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[P]
RIAA vs. Captain Teach

By cribcage in Op-Ed
Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:56:05 AM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

The RIAA is suing four college students, alleging that each was operating a file-sharing service to trade copyrighted music illegally. In the past, the RIAA has always looked to universities to control campus networks. The RIAA would send a letter to the college, and the college would shut the students down. These lawsuits are a break from that strategy, and constitute a major offensive by the RIAA.


Let's be clear from the beginning. If the RIAA's complaints are accurate, these kids are plain, run-of-the-mill idiots. They weren't simply trading files; they were running independent networks, allowing massive numbers of people to trade files. Specifically, the RIAA is charging that the four networks distributed 27,000 files, 500,000 files, 650,000 files, and over a million files, respectively. That's a hell of a lot of pirated music. To use a common analogy: These four were dealers, not simply users.

You have to be pretty stupid to do that sort of thing, today. Think about it: These kids watched Napster burn in flames, courtesy of RIAA lawyers. They watched KaZaA become the next big thing -- and presumably, if they were savvy enough to set up their own P2P networks, they were well aware of the media attention haunting KaZaA. Nevertheless, each of these four decided to sit in his college dorm and set up his own little "Napster," servicing hundreds of thousands of users. If true, this amounts to basically dialing up the RIAA and inviting it to help itself to your future earnings for the next 860 years.

The RIAA is seeking the maximum legal penalty -- $150,000 for every copyrighted work that was downloaded. If successful, the students would lose something in the neighborhood of a hundred billion dollars. Divide that by four defendants, and...yup. They're all still pretty well fucked.

But really, we don't care about them. The reason this story reverberates so loudly across the net is the reason the RIAA filed these suits in the first place: We're all left wondering, "Who will be next?" Is file-trading worth the risk of being dragged into a massive lawsuit? Such suits, even if frivolous and unsuccessful, can easily bankrupt any defendant. For that matter, who should win? Is "piracy" really a bad thing? Who does it harm, and why should you care?

First, let's dispense with the terminology question. I do think it's funny that the RIAA refers to file-sharing as piracy 364 days a year, then drops the term when its minions visit the US Naval Academy...but that aside, the word "piracy" has become a legitimate term for the practice of file-sharing copyrighted works. See Merriam-Webster: "the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright." I don't use the term, personally; but arguing that it's improper is a losing battle.

The file-traders' bottom line is pretty simple: "We hate the RIAA." Their two most common arguments are:

  • "We need P2P, because the RIAA and Clear Channel control the radio. Everything on FM is the same, and P2P is the only way we can discover independent music."

  • "The RIAA isn't losing any sales. Most of the songs we download are just singles we heard on the radio. We only wanted each single, so we wouldn't have bought the complete albums, anyway."

So the great benefit of P2P is that you can discover new, independent music...but all you ever use it for is to download popular singles? Can you say, "mutually exclusive"? Either you're getting for free music you would have paid for, or you're not. Step away from the microphone, and make up your minds.

Both arguments, of course, are jokes. I own several thousand CDs of independent music, all of which I managed to discover without the benefit of P2P. Clear Channel became a giant by giving listeners exactly what they want: simple, straight, unconfusing pop music. People want lyrics to sing along to, and 4/4 or 6/8 rhythms that keep their feet tapping. Their idea of "different," from decade to decade, is changing the instrumentation a bit. A song had better be catchy, it had better be repetitive, and it had better be tonal, or else it's not going to get airtime. People simply don't want to hear it.

Don't take my word for it. In the past two years, the record companies have watched their sales growth begin to decline. Immediately, they cut the dead wood. Every major label slashed or eliminated their jazz divisions. Classical music now makes up barely a fraction of their budgets. If you're recording Bach or Mozart, you might have a shot; but you won't find Ligeti or Lutoslawsky on any major labels. Record companies know where the money is. I laugh at people who say, "I like all kinds of music." Invariably, they start rattling off names of pop artists who, to them, sound distinctive -- J.Lo, Puff Daddy, Dave Matthews, Eminem, etc. If it doesn't follow the pop formula, people simply don't want to hear it.

That brings us to the file-traders' second argument: they're only downloading these pop singles because they wouldn't buy the albums, anyway. Well, the record industry phased out short-playing records in favor of LPs long ago, because their market research proved: Spending a bit more to produce a longer album yielded greater profit, because people would indeed pay more to own singles they heard on the radio. Anyone who says people won't buy full-length albums just to hear one or two songs is flat-out wrong. I spent three years working in a record store, and I watched thousands of customers do exactly that. And compilation series like "Best of the '80s" and "NOW" successfully cater to the few stragglers who demand "greater value."

That same market research has been proved repeatedly in the decades since. Cassette and CD singles were both tried valiantly, because the public insisted they would buy more music if they could buy only the songs they wanted. A program was even offered in the late '90s allowing customers to program their own CDs, selecting their favorite popular singles and paying accordingly. Record companies eventually lost quite a bit of money on these ideas. In fewer numbers, singles continue to be mnufactured today -- at a loss. Had they been remotely successful, they wouldn't have been phased out. If you don't want to take the RIAA's word, take my firsthand experience: On a good day for singles sales, they're still outnumbered 20-to-1 by full-length album sales.

So, the question: "Is file-sharing 'stealing'?" Again, Merriam-Webster: "to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully." Unless you pay for copyrighted music, legally, you don't have the right to possess a copy. So yes, if you're downloading copyrighted music across unregulated network, then you are stealing. "Duh."

The immediate response: "We're helping bands. Artists rarely profit from albums, anyway. They profit from touring, and sharing their music online helps promote their shows." Well, that's a very polite argument, Robin Hood. Record companies may hoard album profits for themselves; but right or wrong, what they're doing is legal, and what you're doing isn't. And whatever your motivation, whomever you may be "helping"...stealing is stealing. Just because you feed the poor doesn't mean you're not stealing from the rich.

But the basic point misunderstood by nearly every file-trader is that copyright law isn't designed to protect money. It's designed to protect control. By file-sharing an artist's copyrighted music, you are violating that artist's right to control his own work.

Again: "We're helping artists. Increased exposure is good." Well, one man's dream is another man's nightmare. I can think of any number of reasons why an artist might not want his music shared online. Maybe he feels embarrassed by the quality of an early album, and he doesn't want it expanded beyond its initial release. Maybe he's decided to change direction, musically, and he doesn't want continued circulation of his older works. Maybe he feels that MP3 compression unacceptably distorts music, and he doesn't want his songs distributed in that format. Hell, maybe he originally released 64 copies of an album as part of a conceptual performance artwork, and expanding its circulation will somehow violate the integrity of that work.

Ultimately, an artist's reasons for wanting to limit distribution of his music are none of your damn business. Copyright law gives him the right to do that, if he chooses. And the moment you become a distributor of copyrighted music, you are violating that right.

For the record: Any unauthorized distribution is a violation of copyright law, whether or not you profit from it. You have the right to buy a copy of the new Britney Spears CD. You have the right to burn copies of that CD for your work and car, if you like. You even have the right to burn 20,000 copies of that CD and stack them in your bedroom, if that happens to be your fetish. But as soon as you hand one of those copies to another person -- literally, or online -- you have become a "distributor." Whether or not you accept money is irrelevant. You have no right to distribute someone else's copyrighted work.

File-sharing isn't a simple issue. It involves a direct conflict between legal precedent and technological advances. As with any complicated issue -- abortion, capital punishment, chocolate or vanilla -- there is logic on both sides, and any "simple" decision is probably either ignorant or self-serving. Certainly, the major studios are guilty of underhanded tactics in the copyright battle. Both sides are guilty of their shares of ignorance, dishonesty, and refusal to listen. But the file-traders are lauded as folk heroes, while the record executives are burned in effigy. And that's just bullshit. If Aaron Sherman, Jesse Jordan, Daniel Peng, and Joe Nievelt are indeed guilty of the RIAA's allegations, then they're guilty of violating other people's rights without reason or justification, solely for their own benefit. And that behavior should never be celebrated.

If you're trading copyrighted works, you're breaking the law and violating people's rights. If you feel fine about that, that's your prerogative. But stop whining about what file-sharing isn't. It is stealing. It is unlawful distribution. Claiming otherwise doesn't support your position. It just proves your ignorance. And it's difficult to respect someone's actions when he hasn't gone to the trouble of understanding them.

Some K5 responses I've read:

Why should I buy CDs when I can get them for free?

So if the police, tomorrow, announce that they will stop enforcing shoplifting laws, will you stop paying for clothes? Technically, it's still stealing. But by your logic: "If I can get away with it, why shouldn't I"?

If you're going to file-share, that's your prerogative. I drive over the speed limit all the time, and I wouldn't want another civilian bitching at me about it. My point isn't to talk you out of doing something. My point is, you should at least be mature and responsible enough to acknowledge what you're doing. Until you are, it's difficult to take you seriously. Your argument is basically, "It's easy, so it must be OK." And that's pretty stupid.

kitten writes:

When I'm forced to special order CDs from a warehouse, that signifies to me that the owner of the song is no longer really interested in making money from it, and therefore, I don't see what the problem is with my downloading it.

Well, then you've either missed or ignored a major point: CONTROL.

You apparently think you have a "right" to obtain anything you want -- and if it isn't easily found for sale, then it's OK if you steal it. So your favorite '80s record isn't available anymore. You don't think the artist or record company has the right to pull a product from the open market?

The phrase "forced to special order" clearly implies that you're not a fan of independent artists, so I'll assume you're not going to pretend that you care about their interests. 99% of the music I buy is independent. Much of it, I've never seen in any record store, anywhere. I buy CDs online, and from mail-order advertisements usually placed by the artists themselves. Saying "forced to special order" is like saying you were "forced" to drive to the next town to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart. Those of us who do it, do it with pride.

For the sake of argument, let's take your example a step further. Let's assume that the album in question isn't available, anywhere -- at retail, online, or from used CD sellers. You're arguing that (a) because the album isn't available, the artist isn't losing a sale; and (b) by taking the album out of circulation, the artist essentially "forced" you to download it. Again: Control, not money, is the primary motivation behind copyright. (Money follows as a result of control.) Copyright law grants an artist the right to decide that he doesn't want to distribute his album any further, regardless of whether there happens to be another person who would like to own it.

godix writes:

As you point out, major labels have slashed their jazz division. Other than P2P, where else am I going to get jazz if that's what I want?

If you're sincerely interested, email me and I'll send you about a hundred links. For the record, all but the real underground albums are available at Amazon, CDUniverse, HMV.com, etc. Most smaller labels are actually quite hip when it comes to the online marketplace. Failing that, unless you live deep in the heartland, there's probably a store nearby with a knowledgeable clerk or buyer.

But again: If every jazz artist and record company decided to fold up tomorrow, copyright law says they can. You have no "right" to acquire jazz CDs. I think it's great that you want to, and I wish you luck...but if you use P2P, you're probably violating someone's copyright.

localroger writes:

My main objection is that, overwhelmingly, it's not about the artists controlling their music; it's about the RIAA controlling their music...

You're right. But the RIAA exercises that control only after it has been contractually assigned to them. I could have written "copyright owner" every time I made that reference, instead of artist; but (a) "artist" was easier, and (b) for most of the music I listen to, the artists do own the copyrights.

And that's part of the point: to illustrate that file-sharing violates the rights of independent artists just as it does the RIAA. Yes, there may be artists like Janis Ian who don't mind, because they welcome the attention. But we shouldn't ignore the rights belonging to half a group just because the other half is willing to throw those rights away. After all, that's our argument against the PATRIOT act, isn't it?

j harper writes:

...studies have shown that P2P downloading is not the overarching cause of the decline in recent music sales.

I don't believe it is. I have little sympathy for the RIAA's "music sales statistics." First, they began protesting P2P by misrepresenting a decline in sales growth as a decline in sales. Second, their profit strategy is based on selling the same products, repackaged. LPs became cassettes, and cassettes became CDs, and the customers lined up to buy replacements for their old favorites. The RIAA has kept CD technology at a standstill, while every other technology in our culture has flown past. They continue to furiously repackage: "digitally remastered," "previously unreleased tracks," etc. There's a very legitimate argument to be made that P2P's is Darwin's "natural selection" eliminating the RIAA, which has refused to evolve.

You're absolutely right: the RIAA gouges everybody. If the RIAA crashed and burned tomorrow, I'd be happier than most people, because then my favorite artists might get more attention. Breaking the RIAA's stranglehold on the music industry is a laudable goal. But we shouldn't pursue that goal at the expense of Constitutional copyright law. "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." I believe in that, and I believe it's worth preserving. And that's my bottom line.

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Display: Sort:
RIAA vs. Captain Teach | 518 comments (482 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
Everybody is doing it, why can't we? (3.75 / 8) (#3)
by Blarney on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:16:01 AM EST

Here's the problem. If everybody who was copying music illegally was prosecuted, there wouldn't be enough courtrooms to sue them all nor enough jail cells to hold them all.

This is a serious problem for two reasons. First of all, copyright is a government-granted monopoly and we are supposed to have a government which has the consent of the governed. When everyone with a computer breaks the law, the law is really supposed to change - this being why we have a republic and not a monarchy (well, assuming that we aren't ruled by a monarchy already, which is arguable).

Secondly, there's far too many people to bust so that the RIAA has to just pick some kids at random and sue them for all the damages that all the file traders in the world might have cost. This isn't illegal - they can't be required to sue everybody - but it does violate the fundamental common law principle of "a government of laws, not men". When all violate the law, it's all up to a few powerful men to decide who gets punished - and that's not what our country is supposed to be about.

Er (none / 0) (#5)
by starsky on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:03:41 AM EST

this is the way all laws work. Is every single crime punished? No, alot of people get away with stuff, and hopefully some others are put off from breaking the law by seeing those caught.

[ Parent ]
Uh...? (none / 0) (#8)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:45:35 AM EST

copyright is a government-granted monopoly
Huh?

If you mean that only the government can grant copyright (i.e. "the government has a monopoly on copyright"), then I suppose you're sort of right. It's kind of like saying the government has a "monopoly" on jailing murderers...but I guess it's one way of looking at it.

If you mean that every copyright recognized (since they're not exactly "granted") by the government is itself a "monopoly" on its particular artwork...well, then again, I suppose you're right. But that's pretty much what the purpose of copyright is, no? If "copyright" wasn't "exclusive control" (i.e. "monopoly"), then it wouldn't be much good, would it?

Maybe I'm not getting your point. ...?

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
"gov't granted" (4.60 / 5) (#23)
by R343L on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:47:25 AM EST

Copyright is an artificial construction enforced by the government. It has only existed for the last couple hundred years. It's purpose (at least in the US) is "to promote the progress of useful arts and sciences".

The point being made is that this is not a right like the freedom of speech that the theorists (and pramatists) who wrote the constitution thought existed regardless of gov't recognition. Copyright is actually a privilege that had to be put in the main body of the consitution (not the bill of rights -- no actual inherent rights are in the main articles) because it isn't a right in the sense that freedom of speech, etc. are.

Copyright is not a right - it is a privilege (at least in the US). Although you wouldn't know it by talking to anyone today....

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

no shit (3.33 / 3) (#157)
by Ras Bomboclaat on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:29:51 PM EST

Maybe I'm not getting your point. ...?

you're not even able to get your own point across.
~~ DOING NOTHING ~~ FUCKING SOMETHING
[ Parent ]

lhjklhjk (5.00 / 1) (#268)
by Rot 26 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:08:56 AM EST

No, he means that when a person has the "copyright" to a work, they have a monopoly over the distribution of that work.

Copyright, fundamentally, is an abridgement of our freedom of speech. Example: I can't reprint the contents of a book, that means I am being restricted from saying/printing something. The reason Copyright law exists is because in the past, giving up this portion of our freedom of speech was greatly to our advantage because it was expensive to own a printing press or a record making machine or whatever else would be needed to reproduce copyrighted works. Now though this isn't the case because lots of people have the means available to reproduce things themselves (printers, CD Burners, DVD burners, etc.).
1: OPERATION: HAMMERTIME!
2: A website affiliate program that doesn't suck!
[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#298)
by trane on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:28:58 AM EST

When a significant number of people are breaking any law, it indicates a problem with the law, I would say. Consider the drug laws.

The RIAA needs to figure out how to compete with free trading networks. Maybe by providing extra content ("liner notes") for a fee, or something.

Or, the artists need to stop signing with the RIAA and start distributing their own stuff.

Or (warning: radical liberal idea coming) the government should fund all artists and let everyone access their works for free.

[ Parent ]

The law *is* changing (5.00 / 1) (#328)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:13:48 AM EST

When everyone with a computer breaks the law, the law is really supposed to change

But that's exactly what's happening. That's why we have the DMCA. The law is changing.



[ Parent ]
People only buy music they know they'll like (5.00 / 8) (#9)
by lakeland on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:51:26 AM EST

You make a comment in your article that P2P users say "The radio is controlled junk and they want variety" when you think this is just a lame excuse.

Put simply, your argument is bullshit. The drivel that comes out of modern commercial radio stations sounds like it was computer generated. I am sure there is good music out there, but I sure aren't hearing it and so I aren't buying it. If I used p2p then perhaps I would hear it, in which case I would no doubt buy it.

As a personal example... About a month ago, my wife and I wandered past a record store. I noticed it had a 'half price sale' on and being a sucker for sales, I wandered in.

Looking through the rows and rows of music, I was totally lost.. I have heard a number of pop bands on the radio and hated them all. But what did this shop sell that I would like? I have a few 60s and 70s artists I quite like, but I already own a CD of them and don't really feel the need for another. Similarly, there are definate holes in my classical music collection but at $15 a pop I have no strong desire to fill them.

Now, I could have sat in the shop and tried one CD after another. But my time isn't that worthless. With tens of thousands of CDs to choose from, it would have taken days. I could perhaps have got one of the overworked sales assistants to help, but I didn't want to look like an idiot, and I doubt it would have helped. Can you imagine getting anywhere with a conversation starting with "I haven't heard any song produced since 1990 that I've liked".

I left empty handed without even bothering to try listening to a CD. This was the closest I have got to buying a CD since mid last year, when I bought a CD of NZ music to send to a friend in the states. Three years before that, I bought a Liszt CD because I liked a piece I heard on the radio. Perhaps I would have used p2p 5 years ago if it had existed.

The one time I did try P2P, it was moderatly successful. I cliked on things, essentially at random, and occasionally said things like 'oh, velvet underground, I've always wondered what they sound like'. I got most of my search terms by using gnutella's 'passive' mode. I downloaded hundreds of songs. Most of them I hated, and a large number I deleted before I'd even finished downloading them.

But there were a few I liked, and if I did it regularly I'm sure I'd find some that I really liked -- though tying it in with something like Amazon's "If you liked a, b but not c, you might like d and e" would have helped enourmously. I'll now make painfully explicit the difference between this and listening in the shop. 1) It was free with no pressure to buy. 2) It was in the comfort of my own home. 3) It was time I was happy to kill, and I could stop at any time and go do work should I get bored. 4) Just as I could stop instantly, I was able to fire up the app instantly. There was no drive into town, search for a park, walk to the store.

Unfortunatly I didn't find anybody I liked enough to go buy. But in this two hour period I heard more different music than I normally hear in a year. Without exposure to music like this there is no chance I will purchase.

I doubt I'll buy a CD in the next five years, though I'll do nothing to avoid it. Put simply, I am not being exposed to any music I like, so I'm not buying it. I don't have conveniant and legal methods of finding out and (for the same reason I use Debian rather than Warez'ed windows), I do try to obey the law. enough to bother buying.

Am I unique? I don't think so. Most of my friends are in similar situations, though they seem to make more effort to find things. The best conclusion I can come to is that the RIAA has alienated almost everybody over the age of 25, myself included. Rather than fix this, they've simply shifted their marketing to people under 25.

well (5.00 / 1) (#109)
by tps12 on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:03:15 PM EST

The fact is that you can't search for things on P2P networks that you haven't heard of. So you may find file sharing convenient for checking out bands you've always wanted to hear, but you're not going to really discover anything you couldn't have through some other means (the library, stores that let you listen to CDs, friends, Amazon samples).

You still come to the same issue, whether or not the radio plays music you like. Either you have a right to listen to whatever music you want without lifting a finger, or artists have a right to claim and sell copyrights for their creations. The law sides with the latter, and even in the absense of copyright law, artists would be free to "roll their own" with contract law, the basis for capitalism.

It's often the case that those with non-mainstream tastes in anything must go to great lengths to satisfy their desires. So go ahead and whine about it (I sure do, every time I go to the beer, grocery or video store), but don't expect that laws be ignored or changed to make your life easier.

In this, as in all else,—
Y'r obd't s'v't.
tps12.—
[ Parent ]

Re: well (none / 0) (#210)
by lakeland on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:36:08 PM EST

You're partially correct about it being a pain to find things on p2p as well.  I just used passive searches and random clicking.  If I was to do it regularly then I suppose I would get irritated at how long this takes.  As I said in the post, a simple AI recommendation system could easily be written.

Oh, and I wasn't asking for the law to be changed.  Just noting that in the current situation I spend my money on other toys, and if the RIAA changed the game then they would get some money from me.

[ Parent ]

research easier online (none / 0) (#269)
by The Hiro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:08:59 AM EST

P2P on its own won't allow you to discover new music. But you can use the web as a resource to discover new bands, and in conjunction with P2P you can find quite a lot. A while back I decided to explore new genres by using a combination of allmusic.com and Napster. I delved into jazz, soul, heavy metal, punk, blues, triphop, even country. I discovered an appreciation for jazz, triphop, hiphop and soul. None of this would have been possible at an actual record store without great expenditure of time and effort, and the aid of a sales clerk with an encyclopedic knowledge of music.

[ Parent ]
finding new artists with p2p (none / 0) (#297)
by garlic on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:27:44 AM EST

The way I tried to find new (to me) stuff through napster would be to do a search for something I new I liked. Then, after having found it, I'd browse through the person's library who had the copy. I figured, if they liked song A, maybe song B that they have will be something I like.

still stealing though...

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Forget P2P, try WWW (none / 0) (#350)
by Sloppy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:30:55 PM EST

The one time I did try P2P, it was moderatly successful.
What you need isn't p2p; it's the web. Find a few of the gazillion sites that are run by fans of the type of music that you're interested in. Read the reviews, download the samples that they invariably will have (almost certainly with the approval of the bands, since the samples really are for the purpose of enlarging their markets), hang out on the message boards and find people whose tastes are similar to your own. That is the best way to find music, and it runs rings around anything P2P has to offer.

Of course, like you said, your time isn't worthless and this is going to take some of your time. But if music matters to you and your soul cries out for nourishment, it's a hell of a better alternative than listening to the same old stuff all the time.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Some thoughts. (4.00 / 6) (#11)
by kitten on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:03:20 AM EST

A huge portion of the mp3s I have are songs from the 80s. To get these songs "legally" I'd have to go to the store and special order the CD, since most stores don't stock music from two decades ago, wait two weeks while it may or may not get shipped from the warehouse, and end up with a 20 dollar compilation CD full of songs I didn't want in the first place, plus the one song I did want.

Thanks, but no thanks. When I'm forced to special order CDs from a warehouse, that signifies to me that the owner of the song is no longer really interested in making money from it, and therefore, I don't see what the problem is with my downloading it.

I listen to 88.5 FM which is a local college station here in Atlanta that plays primarily local or independant bands. I hear quite a number of good songs on this station, and hunting them down would be extremely difficult or completely impossible. I have neither the time nor the patience to find CDs from little-known independant groups, but I'll download a song or two, no problem. At least they're getting exposure they wouldn't otherwise.

Before mp3 filesharing, consider what we had to do. If you heard a good song on the radio, you might go out and buy the band's CD. Then you'd find that most of their music sucks, save for that one song. You only need to experience that a few times before you decide to stop throwing your money away on bands that suck. What happens to the precious profit for the record company then?

But along comes filesharing, and suddenly you can find more music by this band and decide before you pay whether they're a one-hit wonder or not. I know I'm not the only one who buys CDs even when I have a couple mp3s from the band. I was introduced to Depeche Mode this way, a couple years ago - I now own four or five of their albums. Had it not been for filesharing, I wouldn't have any of their albums.

Well, that's a very polite argument, Robin Hood. Record companies may hoard album profits for themselves; but right or wrong, what they're doing is legal, and what you're doing isn't.

Perhaps, then, there's something wrong with the law. Simply saying "it's illegal" is not a good argument. There's lots of things that are or have been illegal, but that doesn't mean those things are wrong. Sodomy (this includes oral sex, by the way) is illegal in most states too. Does this mean it's "wrong"? Slavery was legal at one time - does that make it "right"?

The legality of a thing does not necessarily imply the ethical virtue of that thing, nor vice versa.

I was in sixth or seventh grade when Metallica started getting popular. Know how they got well-known? It wasn't from the radio. It was from people making tapes for each other and giving them to their buddies between classes or whatever. Without this horrible and illegal sharing, Metallica would be nowhere near as popular as they became; I find it ironic that they were one of the spearheads in the anti-Napster movement.

Anyone who says people won't buy full-length albums just to hear one or two songs is flat-out wrong. I spent three years working in a record store, and I watched thousands of customers do exactly that.

Was this before Napster and file-sharing became popular? If not, were these people mostly computer-illiterate types who didn't really know what mp3s were? Your example by itself proves nothing. Anyone who knows how to get Kazaa or whatever will download the one or two songs from the album, not buy the entire thing just for those songs. The people today who don't probably just don't care or don't know enough about computers and the Internet.

So the great benefit of P2P is that you can discover new, independent music...but all you ever use it for is to download popular singles? Can you say, "mutually exclusive"?

Only if it's the same person spouting both arguments. I can easily see where one person would use filesharing to get his independant bands and obscure singles, and another person who only wants the good single off an otherwise crappy album, so he uses it for that.

Finally, the RIAA should demonstrate conclusively that filesharing is hurting sales. While 2002 did see a 7-point-something drop in sales of singles, for example, there are many reasons for this other than music piracy. For one thing, according to this article, there was less music released in that year - so we can certainly expect to see less sales. There's other things competing for the consumer's entertainment dollar as well; with the popularity of DVDs and new game consoles out, people may spend their money on these things instead of CDs. Finally, the ever-increasing price of CDs lowers the demand for them, for obvious reasons.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
As I recall... (5.00 / 4) (#28)
by Hatamoto on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 12:42:47 PM EST

Back in the day, MetallicA actually ENCOURAGED people to bring tape recorders and spread tapes of their concerts around. I'd come across one or two that must have come straight from the soundboard.

They had a major turnaround in attitude as soon as they did the video for "One" (remember when they said they'd NEVER EVER do a music video?) At that one moment they sold out the soul of the music to the highest bidder... which appeared to be the teaming hoardes of vapid, big-haired girls who suddenly 'discovered' them on MTV.

