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IFPI Domain Dispute Likely to Go To Court

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the big-shock-here dept.

The Courts 90

fgaliegue writes "Ars Technica has a follow-up on the ifpi.com domain takeover by The Pirate Bay. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, ifpi.org, is quite unhappy that the .com is now a link to the (still not live) International Federation of Pirates Interests. The ifpi.com domain has been free as soon as March of this year, according to WebArchive. Nevertheless, the "real" IFPI wants to take it to the WIPO under the accusation of cybersquatting."

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Not actually squatting (3, Interesting)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062445)

They're putting it to good use, right? Besides, claims of squatting would sound rather strange considering ifpi.com had lapsed in March already, and they're only twitching now that it's become a mite embarrassing.

Still, one shouldn't underestimate the potential for corruption in organizations like the WIPO. Especially since they have their hands in the large and varied jar of "intellectual property".

Re:Not actually squatting (3, Informative)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062557)

They're putting it to good use, right?

It's not about "good use", it's about copyright and "bad faith" [icann.org] .

a. Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

In this case, it'd probably have to resort the part (iii), which usually is about one competitor registering another competitor's site. IE. Coca-Cola registering Pepsi.com and redirecting it to Coke.com. However, IANAL, and but they can probably convince some judge of part (iii) and (iv) below.

b. Evidence of Registration and Use in Bad Faith. For the purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following circumstances, in particular but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be present, shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:

(i) circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

(ii) you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or

(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

Re:Not actually squatting (4, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062701)

However, IANAL, and but they can probably convince some judge of part (iii) and (iv) below.
[...]
(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or


The IFPI is not a business. Pirate Bay is not its competitor. This clearly doesn't apply.

(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.


This is harder. However, the IFPI.com site has a prominent link to IFPI.org along with a disclaimer pointing out that they are not affiliated. Such disclaimers and links have, I believe, been successful in the past at protecting against claims under this term.

I think TPB have a fairly good case to keep the domain.

Re:Not actually squatting (2, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062717)

Also, TPB doesn't gain commercially from any visitors it attracts to the site. It's (likely to be) a political campaigning site. There are free speech arguments to be made here.

Re:Not actually squatting (0, Offtopic)

vico (255929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062755)

Obviously they earn a lot of money from displaying ads on tpb.com

See also: http://rixstep.com/1/20060708,00.shtml [rixstep.com]

Re:Not actually squatting (0)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063041)

Obviously they earn a lot of money from displaying ads on tpb.com

See also: http://rixstep.com/1/20060708,00.shtml [rixstep.com]
Are you stupid, or just being an ass? So the fuck what if TPB makes money? There's no link on ifpi.com to thepiratebay.org, so it clearly has no bearing on whether ifpi.com is "for profit". The profitability of their business interests are fucking irrelevant to the ifpi.com issue.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

MaxShaw (1151993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065175)

Quite the opposite, actually. There's a clear link that says "PIRATEBAY.ORG" in the footer of ifpi.com.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065201)

There's no link on ifpi.com to thepiratebay.org, so it clearly has no bearing on whether ifpi.com is "for profit".

Look again, at the bottom of the page. It is small, but it is there.

Re:Not actually squatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062825)

Too bad ICANN is an extra legal body that does not have to respect the laws of any nation. The UDRP has been used to hijack legitimately obtained domain names without any legal oversight or process for appeal for many years now.

Re:Not actually squatting (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21064127)

The IFPI is not a business. Pirate Bay is not its competitor. This clearly doesn't apply.
Oh come on! The IFPI is an outfit whose sole purpose is to protect intellectual property interests of their masters. Pirate Bay is an "anti-IP" organization, clearly there is a connection. Pirate Bay didn't just buy some random domain for no particular reason.

And who said they have to be businesses in competition? (IV) says "...intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain...". Last time I checked, Pirate Bay ran scads of ads, which they don't give away for free. If you're honest you understand clearly that Pirate Bay bought the domain because of its connection to IFPI.org, and a reasonable person assumes that such a connection exists and would drive traffic.

Re:Not actually squatting (2, Interesting)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065487)

competition? (IV) says "...intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain..."

you left out the important part:

"by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark"

of course almost all domain names would qualify as attempting to gain traffic with their domain name choice, thats the point. pirate bay likely has no interest in those attempting to contact the ifpi.org, they do whoever want to get all the publicity possible out of the website name.

this would easily be shown simply with the traffic logs from ifpi.com before and after piratebay took over, a likely 100 fold increase in traffic after transitioned should put a end to thoughts that the previous visitors were the target.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066065)

And who said they have to be businesses in competition? (IV) says "...intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain...".

Clause (iii) ("you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor") said this. And that was the clause the sentence you quoted from me was rebutting.

Clause (iv), which you're quoting from there, is rebutted in an entirely separate statement.

Please address your comments to what I actually said, not a strawman version of them.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21068635)

Last time I checked, Pirate Bay ran scads of ads, which they don't give away for free.

Just about every site on the Internet today runs ads to generate revenue (that hopefully covers expenses) regardless of what their other primary goals may be. It seems reasonable to suppose that the stipulation in article IV was intended to apply to sites which are primarily used for commercial gain (i.e. an online store with shopping cart and payment processing as the primary focus of the site OR primarily promoting a for profit legal entity such as an established corporation). Under the circumstances, a good case can be made for article IV being unapplicable in this case since neither the IFPI nor the Pirate Bay are registered as corporations with the primary focus of earning revenue to the exclusion of other goals.

Re:Not actually squatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21068903)

Dude, didn't you read the article about The Pirate Bay acquiring IFPI.com? How's this? "It's not a hack, someone just gave us the domain name. We have no idea how they got it, but it's ours and we're keeping it."

They didn't pay a dime for it.

Re:Not actually squatting (3, Informative)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062795)

In this case, it'd probably have to resort the part (iii), which usually is about one competitor registering another competitor's site.
It's not a matter of choosing one part. It clearly states that subsections i, ii, AND iii must be met to make a cybersquatting claim.

- RG>

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

astrotek (132325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063713)

Couldn't it be said that thepiratebay.org is being used in bad faith with respect to copyright too?

(iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

(iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063727)

Coca-Cola registering Pepsi.com and redirecting it to Coke.com.
That is EXACTLY whats wrong with ICANN, and why we should band together and set up our own FAIR DNS. FairDNS should sell domain names for whatever they think is a reasonable price and a reasonable time period with the right to renew. When ever someone requests to register a name it should be place up for auction and adverties on a central page some place for 30 days, it should be silent IE you can't see what the current bid is, highest bidder wins and pays $0.01 over the second highest offer. That should be the END OF IT. If Pepsi decices a year later they need to be online too and want the name they should HAVE TO PAY WHATEVER Coke wants for it. Its Cokes domain and they should be able to name any price they like, resonable or not. If its not reasonable then it does not sell and they keep it.

