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Aussie Case Unlikely To Solve Piracy Riddle In Fast Broadband World

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the at-least-the-lawyers-won dept.

Movies 219

An anonymous reader writes "When some of Hollywood's biggest movie and TV studios took Australian ISP iiNet to court in 2008 — accusing it of facilitating piracy — it focused the eyes of the world downunder. Internet users and media companies alike were keen to see if the courts could figure out how to resolve the ongoing battle caused by easy, and essentially illegal, access to copyrighted material. After three and a half years and a number of appeals the high court judgement comes down on Friday, but it already looks like a failed attempt to solve an impossible riddle."

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Not impossible (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706845)

The piracy riddle is not impossible, but the two sides of the argument have taken irreconcilable positions. Zero respect for IP is not ideal, and neither is absolute authority to enforce IP rights in all media and devices.

Why can't we all just get along? [mediate.com]

Re:Not impossible (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39706883)

Zero respect for IP is not ideal, and neither is absolute authority to enforce IP rights in all media and devices.

That's just an opinion, but I do agree with it.

But between the two, I'd much rather have the former. The problem with the latter is that it advocates collective punishment. DRM, nonsensical bills like SOPA, etc, all hurt innocents and restrict freedom. Probably more than pirates who know what they're doing. I think collective punishment is immoral.

That said, I don't really agree that it's possible to stop it. The scope of the internet is too vast, and there are many who simply don't care. I think it's something we will have to live with, and learn to adapt to it.

Re:Not impossible (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706919)

Zero respect for IP is not ideal, and neither is absolute authority to enforce IP rights in all media and devices.

That's just an opinion, but I do agree with it.

But between the two, I'd much rather have the former.

What I'd like to see is an open marketplace with clear labeling: DRM vs non DRM. Both producers and consumers should be free to choose, with non-trivial options on both sides. It seems to me that non DRM audio entertainment and video games are starting to make some significant headway, while the motion picture industry is still playing ostrich and saying all DRM, everywhere, all the time is the only thing conceivable.

I bought one DRM'ed album on iTunes for my iPad, it was such an unholy disappointing pain in the ass that I will never do that again - in contrast, I spent thousands of dollars on essentially non DRM'ed vinyl back in the day, and hundreds of dollars on high quality tape and tape recorders to protect and extend my fair use ownership rights of the music on the LPs.

Re:Not impossible (4, Interesting)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707049)

I bought one DRM'ed album on iTunes for my iPad

How did you manage that?
The iPad was released in March 2010.
Apple had stopped using DRM for music on iTunes by the end of March 2009, a year earlier.

Re:Not impossible (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707181)

I bought "Red Velvet Car" with some bonus video content from the iTunes store, maybe it's not DRM, I thought it wasn't when I clicked "Buy Now", maybe there's some way to download it to my PC, I sure as hell don't have the time to figure out how - I did take about 1/2 an hour looking through the menus, encountering statements like "authorized on up to 5 devices" and similar, nothing clearly labeling a way to just get a bloody .mp3 or whatever file out to another device. I searched through Google, in blogs, and, after what I considered an appropriate amount of my time had been wasted learning about what is clearly a "different" system of content distribution, concluded that I'll stick with buying .mp3s from Amazon and other vendors, a format that I can readily understand and copy to any of the dozens of devices that I occasionally listen to music on, and backup with all my other music files.

Re:Not impossible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707377)

The easy way is to connect your ipad, right click it in itunes and select "Transfer Purchases". It will copy the music to your PC.

Otherwise

On your PC, open iTunes, click on "Purchased" under the "Store" menu on the left, and then at the bottom "download previous purchases". This lets you download all previous purchases.

Re:Not impossible (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707523)

Thanks for the tip, in my particular situation, my MacBook has gone faulty, iTunes on my PC sucks, and I have been using the iPad mostly un-tethered for some time now. Trying your instructions now... I do have to point out that there is a many pages long "Terms and Conditions" that I have to click through - another cost of doing business that seems ridiculous to me (not unique to Apple, I know)... O.K. so, now the tracks are downloaded into iTunes on the PC, and I can see the .mp4/.aac files in Windows explorer... part of why I never bothered to jump through these hoops was that I hated the ultra-compressed production style of the album, but it also strikes me as a grudging kind of DRM release rather than a helpful: oh, you paid for these songs, here you go, please enjoy them on all your devices approach.

Re:Not impossible (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707481)

And you just pointed out the answer, just look at Valve. With Steam what you have is a lot like the old disc based copy protection, there are a bazillion cracks out there but its just enough to keep it from being absurdly trivial for Joe Average to hand out the games to all his friends and in return the sales make it so damned cheap frankly it isn't worth the effort to pirate for a lot of people.

What the whole insane IP mess has done is made these douchebags think their "IP" is so damned precious they should be able to just avoid that whole "market pricing" thing and charge the absolute most assraping price they can slap on it. All piracy is is a sign from the market that the prices are wrong. humans are lazy creatures and if you hit the sweet spot on the price many will simply not bother as it'll be cheaper and easier to buy than to pirate. I have probably 40 games in Steam and another 40 from GOG, could i have not pirated them all? Sure but it wouldn't have been as easy as "push button and get game" and the prices were so low, why bother?

But instead what we get is nothing but DRMed up the ass garbage that makes the pirated version the better value. its like what Wil Wheaton pointed out when he bought some Dr Who off of Amazon and found it didn't work when he crossed the border for a show even though he had already "bought" the content "If I would have just pirated it I could be watching Dr Who right now". make it easy, make it convenient, make it cheap. miss any of the three and the pirated version will be the better version.

Re:Not impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707623)

What I'd like to see is a choice: DRM or copyright. If you choose to apply DRM to your product, you're opting out of the essential bargain of copyright - that the work will eventually enter the public domain - so you forgo its legal protection.

in australia... media sentry (2)

johnjones (14274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707807)

media sentry has started sending out notices in australia...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaSentry

basically these people are worse than useless and send out notices without actually proving one way or another, on top of that the rights holders most often dont condone it as they actually share out their "media" to try and trap people...

australia is so far behind in terms of TV and film distribution and the local networks ie. channel 7 and ten are frankly pathetic in terms of content buying only formats and pretending they are australian... how many shows have they actually created (funded from the start) ?
they then just try and buy content cheap after everyone else has broadcast it and hope the consumer wont seek alternative methods to consume content

ask anyone in TV/Film "have you ever downloaded a film/tv" and the answer is yes... why not simply make it all available at roughly the same time ?

treating people badly wont get you very far...

give sonsumers what they want is a novel concept....

john jones

Re:Not impossible (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707455)

As somebody who follows these issues closely (i.e. Copyright laws, related lawsuits, DRM, website blocking, etc.) I think both of you are not very well informed.

