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Only 2 in 500 College Students Believe in IP

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the ethics-classes-waiting-for-new-material dept.

The Internet 649

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "David Pogue of the New York Times has an interesting story about how fewer and fewer people believe that infringement is wrong. He mentions talks he gave back in 2005 where people were willing to believe that making backups of DVDs you own is wrong. Today, however, at his talks, he was only able to get two people out of a crowd of five hundred college students to say that downloading a movie or album is wrong. He goes on, like many before him, to bemoan the immorality of young people today, saying: 'I do know, though, that the TV, movie and record companies' problems have only just begun. Right now, the customers who can't even *see* why file sharing might be wrong are still young. But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?'"

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Internet Protocol doesn't exist! (3, Funny)

muftak (636261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810584)

How else do they think the internet works?

Re:Internet Protocol doesn't exist! (2, Funny)

RPoet (20693) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810628)

I suspect they believe it was intelligently designed.

Re:Internet Protocol doesn't exist! (2, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810762)

tubes. tubes full of electric mails and pages of clicks. sometimes the tubes get too full. unplugging and plugging in the connection to the tubes can flush them.

What do the rest believe in? (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810586)

So less than one percent believe in IP. If not Internet Protocol [wikipedia.org] , which network layer protocol [wikipedia.org] do they believe in?

But seriously, there are reasons not to believe in "intellectual property" even if you do believe in copyright. For one thing, "intellectual property" confuses copyright law, patent law, and trademark law. [gnu.org] .

Re:What do the rest believe in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810684)

When I was in the dorms around 2000, it was IPX. As long as counterstrike ran, there was piece in the world ... unless you were trying to study.

On topic: I think this shows that we need some concrete fair use rights spelled out there. Frustrated with the existing bullshit system of "intellectual property" I think many people just turn away. I know; I'm one of them and I'm a Linux geek for cripes sake.

Thats right, if BSD copy and pasted all of those GPLed drivers and stripped the license and labled it BSD I wouldn't be heartbroken at all. :D

Merry christmas y'all geekazoids.

Re:What do the rest believe in? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810690)

there was piece in the world
I seem to remember that the more CS i played, the fewer choice pieces i got.

Re:What do the rest believe in? (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810910)

On topic: I think this shows that we need some concrete fair use rights spelled out there. Frustrated with the existing bullshit system of "intellectual property" I think many people just turn away. I know; I'm one of them and I'm a Linux geek for cripes sake.
I think the problem is that copyright law left it fairly vague so that it could apply to any future media, real or imagined.

But I think an 'Fair Use Bill of Rights' or something along those lines would be useful. But I don't think it's only part of the solution.

For instance, you say:

Thats right, if BSD copy and pasted all of those GPLed drivers and stripped the license and labled it BSD I wouldn't be heartbroken at all. :D
Fair use, though, isn't to allow you to take parts of a copyrighted work and use it in another work wholesale. Fair use is all about using things for purposes of critique -- parody being an acceptable form of critique.

Re:What do the rest believe in? (5, Insightful)

Erpo (237853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810932)

Thats right, if BSD copy and pasted all of those GPLed drivers and stripped the license and labled it BSD I wouldn't be heartbroken at all.

Hear hear!

I support the GPL over BSD-style licenses because I don't like the idea of Free code being used to improve proprietary software, but that's something I'm willing to live with if copyright is abolished, which is a more important goal.

That Hillary is Santa Clause (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810698)

The rest believe that Hillary is Santa Clause [youtube.com] .

Because Slashdot headlines are too short. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810772)

Submitter here. I'd have written IP out as imaginary property in the headline, or maybe even just copyright (which is all the article actually discusses), but I didn't have enough room for either route.

That said, you are correct that Stallman disagrees on calling it IP, even if you choose to subvert it by expanding it as imaginary property. However, my belief is that you'll never get people to stop clumping them together so long as law schools, where there's certainly no shortage of pedantry, are more than willing to lump them together. Thus, subversion is not the better option, it is the only option for those who dislike the term.

For what it's worth, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents all have various flaws. Trademarks allow far too little fair use and fair use is too hard to defend (unless you WANT to pay a law firm big money to establish what a "reasonable person" might believe). Trade secrets, well, the theory is fine, but they're essentially impossible to protect thanks to the internet. The laws give a false sense of security at best. If you don't believe me, find a geek who hasn't heard of 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. I have that stupid thing memorized. Copyrights, well, they'll live longer than I do, you can apparently copyright facts that aren't "facts" because they concern a work of fiction, I've yet to see anyone punished for sending out flat-out wrong DMCA notices no matter what the "perjury" part says. Patents, well, if they defended actual innovation, they might be somewhat reasonable. Why are they not legally able to take the fact that something was independently reinvented (possibly multiple times) as evidence of obviousness? It's not like anyone reads patents until they're sued for infringing upon them. They're written in incomprehensible legal gibberish that's no longer even marginally useful to an actual inventor...

So yeah, basically, I don't believe (i.e. trust) in any of that crap. They do exist, of course, but shouldn't. Not without a rewrite, but this time they should get people to examine the laws for perverse incentive and enforceability. Otherwise we have laws, but they do us no good. That's completely unreasonable, even if it's not hard to see how we ended up that way.

Re:Because Slashdot headlines are too short. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811056)

Submitter here again.

I forgot to mention that I love a lincoln log in my chute.

And I should have said that IP = inter-anal penetration.

Re:What do the rest believe in? (5, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810818)

They quite possibly do believe in IP. They just don't believe downloading for personal use to be immoral.

Tubes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811000)

If not Internet Protocol, which network layer protocol do they believe in?

The tubes.

Here's my take: (-1, Redundant)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810588)

DwarfGoanna of the Slashdot.org has an interesting story about how fewer and fewer people believe that infringement is wrong. He mentions talks he gave back in 2005 where people were willing to believe that making backups of DVDs you own is wrong. Today, however, at his talks, he was only able to get two people out of a crowd of five hundred college students to say that downloading a movie or album is wrong. He goes on, like many before him, to bemoan the immorality of young people today, saying: 'I do know, though, that the TV, movie and record companies' problems have only just begun. Right now, the customers who can't even *see* why file sharing might be wrong are still young. But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?'"