There is nothing wrong with Coca-Cola buying Pepsi.com and redirecting it. Its a market, if Coca-Cola is willing to pay more and thinks they get more value from doing that then Pepsi thinks they might get from owning the domain and won't out bid Coke so frigging what? Its like if I am selling a house and I know you reall love it and would be willing to pay more then any one else on the market then its not wrong from me to name an high price. You can take it or leave it. Don't want pay maybe no transaction happens. If I really want to sell, then you'll pay more then whatever my next best offer was. Thats how domains should work.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

Hyperspite (980252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065943)

This is how domains would work if there weren't any bad people in the world. Suppose I start a web site and I get a lot of traffic. A LOT of traffic and it's because I provide a well known and well liked service. When domain registration time comes around, I'm going to depend a LOT on getting that domain name again, so I'll bid very high for it. Now some asshole or a competitor wants to hurt me so they bid high, but not as high as I would actually bid. I have to pay a huge amount simply because someone is malicious, or if they bid more, my business could very well fail as people can't find the site again. As far as I can see, the current system is pretty good with the exception of those unlimited free trials.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21066265)

This would be way too abusable for disrupting other businesses. Imagine e.g. Microsoft hijacking all Linux-related domains or Fox News hijacking Slashdot. An individual will have a hard time raising enough money to outbid a huge corporation intent on stealing his domain. Noone would use that DNS because it would be worthless to the user since the domain names are unlikely to be related to the content.

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21068609)

There is nothing wrong with Coca-Cola buying Pepsi.com and redirecting it. Its a market...

No, that's not a market. A market is competition. Using domain names in the manner you describe is combative, not competive.

You link to RMS's "Right to Read"; you ought to read this [southernct.edu] :

Constructive competition is enough competition to motivate people to great efforts. A number of people are competing to be the first to have visited all the countries on Earth; some even spend fortunes trying to do this. But they do not bribe ship captains to strand their rivals on desert islands. They are content to let the best person win.

Competition becomes combat when the competitors begin trying to impede each other instead of advancing themselves - when "Let the best person win" gives way to "Let me win, best or not."

Messing with domain names the way you suggest isn't going to motivate either Coke or Pepsi to make their carbonated sugar water any less revolting, and could only cause customer confusion. ("Wait - did Pepsi buy out Coke? WTF?")

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

asamad (658115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067095)

Wasn't there some sort of political group setup around piratebay, link it to that

Re:Not actually squatting (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 6 years ago | (#21068213)

Did you see two "AND"s after a(i) and a(ii). This means that to prevail the complainant needs to show ALL THREE facts - i.e. that the domain name is confusingly similar the the complainant's valid marks AND the respondent has no legitimate interest in the name AND the name is being used in bad faith.

The complainant has a good case for a(i) and a(iii) but I don't see how they can succeed on a(ii) - that the respondent has no legitimate interest in the name.

If you think these requirements are a bit harsh on the trademark (or whatever) holder, you're probably right and that's why the rules were changed for ".biz" to substitute AND with OR.

This is not Cybersquatting (5, Interesting)

RaigetheFury (1000827) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062457)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybersquatting [wikipedia.org]

First, the premise behind Cybersquatting is to obtain money or some other form of compensation. The Pirate Bay has no intention and no desire to obtain any compensation from them. While the site being made may be satirical or "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" in focus... it's still not cybersquatting.

Looks like someone forgot to pay for the domain, the name lapsed and somebody picked it up then gave it to Pirate Bay. And unless the law changes... Pirate Bay wins.

Re:This is not Cybersquatting (1)

Gossi (731861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062473)

And unless the law changes... Pirate Bay wins.

Uhm, there's no law against domain cyber squatting anyway. There are, however, processes to recover .com domains -- it's happened many times before in cases like this. It's entirely likely TPB will loose the domain.

My suggestion to TPB folk is to use the domain to seriously shit on the IFPI in the mean time. IFPI know full well that's on all their old letter heads, business cards etc - embarrass the fuck out of them whilst you can.

Re:This is not Cybersquatting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062573)

It's entirely likely TPB will loose the domain.
Have you considered applying for a /. editor position?

Re:This is not Cybersquatting (1)

norton_I (64015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062663)

That will pretty much guarantee that they lose, though, by ICANN rules.

They appear to have a reasonable, though perhaps not ironclad shot at winning the dispute. If they use the site to attack another organization with the same initials, they will almost certainly lose.

Re:This is not Cybersquatting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21064065)

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

The problem with that citation is that you may have written the Wikipedia article yourself. That's why you cannot use Wikipedia as a reliable reference to prove a point.

The "real" IFPI? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062479)

I don't understand why International Facilities and Property Information Ltd. [int-fpi.com] would be suing The Pirate Bay.

Ha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062483)

Is it just me, or did anyone else read PHONography as PORNography ???

Re:Ha (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062593)

I actually read it like that almost every time I see IFPI spelled out. That's probably why few people use the term "phonographic" anymore.

Re:Ha (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062925)

Is it just me or does this post turn up on every IFPI story?

From IFPI.com (2, Informative)

Devv (992734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062495)

"International Federation of Pirates Interests should not be confused with {The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry}[ifpi.org]."

Re:From IFPI.com (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062575)

"International Federation of Pirates Interests should not be confused with {The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry}[ifpi.org]."

I wonder if they should add "No member of International Federation of Pirates Interests' management is a registered sex offender" to that.

You know.

Just in case.

it's in use (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062509)

Despite the looks of the headlines hre, TPB IS using the site. Heck, they've got more content on their page than I do on mine. It's not a lot more than a "comig soon..." page but we see that all the time for businesses that are just getting their cyberpresense off the ground. I suppose every reasonable person already has concluded that the IFPI (org) doesn't have a leg to stand on but I am enjoying the opportunity to laugh at (A) the org's ineptitude of allowing this to happen in the first place, and (B) for an organization that so enjoys perverting the law to their benefit finding themselves clearly positioned on the other end of the gun.

If TPB requested a legal fund to defend themselves on this issue, I'd be tossing them some coin right now. Give 'em hell.

I love it when the magic works... (2, Interesting)

Undead Ed (1068120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062513)

I applaud Pirate Bay their sense of irony and their sense of humor!

Now if we could just get a photograph of Mickey Mouse smoking a dube.

Ed

Re:I love it when the magic works... (4, Interesting)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062603)

Is shooting up in the middle of an orgy [illegal-art.org] good enough?

Re:I love it when the magic works... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062845)

If only they were a comedy group, rather than a (sadly) legally untouchable group doing harm to global culture through promotion of extreme ideals.

Re:I love it when the magic works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062969)

> rather than a (sadly) legally untouchable group doing harm to global culture

Like the recording industry?

> through promotion of extreme ideals

Never mind....

Re:I love it when the magic works... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063599)

rather than a (sadly) legally untouchable group doing harm to global culture
Like the recording industry?
Exactly like the recording industry, or at least its litigative section. The rest of it does a valuable job, hedging the risk and lowering the barrier of entry into a music career. The PirateBay, however, is just a leech cannibalising the entire organisation, starting with the useful parts and working its way onto the noxious parts.

Re:I love it when the magic works... (2, Informative)

elronxenu (117773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063285)

Like this one?

mickey.JPG [0catch.com]

WIPO - a unanswered question... (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062579)

The WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.
The IFPI is know to be a RIAA like conglomerate of the music industry. So why stealing artist's revenue streams and suing the public for ejoying music has to do with a organization namely built to promove creativity and innovation while safeguarding the public interest?

This question has some answer but the main reason behind it is to make you think.

Pretty Cheesy (-1, Flamebait)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062605)

While it may have initial humorous value, taking over and using IFPI like this is a pretty low-life kind of thing to do. Pirate Bay should grow up and behave in a classier manner.