First, I think there's a lot of respect for intellectual property actually, even among people who occasionally download stuff for free. You have to understand, the "pirates" are a group made of very different people. Gender, age, social status and motives vary greatly from one pirate to another.
Most people don't pirate just to get free stuff, they pirate because
- they genuinely can't afford it (think children or people in severe poverty) or feel the original product is overpriced but would be happy to pay 60% if they could,
- they want to check out the quality of a game, movie or song before they pay for it,
- the original product has DRM and as a result, it's quality suffers or the product is not fully usable
- they want the money to go in the artist's pockets, not the publisher's
- they want a song or movie that is decades old and for which the artist shouldn't be entitled to get money, or the song/movie should be in the public domain by now if the law was reasonable.
- or they're upset at the company/producer/musician for some reason (for example, imagine you like Polanski's movies but refuse to give him a cent because he's a rapist).

Most "pirates" understand perfectly well that if you don't pay content producers, you end up with less content being made. Pirates aren't questioning that (although they do question the occasional claim by the industry that there would be 0 artists if nobody paid them a cent).

I think if there is any respect issue, it's the other way around: the industry doesn't respect customers, so customers are reluctant to give their money to the industry.
DRM is one lack of respect. No DRM has ever stopped pirates, every game with DRM has been pirated in less than 3 months. On the other hand, DRM inconveniences customers greatly, by hurting performance, creating bugs or sometimes locking people out of their game (for example, see Dragon Age and how you had to be connected to EA Games' servers the whole time while you played. If your connection dropped for a second, the game quit to your desktop and a few months ago the game could not be played for a whole week because EA were moving their servers.

Then there's the way publishers try to change the law to suit them, regardless of how it works for people. Spying on people's internet activity through ISPs, locking people out of the Internet, fining schools for making kindergarten students perform popular songs... yeah, that's real respect here.

How about DVD regions, and how you need a different DVD reader for each continent. A lot of people travel and immigrate in this day, so it affects quite a few people.

Or what about being a jerk, like Sony raising the prices on Whitney Houston's CDs minutes after her death? Of course they passed it off as an error, but it's obvious somebody at Sony realized the PR disaster that was about to follow - they would have gone with the raise in prices if only they had known the public wouldn't be offended.

Speaking of Sony, they sold PS3s with Linux, then remotely removed Linux from the consoles through an update. Of course you were free not to update, but then you had to stop playing online. Again, real respect there.

I could go on. The point is, people do respect IP. Pirates who never spend a cent on media are a tiny bunch. Greed is not what piracy is about at all. Most people know that they must support their favorite artists if they want more of their content, and people do this gladly.

But there's more to the piracy issue. For one thing, the industry is not fighting it because it hurts their profits. They're making millions, their profits are higher than ever before... It's not about losing money, despite what they claim.
These people are not stupid: they know DRM is unpopular. They know why people pirate. They know pirate gives them more exposure...
It's about control. They want to control which artist gets exposure (that's a great bargaining weapon when you want to get a new artist to sign with you - "sure you can have 10% of the profits, but if you agree to only 5% we'll give your music more air time than Justin Bieber").
They also want to control how artists publish. You see, publishers are just the middle-man. They don't do much, they just help artist get their music out there. Thanks to all the technologies that the Internet has developed, artists can now publish their music themselves. Open a website, put your music there, ask people to pay to download it, and there you go! You get 100% of the profits and there's no publishers to take a cent.

Publishers' very existence is threatened, they know it, and they're trying to kill the threat. The threat is the Internet, and they're trying to make sure the public doesn't use it to download music, or else artists will self-publish. Piracy is just an excuse, laws like SOPA and ACTA are not motivated by piracy at all.

Re:Not impossible (4, Interesting)

drkstr1 (2072368) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707821)

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.

I am a pirate, and proud of it. I would also consider myself to be one of the most generous persons I know with their money. I will download a DVD in a heart beat, but I also bought a $25 optional ticket to L5 [l5-series.com] , a crowd-sourced scifi series (well soon to be series, one episode made so far...). For this $25, I was able to stream the video from their website, or download it directly via HTTP or torrent. I was happy to spend this money. note: this is just one example, I don't mean to say this one act alone makes me a generous person.

Awhile back, I made the stupid mistake of actually purchasing a game I liked from a big studio (Shogun Total War). I had downloaded the torrent, and decided that it was worth supporting the artists/programmers that created it, so I later purchased it through steam and deleted the cracked copy. I cannot play the purchased version of this game without internet due to the DRM ( I know steam has offline mode, but it always gives me the tough-shit message), and my internet goes down rather frequently. These guys punished me for paying them money!! Lesson learnt, thanks EA games.

You want to stop piracy? Then start providing a better service than the friggin' pirates! I would happily pay money for such a service, and I know many pirates who share my sentiments.

Re:Not impossible (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707889)

PS: here is the direct link to the L5 episode (stream or download).

http://vodo.net/l5 [vodo.net]

I strongly recommend it for anyone into scifi. The acting and production quality is not at all what I was expecting for a crowed-sourced production. Give these guys your support!

Re:Not impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707849)

Great comment. I'm with you on every point you listed.
I would like to share my story:
Apart from 2 games I bought on Steam to play with my friends, I'd never paid for any video. It wasn't that I couldn't afford it, but it was at all times easier to go to thepiratebay.org .
That said, when Louis CK released his DRM free standup, it was a game changer. I was already on his website and all I had to do was click buy. 2 minutes later I could start watching his show. I found it great to pay for it, seeing how I was sure who the money was going to. And it felt like sticking it to the labels.

Apart from that, I never felt guilty for not paying for movies. I go see most them at the Cinema as soon as they are released, so why should I be paying for them again, just to relive a previous experience?

Regulatory capture (3, Interesting)

barv (1382797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707835)

Copyright was, when first invented, a way for a writer or inventor to recover value for their creative work. They got a couple decades of protection, then their copyright vanished.

Nobody else had copyright. Musicians had to perform, because phonographs weren't invented. Same with acting and just about everything else.

Then technologists invented ways to capture music, make movies. Somebody thought it would be a good ideas to allow copyrights on the product of new technology. The promoters invented regulatory capture (see Wikipedia) and because the technology to copy was expensive, nobody cared much.

But the markets have grown. And the time to get the product to market has shrunk. And the copy technology has gotten very cheap.

  So to get the same reward, artists only need to charge one tenth or one hundredth the price from each sale.

But the bad old mpaa and Riaa and the rest have gotten used to getting big $ for their property. They don't want to lose their Porsches and Malibu beach house.

Look fellas. The game is up. Go find another scam. The artists are already direct selling. The writing is on the wall.

