PIPA, and actually follow through on that threat on election day.

Re:double-edged sword (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582042)

Nah, most voters would like to follow through with that threat but when presented with two bags of crap most just prefer to stick with the current bag of crap they have been voting for rather than try the new one.

Re:double-edged sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582164)

lol. They don't give a fuck whether you vote for them or not, they'll win anyway because the vote is rigged. Even if you don't want to believe that ES&S and PMS are directly manipulating results, every district is gerrymandered to shit.

Re:double-edged sword (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582460)

Saying "I won't vote for you" simply does not work. So what? Then you're... going to vote for whom? It's sad, but this is where the "two party system" has it's fault tolerance. (see my sig for the bumper-sticker version) I'm not sure what would really work aside from open protes... Nevermind. I don't know what if anything will work.

If one thing, I would say the number is low (2, Insightful)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582012)

I suspect many people won't come forward

Re:If one thing, I would say the number is low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582298)

Those numbers fit what I would think is normally thought of piracy. Those of the older generation are likely somewhat short. I wonder how many of those that said "No" traded tapes or sneakernetted when they were younger and such.

Of course people have no problem with sharing... (5, Insightful)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582014)

...music, DVDs, a cup of milk, a tool, a lawnmower, a car. People have been sharing media ever since the first record was pressed. Farmers have been sharing equipment since... the beginning of time. But you don't hear John Deere crying about it. All laws do is make a good deal of the population guilty of federal crimes. Ask Uncle Sam how well that fight against pornography worked. Or the war on drugs.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (5, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582032)

Ask Uncle Sam how well that fight against pornography worked. Or the war on drugs.

Or the war on alcohol - which is the greatest example of why the government does far more harm than good when it tries to tell people what they should want. Not only do the majority ignore the laws and do it anyways, but they also create a large number of violent criminals to supply said product to the masses.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (5, Insightful)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582412)

Unfortunately, that's the whole point... it's all about justifying the buildup of the police state. From drugs all the way through reactions to terrorism.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582084)

Lending and copying aren't the same thing. If I lend I do not make a copy of said thing. Digital files are digital copies of a creative work, and because the file is duplicated, ie, a copy, it is then violating _copy_rights.

John Deere won't cry because you can't just _copy_ a tractor. It takes real work and real knowledge, time and skill to take one apart, figure all the pieces, all the compression, setup, etc., and build an exact copy.

I don't support the excessive fines and draconian attitude, and copyright holders should be limited in to how much legal intimidation they're allowed to.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (4, Insightful)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582182)

You make a good point. In fact, people didn't have the equipment nor expertise needed to make copies of records back in the day either. But I do remember the controversy in the 1980s over the dual-cassette recorder (I was a teenager then). We went to the store, bought a pack of blank cassettes, and copied each other's music. The recording artists threw a fit and they were told to stick a sock in it. EVERYONE had copies. Everyone also had some originals. The same is true today. Somehow, the artists survived (and certainly didn't go hungry) during the 80s. The same is true today. Just ask iTunes and Amazon about all the (non-DRM) music they sell.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582252)

And if I make a copy of something, use it once and never again, what is the difference between this and lending, apart from the academic point you are trying to make?

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582336)

Since you can lend a DVD (but not copy it), how about a system that let's you lend a file:
Basically, while somebody is watching the movie, you cannot access it, that is, there are a limited number of licenses available and somebody who wants to watch a movie requests a license, so someone who has it, sends it. The file itself can be downloaded by the usual means, but at any single time there are no more active licenses (movie copies being watched) as there was copies sold. However, since most people do not watch a movie all the time, on a large network you could probably be able to share one license with 100 people. So, everybody pays a small subscription fee (which is used to buy new movies). However, I somehow doubt that the media industry would like this network any more than they "like" the pirate bay.
Of course, it would be impossible to make this system work in reality, because that would require working DRM, and as we know, DRM does not work.

You can't copy a tractor, but you can copy an audio amplifier. The older ones even had circuit diagrams in the user manuals.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (4, Interesting)

Viceice (462967) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582420)

<blockquote>You can't copy a tractor...</blockquote>

You can in China...

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (0)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582134)

...music, DVDs, a cup of milk, a tool, a lawnmower, a car. People have been sharing media ever since the first record was pressed. Farmers have been sharing equipment since... the beginning of time. But you don't hear John Deere crying about it. All laws do is make a good deal of the population guilty of federal crimes. Ask Uncle Sam how well that fight against pornography worked. Or the war on drugs.