Still, you gotta give 'em props... if you're going to become a bunch of greedy-ass, materialistic, self-aggrandizing, musically masturbatory limp-wristed pussified pantywaist excuses for metal ex-icons, you might as well do it ALL THE WAY. They definately did.

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

Erroneous assumption... (5.00 / 3) (#36)
by Elkor on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 03:30:27 PM EST

When I'm forced to special order CDs from a warehouse, that signifies to me that the owner of the song is no longer really interested in making money from it, and therefore, I don't see what the problem is with my downloading it.

No, that means that your music store isn't interested in maintaining a copy of every CD created since the 80's as well as their normal inventory on the off chance that someone will come in and randomly decide to purchase it.

It's the principal of supply and demand. If there is no demand, stores won't maintain a supply.

A better argument would be for CDs that are out of print. In that case your argument holds up that the artist has decided not to make money off the song anymore if they are not making it available for purchase.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Abandonware (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by MrLarch on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:18:13 PM EST

"Abandonware" has made some news, and it's still not surprising to see a company refuse to allow the distribution of decades-old software, despite their refusal to carry it as a selling product.

To establish that ones collection is composed of music that's out of print or otherwise not easily attainable is one thing. But using that as a basis of legality is a completely different and new battle, one which perhaps isn't worth the effort compared with establishing legality in terms of real opposing interests.

[ Parent ]

hm (3.50 / 2) (#119)
by tps12 on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:15:45 PM EST

Before mp3 filesharing, consider what we had to do.
Walk ten miles in the snow, uphill both ways? If you're going to argue that the law is wrong, you'll have to better than "poor me."
Simply saying "it's illegal" is not a good argument.
Granted. Neither is bitching about how Metallica sold out. The destination of this line of thinking is exactly what the article is about: P2P apologists' only justification is in arguing that copyright is morally (not pragmatically) wrong.
Finally, the RIAA should demonstrate conclusively that filesharing is hurting sales.
And I'll agree with your argument when you bring me a soil sample from Pluto. Whether they can show this "conclusively" (whatever that means) or not, they're acting legally. Feel free to wish that mainstream America appreciated 80's metal more, but your only hope for justifying music piracy is in arguing that copyright law is flawed.

[ Parent ]
Hey, brainwave. (none / 0) (#183)
by kitten on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:40:33 PM EST

Before mp3 filesharing, consider what we had to do.
Walk ten miles in the snow, uphill both ways? If you're going to argue that the law is wrong, you'll have to better than "poor me."
See, that was just the intro to the argument I was about to make. The argument was not "poor me"; the argument was that people got tired of buying an entire album and finding that there was only one or two good songs - and thus stop buying albums - and filesharing allowed them to see if the album itself was any good.

Neither is bitching about how Metallica sold out [a good argument].

Sure it is. It was a concrete and clear example of how sharing music illegally actually increased at least one band's popularity. I wasn't bitching that they "sold out". I was pointing out that they wouldn't have gotten popular without the sharing of their music among people.

Whether they can show this "conclusively" (whatever that means) or not, they're acting legally. Feel free to wish that mainstream America appreciated 80's metal more, but your only hope for justifying music piracy is in arguing that copyright law is flawed.

I was attempting to do just that. The law doesn't keep up with technology, the law sometimes works counter to the interests of the artist, the law doesn't make allowances for artists that no longer exist, the law doesn't take into consideration that nobody is being hurt (music sales are not falling), etc. It's a wonder to me that you've made it this far in life without being able to read.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
ah (none / 0) (#288)
by tps12 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:29:43 AM EST

Flawed from a moral or rational, rather than a pragmatic, perspective.

And many illiterates live to old age. Don't give up on me yet.

[ Parent ]

I think there are different kinds of P2P users. (4.88 / 9) (#15)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:26:40 AM EST

I have used several P2P clients. I've downloaded a fair bit of music - mostly stupid things from my childhood - but not a huge amount. I'm not really interested in music and don't even own a stereo. I used to buy only 1 or 2 cds a year, whenever one of the few bands I really like brought out a new cd. Nowadays, I think cds are just too expensive. The last time I bought cds was 2 or 3 years ago, when I bought 5 or 6 quite cheaply at a cd fair. For me, a fair price is about 10 Euros. I would have to really, really want something to pay more than that.

My girlfriend, on the other hand, loves music. She buys as many cds as she can afford. If she has heard about an artist, she will download a few tracks on Kazaa or similar, and if she likes them, she will buy the cd, because she "likes to have the original".

I think there are a lot of people like my girlfriend. Real music lovers still buy cds. P2P truly does give them the opportunity to find new things. People like me, who don't really care, mostly download music. But then, we never bought many cds anyway. I know for a fact that my girlfriend bought more cds last year because she liked what she had downloaded than I didn't buy because I downloaded instead.

These 4 men fit into another group - those for whom the quantity of music is the end in itself. They just want a fat server, or an impressive directory tree. While these people are indeed the dealers of the P2P world, how much their "dealing" equates to lost profits for the RIAA is debatable. Certainly without P2P, they would personally never have collected that much music. Not much lost there. Then there are the users. As I said above, I believe that the people who always bought music are still buying music.

I am sure cd sales are declining, but I think it is unrealistic of the RIAA to blame this all on P2P. It would be good to see them trying to solve this in a somewhat more constructive fashion, rather than in their typical, luddite way. They seemed to wholeheartedly believe that they could destroy P2P. Now they are moving away from the distribution channel towards the users. This will work for a while, until everyone moves over to freenet-type networks, and then they will be back at square one.

It is time the RIAA recognized that the internet is a distribution medium which will not go away and cannot be defeated by a mere national association. It is time they realized that they have a competitor - albeit an illegal one, but one which will not go away. The internet is more elusive than the man selling fake cds at the flea market and will require different tactics. I think the RIAA members will have to compete with P2P.

It's hard to compete with free, but as the IT industry in particular shows, people are very willing to pay for guarantees, for service, for convenience. RIAA members will have to provide this convenience and find the right price.

Myself, I seriously doubt that I will every buy a cd again. As I said, I only ever bought a couple a year, but now they are copy-protected so I can't play them on my pc (I don't have a stereo, remember). They've already lost my 20 Euros a year; when my girlfriend finds she can no longer make compilation cds for the car from her purchased cds because they are copy-protected, she will have one less reason to buy her music, and it will leave both of us needing P2P if we want to listen to music in the way we are accustomed.

Not dealers. (4.60 / 10) (#17)
by ffrinch on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:02:27 AM EST

To use a common analogy: These four were dealers, not simply users.
Not really. They operated file-sharing services, which various people used to trade copyrighted matarial. They're like that guy you know who can hook you up with a dealer if you want something.

Google lets me find mp3s too; why is it not under attack? It only indexes other pages, right? So it's the mp3's hosts, not the search engine, who are to blame?

The users of the services are the "dealers", why doesn't the RIAA go after them?

Part of the problem here is that the RIAA is suing to shut down services that have legitimate uses.

Well, one man's dream is another man's nightmare.
I think you've hit the nail on the head, but don't forget it works both ways. The RIAA's nightmare is the independent's dream. Janis Ian raves about how good mp3s have been for her sales, and presumably many other artists feel the same way. If the RIAA succeeds in shutting down filesharing services, these people all lose out. Their actions are heavy-handed and stifle innovation: that is why they are "burned in effigy".

For what it's worth, I'd take out the paragraph about sales of singles, since it ignores a major factor -- price. Singles often contain one good song, a few bad remixes of that song, and a bad song (possibly with remixes). I'm not paying 1/4 the cost of an album for that -- I'd rather risk a CD half-full of tracks I don't want.

If they set up a service where people could buy the songs they want and not pay ridiculous prices for them then people would pay. Such services have always been overpriced or extremely limited, so small surprise no-one's interested.

-◊-
"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick

Question: (4.00 / 9) (#21)
by Kasreyn on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:18:18 AM EST

Did Merriam-Webster "update" the definition of piracy to include the capitalist-scumbag-friendly definition in the interests of "keeping up with the changing language" (ie., they were fools), or for some other reason (they're sellouts)?

Just curious.

Oh, and does anyone know if Oxford, IMO the REAL repository of the English language, has also changed its definition to suit the RIAA? I would check online but it's a subscription service and I am currently poor. =P


-Kasreyn

P.S. It's STILL a ludicrous use of the word "piracy", regardless of what some dipshit lexicographer decided.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
no (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by heng on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 02:57:09 PM EST

Try Merriam-Webster Online and you will see the quotation comes from section 1a of the definitions, ie, it refers to section 1. The relevant word in section 1 is "property". This means the actual meaning of the definition is: "To take or appropriate [property] without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully".

Music as property is a whole new debate.

[ Parent ]
whoops (none / 0) (#245)
by heng on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:12:53 AM EST

I thought you meant the reference to theft. ;)

[ Parent ]
Webster 1913 (none / 0) (#41)
by i on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:35:33 PM EST

Here

Did Alexander Pope (1688 — 1744) know about RIAA?

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

Childish. (5.00 / 2) (#52)
by qpt on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:56:15 PM EST

The responsibility of a dictionary is to record widely-employed usages of terms, and indicate whether those usages are considered standard, jargon, archaic, slang, etc.

Now, "piracy" as a term to denote the illegal appropriation of copyrighted material is inarguably widely-employed. Moreover, the usage is accepted as standard. A professional editor would not frown upon the employment of the term, and neither would a well-educated, impartial expert in copyright infringement.

In fact, the only reasons to object to "piracy" being so used is on political or (quite tenuous) legal grounds. No one doubts that language influences opinion, so trying to describe copyright infringement in the most innocuous way possible is a sound strategy on the part of those who wish to encourage legal reform in that area. Now, thinking that a judge is similarly going to be taken in by one's manipulation of language is brainless. Copyright infringement is clearly illegal, as the law currently stands, and it matters not if one calls it "sharing," "piracy," or "theft."

I would tend to say that it is even acceptable to apply what pressures one can to the dictionary publishers to influence them to change the recorded definition of "piracy" to something more amicable to one's cause. All is fair in propaganda, I suppose, as long as it is legal. However, one should not be surprised when the publisher refuses, and I for one am thankful that they will refuse, if asked. I prefer dictionaries to reflect the usage of the language, not the political stakes of various interest groups.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

My take on it, if anyone cares: (4.25 / 4) (#22)
by Kasreyn on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:37:02 AM EST

The file-traders' bottom line is pretty simple: "We hate the RIAA." Their two most common arguments are:

"We need P2P, because the RIAA and Clear Channel control the radio. Everything on FM is the same, and P2P is the only way we can discover independent music."
While others may only SAY this, I and at least a few other people I know are only able to find the sorts of esoteric music we enjoy through P2P networks, as it is nowhere to be found in record stores. Yes, there are a lot of weenies out there who only use P2P to download the new Eminem track. Yes, they outnumber the people who actually MIGHT download something by an artist who can't get on with a record label. But there still are a few of us out there, downloading the stuff not many have heard of.

"The RIAA isn't losing any sales. Most of the songs we download are just singles we heard on the radio. We only wanted each single, so we wouldn't have bought the complete albums, anyway."
This is where it gets iffy. Of COURSE the RIAA loses sales. This is why they jack the price of CD's up so high, to compensate. New pop albums have increased about 50% in price in the past 10-12 years that I have been a music buyer, and I cannot believe it's all inflation.

If you're trading copyrighted works, you're breaking the law and violating people's rights. If you feel fine about that, that's your prerogative. But stop whining about what file-sharing isn't. It is stealing. It is unlawful distribution. Claiming otherwise doesn't support your position. It just proves your ignorance. And it's difficult to respect someone's actions when he hasn't gone to the trouble of understanding them.
Agreed on all points there. Personally, I use filesharing networks for two reasons: to get music for free, and to screw the RIAA. Unfortunately, this also screws the artists who work with the RIAA. The way I see it, this is a neccessary evil to bring the RIAA down. They (the RIAA) are useless middlemen; artists could make more on micropayments on mp3 distribution over the internet than they do on sales in stores. Besides, the tactic of selling you 10 crappy tracks and 2 or 3 good tracks and calling it an "album" is getting pretty transparent. Distribution by mp3 allows you to avoid wasting money on the tracks you don't care for. "What about advertising and marketing?" you cry. It's true, those (plus the bean-counters' salaries) are the majority of the RIAA's cut of that 17 dollars for a new CD. But advertising and marketing are there to get you to buy something you would otherwise be no better than indifferent towards (when was the last time you saw a TV advertisement for a bland, ordinary, non-hyped, non-fancified, necessity of life? They're not advertised because people already need them and know where to get them). Since the sheeple will still buy SOMEthing (they don't actually care about music, but they need the noise in the background to feel good), who cares what it is? True music aficionadoes will learn about new music by word of mouth, as they always have done.

As to "solely for their own benefit": IMO, there is also a benefit to myself and others in the future if the RIAA can be replaced with a more benevolent system. Of course, I'm not about to pretend I'm some sort of altruist here. =P


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Just curious... (none / 0) (#191)
by daliman on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:19:31 PM EST

New pop albums have increased about 50% in price in the past 10-12 years that I have been a music buyer, and I cannot believe it's all inflation.

Is that above the rate of inflation? I'm not sure what the inflation rate is like in the US, but at 3% inflation, it would increase almost 50% in price in 10 years. I'm not really sure you see - I haven't bought music in 8 or nine years now ;-)



[ Parent ]
"piracy" is now like "hacker" (4.22 / 9) (#24)
by Seth Finkelstein on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:47:34 AM EST

In terms of the language, "piracy" is now a descriptivist vs. prescriptist debate. So far, I'm with the prescriptists here - the implications of the word are very negative, and so using it to refer to any unauthorized copying is giving an (in my view) negative connotation. Note the word used to have a commercial, for-profit, sense, which has been rubbed off it by the (somewhat successful) attempts to identify sharing with rip-offs.

Richard M. Stallman has a good page on language use and "words to avoid":

``Piracy''

Publishers often refer to prohibited copying as ``piracy.'' In this way, they imply that illegal copying is ethically equivalent to attacking ships on the high seas, kidnaping and murdering the people on them.

If you don't believe that illegal copying is just like kidnaping and murder, you might prefer not to use the word ``piracy'' to describe it. Neutral terms such as ``prohibited copying'' or ``unauthorized copying'' are available for use instead. Some of us might even prefer to use a positive term such as ``sharing information with your neighbor.''


-- Seth Finkelstein
Mark Twain's word (none / 0) (#38)
by Blarney on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:21:45 PM EST

I think it was Mark Twain who invented the term "piracy" to describe copyright infringement - though he only uses it to describe reprinting of his works by newspapers and magazines without his permission. It wasn't about individuals - considering the time, it hardly could have been.

He probably meant it as a metaphor, a vivid way of dramatizing the previously dull-as-dirt crime of copyright infringement, and it's caught on. Doesn't seem that Twain actually meant it literally.

Then again, Twain wrote a few essays on why perpetual copyright would be a good idea, and why copyrights really are property. Well, he knew where his living came from.

[ Parent ]

Piracy (none / 0) (#368)
by cdyer on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:11:27 PM EST

When I fire up Gnucleus, I don my bandana and eyepatch, and say, "Arrrr!"

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

You have skewed the arguments (4.33 / 3) (#25)
by Random Number Generator Troll on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:47:57 AM EST

I have a few thousand MP3's. The vast majority of which are ripped from CD's or records I have bought, or are live concert recordings, probably ~90%. CD's I dont like go back to the shop, unripped. Less than 1% is from friends, and the remaining ~9% is p2p'd.
Most of the stuff I got on p2p, I can guaruntee you that you will find it impossible to find it in shops, be unable to order, and not ever hear on the airwaves. All of it is either deleted, never-to-be-released, or just of too much personal/monetary value to be found in 2nd hand stores, unless you are very lucky. I find the odd gem trawling the shelves of course, but going out and looking to buy a particular title I want is a futile excersise.
Luckily, nowadays most record labels and artists I like have audio samples from new albums on their websites, so I know wether to avoid or not. Also, a few internet radio stations play my kind of thing, so i can get some pointers to new people I might like.
But all in all it is a struggle. The two piracy agruments are perfectly valid, and, if you don't skew the quotes (where the fuck did 'popular' in your quote come from? you're not the only fucker on the planet with a pretentious record collection, you know), not mutually exclusive at all. They dont truly apply to much of the p2p population, but to those of us that it does, there is simply no other option. The other 90% of course are just cheap, theiving bastards.

Really? (none / 0) (#55)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:00:07 PM EST

CD's I dont like go back to the shop, unripped.

Pray tell, which stores allow you to return opened CDs?

I'm assuming, of course, that you're unable to listen to the CD through the cellophane.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

I don't know where the original poster lives (none / 0) (#75)
by Belligerent Dove on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:27:10 PM EST

But in my neck of the wood we're allowed to return pretty much anything we regretted having bought within some legally-set reasonable period of time. Usually the shops repay you with gift-cheques when you do that.

[ Parent ]
If they're even that generous... (none / 0) (#103)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:58:42 PM EST

then they still have your cash, as the certificates are non-fungible.

Belgians probably have more consumer rights, in that regard.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Doesn't matter (none / 0) (#115)
by Belligerent Dove on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:09:28 PM EST

There are plenty of other CDs to choose from in a record store and plenty more can be ordered on request.

[ Parent ]
HMV, Borders, most big stores... (none / 0) (#123)
by Random Number Generator Troll on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:20:25 PM EST

...still sell CD's where the only tamper protection is a (very sticky) black sticker on the opening-end. I always pulled the tabs on the hinges to get the CD without disturbing the sticker, so i could return an apparently unopened CD to the store if I didn't like it. Besides, most indie stores where I live let you return open CDs, and even some of the big stores do if you have an excuse and smile nicely. The second-hand places around here generally let you return CD's you don't like providing you replace them with something of similar value, too.

[ Parent ]
A-ha! (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:25:11 PM EST

An admission that your fingers violate the DMCA!

Please report to your nearest FBI Field Office for further processing.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Then sue me, if that's the only you can make money (5.00 / 4) (#30)
by the77x42 on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 01:19:12 PM EST

I used to buy CD's all the time. I had about 500 until my house was broken into and they stole my whole cabinet.

The insurance guy wanted to know if I wanted them back. Well... why? I didn't listen to them that much, so I just took the money. Everytime I wanted to listen to a song, I'd download it, and then burn it to play in my car.

I had a few dozen compilation CD's in my car. Then it was broken into and they stole my case. Did I go and reburn all the songs? No. Instead, I bought an iPod, and put 10GB worth of MP3's on that.

But was I downloading individual songs? No, I downloaded entire 2-hour DJ sets from Tiesto, Timo Maas, etc. Then I got hooked.

I spent $4000 on decks and a mixer, and I now buy dozens of $15/each records a month so I can record my own mixes. There's still the odd song I download, but it's only to preview it to know if I should buy the vinyl.

What does this all mean? Why bother buying CD's? If I want the new Oasis CD, I can burn it myself. I no longer have to spend $20 to hear a couple songs that I like for a week. What I do buy now are $15 individual songs that I can mix into my own music. CD's are outdated now by internet trade. It's not piracy, it's technology.

Bring Oasis in concert, and I'll pay lots of money to see them, but why would I spend $20 when I can get it for free? More live acts, that's the sales ticket now. Give up on CD's. Release interactive media (like vinyl), or go find another business because the RIAA obviously can't keep up.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

hm (none / 0) (#139)
by tps12 on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:44:14 PM EST

It's not piracy, it's technology.
According to the law, it's both. Sort of what the article was getting at, I think.

[ Parent ]
law (none / 0) (#359)
by mpalczew on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:06:49 PM EST

The law is an instrument of the rich to opress the poor.  

Well... maybe not always, but you see what I'm getting at.  Legality != Morality.

-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

Well done (4.88 / 9) (#31)
by godix on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 01:25:00 PM EST

Some arguements you didn't address:

Convenience: Lets say I want the latest Eminem song. I can either get off my fat lazy ass, get into the car, fight saturday mall traffic to drive to the store, fight the mall crowds to get into the store, try and find the CD, find out they don't have it on the shelf so ask a sales clerk who gets one from back after 10 minutes, stand in line to pay for it, then drive back home. On the other hand, I can open up Kazaa lite with two mouseclicks, type in the name of the song, and click on it. 5 minutes later I have it on my computer. If I want it on a cd it just takes a few minutes to start burning and I'm back to browsing the web till it's done.

Variety: As you point out, major labels have slashed their jazz division. Other than P2P, where else am I going to get jazz if that's what I want? As another example, I heard of The Frantics years ago but couldn't find a copy of their work anywhere in the pre-p2p days. Without P2P all I'd have is one song from a Dr. Demento CD. Thanks to P2P I now have around 40 minutes of material from them.

Freedom: With P2P I can copy to a portable MP3 player, I can burn to CD, I can play on my computer, etc. With a store bought CD I might be able to do those things, or I may have bought a CD that has copyright control that'll prevent me from doing it. Granted, very few CDs have been sold in America that have that, but I don't want to even worry about it.

Cost: The companies in the RIAA are being punished for price fixing. Why haven't I seen CD prices drop if even the US courts agree they're too expensive? They have been proven guilty of ripping me off, unfortunately the only legal recourse I have is that I MIGHT get $20 from them. It's a lot harder to feel guilty for stealing from someone when they've been proven guilty of stealing from you.

Avoid rip-offs: Many times in the past I've bought a CD based on one or two songs just to find out those are the only songs worth a damn. In some cases the single popular song on the album is done in an entirely different style than every other song on the album. With P2P I can take a look, if the rest of the songs suck oh well, at least I'm not out $15-$20 to learn that this bad sucks expect for one song.

What really bothers me is that the RIAA could have provided me all these advantages from the start. Instead of changing their business strategy, at least slightly, they've instead gone on a crusade to take away every single advantage I've listed from me. I see no reason to defend a business that has gone out of it's way to make things inconvient, limited choice, limited capabilities, and has violated the law to rip me off. Does stealing with P2P hurt the RIAA? Maybe, but I hope like hell it does.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B

Quick rebuttal (3.50 / 2) (#57)
by RobotSlave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:00:47 PM EST

1) Convenience: On-line Shopping. Only mouse-clicks away.

2) Variety: See 1.

3) Freedom: Copy protection is not copyright protection, and conflating the two is not helpful. Many people people who support copyright protection are opposed to copy protection.

4) Cost: The court case you allude to is much narrower than most people realize, involving conditions record companies asked for when buying in-store retail advertising. It's a far cry from "price fixing."

As to the high costs of CDs, the cost of producing and promoting a record is much higher than the cost of manufacturing the CDs, even for modest acts without spectacular MTV-scale advertising.

Costs are so often misrepresented that I now simply stop reading whenever I see a claim that producing a CD only costs "pennies" or "a couple bucks," and the rest is "profit."

5) See 1. Every online retailer worth mentioning offers many free audio clips for any record that you might be considering on the strength of one or two singles.

[ Parent ]

re: rebutal: (3.00 / 6) (#153)
by stfrn on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:11:18 PM EST

1. Online stores take atleast 2-3 days, even with express mail, and open up the payment can of worms.

2. I personal have not found any more variaty online than I have in stores- in both cases the merchant stocks what think will sell, ie what is "popular".

3. not a rebutal

4. But it was still theft, so they were found guilty of a crime. Doesn't really make the original point correct, after all revenge is not legal.

4b. the cost is peniies. I've talked with many artists who have made their own cds or dvds, and after about 1000 copies, all the cost to make a cd pretty much stayed constant. Promotion on the other hand is a buisness dission, which may or may not be a good idea- in the case of the RIAA, they are so concerned with being a monopoly, they do not care if individual artists suffer, just as long as they as a whole are the only music anyone knows about.

4c.  Your loss. Read what you want, but don't disbelieve what you haven't.

5.  of exactly the same song that they know you already have access to on the radio. Seriously. If they offerd anything else, they wouldn't be successfully "promoting their work".

- as a side note, I have lately been buying independant music, and they offer almsot everything you are looking for- offering most of their songs for sampling, freedom from copy protection and so forth, I think you should give them a try, and report what you think lator.

"Man, I'm going to bed. I can't even insult people properly tonight." - Imperfect
What would you recomend to someone who doesn't like SPAM?
[ Parent ]

lazy (4.00 / 4) (#182)
by mjl on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:33:45 PM EST

2. I personal have not found any more variaty online than I have in stores- in both cases the merchant stocks what think will sell, ie what is "popular".
There is a website - it goes by the name of amazon - most people have heard of it by now. There, I've linked you to it, which should make it easy to buy from even by your own standards. They have a huge selection of music. If you can't find what you want from there, like i did yesterday, then use a fucking search engine.

I wanted to buy the Desert Sessions catalogue yesterday. Amazon had volume 7/8, but not the volumes before it. So I did a search for "Desert Sessions buy", and you'll never guess what I found. this page, which says "You can order the cd from Rekords Rekords, since Man's Ruin Records is now defunct". I strolled over to Rekords Rekords and clicked on the buy button.

[ Parent ]

Schuzme? (4.50 / 10) (#32)
by quartz on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 01:37:26 PM EST

So file sharing is stealing, you say. Well, surely I can share something I bought, because it's mine, no? No? Well then, you'd better stop calling the act of getting CDs in exchange for money "buying music", and start calling it what it really is: renting music. Once everybody calls it "renting", maybe I'll think about calling sharing stealing.

--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
CD vs. computer. (none / 0) (#43)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:36:05 PM EST

You have the right of resale because it is on physical media and, once you sell it to your friend, you no longer have that media. With a digital file, I can FTP it to your machine and I still have it.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

What you own (none / 0) (#440)
by transport on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 06:15:16 AM EST

For as long as I can remember, every CD, LP and MC I have ever seen contains a text stating "unauthorized copying, lending, leasing, selling, broadcasting ... is prohibited", or something like that.
 
What this means is: "Yes, you own the CD, but the contents is only yours for playback (unless you ask us)". It's similar to software licenses, really - not that this is an excuse, it is just a vehicle of comparison.
 
As I see it, the reason people are bitching about this is that with the advent of P2P, the unauthorized ... hmmm ... handling of content has escalated to a level where copyright holders feel they have to enforce their rights. As has been pointed out, copying and redistributing of music has been going on since forever, and no-one has done anything about it until now. In contrast, plenty of photocopying of copyrighted books is going on, but the volume is small enough that the copyright holders as a whole allow it. Inconsistent? Sure, but that's real life for you. All I can say is that, clearly, the free lunch is over *shrug*. I might even add, if I was being hostile, that it's over because it was over-used.
 