Re:Here's my take: (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810764)

"But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?'"

They'll "grow up"/sell out like the Hippies and turn into reactionary fear freaks who will be as easily manipulated as all previous generations?

hah (0, Troll)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810590)

as if there is some sort of basic right and wrong
I download music and movies because I hope to one day witness the entire industry come crashing down... but along the way I'd still like to hear and see what's going on

what I'm doing happens to be perfectly in the right, for me
but then again im completely crazy

Why not reduce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810602)

Why not reduce this to 1 in 250 when reporting?

Re:Why not reduce? (4, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810728)

Why not reduce this to 1 in 250 when reporting?
Not reducing it also gives us the size of the sample; 1 in 250 with a sample size of 250 is a lot different than 1:250 with a sample of 5,000. Changing raw values into ratios is one of the things reporters are pretty terrible at, actually. I think it's better when they just leave the raw values.

Re:Why not reduce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810796)

I hadn't thought about it like that. You're right. But what irks me is that it often seems like "non-reduced" values has been changed from raw values to ratios, but in such a way as to seem "friendlier" to the public. I see numbers like "2 in 10" when it's very obvious that the sample was much higher than 10. It's just pointless not to say "1 in 5" in such cases. But I agree that they should just leave the numbers alone and report the raw values, or perhaps percentages instead.

Sounds about right (1, Interesting)

armanox (826486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810606)

I go to a college that has about 800 undergrad. Like a small town, everyone knows everyone. I think we have one student that believes in "intellectual property." Most of us, being an engineering school, believe in the free flow of information. I would also like to remind everyone that intellectual property is a new concept, and had we had it years ago, we wouldn't have the works of Shakespeare and Newton.

Re:Sounds about right (-1, Flamebait)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810644)

I believe in the freeflow of your dollars to my wallet, that doesn't make it right.

Re:Sounds about right (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811018)

So you implicitly agree with the GP. The basis for the present set of IP laws is the belief that people should have to pay for creative works in perpetuity for each and every discrete use of the works.

The belief that major corporations have the right to make a profit through IP, even if it harms the public, is not correct. The point of patents and copyrights are to promote the publics best interest by creating an incentive to create new works that benefit all. After a period, the works are then supposed to go into the public domain for use by anybody that wishes to use them.

The reason why so many young people don't believe in IP isn't that they think that the works aren't valuable, its that they don't think that they are as valuable as the corporations are wanting them to believe. Realistically, as Lincoln said, "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." And that's what's happened, the media outfits in particular have pushed so far to force a profit that they've actually managed to undermine their position.

And to throw in a Star Wars quote: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

The media corporations largely brought this on themselves by pushing to extend their protection to beyond the average life expectancy of a person born on the day a work is created. If they wish to have people respect their rights, perhaps they should respect the rights of the public at large first. I have very little faith in them to ever do so.

Re:Sounds about right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810668)

Something tells me that if someone was having sex with you or our friends wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend that they would be upset. Why? After all nothing was taken...

Re:Sounds about right (4, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810708)

Yes we would. (Since you didn't support your argument with any facts, I don't feel compelled to do the same.)

Personally, I think what will happen in 10, 20, and 30 years is that these college kids will finally get real jobs and realize that when folks steal their stuff without compensation, they don't get paid. Then they'll all bemoan the next generation who will be hacking copyright protection with their newfangled brain implants.

Re:Sounds about right (3, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810950)

Personally I think what will happen in 10, 20, or even 30 years is that these industries will finally be so impacted by the devaluing of distribution and production that they'll have to change business models. I also personally think that morally, copyright infringement IS a bad thing as by removing yourself from those sales completely you hurt the whole line of people involved from point "hey guys i got this idea for a song" to "hey guys, ima buy this (album|song)". Sadly this includes the talentless middlemen who provide nothing towards the finished product beyond a cool building to record it in.

Imagine though, a world where recording studios spend their time headhunting TALENT and then marketing that talent to artists. I'm not just talking about the musicians themselves, but the mixers, the choreographers, every step in between. A company that was a firm reputed to have power content creating talent and just needed someone to insert content would always have tremendous value to humanity until art is officially dead. You can pretty much s/recording studios/movie industry/ as well.

The problem with this is it would invert the power structure. This would put tremendous control into the hands of the actual content creators, as well as the various talented studio people. The companies would have to woo talent as being highly rated in terms of talent would be the only metric. This would create an environment where either studios have to woo potential content creators, or allow the creators to shop around. This would also create tremendous competition, with studios with price ranges for the already successful, ones who did well in their debuts, and ones who have to apply for a loan to even consider getting into he business to begin with (read: the ones who normally would have had to swallow whatever contract terms were to be had to have a significant chance of ever existing on the world stage). Granted, wealthy artists would then have a fair bit of leverage to create a new cartel that could suck, but then there ALREADY ARE artists producing completely independently.

If a company such as this was created, was profitable, and gained serious investment backing i think the current boys club would have a bloody stroke on the spot.

Then there are TV studios, whose current model is to have their customers pay for the privilege of having their eyes sold off wholesale for the content they offer. To boot, it's always the SAME offerings from any cable company anywhere for the most part. Hopefully the pushes for a-la-carte content will shift this current situation but who knows.

I imagine a world where customers pay for the content they want to see, and stations shift their model to being paid to provide the best range of coverage for their local regional demographic. Skews of what is popular changes by region a fair bit, and there would be value in doing the research to find what is popular in what proportions to see how to allot ones budget on the rights from the creators.

Sadly, I do not actually believe any of this will come to pass in a means that benefits the consumers.