Uhhh... thank you, this raises the boulder from my chest... I was thinking only /.-ers had a... (how should I put it?...) pro-sharing mindset.

Re:Of course people have no problem with sharing.. (1)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582430)

Unfortunately, that's the whole point... it's all about the justifying buildup of the police state. From drugs to reactions to terrorism.

Media companies lost the war (5, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582016)

Copyright infringement went mainstream in 1998-2002, and now a decade later those kids on the internet in high school spent four years in college learning about file sharing culure and now are having their own kids.
 
Whatever social value(s) the media industry was trying to impress upon us over the last 10 years have failed, and it's too late to re-educate the next generation of parents. It's only going to get worse from here, and they've spent a decade building animosity in their customers. They'll pass that animosity along to their children in terms of pirated Disney films, Dora the Explorer and whatever the next incarnation of Teletubbies are. Instead of selecting a VHS from the family video library, they'll be directed to the pirate bay or similar to find whatever obscure children's video isn't already on netflix on-demand.
 
The generational shift has already happened, and public favor is against the media industry. Something's gotta budge, and it isn't public opinion.

Re:Media companies lost the war (5, Insightful)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582048)

One major exception: People don't mind paying their Netflix subscription fee to get better service than piracy. But selection is still a big problem.

Re:Media companies lost the war (-1, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582186)

Selection and that fact that you're supporting douches by paying for Netflix. They had good service, but they opted to increase rates by ~60% and use the money to build up service in other countries whilst making elitist comments about our pay checks.

I supported them big time, but when all is said and done they're just as arrogant as the next corporation, it's harder and harder to justify paying when there are free alternatives that are completely legit.

Re:Media companies lost the war (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582236)

Cable costs like $50 and it has ads. Try to find a comparable service to netflix. There is none even with the price increase.

Re:Media companies lost the war (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582376)

Amazon Prime gives similar service at a lower price.

Re:Media companies lost the war (2)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582374)

It's more that the content publishers noticed that Netflix was starting to make money, and they wanted their own cut.

And also, it was a one-time rise in price of $6, which is negligible compared to what cable companies do each year. In fact, it probably prompted to drop the $2/month charge for DVD service that they never used.

Re:Media companies lost the war (0, Offtopic)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582074)

"I only shit in the well because he shit in the well first. Why does this water taste funny?"

Re:Media companies lost the war (5, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582278)

Copyright infringement went mainstream in 1998-2002

Eh? I guess you're too young to remember casette tapes and taping songs from the radio, or using dual tape machines to copy a buddy's tapes. It was pretty mainstream in the 1960's and 70's too. Not everything has happened in recent history, young man.

Re:Media companies lost the war (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582408)

I think one major difference was that tapes and especially recordings from the radio sounded pretty poor (especially second and third generation copies) - and tapes wear out.

High-quality (mp3,ogg) digital copies never wear out, and FLAC is identical to the original. Storage is so cheap, only a luddite would still put a CD in a PC more than twice. Actually, these days the kids barely know what a CD is and are fine getting low-quality mp3s from online services.

The mp3s that I downloaded from an artist (as part of a pre-release deal when ordering the physical CD) were of better quality (320kb) than those on Amazon (128kb), and better than the 160kb default that I ripped my CD to when creating my own ogg files.

Re:Media companies lost the war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582422)

It wasnt nearly at the scale of what it is today.

You were limited by your friend's/family collection while nowadays you can find a copy of nearly every game book or film ever published in a few minutes.

How many are hostile to copyrights? (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582020)

I wonder what percentage of people are directly hostile to the notion of copyrights? I know I am

Re:How many are hostile to copyrights? (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582196)

Copyrights themselves aren't the problem, copyrights that extend for decades without the creator having to extend them and without regard to the creator's interests that are the problem. The reality is that there's a bunch of content that's been abandoned by the owners that would have been public domain after 28 years previously, but now thanks to the super long automatic copyright terms isn't available to anybody.

That's not a feature of copyright, that's a feature of what happens when politicians give corporations what they want without concern for the consequences.

Re:How many are hostile to copyrights? (5, Informative)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582320)

Actually, this kind of abuse is exactly a feature of copyright. The economic reasoning is simple enough that it is covered in microeconomics introduction. The problem is similar with all regulations that create monopolistic profits.