Which is a pity, since this enforcement is going to narrow the grey zone where copying should (from a moral standpoint) be allowed, but is impossible to allow people to copy CDs for use in their car, because it creates loopholes for infringements.
 
If you argue against the right of an artist to have copyright, that's your right to do so, but I don't agree, and it sure is an unfortunate time for you to bring that up, because your argument will drown in the sea of freeloaders.

[ Parent ]
I'm not arguing against copyright (none / 0) (#470)
by quartz on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 10:06:32 PM EST

I'm arguing against propaganda. Your rights are your rights and you should be free to defend them however you see fit, but please don't insult my intelligence with cheap word-mincing. The freeloaders are not "thiefs" and they are not "stealing" anything. Especially from artists, who have long since given up all their rights to recording companies.

Freeloaders are just that: freeloaders. And while they may deserve what's coming to them, what they do is still not stealing, but copyright infringement. File sharing is file sharing, not "terrorism". And so on.

--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]

Refreshing (4.36 / 11) (#33)
by j harper on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 02:18:49 PM EST

It's refreshing to see the other side's opinion once in awhile.

However, I must point out that you entirely skipped the other two reasons people are involved in file sharing: the RIAA gouges the consumer, and the RIAA gouges the artist. I'd rather download the new Radiohead CD, burn it, and send my eighteen dollars straight to the band than give them all of a dime for it, via the RIAA.

Furthermore, studies have shown that P2P downloading is not the overarching cause of the decline in recent music sales. Some studies even show an increase in music purchases from P2P downloaders. I'll leave the debate about why the music industry is seeing a decline in sales, but here's my two cents: CDs cost too much.

Remember when CDs first came out and we were told they'd be cheaper than casettes? What happened to that? Don't tell me it costs sixteen dollars to produce that CD we pay eighteen for. No no, I'm not that stupid.

"I have to say, the virgin Mary is pretty fucking hot." - Myriad

Pricing Scheme (none / 0) (#51)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:54:45 PM EST

Don't tell me it costs sixteen dollars to produce that CD we pay eighteen for.
Again, I'm not about to defend the RIAA's practices, pricing, etc. But I know, personally, quite a few jazz artists who have produced their own CDs. They charge $15 per disc, usually. This allows them a $2 to $5 profit over what it cost them to manufacture each CD. Of course, by the time of manufacture, they've already invested thousands of dollars in producing the CD, so ultimately the venture is a loss for them. Independent artists don't record for profit, usually. They make money from concerts. Their reasons for recording are 15% promotional, and 85% personal -- it's just a great feeling to have a CD of your own music that you can share with people.

Of course, the RIAA can mass-produce CDs at a fraction of the cost to independent artists, who have to turn to third-party manufacturers. But if we eliminate the RIAA, prices will probably remain the same. $15 or $18 dollars for an independent CD really isn't unreasonable.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
One Study (none / 0) (#162)
by MKalus on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:56:24 PM EST

I read was that the average CD production that RIAA puts in the store (or any other label for that matter) runs at around $2. That includes the printing of the CD, Booklet, Jewlcase, shipping, recording and advertising.

Now of course the RIAA doesn't get the $15 for the entire CD, the CD Store gets something as well, but I would be very surprised if they would sell the disc for less than $10 to the store.

In the end someone in between makes a huge amount of money, how else could they throw millions at some selected artists?

The problem is that nowadays "valuable" is a pure business based decision, not really what is "cultural" valuable.

If you look back at the old times, before mass production hit (so let's say at the beginning of the 20th century) you will realize that music was always part of culture and was evolved by the people, songs travelled, got transformed and adapted.

Today? You can't do that, even if you want to. If you (as an artist) want to use a music sample from another artist you have to get the permission from the label to use it, even if it's only a second (and of course pay a licensing fee, which again ties into the amount of CDs you sell).

The industry that made music universally available is at the same time preventing it from spreading, ain't that ironic.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Cost to the store... (5.00 / 1) (#221)
by j harper on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:10:40 AM EST

I used to work for Best Buy, so I can tell you quite honestly that they mark up CDs about a dollar over cost. =/

"I have to say, the virgin Mary is pretty fucking hot." - Myriad
[ Parent ]

Normally.... (none / 0) (#272)
by MKalus on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:37:31 AM EST

... thought that's a mix calculation, means not all CDs. Plus other products are subsidising others, no?

Michael
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

pricing... (none / 0) (#255)
by blisspix on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:00:14 AM EST

It's all relative, isn't it? Because it depends I think on how much of a band's costs they're willing to put into the price of their music. Where music is a full time job, it seems reasonable to put in the cost of instruments, travel, insurance, rehersals, management, production, etc. But where a band is more of a hobbyist group, I can see that they might just want to put their music out to have it out there, rather than trying to recoup all their costs.

And then, should there be price differences between say, bands with few members and instruments such as the white stripes (2 members - drum and guitar) and the reindeer section (24 members)? Or electronic dance groups vs pop bands?

Complex.

As for the cost of production, I can get 500 CDs mastered and pressed with a 4 colour booklet for like 50 cents each at the local rehersal studio. It's the bands that are into vinyl that spend the real cash, 7" cost a lot to produce these days. Most indie albums I buy cost somewhere in the $10-$13 mark.

Let's not forget to include the retailer in the RIAA cost equation as well. In Australia list price for new CDs is about US$8 wholesale, retailing for about $15. So the retailer gets quite the cut if they charge full price.

[ Parent ]

Recording, administration, etc. (none / 0) (#434)
by brkn on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 02:31:30 AM EST

I'd rather download the new Radiohead CD, burn it, and send my eighteen dollars straight to the band than give them all of a dime for it, via the RIAA.

So how do the recording engineers, the accountants and business people that manage the finances, taxes, organisation, etc. and the other necessary support staff get paid? There's a lot more effort that goes into creating that final piece than just the band members doing their thing.

Assumption is the mother of all fuckups
[ Parent ]
Re: recording, administration, etc. (none / 0) (#438)
by osukaru on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 04:45:48 AM EST

There's a lot more effort that goes into creating that final piece than just the band members doing their thing.

This is not always the case. A *lot* of electronic bands produce their albums entirely by themselves. The technology is there for anyone to use it, supposed they want to learn how. And even if they don't, artists themselves can pay their own 'support staff'.

I think the point here is that record companies are not really necessary right now, the services they provide are not a necessity to artists like they were before. So either companies adapt to the changing situation and start providing new services of *real* value to artists, or they can go eat a shit. Plain and simple.

What you see instead is RIAA desperately crying for their old sacred business model, in the hope that the world will close their eyes to technology and stay under their monopoly, just because they are such a nice people.



[ Parent ]

Hi. (4.28 / 7) (#35)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 03:02:28 PM EST

If you're trading copyrighted works, you're breaking the law and violating people's rights.

As a philosopher with an interest in rights theory, I've always wanted to see a justification of copyright as a "right" that holds up. Do you happen to have one?


--
You cooin' with my bird?

examples (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by khallow on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:35:47 PM EST

As a philosopher with an interest in rights theory, I've always wanted to see a justification of copyright as a "right" that holds up. Do you happen to have one?

Lack of copyright allows for certain externalities related to freedom of speech. Ie, I write a series of successful children's books. This includes years of work thinking up the characters, the world, and the plots. Suddenly, my reign at the top collapses because a business out of the blue has started to market erotic novels based on my characters (and now those soccer moms won't buy my stuff). Ie, they profit from my efforts to create a literary world and characters and cost me business without any consent on my part. That is an externality.

A second case, suppose I have my masterpiece novel on my laptop. The laptop gets stolen. Bigcorp a couple of months later starts selling the masterpiece verbatim. I can prove that it's my work, but as they point out, since they acquired the work and not the laptop, then they can't be held responsible for the theft. They generously help catch the thief even. But guess who makes the money off my work?

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

heh (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by Belligerent Dove on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:02:06 PM EST

You've just posted an argument for copyright as it was originally intended. I.e. as a protection against competing producers (printers).

The tricky part is finding a justification for copyright wrt gratis copying among consumers.

[ Parent ]

Cost isn't part of the rights equation. (1.00 / 1) (#106)
by iba on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:00:26 PM EST

Copying amongst consumers just means that they switch roles from producer* to consumer, and sometimes hold both roles simultaneously. Whenever they take on the producer role, they are taking on the same role as Bigcorp, in the above example with the laptop. It doesn't matter if they are charging for each copy or not, because it shouldn't be an issue if someone profits or not by violating someone's rights.

* When I say producer, I mean mindless copier of creative work.
---
"It takes a particularly rarified variety of idiot to look at a Jew-hating fascist
[
Parent ]

I disagree (4.33 / 3) (#144)
by Belligerent Dove on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:51:03 PM EST

Whenever they take on the producer role, they are taking on the same role as Bigcorp, in the above example with the laptop.
No. That argument was flawed in itself. It rested upon the false notion that without copyright, theft of ideas would be permitted.

In reality, the only effect the abolition of copyright would have is that licensing of content would be illegal. Thus it would still be illegal for me to steal a CD and copy it, but it would not be illegal for me to copy a CD that was previously sold to me.

The result of this would be that the musician would sell the product of his labour once on the market to the greatest bidder, instead of selling it time after time for as much as s/he can fool people into paying.

Notice how the abolishment of copyright actually makes intellectual and physical goods equal before the law.

It doesn't matter if they are charging for each copy or not, because it shouldn't be an issue if someone profits or not by violating someone's rights.
The argument I replied to was based on the concept that it's wrong to make a profit out of someone else's labour (and capital, I suppose). Therefore my reply was valid.

But as I said before, the moral validity of copyright has not been established in this thread and thus you are begging the question.

* When I say producer, I mean mindless copier of creative work.
I'm confused. If I copy a CD I bought and give that copy to you, does that makes me a “mindless copier of creative work”?

[ Parent ]
what's so false about that notion? (3.00 / 2) (#158)
by khallow on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:38:23 PM EST

No. That argument was flawed in itself. It rested upon the false notion that without copyright, theft of ideas would be permitted.

I don't see that. What do you mean by "theft of ideas"? If there's no ownership in any sense of ideas (or rather written works), then it's not possible to steal it. That's my point. Please explain how I could prevail in court against someone who "steals" my ideas if I can't copyright my written expressions of those ideas.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

explenation (3.50 / 2) (#168)
by Belligerent Dove on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:21:11 PM EST

It's false because it would be trivial to make a law that said “it is illegal to copy something which you have not payed for”. The abolishment of copyright does not mean that nothing may replace it.

How you could prevail in court is thus not very important in democracies. As justification, you could argue that ideas are normal goods created by labour.

Ownership... now that's the tough nut to crack. Perhaps it's best to show a couple of view on that one:

  • The socialist will say that all licensing, renting and interest is theft (this item listed for completeness);
  • I tell you (here) that there is nothing wrong with replicating something that has been given to me (and which in turn has not been stolen);
  • Capitalist contract theories state that when I give you something, I get to decide what you do with it provided you agree with it. Copyright is based on those contracts except that the state narrows its scope.
My gripe with the last one is that it's always in the interest of the music producer to limit your rights as much as possible because s/he has created a unique and priceless work. One song can not replace another song, and thus no musician even has to consider to sell instead of license a song.

Actually, I lied. The musicians, as they fail to organize and get credit themselves, do sell their music. They sell it to record companies who then reap big profits.

[ Parent ]

sorry, I'm not getting your point (none / 0) (#386)
by khallow on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:07:24 PM EST

It's false because it would be trivial to make a law that said "it is illegal to copy something which you have not payed for". The abolishment of copyright does not mean that nothing may replace it.

I don't get it. First, copyright is all about control of the propagation of the work, which is what you apparently describe here. Why are we replacing copyright then?

Ownership... now that's the tough nut to crack. Perhaps it's best to show a couple of view on that one:

  • The socialist will say that all licensing, renting and interest is theft (this item listed for completeness);

  • I tell you (here) that there is nothing wrong with replicating something that has been given to me (and which in turn has not been stolen);

  • Capitalist contract theories state that when I give you something, I get to decide what you do with it provided you agree with it. Copyright is based on those contracts except that the state narrows its scope.

Some comments. First, I'm not sure what brand of socialist you are refering to, but in general they don't have any problems with government agencies licensing, renting, and charging interest. Ie, it's ok for the public to "steal" from the public.

Well, the problem here with the second point is when you replicate something that you are permitted to use, but not own.

Ok, third point sounds like current practice in the US. Let's see your beef with it.

My gripe with the last one is that it's always in the interest of the music producer to limit your rights as much as possible because s/he has created a unique and priceless work. One song can not replace another song, and thus no musician even has to consider to sell instead of license a song.

What are your rights as a music consumer here? The only one I see is that you get to chose what if anything you wish to listen to. If you don't like the way these companies charge for music, then don't buy it. Seems simple to me, and doesn't require dubious overhauls of copyright law. Instead, the crisis seems to be over the use of government power for private purposes, ie, maintaining a inefficient and dying business model. That sounds like a bad idea no matter your political leaning.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I take it that '3' you modded my reply with means (1.00 / 1) (#206)
by Belligerent Dove on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:24:10 PM EST

... that you disagree?

[ Parent ]
What is the right? (5.00 / 2) (#61)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:08:57 PM EST

Ie, they profit from my efforts to create a literary world and characters and cost me business without any consent on my part.

Are you saying you have a "right" not to have someone else profit from your efforts? Are you saying you have a "right" not to have someone cost you business without your consent?

In your second story, I can't come up with any "rights" which are violated at all, except your right not to have things stolen. But stealing is already illegal, so surely you aren't talking about that right.



[ Parent ]
how's this? (3.00 / 2) (#161)
by khallow on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:56:13 PM EST

Are you saying you have a "right" not to have someone else profit from your efforts? Are you saying you have a "right" not to have someone cost you business without your consent?

Two rights are implicit here. First, I have a minimal right of ownership of my ideas and acts of speech because I can chose to some extent to release (or not) some work into the public domain. This already exists as an implication of other common human rights. The idea of copyright is that I should have control over how the work is released into the public domain.

The second right is that I should have the right to control how money is made off of my property. Ie, no other party can collect profit, wages, or rents off my property without some contract or consent on my part. Note I haven't defined what property is. That aspect is orthogonal to expression of this right.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

But (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:40:10 PM EST

What "right" are you talking about? Let me be absolutely clear: I want you to explain to me what right or rights you have, and what philosophical justification you can provide for the existence of those rights.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
ok, how's this? (none / 0) (#156)
by khallow on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:28:31 PM EST

What "right" are you talking about? Let me be absolutely clear: I want you to explain to me what right or rights you have, and what philosophical justification you can provide for the existence of those rights.

As part of the right to free speech, you have a certain right of ownership of your words, ie, the copyright. As far as philosophical justification goes, the production of those words often involves some significant labor and cost, hence by allowing the originator of significant works of speech, control over propagation, this encourages the expression of the right to free speech.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

How so? (5.00 / 2) (#159)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:39:04 PM EST

How does one "own" words? And what labor, precisely is being put into it? The labor analogy holds up well when we speak of physical property, but in the copyright model it starts falling apart; so much of what people say and write is heaviy influenced by what they've hard and read previously that it's hard to say the original labor involved justifies "ownership". As Mark Twain said, all authors are thieves.

Also, how can one justify a copyright of non-inifnite duration? If I own my words now, it stands to reason I will own them at all future times; e.g., if we say that I have "ownership" of my words right now, then taking that right from me in 90 years or so makes about as much sense as taking my house form me in 90 years.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

labor in words (5.00 / 1) (#224)
by FieryTaco on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:22:29 AM EST

There can be much labor involved in stringing words together in a way that is meaningful. It takes time and great effort to write something like War and Peace. It takes very little time or effort for me to write: peanut dirt water star monkey blue clearly.

All laws are for the greater good. Copyright allows people to earn a living by the labor of their mind rather than only by their bodies. By limitting the duration of copyright society encourages people who create works to continue creating new works. By letting you own your house indefinitely society encourages you to maintain it indefiniately. If you let your house become ramshackle and turn into a firetrap, society will take it away from you.

[ Parent ]

Corollary to your point... (none / 0) (#290)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:36:21 AM EST

Copyright should be limited to the lifetime of the author, none of this shuffling the cash cow off to the heirs, or a "foundation".

That system simply perpetuates laziness and stagnation of the culture.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Perhaps (none / 0) (#336)
by FieryTaco on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:26:18 AM EST

It's hard to say. If I trusted people not to be corrupt I would side with the idea that a foundation or heir would be allowed to inherit the IP of a parent, or other producer, as long as they were continuing to grow the property. Ie. Frank Herbert's son is working with various writers to continue producing works set in the Dune world. Since the value of such works would decrease if everybody was able to produce such stories, then I believe that continuing to allow the ownership to reside in his heir's hands is a good thing. And by the same token, as long as Disney Corp., is continuing to create value out of mickey mouse, then they should be allowed to retain rights to the character. (And for those who argue that nothing of value comes from continuing copyright on mickey mouse: pull your heads out of your asses. There are thousands of jobs and millions of dollars put into the economy because Disney is able to leverage their IP property.)

However, given that the individuals placed into positions to determine if an heir is growing the property could easily be corrupt or paid off, I don't see a reasonable way to have a final arbiter that says "yes" or "no" to allowing continued ownership of various properties. So the only reasonable argument is to allow some continued ownership and length of time when a corporation or heir can continue to own and attempt to leverage a property.

I don't think that such laws necessarily lead to cultural stagnation. Every individual that is born is capable of creating new works. Yes they are starting way behind the already established creators. But that's how it is for any newcomer to an industry.

[ Parent ]

Good point... (none / 0) (#405)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:38:05 PM EST

I want to try something here; would you guess that there would be more or fewer jobs and more or less money generated from $MICKEY_MOUSE if Disney didn't have sole discretionary control over that IP?

Conversely, what is your gut reaction when we turn the phrase slightly, like so;
There are thousands of jobs and millions of dollars put into the economy because Microsoft is able to leverage their IP property.

Remember, in their own specific ways, they're both monopolists.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Good point (none / 0) (#334)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:24:00 AM EST

You are hitting on a good point here. Laws do not always reflect rights. I don't have the "right" to this land I'm living on any more than the Native Amercians who lived on it before me. Laws about land are supposed to be created for the common good, mainly to avoid the Tragedy of the Commons. But there is a very big difference between ownership of land and ownership of physical goods. Land isn't really owned outright, you have to pay property taxes to maintain ownership of that land. That means you have to put that land to a useful purpose (unless of course you have millions inherited from your parents, but that's a whole different argument).

Likewise there is an argument that copyright exists for the greater good. Personally I disagree with that argument, but that's a discussion for another thread. This thread is about copyright as a natural right, not about something which exists for the greater good. I'll quote the original author:

As a philosopher with an interest in rights theory, I've always wanted to see a justification of copyright as a "right" that holds up. Do you happen to have one?


[ Parent ]
hrm (none / 0) (#338)
by FieryTaco on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:43:49 AM EST

I can't make an argument that copyright is a "right" in the same sense that not floating off into space is a "right" (ie. some physical attribute of the universe.) (By the same token I don't see the right to life as some physical attribute of the universe either.) However I can see that there are people out there who are much better at creating music than I am and by allowing laws like copyright to exist, those people can not only make a living, but also perhaps become wealthy. And the possibility that a person can become wealthy, famous, etc. encourages those who are waffling about the idea of trying their hand at composing, singing, etc.

[ Parent ]
Once you ignore the right,the rest becomes opinion (none / 0) (#353)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:42:44 PM EST

By the same token I don't see the right to life as some physical attribute of the universe either.

See, I do. I think we have a natural right to live in peace without interference from others. In fact, I think that right directly contradicts any right of an author to tell me what I can do with a book I have legally purchased.

However I can see that there are people out there who are much better at creating music than I am and by allowing laws like copyright to exist, those people can not only make a living, but also perhaps become wealthy. And the possibility that a person can become wealthy, famous, etc. encourages those who are waffling about the idea of trying their hand at composing, singing, etc.

It's my opinion that copyright with regard to music tends to encourage shitty music. If someone is waffling about the idea of trying their hand at composing, singing, etc, let them get a real job. For those who truly love what they're doing, they'll find a way to make money doing it. And those who truly love what they're doing tend to make the best artists.

In my opinion, eliminating copyright would hurt the mega-pop-star, but wouldn't hurt the average independent artist. In fact, since music lovers would have more disposable income, it would likely help the independent artist. And in my opinion, that would be for the greater good.

About the only place I really see copyright laws having an overall positive effect on the world is with regard to fiction books. And when the day comes that e-books are an actual alternative to dead tree ones, I think even that is going to go away.



[ Parent ]
no way (none / 0) (#388)
by FieryTaco on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:30:37 PM EST

I'm not going to go and try and make arguments, because I've seen a lot of your posts in this thread and I don't believe that I am the person who is capable of changing your mind. Saying that I disagree with most of your points will have to suffice.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#389)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:33:49 PM EST

I don't think it's really something you can change someone's opinion about. I think most commercial music is crap. You're not going to change that opinion.

[ Parent ]
Artists (5.00 / 1) (#301)
by trane on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:44:48 AM EST

should produce their works for the greater good of society, and not be concerned about ownership.

If you try to argue that this is not "human nature", consider the hunter gatherer societies, which had little concept of private ownership, and which survived longer than agrarian-industrial-whatever societies have so far.

[ Parent ]

How does one "own" anything? (none / 0) (#399)
by khallow on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:12:11 PM EST

How does one "own" words? And what labor, precisely is being put into it?

The same way one "owns" anything else. The owner has some power (personally or granted by others) to restrict the usage of the work. Labor is pretty simple. Some effort went into creating the work. That effort is "labor". Originality is irrelevant as long as the author didn't violate copyright or other usage restrictions.

Also, how can one justify a copyright of non-inifnite duration? If I own my words now, it stands to reason I will own them at all future times; e.g., if we say that I have "ownership" of my words right now, then taking that right from me in 90 years or so makes about as much sense as taking my house form me in 90 years.

Because otherwise the meme space of ideas would be contaminated by 500 year old copyrights and such. In a similar fashion, we see similar things with real estate. Eg, Detroit, Michigan, USA is chock full of unused real estate that is held by parties or in some cases, ownership is unknown. Here the problem is similar to the "tragedy of the commons". Ie, any rundown real estate effects its neighbors, and if whole swathes of city are rundown and the property owned by many entities, then there's no incentive for anyone to improve their own property. In crude analogy, if it's too costly to make a sufficiently original work of art (because someone likely owns copyrights that your work would have to surmount), then that work won't be made. Ie, the neighborhood is full of old, decrepid works.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Unfair... (3.75 / 12) (#39)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:30:32 PM EST

You have to be pretty stupid to do that sort of thing, today. Think about it: These kids watched Napster burn in flames, courtesy of RIAA lawyers. They watched KaZaA become the next big thing -- and presumably, if they were savvy enough to set up their own P2P networks, they were well aware of the media attention haunting KaZaA.

Was Rosa Parks "stupid" for refusing to give up her seat to a white man?



You can't be serious. (5.00 / 3) (#46)
by ktakki on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:41:07 PM EST

Was Rosa Parks "stupid" for refusing to give up her seat to a white man?
Tell me you just didn't draw a line of moral equivalence between fighting for a basic human right (racial equality) and the free distribution of a luxury item (popular music).


k.
--
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

[ Parent ]
Get your analogy straight (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:52:35 PM EST

Tell me you just didn't draw a line of moral equivalence between fighting for a basic human right (racial equality) and the free distribution of a luxury item (popular music).

No, I'm drawing a line of moral equivalence between fighting for a basic human right (racial equality) and another basic human right (social equality). Put another way, the right to sit in the front seat of a bus is morally equivalent to the right to copy bits.



[ Parent ]
re: Social equality as a human right (4.50 / 2) (#60)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:06:24 PM EST

Please post your checking account number, bank routing number and corresponding PIN, so that we may become social equals.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Huh? (3.50 / 2) (#72)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:22:22 PM EST

If I did that we wouldn't become social equals, you would become my social superior.

[ Parent ]
No. (4.50 / 2) (#76)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:27:28 PM EST

I'll take just enough so that we're equal. Trust me!

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Sorry (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:28:27 PM EST

I don't trust you :)

[ Parent ]
Huh?!? (5.00 / 2) (#62)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:10:48 PM EST

the right to sit in the front seat of a bus is morally equivalent to the right to copy bits.
...And there you've lost me again.

Not in a million years do I agree that being unable to distribute someone else's artwork without their permission is "morally equivalent" to being forced and degraded into a second-class tier of citizenship. And assuming I'm not misreading you again, I find that statement pretty objectionable.

I'm also missing how you decided that being able to distribute someone else's artwork amounts to "social equality." Care to elaborate?

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Class equality? (3.50 / 2) (#67)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:16:25 PM EST

Not in a million years do I agree that being unable to distribute someone else's artwork without their permission is "morally equivalent" to being forced and degraded into a second-class tier of citizenship.

But allowing artists to steal money from non-artists does exactly that - it forces non-artists into a second-class tier of citizenship.

I'm also missing how you decided that being able to distribute someone else's artwork amounts to "social equality." Care to elaborate?

Perhaps "class equality" would be a better description. The upper class gets to listen to music, and the lower class doesn't.



[ Parent ]
What You're Saying... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:30:31 PM EST

But allowing artists to steal money from non-artists does exactly that - it forces non-artists into a second-class tier of citizenship.
Let me understand you. Are you saying that an artist selling his artwork to customers is "stealing" money from them?

I'm not sure how you reason this point. Obviously, it would have nothing to do with capitalism. Socialism, maybe? Communism? An artist has a "moral responsibility" to donate his artwork to the populace, free of charge?

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
clarification (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:37:39 PM EST

Let me understand you. Are you saying that an artist selling his artwork to customers is "stealing" money from them?

Essentially, yes.

I'm not sure how you reason this point. Obviously, it would have nothing to do with capitalism.

This very country (mine, anyway) was founded upon the right of people not to be forced to pay money to a third party. Seems like that fits in with capitalism perfectly.

Socialism, maybe? Communism? An artist has a "moral responsibility" to donate his artwork to the populace, free of charge?

Wait a second. No. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying once someone has legally obtained a copy of a work, an artist has no right to exact a tax from that person whenever that person decided to make a copy of that copy.



[ Parent ]
"Copying" vs. "Distributing" (4.50 / 2) (#95)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:46:36 PM EST

I'm saying once someone has legally obtained a copy of a work, an artist has no right to exact a tax from that person whenever that person decided to make a copy of that copy.
OK. I agree with you, here. I legally purchased some old Bob Brookmeyer LPs, for instance, which have never been released on CD. I hired a fantastic company to transfer these LPs onto CD for me. That was my legal right, and I'll defend it vehemently.