Also sadly, many see copyright infringement as the means to nudge the current top-heavy structure, but I still find most people are merely rationalizing their desire for free-as-in-beer content that isn't free. If one is truly so self-righteous about it, consume truly free content. There's only metric goat-loads of it out there.

Too bad most people also think Good Content == { Shiny Expensive Effects , TnA , Celebrities } exclusively.

A Merry X-Mas Rant from Lower Canuckia

Morality and IP. (5, Interesting)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810734)

Yeah, generally it seems to be a pretty common idea. The laws and morality in people's heads does not include corporations. They aren't people and people do not think of them as people. So, it seems as though information should always be free... but if you want to make a penny on it you can't unless you own the property rights. Seriously, rather than asking them about if they think downloading copyrighted material is acceptable, toss in a question about selling downloaded media and see the objections flow.

However, if anybody is going to make any money on the product it is the corporations and this is iron clad.

As for the comments about Shakespeare, it was all security by obscurity. Play houses would steal other people's work by sending somebody with a good memory to go and write down the play as performed. This is where most of our records actually come from with the exception of Romeo and Juliet which was butchered so badly that it was published in order to get it right. If you look at the current ethic that the money making ability of IP goes to the owner, then it would allow people to have access to the plays but prohibit somebody else performing it. The article description of it as "immoral" is uncalled for. It certainly isn't as legally allowed, but the prohibition against sharing is non-existent whereas the prohibition against making money off somebody else's work without the owner getting a fair share is iron clad.

They are moral. They just do not respect the rights of corporations to do anything but make money. In fact, one could easily make the argument that torrents often get ratios above 1 (up/down), because it is required for the torrent to continue and as a moral imperative. What would happen if everybody stopped seeding after they had the file? The torrent would collapse. So morally (and I've actually seen that word used in this context) one needs to seed a torrent. Also, seeding is seen as giving respect to the torrent. That this is a good show/movie/album so *MORE* people should have it.

Re:Sounds about right (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810756)

It's worse at my school. Of the people who think it is wrong to download music, movies, or software illegally (we are a larger school, so I can't tell how many), I have yet to meet one who actually refrains from doing it or builds their music collection from legal sources. There is also an attitude that as long as you don't get caught, it is OK (coupled with that is a delusion that there is no way to be caught unless you share the files on the public Internet, despite my warnings that the university computer center is already aware of a campus filesharing network).

It's not that people of this generation are immoral -- nobody I know of thinks that taking a physical disc from a store is acceptable behavior -- it is that copyright infringement doesn't mean what it used to mean. I have a professor who worked for IBM when they caught a company infringing on some copyrights related to mainframe software; they were deliberately profiting from IBM's work without compensating IBM. Clearly, that is wrong, and that is what copyrights are designed to protect against, and I don't know anyone who thinks that is OK. It is different with file sharing networks, as there is neither business competition nor profit involved, and most of the people downloading music wouldn't buy so much anyway (I doubt that most could even afford that many albums). People don't view it as wrong, not because they don't have a moral compass, but because they don't view it as depriving artists or record companies of profit.

Re:Sounds about right (1)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810780)

Remember that great idea you had, that you took to your boss, and then your boss pitched it as his own idea and got all the credit and payday for it?

If you never had an idea like that, then IP won't mean anything to you.
If the above has happened to you, then you know the value of IP. Without IP it cannot have been *your* idea, as you couldn't have 'owned' your own idea.

IP is all about credit where credit is due, no more, no less.

Re:Sounds about right (5, Informative)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810930)

I'd have to go look up exactly when copyright was conceptually founded (I believe someone posted in a article a couple of months ago that it has existed since the days of the Romans conceptually that puts it back into at least 1000AD or so), but it is explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. So it's been around since the late 1700's. I believe John Locke wrote about it prior to the 1780's or so. Johnson and Johnson is currently suing the American Red Cross over a trade mark registered in the 1890's. The U.S. Patent Office has been around since around the time of the founding of the United States. For instance, Abraham Lincoln was proud of the fact that he was a patent holder.

So at least two such concepts pre-date things like Women's Sufferage, or the concept that African American's shouldn't be held as Slave's in the South in the United States. Given those dates, I'm reasonable confident there is no one alive who remembers before the three concepts of Intellectual Property existed (alright, there might be a handful alive from the trademark date I quote, but I think trademarks pre-date the early 1890's, I'm just too lazy to go find out when).

So while you refer to them as "new"... You can only mean new in comparison to concepts like "bipedal humans that walk upright" or "humans forming civiliations and moving from hunter gather to agricultural modes of survival", and still be intellectually honest (or grossly uninformed on the concepts).

We have the works of Shakespeare and Newton, because they eventually fell into the public domain. Now, if you want to argue that current U.S. copyright law is just stupid, I'll back you wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, as a citizen of the U.S. and the U.S. being a signer of the Berne Convention, means that Copyright Law can't be made to be sane. It could however be lowered to limits of the Berne convention, and then at least copyright would expire in 50 years after the work was published.

Assuming that Disney isn't successful forever, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will fall into the public domain. The entire music catalog of the Beetle's will be in the public domain in Britain within the next 20 years (they refused to increase copyright past 50 years recently). The original works of Einstien, Dirac, Godel, Turing, Plank, Hemmingway, Authur Miller, Tennesse Williams and others should eventually fall into the public domain (contemporary notable scientists and and playwrights). Hopefully within my life time (the next 40-60 years). The works will be preserved as long as it takes to get them into the public domain. The sad part is that 99% won't be. Only the things that were recognized as great works at the time will be. Who knows, maybe Shakespeare had a truely great pupil lost to the sands of time. It'd be far easier for libraries and other archivest to preserve if they didn't have to worry about copyright being an issue. It'd be easier to stand on the sholders of giants if I could use giants who were alive during my lifetime...


Re:Sounds about right (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811068)

I would also like to remind everyone that intellectual property is a new concept, and had we had it years ago, we wouldn't have the works of Shakespeare and Newton.