This is money you get in excess of what you'd be making in a fully efficient, competitive market. Since this is money in excess of the cost of all factors of production (and, btw, that includes the return on your investment in R&D), you don't get extra profit by spending it on your main business. Instead, you're better off if you spend that extra lobbying for activity that extends the regulations that give you the extra profit.

The problem is made worse because this kind of behavior (called rent-seeking activity, if memory serves) is not self-correcting. Since distribution of cost and benefit is extremely uneven (small cost to many people vs. large benefits to very few large publishers in the case of copyright), there is very little in terms of political incentive for change.

Re:How many are hostile to copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582472)

That's not a feature of copyright, that's a feature of what happens when politicians give corporations what they want without concern for the consequences.

There are going to be consequences; don't see this happening in undemocratic countries like the US (2-party system) or Canada (you can rule with absolute majority with less than 40% of the popular vote); this will first happen in Europe - powered by the Greens/EFA/Pirate Party in European Parliament. This wasn't even an issue 2 decades ago, and see how far we have come since then. Copyright will go back to 20 years at most (ideally 10 years + a one-time extension). With "everything" freely available (not just copy, but create derivative works such as remixes, covers, etc. as well) in Europe, the US and Canadian citizens will demand the same.

It's not really about selling 50-year old recordings and making a profit off those. It's about preventing the enormous back catalog of the last 70 years or so competing (at no cost) competing with current offerings (Gaga, Bieber, etc.) and also preventing people getting a whiff of a Public Domain for sound recordings and movies. Once that Pandora's Box opens, it's game over for Big Media.

Read it while you can (3, Funny)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582034)

How long until someone files a DMCA complaint against this report?

Dose of Truth (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582038)

If the cost of a product is higher than the cost of reproducing and distributing that product yourself, the cost of the product is obviously set too high.

If movies and music cost just pennies, but all or most of that revenue went to the actual artist, artists would most likely make MUCH more money, because people would be willing and able to purchase a much greater amount of products.

Re:Dose of Truth (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582326)

If the cost of a product is higher than the cost of reproducing and distributing that product yourself, the cost of the product is obviously set too high.

I am as anti-copyright-abuse as most here, but this has to be the stupidest thing I saw in this discussion. Do you think that music/movies/games/etc products are found in the forest before they are sold? What makes you think that the cost of the product should cover the "cost of reproducing and distributing" that product and nothing else? It does cost some money to create the product
Now if the costs were set to a more reasonable level (to cover cost of initial production, reproducing and distributing plus epsilon) and if all the artists were paid a reasonable amount (instead of the current rampant cheating) and if the DRM had been throttled back (so that games/DVDs were useable once again), then maybe people would start buying. Ah, a man can dream...

Re:Dose of Truth (0)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582394)

This is moronic, not insightful. Any price higher than the cost of distribution is too high? By that logic, no author or movie maker should ever earn a dime off their creations!

And claiming that artists would make "MUCH more money" if movies cost pennies? Are you kidding me? Just to earn a living wage, they'd need to sell millions of copies every year. To put that in perspective, the Humble Bundles allow people to buy for cents, and they only sell a few hundred thousand copies.

People like this make a mockery of anyone who wants sensible copyright reform. They just want to have everything they want, for free, and rely on magical thinking to believe that that'll be A-OK with the content creators.

Great. Now we just need to get the laws changed (3, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582050)

If this is right, then we IP Abolitionists just need to go up against impossibly wealthy entrenched interests to get the legal system fixed. Easy, right?

Re:Great. Now we just need to get the laws changed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582078)

The question I'd wish was asked:

"If a candidate ran on a platform that supports your matters, would you consider voting for him/her, even if his/her party affiliation wasn't your preferred party?"

Re:Great. Now we just need to get the laws changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582094)

Why do you wish that was asked? Do you want to feel depressed?

Re:Great. Now we just need to get the laws changed (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582124)

Or just ignore the stupid law, which is what we usually do when faced with an impossibly stupid law.

Re:Great. Now we just need to get the laws changed (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582174)

If this is right, then we IP Abolitionists just need to go up against impossibly wealthy entrenched interests to get the legal system fixed. Easy, right?

damned right! the sooner we get back back to the DECnet stack, the better.

(wait, you meant the other IP, didn't you?)

Re:Great. Now we just need to get the laws changed (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582206)

IP abolition isn't necessarily any better than what we have now, what we need is real meaningful reform to the system. Throwing it out completely is both more work and less likely to happen. Take the terms back to an automatic 28 years with extensions as long as the author cares to file them. And cap that at 56 years for corporations and that would solve a lot of the trouble with copyright right there.