Plus they are going to lose the WIPO dispute anyway, so why bother.

Taking over? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062621)

The original owners let it lapse. I dont see who that qualifies as 'taking it over'. It was a simple legal business transaction.

Re:Pretty Cheesy (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062681)

taking over and using IFPI like this is a pretty low-life kind of thing to do.

      No one has "taken over" the site. It was for sale. Someone bought it, and gave it to the Pirate Bay. If they want the site so badly, perhaps they can offer to BUY IT from Pirate Bay, no?

Re:Pretty Cheesy (1)

capnez (873351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062839)

I do not think this would be a good idea (for TPB), since it would strengthen the argument that TPB just wanted to rip off the (old) IPFI.

Re:Pretty Cheesy (2, Interesting)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063277)

I do not think this would be a good idea (for TPB), since it would strengthen the argument that TPB just wanted to rip off the (old) IPFI.
Correct, this would not be a good idea. See Mike Rowe Soft [wikipedia.org]

Relevant quote:

He responded, asking instead for $10,000. However, in doing this, he unwittingly fulfilled one of the criteria for proving a bad faith domain registration as set out in the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy; namely, that as Rowe had offered to sell the domain name to the company for profit, it was considered evidence that he had no right or legitimate interest in the domain name.

Re:Pretty Cheesy (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062877)

Well, I disagree. An outfit whose sole purpose is to protect intellectual property interests should have been more competent in the IT department, and protected their own domain a little better. They screwed up. Let them take their lumps, just like anyone else that forgets to fork over a few bucks to their registrar.

So, if you're trying to imply that The Pirate Bay hacked into their site and took it over that's just wrong. They got hold of a lapsed domain name and apparently they're using it. The fact that they torqued off the IFPI (not a pleasant bunch to begin with) is just too bad. Furthermore, it's exactly the sort of thing that The Pirate Bay would do ... keep in mind that they have just as much of an agenda as the IFPI and their ilk. Raising awareness of these rather important issues is one of the things that The Pirate Bay likes to do, and this is one hell of a way to do it.

Besides, I think it's hysterical. And I wouldn't be too sure of the WIPO business either.

Re:Pretty Cheesy (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099581)

So, if you're trying to imply that The Pirate Bay hacked into their site and took it over that's just wrong.

I am not trying to imply any such thing. People can 'take over' something by many different mechanisms. Purchase, gift, inheritance, invasion, whatever. All it means is they now have ownership. You are trying to read something into my message that is not there.

Personally I think it is a very childish and immature action. It is not going to forward their cause and it will result in some adverse publicity.

Re:Pretty Cheesy (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21105773)

Childish it may be, but then again, you have to look at the history of The Pirate Bay. And it will definitely further their agenda: I just don't think that agenda is what you think it is, that's all. Besides, the activities of the media companies (and groups like the RIAA and the IFPI) are also childish and immature .. only more so. Those people would snatch up www.piratebay.org in a heartbeat, if only they could ... but the Pirate Bay's operators are a little too competent for that.

In response to your sig: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062887)

My user number is probably lower than yours.
Apparently, my user number is less than half of yours. [slashdot.org]

Good cheese (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062941)

Ironically, I will now remember ifpi.com easily, and never would have remembered anything to with pirate bay before. For me, this puts the link in my brain to reflect FSMs association of global warming with lack of pirates.

Now if they loose it, I will probably remember this article and be able to find the article and from there find the site, but isn't that sort of what good domain names are designed to help simplify?

Re:Pretty Cheesy (0)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21064071)

why on earth would the lose the WIPO dispute?

The domain was expired, and they snatched it up for their group.

Cyber-Squatting is when someone holds a domain for ransom or for sale who has no intention of using the domain for any purpose other than profit.

This is not going to be easy to prove. And, if the pirates lose, it will be an unlawful decision based on facism.

Re:Pretty Cheesy (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21099693)

Here are the WIPO guidelines:

  What factors guide the panelists' decisions?

The panel decides the case on the base of the criteria, which are cumulative, contained in the UDRP Policy, which also contains practical examples of how a party may prove its compliance with these criteria:
i) whether the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
ii) whether the respondent has any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name (for example, the legitimate offering of goods and services under the same name);
iii) whether the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.

Looks to me like Pirate Bay loses on all three counts.

WIPO sez... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062609)

Ya snooze, ya lose IFPI!

It has graphics and 'coming soon' (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062611)

I dont see how that qualifies as "cyber squatting".

If it was the default hosting page, perhaps.. But even then so what? They got it legally. If you wanted it instead and missed out, thats your tough luck.

Cut the BS PirateBay! (0, Flamebait)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062783)

From IFPI: [ifpi.com]

IFPI is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the survival and future of freedom of information and the creative expression of people.
And that has what exactly to do with piracy? Last time I checked, piracy did not help the creative expression of people, rather just gave them yet another reason to give up on music and concentrate on keeping a stable job.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062973)

Right. I lost the link to this huge list of RIAA/IFPI-backed artists who lost their entire income due to piracy and are now forced to live in two-room apartments downtown. You surely got it somewhere, right?

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062995)

How many creative careers do you think start with people experimenting with stuff they could not afford or be otherwise unable to get thanks to piracy?

Piracy might hurt creativity in some ways but also helps it in others. Bad material is more likely to get substantial/critical damage from it.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21125463)

How many creative careers do you think start with people experimenting with stuff they could not afford or be otherwise unable to get thanks to piracy?
Probably not many. Certainly not nearly enough to offset everyone who decided that modern musicianship is too risky as a career. It's also not just the people, but the labels too. They're going to be less inclined to risk capital on potential artists, especially the risky ones.

Bad material is more likely to get substantial/critical damage from it.
I agree with you, as long as you define "unpopular" as "bad" (how else could you define "bad" when referring to universal tastes of a subjective art?) The unpopular, more edgy, more risky works are always the first to go, and the stock standard money-makers become the best financed. Now I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want pop to become the music scene. Even if that doesn't sound completely repulsive to you, please think of other people with other tastes and DON'T PIRATE!

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21135579)

Probably not many. Certainly not nearly enough to offset everyone who decided that modern musicianship is too risky as a career. It's also not just the people, but the labels too. They're going to be less inclined to risk capital on potential artists, especially the risky ones.

Maybe not many for the music industry but I had a broader scope in mind... like computer science and engineering. How many of today's top senior programmers and engineers used pirate copies of expensive software during college/university years? This figure is very likely closer to 100% than 0%.

Careers in music have always been high-risk and mostly non-profitable and that's why so much of it starts as a hobby and ends as a hobby. Most of the small bands are desperate for exposure but broadcasting contracts make it nearly impossible for them to get any airplay unless they agree to be raped by labels and studios. Some have started to wise-up and realized they can get inexpensive no-strings-attached exposure by posting their stuff for free on internet exchanges to generate publicity and gain brand recognition for themselves. Sometimes they manage to make money off their trouble, sometimes they do not. Internet publishing does net them a broader audience and bypasses the labels, studios and broadcast licenses that do everything in their power to block independents and rob them of any revenues.

Between piracy and labels, I think labels cause the most harm and mislead artists into blaming everything on piracy.

I never buy music I never heard before. In a 0-music-piracy/free-download world, I could quite possibly end up not buying any music ever again... that would hurt music sales even worse, no?