But the question with P2P isn't about copying. It's about distributing. I absolutely agree with you: An artist has no right to "tax" a person for copying a legally-obtained artwork. But when someone starts handing those copies to other people, then that's a different story altogether.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
My bad (3.50 / 2) (#102)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:57:05 PM EST

Replace "copying" with "distributing" and I still feel exactly the same way.

An artist has no right to "tax" a person for copying a legally-obtained artwork. But when someone starts handing those copies to other people, then that's a different story altogether.

Well, personally I don't think an artist has a right to "tax" a person for distributing a legally made copy either.



[ Parent ]
"Essentially, yes"? (5.00 / 1) (#284)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:14:43 AM EST

Perhaps you should add a degree of granularity to your argument and call it "exploiting" rather than "stealing"?

an artist selling his artwork to customers is "stealing" money
No rational person, not even the current Maoist Chinese government, is going to take that comment seriously.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Huh? (3.00 / 1) (#86)
by iba on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:40:55 PM EST

Where did this stealing business come from? No one is forcing anyone to buy music from people who charge money for it.

You sound like a half-communist. You want access to the results of everyone else's labor, but you don't wont give anyone access to your own.
---
"It takes a particularly rarified variety of idiot to look at a Jew-hating fascist
[
Parent ]

You don't get it (2.66 / 3) (#131)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:30:58 PM EST

Where did this stealing business come from? No one is forcing anyone to buy music from people who charge money for it.

That's precisely what the RIAA is trying to do.

You want access to the results of everyone else's labor, but you don't wont give anyone access to your own.

No. First of all, I don't want access to the results of everyone else's labor. I want the ability to distribute copies of my own legally obtained possessions.

Secondly, I'll gladly give you access to my labor if you give me access to yours.



[ Parent ]
You don't get it. (3.00 / 4) (#202)
by iba on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:12:48 PM EST

You can always record your own songs and put them in the public domain, and obtain copies of other public domain songs from like-minded people (For free! Just how you want it!). No one is forcing you or anyone else to buy copyrighted music. There are alternatives, but if you want a Metallica CD, then you're going to have to pay for it. Metallica wants to make a living, by selling CDs, amongst other things, and they can't do that if all but one of their fans gets their music from Kazaa.

I'll gladly give you access to my labor if you give me access to yours.

With this comment, you're halfway to understanding. The artist gives you access to the results of his labor (music) in exchange for access to the results of yours (some money). Giving free copies of that music to ten (or ten thousand) of your closest friends undermines that entire relationship, because the artist did not get any of the results of their labor.
---
"It takes a particularly rarified variety of idiot to look at a Jew-hating fascist
[
Parent ]

No (3.00 / 2) (#78)
by iba on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:29:16 PM EST

That equivalence just doesn't make any sense. No matter how much you dislike the RIAA, making copies of music that its members control is not "fighting for a basic human right." Frankly, you don't have the right to copy bits that you don't own or have permission to copy. If the creator of those bits wants to give you that permission, fine, but if he doesn't (or delegates that decision to someone who says no), then that's fine too; you're just going to have to find some other bits to copy.
---
"It takes a particularly rarified variety of idiot to look at a Jew-hating fascist
[
Parent ]
bits (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by levesque on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:46:12 PM EST

Frankly, you don't have the right to copy bits that you don't own or have permission to copy

The law is not moral because it exist.

[ Parent ]

Why not? (3.33 / 3) (#142)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:49:49 PM EST

No matter how much you dislike bus drivers, sitting in the front of a bus that the bus owners control is not "fighting for a basic human right." Frankly, you don't have the right to sit in the front of a bus that you don't own or have permission to sit in the front of. If the owner of the bus wants to give you that permission, fine, but if he doesn't (or delegates that decision to someone who says no), then that's fine too; you're just going to have to find somewhere else to sit.



[ Parent ]
It's your analogy. (4.50 / 2) (#100)
by ktakki on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:55:30 PM EST

No, I'm drawing a line of moral equivalence between fighting for a basic human right (racial equality) and another basic human right (social equality). Put another way, the right to sit in the front seat of a bus is morally equivalent to the right to copy bits.
No. It is not.

Social equality, expressed as equal opportunity for all, has nothing to do with "copying bits". It is about jobs, standards of living, affordable health care. Downloading Eminem's latest off of Kazaa is not striking a blow for social equality, just as shoplifting a book from Barnes & Noble isn't plunging a dagger into the heart of capitalism.

HIBT? It is a nice day...


k.
--
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

[ Parent ]

We disagree (1.50 / 2) (#140)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:45:58 PM EST

Downloading Eminem's latest off of Kazaa is not striking a blow for social equality, just as shoplifting a book from Barnes & Noble isn't plunging a dagger into the heart of capitalism.

Maybe not a dagger, but surely a pushpin.



[ Parent ]
Analogies (3.33 / 3) (#47)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:42:58 PM EST

Was Rosa Parks "stupid" for refusing to give up her seat to a white man?
That's the second time, in this article, that someone has compared copyright law to slavery.

Y'all are kidding, right?

(The first, BTW, was when kitten wrote, "Slavery was legal at one time - does that make it 'right'?")

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not kidding (3.50 / 4) (#48)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:49:59 PM EST

That's the second time, in this article, that someone has compared copyright law to slavery.

I did not compare copyright law to slavery. I compared a law against copying data to a law against sitting in the front of a bus. How difficult was it for Rosa to walk to the back of the bus? It would have taken her a few seconds.

Y'all are kidding, right?

No, I'm not kidding. The only real difference is that the classism that Rosa faced was with regard to the color of her skin. Yes, that's somewhat worse, because it's much harder to change the color of your skin than it is to change your class in society, but it's not all that much worse. Your argument that these people were stupid rests upon the assertion that doing something that you know is illegal is stupid. That's just not true.



[ Parent ]
On Second Glance... (4.50 / 2) (#59)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:05:35 PM EST

Your argument that these people were stupid rests upon the assertion that doing something that you know is illegal is stupid. That's just not true.
Alright. You know what? You've got a point.

My head was still spinning, from reading the previous post -- which had compared copyright law to slavery. I saw your reference to Rosa Parks, and thought, "Oh, God. Another one?"

You're right: You didn't make that analogy.

I don't, for a second, agree with the analogy you did make. Yes, both cases would amount to calling someone "stupid" for breaking the law -- but the sheer magnitude of the gap between the nature of these "laws," I think, effectively ruins the analogy. It's quite reasonable to call someone "stupid" for breaking one law, and to call someone else "brave" for breaking another law.

So I disagree. But you're right: I wrongly characterized your point. I apologize.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Not an analogy (4.00 / 2) (#64)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:13:59 PM EST

I don't, for a second, agree with the analogy you did make.

Frankly, I didn't make an analogy. I made a proof by example.

It's quite reasonable to call someone "stupid" for breaking one law, and to call someone else "brave" for breaking another law.

On what basis? Please justify what the difference is that makes one action "stupid" and the other one "brave." Because the only one I can come up with is that Rosa Parks was successful, and these four will probably fail.

If that's what you're saying, well, I guess you should have made that more clear.

So I disagree. But you're right: I wrongly characterized your point. I apologize.

No problem.



[ Parent ]
The Disctinction (4.50 / 2) (#73)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:25:37 PM EST

Please justify what the difference is that makes one action "stupid" and the other one "brave." Because the only one I can come up with is that Rosa Parks was successful, and these four will probably fail.
The difference isn't in the likelihood of success. The difference lies in the goal.

Putting aside Cedric's sarcasm, and assuming that Ms. Parks did indeed intend her action as "civil disobedience," her goal was to establish herself as an equal. Her goal was to protest a series of laws that relegated an entire race of human beings to second-class citizenship. The goal of these four students was to establish...what? Copyright law, as it applies to other people's artworks, is somehow oppressing these four students? I don't think so.

It's the difference between two people who fall off a mountain: one falls while trying to rescue a man, and one falls while trying to skateboard along a ledge. One accepted a risk in order to achieve an admirable goal, and the other is simply stupid. "Hero" versus "Darwin Award nominee." Quite simple, really.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Copyright law oppresses people (2.66 / 3) (#82)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:32:28 PM EST

Putting aside Cedric's sarcasm, and assuming that Ms. Parks did indeed intend her action as "civil disobedience," her goal was to establish herself as an equal.

Perhaps. Maybe her goal was just to be less tired though. I don't know.

The goal of these four students was to establish...what? Copyright law, as it applies to other people's artworks, is somehow oppressing these four students? I don't think so.

I guess that's where you and I disagree. I think Copyright law does oppress. It doesn't oppress based on race, but it does oppress. The right to copy is a basic human right.



[ Parent ]
Goals (none / 0) (#88)
by levesque on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:41:38 PM EST

Goals may redefined, reinterpreted and reevaluated by anyone at any time.

[ Parent ]
Wrong Parent (none / 0) (#96)
by levesque on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:49:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Source? (3.66 / 3) (#89)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:42:16 PM EST

The right to copy is a basic human right.
Well, then, yes, we disagree. But I'm fascinated: How do you support this contention?

I honestly don't believe I've ever heard anyone make that argument, before. I assume you'd support a Constitutional amendment to eliminate "copyright," then. I'd be very interested to hear the arguments behind such an amendment.

...And BTW, don't take that as a challenge. If you can't answer, don't feel bad. Someone asked me to defend the origin of "copyright," earlier; and although I know the arguments, I didn't feel confident in my ability to articulate them. So I skipped it. No big deal. I'm just curious.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
My justification (1.50 / 2) (#98)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:52:47 PM EST

The right to copy is a basic human right.

Well, then, yes, we disagree. But I'm fascinated: How do you support this contention?

Well, I have to admit I've never taken a philosophy course, so my justification is admittedly ad hoc, but I am of the belief that people have a basic human right to do as they please so long as they do not harm others.

I assume you'd support a Constitutional amendment to eliminate "copyright," then.

Absolutely.

I'd be very interested to hear the arguments behind such an amendment. And BTW, don't take that as a challenge. If you can't answer, don't feel bad.

Well, my main argument is what I wrote above. "I am of the belief that people have a basic human right to do as they please so long as they do not harm others." Only by voluntary agreement should that right ever be taken away, and only then as is reasonable (contractual agreements).



[ Parent ]
Indirect harm (3.66 / 3) (#172)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:35:22 PM EST

Harm doesn't have to be direct. Hitting one with a baseball bat constitutes direct harm. Slander and spreading bad word about one constitutes indirect harm.

Stealing one's car constitutes direct harm. Stealing one's ideas or works constitutes indirect harm by limiting their profit opportunities.

Don't kid yourself, by copying copyrighted materials you are harming others indirectly.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Not necessarily (2.66 / 3) (#173)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:47:18 PM EST

Don't kid yourself, by copying copyrighted materials you are harming others indirectly.

What if you weren't going to pay for it anyway?

That said, I am of the belief that people have a basic human right to do as they please so long as they do not harm others directly.



[ Parent ]
Why would you? (4.50 / 4) (#174)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:51:04 PM EST

Why would you copy anything that is of no value to you. If something has is of value to you, you are prepared to pay for it. Without discussing the actual price points I can't believe that you wouldn't pay $0.25 for your favourite song if your income is measured in tens of thousands of dollars. It's only a matter of price point.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
You don't understand (3.50 / 2) (#177)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:03:58 PM EST

Why would you copy anything that is of no value to you.

Because it is of no cost to me either.

Without discussing the actual price points I can't believe that you wouldn't pay $0.25 for your favourite song if your income is measured in tens of thousands of dollars.

My income isn't measured in tens of thousands of dollars. And I wouldn't pay $0.25 for my favorite song. I'd find a new favorite song, which was free.

Not that any of this matters, because my favorite song isn't being sold for $0.25 anyway. Back on planet reality, where I live, if there weren't P2P filesharing, I still wouldn't buy CDs. I didn't buy CDs before Napster existed. I didn't buy them when it existed (*). I don't buy them now that it's dead (*). No changes whatsoever.

(*) Actually, I have and still do buy CDs from non-RIAA affiliated artists, even when I could easily copy a CD that I borrow from a friend.



[ Parent ]
You have beef with RIAA (3.50 / 4) (#178)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:09:46 PM EST

and not with the concept of copyrights. Copyrights may be abused by RIAA that doesn't make the whole idea bad and you acknowledge it. If you buy non-RIAA CDs like you claim to you obviously want to reward those who put effort into making them. What better way to make sure people get rewarded for their creative works than through legally enforced copyright?
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
I have both... (2.80 / 5) (#181)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:25:34 PM EST

I am boycotting the RIAA. But I also think that copyrights themselves are improper.

Copyrights may be abused by RIAA that doesn't make the whole idea bad and you acknowledge it. If you buy non-RIAA CDs like you claim to you obviously want to reward those who put effort into making them.

I want to reward some of those who put effort into making CDs. I don't want to reward others. So? I don't acknowledge that copyright is a good idea. I tip waitresses, but I don't believe that tips should be required by law.

What better way to make sure people get rewarded for their creative works than through legally enforced copyright?

Yeah, I don't believe that people should necessarily get rewarded for their creative works.



[ Parent ]
re: Because it is of no cost to me (none / 0) (#286)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:23:30 AM EST

I would like you to repeat that, with a straight face.
Before you do, bear in mind that I won't accept an answer along the lines of
"All of my hardware, ISP and Telco fees are paid for by philanthropists."

OK then, let's hear how there's *no* cost to you...

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Perceeved costs (none / 0) (#289)
by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:35:03 AM EST

We're not all accountants.  It's not about actual cost and value, but perceived cost and value.

Perceived value - Virtually nothing.  Possibly less than 1c, so for all intents and purposes it might as well be zero.  

Perceived cost - Zero.  

Breakdown:

Perceived value of time taken: Zero.  Not going to do anything else with that time.

Perceived cost of bandwidth: Zero.  Already paid for, for purposes other than downloading music.  Using it more or less is not going to affect the price.

Cost of hardware: Zero.  Already been purchased for purposes other than downloading music.  

[ Parent ]

The basis of *all* pricing is... (none / 0) (#296)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:27:28 AM EST

"perception"

I like your reasoning, but...

Cost of hardware: Zero. Already been purchased for purposes other than downloading music.

I'm curious to see why dipierro may have invested in a CD burner.
That is, of course, unless he's spent nothing on his entire infringement experience.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Why I bought a CD burner? (none / 0) (#303)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:55:55 AM EST

I'm curious to see why dipierro may have invested in a CD burner.

To back up my hard drive. Frankly I haven't burned a single audio CD with it yet.



[ Parent ]
Oh yeah (none / 0) (#307)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:02:59 AM EST

Also to steal software. Forgot about that. A few years ago (longer than the statute of limitations cops :P) I had some good shit. Windows, Visual Studio, Visio, etc. But not music :).

[ Parent ]
Finally! (none / 0) (#313)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:29:29 AM EST

An answer written with integrity.

Kudos, sir.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Still doesn't prove your point (none / 0) (#319)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:54:01 AM EST

because I still wouldn't have bought this software had I not had a CD burner.

[ Parent ]
My point? (none / 0) (#321)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:59:31 AM EST

Have music files on that "hard drive back-up"?

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#356)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:52:21 PM EST

I don't back up my mp3s, because I can easily obtain them again if my hard drive crashes.

[ Parent ]
Then here's the catch... (none / 0) (#411)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:57:00 PM EST

The RIAA doesn't distinguish between your illicitly-acquired mp3s on magnetic media and your illicitly-acquired mp3s on optical media.

If they're not produced in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine, then you're a potential defendant.

Here's where you say "All of my mp3s are backed-up copies of CDs that I own, ti dave."

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#425)
by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:26:07 PM EST

I don't deny that I'm breaking the law. Yes, I'm potentially a defendent. Who gives a shit? No one can prove anything. Most of it was downloaded more than 3 years ago so the statute of limitations has run out anyway. And even if they could prove anything and the statute of limitations hadn't run out, I haven't downloaded more than $1,000 during a 180 day period, so I can't go to jail anyway. The RIAA could sue me for the whole $10 I'm worth. So what?

I'm not harming anyone by obtaining and keeping my mp3 collection.



[ Parent ]
My justification: (none / 0) (#305)
by trane on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:01:20 AM EST

I honestly don't believe I've ever heard anyone make that argument, before. I assume you'd support a Constitutional amendment to eliminate "copyright," then. I'd be very interested to hear the arguments behind such an amendment.

Society would benefit. If everyone had access to music (or other works) without regard to personal wealth, poor kids would likely have more influences to choose from, and many would likely produce works of their own that would benefit from their increased knowledge.

For instance, imagine a poor jazz musician who wants to study the jazz tradition, but can't afford the CDs...his art will be poorer (or at the very least progress much more slowly), than if he were able to listen to all the works of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke, Bird, Monk, Trane, etc., etc. I will not derive as much pleasure from his work as if he had had convenient access to whatever he wanted to listen to.

Society as a whole would progress faster, if access to copyrighted works was not based on wealth.

We would each benefit.

[ Parent ]

WTF? (4.00 / 4) (#97)
by lazyll on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:51:37 PM EST

Ha! That's hilarious. What kind of crack are you smoking? That comment is so ludicrous that it's a waste of my time to form a real argument. Pull your head out of your ass and join the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]
By popular demand - a new analogy (4.00 / 3) (#56)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:00:25 PM EST

Were the Sons of Liberty "stupid" for pirating a ship and throwing tea into the Boston Harbor?

[ Parent ]
Actually, Yes. (5.00 / 4) (#66)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:15:53 PM EST

Were the Sons of Liberty "stupid" for pirating a ship and throwing tea into the Boston Harbor?
I'm not a historian, and I don't believe I can speak intelligently on the subject. However, I've heard quite a few people who are historians make the point, quite persuasively, that yes, the Boston Tea Party was actually quite stupid, in terms of "protest."

At the very least, it was pretty immature. In terms of "mature protest," I wouldn't place it far above "freedom fries" and "liberty toast." The Boston Tea Party isn't an incident I like to cite when insisting how well the principle of civil protest plays out in the United States.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
In your summation of the file-traders' arguments. (4.09 / 11) (#40)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:31:27 PM EST

I think you missed possibly the most important one, which is somewhat related to #2: The artists aren't getting paid anyway. Except for Britney Spears and other synthetic creations of the entertainment industry in the first place, the contracts that artists must make (as illustrated by Courtney Love) with the recording giants constitute complete rape. The company grosses hundreds of millions on CD sales, while the artist gets a basic income that isn't really big enough to be a statistically significant part of the profits.

In other words, by eating into the RIAA's revenue, you're not hurting artists, but only the megacorporate recording companies that exploit them (but which you must go through if you want to have any remote chance of success in "the business" whatsoever - hence monopolists). Whatever money you're taking away in "sales" wouldn't have gotten to the producers of the content anyway, but would've just lined Bertelsmann's or Warner Brothers' coffers. That's a pretty solid argument for trading popular music, but it takes the willingness to put the determination of "fairness" into your own hands, and out of the conventional wisdom about intellectual property rights.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

Another thing, too. (4.12 / 16) (#50)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:53:17 PM EST

Another thing I always mention in any debate about digital file-trading is that some of us have a principal interest in music that lies way, way outside of RIAA's jurisdiction or field of interest. About 80-90% of the music I listen to isn't Anglo-American, and has absolutely no relation to the RIAA, or any recording studios or enterprises or subsidiaries (even of BMG) in Europe. You can moralise about how trading it might be ethically wrong, but the fact remains, the RIAA doesn't own it, doesn't produce it, and hasn't any financial interest in it. At least, it shouldn't act like it does.

I enjoy a lot of contemporary pop from Central Asia and Mediterranean countries (chiefly Turkey), and old (Eastern) European music that is almost certain not to be copyrighted, as well lots of other stuff from that esoteric realm. Many of the songs I download come from countries where "piracy" is just barely short of a state-sanctioned enterprise -- Russia being the first example I can think of in terms of the music I have personally. When Napster and Audiogalaxy came along, I was elated that I could find such obscure music; things that wouldn't appear anywhere on this hemisphere, let alone in shoppes or from vendors of any kind. It connected me with an entirely different world, some of which I knew before as a child.

But then the assholes at the RIAA had to shut both of these excellent services down. I have an entirely different, very personal reason for being angry as hell about this; I don't want to pirate RIAA's music! I don't want Britney Spears, Eminem, Radiohead, or Smashing Pumpkins -- I'll get compilation CDs of the latter from the store if I really wanted. But, I don't want their stuff! I'm not part of the demand.

Most Americans, I suspect, aren't aware of the immense bloom of foreign music availability that came with the arrival of Napster, and later Audiogalaxy. Suddenly there was interesting music from all over the world available, not just popular stuff from English-speaking countries. A lot of oldies, a lot of songs from long by-gone eras now. When Napster died, all of the "foreigners" that toted such wares went to Audiogalaxy, and for a while all was well. But then it was decided that every song on AG by default was "copyrighted" by "the industry." In my opinion this constitutes a kind of theft from the world's cultural heritage; almost no artist in my music collection has ever sang or played for the RIAA's money, yet they've basically "privatised" their work.

That's my personal reason for sticking it to the RIAA. They took something from me that isn't theirs. I don't care if they copyright their Eminem or Britney Spears or Blink 182 -- I don't want it! Just leave me alone and let me trade music that you don't even know about, let alone didn't produce!

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

Hear, Hear. (3.66 / 3) (#54)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:57:56 PM EST

That's a great point.

No response, no rebuttal. You're absolutely right, dammit. Great post.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
He's makin' a list, checkin' it twice... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:16:53 PM EST

Let's find out if you're naughty or nice...

The following nations are signatories to the Berne Convention (1971 Paris text):
Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Benin (formerly Dahomey), Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), Cameroon, Canada, the Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Holy See (Vatican City), Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar (Malagasy Republic), Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zaire, and Zimbabwe. According to U.S. State Department Dispatches published since January 1992, additional nations to sign Berne include Gambia (Dec. 12, 1992), China (July 10, 1992) and Kenya (March 11, 1993).

The following nations are signatories to the Universal Copyright Convention (1971 Paris text):
Algeria, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Grenada, Guinea, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, St. Lucia, St, Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vatican City, and Yugoslavia.

The following nations are signatories to the Universal Copyright Convention (1952 Geneva text): Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, St. Lucia, St, Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, and Zambia.

In addition, in May 1993, the TASS news agency reported that Russia has enacted a new copyright law that is Berne-compliant, in preparation for an anticipated signing of the Berne Convention.


Looks like you may be a bit on the naughty side.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

I'm well aware. (4.40 / 5) (#74)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:25:45 PM EST

I'm quite aware of the universality of so-called intellectual property law and copyright law.

I am not attempting to make the argument that all of the file-trading I do is in compliance with it. However, if I have to deal with the consequences, I would at least prefer that the actual owners of said content administer them. The RIAA pretending that it owns things it doesn't own is wrong.

I should add that a lot of the music I listen to was produced in the 1960s and 1970s in the former socialist bloc. Obviously, no copyright. It is entirely possible that distributors of those works in modern (compact disc) form have "copyrighted" it now, but that doesn't mean it's theirs or that they have the exclusive right to its distribution and/or to profiteer from it. The attitudes of the artists that produced these works was generally consistent with the socialist view of intellectual work -- that it is the collective people's property and it is for the enjoyment of everyone and for the recognition of the artist, not for profiteering. I don't think any modern recording company, especially a Western one, has any right to take this work and call it its own and declare itself its rightful proprietor.

Outside of this, I can still apply a lot of the traditional arguments. In many countries that are signatories of the Berne Convention, the prevailing attitude of the government and the society is that digital file trading does no harm. Note that this is in stark contrast to what the Berne Convention actually says and what its text would imply, but this matters little - it's what I call the distinction of actually-existing reality. Besides, if this music is not being sold on the western hemisphere, what are the chances that they are "losing sales" through my downloading it?

And so on and so forth. I make no claim that I do not violate copyrights, although I realise that's implied in parts of my original comment. But that wasn't my point; my point was, I don't violate the copyrights of the RIAA's constituent content producers, and wish they'd leave my file sharing services alone as much as I leave their content alone.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Socialist Bloc countries? (5.00 / 2) (#85)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:38:24 PM EST

I should add that a lot of the music I listen to was produced in the 1960s and 1970s in the former socialist bloc. Obviously, no copyright.

You mean "Socialist Bloc" like Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and the former Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics?

Yes, they're all listed as signatories.
Perhaps you had other "Socialist Bloc" countries in mind?

The point is, regardless of local practices, that's the Law.
You broke the Law and it's no surprise to me that you're trying to justify it.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

The Law? Whose law? (3.40 / 5) (#91)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:43:25 PM EST

If it is no surprise to you that I am trying to justify it, it should be even less of a surprise that corporate clowns trying to profiteer from the intellectual and artistic works of the people are trying to justify this "law" in their own terms now.

I don't see such law as an absolute, but rather in terms of the comprehensive world situation. And that situation is, in many places and especially in the former socialist bloc, that digital copying is not de facto illegal - everyone does it, and no attempt is made to enforce laws against it. In part, this stems from traditional, and correct, attitudes of contempt toward Western notions of "intellectual property," and in part for economic reasons.

I suppose next you will indict the Native Americans for breaking the law in that they did not respect Western notions of land ownership. And how laughable, they're trying to justify it too!

That it's the law doesn't mean it's right, or, for practical purposes, valid. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm downloading music from a country where you can go to any respectable marketplace and get a large, burned compilation CD of it for $1, and this is commonly accepted practise, I'm not committing an immoral act. That's what matters to me, really.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

You're incorrigible. (5.00 / 2) (#110)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:04:10 PM EST

On the OT tip; I believe we would have done better to have put forth a comprehensive, continent-wide version of the Treaty of Waitangi, in our dealings with the natives and stuck to the terms.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Why incorrigible? (3.50 / 2) (#114)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:09:21 PM EST

It must be infuriating to you that rather than qualifying my behaviour in terms of "the law" and as an isolate phenomenon, I insist on defining it in terms of other people's behaviour, putting it in relativistic terms, and otherwise making something so rigid and fixed seem so fluid, dynamic, and basically subjective and open to interpretation.

But with the question of intellectual property, I believe this is the proper way to go. And before you ask, "So is what you think of murder too? If everyone's doing it, it's okay?" - I will say: Apples and oranges. The juridical domain of IP is a unique protrusion of bourgeois control over information, and the means to deal with it have a great specificity.

Yes, basically, take the law into your own hands.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I am not Javert... (5.00 / 2) (#125)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:21:40 PM EST

The juridical domain of [food production] is a unique protrusion of bourgeois control over [bread], and the means to deal with it have a great specificity.

and you are not Valjean.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Very clever. (4.00 / 2) (#126)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:25:10 PM EST

Granted, I haven't read Les Miserables, so I won't attempt to determine how relevant it is to the issue.