It would have surprised Shakespeare to learn that his plays were not the property of his theatrical company. It would have surprised him even more to see them performed by a rival.

You do not need to go to law when your patron is Elizabeth or James.

Copyright gave voice to writers of lower and middle class origins. Writers who were not independently wealthy, Writers who were not tenured professors or clerics.

Interesting question of sociology and morality (5, Interesting)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810620)

If *everyone* believes that something is not wrong..... doesn't that sorta necessarily make it so? I mean the end-result of that assumption being prevalent in the vast majority of people is the death of the record and movie industry. Movies and music won't go away. They will become controlled and disseminated by other means. Perhaps bands never do studio recordings of some tracks and charge a lot for live shows to make money. Perhaps the era of "big money" bands and movies is done with. Frankly, with computer technology, a skilled hobbiest can reproduce studio quality recordings if given good musicans. A skilled hobbiest can make compelling movies.... seemingly perhaps better than Hollywood studios. So what are we left with? Music and movies are better and cheaper and not controlled by monopoly conglomerates. uhm... Yay! SI

Re:Interesting question of sociology and morality (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810786)

If everybody believes the world is flat, is it?

Re:Interesting question of sociology and morality (5, Insightful)

rothic (596907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810860)

If everybody believes the world is flat, is it?

Of course not, but that's not a completely arbitrary human concept which only exists for as long as it's supported by the population composing the society from which the concept arises.

Re:Interesting question of sociology and morality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810794)

If *everyone* believes that something is not wrong..... doesn't that sorta necessarily make it so?
We need a new moderation category... godwinbait.

Re:Interesting question of sociology and morality (2, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810970)

If *everyone* believes that something is not wrong..... doesn't that sorta necessarily make it so?
Un, no. That makes a lot of people wrong.

Re:Interesting question of sociology and morality (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810996)

If *everyone* believes that something is not wrong..... doesn't that sorta necessarily make it so?

No, it doesn't necessarily make it anything. If everybody believes stoning adulterers is morally right, does that make it morally right? What about enslaving people of other races, or sending ethnic minorities to death camps?

Frankly, with computer technology, a skilled hobbiest can reproduce studio quality recordings if given good musicans. A skilled hobbiest can make compelling movies.... seemingly perhaps better than Hollywood studios. So what are we left with? Music and movies are better and cheaper and not controlled by monopoly conglomerates.

You seriously think that hobbyists will, on average, be anywhere as good as pros at music and movie production?

For the sake of argument, let's assume that it is actually true. Do you seriously think that larger production budgets will not increase the quality and value of a production in the aggregate?

Now, to be even more charitable, let's assume that larger budgets don't increase the value of productions. Do you seriously think that services that selectively evaluate and promote the highest-quality productions available don't help buyers find music that they like better than they what the could have found otherwise?

Tossing out the copyright system will mean that there will be little to no incentive to finance costlier productions. People with superior skills at producing movies and music will find it harder to get paid a premium for their services. Customers will be flooded with tons of crap music and movies made by incompetents in their living room, because nobody can get paid to sift through the crap and find the gems.

What will happen then? (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810626)

Corporations will have to figure out other streams of income.

Re:What will happen then? (4, Informative)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810912)

Stricter enforcement, of course. A professor at the University of Utah law college describes how everybody infringes [turnergreen.com] . It's a veritable goldmine!

The good stuff starts at the bottom of page 7 of the PDF.

Re:What will happen then? (1)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810914)

Scratch that. The RIAA will have to, as music labels aren't losing money anyways, considering a pirate always would have pirated and never paid.

The misinformation campaign has already begun! (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810634)

While copying media goes way back (remember the DAT tax or the fear that cassettes or VCRs would end the world?) before college students of today, the media conglomerates campaign against this type of crap is only really starting. With the RIAA making up its own commercials [arstechnica.com] , getting laws passed by paying off lawmakers and adding so many fucking anti-infringement notices to their media that I burn DVDs just to rid myself of them.

In 30 years we might not see what we would expect. The RIAA and MPAA has deeper pockets than the nerd crowd and they have a lot more to lose.

No one here, or really anywhere else, could believe the RIAA would win that fucking case in Duluth and yet they did. For whatever reason there are still people out there that can be easily swayed by the bullshit that is strewn from the mouths of those douchebags.

I fear the worst. Support those artists that support freedom of music and media before your money is used against people just like you.

Re:The misinformation campaign has already begun! (4, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810686)

The case in Duluth was lost by an incompetent defense that tried to pull the wool over the jury's eyes. The jury saw through it and punished them for it.

Simple. (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810636)

What will happen then?
They'll have to stop manufacturing buggy whips and find a way to make money from promoting and an eye for talent again as their primary function.

Or die. Horribly.

Our understanding will change... (5, Insightful)

kyc (984418) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810646)

  First everybody will believe that IP doesn't exist. Even now many people (including reasonable nerds such as we are) believe that IP does not exist in the form it struggles to exist today.

The context of IP is changing and it has to change according to Internet rules. People think that it might seem unethical but the availability of sharing (especially when there is more than a single network node for each human being) cannot be just neglected by the trivial assumption that people should respect for IP.

I don't believe in IP and I don't think they deserve it. Is the amount of effort they are putting to produce a song, really worth the millions of dollars they are claiming that they must make?
No way.

That's why they will lose. That's why they are losing every second. And at some point, they will really understand that resistance is futile.

Internet will prevail

Angels (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810660)

But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?
There will be no more heaven, because every time that a song or movie is downloaded an angel dies.

fix the law and we might care (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810662)

copyright, and patents too. last 5 years. no extensions. no exceptions. you get a 5 year monopoly on your creation or idea.

after that its fair game. public domain. and no. you cant gouge the hell out of us on price to make up for it. create more crap and get another 5 years for that instead.

the time of beyond lifelong copyright and patent protection needs to end. its sucking up way too much time and resources. and gains nothing for the world.

and we just dont want to listen to people whine anymore.

also does not bode well for... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810670)

... all the people who write software and expect to be paid for it. The days for that are numbered, just as for music and movies.