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139595)

Maybe not many for the music industry but I had a broader scope in mind... like computer science and engineering. How many of today's top senior programmers and engineers used pirate copies of expensive software during college/university years? This figure is very likely closer to 100% than 0%.
The tools that these programmers/engineers were created under copyright. Those tools, since they weren't distributed free, probably wouldn't have been created, or at least not created in the same time-frame, or as completely as they were, if it weren't for copyright. It's the cannibalistic nature of art and the nature of piracy. It competes with (and eventually destroys) the very thing it relies upon. Allowing piracy results in a very short term free-for-all, after which point there's no fresh art to build upon.

Between piracy and labels, I think labels cause the most harm and mislead artists into blaming everything on piracy.
Labels are trying desperately to stop piracy from being a normal and accepted practice (which curbs afore-mentioned cannibalism). Plus labels help encourage people from all income brackets have a chance at a music career, provided they can sell you. So the scores are:

Labels:

+ Help more artists into the scene
+ Fights destructive piracy, not just for them, but for all copyright holders
- Some of their lawsuits are poorly researched, resulting in the very real possibility that the plaintiffs are innocent
- Fail to tell the complete truth about piracy

Piracy:

+ Helps culture in the short term
- Kills culture slowly in the long term
- Encourages the growth of itself (people thinking: "If he gets to do it, why can't I?")
- Represented by groups such as the Pirate Bay, who vocally fail to tell the complete truth about the labels

Labels win for me hands down.

I never buy music I never heard before. In a 0-music-piracy/free-download world, I could quite possibly end up not buying any music ever again... that would hurt music sales even worse, no?
No. I know several people who pirate all or nearly all their music, some with gigs of it. And they could afford to spend money on music (perhaps not the amount they've procured, but enough). And if people continue to spread the idea that piracy isn't so bad, or a better alternative to the labels, then we are only going to see more of these people.

As for your problem of music discovery, that's no problem for most people. If your tastes are "mainstream" enough, you can rely on the radio, or internet radio. You can use services like last.fm to see what people with similar tastes are listening to. You can walk into an average CD store and listen to a CD off the shelf. iTunes will give you 30 second previews of a huge variety of signed and indie artists, arranged in genres. There are plenty of ways to try before you buy, all of which %100 legal. If you need to rely on piracy you aren't really trying.

However, if you are one of the few altruistic beings on the Earth and you therefore only pirate to try the music (and you delete the music immediately after trying it, and you don't use a P2P client so as not to help propagate the pirated copy, and you aren't advertising the fact so as not to spread the fallacy that it's OK to pirate), then I accept you aren't doing anything wrong.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159295)

The tools that these programmers/engineers were created under copyright. Those tools, since they weren't distributed free, probably wouldn't have been created, or at least not created in the same time-frame, or as completely as they were, if it weren't for copyright. It's the cannibalistic nature of art and the nature of piracy. It competes with (and eventually destroys) the very thing it relies upon. Allowing piracy results in a very short term free-for-all, after which point there's no fresh art to build upon.

If Microsoft managed a total anti-piracy Windows/Office lock-down, most people would refuse to pay $300 for Windows and $500 for Office and Microsoft's monopoly could face serious erosion - people tend to take their home computing habits to work so workplaces would start switching to dekstop Linux (or other) some time later. Both items are priced seriously beyond reason regardless of the piracy situation. I personally view pirating business/development tools for private use as free publicity and training: if you want to sell to businesses, mindhsare is one of your most valuable assets and one of the key reasons behind Microsoft's continued success... and much of this software is much too expensive for people to buy for self-training or personal projects unless you happen to be particularly wealthy.

As for your problem of music discovery, that's no problem for most people. If your tastes are "mainstream" enough, you can rely on the radio, or internet radio. You can use services like last.fm to see what people with similar tastes are listening to. You can walk into an average CD store and listen to a CD off the shelf. iTunes will give you 30 second previews of a huge variety of signed and indie artists, arranged in genres. There are plenty of ways to try before you buy, all of which %100 legal. If you need to rely on piracy you aren't really trying.

My music discovery process: I simply download what I happen to come across when I feel curious. I rarely hunt down any specific genre, song, group or whatever. I do not crave music and I rarely bother hunting down even songs I like in any form... so, queuing up in music stores or browsing through Apple's catalog is not something I could be bothered with. When I download stuff, it is mostly only because I can and felt like it - there is not much of an a-priori intention behind it.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21169045)

I personally view pirating business/development tools for private use as free publicity and training
Well that's great for you then. Unfortunately it isn't for me or you to decide what piracy is to a copyright holder. Sometimes the system doesn't work. It usually works best (in terms of percentage of revenue gained/lost) for the big players, like Microsoft, as you said. However, most others don't have the market saturation required to make all this free publicity work. For people to actually buy their stuff, they need to know where it comes from (apart from your convenient P2P client) and how to get it.

A good example of a person who hasn't done well out of piracy is Martin Korth, and his Gameboy Advance emulator and debugger, NO$GBA. [emubase.de] It's a fantastic bit of software, written entirely in x86 assembly. It comes in a Windows and DOS version, and the DOS version runs on his 66Mhz processor. He says it's the result of 9 years (full time) of programming and tweaking. The kick in the tail is he charges up to US$1750 for a single commercial license! He harbours a bitter resentment towards people who pirate his software because, despite his exorbitant prices, he doesn't get many sales (he relies on the occasional high-profile one), and he definitely isn't rich. I seriously doubt he made any decent sales as a result of this "free publicity".

My music discovery process: I simply download what I happen to come across when I feel curious. I rarely hunt down any specific genre, song, group or whatever. I do not crave music and I rarely bother hunting down even songs I like in any form... so, queuing up in music stores or browsing through Apple's catalog is not something I could be bothered with. When I download stuff, it is mostly only because I can and felt like it - there is not much of an a-priori intention behind it.
It sounds convenient. The only problem is that it's illegal and immoral (for reasons I've explained). I think last.fm [www.last.fm] wouldn't be much more of a hassle. Instead of opening your P2P client, how about opening this page? Check out the top videos, tracks, and artists, and perhaps check out some free downloads. And if you get an AudioScrobbler [www.last.fm] , and create a last.fm account, you can get targeted new music suggestions. You can even listen to 30 second samples (I know, not long, but decent quality) for certain tracks. Sure you don't get the whole song handed to you on a plate, but you at least find new possibilities faster.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21178731)

A good example of a person who hasn't done well out of piracy is Martin Korth, and his Gameboy Advance emulator and debugger, NO$GBA. It's a fantastic bit of software, written entirely in x86 assembly. It comes in a Windows and DOS version, and the DOS version runs on his 66Mhz processor. He says it's the result of 9 years (full time) of programming and tweaking. The kick in the tail is he charges up to US$1750 for a single commercial license! He harbours a bitter resentment towards people who pirate his software because, despite his exorbitant prices, he doesn't get many sales (he relies on the occasional high-profile one), and he definitely isn't rich. I seriously doubt he made any decent sales as a result of this "free publicity".

As I wrote previously, many development tools are much too expensive to justify buying only for hobby/self-training purposes. The market for commercial development of homebrew games using NO$GBA (how many hobbyists could afford to pay $1750 for it?) is tiny... serious development houses will simply buy the official development platform from Nintendo months before the platform's launch instead of waiting 10 years for a third party's homebrew debugger. People who only want to play emulated ROMs can stick with one of the many free emulators and skip the $1750 debugger.