But, incidentally, I don't think it's immoral for the hungry and impoverished to take bread. However, it's an imperfect tactic with diminishing returns as long as it's done on the basis of chronic "theft," not to mention that the distribution of it will, rather than be methodical, follow anarchic paths, and will incorporate elements of bourgeois right even in the hierarchy of the poor.

Another obvious indication of the need for revolution.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I'm surprised! (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:29:04 PM EST

You should, it's a fine read. Watch a stage performance as well, I heartily recommend it.

Spelling it correctly was a good start. ;)

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

(Stupid) question about Les Miserables (5.00 / 1) (#169)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:23:05 PM EST

PMFJI

Okay, I've seen Les Miserables on stage, and liked it a lot.  (Shhh, don't tell anyone.)

> You should, it's a fine read.

Is Les Miserables a novel that was then adapted to a play?  Or was it always a play from the beginning?

I ask, because most plays I've been forced to READ were annoying as all hell.  But, in many more cases than I've enjoyed the read, I've actually liked seeing the PLAY.  The most obvious examples I can think of are Shakespere's.  With a good cast, I've enjoyed almost every one I've seen.  (Again... don't tell on me ;-) )  But whenever I was forced to actually READ the damnable things in school; slogging through the things was quite painful.

So, if Les Miserables is actually a novel, *I* might someday take your advice to Valeko.  If the written form is the play, forget it.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Victor Hugo published it in 1862. (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:02:40 PM EST

The electronic version of the novel may be gophered from a
link at this page, or dl'ed by chapter from the same link.

Yes, it was originally written as a novel, but don't let that intimidate you.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

Poland and ZAiKS (5.00 / 3) (#166)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:08:26 PM EST

Poland has always had (80 years+) its own RIAA like group called ZAIKS (Zwiazek Artystow i Kompozytorow Scenicznych). They have always enforced their copyrights, currently do and proably will continue to do so in the forseeable future. Stealing from RIAA or from ZAIKS is the same theft except ZAIKS may not have trillions of dollars to prosecute you, instead they will just cancel less profitable contracts (i.e. fringe music) to cut losses.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
oh, I get it (5.00 / 1) (#391)
by adequate nathan on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:40:10 PM EST

Stealing music is an extremely convenient and comfortable form of civil disobedience. Aginst "The Man."

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

My, what an imperial attitude. (5.00 / 6) (#71)
by RobotSlave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:21:52 PM EST

How noble of you. RIAA got in the way of your theft of non-western music. RIAA is evil, therefore it's OK to steal stuff they don't have anything to do with?

Pardon me while I fail to be impressed.

You're simply lying, or unaware of the truth, when you say "foreign music" wasn't available before Napster came along. The popularity of World Music was on the rise before the Word Wide Web was born. I have a friend who worked for a while as a buyer for a Tower store, and he dealt exclusively with "world" or non-western music. That was in 1993.

RIAA took something from you that wasn't theirs? Here's a bit of news for you: it wasn't yours, either.

As to expired copyrights: Yes, the composition might be in the public domain, but this does not mean you can distribute copies of a particular performance of a given work, unless the recording is also in the public domain.

There are conditions under which a recording may be distributed without prior permission. The fact that a recording is non-western does not mean it is yours for the taking.

[ Parent ]

Well. (4.20 / 5) (#81)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:30:49 PM EST

See my reply to ti dave.

Yes, there is all kinds of "foreign music" available outside of the realm of file-trading, but in terms of size and variety it has not been my experience that it is comparable. Perhaps given enough scooping around, anything can be found in the U.S., but it wouldn't be worth the time and effort.

I don't think that works copyrighted outside of the U.S. are for my taking, although you understand, too, that I don't agree with your pompous, arrogant fetishism of property rights. I just don't think that the mediums through which those works are exchanged are for the RIAA's closing down, either. It's not their stuff. What the RIAA took from me was an opportunity that was mine, and which they have no business taking away. You can make a tenuous argument that universal copyright enforcement is part of their so-called self-interest, but that doesn't make it valid - in my eyes.

In short, that a recording is non-western doesn't mean it's free for the taking (although that is the de facto reality in many places of the world, and I see nothing wrong with this). However, the status quo isn't for the RIAA's fucking with, either, unless it's their product being stolen.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Imperial socialism, then. (3.50 / 6) (#112)
by RobotSlave on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:06:14 PM EST

Let's talk about "pompous, arrogant fetishism."

Fetishism can be used to describe the attribution of socialist virtue to third-world cultures, when in fact they do not aspire to such "virtue," let alone embody it.

Arrogant might be used to describe the assumption that no-one who disagrees with you can possibly have any understanding of the world other than that dictated by the System of Capitalist Mind-Control.

Pompous could describe any screed in which predetermined ideology takes precedence over fact, reason, or even the subject at hand.

Imperial Socialism incidentally, would describe any attempt to impose socialist values on cultures that do not necessarily want them, and repeated blanket attribution of a socialist value system to all producers of non-western music in the course of debate hardly indicates an absence of imperial ambition.

I already know where the hard-line socialists stand on this issue. I understand your position perfectly, believe me. I think I could even cite chapter and verse from Das Kapital to explain it. I've been educated, you see, but for some strange reason, it seems I haven't been converted.

Keep at it, though. There might be a reader or two out there who haven't heard the Good News yet.

[ Parent ]

"world or non-western music" (3.00 / 3) (#128)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:27:22 PM EST

So that would be: pop, rock, soul, blues ... world music. Hardly promises a wide selection, does it?

[ Parent ]
Don't need file-sharing. (3.12 / 8) (#53)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:57:32 PM EST

The industry gave us a perfectly suitable, inexpensive alternative. Why are you people still whining? I'm far happier with the music industry right now than I ever have been.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
It looked interesting, until . . . (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by acceleriter on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:10:51 PM EST

In order to register for RHAPSODY, you must use one of the following browsers:

    * Internet Explorer 5.0, or newer
    * Netscape 6.0, or newer

Please note: In order to use RHAPSODY, you will need to have Internet Explorer 5.0 or newer installed on your computer.

[ Parent ]

Great. (none / 0) (#65)
by qpt on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:15:52 PM EST

I have version 6.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

It already has a couple of legal competitors (2.25 / 4) (#107)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:00:26 PM EST

One of them might work under Linux, although my understanding is that they are not as complete as Rhapsody, but that's to be expected when you don't have a complete Operating System.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
moron (3.00 / 2) (#118)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:13:55 PM EST

but that's to be expected when you don't have a complete Operating System.

That is to be expected when you have idiots designing your website.

[ Parent ]

It has nothing to do with the website (1.00 / 1) (#122)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:19:05 PM EST

The application itself is a plugin for IE. Making it work under an alternative browser would drastically increase develpment costs, and be a insanely foolish business decision.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
which in turn (5.00 / 1) (#134)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:32:18 PM EST

has nothing to do with the OS. They should have thought of using browser-independent technologies.

[ Parent ]
HINT: (1.00 / 2) (#141)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:46:29 PM EST

Nobody cares about your childish ideals.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
right (none / 0) (#396)
by werner on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:02:38 PM EST

Nobody cares about your childish ideals.

Read: I can't answer that.

[ Parent ]

Increase costs? (none / 0) (#459)
by Sloppy on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 02:14:50 PM EST

All they have to do is not make it an application that works as a plugin at all; just serve the file. Then it'll work with every browser that existed in the past or exists in the future, and development costs are even lower.

It does seem likely that the website was made by idiots; otherwise, why would the subject of "plugins" even come up? This is just music, not some totally new class of media that no one has ever heard of before. Whoever came up with the idea of using a plugin, was operating under the "hammer is the only tool I know about, so everything is a nail" approach. That sounds a lot like an idiot to me.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Would you recommend it? (none / 0) (#69)
by qpt on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:17:02 PM EST

I had not heard of the service, but it very much looks like something I would find appealing, and at a fantastic price.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

They don't say... (none / 0) (#79)
by levesque on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:29:55 PM EST

...what songs you will be allowed to burn until you pay. I heard the selection of burnable songs is pitiful.

[ Parent ]
Then don't burn them (none / 0) (#87)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:41:31 PM EST

You're allowed to listen to as many as you want, as many times as you want. If you like it, buy the CD. That's the whole point. You only pay ten bucks a month for the service, and don't to worry about buying a CD you don't like ever again. It's not intended to replace CD buying, it's intended to replace file-sharing for a reasonable price, and does so beautifully. For me, it also replaced CD buying, since I'm always near a computer, but that's a special case.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
I beg to differ (none / 0) (#105)
by levesque on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:00:15 PM EST

The only possible convenience for me is obtaining a song for a price, in this area the service is awful.

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#101)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:55:39 PM EST

For my tastes, its far better than file sharing ever was. For example, it was always hard as hell to find reliable classical or jazz on Kazaa or Napster; Rhapsody has an extensive collection of both (although the classical is all Naxos, which will offend some purists) The files are already organized by album, artist, and genre, and samplers have been created for each style and many artists. There are some annoying gaps (such as the lack of any Radiohead or Beatles, due to difficulties reaching an agreement with Radiohead and Michael Jackson, respectively) But in my experience, the gaps are less annoying than the ones I encountered on Kazaa. (Furthermore, the gaps can be worked around using the included radio stations)


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
Yes I do (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:55:08 PM EST

The industry gave us a perfectly suitable, inexpensive alternative. Why are you people still whining?

Because inexpensive != free.



[ Parent ]
Well, (3.00 / 2) (#150)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:04:45 PM EST

At least you're honest about being a greedy little twit.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
Greedy? (none / 0) (#152)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:09:35 PM EST

Nah, greed is when you want more than you deserve.

[ Parent ]
Good point (3.66 / 3) (#155)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:19:17 PM EST

The world exists for your sole use and benefit, don't ever forget that.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
No (5.00 / 2) (#163)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:56:25 PM EST

It exists for everyone's use and benefit.

[ Parent ]
Hey man, (5.00 / 1) (#180)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:14:23 PM EST

I got no beef with socialism, but I gotta say this is a really pussy way to go about your revolution.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
It has nothing to do with socialism (none / 0) (#193)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:30:06 PM EST

It's capitalism, without government granted monopolies.

[ Parent ]
You just keep repeating that. (2.33 / 3) (#198)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:00:58 PM EST

Sooner or later, you might convince one person who wouldn't have believed it otherwise. That won't make any difference, but it'll make it easier for you to keep yourself convinced that your economic philosophy is not complete nonsense.


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
And no one deserves (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by FieryTaco on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:49:55 PM EST

No one deserves any more music than they can compose and sing, hum, whistle, strum, stroke, strike, bow, blow, suck, key, tap, clap, ....

Nobody deserves the result of anyone else's efforts.

[ Parent ]

I'm sure (none / 0) (#311)
by trane on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:15:38 AM EST

the really, really, great artists, those concerned primarily with the benefit of mankind and trying to spread happiness rather than with the amount of money they made, would disagree with you...

The quality of everyone's music would increase, if they had access for free to music produced by others.

[ Parent ]

two problems (none / 0) (#330)
by FieryTaco on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:15:58 AM EST

First you have an implicit assumption that "really, really, great artists" are altruists and don't have an interest in financial security, luxury and prosperity. And even the altruists may not disagree with me. My problem with the original statement is that people deserve the fruits of other people's labors. That's false.

And your second paragraph is just plain wrong. I'm not going to get into arguments about it because I don't want to get into the typically points that people bring up when arguing this subject. (patronage, the easy of copying bits, the concept of intellectual property, etc)

[ Parent ]

ok.... (none / 0) (#437)
by trane on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 04:42:39 AM EST

Here are some of the ones I consider "really, really great artists": Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Van Gogh, Socrates, Kafka, others I can't think of right now.

People might not deserve the fruits of others labors, but I think that the above would agree with me that the world would be a better place if people had easy access to their (the artists') labors.

I don't think my second paragraph is wrong. It seems obvious to me that the more knowledge is available to people, the better their art will be.

[ Parent ]

Oh! Really? (none / 0) (#439)
by osukaru on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 04:53:59 AM EST

Nobody deserves the result of anyone else's efforts.

Well, you see. That's your vision, man. I believe I deserve the result of your effort as much as you deserve the result of mine. This is what society is all about, isn't it?

[ Parent ]

the alternatives... (none / 0) (#274)
by pb on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:02:50 AM EST

The current state-of-the-art in paying for music online is outlined quite well here; it looks like all four of these services are Windows-only, and rely heavily on Windows Media Player and DRM; also, the selection is necessarily limited, and the amount of songs you can actually burn is even more limited. But hey, it's legal.

Also, it sounds like some of these songs can be downloaded and added to your digital music library, but will not play anymore once you stop subscribing. Some "library" that is... I don't know if all the services work like this, but that's what the propaganda over at pressplay claimed for their site.

Incidentally, since you actually use one of these services, I'd find it interesting if you could write up a review about the pluses and minuses and post it here (as a top-level comment or something). Obviously you're a satisfied customer, and it sounds like a lot of people here don't know they have any legal alternatives for getting their music online.

I think that if a company comes up with a service like this that affords its customers a reasonable amount of music a month, legally and for the right price, (and in my case, on the right OS, and with the right amount of control over said music :) they could corner the market, and make a bundle on it! I don't think that day has come yet, but it looks like it's getting closer...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Competition for the RIAA (4.14 / 7) (#70)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:20:49 PM EST

For years, the RIAA has been ripping off its customers. While they have cut costs by moving from cassette to CD, we have paid more, and we know it.

Now that there is an alternative in the form of P2P networks, ripped-off music buyers are understandably using it. The RIAA is in a panic, as any monopoly would be. Instead of finally learning to respect their customers, they would rather alienate them further by demonizing and prosecuting them.

The RIAA will never catch up with P2P - as soon as everyone is on freenet-like networks, they will be chasing shadows - so their only option is to start giving their customers what they want. They must compete.

If you think about it, it wouldn't be so hard for them: offering high-quality recordings for download is simple, charging for them is simple (PayPal, CC, monthly subscription etc.). They could clearly offer a convenience beyond that of any P2P, especially freenet. Throw in some content - tour dates, interviews, forums - and the RIAA could have the stickiest website in the world. They only have to get the price right.

There is no reason why the RIAA cannot marginalize P2P sharing, but not with their current tactics. Their only option is to compete.

I think you're mistaken (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:43:05 PM EST

The RIAA will never catch up with P2P - as soon as everyone is on freenet-like networks, they will be chasing shadows - so their only option is to start giving their customers what they want.

It seems clear to me that well before most people are on freenet-like networks, freenet-like networks will be declared illegal.

I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt that I am.



[ Parent ]
On the other hand. (none / 0) (#93)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:45:54 PM EST

Does it matter? Am I the only one who would continue using a freenet-like network long after it's been declared illegal? Do I look like I care? Do you?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I do (none / 0) (#99)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:55:08 PM EST

I suppose those with technical knowhow will always be able to get around it, so long as they are willing to risk imprisonment. At some point the stakes will most likely be raised high enough that I won't take my chances.



[ Parent ]
I don't see the stakes ever being raised so high. (none / 0) (#108)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:02:55 PM EST

Frankly, I'm not sure that anyone's going to tolerate them being raised so high without the situation escalating rapidly into a more general crisis. It is a historical truth that technology is the vehicle that undermines existing legal foundations and power relationships, be it in so-called "totalitarian" countries or here in the U.S.

Long before the question of the freenet network paradigm itself, I think the very concept of the Internet as a network of free-flowing information would have to be addressed more comprehensively in the juridical sense, in ways more extensive than "expanded wiretapping" or e-mail surveillance or whatever. If things ever come to that juncture, which they may if the Internet and computers become a powerful enough "problem" for the ruling class. I don't tend to have a very rich imagination for such scenarios - I leave it to science fiction writers and technocrat fetishists. But it's a possibility, certainly.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Freenet is awfully "dangerous" (none / 0) (#121)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:18:10 PM EST

Frankly, I'm not sure that anyone's going to tolerate them being raised so high without the situation escalating rapidly into a more general crisis.

I look at laws like the DMCA and the No Electronic Theft Act and I think the tendency is to do exactly that. And freenet facilitates more than just copyright infringement.

I hope you're right. But the spread of freenet would drastically change this country. Besides eliminating copyright law and laws against pornography it could be used for money laundering, tax evasion, practicing law without a license, practicing psychoanalysis without a license, spamming, gambling, etc. I think it'd be a great thing, but somehow I doubt those in power would see it as anything but a threat to their power.



[ Parent ]
Hmmm. (none / 0) (#129)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:28:29 PM EST

I think for the most part eliminating such laws through the use of technology is a good thing, although invariably it will lead to problems and possibly the formation of new criminal markets and/or intensification of existing problems.

However, in its current technological level, I don't see Freenet or similar paradigms doing any of that. For some of the more elaborate things you mentioned to take place, I think it would first be necessary to produce specially dedicated hardware and other enhancements on the "supply" end, rather than regular personal computers. And I doubt any firm will fulfill that "demand."

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Well (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:43:08 PM EST

For some of the more elaborate things you mentioned to take place, I think it would first be necessary to produce specially dedicated hardware and other enhancements on the "supply" end, rather than regular personal computers.

Anonymous communication leads to anonymous payment channels. That leads to all the rest. No hardware necessary.

I'm too tired to get into details. :) Seriously. Maybe some other time.



[ Parent ]
Details. (3.66 / 3) (#147)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:57:06 PM EST

Perhaps it's because the details don't really exist yet, and any discussion of them is purely academic speculation. Good if you're a science fiction author, bad if you're practical.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

In America perhaps. (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:08:16 PM EST

The internet is bigger than the US. The RIAA will find it very hard to get things banned in Europe and the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]
So? (none / 0) (#124)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:20:46 PM EST

The RIAA will find it very hard to get things banned in Europe and the rest of the world.

Europe will be easy. Other parts of the world perhaps not so much, but who cares? If other parts of the world don't agree, the RIAA will stop creating products for those parts of the world.



[ Parent ]
banning freenet in Europe (3.50 / 2) (#135)
by werner on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:36:49 PM EST

would not be easy. Moreover, ceasing to peddle their wares in any market can only reduce sales and clear the way for P2P. That would be about the worst thing the RIAA could do.

[ Parent ]
They are competing (none / 0) (#117)
by CaptainZornchugger on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:11:29 PM EST

www.listen.com


Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
[ Parent ]
Non-US residents need not apply [n/t] (none / 0) (#164)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:56:55 PM EST


I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
I am a Linux user (5.00 / 1) (#277)
by werner on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:16:35 AM EST

in Germany who doesn't own a credit card. This website is utterly irrelevant to me. Although I hear good reviews about the site, they will have to try harder to interest me.

[ Parent ]
Freedom of Culture and Information (3.28 / 7) (#83)
by cronian on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:34:57 PM EST

The corporations who control TV and radio exercise great control over what culture and information people are able to see. I don't see why I should be forced to watch their propoganda (commercials, news, war coverage, etc.) simply to access the popular TV shows and music.

Some might argue that I could simply avoid these things, but they are a part of culture, and I will probably require alternatives. Why should I be forced to support a few large corporations or go through extraordinary effort for something our society deems essential.

I fully support P2P networks because they allow people to ween themselves from a system of propogandistic support of a few large corporations. People can listen to music or watch popular tv shows and movies without supporting the any of these large corporations in actions both small and large. P2P networks help to provide a needed check on attempts to stifle free expression.



We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
Questionable Reasoning (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:16:59 PM EST

The corporations who control TV and radio exercise great control over what culture and information people are able to see. I don't see why I should be forced to watch their propoganda (commercials, news, war coverage, etc.) simply to access the popular TV shows and music.
Because the corporations own and produce the popular television shows and music. You have to jump through whatever hoops they say you do. By the same token, I have the right to say, "I'm going to put on a concert this weekend...but I'm going to do it on a small raft in the middle of Lake Tahoe, and if you want to hear it you'll have to swim out to meet me."

Now, you could use a boat. You could set up a long-range microphone on the beach. You could built a helicopter backpack, and sputter around in the air above me while I play. These are loopholes in my strategy, and they're perfectly legal (FAA certification notwithstanding). Similarly, you can change the channel during a commercial break. But exercising a technological loophole doesn't invalidate the legal principle: that the corporations do have a right to control, and to try and profit from, their own creations.

Some might argue that I could simply avoid these things, but they are a part of culture, and I will probably require alternatives. Why should I be forced to support a few large corporations or go through extraordinary effort for something our society deems essential.
This is inconsistent. Suffering through commercials in order to watch these shows in also "part of our culture." Society deems commercials to be "essential" in the same social sense by which you label popular entertainment "essential." Common cultural references are often made to commercials ("Where's the beef?"). Try avoiding commercials during SuperBowl weekend, and see how "hip" you feel.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Legal principle. (5.00 / 1) (#132)
by valeko on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:30:59 PM EST

I don't think he's saying that this is the proper way to interpret the existing legal principle. He's saying that the legal principle is wrong, and that the legal framework is an edifice basically constructed, at least in this area, for the benefit of corporations and capital, together with its doctrines of intellectual "property."

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

PUBLIC airwaves (5.00 / 3) (#137)
by cronian on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:40:19 PM EST

Certain corporations for some reason get the exclusive rights to brodcast on the public airwaves. They basically steal the public's right to the use the airwaves for transmitting content. It isn't even true that there isn't sufficient spectrum for pretty much open use of the spectrum. Likewise, private companies are somehow granted the right to control the wires to people's homes. These actions amount to a virtually free government granted monopoly.

These companies then use thier government granted monopoly to convince or brainwash people to want their music. People need a choice to supporting these companies which is provided by P2P. As an anology, I wouldn't support stealing brand name merchandise from the wall, but I would support allowing Hong Kong knockoffs in most cases. I think the old system rewards commercialization, and I think P2P networks help fight that. However, I think some sort of new gift economy model could replace be used which would reward innovation instead of commercialization.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]

Licensing spectrum (none / 0) (#160)
by subversion on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:40:27 PM EST

Is necessary.  Look at it this way - look at the pollution already extant in the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz bands, from short-range devices.

Now imagine the interference issues if everyone got to broadcast FM (an easily home-built 200 watt transmitter can carry 15-20 miles with a good antenna) at will.

Licensure is necessary.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Propagation (none / 0) (#215)
by metalfan on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:50:03 PM EST

Is quite often somewhat better than you suggest. There's a weather radio station here that uses 80W of power into an omni antenna (~9dBd or so, I think) and I've heard it at least 60km away. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes even further.

Granted, marine VHF receivers use a narrower signal and are generally higher quality than FM broadcast receivers, but the principles are the same.

If everyone was allowed to start their own FM broadcast station, the bands would be absolute mayhem, especially if there wasn't a power limit.

Another purpose of spectrum licenses is to protect other services from harmful interference.

In Canada, the aeronautical 2-way radio band is right above the FM broadcast band, so a poorly constructed FM broadcast station could conceivably cause big problems.

[ Parent ]
I speak from the perspective (none / 0) (#240)
by subversion on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:09:21 AM EST

Of working for a 200 watt FM broadcast station.  I know our contour - good reception for about 10-15 miles, mediocre reception for another 10-15 miles outside of that depending on terrain.

But yes, the bands would be mayhem if not for spectrum licensure.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

You mean 200 kilowatt (nt) (none / 0) (#331)
by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:18:03 AM EST



[ Parent ]
No, I don't. (none / 0) (#345)
by subversion on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:17:27 PM EST

I mean 200 watt Class D grandfathered non-com educational FM station.

OK?

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Change in paradigm needed (none / 0) (#257)
by heng on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:07:25 AM EST

Ultrawide Band

[ Parent ]
UWB is not suitable (none / 0) (#347)
by subversion on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:20:36 PM EST

For long distance applications, based on my reading of it.  Remember that GHz frequencies already have natural propagation distances of under 500 feet at their power limits - UWB, using higher frequency signals, is going to suffer even more from attenuation.

Also, UWB is just very narrow digital pulses - the narrower a digital pulse, the wider it's bandwidth.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

internet base stations (none / 0) (#387)
by cronian on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:25:07 PM EST

You could have internet connected all over the place in urban areas so there would be no need to transmit very far. In rural areas there would be less competition for the spectrum so it wouldn't be a real problem. Look at how many cell phones there are, and they only take up a small fraction of the entire spectrum. Besides, some of the frequency is still allocated to older cell phones which much less efficient in their use of the spectrum.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Ever looked at a spectrum allocation chart? (none / 0) (#462)
by subversion on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 03:55:04 PM EST

Here's one to look at, if you haven't.  PDF format.

Cellphones take up a minimal amount of spectrum.  Basically, UWB raises the local noise floor at all frequencies within its transmission range.  However, that transmission range is very short, which is why it's tolerable.

If UWB was suddenly space-filling, it would interfere with everything.  UK regulatory agencies are already reporting some interference problems with 3G cell systems and UWB.

UWB is only acceptable as a relatively low power short-range solution, because as a high power long-range solution it would have to be the only solution.  It has benefits, but also disadvantages, and bearing them in mind is probably a good idea.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

eliminating interference (none / 0) (#511)
by cronian on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 05:42:55 PM EST

Interference is only a problem when you try to have two brodcasts very close to each other in the spectrum. You can easily space frequencies out a little when you need to. More powerful brodcasts simply interfere in a larger area. However, powerful brodcasts would be highly uncessary in a city with lots of base stations. On the other hand rural areas would require many fewer frequencies, so more powerful brodcasts would be possible without intereference.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Young man... (none / 0) (#292)
by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:49:28 AM EST

These companies then use thier government granted monopoly to convince or brainwash people to want their music.

As Devo put it, Use your Freedom of Choice.

Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
[ Parent ]

I have a proposal (3.16 / 6) (#104)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:59:24 PM EST

One of the rationales behind file sharing (or viral theft as I like to call it) is that as the Evil Corporate labels usually hold the rights, the artists don't really have any say in it.  You're not hurting them, and they're only saying that it's bad because they're being paid to do so.

Tell you what, how about we put these students in a room with a few dozen artists, throw in some baseball bats, lock the door and leave them to it for half an hour.

Does that sound like fair way of finding out how much the artists care?

--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman

Yes... (3.00 / 2) (#146)
by TurboThy on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:55:19 PM EST

Might throw in Janis Ian, Moby and System of a Down while you're at it.
__
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
[ Parent ]
Now that's scary... (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by daliman on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:03:34 PM EST

Moby? Yeah, those vegans can be vicious bastards...

[ Parent ]
I think.. (none / 0) (#371)
by bhearsum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:28:44 PM EST

the point he was trying to make is that all these artists are pro-file sharing. At least, I know Moby, and SOAD are.

[ Parent ]
Here's a better idea (5.00 / 6) (#151)
by dipierro on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:08:35 PM EST

Put the 4 students, 4 artists, and 4 record label executives in the room.