Re:Regulatory capture (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39708051)

The record labels aren't really that important any more. They date from a time when selling music on a large scale needed access to record-pressing factories, big chain store contracts, fleets of distribution trucks, hugely expensive professional recording gear and such things. Now anyone with a little talent can almost match that gear with a cheap computer and decent mic, and distribute online for free. Getting payment for it is a bit harder, but when the cost of production and distribution is so low even just donations can be profitable.

Movies, on the other hand, are still so expensive that very few individuals could afford to do it as a hobby. No getting around that one: If you want to see movies made, you need studio companies.

Re:Not impossible (4, Insightful)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706907)

The thing is... I don't think a free and open internet is possible together with strong, enforcable and actively enforced copyright laws.

Re:Not impossible (-1, Flamebait)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706935)

The thing is... I don't think a free and open internet is possible together with strong, enforcable and actively enforced copyright laws.

You could say the same thing about kiddie porn...

Re:Not impossible (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39706999)

The thing is... I don't think a free and open internet is possible together with strong, enforcable and actively enforced copyright laws.

You could say the same thing about kiddie porn...

yes, you could. But that would be stupid and irrelevant to the discussion.

Re:Not impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707919)

Does that mean if downloading movies for free kills the movie industry then downloading child porn for free would kill the child porn industry?

Thus if you are trying to kill the evil child porn industry that exploits innocent children you should pirate more child porn?

We're only sending to prison the evil child porn addicts that actually buy the stuff and support the industry right?

Re:Not impossible (3)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706911)

Mediation makes no sense when there is a right and a wrong.

Imagine that instead of being abolished, slavery had been allowed to continue on cane farms because otherwise the cane couldn't be cut economically.

Or the minimum wage only applies to people with a college education.

You could imagine both being compromise outcomes. And sometimes the compromise is the worst of all outcomes because it stops you from doing what should be done from the outset.

Re:Not impossible (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706993)

Back in the 1700s and before, "civilized men" recognized the value of intellectual property to society as a whole and provided foundations for it in most governmental systems. These IP protecting systems, like so much else, have been morphed and twisted by entities with power and influence to benefit themselves as much as possible, and in my opinion they have gone almost far enough that abolishment of IP protection might be just as good as the IP protection systems we have today if it weren't for the social upheaval that abolishment would cause.

However, the fundamental idea of protection of intellectual property is a good one. "Information wants to be free" is not fundamentally right in the way that "Thou shall not kill" is fundamentally right.

Perhaps the path to a better world starts with 100,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

Re:Not impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707299)

I'm sure there are more than 100,000 lawyers.

Re:Not impossible (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707349)

I'm sure there are more than 100,000 lawyers.

As the joke goes, it would be a good start.

Nonsense (1)

countach (534280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707697)

How could these "civilized men" have recognised "intellectual property", when there was no such thing in existence for them to recognise? There was ideas, sure, but it wasn't "property" till they made it so.

Re:Not impossible (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39708031)

But in the middle is a compromise position where piracy runs rampant and technology is still locked-down and restricted. Neither side is happy with that. Piracy started off as just a way to get free stuff, but it's a lot more political now.

Nothing "impossible" about it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39706849)

Nothing "impossible" about this "riddle":

You want me to police my customers for you? Fuck you, pay me.
You want me to hand over subscriber data without a court order? Fuck you, pay me.
You want me to block websites based on your sayso? Fuck you, pay me.
You want me to shut off paying customers because you don't like what they're downloading? Fuck you, pay me.

Re:Nothing "impossible" about it (1)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706895)

I think the answer to all of those should be, "Nope!"

Re:Nothing "impossible" about it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707425)

Well, what do you think the odds are that they would be afford to pay for the service? Even on a $30 movie you very quickly get to the point of it costing more than the "lost sale" to enforce it properly. What they really want is the ISP to assume responsibility for enforcement and don't want to have to pay for it to be done properly.

Re:Nothing "impossible" about it (4, Insightful)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707099)

That suggests that these things would be OK if the MPAA (or whoever) paid the ISPs. If that were allowed, then that would create a much worse internet than we have now.

We need to ensure that such a business model for ISPs would never be legal. That's what these court cases are about.

Re:Nothing "impossible" about it (4, Insightful)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707193)

Nothing "impossible" about this "riddle":

You want me to police my customers for you? Fuck you!
You want me to hand over subscriber data without a court order? Fuck you!
You want me to block websites based on your sayso? Fuck you!
You want me to shut off paying customers because you don't like what they're downloading? Fuck you!

Fixed that for you.

Re:Nothing "impossible" about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707965)

Nothing "impossible" about this "riddle":

You want me to hand over subscriber data without a court order? Fuck you, pay me.

This is a blatant violation of privacy legislation.

Disconnect Trap (3, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706891)

Two problems with disconnect as approved by the High Court, the RIAA/MPAA have to pay for it and they are liable for false disconnects.

If a business is affected that could be hugely expensive. Even residential users could stick them with a pretty massive civil suit. Online banking, online grocery shopping, online local government communications, social networking, remote working etc. total up the benefits of those services as losses to the consumer and the period of loss and the RIAA/MPAA could be in for some real pain.

Best way to tackle is to haul the ISP into court and get them to warrant the accuracy of the IP address time correlation to the tune of a million dollars (as the sole form of evidence), if it should prove inaccurate then they should pay a penalty.

Next up RIAA/MPAA will have to prove accuracy and full evidentiary proof of their accusation, not best guess, not paid per kick off bias and, not sounds like looks like (files names only is a fail). So they will hate it.

Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (5, Insightful)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706945)

Regarding TV 'piracy' in Australia, popular television programs are aired in the US/Canada days, weeks or months before here, so people download them in order to stay up to date. That said, many people (myself included) have subscription television that does eventually broadcast these programs, generally commercial free. Does downloading these programs ahead of their broadcast in Australia constitute piracy if you're paying for the subscription television services that eventually broadcast them?

With regards to film, movies can be delayed by as much as six months (to match 'summer movies' with the Australian summer) from their US debuts. Sometimes, the DVD becomes available overseas before a movie is shown in Australia! Obviously, this is absurd. Peer pressure in internet social groups to download and watch these films can be immense. Australians cannot be expected to have a popular movie 'spoiled' for them by idle chit-chat, nor should the other 95% of users who HAVE seen the movie be forced to keep quiet until Australians get a chance to see it. If release dates were universal, this would be far less of a problem.

However, since Australians already pay per-gigabyte (either through a cap or pre-paid) perhaps the easiest and best solution for all concerned is to whack on a modest per-GB tariff, similar to the Canadian levy on blank media, to be paid back to content producers. It would be controversial, but perhaps less riotous than attempting to police piracy and 'shut down' accused offenders without due process.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (4, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39706997)

This. Valve learned from Steam that game piracy numbers in Eastern Europe were high because piracy gave a better product: Better (hacked) translations, faster release dates, and no DRM scheme. Valve fixed two of those problems and watched the money roll in.