The market for NO$GBA (people who need GBA debugging) is very small regardless of the price... this product is several years late on its "Best Before" date as a serious development tool.

If you look at engineering and other specialties, each software house has a near-monopoly on some parts of the tool chain... in general, there rarely are more than three well-known providers for any one particular link and each link often costs (tens/hundreds of) thousands CDN$. The market for these tools is somewhat small but they are necessary for engineers to carry on with their day-to-day business of building the next CPU, HD-DVD appliance, etc. These cost way too much to be purchased for personal use and the physical processes involved in putting their output to actual use is often equally prohibitive.

On the software side, most platforms now have free development tools... instead of pirating Turbo/Boarland C like ~15 years ago, new would-be developers can now download Visual Studio Express straight off Microsoft's official site. Offering free downloads of VSE to string up new developers is M$' way of binding new talent to Windows and Visual Studio - an indirect acknowledgment that Linux and FOSS free development tools threaten its monopoly.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21179649)

(how many hobbyists could afford to pay $1750 for it?)
He has a hobbyist version for US$20, with cut down features and an agreement not to use it for commercial purposes. It's still very useful (I use it), it just doesn't work so well with large-scale projects. Yet people still want the most costly versions, so they pirate it and spread it around the web. Just one of these executables ending up in the hands of a less scrupulous company can result in the loss of up to a potential $5000 for him.

People who only want to play emulated ROMs can stick with one of the many free emulators and skip the $1750 debugger.
He also released a free no-debugger version for gamers. This guy's doing everything right: he has a free version, a really cheap hobby developer's version, and two professional versions, mostly with features that would only be useful to large-scale projects. He also points to other emulators, at least one of which have debugging functions (though they're not very good), yet he still gets hate mail [emubase.de] , and people still feel the need to pirate his expensive version.

If you look at engineering and other specialties, each software house has a near-monopoly on some parts of the tool chain... in general, there rarely are more than three well-known providers for any one particular link and each link often costs (tens/hundreds of) thousands CDN$. The market for these tools is somewhat small but they are necessary for engineers to carry on with their day-to-day business of building the next CPU, HD-DVD appliance, etc. These cost way too much to be purchased for personal use and the physical processes involved in putting their output to actual use is often equally prohibitive.
It's a problem, I'll give you that. However, the people who made the software put a lot of work into it, and they expect payment if you are going to use their software. If you are low on funds, you could perhaps spend your time rather than your money, developing an alternative with free tools out there like gcc. While piracy seems to solve one problem (the hobbyists get their tools), it creates another equally pressing problem (the hobbyists don't pay for their tools). If no reimbursement is paid, there will be less expensive tools for hobbyists to pirate. There will also be less opportunity for hobbyists to apply their skills professionally. Piracy gives hobbyists a leg up in the short term, and leaves them for dead in the long term, just like it does our entire culture.

On the software side, most platforms now have free development tools... instead of pirating Turbo/Boarland C like ~15 years ago, new would-be developers can now download Visual Studio Express straight off Microsoft's official site. Offering free downloads of VSE to string up new developers is M$' way of binding new talent to Windows and Visual Studio - an indirect acknowledgment that Linux and FOSS free development tools threaten its monopoly.
That's the spirit! In fact, if you find a market sadly lacking in free development tools, you can start your own. Now there's a rewarding hobby!

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (3, Insightful)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063021)

The Pirate Bay and others like it are fighting a battle where the clashing ideologies are essentially based on who has a right to make how much money. The *AA believe they have the right to profit the most from music and have the system of law to back them up. The opposing group believes that this system of law squelches art and freedom and may well eventually destroy the ability of the artist to have music, movies or other art distributed in a fair manner to the masses.

Since there is a body of law in question, the issue is not so simple as just two groups arguing, the one without the legal backing must by definition break the laws in order to do what they feel is ethically right. It is immoral and unethical to follow a bad law, and they believe the laws concerning copyright are bad ones.

Radiohead and allofmp3.com make convincing arguments that the current system does in fact depress creative and free expression. The issue doesn't affect me directly since I don't purchase and don't download and rarely listen to music and don't watch movies other than the ones on broadcast TV. Still, I watch closely since flouted laws tend to get changed after a lot of squabbling, and maybe someday there will be sufficient art out there that some of it will appeal to me.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (2, Interesting)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063547)

The Pirate Bay and others like it are fighting a battle where the clashing ideologies are essentially based on who has a right to make how much money. The *AA believe they have the right to profit the most from music and have the system of law to back them up. The opposing group believes that this system of law squelches art and freedom and may well eventually destroy the ability of the artist to have music, movies or other art distributed in a fair manner to the masses.
Agreed so far. There has been certain doubt been shown about certain parties of both sides, and the altruism of their intentions, but I'm happy to take them on face value so far. (Oh good. Someone who's prepared to debate rationally!)

Since there is a body of law in question, the issue is not so simple as just two groups arguing, the one without the legal backing must by definition break the laws in order to do what they feel is ethically right. It is immoral and unethical to follow a bad law, and they believe the laws concerning copyright are bad ones.
No, I disagree. I believe that civil disobedience is highly immoral most of the time. This is a democracy, you do have a voice, you can change the laws. All you need to do is convince people that this is a problem that needs fixing, and no matter how much lobbying goes on, a politician simply isn't going to get work unless they address the issue. Of course, it's hard and takes a long time, but it's no excuse just to ignore the law, and hope that before you get punished, they change it. Civil disobedience only works when democracy isn't present or has failed so much that the will of the people is making no difference. It is important, though, to realise that a people who are apathetic to your cause don't represent oppression against you. It just shows that, well, no-one cares about your specific problem.

I also find civil disobedience highly selfish, because you're refusing to play by society's rules to your benefit and often to the detriment of others. Civil disobedience may seem like a righteous cause, but it's rather infuriating to be on the other side of. For example, I once expressed my opinions on driving on Slashdot, about how I drive on or below the speed limit (on it if people want me to go fast), and how I don't mind which lane I'm in when I do it. IIRC, I received two death threats, and a few people trying to convince me that not only is it immoral, but somehow illegal. My example wasn't civil disobedience so much as civil obedience, and Slashdotters did not like it.

Radiohead and allofmp3.com make convincing arguments that the current system does in fact depress creative and free expression.
Not as far as I can tell. They just seem to be running a music business independent of the RIAA. They don't seem to be making any arguments, let alone convincing ones. The business who's making the arguments is the PirateBay, who constantly claims it's for free expression, which just gets on my nerves. They champion extremist libertarianism, where despite all the evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights, they maintain will somehow be good for art. They come off sounding as extreme as Sony does when its representatives claim that ripping a CD is stealing. I'm all for them arguing, but they are going ahead and undermining copyrights, and they've managed to do so from a legally defensible position. They know what they're helping to do, they know what most of their users are doing, and that it's illegal in most countries (including their own), but they also know that they're legal. I think it's a tragedy.

[Mods: I've had too many of my posts modded down today by people who don't like discussions to contain opposing viewpoints. Please just leave me alone if you don't agree. Thanks in advance]

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063897)

No, I disagree. I believe that civil disobedience is highly immoral most of the time. This is a democracy,
You lost me there. The country I live in isn't a democracy.

you do have a voice, you can change the laws.
Ok, how could I do that?