Re:also does not bode well for... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810954)

Right, because megacorporation X is going to pirate Windows for all their computer or something like that. The argument that developers/artists/etc are losing money from piracy is debatable since if the person pirating didn't have the money to buy the software (eg. Photoshop) they wouldn't have bought it anyway. Meanwhile at least piracy increases mindshare. Personally, I just use GIMP but most people who pirate Photoshop wouldn't know that GIMP exists, and even then I guess it's just too different for their tastes.

Re:also does not bode well for... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811014)

Or they could be like me and not find an easy install package for Gimp on OSX. Can anyone point me to a single file that I double click (or drag to apps) to install Gimp, or must I go through about 2 hours of web surfing just to figure out how to install the installer?

But I agree. People who pirate Photoshop don't have the money to buy it in the first place and that corporations more than pay their share for those of us...errr, you that have downloaded Photoshop for your home use. If they'd make a "home" edition that was around $150 or so, I'd buy it.

Re:also does not bode well for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811022)

> Right, because megacorporation X is going to pirate Windows for all their computer or something like that.

They already do. Broaden your horizons a little - it's only in a very few nations like the USA where what you say above is not the case already. Pop over to China sometime, and look at what is used in the workplace. Hint: it isn't properly licensed software.

Eventually, the only way to compete will be if western countries join where the rest of the world already is.

Ob amusing captcha: corpse.

Old news... (2, Insightful)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810682)

People are always scared of what happens when children grow up.

That's one reason why I think that the politicians are trying to erode individual rights. They're scared shitless about what's going to happen when the children grow up and start making public policy.

Re:Old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810706)

as well they should be scared. we're going to so totally SCREW them over.

karma motherfuckers. we'll make it happen.

Re:Old news... (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810758)

Dear record companies: all that you need to do is hire some kids. They're not aliens, after all... if you imbue the young with the same incentives and motivations that you have yourself, they will most often act the same way you do. These kids are against IP because it doesn't make them any money and even if it did they don't have families and mortgages. Get them invested in the capitalistic debt machine and then make their livelihoods in some small way dependent on IP and most of their views will magically align with yours. Realize that many of the soulless destroyers of the RIAA were once hippies. Idealism is often a luxury only afforded the young.
I am not pro-IP in its current state. I'm just saying that just because kids don't like it doesn't mean they're actually going to end up doing anything about it.

Erm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810692)

Only two students in a class of 500 were willing to raise their hands. You could ask: Who wants money? and get a similar response.

Progress will happen then. (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810710)

"What will happen then?"

Well, as more and more content is released under permissive licenses and that pool is getting larger everyday and is irrevocable short of making giving away your effort illegal... I guess we'll all turn into small contributers that others remix into great works. And in turn we'll remix others contributions into our own (maybe great) works. Kind of like a cottage industry on steroids. And we have the great tubes to thank by reducing the barrier to entry and more importantly providing a means to replicate information effortlessly and cheaply.

Common sense will ALWAYS prevail over LAW. (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810714)

Students, nay people see Tv shows broadcast over the air as fair game. and will always feel that way. If I record lost and give that copy to a friend in Germany there is no common sense logic that can say that I am stealing it. I got it for free, the advertisers paid for that show to be aired over public airwaves, they got the benefit of it and the station did as well, when I send Hans the DiVX copy he get's to enjoy the crappy local car lot ad's and coca-cola ad's as well. (yes I'm a lazy ass and dont strip the commercials out, boo hoo that's what 30 second skip is for)

Many feel bad a bit about downloading a pay tv only show like Dexter, but SOMEONE paid for the right to view it and record it. All the companies involved got their money.

And that is what people see, they see all this IP crap as nothing more than a extra greedy money grab. Almost everyone sees that Comedy central pulling youtube clips as 100% greed and when people see greed they retaliate against it.

As long as the media companies are acting insanely stupid and publically showing their insatiable greed this will not only continue but will grow in the opposite direction. If they keep it up we actually may see common folk caring about copyright to the point that they want copyright laws repealed.

The one dark nightmare that make media company executives wake up screaming at night.

Re:Common sense will ALWAYS prevail over LAW. (1)

thanatos_x (1086171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810848)

I'm not sure what state you're living in, but based on your headline I'd say denial, or you've been living under a rock. Common sense has lost numerous times to law, from the burglar who sues for millions from an injury he received breaking into someone's house to the corporate CEO who pays the same tax rate as his secretary to bills like the patriot act.

I'd say laws for which there is an exceptional demand for the product/activity VS the risk (probability of getting caught * consequences), the law will generally lose, but that's one of the few cases - see prohibition, the lack of success in the drug war, and this.

Pity we want the latest single from group X over liberty.

Summary? (4, Insightful)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810722)

"Fewer and fewer people believing infringing is wrong" is not the same as "not believing in IP." I believe in the concepts of intellectual property, very strongly. However, the MPIA, RIAA, etc., have made fair use and reasonable pricing and distribution of profits to artists into such an absurdity, people can easily rationalize copying.

I think most people would believe that artists and their associated support network should retain their rights to their music or other works. And if things were available at reasonable prices, with reasonable ability to archive and move to new media, then people would pay, respecting the rights of the owners.

But $20 for a CD with one formulatic pop song that's a bit catchy, and a bunch of filler, makes rationalizing copying a lot easier than it should be.

Re:Summary? (1)

Andrew Cady (115471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811050)

I'm not sure young people even believe in "rights" anymore. Rights are a mystical concept, like souls or free will. That kind of thing is passé. Sure, people still talk about "rights," but most of the time they speak of them as if they are nothing more than social conventions; as if (for example) the right to free speech is something that the Bill of Rights created, and which didn't exist (say) in the USSR. Thus, the "right" of musicians to control who listens to their music is nothing more than the social practice of preventing people from listening to music without permission. And as that social practice is not in fact possible, people who don't believe in "natural rights" will consequently conclude that such a right does not exist, as a simple matter of fact.