Piracy isn't just people being cheap, but don't let any content producers know that.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (3, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707561)

Piracy isn't just people being cheap

Steve Jobs arrived at basically the same conclusion way back in 2001, that the way to compete with "free" was to provide overwhelming convenience and better customer service in exchange for a nominal fee. The reason that we don't see more of this in practice is that the content owners believe, wrongly, that they can charge a much higher price for a product that is designed to be inconvenient (aka DRM) and get away with it. Of course, the marketplace proves daily that this is false, but for some reason, perhaps escalation of commitment, the content owners cannot or will not admit defeat. The technology industry should stop coddling the content industry and start twisting the knife instead. Now is their chance to deliver the coup de grâce to Hollywood, while they're on the ropes, and yet something stays their hand. Google, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle could collectively crush Hollywood for interfering in their business. Perhaps they should before Hollywood releases "Bride of SOPA".

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707983)

A spokesman for Telenor, the Norwegian telco, summed this up beautifully. He said 'We find that when we are the best source for our own content, we own the content'. This should be tattooed on every MPAA executive's forehead.

Completely OT (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707731)

Pardon my ignorance, but I've seen this before, and I've always been curious: what does it mean to start your post with "This."?

Re:Completely OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707793)

They're expressing support for the parent post.

Re:Completely OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707805)

It means "the post I'm replying to is correct" / "I agree with what the guy above me said". Usually it's followed either by ideas on an adjacent topic or an explanation of why it's right; or, not rarely, by nothing, in which case the post is useless.

Re:Completely OT (1)

Tooke (1961582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707847)

yeah, that's one my (many) pet peeves. Seems like it's short for "I very much agree with this".

Re:Completely OT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707935)

yeah, that's one my (many) pet peeves.

This.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (2)

nightweaver (453060) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707837)

I have a hearing loss and need subtitles/captions to properly follow dialogue in TV/movies without having the volume unacceptably loud. As a sci-fi fan, this becomes especially true as it is much harder to guess what a word you didn't hear was when the word is made up.

Some of the Australian distributors of DVDs have a very annoying habit of releasing TV shows without subtitles, even when the original release had them. This leaves me the choice of spending money on a product that I would like but not be able to fully enjoy, or find it for download with readily available subtitles for free. As much as I'd like to support good (IMHO) television, I'd be much more inclined to support it being released in a format I enjoy.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (0)

jimi1x (1105911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707023)

Does downloading these programs ahead of their broadcast in Australia constitute piracy if you're paying for the subscription television services that eventually broadcast them?

Yes it does.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (4, Informative)

deek (22697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707765)

And yet, no, it doesn't.

The receiver has paid for the product via subscription fees, and receives the product, albeit via a slightly more unconventional route. Content providers have been suitably reimbursed for their effort. This situation is more subtle than you think, and certainly doesn't deserve a blatant "Yes it does" answer.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707069)

However, since Australians already pay per-gigabyte (either through a cap or pre-paid) perhaps the easiest and best solution for all concerned is to whack on a modest per-GB tariff, similar to the Canadian levy on blank media, to be paid back to content producers. It would be controversial, but perhaps less riotous than attempting to police piracy and 'shut down' accused offenders without due process.

So tell me, who gets paid from the tariff? Because it sure won't be me, regardless of what I make.

This kind of arrangement only goes to pad the pockets of large publishers with the reward for the hard work put in by a lot of small or independent content producers.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707071)

However, since Australians already pay per-gigabyte (either through a cap or pre-paid) perhaps the easiest and best solution for all concerned is to whack on a modest per-GB tariff, similar to the Canadian levy on blank media, to be paid back to content producers.

Yay, free money for the content producers, and jack squat for the consumer. Because those Canadian blank media levies have stopped any persecution of consumers copying the media they've now paid for, am I right?

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707213)

That explains why the Aussies are always the most adept at downloading TV shows and making animated gifs/video clips from them before anyone else! I still don't understand the reason for the delay in airing North American shows in Australia.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (3, Interesting)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707995)

I still don't understand the reason for the delay in airing North American shows in Australia.

The content provides would not want their shows appearing in the small Australian market prior to it being broadcast in the much larger (and more lucrative) US market. Staying too close the the US shedules (eg. within a week of the US broadcast) mean that the any interruption in the schedule would have to be mirrored in the Australian schedule (including the bizarre "lets-cut-the-season-in-half" that is so annoying). If they provide themselves with a buffer of a couple of weeks delay, then people will just download the shows anyway.

Australian networks have experimented with "fast-tracked" broadcasting. They don't seem to do it much now, which suggests that it didn't have a large impact on the viewing figures. I guess it is still easier to download shows and watch them when and where you want than have to bother with live broadcast (with ads), although a PVR solved that problem for me.

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (3, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39708013)

The delay is simply because the Australian TV networks have buy the content off the American producers. For the bulk of shows, they wait and see how well it does in the US before spending the money to buy it. They let the US audiences do the audience testing then make a judgement whether it's worth them buying it or not (so we don't get that phenomenon you see in the US sometimes where a show starts and only lasts a few weeks then gets cancelled).

For some popular shows though, they buy them ahead of time, and for those shows we get them ASAP (within a day or two). For instance we get the Wednesday 'Late Late Show' on Thursday (which is actually as quick as is possible due to the time zone difference - the Wednesday shows airs in the US around lunchtime Thursday Australian time).

Re:Factors influencing Aussie 'piracy': (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707587)

However, since Australians already pay per-gigabyte (either through a cap or pre-paid) perhaps the easiest and best solution for all concerned is to whack on a modest per-GB tariff, similar to the Canadian levy on blank media, to be paid back to content producers.

So then you'd be making internet teleconferencing pay the content industry for the next 100 years to come.

Why respect copyright or artists? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39706967)

The Pirate Bay is the best. I can download movies, tv shows, software, games, and I don't have to pay for them. Fuck those artists, even the independent ones who are affiliated with the MPAA/RIAA/MAFIAA, I just like free shit.

I don't see what the point is for artists to expect to be payed anymore. Payment is just another form of restricting people from enjoying a film or a piece of software. I hate when programs or games have DRM that prevent me from playing them. And I hate it when those games or programs make me pay to use them. I can just bypass the DRM and monetary exchange and enjoy someone's artwork or software or whatever.

They should be happy that I enjoy their work and so what if they don't get reimbursed. I can just automatically assume that they are with the RIAA. Who cares if its independently developed software or an independent videogame? The RIAA exists so let's pirate. Fuck those artists.

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707057)

"The RIAA exists so let's pirate. Fuck those artists."

How about if I come to your house and take all your possessions ?

You know, fuck you if you paid money for your stuff, I am going to come
take it all from you and you won't get any reimbursement.