All you need to do is convince people that this is a problem that needs fixing, and no matter how much lobbying goes on, a politician simply isn't going to get work unless they address the issue.
Look, in America, you usually get a choice between two candidates for any given office. The primaries are pretty much a joke (although this year, there may be some interesting battles since the religious right may back a completely different presidential candidate from the GOP.) In senate and house races, you sometimes don't even get a choice on the candidate, but when you do, redistricting pretty much guarantees that one party or the other is going to win. Add in the "stupid American" factor (people vote like they root for sports teams, they're easily misled by spiritual leaders who focus on narrow issues, etc.) In order to have a shot in hell of getting a presidential candidate who was willing to fight for change for your narrow cause, you'd have to get both candidates to agree on this issue (and not just give lip-service to it while running, and then turn around and ignore it when they get elected.) Then you have to deal with congress, who are the ones actually making the laws. Think it was hard to convince 2 people? Try over 500.

The big joke in America is the idea that any peon here has a say in the system. The deep pockets of the varies lobbies run the show, and Americans pretend to make a difference every 2 years or so by going to the voting booth and declaring which team they want to win.

If America was a true democracy, you'd have a real shot at changing things. Just get everyone who wants copyright reform to vote for copyright reform. In this democratic republic, though. that's just not the way it works.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067687)

No, I disagree. I believe that civil disobedience is highly immoral most of the time. This is a democracy,
You lost me there. The country I live in isn't a democracy.

you do have a voice, you can change the laws.
Ok, how could I do that?
Fair enough, it may not work for you. Consider yourself excused! :)

However, if you were in a democracy, you take more responsibility with your freedoms. It's not enough to give up on the whole thing and take matters into your own hands. Citizens of democracy aren't just handed two parties to vote between, and that's their choice. They have options, like vocally rallying people against certain problems in society. The pirate bay could do that instead of facilitating piracy on a mass scale, and I, for one, would treat it with a lot more respect. But it doesn't have to be an organisation; anyone can run, or campaign to make certain things election issues. That's the way "having a voice" changes laws: politicians will listen if you're loud enough.

Add in the "stupid American" factor (people vote like they root for sports teams, they're easily misled by spiritual leaders who focus on narrow issues, etc.)
I'm also not a big fan of this "stupid American" factor either. Most Americans have different opinions on what's considered important, and the politicians (being as talented as they are) pick up on that. I'm not optimistic that copyright will ever be an election issue with the masses, but if people group up and try hard enough, they could get a politician to concentrate on the matter for some free votes. Or maybe it would reveal that lots of people support copyrights as they are now, and that would be the end of that.

The big joke in America is the idea that any peon here has a say in the system. The deep pockets of the varies lobbies run the show
So say if there was some big industry lobby who wanted something that everyone else in the country specifically didn't want enough to make a hot-button issue, you're saying that the industry lackeys would still manage to get into power? Amazing.

Basically, I think that most of this lobbyists in power stuff is just what people in democracies with marginalised views tell themselves in explanation why no-one cares about what they care about.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (2, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21064017)

Guess I hit 'submit' too quickly--how's that for a political joke?

I wanted to add that your views on civil disobedience, particularly the selfish nature of them, are skewed. Most people who cry "civil disobedience!" aren't enacting true civil disobedience. It's not just about breaking the law that you feel is unjust. It's about dealing with the consequences, and using the attention you get from those consequences to fuel your cause and get people on your side.

If I pirate a movie, that's not civil disobedience. If I pirate a movie, get caught, refuse to pay the fine, go to court, refuse to pay out THERE, and get thrown in jail, that's civil disobedience. Folding the second you're offered a settlement so that you can get on with your life is just getting caught and trying to get out of trouble.

True civil disobedience is a huge gambit. You're risking your future and your freedom for a cause you believe in. I daresay that no one who promotes copyright-infringement disobedience really cares that much about copyright reform--they just use that to justify their actions.

They champion extremist libertarianism, where despite all the evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights, they maintain will somehow be good for art. They come off sounding as extreme as Sony does when its representatives claim that ripping a CD is stealing.
There isn't a lot of evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights now. We live in a very prosperous age where few people have to work 16 hours/day in order to survive. In an age like this, where there is a lot of leisure time, art can flourish without the protection that copyright offers. We also have easy access to tools which can be used to make high-quality art and an unlimited distribution mechanism, both of which used to be very hard to do. Without this, copyright makes sense, because it's really quite hard to make and promote your product. But with computers and the Internet, anyone with an idea can basically create their work and promote it. Remember, promotion of the arts is the reason for copyright, not so that one can earn money off of their creativity. Being able to earn money was the original way that the arts were expected to be promoted, since writing a book or creating a painting would take a long time, and people just couldn't afford to create while working in the fields all day. Times have changed, but instead of copyright laws lessening (which they should given the times in which we are living), copyright is becoming more strict. It is wrong, based upon the entire basis for copyright.

Who's arguing? (2, Interesting)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065165)

Sancho: You have some valid points. It isn't that democracy itself is bad, but rather that the people who have the most control of the government, and the laws created by the government, are not for the most part in the control of the people supposedly represented. If you educate 10,000 people about the issue, then get their opinions, I'd be shocked to hear that most of them think the current system of content distribution is fair. If the will of the people, as determined by an educated majority were to actually be followed by the legislative branch and enforced, then The Pirate Bay would have to change their name.

It is by this definition that I call the the body of law bad from TPB's perspective. I'm don't think I have the education to make that call myself. The problem with law and government is that there isn't really much of a good way to do it. I can certainly see problems with our form of government (I do live in the US) but I've really not been able to determine how to fix it. Personally, I'm not willing to pay the penalties so I'm not willing to break the law to make a point. I'm also not willing to give my own money to those I believe are abusing their position, so I do without. I can live with that. I simply don't desire the content at the lower price and higher risk enough to break the law. I'm not making much of a difference, but it is a small one and isn't motivated by selfishness. I choose in this instance first to vote with my wallet. Second though, I'll vote with a ballot, as much as I can given other matters of conscience. I have been fairly consistent in voting for a primary of the two parties here, but if one came out and espoused a desire to see the system changed, providing they weren't otherwise too horribly objectionable, I'd vote for that party. No parties have come out with that position though, because they cannot, they either alienate their financial supporters or they alienate the voters. It's lose/lose for them, so I'm not holding my breath that my ballot will affect this issue any time soon.

TheVelvetFlamebait: That segues nicely into the question of whether allowing people to use your service to break the law in their own country is immoral. If you believe your laws are moral and the laws of another country are immoral, then how is it wrong to assist people in other countries if they choose to break their own laws? I think this is what TPB is actually doing. The real problem is that a huge number of the citizens of the US are willing to break the laws. If they weren't, then there would be no profit for TPB. If you're ticked off because it affects you negatively, well, that's where you get the opportunity to get your country's laws changed to stop allowing TPB to be able to do business with the US. If there is no jurisdiction to directly affect them, then censorship (blocking their IPs) would be sufficient alternative. I think China has done a good bit of research on how to control their citizens' Internet use, so it's not even uncharted territory.