PS. The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."

Bias (5, Insightful)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810732)

Before anyone starts discussing the 2/500 statistic, remember that the interview method - asking an auditorium of college students to raise their hand - is not the best way to get a truthful response. The percentage of people who believe that downloading a movie/album illegally is wrong is probably much higher.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810812)

Yeah, I tend to agree. Also, from his own description the presentation was bombing. It sounds like the kids just weren't interested and were probably zoning out (I've been there many a time myself). There are varying degrees of gray, but I think most reasonable people would consider flat-out infringement wrong. Whether or not that would stop them from infringing is another matter.

Full Circle (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810748)

The term "intellectual property" was regarded with similar comedy when Letterman moved to CBS. I think the joke was that the band couldn't be called The World's Most Dangerous Band anymore because that name was the "intellectual property" of NBC. It got a big laugh.

They're Just Kids (1, Interesting)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810782)

...and kids are stupid and naive.

One day their livelihood may rely on intellectual property and their attitude will change.

Re:They're Just Kids (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811006)

Anyone basing their livelihood on IP deserves whatever they get. IP is not a natural right and has been stretched far past it's use in recent times. The only people who have problems with full freedom of information are those who are trying to cheat those who actually work for a living.

What will happen tha?? - The law will change. (1)

pesho (843750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810790)

But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?'"

What will happen is that the public will no longer support 'rigorous enforcement' of IP laws by entities like RIAA and the law will change accordingly. On the other hand of RIAA/MPAA consistently pulls off decent PR and lobbying campaigns in the next 10, 20, 30 years the status quo may remain and they will retain their business model.

Non-observance of copyright (1)

Sub Rosa, Sub Vino (1207650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810792)

Copyright has becomes an indefinite license by holders, instead of expiring in set amount of time. If copyrights never expire, they will not get much respect.

Hyperbole has backfired on the "IP" Barons (2, Insightful)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810814)

The risible rhetoric that the "Intellectual Property" barons has been pushing for so long has been so plainly wrong that they don't even have the credibility left to make reasonable claims and be believed.

Insistently equating trespassing on someone's copyrights with armed robbery ("piracy") and "theft" when it plainly is neither for so long means that now a lot of people have trouble taking the whole concept of copyright seriously, unfortunately.

Re:Hyperbole has backfired on the "IP" Barons (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810980)

The risible rhetoric that the "Intellectual Property" barons has been pushing for so long has been so plainly wrong that they don't even have the credibility left to make reasonable claims and be believed.
I believe you are exactly correct. The RIAA and MPAA have been pushing for expanded rights to the detriment of fair use (even denying any fair use rights exist) that people treat them with contempt and have only contempt for their claims.

The *AAs have attempted to make a black and white issue over copying. The problem is that people expect to be able to do some copying and hence the line is now pushed far back into *AAs' territory. If they had respected and promoted fair use rights, most people would have responded with acknowledgment of the *AAs' rights.

Intellectual Property As Term Stinks (1)

shoor (33382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810816)

I believe the expression "Intellectual Property" was created solely to trip people up who were trying to engage in critical thinking about how
the products of human creativity should be regarded. It's designed to get unsophisticated (and lazy) thinkers to feel the same disapproval at making a copy of the music on someone's cassette say, as in stealing their cassette, or their stereo equipment, or their car. But, if you make a copy of someone's music, the person still has the music. It may not be ethical but it's just not the same as the theft of real property.

Now, that doesn't mean that if someone goes to the time and effort of creating new music that they don't have rights to it. But it's not the exact same thing as 'property'. Something like copyright law should be in place to protect and especially to encourage creative endeavor. But one shouldn't go overboard on it. Let's say, when George Gershwin wrote "Rhapsody In Blue" he assumed he would hold the copyright to it for 17 years. (I don't know the technical details, maybe copyright law was extendable then, or maybe Paul Whiteman commissioned the work so actually it was Paul Whiteman who had the rights. The details won't matter for illustrating my point.) Would George Gershwin have worked harder and made "Rhapsody In Blue" better if he'd known he and his heirs would have the rights until 100 years after his death? I doubt it.

Suppose they passed a law that said building contractors had to be paid $500,000 to build a house even if they would be willing to build it for only $200,000? That's what happens when you give copyright powers to people that are more than would be necessary to motivate them to create their best work. And that is the situation with current copyright laws.

Also, a lot of the pro-intellectual property types like to act as though only one person in the world could create some unique piece of work. It's harder to illustrate in the case of artistic works, but consider patents for inventions. By patenting an invention you restrict
other people not only from using your invention but also from inventing it themselves. There's the famous story of Alexander Bell beating some other inventor to the patent office with the invention of the telephone. It seems that Philo Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin (and his team) independently invented the iconoscope (the essential electronic camera ingredient of television). So, patents and copyrights are a kind of kluge for encouraging invention but by restricting the rights of others to use their creations they also limit the freedom of others to invent them indepedently, and I think that's a significant inefficiency in the system, though I don't have a better alternative.

At any rate, this notion of 'Intellectual Property' has gotten so tied up in greed and arrogance that it has earned the contempt a lot of people feel for it.

Sick and tired (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810838)

The "immorality of young people today" argument is as old as Plato and Socrates. Every generation is (apparently) more immoral than the previous. Your point is?

US IP law disenfranchises youth. (1)

SpaceWanderer (1181589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810842)

Is David Pogue an RIAA spokesman? Anyway, I think the IP laws are extremely unfair for consumers. Groups like the RIAA, sony bono, Disney have been drawing up any copyright laws they want and getting congress to pass them without any democratic input for the past 100 or so years. The current laws so strongly favor big corporations and dont' consider consumer interests at all. People are beginning to wake up to this. People are getting so fed up with the unfairness of it that they completely ignore the laws.