[ Parent ]
Copyright is a privelege though, not a right... (4.50 / 6) (#133)
by loucura on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:31:20 PM EST

Copyright was originally a compromise between the needs of the society to have new content to advance the society, and the needs of the creators to make a living off from providing that content.

Not to say that copyright isn't important, but that copyright isn't a right that you have. You don't inherently own ideas that you have. You only have ownership of those ideas so long as society deems fit to recognise the ownership of them.

Copyright is a social contract, originally designed to give incentive to those creative people to create it.

Now, as for my assertion that copyright is a privelege, those Rights that we commonly assume to be Rights (In the United States), are ennumerated in the Amendments to the Constitution. Copyright is not mentioned in these Amendments, it is mentioned in the Constitution so far as to provide Congress with the power to determine the length of copyright term.

Congress can continue extending them, or (hypothetically) could make copyright a week, or not existant. In such a circumstance, it's impossible (as far as I'm concerned) to consider Copyright anything more than a privelege.

US Law (1.00 / 1) (#148)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:02:16 PM EST

Not to say that copyright isn't important, but that copyright isn't a right that you have.
Yes, it is. Let's clear up that misconception right now. You may not believe that copyright is a "natural right," given to Adam upon his creation by God, and so forth; but copyright is indeed a legally-protected and guaranteed right, in the United States.

Driving is a privilege. As far as I'm aware, there is no law anywhere in the 50 states that guarantees a citizen the right to drive. You must specifically request this privilege from your state government. After passing certain tests and qualifications, you may be granted that privilege. And the government reserves the right to revoke that privilege later, if you abuse it.

By contrast, copyright is a guaranteed right. You don't need to apply for a copyright. Copyright law protects your song, or poem, or painting from the moment you create it. You may register your copyright with the government, to facilitate its protection later, but you are not required to do so. Copyright is absolutely a "right," under US law. Period.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Equivocation of "rights" (5.00 / 1) (#167)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:08:56 PM EST

"Right" can mean two different things. Rights theorists distinguish between "natural" and "artificial" rights, and copyright most certainly is the latter type. Unfortunately for what you're trying to say, an artifical right is nearly indistinguishable from what we term a "privilege"; consider the example of driving, which you've already brought up. Obviously, you must apply for a permit from the government to drive, so driving is a "privilege".

Yet under the original implementation, one had to apply (register) in order to receive the benefit of copyright's protection. In fact, you not only had to register a work, you had to jump through a couple of other hoops like donating a copy to the Library of Congress. If you didn't jump through the hoops and register properly, courts would rule against you when you attempted to defend your so-called "right"; look into copyright-related case law and you'll find that the "he didn't register it properly" defense was once a remarkably popular and effective one.

The idea that a work is copyrighted fom the moment of creation, sans registration, is a fairly recent one in American copyright; would you argue that before that idea was incorporated into law, copyright was simply a "privilege"?


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

rights theorists (5.00 / 4) (#211)
by FieryTaco on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:39:33 PM EST

Rights theorists basically make a list of what they think is cool and express those as natural rights. Unless this is their list, they are wrong:
1. The "right" to keep, and do, only what you can prevent others from taking, or stopping.
That's it. Nothing else is a right. The right to life? Sorry, that only extends as far as you can keep a lion or the ebola virus from eating you. The right to property? Nope, only to the extent that you can stop someone else from taking it. The right to communicate? Wrong again, if it's possible for someone to shut you up, then you don't have the "natural" right to communicate.



[ Parent ]

Yes! (5.00 / 1) (#223)
by valeko on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:19:34 AM EST

Finally, a refreshing exposure of the fallacy of "natural" rights. That's something you can't take for granted on K5 these days, and certainly not a concept most Americans can grasp.

The logic of rights theorists would suggest that "natural rights" are a point of departure, and lions eating you, someone shutting you up, or nationalising your house are "artificial modifications" of these "natural" or "given" rights. What a pointless argument.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

So . . . (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:26:04 AM EST

You like Thomas Hobbes, eh?


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#229)
by valeko on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:29:38 AM EST

Why does dismissing the fallacious notion of "natural" rights imply that you're a Hobbesian?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Well . . . (5.00 / 2) (#232)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:18:36 AM EST

It seemed to me that the principle being advanced was "what's yours is yours only insofar as you can defend it", which is a pretty stereotypically Hobbesian view of the state of nature . . .


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, but... (5.00 / 1) (#241)
by valeko on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:11:40 AM EST

I'm not endorsing that principle per se, I'm just saying that it's the only actually-existing reality, as opposed to "natural" rights.

That doesn't mean that you should be pitted in a Darwinian struggle for resources, life, food, etc. with your fellow human beings or that this is the "proper natural state" of things. At least, I don't think so. Ask RobotSlave or bc if you want exponents of that view.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Thank you. (5.00 / 2) (#254)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:58:04 AM EST

That doesn't mean that you should be pitted in a Darwinian struggle for resources, life, food, etc. with your fellow human beings or that this is the "proper natural state" of things. At least, I don't think so.

It's nice to see somebody else thinks that . . .


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Rights vs. Privileges (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by cyclopatra on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:55:12 PM EST

The basic difference between a right and a privilege (under US law) is this: the government cannot legally remove your rights. That's why, when an unconstitutional law is passed, US citizens can sue the government and have it overturned. Copyright fails this test, because while the Constitution gives Congress the power to make laws protecting copyrights, it does not require it to do so, or forbid it from making copyright violations legal. Thus, copyright is a privilege afforded you by Congress, not a right granted to you under the Constitution.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Well, actually... (none / 0) (#227)
by cribcage on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:28:21 AM EST

The basic difference between a right and a privilege (under US law) is this: the government cannot legally remove your rights. ... Copyright fails this test...
Well, not to be contrary, but under US law, just about any "right" can be removed, under certain circumstances. Right to life? Capital punishment. Right to liberty? Incarceration. Free speech? Yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, and see where you end up.

Copyright is listed in the US Constitution, by the way. I figure you already know this: but it's not part of the USC, which is written by Congress. It's laid out in Article I of the Constitution.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything that doesn't fail the test you've laid out. So it doesn't carry much weight.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
You mean... (5.00 / 1) (#234)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:36:02 AM EST

"The Congress shall have power...To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;..."?

Note the wording. Congress has the *power* to do so, not the *requirement* to make such laws. In other words, any copyright protection that is extended to an artist is a privilege granted to the artist at the discretion of Congress (within the limits of the "limied times" provision, which IMO they've gone beyond already, but that's a thorny set of arguments). They are not *forbidden* from removing all copyright from US law, as they are forbidden, for example, from making any laws pertaining to the establishment of religion.

As for your bits about "life, liberty" and so on, that's from the Declaration of Independence, *not* the Constitution, and has no force of law in the US. The Constitution provides quite well for the legality of arrest and punishment for crimes. As for yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, please don't be ridiculous. Claiming that this is an infringement of your right to free speech is like saying that telling someone "I will pay you $X to kill this person" is protected under the first amendment.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

US Law (none / 0) (#357)
by Sloppy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:01:48 PM EST

Not to imply the creators of the constitution are infallible (I think it's perfectly ok to attack the constitution for the purpose of perfecting it), but here is what they said:
The Congress shall have power ... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries
Yes, they use the word "right" but read the whole thing before you point at it and jump up and down basking in the glory of victory. ;-)

If they had viewed copyright as you do, then it would have talked in terms of preserving this "right" and protecting it from the government, rather than creating it. (Take a look at how they addressed other rights, especially in the Bill of Rights.)

Nor would it have bothered to explain what this "right" was for. There isn't any stated purpose to the rights of free speech, bearing arms, fair trials, etc. except the general values of liberty and justice. The fact that copyright is talked about as being a means to accomplish such a specific end, reveals quite a bit about their thinking. It is a perversion of their intent, to lose sight of that end.

Now, you might view this as an error in the Constitution (either as a fault in the framers' values, or as a faulty expression of the their values), but there it is. At least under our current law, copyright is nowhere near being an inalienable right in the same class as what we normally consider to be "rights." It is conditional.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Constitution doesn't enumerate your rights (5.00 / 1) (#261)
by jeti on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:29:03 AM EST

Now, as for my assertion that copyright is a privelege, those Rights that we commonly assume to be Rights (In the United States), are ennumerated in the Amendments to the Constitution.

Help! As far as I understand your constitution, it _does not_ enumerate your rights. It does enumerate basic rights that must not ever be taken away by the US government.

[ Parent ]

How is that different from what I said? (none / 0) (#428)
by loucura on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:57:39 PM EST

Oh, and a 'simple' amendment to the Constitution can repeal portions of the Constitution. It's how we got rid of Prohibition.

[ Parent ]
The constitution does not enumerate your rights. (none / 0) (#468)
by vectro on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 09:24:18 PM EST

Rather, it enumerates the powers of the government, which are limited in certain ways. So any law congress passes must fall under at least one of the powers granted; otherwise it is reserved for the people and the states.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Huh? (3.33 / 3) (#143)
by TurboThy on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:50:07 PM EST

You apparently think you have a "right" to obtain anything you want -- and if it isn't easily found for sale, then it's OK if you steal it. So your favorite '80s record isn't available anymore. You don't think the artist or record company has the right to pull a product from the open market?
Yes, they have the right to stop their sales. And if they aren't interested in commercializing their IP anymore, then what harm may come from my leeching it over LimeWire? If they don't want me to have it, then they bloody well shouldn't have published it first place.
__
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
"Commercialization" Isn't the Point. (1.00 / 1) (#154)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:11:52 PM EST

Yes, they have the right to stop their sales. And if they aren't interested in commercializing their IP anymore, then what harm may come from my leeching it over LimeWire?
I'm having trouble understanding how so many people can completely miss the point of "profit vs. control."

To answer your question: I offered numberous examples of what the "harm" in such a scenario might be:

...I can think of any number of reasons why an artist might not want his music shared online. Maybe he feels embarrassed by the quality of an early album, and he doesn't want it expanded beyond its initial release. Maybe he's decided to change direction, musically, and he doesn't want continued circulation of his older works. Maybe he feels that MP3 compression unacceptably distorts music, and he doesn't want his songs distributed in that format. Hell, maybe he originally released 64 copies of an album as part of a conceptual performance artwork, and expanding its circulation will somehow violate the integrity of that work.

Ultimately, an artist's reasons for wanting to limit distribution of his music are none of your damn business. Copyright law gives him the right to do that, if he chooses. And the moment you become a distributor of copyrighted music, you are violating that right.
Now, if you disagree with one of those scenarios, that's fine. Post your thoughts, and let's debate. But you've posted a question which is directly addressed in the article, and you've completely ignored all of the points I raised in response. That just seems stupid.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
'tis the influence of Litman (3.00 / 1) (#238)
by Keith Harper on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:01:53 AM EST

...one of Lessig's cronies, who tells us that copyright should be exclusively an exclusive right to commercial exploitation, rather than the broader basket of rights currently provided by the real-world law. Some of our more enthusiastic young intellects have gotten a bit ahead of themselves, and overlooked the fact that we do not yet live in a Litmanite utopia, where we all will be given free reign to empty the pockets of any artist who takes our fancy, provided we do not also line our own.

[ Parent ]
Tough luck, then... (5.00 / 1) (#282)
by TurboThy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:45:03 AM EST

...because under Danish copyright laws, once you have publicly published a copyrighted work, you cannot demand it's retraction. All you can demand is that a) you are named in connection with the work and b) that your artistic or literary reputation is not harmed. Whether instance b) is covered by your example: Maybe he's decided to change direction, musically, and he doesn't want continued circulation of his older works. -- well, no, he should have thought of that before publishing it. Whether it is covered by: ...maybe he originally released 64 copies of an album as part of a conceptual performance artwork, and expanding its circulation will somehow violate the integrity of that work. -- I guess that's why we have lawyers :o) Also note that under Danish copyright law, it is perfectly legal to borrow your friend's cds, burn and keep copies and return your friend's cds. Thus, it is also legal to "loan" (download) an mp3 file and copy it.
__
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
[ Parent ]
Good old American ingenuity... (5.00 / 3) (#149)
by pb on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:04:43 PM EST

The RIAA is seeking the maximum legal penalty -- $150,000 for every copyrighted work that was downloaded. If successful, the students would lose something in the neighborhood of a hundred billion dollars.
It's a good thing the RIAA has decided to move away from businesses and start prosecuting where the real money is--college students. And at $150,000 a song, that's almost twice as much as the "value" of the E911 document, which was actually worth about $13, while a song generally sells for $1 or so. Yes, with a 2600% inflation rate, this is one of the fastest-growing segments of frau...err, criminal justice yet!

...so, when can we expect the RIAA to start their own law firm? Even if they just donated 1% of the proceeds to the US government, I think we should be able to erase the national debt in no time! And if we could get them working with the ICC, we should be able to collect trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, since there is so much more piracy there, and many college students as well!
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

Multiple problems here. (5.00 / 13) (#165)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 07:58:20 PM EST

First, you've erected a straw man:
The file-traders' bottom line is pretty simple: "We hate the RIAA." Their two most common arguments are:
  • "We need P2P, because the RIAA and Clear Channel control the radio. Everything on FM is the same, and P2P is the only way we can discover independent music."
  • "The RIAA isn't losing any sales. Most of the songs we download are just singles we heard on the radio. We only wanted each single, so we wouldn't have bought the complete albums, anyway."
I don't think that's a particularly accurate characterization of the position.

Second, you misunderstand copyright law:

But the basic point misunderstood by nearly every file-trader is that copyright law isn't designed to protect money. It's designed to protect control. By file-sharing an artist's copyrighted music, you are violating that artist's right to control his own work.
That's how it works in Europe, where copyright is considered a "moral right" and authors have the right to control the integrity of their work. But in the United States, copyright is not designed to "protect" anything; it's designed to encourage the sharing of ideas. By granting you a temporary and carefully circumscribed monopoly on distribution, we gain the benefit of your thoughts and ideas.

Third, you propagate a popular myth about copyright:

For the record: Any unauthorized distribution is a violation of copyright law, whether or not you profit from it.
This is factually inaccurate; fair use exceptions do allow for unauthorized distribution in some circumstances.

Fourth, you again misunderstand the nature of copyright:

If you're trading copyrighted works, you're breaking the law and violating people's rights.
There is no "right" involved, despite recent ad hoc attempts to justify intellectual property as "property", e.g., on a Lockean basis. In the United States, copyright is a privilege, granted for a limited duration and with limited scope by the government. It is under no circumstances a "right".

Finally, you appear to be woefully ignorant of modern coyright statutes:

Breaking the RIAA's stranglehold on the music industry is a laudable goal. But we shouldn't pursue that goal at the expense of Constitutional copyright law. "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." I believe in that, and I believe it's worth preserving. And that's my bottom line.
Copyright law has moved far beyond the scope intended in the Constitution, and with the ruling in Eldred v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court may have given Congress the green light for the final demolition of Constitutional copyright via perpetual copyright "on the installment plan" -- twenty years here, twenty years there. Also, please note again that the intended purpose of copyright as named by the Constitution differs wildly from your repeated and erroneous assertion that "control is the primary motivation behind copyright".

And that's just what I found in five minutes of skimming your article; if I went back and dug out my sources (I spent six months last year researching the legal and philosophical aspects of copyright for a paper), I'm sure I could point out more problems, but this is enough. -1.


--
You cooin' with my bird?

"Skimming." (2.00 / 6) (#170)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:25:13 PM EST

In the United States, copyright is a privilege , granted for a limited duration and with limited scope by the government. It is under no circumstances a "right".
Well, aside from the above, which is just flat-out wrong, you take a few odd angles. For example, you mention fair-use exceptions. You accuse me of "propagat[ing] a myth" by not mentioning fair-use exceptions. This is foolish. Fair-use exceptions are irrelevant to the issue, which is unauthorized file-sharing. Certainly, they warrant mention in a senior thesis on copyright, as you've apparently written; but they have little place in an Op-Ed column about P2P.

Other than that, I'll skip answering your other complaints. Your tone is both pedantic and condescending, which costs you a few points. What amuses me, however, is how you manage to adopt that tone out of one side of your mouth, while admitting from the other to barely "skimming" the article. Academics...you folks always make me chuckle. Tell you what: You gave me a laugh, so I won't "-1" you back. ;-)

Have a great night.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Oh, those silly academics . . . (5.00 / 2) (#171)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 08:31:56 PM EST

They make me laugh so much I won't even bother responding to their points.

Yup, heck of an argument you got there.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Not quite so funny as the plebs (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by daliman on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 09:59:07 PM EST

The fact that fair use is irrelevant to the topic, doesn't change the fact that this statement - "For the record: Any unauthorized distribution is a violation of copyright law, whether or not you profit from it" - is wrong.

What amuses me, however, is how you manage to adopt that tone out of one side of your mouth, while admitting from the other to barely "skimming" the article. Academics...you folks always make me chuckle. Tell you what: You gave me a laugh, so I won't "-1" you back. ;-)

And that's just stupid. How does him being condescending have any relation to him only skimming the article? Especially when your reply is much more condescending...

Aside from that stupidity, I tend to support most of what you've said. I know that when I download movies and music I'm legally in the wrong (well, in the US anyway - probably in NZ too). I agree that it's probably morally wrong as well, and it is in a certain sense theft.

That said, I'm gonna keep on doing it anyway. File sharing has become too big to be stopped now, as more and more people come online it's just going to grow. The RIAA can sue all the students they want; they'll lost money every time, as it's costing them more to prosecute than they'll ever get out of those students.

Oh, and paying out academics is kinda admitting to a certain degree of ignorance...



[ Parent ]
i'll repeat this. (none / 0) (#208)
by FieryTaco on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:30:06 PM EST

Fair-use is explicit authorization to duplicate and in some circumstances distribute copyrighted material. The original statement is correct.

[ Parent ]
My Bad (none / 0) (#217)
by daliman on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:56:00 PM EST

Sorry, I didn't see the first one. *shrug* I knew I should have studied law, not computer science.

[ Parent ]
actually (none / 0) (#340)
by FieryTaco on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:47:06 AM EST

I didn't mean to imply that you should have seen a similar post earlier. Especially since I believe that you posted well before I ever did.... I just wanted to not for those who were going to be ranking the posts that it is a dupe. :)

[ Parent ]
Additionally (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by daliman on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:10:06 PM EST

If Aaron Sherman, Jesse Jordan, Daniel Peng, and Joe Nievelt are indeed guilty of the RIAA's allegations, then they're guilty of violating other people's rights without reason or justification, solely for their own benefit.

I think this is utter crap, but forgot about it the first time :-/ For their own benefit? How exacly do they benefit? For the benefits of all us other pirates and theives out here more likely...



[ Parent ]
Why Else? (none / 0) (#197)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:51:17 PM EST

For their own benefit? How exacly do they benefit?
I'm sure they felt terrific about themselves, as their own little networks picked up steam and facilitated thousands of trades. It's quite a feeling of accomplishment, creating something which people use and enjoy. I'm sure quite a few of their friends and classmates patted them on the back, as well.

But nevermind my speculation. What's your theory? If not for some personal benefit, why exactly did these four each decide to get into all this?

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
My theory? (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by daliman on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:16:42 PM EST

Pure altruism, they just wanted to help those users of course ;-)

Slightly more seriously, they don't get any significant gain out of it. Maybe they hone their l33t sk1llz setting it up or something, or a little emotional fix as their network takes off. No financial gain. I think that stating that it is solely for their own benefit is misleading, and that these networks were set up more to benefit others than to benefit those who set them up.

I also think that I should spend more time working, and less time browsing... Incidentally, neither of my two workplaces forbid running filesharing software at work, so the law must be more lax here. What are most workplace policies like in the US (well, in software related companies)?



[ Parent ]
Question. (none / 0) (#382)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:44:59 PM EST

It's quite a feeling of accomplishment, creating something which people use and enjoy.

So . . . in your worldview is ther eany such thing as altruism?


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

I think (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by roam on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:11:32 PM EST

the problem the author has with your opinions is that you're not treating them as opinion, you're treating them as fact, yet you have said nothing to back up your assertions.

Lets start at the top, first, you say he has "erected a strawman" and to back that up you say "I don't think that's a particularly accurate characterization of the position."

I think his points are a pretty accurate view of the most common arugments from the file-traders, yet you give no reason as to why it's not.

Third, on fair use:

"This is factually inaccurate; fair use exceptions do allow for unauthorized distribution in some circumstances. "

Ok, lets say it does allow for unauthorized distribution in some circumstances. Is this one of those circumstances. No? Then what does that have to do with the discussion?

Second, fourth, and finally are all the same point really, and that point is that you disagree with the way copyright is interpreted in the constitution.  Even the Supreme Court justices were debating amongst themselves as to whether copyright is for protection or for an intellectual commons (or both).

Yet instead of offering only your opinion, you claim the author is "woefully ignorant of modern coyright statutes".  He is obviously not woefully ignorant, but he does offer a different opinion.

I'm sure that in your "6 months of research" you have multiple sources that concur with your opinions, but you've offered none here.  Your interpretation differs from the authors, yet somehow your opinion is fact and his opinions are "woefully ignorant."

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Example: (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by ubernostrum on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:11:26 PM EST

Ok, lets say it does allow for unauthorized ,distribution in some circumstances. Is this one of those circumstances. No? Then what does that have to do with the discussion?

What did the original article say? "For the record: Any unauthorized distribution is a violation of copyright law, whether or not you profit from it." That statement is factually inaccurate. It makes no allowance for fair-use, regardles of whether it applies in this case. Thus it is propagating a myth about copyright and I called him on it.

if you'd like sources, first I'd recommned you look at Larry Lessig's "The Future of Ideas", Siva Vaidhyanathan's "Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity", and Jessica Litman's "Digital Copyright". Those are good primers; if you want more, I've got four folders worth of bookmarks on the subject I'd be happy to let you peruse. Unfortunately, it's bit much to unleash upon a k5 comment.

And if you actually do some research, you'll find that our author here is indeed woefully ignorant when it comes to copyright in the United States; that is not my opinion, it is a fact.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

fair-use (3.50 / 2) (#207)
by FieryTaco on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:27:12 PM EST

Fair-use is explicit authorization to make duplicates and in some very specific circumstances, distribute. The original statement stands.

And unless your four folders worth of bookmarks are to court decisions and federal law, they aren't worth anything. They are opinions and restatements and as such do not constitute authority.

[ Parent ]

Curious . . . (none / 0) (#228)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:29:01 AM EST

Do people have any freakin' clue how the legal system works? There's case law to support nearly every opinion under the sun. And as for anything else being merely "opinions and restatements", you ought to look up the history of corporate personhood, a doctrine which was essentially invented by a law clerk and never actually ruled upon or put into written law.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
I could care less (4.00 / 2) (#212)
by roam on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:44:37 PM EST

what the opinions of those authors are. The sources I was looking for are how the courts have treated the copyright issue.

Some opinions from authors with an agenda do not make fact.

My point is that you have provided no facts to back up your assertion that copyright law is only to be used for an intellectual commons type thinking.  You've given me some opinions from people, but how have the courts ruled?  It seems to me they have ruled in favor of the creator having explicit control, and therefore it is you who is woefully ignorant of the law.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Ah, I see. (5.00 / 1) (#226)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:27:20 AM EST

Well, U.S. courts have also ruled in the past that race-based discrimination was OK. Personally, I think the purpose of copyright is ideally expressed in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution: "to promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences".

That sounds like law to me.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Ah, I see. (none / 0) (#300)
by roam on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:40:51 AM EST

You conveniently leave out the part that casts doubt on your opinion:

"by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries"

What does "exclusive right" mean?

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
well, (5.00 / 1) (#317)
by pb on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:50:55 AM EST

If it means "the exclusive right" in the same way that "for limited times" means "for as long as humanly possible", then maybe it means "hardly any rights whatsoever"...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Seperate issue. (none / 0) (#327)
by roam on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:13:27 AM EST

If you think the copyright term is too long, that's fine, you can work to change it, but it's not related to the issue we're discussing.  

A limited time could be taken to mean authors lifetime + 70 years could it not?  Could you take exclusive right to mean "hardly any rights whatsoever"? Exclusive right is a pretty definite term.

What we are discussing is what the poster said:

"...the intended purpose of copyright as named by the Constitution differs wildly from your repeated and erroneous assertion that "control is the primary motivation behind copyright". "

Which is opinion and that is fine, but it's definitely not fact, actually, the courts seem to rule in the opposite of the poster's opinion.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
sure. (none / 0) (#341)
by pb on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:57:06 AM EST

A limited time could also be taken to mean 5 minutes; it all has to be evaluated in the greater context of "promoting the arts and sciences"; in that context, "authors lifetime + 70 years" is way way too long for the vast majority of works out there. There's a good dissenting opinion about it in the last copyright case to hit The Supreme Court, which discusses the economics of it all.

No matter how the courts rule, that doesn't change the fact that the poster in this case is correct, and since The Constitution isn't being followed on the point I cited, I see no reason to expect any other part of it to be followed correctly, in letter or in spirit. In fact, almost all of The Bill Of Rights is being misinterpreted or misapplied in one way or another these days as well. A classic example of this would be in the 2nd Amendment.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

If you agree with the poster (none / 0) (#342)
by roam on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:10:50 PM EST

then you would think he is correct.  The courts and I do not agree with his opinion, we think he's incorrect.

I think we can agree the constitution is vague in this section.

My opinion is that the copyright section was added so the author could have control and profit from his work for a limited time, otherwise the author would not release the work to the public.  Which is the reason why the "promoting the arts and sciences" phrase is included.  If the author lost control of his work and was unable to profit from it, what would be the point of releasing it?

Obviously many would still release into the public domain, but many create work to be able to profit, so they need control.  Therefore, I don't believe the section was added explicitly for the benefit of promoting the Arts and Sciences, it was added so that arts and sciences could benefit from the contributions of more people than it would have if the authors control was automatically lost.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
some of this is opinion, and some of it isn't. (none / 0) (#354)
by pb on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:43:05 PM EST

I think The Constitution is quite clear in this section, and it's being ignored. Obviously the author is given control of his work "for a limited time" precisely for the reason you cite. But there's supposed to be a balance here; there was once, and there isn't now. How many works have been released into the public domain lately? Depending on how you count, the answer is either zero, or negative.

I don't think there's any question about what the framers of the Constitution intended here; it's all spelled out in black and white. If they wanted to mention "control", they would have; obviously they were creating a limited monopoly, but realize that they considered the absolute maximum time this monopoly could last would be 28 years. And music wasn't protected for another 44 years, just "books, maps, and charts". Only in 1978 (191 years later) was the copyright term extended to life+50 years (instead of a maximum of 56 years); I'm positive the current situation isn't what the framers intended.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Wow. (5.00 / 1) (#381)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:43:22 PM EST

I would respond, but pb beat me to it and took the high ground.