Of course the obvious rebuttal to that is to more rigidly enforce the existing laws, track down the criminals and make them pay. If a significant enough portion of the population of any governed people starts breaking a law though, it is probably time to reconsider that law. Until I thought this through for this very post, I was still a fence sitter, but now I believe the laws are immoral and need to be changed and I do not believe it will happen in the reasonable future due to the reasons that Sancho clearly defined. Essentially I've decided that this is not an issue that is caused by some people doing something they know is wrong, but by a huge number of people who are willing to take significant risks (and I don't know how stupid you'd have to be to not realize that pirating content is a significant risk) because they feel the system is wrong. I don't know if your average pirate would be able to express it clearly without prompting, but starting asking those who do download, "Do you pirate the music because the record companies shaft the customer?" See what answers you get. For those who answer "Yes" (and I'd put that at 95% or better) then follow up with the question "Should the government stop helping them shaft customers?"

The reason that I mention allofmp3 and Radiohead is that both have shown, particularly when considered together, that there is great potential profit for the artists if the old systems are abandoned. In the case of allofmp3 they have shown that there is a huge demand for all types of content if offered at a rate the public considers reasonable. In the case of Radiohead, they've shown that the artists themselves can benefit tremendously from this demand. I don't know that I can say that either of these groups of individuals actually espouse these positions but I call them arguments because they present facts that can be interpreted to clearly advance a particular position, whether the parties involved intend that use or not.

This debate reminds me greatly of the enactment and eventual repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition came about because the government wanted tax money and because too large a section of society became criminals rather than obey the law. I can certainly guess that there are enough pirates, now if only the government would realize how much money they stand to make by taxing it. Maybe it's time to start writing letters.

Re:Who's arguing? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065231)

Interesting points. I don't have much to add, but it's definitely given me more food for thought.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21067899)

I wanted to add that your views on civil disobedience, particularly the selfish nature of them, are skewed. Most people who cry "civil disobedience!" aren't enacting true civil disobedience. It's not just about breaking the law that you feel is unjust. It's about dealing with the consequences, and using the attention you get from those consequences to fuel your cause and get people on your side.
In that case, I take it all back. Thanks for enlightening me.

There isn't a lot of evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights now. We live in a very prosperous age where few people have to work 16 hours/day in order to survive. In an age like this, where there is a lot of leisure time, art can flourish without the protection that copyright offers.
That makes a lot of sense, and that's what's been happening for years now. However, I have two problems with it. Number one, people with short hours are part of a demographic, and often demographics are known to have certain tastes. If we limit music creation to just them, that's another skew on the music-creation spectrum. Number two, certain types of music are more demanding than others, so it would favour certain types of music and not others. I don't like the idea that parts of our culture would become economically unviable.

We also have easy access to tools which can be used to make high-quality art and an unlimited distribution mechanism, both of which used to be very hard to do.
Again, another skew. Expect more electronic music, expect less physical CDs, expect people who don't have internet connections to be left in the cold.

BTW, copyrights also serve the important function of allowing an artist to keep his art's integrity. Some people might be turned off distributing their music if they see cheap bastardisations of their original recording, or seeing their work being attributed constantly to other people.

Remember, promotion of the arts is the reason for copyright, not so that one can earn money off of their creativity.
We equate the two because we recognise that the most reliable way to make something flourish is to pour money into it. In this capitalist society, we don't have too much of a choice. We could stop copyrights, but that doesn't exactly help science and the useful arts. I think instead, we need to firstly stop pirating (so society can pay off this ever-growing debt to the big labels), then we need to concentrate on limiting the big labels so their recent spread of power is both stopped and reversed. Keep copyrights and just improve them. Piracy (or the facilitation thereof) is not the solution.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21068475)

Number one, people with short hours are part of a demographic, and often demographics are known to have certain tastes. If we limit music creation to just them, that's another skew on the music-creation spectrum.
Music is an interesting example, because it's fabricated and altered so much by the industry already. Lots of music sounds identical, these days. The labels take an artist who has a bit of talent and they transform them into something that's proven (by years of focus groups and seeing what sells) to make money from the masses. If an artist is lucky and gets big enough, they might be able to branch out and get more creative control. Otherwise, you're going to get lots of rehashed stuff from popular labels.

Again, another skew. Expect more electronic music, expect less physical CDs, expect people who don't have internet connections to be left in the cold.
Absolutely, and if I indicated that I thought copyright should just go away right now, I didn't mean that. But the trend is definitely going to the Internet as deliverable media. Certainly artists can burn CDs and sell (for a premium!) for people who want that hard copy.

BTW, copyrights also serve the important function of allowing an artist to keep his art's integrity. Some people might be turned off distributing their music if they see cheap bastardisations of their original recording, or seeing their work being attributed constantly to other people.
Absolutely, however I wonder how many artists would choose not to create because of this issue. Copyright is a delicate balance between incentives for art and allowing ideas to be "free." Taking old ideas and reimagining them, reusing them, etc. is an integral part to the the arts. Disney is the perfect example of this--almost all of their stories are just implementations of fairy tales.

Ultimately, I'm basically ok with copyright, just not with the length or power of them. I should be able to make copies for personal use. Copyright should expire within about 20 years. I'm not sure that they should be transferrable. The basically unlimited copyright that we have right now is simply not acceptable (and it's really another justification for civil disobedience-style infringement--the cartels lobby for longer and longer copyrights, eventually obtaining virtually unlimited copyrights, and destroying the basis for the entire copyright system--if they're going to treat it like their own personal plaything, maybe there's something to be said for treating their works like our own personal playthings.)

Piracy (or the facilitation thereof) is not the solution.
You're right, of course. Like most issues, it's fighting extremism with extremism. The truth is, I'm not sure what is worse, though. Ideas and the expressions thereof are meant to be free--copyright is supposed to be an exception to this, and it is supposed to be limited. The cartels have mutated this into the concept of intellectual property. They own it now, and basically forever. But in the end, the art is supposed to belong to the people, and with new works, this will basically never be. So who is the real pirate? The person stealing the content now, or the people stealing the content from the people for all eternity?

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21069993)

I mostly agree with you, but there are two things I want to point out:

Music is an interesting example, because it's fabricated and altered so much by the industry already. Lots of music sounds identical, these days. The labels take an artist who has a bit of talent and they transform them into something that's proven (by years of focus groups and seeing what sells) to make money from the masses. If an artist is lucky and gets big enough, they might be able to branch out and get more creative control. Otherwise, you're going to get lots of rehashed stuff from popular labels.
Music from labels don't just sound the same. There are a wide variety of styles and genres. Some are developed more than others, but that's based on popularity more than anything, which is good. I would much prefer music production to be skewed on popularity than anything else. The labels only reflect what people want.

However, if you don't like that, the really great thing about copyright is that it's possible for artists to release their work as if there were no copyright.

The basically unlimited copyright that we have right now is simply not acceptable (and it's really another justification for civil disobedience-style infringement--the cartels lobby for longer and longer copyrights, eventually obtaining virtually unlimited copyrights, and destroying the basis for the entire copyright system--if they're going to treat it like their own personal plaything, maybe there's something to be said for treating their works like our own personal playthings.)
We certainly don't want unlimited copyright, but it's kinda hard to do legitimate civil disobedience because right now, you're very unlikely to get caught and face the consequences. It just becomes the selfish act that I talked about before.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21072017)

Music from labels don't just sound the same. There are a wide variety of styles and genres. Some are developed more than others, but that's based on popularity more than anything, which is good. I would much prefer music production to be skewed on popularity than anything else. The labels only reflect what people want.
I know that there are different genres, but within each genre, you've got music that almost sounds identical. You rarely get artists on labels who are able to push the envelope and put out something really fresh or new. That said, you're right--if it sells, it must be something that the people are willing to buy. I just don't think that it significantly promotes the arts to rehash the same music and lyrics over and over.