You may as well leave your door locks unlocked, that's not going to stop me
any more than DRM stops you.

Afterward we will see if your position on being able to take things for free changes.

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707775)

Except when he has so-called-stolen something, it's still there. The only people that think copyright infringement is theft are ignoramouses and corporate shills.

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39708009)

If you want to make identical copies, with no loss to me, of all my stuff... Go ahead, you don't even need to break it, I'll let you copy to your heart's content. Doesn't hurt or bother me in the slightest.

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (1)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707101)

Nice sarcasm. I hope. Either that or by your ethos you have no right to claim wages/salary/benefits from your employer/social security provider (most probably the latter).

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707281)

You know, comparing piracy to not paying a taxi driver or someone who you asked to do a job for you is usually pure idiocy, but you've left yourself wide open to that thanks to the particular arguments you used.

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (1)

Lotana (842533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707429)

Nice troll, alas too easily idenitified as soon as you get to third sentence. 6/10

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707549)

It's pretty obvious sarcasm.

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707767)

Shill

Re:Why respect copyright or artists? (1)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707809)

Yeah, I'll bite. Why not? (I'm assuming you are being sarcastic rather than trolling, but actually it doesn't matter).

You won't pay. By extension most people won't pay. So, most artists won't get paid, and so no art will be created. No music. No painting. No novels. No movies. No games.

I think not. People will continue to make music/painting/novels/movies/games. Maybe not as many---but maybe not. Look at Youtube. All of that amateur stuff. Most is the utter dreck of Sturgeon's Law, but some is actually Not Too Bad.

And why do the artists do it? Gasp! People do things Without Being Paid! Maybe they do it for the fame. Or sheer ego.

Or they find other ways of being paid. Patrons. Concerts. Merchandise. Advertising.

My point is that if you abolished copyright, you would certainly disrupt things, but you would NOT abolish art. You might not even disrupt things as much as you might think.

Music, great music, existed before the Statute of Anne (1710). Monteverdi, Corelli, Purcell, Couperin, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach, Scarlatti, Handel---all born before 1710. There was a time before copyright.

Are you merely being sarcastic and arguing that piracy hurts artists? In that case, we should find a better way than the current copyright regime to reward artists, because the current copyright regime doesn't work very well.

The Real objective (5, Insightful)

EnempE (709151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707011)

I think there is a lot of smoke around what this is about.

The idea is to get a ruling that makes an ISP responsible for the the abuse of copyright that happens on its servers. This would lead to the the ISPs being forced to pay licencing fees to the licence owners. The costs involved with keeping track of and processing the licencing fees from a few thousand ISPs would be much easier than chasing individuals. This would turn the Internet into a solid revenue stream for the licence holders, and allow it to succeed radio and television as a source of royaties and insure against the failure of payed content such as DVDs and iTunes.

At the moment ISPs are treated like telephone carriers, the MPAA etc. want them treated as broadcasters were so that they can extract payment in a way that they are comfortable with.

Australia is a good place to do this in the eye of the MPAA because they feel that they can bully and buy the result, which they can use as a landmark in the UK, and then show as an example to courts in the US.

This is not about stopping people from sharing content, they want people to keep doing that as their content is being viewed more often. What they want is to get payed for people viewing it, regardless of how they got it, while still not having to pay for the distribution.

Re:The Real objective (3, Informative)

ras (84108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707723)

Australia is a good place to do this in the eye of the MPAA because they feel that they can bully and buy the result

Bully and buy the result, in Australia? Seriously? If they thought that then they don't know Australian's, their politicians or their ISP's for that matter. As has now been borne out. 4+ years, still no result, the government hasn't stepped in and the media and public opinion is lined up against them.

By the way, you might like to ask the Tobacco companies how easy it is to bully and bribe to get a result in Australia. We are the first on the planet to introduce plain packaging laws [wikipedia.org] . They've tried well funded media campaigns [smh.com.au] , astroturfing campaigns [abc.net.au] where their convinced small shop owner associations to be their mouthpiece, and are currently carrying out their threat to challenge it on constitution grounds [smh.com.au] in our law courts. They brought suits [qld.edu.au] against the Australian government in foreign courts over treaty violations. Again, so far, no result. The law has passed both houses and will be enforced shortly.

That cultural misunderstanding aside, you are just plain wrong. They have tried to pull this stunt in numerous places with some success in the US, France and NZ off the top of my head. In no way was Australia singled out.

Re:The Real objective (3, Informative)

EnempE (709151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707939)

Not plain wrong, not even vanilla wrong. If I am to be any kind wrong may it be a kind of wild fig and truffle wrong that no one likes but everyone orders when they are on a first date to appear sophisticated and worldly.
I present words of others ( Australian others) on this particular issue when talking of messages from the US leaked by wikileaks:
"“AFACT and MPAA worked hard to get Village Roadshow and the Seven Network to agree to be the public Australian faces on the case to make it clear there are Australian equities at stake, and this isn’t just Hollywood “bullying some poor little Australian ISP,” the cable quoted the US Embassy as writing.
...
iiNet, the cable claimed, had been targeted because the ISP was “big enough to be important”, as the third-largest ISP in Australia. The MPAA didn’t go after Telstra, the cable claimed, because the telco was “the big guns” and had “the financial resources and demonstrated willingness to fight hard and dirty, in court and out."
http://delimiter.com.au/2011/08/30/wikileaks-cable-outs-secret-iitrial-background/ [delimiter.com.au]
Well that does lend weight to idea that they thought they could bully, and that the financing was critical in deciding which ISP to target.
From the Sydney Morning Herald (Australian Author):
"It seems the MPAA deliberately avoided picking a fight with the more powerful Telstra, instead hoping for a quick victory against the smaller iiNet which could set a national and perhaps even international legal precedent to aid the Americans in their global fight against piracy" http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/blogs/gadgets-on-the-go/afact-uncle-sams-puppet-in-iinet-trial-20110902-1jp4w.html [smh.com.au]

I am not alone in having formed the opinion that this matter was motivated by a desire to influence things overseas.
The references are provided so that you can see the basis from which I was representing the perceptions and intentions of the MPAA in this matter. I am going to also assume when you insisted that " you are just plain wrong" you intended that the MPAA and associated parties are just plain wrong, and that the cultural misunderstanding was on their part as well.
I did not state that Australia was singled out, we both know they weren't. I didn't state that Australia was actually the best choice either, the facts as you quite rightly pointed out, are proof of the issues with trying to slip something through in Australia. I am very proud of the efforts of the government regarding smoking (especially the ban in clubs etc) I just wish more people would quit. Thanks for the update on how that issue is progressing

Personally, I think they are barking up the wrong tree and this is not the best solution to their issue. I think this trend towards the legal department being a profit center through patents and other actions is not beneficial to markets or companies (designers and engineers have lower pay rates than lawyers).