Fuck the System (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582054)

Fuck the corporate corrupt government. Take what you want, because the government is the biggest criminal our country has ever seen in recent times.

Information takes Effort. (3, Informative)

headkase (533448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582068)

In Bill Gates' Open Letter to Hobbyists [wikipedia.org] it really shows how much things were different way back in 1974 - or one year after I was born. When I was growing up - in the heyday of the Commodore 64 [wikipedia.org] - piracy wasn't even questioned one iota. Everyone did it, you pooled together $5 each from your circle of friends, bought a game, and promptly pirated it for everyone and drew a lot to see who would get the original. Back then DRM-cracking-copy-programs [wikipedia.org] were legal and the hypocrisy of the times is that they would copy everything but themselves. You had to use a different copy program to copy a copy program for your circle of friends.

Now, it's different. We're slowly being taught that information is analogous to physical property. I'm coming around to it. I no longer pirate any software at all. If it wasn't for gaming I'd be 100% free software. I have a ways to go yet before I'm fully compliant but it's coming. Free software at it's core also depends on copyright, the protections afforded to commercial software are what also enables FOSS. If you're FOSS evangelizing you automatically should be a supporter of copyright.

Music, books, software: they are all different facets of the same thing. If someone wants to give their effort away - FOSS - then that is their right and it needs to be respected. If someone want's to charge for it it is the exact same right. You don't need it that bad if you don't want to comply with the license to acquire some information - go make it yourself and release it if you want under your own terms.

Re:Information takes Effort. (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582114)

I do support FOSS and I do support copyright. I'm not sure I agree that you *have* to be both though.

I support limited terms on said copyright, much more limited than we have today, but I do support it.

As someone in the business of creating and selling novel arrangements of bits (also called software engineering), copyright is very important to my ability to make money in the commercial software world. In my spare time I use and sometimes contribute to GPL'd FOSS.

Copyright law makes the GPL work, however it doesn't seem to me to be inconsistent to use MIT/BSD style license, or no license at all, and contribute to that sort of FOSS without the belief in copyright.

Re:Information takes Effort. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582128)

If it wasn't for gaming I'd be 100% free software

I pirated CP/M but now I run Linux and BSD. I didn't pay for either but the people who wrote linux and BSD somehow get paid. I am not sure that we have changed as much as we think.

Re:Information takes Effort. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582226)

The people who wrote Linux and BSD don't necessarily get paid, that's the point. Some people do get paid to contribute patches or features, but there's no guarantee that any particular developer will see any money at all for services rendered.

The main difference is that much of that code gets contributed for the common good to be shared by all and code that's for profit has a payment of fixed size regardless of how many people actually benefit. That's presumably not the case with CP/M programs that were being commercially distributed. It was just damn near impossible to find it without having a way of searching the computers.

Re:Information takes Effort. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582138)

If you're FOSS evangelizing you automatically should be a supporter of copyright.

I disagree. I evangelize a subset of FOSS licenses, the GPLs. They fight fire with fire by spinning copyright 180 degrees; copyleft. The fact that it uses copyright law to do so is a beautiful subversion.

Re:Information takes Effort. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582158)

Free software at it's core also depends on copyright, the protections afforded to commercial software are what also enables FOSS. If you're FOSS evangelizing you automatically should be a supporter of copyright.

You're being really dumb. The GPL requires copyright, as do all other "copyleft" licenses. But the absence of copyright places everything in the public domain, which (if you distribute the source) is exactly free software.

And in the absence of copyright, the arguments for "copyleft" grow much weaker. Sure, $EVILCORP can take free software, modify it, and offer a binary-only release (just like BSD-type licenses, but with no attribution/copyright notice req'd) -- but now they have no legal control over their changes, so if you really need to roll a change back into the open version, you can reverse engineer it with no clean-room requirements and no fear of lawsuits costing millions of dollars to prove you did it "by the book".

Re:Information takes Effort. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582210)

And in the absence of copyright, the arguments for "copyleft" grow much weaker. Sure, $EVILCORP can take free software, modify it, and offer a binary-only release (just like BSD-type licenses, but with no attribution/copyright notice req'd) -- but now they have no legal control over their changes, so if you really need to roll a change back into the open version, you can reverse engineer it with no clean-room requirements and no fear of lawsuits costing millions of dollars to prove you did it "by the book".