Seriously, it seems to me that the intent of copyright is utiltarian; we, the people, make a deal with authors wherein they get a temporary, limited monopoly on distribution. In return, we get to see what they've come up with and, at the end of the proscribed period, anyone can make use of the work in any way.

Now, this does involve an element of control, but reasoning from that to "copyright's intended purpose is to protect control" (what the article claimed) is rather like saying that the intended purpose of the penal code is to maintain a high prison population.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Nope, I disagree. (none / 0) (#394)
by roam on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:51:54 PM EST

The intended purpose is to give authors the right to control their work, otherwise the author would, in many cases, not release it to the public. We would rather have it under the full control of the author (for a limited amount of time), than to not have it released at all.

The benefits to the public are not the main focus of this section. Although there are benefits we receive, the author probably would not release the material if they did not have the control that section provides, therefore the section is intended to protect control of the work.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#424)
by ubernostrum on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:22:39 PM EST

Although there are benefits we receive, the author probably would not release the material if they did not have the control that section provides, therefore the section is intended to protect control of the work.

Let me try this again. Yes, we grant control; it's the carrot by which we lead a stubborn donkey. But control isn't why we have copyright; you're confusing the means with the end. The copyright clause has the clearly stated end of promoting the arts and sciences, implemented by the means of granting temporary control. See?


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

How's the view from that high horse? (3.33 / 6) (#189)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:10:22 PM EST

Why don't people realize that these moral arguments against P2P are meaningless? It doesn't matter that it's wrong, people will still do it, and there is no technical way to prevent it. End of argument.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
It is an "Op-Ed" piece, after all. (4.00 / 4) (#192)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:22:52 PM EST

Why don't people realize that these moral arguments against P2P are meaningless? It doesn't matter that it's wrong, people will still do it, and there is no technical way to prevent it. End of argument.
For that matter, why hold an opinion on much of anything? My response to the antiwar protestors is, "I disagree with you"; but I suppose yours is, "Well, Bush went to war, and there's nothing you can do to stop him, so just shut up."

Your argument isn't really objecting to my position. You're basically objecting to Op-Ed pieces, in general. And certainly, that's a valid opinion; but as long as K5 maintains an Op-Ed section, columns like this will be perfectly appropriate.

The idea is to try and elevate the level of discussion. And to those who simply say, "Why have any discussion?" I wonder, "Why are you reading this?"

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Not at all (none / 0) (#195)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:39:29 PM EST

I wrote an article on traffic laws last year and I was accused of this a few times - "why write an article? it's not going to change anything." I disagree of course, I believe that if more people were conscious of violations of their civil liberties we'd be in better shape. This article, on the other hand, flies in the face of human nature. As do all moral arguments against crimes like this. We're going to assume two things: One, people like to get something for nothing. Maybe you restrain that urge, I don't. But I don't think it'll accomplish anything to justify to you why I use P2P. Two, technology has always enabled unauthorized copying. Short of draconian legislation there is no way of forcibly preventing copying. Put those two together and I see no reason to explain why everyone who copies music is bad. It's still going to happen. This isn't a probably-not-going-to-happen like my article on raising unreasonable speed limits. This is an absolutely-no-fucking-way-people-will-stop-downloading-music issue.

In response to your antiwar comment: Yes it's true, I generally vote down antiwar articles. Part of this is because they're not going to change anything, the other part is they have been done to death. Every possible discussion has been had, every possible angle has been viewed. This is no different. While you're much more literate, your opinions are basically the same as those of countless others who express their frustration at the 'pirates' every day on web boards and USENET. Some are frustrated software developers, some are just people who like to feel morally superior. In any case, it's all been done before.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Not "Bad." (4.00 / 1) (#199)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:03:58 PM EST

One, people like to get something for nothing. Maybe you restrain that urge, I don't.
Well, it's true that I haven't ever used a file-sharing service. Frankly, in my case, it's less a question of morality. I would search for obscure jazz, mostly, which I don't expect to find on P2P; and if I did, I'd only be disappointed by the MP3 compression. I do think I would probably avoid it on "moral" grounds...but as things stand, that's a moot point.
I see no reason to explain why everyone who copies music is bad...
I don't think they are. I have good friends who I know to be file-traders, and I've never once lectured them on the subject. I get tired, however, of reading ignorant arguments by file-traders, like the ones I addressed in my column. Some of these arguments completely misrepresent copyright, and these arguments are made so damn often. I wanted to respond to them, once and for all (for myself). So I sat down, and that's what I did. I think it's fair game for an Op-Ed article. Don't you?

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
I can't imagine what those students are facing. (4.57 / 7) (#196)
by zipper on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 10:40:10 PM EST

I can't imagine what it feels like to be staring at the wrong end of a 97.8 billion dollar lawsuit. That's an almost cartoonish number... oh, who am I kidding, that IS a cartoonish number.

So turn to humor. Share and enjoy a bumper sticker and a tshirt design to draw attention to it. Before you bitch and complain about the designs, it's a joke. I don't take myself that seriously.

Point, laugh, and extend one glorious digit to a cartel that's abusing laws it bought. Requesting six times more money than they earned last year? More money than these students put together can even hope to achieve?

Riiiiight.

---
This account has been neutered by rusty and can no longer rate or post comments. Way to go fearless leader!
Get Real. (4.00 / 5) (#200)
by cribcage on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:06:39 PM EST

Come on, dude. Get real.

If you got sued for $97.8 billion, there's no way you'd have any damn T-shirt.

;-)

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's interesting (5.00 / 3) (#213)
by kitten on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 11:44:46 PM EST

And now I'm curious - by what stretch of the imagination are they justifying a request for over six times their annual revenue?

Or is it a case of "Ask for way the fuck more than you hope to ever get, and then 'settle' for a far lower amount, which is the amount you really wanted in the first place"?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Answer (2.33 / 3) (#220)
by cribcage on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:07:00 AM EST

what stretch of the imagination are they justifying a request for over six times their annual revenue?
Although comparing the number to the RIAA's revenue is fun, it really has no relevance. To answer your question, the dollar number is a result of the maximum penalty the law allows for each violation ($150,000). It has nothing to do with revenue, profits, or anything but a number set forth by a specific law.

BTW, the same information is clearly explained in the fourth paragraph of the article. I'm starting to understand how you've had such trouble grasping the "control" explanation; you simply read over it.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
That's even more stupid, though. (5.00 / 5) (#239)
by kitten on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:01:53 AM EST

To answer your question, the dollar number is a result of the maximum penalty the law allows for each violation ($150,000). It has nothing to do with revenue, profits

That's just another flag to me that says the law itself is wrong. It's pure malice, intended to intimidate and terrify rather than provide a reasonable recuperation of losses plus a moderate punitive fee (as a warning not to do it again).

The punishment just doesn't fit the crime.

And if the RIAA wants to be taken seriously, they should act sane about this. Determine how much "damage" they were caused by the perps, add a bit of punitive damages, and set that as the sum.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Isn't that the point of criminal law? (none / 0) (#260)
by xL on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:28:02 AM EST

If criminal law were only about compensation of costs, murderers should only need to compensate for funeral costs and perhaps psychotherapy of next of kin. Criminal law in most countries involves concepts like retribution and deterrence. This is a deliberate imbalance between the factual cost of the crime and the 'compensation' the state demands to justify the social costs of the crime as they are perceived by the lawgiver.

[ Parent ]
Criminal vs civil law (5.00 / 1) (#266)
by kitten on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:58:31 AM EST

If criminal law were only about compensation of costs, murderers should only need to compensate for funeral costs and perhaps psychotherapy of next of kin.

First, criminal law isn't civil law. The RIAA is filing a civil suit against the students, not having them arrested and prosecuted.

Second, in your example, the victim is the person who was killed. The next of kin are secondary victims.
That, plus the fact that a murderer or other violent criminal is a danger to society, is the reason they are locked away, so they cannot do it again. In theory, anyway..


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Of course the law is wrong (5.00 / 1) (#324)
by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:09:40 AM EST

$150,000 for copying one song/movie? That's larger than most state's fines for felonies! As a society, are we saying that copyright infringement is a worse crime than assault, incest, and break-and-enter? Or was that law bought and paid for by people who have lots of money, just so that they could make a little more? When a law is that obviously wrong, I have few compunctions about ignoring it.


[ Parent ]
This industry is pathetic (3.66 / 3) (#219)
by glauber on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:04:49 AM EST

If we were very lucky, all these recording companies would fail, and then we'd be forced to play our own music, as it used to be done before. Who knows, maybe we might have some original music again.


glauber (PGP Key: 0x44CFAA9B)

Free Joe (4.50 / 2) (#231)
by Anonymous 23477 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:01:54 AM EST

http://freejoe.servemp3.com/

aha! (none / 0) (#237)
by King Salamander on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:57:13 AM EST

So that's their plan, eh?
To sue enough people to purchase Africa. What will they do with all of that land and all of those people?
In a very real sense, *anyone* who makes a public issue out of the fact that they are involved with Linux in any way is seen as an advocate. (Derek Glidden)
[ Parent ]
A quote (3.50 / 2) (#233)
by tang gnat on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:24:11 AM EST

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right - some random sci-fi author.

I would add in this case: never confuse the law with what's right.

Random!?! (5.00 / 2) (#291)
by hawkestein on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:49:25 AM EST

Random sci-fi author, indeed! That quote comes from the great Isaac Asimov (it's from the Foundation trilogy, though I don't recall specifically which book).

[ Parent ]
Awww... that's too bad. (5.00 / 2) (#236)
by tang gnat on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:44:54 AM EST

I'll just have to use another filesharing network then!

Anyway, it won't be long before some people treat information piracy as a sort of civil disobedience. "Like dude, the establishment is wrong in regulating the private interactions of people." Then they'll have a Piracy Pride day, and a TV show about pirates called W1LL && grayz. Eventually the social stigma will be broken down, peoples' minds will be freed, and the pirates can come of the closet. I have a dream ... Yarr! Thar be some mighty fine music over there!

That, or the RIAA will put some serious pressure on, slowly crushing the P2P movement. That would take active regulation of the internet, mind you. Quite difficult.

Commentary. (4.66 / 6) (#242)
by kitten on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:33:24 AM EST

You apparently think you have a "right" to obtain anything you want -- and if it isn't easily found for sale, then it's OK if you steal it.

It isn't just "not easily found" - sometimes it's downright impossible, or prohibitively expensive. A lot of stuff from the 80s (or any other bygone era) is out of print - my "legal" options then are to spend a weekend hunting around in specialty shops or used record stores, hoping they'll have one album with the one song I want, then shelling out however much money to get an album full of songs I don't want, just so I can hear the one-hit-wonder song that's been stuck in my head for a few days.

I don't think so.

And exactly who am I "stealing" from? The artist? The band doesn't exist anymore. The individual members may or may not get royalties - they probably don't. Or if they do and the particular song I'm looking for is out of print, they wouldn't get the money anyway.
The label? Hey, they're the ones who made the thing unavailable or ridiculously difficult to get. And once again, if the album is out of print, they wouldn't see the money anyway.

Finally, you're ignoring the fact that in cases like these, where the music is old or from a defunct band or a one-hit-wonder, I would not buy the album. Period. It isn't worth the time, expense, and hassle. So they aren't going to see a dollar of my money regardless of whether filesharing is available or not. If it is available, I'll download the song, and they might get a new fan. If it isn't available, then I won't, but either way, my dollar stays in my wallet.

The phrase "forced to special order" clearly implies that you're not a fan of independent artists, so I'll assume you're not going to pretend that you care about their interests.

I don't understand how that follows.

You don't think the artist or record company has the right to pull a product from the open market?

Fine, they do. And when they do, that says to me: "We are no longer interested in trying to make money from this product."

At that point, what are my legal options? Go to a used record store? Well, the RIAA or the artist won't be seeing that money either, so what the hell do they care? Am I "stealing" from Nintendo if I go spend eight dollars on an old 8-bit NES console from a garage sale? If not, why?

There's plenty of ways, as RobotSlave pointed out, to obtain things other than paying the original producer. I could barter for an item, for example - and filesharing does just that: You let me have a couple mp3s, and I'll let you have a couple of mine.

Saying "forced to special order" is like saying you were "forced" to drive to the next town to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart. Those of us who do it, do it with pride.

Gimme a break. The people that do this sort of thing bitch endlessly about how they were "forced" to drive fifteen miles out of their way; WalMart "forced" them to do this because WalMart put all the little shops out of business, and our hero has "no choice" but to inconvenience himself so he can stick it to The Man.

Again: Control, not money, is the primary motivation behind copyright. (Money follows as a result of control.)

Money is the primary motivation behind just about everything. Control is merely a byproduct. And the artist himself doesn't have much say. If his album is doing fantastically well, but he decides he's embarrassed by it, the record label is going to keep selling it - they want more money. And on the flip side, if the arist is proud of his work but it just isn't selling, the label is going to pull it - regardless of what the artist wants. It's about money, not control.

Copyright law grants an artist the right to decide that he doesn't want to distribute his album any further, regardless of whether there happens to be another person who would like to own it.

Then copyright law is flawed. You cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube - once it's out, it's out. As noted above, the artist doesn't have that much control of the distribution of his work, but even if he did, once it's been introduced to the public, there's no way to just take it back with a quick technical fix.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
You don't get the album. (2.40 / 5) (#243)
by cribcage on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:54:14 AM EST

It isn't just "not easily found" - sometimes it's downright impossible, or prohibitively expensive.
So what?

You keep making this same argument, and you keep bulldozing right over the point. You don't have a right to obtain anyone's artwork. If it's impossible to buy, or prohibitively expensive, then you're fucked. It's as simple as that. You do not have any right to go and steal something simply because legal means of procurement are impractical or nonexistent.

You don't understand this simple point. I don't know why, but you don't. I explained that an artist has the right to pull his artwork from the shelves, and you replied, "At that point, what are my legal options? Go to a used record store?" Pay attention: Your legal options include never owning the record. You don't have a "right" to own anyone's musical work, and pulling his record from the shelves does not amount to the artist "forcing" you to steal it.

I swear to God, this is simple. As I wrote to you before: You're either missing or ignoring this point. Whichever it is, you're certainly persistent.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
uhh... (5.00 / 4) (#258)
by Rot 26 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:15:38 AM EST

That's just silly, saying that a creator has the full right to control the dissemination of their work is like saying that somebody who thinks up an idea or concept has the right to full control over its dissemination. The only real control a person has over their work is whether they choose to initially share it or not (i.e. a person can choose not to share a book they've written with anyone, but once they've shared it they have basically no control over how the text will spread).

Intellectual property is a severely misguided idea, you cannot own anything that is not a physical object or space.
1: OPERATION: HAMMERTIME!
2: A website affiliate program that doesn't suck!
[ Parent ]
Yep! (none / 0) (#395)
by valeko on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:00:35 PM EST

Intellectual property is a severely misguided idea, you cannot own anything that is not a physical object or space.

Quite right! And that is just what it boils down to, whether IP fetishists like it or not.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Right (none / 0) (#447)
by transport on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 09:10:59 AM EST

But the logical consequence of this is that the brilliant idea which somebody just had is never going to be of any use to anyone because he/she chose to keep it for him/herself, on the grounds that:
(1) that person is not able to realise, or does not see, the full potential of the idea by him/herself, and
(2) that person is scared of telling anyone of the idea because he/she has no way of making sure that he/she will benefit from it.
 
In other words, intellectual property rights of some kind is a necessary evil, if you want to move society forward.

[ Parent ]
What?? (none / 0) (#461)
by valeko on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 03:23:48 PM EST

No, intellectual property is not a necessary evil. There is absolutely no evidence that profiteering (in a practical way) from your idea is a genetically inherent trait of humanity, nor that the "full potential" of any idea is in economic terms. There is also no reason why the development my ideas must be a selfish process in which the governing consideration is whether one will "benefit" from it.

I realise, however, that moving beyond this primitive state of affairs requires in some people a transformation not short of religious conversion, since such impulses are inculcated in us with great emphasis by the institutional forces of capitalism.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Maybe I'm just cynical (5.00 / 1) (#483)
by transport on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:53:40 AM EST

<quote>
... moving beyond this primitive state of affairs requires in some people a transformation ...
</quote>
 
I would dearly love for you to be right, but it is really my impression that "some people" constitute the vast majority. It also seems to me that greed (in some form) is, and always has been, a fundamental driving force in what humans do. Even if it doesn't come from our genes. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
On the spot (5.00 / 5) (#259)
by xL on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:18:32 AM EST

But, at the same time, if you don't take into consideration the fact that copyright protection is an artificial, even quite recent, construct that puts protection on assets that can be reproduced at a friction of the cost of creating them. The intention of copyright is to offer time-limited monopoly rights over reproduction of a work as a compensation for the cost of creating the work.

The notion that copyright is a measure to control distribution is even younger and not necessarily seen as a universally valid view. Widening this scope of copyright misses the point that it is a legal construct that defies the reality where information has the potential to flow freely.

If you accept the original intention of copyright, its moral justification for forcing people to act as if Information Ownership is something other than an artificial fantasy is to recoup costs made to produce the work. In that context, if an artist stops selling a work it is not that far a stretch to assert this indicates the artist or publisher no longer desire to exercise their temporary monopoly rights. The social cost of copying has thus dropped to zero.

The author's right to "pull" a work, in my opinion, is really not that logical a conclusion in the first play. By publishing a work, as the word implies, it is released to the public. This is not a decision that can be un-made. The people already exposed to the publication cannot un-learn it. Asserting a right for an artist to do the impossible is senseless.

If the artist's creation is something entirely physical, I agree. A sculptor has the right to destroy his sculptures. A painter has the right to destroy his paintings. A musician has the right to destroy his mastertapes and original scores. He does not have the right to demand the already sold CDs back.

[ Parent ]

Why does he have that right? (5.00 / 2) (#273)
by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:53:58 AM EST

You don't have a right to obtain anyone's artwork. If it's impossible to buy, or prohibitively expensive, then you're fucked.

But why do they have the right to prevent me from owning a copy of their artwork?  Considering the nominal purpose of copyright is to encourage the creation (and presumably publication) of works, surely it goes against the intent of this to restrict access to these works.  Isn't it hypocritical to take advantage of a law designed to encourage publication, and use it to restrict publication?

The reason we have ownership laws on physical property is that only one person can own a specific item at any time.  It's simply a ratrioning system.  An unlimited number of people can own a copy of a piece of music at any given time.  Why should we restrict this?

[ Parent ]

And you don't get the point. (1.00 / 1) (#318)
by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:52:20 AM EST

Once an artist releases an album, they are giving up some of their control over it in exchange for getting paid. The exact amount of control that is given up varies according to the law of the land and the time, but its almost guaranteed that one of the rights that is given up is the right to recall sold copies. What is the act of releasing an artistic work for sale if not a license to buy and keep a copy? If an artist who wanted to recall all copies of one of their works went around to everyone who bought a copy and offered to refund their money in exchange for their copy, then you might have an argument, but as it stands, your argument is incorrect. Personally, I wouldn't spend a cent on artistic works if the artist could take them away at some arbitrary time in the future. Is that what you want for artists?


[ Parent ]
hmm (4.00 / 2) (#339)
by kableh on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:43:54 AM EST

It could be argued that just about any work these days is a derivative work of, well, all of human culture up to this point. In that case, if the artist wanted to "control" the distribution of their work completely, they'd be better off never releasing it to the public.

You seem to see this as a fairly black and white issue, but I'd argue that it isn't all that simple. You certainly persistent as well =).

[ Parent ]
Atlas Shrugged (4.00 / 1) (#448)
by Luddite on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 10:06:13 AM EST

There's a 1200 page book on exactly that subject. You took the words right from Mr. Mowens mouth.

[ Parent ]
You think? (5.00 / 1) (#349)
by azurensis on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:22:45 PM EST

So what?
So possession is 9/10th of the law. Since you do not possess anything tangible when you create a song, there is no practical way to keep others from copying it. The barriers used to be technological, in that people could not easily make a perfect copy and share it with anyone in the world. Those times are past now. Whether legal or not, most of us have zero moral problems with making copies and pouring them out like water. Any illusion of control that you used to have is gone. Oh, and:
I explained that an artist has the right to pull his artwork from the shelves...
No, he doesn't. I could walk into any used CD store and buy that artist's work whether he likes it or not.

[ Parent ]
no it's you (5.00 / 1) (#358)
by mpalczew on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:04:46 PM EST

not it's you that keep making the same argument.

"You don't have a right to obtain anyone's artwork."

What you keep doing is asserting legality with morality and that's circular.  What makes the legal limit of copyright so moral?  
What's wrong with 14 years after publishing, like the original copyright law?
It's been 14 years since most 80's songs came out.  

Why is it ok to get reproduction van goughs, and ok to play Bach's music and sell it for money, but not ok to copy the beatles or other more recent artists.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

"Right to own" (5.00 / 3) (#369)
by John Miles on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:15:22 PM EST

You don't have a "right" to own anyone's musical work, and pulling his record from the shelves does not amount to the artist "forcing" you to steal it.

Repeating something a half-dozen times in a K5 story does not make it a legal axiom, I'm afraid.

Copyright is not a natural right; it's the legal equivalent of a two-way street. According to US constitutional law, copyright exists to promote the useful progress of the arts and sciences -- not to grant unfettered control over ownership and use of IP as well as distribution of it, or to secure the blessings of an unending revenue stream, as you seem to think.

The argument can be made that when an artist or publisher attempts to withdraw a copyrighted work from public availability, he's indeed saying, "I'm through enjoying the benefits of copyright law with respect to my work. You (the People) can't have access to it anymore." Such a stance disregards the fact that those copyright laws weren't enacted principally for the owner's benefit, but for the common good.

In short, I would argue that I do have a right to own a copy of someone's work that has benefited from the bargain struck by the authors of US copyright law. Originally, those authors agreed with me: a copy of the protected work was intended to be submitted to the Library of Congress to ensure its eventual availability to the public, while the monopoly protection itself was granted for a very limited time compared to today's post-Bono legal landscape.

You're right -- copyright laws are indeed worthy of our respect as citizens -- but in recent years, people such as yourself and our esteemed lawmakers have forgotten why.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

"Prohibitively expensive." (4.50 / 2) (#244)
by cribcage on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:00:31 AM EST

It isn't just "not easily found" - sometimes it's downright impossible, or prohibitively expensive.
I'm going to add that your "prohibitively expensive" remark is pretty wide open. If the RIAA drops CD prices to 99¢ apiece tomorrow, will you stop stealing music? If the RIAA drops CD prices, can homeless people still steal music, since it will still be "prohibitively expensive" for them?

You're saying that I, as an artist, have the right to record a CD and offer it for sale at a "reasonable" price. But if I decide to charge $300 for my CD, because I think it's so damn good, then I've somehow given you the right to steal that music for free? That's pretty ridiculous. You're somehow finding middle ground between my position, and the guy who asserted the "basic human right to copy" -- which means you're apparently not understanding the concept of "polar opposites."

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
the original poster... (none / 0) (#248)
by blisspix on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:34:54 AM EST

seems to be referring more to the second-hand/rarities market where some albums cost hundreds of dollars due to some artificial market value. And no, the artists don't get a cent because the work has passed first sale.

There's nothing to stop you charging $300 for a first sale CD, but you'd have to have your head up your arse to try it.

[ Parent ]

Take paintings (none / 0) (#253)
by xL on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:55:33 AM EST

These cannot be copied. Yet these, too, get sold and resold at a profit, after first sale. The artist never sees those profits. These transactions are really beyond the business considerations of the original owners since they thrive on value that was not intentionally added by the publisher or artist.

[ Parent ]
not that people haven't tried... (none / 0) (#270)
by blisspix on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:14:48 AM EST

forgeries were popular in the past. I can't recall the name of the painter, but there was a famous series of forgeries of classic master paintings in Australia that were made because it was decided that back in the day, very few ordinary people would have the opportunity to travel overseas, and thus they should have the advantage of a copy of an artwork to see for themselves. No form of art is immune to duplication, it seems.

The business world of art disturbs me. It's scary that people put life savings and such into art, hoping that the investment will pay off into higher returns so they can live the life of luxury on their yacht. The more art in public hands (ie public galleries and such) the better, so we can all enjoy it and appreciate it.

[ Parent ]

Er. (4.00 / 1) (#278)
by kitten on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:39:33 AM EST

You're saying that I, as an artist, have the right to record a CD and offer it for sale at a "reasonable" price. But if I decide to charge $300 for my CD, because I think it's so damn good, then I've somehow given you the right to steal that music for free?

I was referring out-of-print albums, or albums that "can" be purchased if you're willing to spend a weekend hunting through used record store bins, or other such things. I'm not talking about the first sale of an album that I can grab off the shelf at the store.

Consider my "legal" options in this case:

  • Go to a used record store, hunt around, call around, big hassle, etc. Finally find it, pay for it, and now it's mine. Unfortunately for you the artist, you didn't see a penny of that sale. So I'm not stealing from you.
  • Order your CD from the Big Place Where They Keep CDs That Aren't Sold Anymore. Wait two weeks, get the CD, pay for it. Again, you probably aren't seeing a penny of that.
  • Buy a "compilation album", which again will probably have to be special ordered, and which are usually much more expensive than normal albums. The producer of "New Wave Hits of the 80s" just buys the rights to the songs and then puts them on a CD - so your label already got paid for it, and if I buy this compilation CD, you still don't see a dime.
  • Buy it off my friend or trade him something for it or harrass him until he just gives me the damn thing. Again, the artist doesn't benefit.

    So remind me again why you care if I just download one or two of your songs?
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
  • Objection: (4.00 / 1) (#293)
    by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:03:58 AM EST

    The artist makes a (typically) small amount of money from your example #2, it's a poor example.

    The other three seem viable though.

    Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
    [ Parent ]

    Sustained. (none / 0) (#402)
    by kitten on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:23:51 PM EST

    But not always. It depends on if royalties were part of the original contract, among other issues.

    And I didn't even mention the songs where the artist is dead. In that case, exactly who am I stealing from? It ain't the artist.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    re: royalties and dead artists (none / 0) (#406)
    by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:43:11 PM EST

    I think royalties should be mandatory, in the case of most music.
    We've all heard of the 'jingle' composers who died penniless, in spite of every consumer knowing the tune by heart.

    As far as deceased artists are concerned, Fiery Taco and I are discussing that topic here.

    Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
    [ Parent ]

    ahem (3.50 / 8) (#246)
    by YelM3 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:23:05 AM EST

    Fuck the RIAA.

    The recording industry has been screwing the public and the artists since the beginning.