Absolutely fucking wrong (1)

Dragon of the Pants (913545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810854)

Everytime I hear stuff like this I have to shake my head. How can any person claim to be moral while not recognizing that file-sharing is WRONG? I've had arguments with friend over this and it almost blinds me with rage every time. Now, don't get me wrong, I do it all the time. But I have the common sense to realize what I'm doling is wrong. I just don't care.

Re:Absolutely fucking wrong (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810948)

I have a very similar issues with porn and jerking off.

Now if you'll excuse me I feel another session of wrongdoing coming on...

Re:Absolutely fucking wrong (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811010)

No, sorry. When only four out of a thousand people believe something is wrong, it's not wrong any more. Society has changed its mind on this issue.

Re:Absolutely fucking wrong (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811030)

Is it wrong? Haven't the record labels made enough? Every time I hear their stories, All I can think of is "Go blow it your ass."

IP as in 'first run movies', (1)

fredklein (532096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810858)

or as in or 'already broadcast a million times for free'??

I can see 'them' getting upset over the taping and release of a Still-in-the-theater movie. But once it's been shown on TV, for free, who cares. What's the practical difference between me taping a free, over-the-airwaves broadcast, and me downloading a copy that someone else taped??

Okay, David (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810878)

You're lumping together legitimate backup copies with internet downloads. You are also combining "wrong", a moral decision, with "illegal", a legislative decision.

If you are going to use such intellectual bait & switch in trying to make your point, you'll get no respect from me & you lose all credibility.

Bugger off, mate.

The question is flawed. (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810902)


"You want a movie or an album. You don't want to pay for it. So you download it." There it was: the bald-faced, worst-case example, without any nuance or mitigating factors whatsoever.

One problem is that he neglected to say "illegally downloaded." There is nothing wrong with downloading movies. That is how some of them are distributed.

It is clear what he meant, but this is the kind of confusion that the MPAA uses to convince courts that P2P and Youtube et al have no legal purpose. If downloading movies is illegal, than P2P and Youtube really do have no legal purpose.

Hey! Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810916)

...it's the same two brainless fuckers who believe in I.D.?

David Pogue == John Dvorak (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810926)

I used to like David Pogue. He never showed much computer savvy, but he really knew entertainment gear and gadgets. In the past 2 or 3 years, though, he's become John C. Dvorak -- making ridiculous and inflammatory statements in his column or on his blog just to drive traffic.

And like Dvorak, it's unfortunate that /. sends more traffic his way.

Re:David Pogue == John Dvorak (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810952)

Is he making "inflamatory" statements, or are you just reading into his clearly stated observations?

Another Stupid Slashdot Summary (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810936)

"Bemoan"? I read the FA and Pogue does no such bemoaning. He does, however, point out the vast generational differences in attitudes towards intellectual property. He doesn't editorialize at all; something slashdot contributors and editors should try doing once in a while.

You sign away your rights to school, work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810938)

You sign away all your rights to all your designs and concepts (unless you are lucky or smart) to just get into a school or a job now.

How many ideas of yours have been bought and sold and have appeared on the big screen or TV... ? Or made people hundreds of millions in venture capital funds before you could sell the idea yourself?

And then they are going to complain about downloading some media you can't afford to watch?

Moral Bargain is Missing (1)

Strangely Familiar (1071648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810962)

Intellectual property was founded on a moral bargain. People gave up their right to copy other people for a limited time, in order to get other people to work harder to create new useful things and artwork. The problem is that corporate America is developing amnesia concerning the people's half of the bargain.

People have a fundamental moral right to copy others. Copying is at the core of human nature. It is a right not to be given up lightly. It's what two year olds do to learn how to act. It's what apprentices do. It's what old people do when they want to learn something new. Without copying, we're all just illiterates alone and naked in the woods.

Because of this, deciding what people should copy is highly important. Coming up with something great to copy is very valuable. It takes work to be a great rock band, or make a 42 inch plasma HD TV. Why would anyone go through all the work, if they get nothing?

Fine well and good. But why should the people give up their right to copy, when they don't see what they are getting in return? If Led Zeppelin was freely available without stigma, and the original Talking Heads music, and Beatles, and Van Halen, college students might be more easily persuaded that there is an actual bargain they are benefiting from when they don't copy the White Stripes, or newer stuff. They have to pay for some stuff, but other stuff they get free. Stuff more than 14 years old.

Taking someone's rights away without their consent, and without giving anything in return is immoral. It's really no wonder why, when subjected to an immoral act, college kids don't see anything immoral by responding in kind.

Control: Unlearning what they have learned (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810966)

Over the past century, the content companies have learned from experience that they can control and dominate all aspects of their industry. They force-feed the public with crap music from acts that they browbeat into submission, taking tremendous chunks of the revenues through their position as middleman. They convince the public (or at least themselves) that they can dictate the terms of use for their products, even when the public has already paid a more-than-fair price for those products. They take for granted their position as arbiters of what's cool, and now that their position of dominance is under real threat, they're panicking.

There are already solutions - numerous ones - for getting fair payment to artists, technicians, promoters, etc., without fighting the masses who are interested in a wider variety of content and the ability to use that content in novel ways. The problem (for the content industry, anyway) is that those solutions in some way involve giving up control. They fear that losing that control means obsolescence, when in truth, it's the effort to cling to that control that will result in them being so far behind the times that they can't catch up.

There can be a place for the content executives in the future of the industry, but they have to be willing to let go of the total control they've grown addicted to, and be content with making money hand over fist while giving the customers what they want.

It goes like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810974)

Back in college, a friend had a roommate who declared: If there's food in the fridge, I will eat it.

Culturally, we're selfish...so why should this be a surprise? Seriously, I must be some kind of bunny-humping commie for even saying this.

Re:It goes like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811080)

Let me introduce you to my ex-lax brownies recipe.

Yay, finally a slashdot discussion of IP (4, Funny)

amyhughes (569088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21810986)

Hey, a discussion of intellectual property on slashdot! This will surely cover new ground. I can't wait to learn what slashdot thinks!