LOL! Because reverse engineering binary code is so much easier than using GPL source releases!

That's nonsense and you know it, copyleft is still a compelling idea even in the absence of copyright because getting the source is far, far preferable to having to pick apart compiled binaries. Programming may be a minority skill set, reverse engineering machine code is an even smaller one.

Re:Information takes Effort. (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582202)

I don't think copyright inherently is a bad thing. And I don't think most people here save for the extremists and the uneducated would support its elimination altogether. But I think a lot of people would agree that it is, in its entirety, as it exists, ridiculous. From the length of the copyright term, to the punitive damages levied for infringement, to the wide-ranging destruction its enforcement causes, it cannot possibly be considered sanity, much less conducive to a functioning society. If anything, this ridiculousness around copyright has or soon will have a negative effect on creativity and productivity, where people are now too afraid to create new works because they're afraid somebody with deeper pockets is going to take them to court over it.

Copyrights need to be brought down to levels of sanity in all aspects. For the terms, fifty years irrespective of the author's lifetime is very generous. Any more and it starts becoming ridiculous again. For infringement, the punitive damages should be equal to the retail price per copy made and provably distributed. As for enforcement, it should remain a civil matter, and be applied only to situations of direct infringement. Organized, for-profit criminal copyright infringement can be addressed by real criminal statutes, including tax evasion and racketeering.

It is important to recognize that there is a role for the protection copyright allows. It is also important to recognize when the system of copyrights no longer serve that role.

Re:Information takes Effort. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582264)

I happen to agree with everything you just posted. My ideal is 20 years monopoly for everything but software, and software 10 years. Until something is discovered that eliminates the need for currency - which is simply a way to manage scarcity - then I believe we do still require the limited monopolies. Computerization has already erased scarcity when applied to Information, when that scarcity-removal can be applied to food, shelter, and goods then the monopolies can be ended.

Re:Information takes Effort. (1)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582352)

We're slowly being taught that information is analogous to physical property. I'm coming around to it. I no longer pirate any software at all.

Hardly. I no longer pirate software, but for several completely different reasons

  • I have a job now - I make money and can afford to buy needed software
  • I have a job now - I don't have time to bother with downloading cracked software (and risk infestation)
  • I can't be bothered with ridiculous DRM/required connectivity - I buy and play older games (GOG forever!)

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582072)

Who coulda written a better title; I was like, "damn, I like pirating an shit" but then I realized pirating sucks because everyone does this and people lose lots and lots of money.

In the past (1)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582082)

Dont copy that floppy. ( uh huh ) Home taping kills music ( to show my age ) Just don't upload to public sites (advice to my kids) Btw, the kids don't torrent, they don't need to.

Re:In the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582188)

My fav. :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3jkUhG68wY

Re:In the past (1, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582312)

Dont copy that floppy.

Quoting your wife now?

Citation needed (4, Interesting)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582086)

The last sentence in the summary -- "Support for internet blocking schemes was at 16%." -- is not accurate. Check page 8 of the PDF. There is a particularly harshly worded prompt which drew only 36% support, but in every other question there was higher support for internet filtering -- in some scenarios a majority support filters.

Wishing don't make it so.

Re:Citation needed (4, Informative)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582148)

Searched for 16% and found the source of mistake: support for punitively restricting a convicted person from using the Internet is at 16%. Plain old content filtering is more popular -- 60% in favor of some scenarios.

Re:Citation needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582248)

i wish someone would just nuke the US already and wipe out our entire mass of gibbering retards. in a country with the 1st amendment 60% of these clowns support content filtering.

Re:Citation needed (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582204)

I think they were referring to this (and you're right, disconnection does not mean blocking)

Disconnection, in particular, is very unpopular, with only 16% in favor and
72% of Americans opposed.
Among that 16%, most (58%) would drop their
support if it meant disconnecting households rather than individuals—which it
does. Informed support for disconnection, accordingly, is under 10%.

But I'm not sure how you could describe the language below as harsh? Isn't this what SOPA is about? Large-scale blocking?

What if efforts to block infringing files and links to infringing content also result in
the blocking of some legal content (as has been the case with all large-scale efforts
to blacklist sites or filter content to date)? In this case, support for blocking
infringing materials drops sharply. Overall, 57% oppose blocking in this case; 36%
support it.

Throw everyone in jail! (4, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582088)

The whole country is criminals. Put everyone in prison to stop the piracy!