:-)

Solving an impossible riddle (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707025)

From TFA "When put simply, it is clear that they are not really the bad guys. They are just trying to find a way ... any way ... to stop people stealing their content".

Australia already has a legal framework in place for copyright holders to seek restitution from online infringers. It was included as part of the AU-US free trade agreement. All the studios need to do is get the IP address of the alleged offender, then get a court order for the ISP to hand over the details so the studio can take that individual to court. There's a framework in place for this to be nice and easy.

The crux of the matter is that after forcing this change of law on Australia, the studios have never bothered to use it. Instead they've decided they didn't really want that law anyway so are instead trying to bully the ISPs instead.

This case isn't about "piracy". It's about large corporations flailing around blindly because they're unsure of what they want.

Re:Solving an impossible riddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707327)

I thought that it was becuase they couldn't afford to hire enough lawyers to take each case to court individually. And it also doesn't take into account the cost to the Australian court system if they did.

Availablitly and access is paramount (5, Insightful)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707051)

The biggest issue is availability. There are so many times where I have wanted to pay hard-earned cash for product only to be knocked back with 'not available in your region' insanity. Thanks to being able to stream the same stuff fromYouTube from the 'official channel' makes this even more obnoxious.

The solution is simple: if you're going to release something, it must be available everywhere at the same time. Also, offer it for free with no DRM with the option of paying a reasonable sum and people will pay for it. I know this as I have been involved in the independant music business over here for nearly a decade now.

People want stuff to be convenient, regardless of price. Currently, piracy is the more convenient option for many situations. Make your product convenient and you will win.

Finally, there is a large portion of the market who do not have the ability to spend money on entertainment product. This is usually due to their being under sixteen years old and not eligible for credit cards and the like. These people are often the very ones that spread the awareness of your product furthest (just look at how McDonalds, for example, abuses such influence on a child's family and friends).

This whole argument is a stupid one: one group feels entitled to money, the other feels entitled to culture. The second group will always win.

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707109)

I knew a girl once, yes, shocking for a /.er I know, but back in the 1980s she worked as a model for Bob Guccione and did various things for publication in various regions. Back then, it was common for models to be enticed to do certain things "for overseas markets" that they would never consider doing for a magazine that their family and friends would see in the local store. I thought she was awfully trusting to believe that not a single copy of the "region restricted" photographs would ever make it back to her hometown, but, in the 1980s, it actually worked out as advertised.

Now 25+ years later, I think the world is quite a bit smaller, and restriction by region is an outdated concept that should be scrapped, but there are an awful lot of business models built around it that are resisting the inevitable.

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (2)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707151)

I think you're right, and companies that do fly in the face of the new age are just begging to be killed off mercilessly. Look at today's /. article [slashdot.org] about the CDC in Canada rocking the boat and annoying the encumbents.

I'd like to find out how Brittish radio has been going with their new method of making tracks available as soon as they are aired on radio, rather than the previous minimum four weeks later that was found to cause people to find illegal copies: convenience is king.

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707229)

We currently watch a couple of TV series on hulu-free, and in the U.S. they make us wait 8 days to get the new shows - it's a game, so, we can't hob-nob with friends who a) pay for hulu, b) bittorrent the shows, or c) put a ridiculous kink in their life to watch the broadcast, about the new shows when they first come out... oh well, doesn't really upset us, or most of our friends, enough to take up any of the other 3 options.

The thing that really gets me is the ever-present advertising, regardless of medium. Hulu-free was reasonable for awhile, but I'm not sure if hulu-paid is even 100% ad-free, and I'd rather not get hooked into it being ad-free and then have them start slipping them in little by little the way premium cable tv has.

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707505)

There are legal (DVR) time shifting options to avoid the need for streaming TV to be instant, but they dropped in price too late to be popular and aren't foolproof, and still have ads.. so it's really hard for that to compete with torrents.

Hulu seems pretty cheap to me, but that's a relative term. My biggest problem w/ Hulu is I hate the interface.

I completely agree with the advertising question though, I will never pay for a service which is then pushing ads as well. When some of the cable/satellite services started in Australia they had the perfect storm of why I would never subscribe:
- all content was old
- all content (except premium movies) had ads inserted, including the premium TV
- everything was repeated at least 3 times a day

Even before they had paid advertisers they had channel ads in all the slots to fill the 22 minutes of programming into a 30 minute show.

Who pays for that?

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707393)

The biggest issue is availability. There are so many times where I have wanted to pay hard-earned cash for product only to be knocked back with 'not available in your region' insanity.

I had an entertaining time last night trying to buy an ebook. The authors blog said it was available, as did the publishers newsletter, and a couple of reviewers I follow, but every site that purported to sell the book, in ebook or hardcover, just said 'This product cannot be delivered to your region.' Finally, I tracked down the Australian publishers site, which said that ebook version of their products were available through Amazon, and linked me to a page that said 'not available in your region, please contact your local publisher.'

So I'm sorry, I tried to buy the book, I wasted two hours trying to buy the book, but the people the author has signed up with have made it so I can only see the advertising, not the product. At that point I'd wasted enough time that it was too late to cook dinner, so my local Chinese take-away got my money, not Amazon or Penguin Australia or any of the other book sellers who could have had it.

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (2)

Zuriel (1760072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707705)

The biggest issue is availability. There are so many times where I have wanted to pay hard-earned cash for product only to be knocked back with 'not available in your region' insanity.

This, absolutely. I can't believe how difficult it is to find a way to give some companies my money. There's Australian companies which let you place an order, then a partner living in the US orders the item from the US store to be shipped to their US residence, then the US partner ships it internationally to you. They make good money doing this. If you ever need proof that region locking is insane, point at those guys.

Re:Availablitly and access is paramount (1)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707875)

There are some unscrupulous stores (not going to name and shame here as I'm now heading OT) whose physical product is segregated this way and they try to hide the fact that the very same product is being sold to American customers at significantly reduced prices in comparison to locally, in both their internet or brick-and-mortar stores.

Solved by TOR + international PO Box forwarding, but what an unnecessary pain to avoid this ridiculous exclusion. People can be such greedy... no. Mustn't stoop to their level.

biased article (0)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707055)

"What no one can deny is that it is stealing"

File copying is not stealing since no one loses anything when it happens. Sure it may change the landscape of how to make a profit, but if it was legal for everyone to copy everything, I think there would be a net societal game. Imagine if K-12-college books were on digital form, and schools no longer had to pay for books. This would save 10,000$ per student in K-12 career. Everyone would have access to every piece of media known to man instead of just those who have money. The old and tired argument that no one would ever make any new media only goes so far.