That said, I also know that there's a huge market for non-popular music. I'm no music geek, but I do have a few off-the-radar favorites like Feist (now getting more attention due to recent Apple iPod commercials), Flogging Molly, Nerf Herder, and The Refreshments (who did get a little radio play 10 years ago, but not nearly as much as they deserved.) When I let other people listen to these CDs, they tend to really enjoy the music and rush out to buy their own copies. These artists, though, don't get a lot of notice outside of the small circles of people who know about them, but almost every song on each of their CDs is really quite good, unlike the pop idols that have one or two good songs per CD, with the rest being filler. Of course, all of that is my opinion, but in discussions with other music lovers, we often have a consensus.

So I guess the point of the rambling is this: does copyright, which lends itself to big conglomerations recycling music in order to generate revenue significantly promote the arts? Is a greater body of work in the public domain more or less important than the revenue stream that the labels get?

Since most new works will effectively never fall into the public domain anymore, we have to look at illicit works that derive from currently-copyrighted material. The best example I can think of is The Grey Album [wikipedia.org] . It's fantastic, it draws from the Beatles and Jay-Z, and it's definitely not just a rehash of other music, despite the fact that it uses almost nothing but other artists' work.

We certainly don't want unlimited copyright, but it's kinda hard to do legitimate civil disobedience because right now, you're very unlikely to get caught and face the consequences. It just becomes the selfish act that I talked about before.
The Pirate Bay, in facilitating illegal behavior (even if they aren't doing anything illegal themselves), are drawing attention to the issue. I wish they'd talk more about why copyright is out of hand right now, but they do occasionally talk about the issues of copyright, pros and cons (well, mostly cons), etc. Because of the nature of the press and the fact that individual copyright infringement cases don't tend to get a lot of notice, sites like TPB may be the best shot at bringing attention to the issue.

Re:Cut the BS PirateBay! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21073939)

I know that there are different genres, but within each genre, you've got music that almost sounds identical.
Hmm. I haven't explored each genre that the big labels have delved into, into their dark, unknown depths. Suffice to say, the big labels produce a LOT of music, and I doubt from a statistical perspective that all of it sounds the same. The more popular stuff perhaps, but all? It doesn't seem likely. Alternatively, perhaps they realise they can't compete with the indie labels on alternative music? Perhaps, without the indie labels, the market would be free for the big labels to explore?

I just don't think that it significantly promotes the arts to rehash the same music and lyrics over and over.
Perhaps not, but it sure as hell keeps people entertained.

The Pirate Bay, in facilitating illegal behavior (even if they aren't doing anything illegal themselves), are drawing attention to the issue.
As you said, the individual nature of copyright infringement steals the limelight away from the pirate bay. Even when it gets mentioned in the media, it seems to get mentioned as a hovel for pirates, rather than a bastion of free expression. All they seem to be doing, especially with their provocative name, is drawing attention to the need to stamp out piracy, rather than the need to resolve the dispute between consumers and copyright holders.

in a perfect world (3, Insightful)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063149)

the 'pirates' would have gotten .org and the phonographic guys would have gotten the .com domain.

Just rename the org... (3, Funny)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063385)

Pirate Bay should just say IFPI stands for the International Federation of the Pornographic Industry

No cybersquatting here! ;-)

Seriously though, why should anyone be allowed to run to court and file charges of cybersquatting after letting their domain lapse renewal for so many months? There should be a 60-day statute of limitations on these. No one should own an inherent RIGHT to their domain name after letting it lapse. Otherwise you're opening the door for companies and organizations to come back years after the fact and say, "Thank you, I'll take my domain back now."

Re:Just rename the org... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063841)

that was so golden I had to check the site again to see if I misread it.

Meanwhile, piratebay should win this one, there's nothing wrong other than a stupid media company yet again.

Damn! (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063387)

I read the summary too fast. I thought IFPI.ORG was pointed to a pornographic site...

47 comments and nobody read the article ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063905)

Well, 47 comments, and nobody is quoting from the article because there is no link to it - just to ars' front page.

For the linky-impaired: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071018-battle-brewing-between-pirate-bay-recording-industry-over-ifpi-domain-coup.html [arstechnica.com]

Just in case anyone wants to go against tradition and actually RTFA.

links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21064113)

Wtf is with all those links. Why not provide JUST a link to the article, sheesh.

Cyber Squatting? (2, Insightful)

Efialtis (777851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21064953)

My understanding of "squatting" is, "Squatting is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied [name]space or ... [domain] that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use."
And "cybersquatting" is, "The act of registering a domain name in bad faith, with the sole intent to sell that domain name to its rightful owner."
So, if Pirate Bay buys a domain that was unoccupied, and they plan to use it, then they DO NOT fall into either category...
Maybe someone should point this out before it goes to court...

WIPO? (1)

mrogers (85392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065157)

I very much doubt the World Internet Piracy Organization will give them the ruling they're hoping for.

Easy winner? (2, Funny)

VeteranNoob (1160115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065697)

I think IFPI has a good chance of winning this court battle.

Re:Easy winner? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21066175)

Which IFPI?

Re:Easy winner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21070075)

Well that's three retards I detect so far. The poster and the two fuckwits who moderated your post up. You three should get together and have a party. I bet it'll be a laugh riot.

WIPO fix the results (1)

Garry Anderson (194949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21069907)

Given WIPO and ICANN's definition of "bad faith" - which says that the domain cannot be used to cause confusion with the "Complainant's mark" - there's a decent chance of The Pirate Bay eventually losing control of the domain. But if Pirate Bay can fight back and prove somehow that it has no commercial interests or intent to confuse visitors with the "real" IFPI site, it might have a chance at succeeding.

"We have not done anything illegal or even immoral," Sunde told Ars. "I can't see why we shouldn't be able to keep the domain name. We're not going to bash IFPI on it, we're going to host our own IFPI on it," he said.

Given that UN WIPO clearly are a bunch of crooks that made the corrupt UDRP rules so that their customers can overreach trademarks - even though there is absolutely no infringement against them - then the Phonographic Industry have the odds stacked in their favour.

There is no other occassion wereby you can have legal proceeding taken against you - when have committed no wrong-doing or tort against the complainant.

Don't be a fooled by the propaganda; this is no 'boundary dispute' - the ifpi.com domain can be used for anything that does not infringe upon the Phonographic Industry - even to start your own business - or by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute [indianafiscal.org] .

This is why I set up my criticism site WIPO [wipo.org.uk] - nothing to do with those low-lifes at UN WIPO [wipo.org] .

Your Pirate Rights (1)

Defectuous (1097475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21083645)

Just for the record, having let several domains go in the past couple years. I have some experience in this. The registrars sent me a variety of emails and even one left a message on my cell. to inform me I had less than "insert" number of days left till the domain expired. It's not like they didn't have enough notification. They let it expire, it's their loss. Also as noted above several times, the domain is being put to use and not for sale. Protect your Pirate Rights | http://www.ifpi.com/ [ifpi.com]
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