Re:Throw everyone in jail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582294)

Piracy in the form of insider trading is completely justified by both senators and state representatives (not to mention the judges and other members of the executive branch, within the government), since this type of piracy helps support political corruption and encourages ethical violations. So, we should instead focus on how horrible it is to copy a CD you own, or perhaps copy someone else's CD that holds the music you have on vinyl, since both clearly reduce the profits of the large companies that have accumulated intellectual property. Please ignore the fact that the accumulated intellectual property is being held in perpetuum with the help of the judicial system, so that wealthy individuals might maintain an investment outside the monetary system, which requires no maintenance.

Re:Throw everyone in jail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582396)

*troll on*
Have you seen our economy system? We are in a jail with walls of expectations. This will only build the walls higher.

It's quite simple (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582104)

Copyright is a bargain between the people and the creators and owners of content, in which the people grant a temporary and limited monopoly in return for the ultimate ownership of the content.

The people of the United States (and, for that matter, the rest of the world) have shifted the terms of that bargain some. It will take a while for their representatives to catch up, but they will.

Domain Registration (-1, Offtopic)

domain2host (2523086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582110)

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You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582116)

The following was from a very recent discussion and is relevant to this. I release it to the public domain :-)

The public domain is valuable to society. Copyright was created to get more people to create content for the public domain. We seem to have forgotten that. Since we have damaging and abusive laws protecting Imaginary Property when the public domain has been harmed by special interest legislation, copyright holders can listen to the world's smallest violin.

I agree with strong copyright laws if the exclusive rights lasts for about 15 years, or whatever is reasonable for the market. Longer than that is simply corruption that needs to be corrected. But these days, with technology, convenience, and economies of scale that were never before possible, I am skeptical that we need any government laws to protect content producers. The laws protecting content produces harm the general public more than help in numerous ways.

A while ago, corporations could only exist if it was proven that their existence was a benefit to the public. Now, we write laws that protect the corporations from the general public. It seems like everything about laws these days are backwards.

The public's burden of corporate special interests is already quite high, and our corrupt political and economic system needs to either be reformed or loose credibility. To the degree that reform fails, the loss of credibility for a corrupt system is ethical. Luckily, we are not near any kind of breaking point yet, and I hope that someday the pendulum starts to swing the other way, but it is conceivable and historically probable that we the people continue to support a corrupt system until very painful and long lasting damage is done. Civil disobedience is a form of nonviolent resistance that can effect change. Its utilization can avoid later violent resistance. I like laws and a functioning government, and oddly enough, the best way to protect all laws is to sometimes break a few bad ones (nonviolently, of course). Interestingly, breaking laws is the only way that the justice system can correct these kind of things, but it seems to be sorely underused.

I personally do not commit copyright infringement, but I happen to be lucky enough to afford the ability to avoid copyright infringement. I cannot condemn copyright infringement when artificial scarcity is being inflicted upon the infringers by the lobbyists of the large content producers. To have sympathy for the large content producers and the corrupt system that inflicts harm onto others is to invite Stockholm syndrome.

Here's hoping that things improve, but things are not going to improve via complacency. These kinds of discussions are needed, and oddly enough, they are fueled by the conflict between the infringer and infringee. Humanity is flawed, and I prefer to be realistic about ourselves. I prefer philosophy that takes into account all systems rather than focusing on only a few (and ignoring the rest at potential detriment).

Timing: Coincidence or Political Calculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582122)

It's quite interesting that this report was timed for publication at the same time that intesnse debate on a variety of proposed legislative acts to "combat" piracy is taking place.

The American Assembly claims to be non-partisan, but releasing a report at the crux of intense scrutiny over orwellian language in PIPA and SOPA was a reckless move, or worse if their intentions were politically influenced.

Media companies cut their own throats here (0)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582140)

To begin, we all agree that piracy is a form of stealing? A content creator loses out on a royalty every time someone downloads their material, though by the same token it's not as if by someone downloading this material they're inhibiting other people from accessing that same material.

Big media would rather avoid the elephant in the room and use piracy as the scapegoat for their broken business model. What I said above about not inhibiting someone else from accessing that material is a real game-changer. One that takes their old business model of controlling both content and distribution and renders it outdated and comparably inconvenient to consumers.
Consumers know what they'd like to see in response from big media, better pricing (Since you're no longer paying for the manufacturing of physical media, or the take from retailers and distributors), in a format that is versatile, agnostic and accessible to the consumer. Study after study quite clearly states that people are willing to pay a reasonable price for content as opposed to stealing it.