I do not pirate things, but we can't just go,"We've concluded that filesharing is stealing." when the issue is far more deep than that. Free filesharing might actually be good for the world.

Re:biased article (3, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707141)

Publishing a copy of a book (without permission) was a crime in 1799, and it should still be a crime today. The author, and original publisher, are both damaged by lost revenue from their more difficult endeavor of creating the original content. Just because every person who has $500 to buy a PC can now copy huge digital works for fractions of a penny, does not erase the essence of intellectual property and its benefits.

The stupid extension of copyright duration and ridiculous relaxation of patent examination standards in recent years are also crimes that should be rectified, even if we will never be able to properly punish the perpetrators.

If "DRM free" really is a better way, let it prove itself in parallel with a respected DRM world. Ripping off DRM'ed works does nothing to prove the benefits of a completely DRM free world.

Re:biased article (1)

musmax (1029830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707183)

You have no reasonable expectation that I would have paid for your book if I couldn't copy it. If I couldn't I wouldn't have it. So you lost nothing.

Re:biased article (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707397)

You have no reasonable expectation that I would have paid for your book if I couldn't copy it. If I couldn't I wouldn't have it. So you lost nothing.

That is indeed an argument, not a very good one I think, but you have made your point.

If I, as an author or artist, wanted you to have my book for free, I would have published it for free - see Cory Doctorow for extensive ramblings on the subject of getting paid for free work.

Back when, Bruce Springsteen had some vault copies of unreleased tracks released by pirates, he, too has been damaged by that, even though he was not seeking to make money from the unreleased tracks, his control of his public image was improperly taken away from him by people publishing works of his that they had no right to.

When the day comes that every room of every building has hundreds of cameras and microphones that record everything that goes on 24/7 in 3D high resolution / high fidelity and the content is all indexed, searchable and accessible to everyone, then, yes, I concede your point. As long as there exists a concept of privacy, that in itself is a form of intellectual property.

Re:biased article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707449)

was improperly taken away from him by people publishing works of his that they had no right to.

Because of the laws at the time. Laws can change, you know. Telling people who disagree with a certain law that what they disagree with is in fact currently law is not saying anything new or interesting.

As long as there exists a concept of privacy, that in itself is a form of intellectual property.

No, it's not. The concepts and reasons for its existence are completely different. You can have privacy and not have intellectual property, and vice versa. You've set up a false dilemma here.

Re:biased article (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707609)

As long as there exists a concept of privacy, that in itself is a form of intellectual property.

No, it's not. The concepts and reasons for its existence are completely different. You can have privacy and not have intellectual property, and vice versa. You've set up a false dilemma here.

Even though the reasons for their existence are different, the concepts are not completely independent - for a different aspect of closely related issues, see:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/02/censorship-inseperable-from-surveillance [guardian.co.uk]

The world may change to one in which non-DRMed/IP work is more valuable to society as a whole, and the author, than DRMed/IP work, but I think DRM/IP will continue to be valuable to society as a whole for some time in many areas, including arts and entertainment.

Re:biased article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707657)

People installing cameras in their houses (or being forced to) has absolutely nothing to do with copyright. And you implied that it does.

Even though the reasons for their existence are different, the concepts are not completely independent - for a different aspect of closely related issues, see:

I'd prefer a more direct example, as I don't agree with censorship or surveillance. But really, you can be against intellectual property in the traditional sense and for privacy. It's completely possible.

but I think DRM/IP will continue to be valuable to society

When has it been valuable? The DRM part, I mean.

Re:biased article (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707903)

And there is your problem: It is not "your" book. It is a book you created, but you have zero natural rights to it. You have the right to claim you created it though and to prevent others from claiming the same, unless they accidentally have created the same book. Any and all "damage" that results from others copying it is not damage to you at all, as you do not have any natural claim to compensation. The only natural rights you have is to a) not create the book and b) not publish it after creation. Everything else is purely artificial.

That said, there is some reason to compensate artists for works the public likes and that are to the public benefit. There is no reason at all to compensate publishers, though, that went out the window with the Internet. And there is no reason to model the compensation of the artist on the sale of physical goods. In fact there are rather good reasons not to.

Re:biased article (1)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707319)

are both damaged by lost revenue

They may or may not have lost potential profit. Whether they did or not depends on whether people would have bought their product.

I don't know if I agree with the word "damaged." I lose opportunities to gain (which is what potential profit is) all the time, but I would never say I was "hurt" or "damaged." Because I've really lost nothing. Now, I might feel disappointed (if I knew about it), and I certainly would have gained from it, but I didn't really lose anything I already had.

Re:biased article (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707495)

Publishing a copy of a book (without permission) was a crime in 1799, and it should still be a crime today. The author, and original publisher, are both damaged by lost revenue from their more difficult endeavor of creating the original content. Just because every person who has $500 to buy a PC can now copy huge digital works for fractions of a penny, does not erase the essence of intellectual property and its benefits.

I agree with the first part but not necessarily the second or third. The reason publishing a book without permission (commercial piracy) is a crime is that the publisher is a large entity taking advantage of an individual who lacks the resources to pursue justice, hence the criminal statutes. By contrast, an individual sharing contents owned by a megacorp does not cause the same sort of harm.

So for individuals committing copyright violations, I would say that civil penalties are okay, but criminal penalties are an abomination.

Re:biased article (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707621)

You are wrong. Selling a copy of a work is/was a crime. At that time, publishing was always tied to selling. It is not anymore.

Re:biased article (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707647)

You are wrong. Selling a copy of a work is/was a crime. At that time, publishing was always tied to selling. It is not anymore.

And many recent court decisions say that you are wrong, you do not have to sell a copy of a work to commit copyright infringement.

The lines need to be examined and redrawn, not erased entirely.

Re:biased article (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707683)

You were talking about historic law, and there you are wrong. Stop trying to change the subject. And I did not say anything about any lines.

Re:biased article (1, Troll)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707693)

The author, and original publisher, are both damaged by lost revenue from their more difficult endeavor of creating the original content.

You owe me $5 for going to the trouble of reading your post. I offer several means of payment, which do you prefer?

What's that you say? You don't intend to pay that? You've damaged me sir, you stole from me, that was money I could potentially have and do not! I will see you in court!

Does that sound ridiculous? I sure hope it does. Not giving someone money they could theoretically have had under certain circumstances is not the same as depriving them of property they actually currently possess. The second is theft, the first is not. Copying cannot be theft, because the original owner is not deprived of their property.

At the risk of a car analogy, imagine telling the police your neighbor stole your car, and it's in his garage right now. The officer arrives at your house, asking for a description of the stolen vehicle. You point to the car in your driveway. At this point, the officer looks confused-"Sir, did your neighbor return the car while I was driving over here?" "Well no, it's still in his garage!" "But sir, the car is in your driveway, you just pointed it out to me." "Well this one is, sure, but it's also in his garage! He bought the exact same make, model, color, everything, right down to the same leather seats!"