I believe in IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21810998)

The problem is I also believe in ignoring it. Copyright was a deal in principle, You make your creations available to the public and in return we won't copy them without your permission. Available meant free to use as we would, for personal creativity, for review or just for entertainment. And the creations of that generation would be freely available to the next generation to build on.

And then they changed the deal. Creations are made available with EULAs which say we invoke copyright on our creation but you don't get any of the things you had on your side of the table. You can't modify this and you cannot review it. And it won't default into the creative pool until two lifetimes have past. But you must still honour the no copying premise, even though there is no value in that social contract for you anymore. Oh and it's a laugh that it will pass into the creative pool, because we DRM / copy protected it all, and we're not planning on publishing the source material ever, and even if we did it would be over 100 years out of date, but to be honest we couldn't be stuffed storing unprofitable material on deteriorating media for that length of time.

I don't have an issue with patent IP, other than the whole 'patenting processes and programs' malarky, but copyright was a social contract and 2 requirements of a contract seem to be a meeting of the minds, which there no longer is, and value on both sides, which yet again there no longer is.

The end of extra profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811048)

What we see is classic demad-supply curve. File sharing (illegally) produces supply (you can download copyrighted material almost for free). Because it's that "cheap" (well, it's not purchased legally, and you can't deny that) we all use it. It's even so cheap that you download crap you don't even like or care for.

Once "everybody" stops paying for this content, studios stop producing new content (of course, there's no money in it). No content, no downloads, no theathers, no radios, no nothing. Nobody's gonna be happy about that, neither studios nor consumers.

So guess what happens? Studios will finally start to compete. You could finnaly legally buy a movie for what it's acctually worth. Of course, that means no more millions and millions of dollars for so called "stars". I mean, how is acting / performing worth that much? It's not. Plain and simple.

Freeloading (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811058)

What's that? A bunch of college students see something they want and can get it without paying? And they're all over it?

Who would have known.

No, they simply don't care about "Intellectual Property" like the majority of every day people don't. All they care about is that there is some form of entertainment that they want and they can easily get it by downloading it. For free. It's maybe 1 in 1000 that you might find does it for media-shifting or time-shifting purposes but the majority are there because it costs nothing.

Another thing people that actually produce creative works have to be worried about is if the concept of plagiarism gets washed under, where students who cheat by copying chunks of Wikipedia into their assignments doesn't even cross them as wrong. Or once they get into companies, and think nothing of copying your GPL'd source code into their program, and violate the license blatantly because they don't respect copyright laws.

This result makes perfect sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811076)

This result makes perfect sense.

Here's why:

First, ask people if they think that listening to free music on the radio is "stealing". Almost nobody thinks that.

Now ask people what the difference is between listening to free music on the radio versus listening to music files they got free from P2P. They will say:

(1) The technology is different (FM analog encoding versus MP3 digital encoding).

(2) With P2P, you have much better control over what you listen to, and when.

So now we ask: Does having much better control over your listening schedule cause a "moral" behavior to change to an "immoral" behavior?

(Note that I'm not defending anybody -- I'm just trying to offer an explanatory model.)


Another way to look at it is this:

In order to "understand" that copyright infringement is wrong, you have to understand (and agree with) the legal doctrine behind copyright.

But you've got to realize that people don't obtain their feelings of "moral" and "immoral" by performing legal analysis.

They obtain their moral feelings based on primitive human emotional reactions.

The act of theft has a long history that reaches back to the dawn of human existence. The reptilian part of our brains reacts to the "wrongness" of somebody stealing from us and depriving us of our posessions.

But our generation is the first generation in human existence to encounter the idea of quick-n-easy copyright infringement -- the almost magical ability to instantly take something from someone, yet leave the original intact.

To view copyright infringement as "theft", you have to apply legal theory, or you need to create a rather sophisticated line of reasoning, such as: "if someone obtains an unauthorized distribution of my creative work, it could increase the probability that they will not purchase it from me".

Such sophisticated lines of reasoning don't impact the reptilian part of our brains. So we don't perceive this as "theft" from an emotional standpoint.

They are but young...or maybe uncreative (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811078)

Anyone who says infringement is not wrong is saying that because they have never had anything they have created used without their permission.

A person/company who creates something has the right to put it in the public domain, release it under the [insert open license of choice here], etc and so on. But they have the equal right to place restrictions on it, and expect users of their creation to abide by those restrictions. If you don't like those restrictions, you have one valid option...don't use their creation.

Because that crowd will then own something (1)

bobbonomo (997543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811082)

Simple. In 10, 20, 30 years some of those people will own something or have invented a gadget or game or written a book which took years to research. (expand on this in your field, try music). Now someone is publishing that or using "your stuff" to make money, lots of money. It won't be so funny then.

The best example of that is a blogger with a popular site that brings in 60-70 bucks a day in Adsense. All of the material is from someone else and all the images are hotlinked to another sites. One of those sites is yours and now because that site is so popular you get to pay 10 dollars a month in extra bandwidth. You are a pro photographer and have invested lots of time and much $$ to work up your portfolio. Hey that site even sells your pictures. Nada to you.

I fit neither of the descriptions above so copy away. Will it be that much a non-issue when it affects you directly?

Please no comments about money not being everything. True to a point but not when you are late on your rent or car payment or mortgage. Yes Mortgage, from the french language meaning a death pledge, something you pay till death.

What will happen then? (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811090)

But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?

I'd say one of two things, either the media industry agrees to a compromise, in which they have to conceed just as much as the "pirates", or the media industry as we know it will cease to exist. Honestly I'd be happy with either scenario. It's not like all forms of media will suddenly evaporate just because people can't make millions anymore. Christ some actors are getting over $20 million for one film, and they want us to believe the MPAA is having a hard time because of piracy? Give me a break.

But this shouldn't be news to anyone here. Personally I welcome the future and the changes it'll bring, it's about time the media industry's death grip on entertainment is reset.
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