Rather than address their own failings and the thought that their business model broken for close to twenty years, big media would rather cut their own throats through unpopular campaigns, dirty politics, blatant lying and launching an expensive, pointless campaign against their own (potential) customers. Amazingly the only outcome of all of this has been an increase in piracy and how readily people will accept it as an alternative. Somehow big media in the process legitimized piracy in the eyes of the public.

Re:Media companies cut their own throats here (4, Insightful)

swilver (617741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582318)

To begin, we all agree that piracy is a form of stealing?

I stopped agreeing with you there (it is not taking away anything from anyone), but if I hadn't stopped there, I would have stopped here...

A content creator loses out on a royalty every time someone downloads their material

First, I don't support any models that scale with the amount of people on a planet and that at the same time have 0 reproduction costs (yes, it is 0 if I can reproduce it myself).

Second, I fail to see how copyright currently provides an incentive to artists to produce more good works when clearly they stand to profit from their works forever.

Third, copyright keeps being retroactively extended -- not just extended, but also applied to works that accepted the earlier limits fully knowing they would become public domain at some point. To me that is simply showing no respect to spirit of the this law at all and clearly shows that those that stand to benefit from these changes don't give a fuck about the public domain.

Put all of those together, and I have absolutely zero problems to ignore this notion they call "copyright" whenever I please.

Re:Media companies cut their own throats here (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582388)

To begin, we all agree that piracy is a form of stealing? A content creator loses out on a royalty every time someone downloads their material, though by the same token it's not as if by someone downloading this material they're inhibiting other people from accessing that same material.

How simplistic. The money lost by that particular content creator is more likely equal to something like:

R*N*(P - Q)

where R = the size of the royalty per download, N = the number of illegal downloads, P = the probability that the illegal downloader would have legally downloaded the work if there were no possibility to download it illegally, and Q = the probability that the illegal download will cause a future legal download from the same artist. No, that's not really a good model, it would probably be better to model the illegal downloader to have an internal probability for pay for the downloaded material, and exposure to the material, even illegally, will (with some other probability) affect that internal probability for future downloads.

Whatever. No matter that I suck at modelling it (need... more... coffee!). The fact is, it's a lot more complicated than your simplistic "one download, one lost royalty".

Waste in all the wrong places... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582166)

Maybe if the RIAA and similar organizations spent more money on making music available at more reasonable prices and more easily, people wouldn't pirate as much? I looked at specifically the RIAA's public records of their yearly sales years ago...and when did they stop making money? Not when Kazaa and Limewire were around...it was about the same. They made less money when DRM started getting rampant and restricting how people could use their own CDs...it was remarkable how much they lost. Then, you have to think, where's all this cash coming from to pay for the lawyers to sue college kids who downloaded some Britney Spears song off some torrent site (as if that weren't embarrassing enough in and of itself, now the kid's in debt millions and have their life ruined). Then there's the cash for them to pay some mindless sheeple to go lobby for them. Does anyone remember how much LESS CDs cost years ago before they started throwing cash in every direction to try to stop pirating that didn't actually lose them that much to begin with? They're very likely spending more money kicking and screaming against the times changing (which, p.s. you can't prevent) than they would've lost if they just sat back and did nothing other than occasionally made some noise with scary tv commercials over how you can go to jail for the music on your iPod.

Frankly, SOPA doesn't deserve to pass if only because there probably isn't even one one old baggy senator in all of Capitol Hill that doesn't have some pirated song on his/her damn iPod. Honestly, I'm glad they did this survey. These industries should know: we don't care that you're losing money...because making millions but not millions as much as you used to when more than half this country is having trouble just finding work to feed their families doesn't make us feel a damn bit of pity for you. Settle for a damn Porche instead of a Ferrari, be happy, and shut the hell up while the rest of us just go on working our fingers to the bone just to give our kids the lives they deserve.

Shocking (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582180)

Internet Blocking has a higher approval rating then congress

Re:Shocking (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582334)

Kim Jong-un has higher approval ratings than Congress. But Congress doesn't care, because the electorate doesn't have the will to punish them.

Re:Shocking (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582390)

Kim Jong-un has higher approval ratings than Congress. But Congress doesn't care, because the electorate doesn't have the power to punish them.