Sound ridiculous? That's because it is ridiculous. Theft requires that something be -taken away- from the original owner, not just that someone else has something just like it.

Re:biased article (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707217)

File copying is not stealing since no one loses anything when it happens.

Nobody is losing anything *TANGIBLE*.

It does not mean there is not a loss when somebody copies copyrighted material without permission. It's just that what is lost is intangible and most likely worthless to all but the copyright holder and the agents that represent him or her.

Re:biased article (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707909)

The complete debate is backwards. Mandatory compensation for creatives is a purely artificial thing. If it is removed, nobody is losing anything, things are just back to the natural state of things.

Re:biased article (1)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707295)

We've concluded that filesharing isn't stealing. See, I stated that as a fact and pretended as if that was the end of the debate. Doesn't that make me correct? Doesn't it!?

B13 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707145)

it should be nope

MPAA / RIAA Astroturfers Unite! (1)

dhammabum (190105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707243)

Funds dried up since Microsoft has pulled out of the astroturf market? Want penalty rates for having to endorse such appalling subjects? Join the AWU, the Astroturf Workers Union, and at least get decent pay for your perfidy. Our charter: "We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it for a shitload of money!" (apologies to Mel Brooks)

Re:MPAA / RIAA Astroturfers Unite! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707769)

Personally, I'm still waiting for my first payment.

And my employment contract.

And for my job position to actually exist first.

The **AA doesn't care enough about your opinion to pay people to try and fail to change it. Get over yourself.

Only one way to keep piracy down. (3, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707313)

First off, piracy cannot be stopped. Not by technological means, and not by legal means. Some people simply refuse to pay for it, and they will always pirate. There is nothing you can do to stop it, and you already have all the legal means necessary to address that issue.

You can limit piracy to a small enough percentage that it doesn't materially affect sales. Make it easy to buy, easy to use, and cheap enough that, for most people, it's not worth the risk of getting caught making illegal copies.

That's the only thing that has ever kept piracy under control, regardless of technology. Printed books were cheaper and more convenient than hand copied books. When the photocopier came out, it was generally more expensive (and tedious) to copy a book than to just buy a legitimate copy. Records and tapes were cheap, piracy wasn't a major issue. And while CDs were more expensive than records and tapes, they offered greater quality, greater durability, and no easy way to copy them while maintaining the quality, so piracy in CDs was mostly from professional counterfeiting groups (whom you have the legal tools to stop). There was no DRM, you could make personal use cassettes and MP3s from your CDs.

Piracy started growing in the VCR age, because the movies were expensive. So, they introduced MacroVision, and the copy-prevention arms race began. They continued it with DVDs using CSS, and high release prices. Professional counterfeiting soared. Repeat mistake with HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Broadband internet access became common, and with prices still high for DVDs, digital piracy of DVDs started growing. People wanted to watch their DVD based movies on their newer portable digital devices, but they had no way to transfer the content, then they found they could download those movies. And if they were going to have to download a copy anyway, why buy the overpriced original that they weren't going to use?

Started to repeat the same mistake with digital music downloads, but eventually conceded on DRM. Notice what happened to sales [wikipedia.org] after DRM was dropped from some labels starting in Jan 2007, they doubled, then doubled again in 2008, then when all the labels agreed to DRM free iTunes+ downloads in 2009, sales doubled again. How many billions of songs is Apple legally selling every year? ~4B. Granted, not all of that increase was due solely to removing DRM, but that was a key part of it. Apple's iTunes Store has also sold millions of feature length movies and hundreds of millions of TV episodes. Then, there is Amazon, licensed streaming music services, and other sellers.

TL;DR
Make it convenient, DRM free, and reasonably priced and 95%-99% of the potential market will pay for it. The ~1% who are committed to piracy will copy it no matter what you do. Technology changes rapidly, people are not willing to pay for the same material in a new format every few years, unless it's very cheap to do so. Until content distributors adapt a sales model that allows people to use their licensed media with any device they own that is capable of playing it, as many times as they wish to play it (or have a reasonable pay-per-view/rental model), piracy will continue to grow. All the attempts to limit it using DRM, technology, or laws will fail to slow piracy, in fact, they increase the incentive to seek out DRM free versions that are usually only available via "piracy". Resist that, and you'll soon find the market has gone elsewhere.

Re:Only one way to keep piracy down. (0)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707433)

TL;DR
Make it convenient, DRM free, and reasonably priced and 95%-99% of the potential market will pay for it. The ~1% who are committed to piracy will copy it no matter what you do.

In the U.S., we keep more than ~1% locked up [wikipedia.org] , or under close supervision of the court.

Truth and Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39707331)

As has been visible in earlier Slashdot stories and local Australian media reports, this is far from an attempt to resolve the issue fairly. An ISP, that was considered small enough to bully and beat in court was chosen so as to get a ruling that could be leveraged to then further bully and leverage improper charges against other ISPs. The ruling that is being sought has not been awarded in the US or Canada, nor the UK. Kudos to iiNet for not folding. I only hope that the court sees both the ludicrousness of the charge and the implications of the ruling.

The time for a copyright industry is over (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707603)

Intellectual property is a completely artificial construct, not a natural right at all. (Rather obviously. If you disagree, have a look into its history.) Artificial constructs need to be adjusted from time to time. As anybody is able to publish today without the help of the copyright industry, its time has passed and keeping it alive with legislation does a lot more damage than good. In the case of the patent industry this is becoming blatantly obvious as well with over-broad patents that have zero inventive value and only serve to sabotage the competition. In the case of the media copyright industry, there is no reason for their existence anymore.

Also keep in mind that artists have no natural right to compensation, that is also a purely artificial construct. The classical model is that they perform, and if people like it, they can donate. Or they can sponsor artists. That model has worked pretty well throughput history and basically the development of all arts. The pay-before-you-consume model pushed by the copyright industry is basically an attempt to compensate for bad quality (that people would _not_ donate for afterwards) and unrestricted greed. Yet, there is absolutely no risk that artists that produce things people like starving. This has been demonstrated numerous times by now. In fact, unlimited distribution over the Internet serves to give more obscure artists an audience that they could never get any other way. And while artists have no right to compensation, keeping them happy and productive _is_ desirable. There is however also zero need for artists to get rich. That is a modern perversion that served to diverse cultural diversity and basically is pushed by people getting rich off artists.

So there actually is not "riddle" to solve. There is just obsolete law to adjust, and not in favor of the copyright industry. Doing so would have tremendous cost, while the continued existence of the copyright industry has no benefit for society at all.

Re:The time for a copyright industry is over (1)

Smiddi (1241326) | more than 2 years ago | (#39707755)

Well said. I agree.
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