FTFY

Who decides? (1)

tirk (655692) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582268)

Our government is ran by the people, yet we seem to be getting lost somewhere. I personally believe some forms of copyright are necessary, but if the majority of the people believe we should have none, then we should have none. At worst we should find a compromise that fits the will of most of the people. But it seems that the more the people feel copyrights are too restrictive, the more the laws become more draconian. I don't want to start an discussion of what is or isn't the best level of copyright protection, but I would like to say that if you disagree with a law, it's your job to let your representatives know it's bad and to try to get as many people that agree with you to tell them also. If you aren't proactive with your government you really aren't doing everything you can to let your side of the argument be heard and considered. If you aren't happy with a law, don't fall into the rut of thinking there is nothing you can do, but begin letting everyone know why it needs to be changed. You should be able to decide, rather then just be stuck to follow, on what course you want your legislature to steer the nation.

no such thing as intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582270)

There is no such thing as intellectual property.

Piracy accepted in US? (2)

gopla (597381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582272)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_attacked_by_Somali_pirates/ [wikipedia.org] This is not acceptable, when in rest of the world there is an effort to curb piracy. It is appalling that in US public opinion piracy is acceptable. This is all due to Hollywood glorifying them through films like Pirates of the Caribbean.

Re:Piracy accepted in US? (1)

nomagnettowomen (1268344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582438)

I believe we can all agree on the fact is that if Jack Sparrow were here, he would have a treasure chest filled with Disney DVDs and Hannah Montana song collections.

Truth (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582356)

You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere.

worthless sample size (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582358)

The results are based on interviews on landline and cellular telephones conducted in English with 2,303 adults age 18 or older living in the continental United States from August 1-31, 2011

2,303 isnt anywhere near a decent sample size. get a minimum of 100K people that are evenly geographically distributed and then we can talk. also, you are getting answers from people that are willing to waste their time on a stupid on the phone. as far as we know, they went to a single college and called the dorms.

Re:NOT worthless sample size (3, Informative)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582476)

The sample size is adequate for a 2% margin of error assuming the sample was sufficiently random.

        margin of error = sqrt(1/n) assuming that npopulation, and sample is random.

        You may have a point about the lack of randomness but the sample size is pretty good.

        Brett

Media industries - grow up (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582436)

I grew up buying vinyl instead of tapes as my dad had a great bazillion dollar setup (don't know how much, but thousands in '70s era money - hey, we even had a VCR that didn't support SLP and couldn't play friends' movie recordings from the pay channels), which included this perfect-sounding phonograph (all super-balanced floating on these cool legs so the base wouldn't cause it to skip) which we had hooked up to a very high-end tape recorder (even had a 8-track too, oh, and the receiver was a quadraphonic deal, but I never had any vinyl that took advantage of that as only one of our vehicles had 8-track, and we replaced it with tape before I was buying my own music). When I bought a vinyl album, I bought a high-end metal tape to copy it to and listen from. I'd wear out the tapes, then create new ones from the vinyl - which was the only time I ever used the vinyl. Still have all my vinyl, but no high-end phonograph to listen to them on.

Other than the metal tape copies, then next thing I remember doing was buying a 5-disc changer with my first summer job monies and a half-dozen CDs. Disc changer lasted about 10 years, receiver was in my daughter's room until recently while cleaning up - but half the time she'd rather listen to mp3's on her phone as it follows around in her pocket.

I own physical copies of all the music I have, or I have detailed records of when and where I downloaded music from (proving it was a free released from an artist, etc.). Not sure what my kiddos will do when they grow up and move out - hopefully the music industry will have solved this. Otherwise, I'll be deleting all the digital copies I have of physical CDs that I've given them when they move out (provided they even care to take them). I'm hoping my kids will continue in integrity, and I'm hoping the media dinosaurs can grow up and not go extinct.

Actually, my preference would be for artists to rise up and overthrow the labels and just deal with fans direct. I'd really rather just have my cash going to them and the folks behind the creation of the art.

No competition (1)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582482)

Until content publishers offer a simple, affordable, hardware neutral method of legally obtaining and owning every TV show, film and song ever created, over the Internet, pirates will have the advantage.

The thing that always pisses me off the most... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582488)

... is that asshole pirates seem to think they're entitled to whatever they want to take. Can't afford something? Don't want to bother going through legit channels? Want to try before you buy? TOUGH, fucking deal with it!

If you don't agree with the terms that something is being sold at, fine, don't buy it. You do not, however, have a right to just take whatever you want and ignore the wishes of the creator. That's just being a douchebag.

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