    I imagine in the old days, music was free because you heard the actual instruments with your own ears on the street corner, or you payed admission to a performance. Whoever dreamed up the idea that it is OK to charge people ten or twenty times more than the cost of production for a recording of someone else's music was in it for himself, for his profit, and thats all.

    Fuck the RIAA. Fuck the artists too. So what if new technology destroys the industry and prevents the artists from using the same old exploitative means to market and mass-distribute their music? You know what? Music is not going away. We will find a better way, and in the process we will do away with the homogenized hegemonic pop culture that is mainstream music.

    I hope that the industry does crumble. After all, why is it that everyone is so eager to steal music these days? Is it because people are inherently greedy and evil? Or is it that they live in a consumer society which constantly affirms to them that they do not have enough and that they would be happier if they did? Everyone knows (consciously or otherwise) they are exploited constantly by profiteering corporations in this culture. Of course we are going to take as much as we can grab, given half the chance.

    If the music empire is destroyed by this, it will be poetic justice. And hopefully a wakeup call.

    How cute (1.00 / 1) (#251)
    by xL on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:51:49 AM EST

    The fact that you don't like mainstream pop culture should have no influence on your position here. Millions of people want to listen to pop music. The RIAA supplies this. You don't like it so it's really not your position to demand how they distribute a product you do not intend to buy in the first place. If you accept the premise that mainstream pop music is a valid market, take into consideration that this market cannot exist on "tours" and free downloads. It is a high-volume market where huge up-front investments are made to give the music as wide a coverage as possible.

    You may not like this market, I can understand. I have this same thing with cars, the money-grabbing companies are making huge profits on their creations, but transportation is essentially free and physical boundaries of both location and possession are purely human constructs ;)

    [ Parent ]

    I don't accept that premise (5.00 / 2) (#315)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:41:06 AM EST

    The market for pop music is a market that we can easily do without. "We" includes the millions of people who currently listen to pop music. If pop music were to magically disappear tomorrow, they would find other music to listen to and not even miss what they had before. The RIAA's quest to sustain their market is causing too much collateral damage to copyright laws and to artists' ability to get paid for their work. I support their elimination.


    [ Parent ]
    tours alone? (none / 0) (#478)
    by lamp666 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:34:21 AM EST

    What are you talking about "pop music can't exist on tours alone?"  How much money does it take to make music anyway?  That's what this whole fuss is about, it DOESN'T take that much money to make music, especially not the trash pop that the record companys make their millions off of.  Cheap microprocessors, fast networks and personal CD burners have taken away the whole justification for record companys to exist. If people want to listen to inane Britney Spears-esque music they'll always be able to get it, put any hot 16 year chick in a bare midrift and there you go, it doesn't cost millions.  The thing is, if it costs millions and millions of dollars to promote a piece of music and get it out there and get people to listen to it, then it wasn't that good to begin with. I could fart on a tape and if I had $2 million bucks to promote with I could make money off it.

    We need to take our culture back from the corporate fat cats who have hijacked it!


    [ Parent ]

    Promotion takes a good share too (none / 0) (#506)
    by xL on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 03:12:17 AM EST

    But still that's how our markets work. For any product. It feels nice to agitate against it, but it's not really constructive. The point I'm still trying to make is that what is actually being traded most and causing the record labels grief is exactly the pulp artists like Britney Spears. Can you see this paradox? I don't think the RIAA got upset when they found 1972 albums of King Crimson or bootlegs of a 1968 Deep Purple concert on an ftp-site. Their focus is on this mainstream that you nor I care about.

    Although a lot of quality music can be produced in a $10,000 home recording studio these days, this isn't universally true. The art of taking a pretty little girl who can just about stay in tune, adding proper saucing to it and making it something that sounds well is expensive and harder than it seems. The minimal setup to get that kind of production straight from session to master would go for $350,000 at least. If producing the album costs a month, that's material cost of $15,000 without paying for sound engineers, catering and mortgage for the building which is prohibitively expensive due to the soundproofing. Let's say the recording cost $50,000. Ok if you also sell 50,000 but you can't do that without massive marketing, adding probably another $200,000 to the tab. With a 90% chance that the thing will flop and only sell 40,000 copies at like $7 a pop.

    There are also other kinds of music that can be expensive. Try putting a symphony orchestra into your home recording studio to record the Mass in B Minor from Bach ;).

    [ Parent ]

    I don't like this line of reasoning (5.00 / 13) (#247)
    by blisspix on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:31:11 AM EST

    You don't think the artist or record company has the right to pull a product from the open market?

    No, I don't believe they do. Too many works have disappeared due to companies being too greedy to print enough copies of albums to keep them in print, thus forcing people to head to the second-hand or rarities market for sought after items.

    The same has happened with books. Thousands of books printed at the start of the last century are lost forever, but the companies still have control and thus they have effectively disappeared. Could you imagine if today's copyright law applied in Shakespeare's era? We wouldn't have his plays now.

    I am pro copyright, but also pro archiving. As a librarian, I am fully in favour of legal deposit, which all owners of copyrighted works should take advantage of. Legal deposit states that you should deposit at least 2-3 copies of a work with the National Library (here in Australia) or with the Library of Congress (in the US). Unfortunately, it's still largely a voluntary system so a lot of things pass under the radar. But this system means that a lot of works will be available even after works go out of print.

    I believe that once a work has been out of print for say 10 years that the copyright should have the option of releasing the master tapes or galleys for public reproduction.

    If you produced it, you should live with the reality that your work will be out there FOREVER. You can't physically recall or destroy every copy if you suddenly decide that your first album was crap.

    I agree (none / 0) (#517)
    by LocalH on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 10:48:37 PM EST

    If it's sold on the free and open market, then one should not be able to pull it from sale to create artificial scarcity.

    Much art and media has been lost due to negligence and control freaks. This is only one facet of a much bigger issue.

    Do you know how much of the old DuMont network's programming still exists? Almost none. I don't have the link handy, but it's my understanding that hundreds of their old tapes and kinescopes were simply dumped in the network's last days (or it might even have been after the network had died). There have been countless game shows and other classic television series irreparably destroyed due to short-sightedness, malice, and a number of other reasons. This has the same result as copyright owners pulling media from distribution - eventually, that media will be lost forever.

    [ Parent ]

    Bad form, but meh (none / 0) (#518)
    by LocalH on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 10:56:59 PM EST

    Forgot to touch on this in my reply - I agree with the concept of releasing the master media, but I don't think it should be an option - if you don't actively sell/market/profit from a copyrighted piece of media for a sufficient length of time, then you should be legally required to release the masters, or at least be required to make high-quality copies available to the masses at extremely low or no cost (say, 150-200% of the cost of the blank target media, to cover the time spent dubbing).

    Of course, the effort put into commercially executing the copyright, in whatever form, must be sufficiently great as to avoid greedy corporations selling a copy of a piece of media in a back room at 2am for $1, and then claiming that to be sufficient to lock away a piece of media. How great of an effort, I don't know. But you know that, if such a rule were enacted, media corporations would sic their best lawyers on it, to search for any loopholes.

    [ Parent ]

    My musician's impression (5.00 / 4) (#249)
    by xL on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:42:41 AM EST

    The impression I have of music copyright violations, as a musician, is really not different from my perception of warez as a programmer. I really like your article because it offers a very good point: MP3 and warez are equally infringing. This seems opposite to the common perception. Lots of people with a very strong position on the author's rights where software is concerned (screaming wolf when a company apropriates GPL code, itself a 'victimless' crime) take an easy stance on MP3s.

    All the cost-based approaches towards self-justification of rampant copyright violations among MP3 junkies fail to take a point into consideration, one that they are less likely to forget when discussing GPL software: That of business model. People who easily accept that not all software can equally fit to the GPL model seem not to accept that not all music can fit to the "get your money through tours" model that they mentally make up when defending their downloading habits.

    Most music distributed by the major record labels has, through history, become increasingly dependent on professional recording, production, post-production and mastering. Generally speaking, this effect counts double for music that becomes wildly popular. Getting production done right on that level is a very costly enterprise. Studiotime does not grow on trees.

    The point can also be illustrated from the movies. High-budget films like Independence Day have a market. This market cannot exist if the revenues for such a venture don't flow back. Yes, independent films like _The Blair Witch Project_ can be shot at a microscopic fragment of the budget of Hollywood movies, but they are of an entirely different genre and style that do not fill the same market segments.

    The people who sneer triumphantly against record companies for failing in a market on which they are spewing low quality crap are being elitists who miss the point: It is the rampant copyright violations on exactly this "low quality crap" that they are getting their panties all in a knot about.

    Where MP3 and warez meet, is that the black market they make up, when its size is kept under some form of control, can actually play an enabling role for the sale of the works involved. This implies selective enforcements, concentrating the efforts to get an equilibrium where there is an optimum balance between potential new sales due to this effect and loss of sales due to black market availability.

    Piracy of Windows 3.1 among home users has done wonders for Microsoft, has oftenly been stated. The same effect is probably there in music, although less strong (entertainment is purely a consumer thing, there are no corporate buyers worth considering). The balance the RIAA is seeking is one where the average John Q. User has to face a threshold (of inconvenience, fear or technical control) when seeking freely downloadable "mainstream" pop music that is high enough to keep revenues up.

    Whoa, slow down, Tex! (5.00 / 1) (#265)
    by Dr. Zowie on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:55:57 AM EST

    >MP3 and warez are equally infringing.

    Not so at all. One of those is a music format; another one is slang for illegally copied software. It's perfectly legal to (for example) rip all of one's CDs and/or LPs into MP3 -- it's just not legal to distribute those copies.

    [ Parent ]

    Nit-picky but correct (none / 0) (#275)
    by xL on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:02:55 AM EST

    I should have said "illegal MP3 trading". I think it's clear that that was what I meant, but you are correct nonetheless.

    [ Parent ]
    Good impression (5.00 / 1) (#314)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:34:35 AM EST

    You speak of things like preserving the RIAA's business model, keeping revenues up, and filling the market, but are those things worth preserving? Has the neverending advance of technology made the RIAA and their business model obsolete? Decades ago, the RIAA was needed to facilitate production, marketing, and distribution of music to a large audience. Now, however, computers and the internet can fill that role. Let me present an anecdotal example.

    A musically-gifted friend of mine is in a local band that just released their first album. They all have 'regular' jobs, but they get together in the evening and on weekends to compose and record their music. They use PCs and free software for most of their recording and mixing. Their first run of discs cost them less than $5000, including studio time, pressing the discs, and printing the labels and inserts. To my inexperienced eyes and ears, their album looks and sounds as good as a professionally produced album. They are currently gaining popularity by promoting themselves through word-of-mouth, by playing gigs, and over the internet. Thanks to computers and the internet, they can produce and distribute their music themselves, and its only going to get easier.

    If the RIAA were to disappear tomorrow, smaller alternative distribution channels would spring up in its place. We would see less mass-produced, cookie-cutter megastars and more people producing music because they love it. I support that goal by boycotting artists who sign with RIAA member labels and buying from independant artists. Join me in freeing the production and distribution of music from the clutches of the RIAA!


    [ Parent ]

    offtopic ... (none / 0) (#337)
    by Prophet themusicgod1 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:28:02 AM EST

    speaking of which my main computer is still using a pirated version of Windows 3.1 :) but i digress...
    "I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
    [ Parent ]
    GPL and mp3's much different (4.00 / 1) (#355)
    by mpalczew on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:43:17 PM EST

    GPL software and mp3's are completly different issues.

    Richard Stallman originally invented the GPL because he though copyright was ruining software.  He didn't believe that software should be copywrightable.  So he invented the GPL and the concept of copyleft.  You are free to copy and redistribute GPL software so long as you provide the source.  He is trying to use the copyright law against itself, to promote sharing of software.

    On the other hand you have file sharing or music.   Again, another way to combat copyright.  

    Believe it or not the two views are not contradictory.  

    Furthermore, many people do trade crappy music on the internet, but during the heyday of napster there was a very large majority that were starting to find songs otherwise unvailable in any other way(myself included).  And as far as I'm concerned the RIAA should cater to me, I have 300+ legally bought cd's and about 5 cd's made from mp3's on the net and 15 copied from a friends original.  As far as I'm concerned the RIAA should cater to me 300 cd's is nothing to sneeze at, but by alianating their best customers they are going to loose them and my collection of mp3 cd's may grow.
    -- Death to all Fanatics!
    [ Parent ]

    mp3s vs programs - enormous rant feel free to skip (5.00 / 3) (#432)
    by ZorbaTHut on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:55:14 AM EST

    You know, it's interesting. The impresion I have of music copyright violations isn't different from my perception of warez either. I'll admit I'm not a musician, but I am a programmer . . . and to be honest, I don't particularly mind warez.

    And before people start telling me that the only reason I don't mind warez is because my software doesn't get warezed, let me squash that right now - I'm a game programmer.

    Right. Moving on.

    See, there's a lot of companies doing games. And they're still surviving. Let's imagine a universe where warez is impossible - I find it very very hard to believe that my software would be bought any more frequently. It's all nice to say "$value is being lost every year due to software piracy", but it's completely inaccurate.

    I used to warez a *lot* of software. I've still got two full binders - the only reason I haven't been collecting more is because my friends have been, so if I want something, I just ask a few friends, borrow a CD, and dupe it. Or, more frequently now, I buy it - now that I have a job, I can afford do.

    But a lot of the software that I've bought, I've bought after warezing it - or after warezing its prequels, or after losing my burned copy. I've burned no less than three illegal copies of Abe's Oddysee. I've also bought a copy of both that game and Abe's Exoddus. (I haven't bought Munch's Oddysee - I've heard it's lousy. I'll rent it someday.)

    I bought Unreal - it came along with my graphics card. I warezed UT. I bought UT2003, unplayed, because I had so much fun with UT. I warezed Unreal 2.

    I bought Black&White, and amazon.com said I could expect it to get there in a week. I downloaded it and burned it and played that copy. In a week the box arrived and I pulled out the manual, gave my burned CD to a friend, and never bothered reinstalling.

    I bought X-COM. My friend bought X-COM. My friend bought X-COM TFTD. I bought X-COM Apocalypse. Another friend bought X-COM and TFTD, in a combo pack. We've lost every single legal CD involved in this since then, but we've still got a few burned CDs in the group, so we just install and play off those now.

    Okay, you're saying - so I buy some things, but I'm still evil. Here's what you aren't getting. If I couldn't have played those games, I never would have bought the ones I did buy. If I didn't get a copy of X-COM from a friend, after losing mine, I probably wouldn't have bought X-COM Apocalypse. If they ever release a real X-COM 4 (I deny the existence of Interceptor and Enforcer - they are dead to me) I'll buy it instantly.

    But wait, you're saying, I'm still breaking laws! No argument. It's illegal. However - remember, I'm a game programmer. I don't *mind* if people warez my software, because there are *two* issues here. There's "is it legal" and there's "is it economically sound".

    In my mind, it's economically sound. I don't mind people warezing my games because they might buy the next one. I don't mind it because if I figured out a way to make it unwarezable, people would hate it and wouldn't buy it to begin with. (I know I've done that once or twice. And the reverse happens also - if it's easily copyable, I'm more likely to buy it. Ironic, huh?)

    Basically, it doesn't effect my bottom line worth talking about. I make a reasonable living - enough to buy hardware, a few music CDs, some games, tasty food, and a car and a new TV soon, with luck. I'd rather people put my products to good use (i.e. have fun with them) than scrape the absolute maximum amount of money from them. If I was rich, I'd make games for free. I can't. But I make enough.

    Any company pointing to piracy as its reason for failing has other problems. Piracy happens. Theft happens. I don't hear car companies complaining that too many people are stealing their cars off the lots and therefore it's impossible to make money, I don't hear Nike complaining that too many freighters are crashing and therefore the government should do something about it.

    To put it blunty, and in a way that will make me no friends at all: Crime happens. Good companies survive anyway. Stop complaining about things you can't change (because, be honest to yourself, you can't change it) and start working on making your products better.

    I'll let the RIAA and the MPAA and god-knows-what-other-companies work on making piracy impossible. I'll just be over here making good games in the meantime.

    [ Parent ]

    looking over this again . . . (none / 0) (#433)
    by ZorbaTHut on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:57:29 AM EST

    . . . I really should have posted this to the main thread, since I'm really agreeing with you, I just sorta lost sight of that ;)

    Oh well. Everyone screws up a comment once in a while :P

    [ Parent ]

    Change in paradigm needed (3.50 / 2) (#250)
    by heng on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:46:20 AM EST

    Ultra-Wide Band. Here for some good info.

    oh and... (none / 0) (#252)
    by heng on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:52:22 AM EST

    here too

    [ Parent ]
    wha? (none / 0) (#256)
    by heng on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:05:34 AM EST

    How did this manage to attach itself here. Damn, it was meant as a comment to an earlier point.

    [ Parent ]
    The law is not immutable. (5.00 / 13) (#262)
    by ghjm on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:37:12 AM EST

    The law derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed, or if you prefer, the will of the people. Lecturing us on today's law is spectacularly uninformative. It is not interesting precisely because it is current. The law as codified today reflects the will of the people of yesterday.

    Clearly there are some people who believe that any unauthorized copying is theft. Clearly there are also some people who do not believe that trading MP3s is morally wrong. What are the relative sizes of these groups? What are their growth patterns?

    Also note that in order to affect something, you have to engage with it. Shrill condemnation of all file traders as thieves is not an effective way of engaging with the mass of people whose opinions you want to change.

    -Graham

    But there's always the golden rule... (5.00 / 2) (#360)
    by CorenMajere on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:24:01 PM EST

    That is, he who has the gold makes the rules. Because the vast majority of people will not actively speak out against blatent abuse of the purpose of copyrights, acting against the industries whose money funds our legislators' campaigns can be difficult. That's not to say impossible, but the a company has a lot more lobbying power than a few (hundred) individuals in most cases.

    [ Parent ]
    That's true. (none / 0) (#410)
    by ghjm on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:54:49 PM EST

    A large and powerful organization can successfully fight against the current, for a while. Perhaps even a long time. Perhaps even long enough to change public opinion, if enough members of the public are amenable to the proposed change.

    However, the public is often not as malleable as the marketeers would like to believe. Sometimes people stubbornly cling to their beliefs despite any amount of media pressure to the contrary.

    We all know that smoking is bad for you, yet many people continue to smoke. We all know about Reefer Madness, yet stoners continue to light up every minute of every day. We all know that Drugs Are Bad(tm), yet vast quantities continue to flow across our (America's) borders. We all know that Terrorism Is Evil(tm), yet many of us continue to have doubts about the apparent policy implication that we should bomb everyone who doesn't look like us. And we all know that downloading an MP3 steals money from the mouths of struggling artists' families (won't someone please think of the children) - yet there are many people who will not stop downloading MP3s, even in the face of government persecution.

    It all boils down to this: You cannot run against the tide of genuine public sentiment. If the people believe that downloading MP3s is wrong, then eventually MP3 downloaders will be punished. But if the people believe that downloading MP3s is okay, then there's no way to stop it happening.

    The interesting question now is: In their hearts, what do most people really believe about this?

    -Graham

    [ Parent ]

    Copyright Law (5.00 / 17) (#263)
    by Nucleus on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:42:21 AM EST

    But we shouldn't pursue that goal at the expense of Constitutional copyright law....I believe in that, and I believe it's worth preserving.

    I believe it's worth fixing...

    Copyright laws are out of control. The original copyright term was 14 years. It is now 70 years after the death of the author, which is ridiculous and contray to the whole point of copyright which is "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." How does 70 years after the authors death promote that author to create new works. "Limited times" was specifically added to prevent CONTROL of something for too long because that then becomes and infringement on the freedom of others... this is especially true is areas where new knowledge is created by building on older knowledge which is in the public domain, OpenSource GPL'd software being a prime example.

    Socialism for needs, capitalism for wants

    Copyright has been twisted (none / 0) (#308)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:05:37 AM EST

    I supposed I shouldn't be surprised that those with money are twisting the law and the language in their favour, but it still pisses me off.


    [ Parent ]
    I agree completely (none / 0) (#309)
    by puppet10 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:11:26 AM EST

    with one quibble. I believe the original term was 14 years with the possibility of one renewal.

    In addition to the long terms not promoting new work I believe it actively harms new work by the burden it places on creators of content who can not build on any other peoples work from the last 100ish years unless working within a corporation with large copyright holdings and a legal staff to facilitate the use of existing material or simply flaunting the law.

    It also relegates orphan works (those works where the creator or their decendants are difficult or impossible to find) to the dustbin of history never to be seen again even if in the current time they might be of use and interest although they might not have been profitable or popular in their original time (for one example, It's a Wonderful Life, which has again fallen into the clutches of copyright after it appeared to be free for a little bit).

    [ Parent ]

    14 vs 70 (none / 0) (#457)
    by Sloppy on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 01:10:39 PM EST

    Copyright laws are out of control. The original copyright term was 14 years. It is now 70 years after the death of the author, which is ridiculous..
    Well, yes, but times change. (People change, hairstyles change, interest rates fluctuate.)

    Media and communications technology have changed since way back then, so it's much harder for a copyright holder to recoup their investment within a mere 14 ye-- what? Technology has improved since the 1790s? The market has gotten better and more efficient at moving goods from creators to customers, since then? I'm so confused!
    "RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
    [ Parent ]

    Prina facie wrong. (4.83 / 6) (#264)
    by ghjm on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:48:42 AM EST

    If Aaron Sherman, Jesse Jordan, Daniel Peng, and Joe Nievelt are indeed guilty of the RIAA's allegations, then they're guilty of violating other people's rights without reason or justification, solely for their own benefit.

    "solely for their own benefit" - hardly. They already had their own huge MP3 collections to listen to. How do they benefit from outting their collections online? It's an altruistic act, so that other people can have what they have.

    "without reason or justification" - again, hardly. In the context of a pro-IP screed, there can be no possible justification for any copying ever, including giving a copy of that Britney Spears album to even just one other person. But this is not the only context, and there are reasonable justifications of the anti-IP position.

    Just a repeat (4.50 / 8) (#267)
    by Rot 26 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:01:44 AM EST

    Musicians had a fit when player pianos came out because they thought they wouldn't be able to make a living.

    Musicians had a fit when records first were made.

    Musicians had a fit when radio stations started playing records

    Musicians (and the RIAA) had a fit when making tapes at home became widespread

    Now musicians (and the RIAA) are having a fit because digital music storage became widespread.

    What this shows is that so far the music industry has consistently been resistant to new technology. At the time of the dispute it has always seemed to many people that the musicians were right that this new technology would ruin them, but it never has and most of the time in fact it has instead helped the musicians.

    Musicians made a living before records existed and they would continue to make a living if "the record industry" were to collapse and all music became freely sharable and downloadable. In fact, musicians today would not only be able to make a living like musicians in the time before records, it would in fact be much better. To the artists the real money always has been and I assume always will be in performing concerts for and selling merchandise to their fans. Even for huge superstar musicians such as Britney Spears this is true.

    "Piracy" as the RIAA calls it, does not hurt musicians, it hurts "the industry". That's why "the industry" basically supports "anti-piracy" tactics unilaterally while the artists who speak out about it are really few and far between.
    1: OPERATION: HAMMERTIME!
    2: A website affiliate program that doesn't suck!
    It does hurt artists (none / 0) (#306)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:02:24 AM EST

    but only a very small number of them, and even then, the loss of revenue from decreased CD sales is not that great. I'm not advocating file-sharing of copyrighted works. I fully support artists getting paid for their work, but I find it hard to sympathise with the RIAA's concerns when all they're doing is gouging consumers and artists alike.


    [ Parent ]
    Very good argument, but we fundamentally disagree. (5.00 / 2) (#271)
    by arcade on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:21:00 AM EST

    Your argument are well reasoned and well put. That however, does not make us agree. It seems to me that I have a totally different perspective on things, than you do.

    To take some theory first. As I understand it, copyright was first created as an incentive for artists, writers, and so forth to create MORE. It was very time limited, and was created for the benefit of society as a whole, not just the creator.

    Furthermore, the reasoning behind copyright, and how it works, is different from country to country. There are some international agreements and so forth - but its up to each and every country to implement it in their laws. As an example, in Norway it is legal to give a copy of a CD to a friend, as long as you bought the original. You may not, however, give away a copy of a copy. Setting up an FTP-server where you share out _only what you've bought yourself_, and only giving access to close friends could arguably be legal in Norway (but IANAL, so take that with some grains of salt ;)

    That was the basic. Now, your argument is well reasoned and well put - from a US standpoint. But as I said, we have some fundamental disagreements.
    - First of, I do not personally accept laws I think are unfair. Whether I break them or not will depend on my mood of the day, or how much I disagree with them. When it comes to copyright laws, they are laws I really don't consider worth following all the way. Sure, I'll give credit where credit is due - but thats about it.
    - Secondly, if someone pisses me of, I do not support them, at least not with money. RIAA/lots of labels pisses me of. Their attempts to lobby for laws, their attempts to make uncopyable CD's, their blatant disregard for users of non-mainstream operating systems (for computer playback).

    The question that most often pops up now, is "how is the artist going to make money when you have that kind of attitude?" . There are several ways. Live performance, donations, government grants, selling CDs (which will still be bought by thousands of fans), and so forth. Personally I still buy music from artists I like - as long as they are not on a large lobbying label. The bottom line is that there will still be very possible to earn lots of money as an artist.



    --
    arcade
    why do you disagree? (none / 0) (#430)
    by harryh on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:04:10 AM EST

    > - First of, I do not personally accept laws I think are unfair.
    In what way do you think US copyright laws are unfair? Your post would be more interesting if you detailed some logical reasoning behind your beleifs rather than just asserting them.

    > - Secondly, if someone pisses me of, I do not
    > support them, at least not with money.
    > RIAA/lots of labels pisses me of.
    So do you steal/copy/download RIAA backed music? You sound a little self rightious when you say that you do not support those who piss you off, but if you are still consuming the goods of these people (while refusing to pay for them) your argument looses a lot of its weight. There is certainly nothing at all wrong with boycotting an organization that you disagree with, but stealing from it is an entirely different matter.

    -Harry

    [ Parent ]
    Okay, lets see. (none / 0) (#509)
    by arcade on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:39:34 PM EST

    >> - First of, I do not personally accept laws I
    >> think are unfair.
    > In what way do you think US copyright laws are
    > unfair? Your post would be more interesting if you
    > detailed some logical reasoning behind your
    > beleifs rather than just asserting them.

    I'll concentrate on copyright laws in general. US copyright law are quite irrelevant to me, as I live in Norway.

    First of, as I mentioned, copyright laws were meant to benefit both the author and the society. It was meant to be a balance. It can be argued that the author should retain copyright for life, and even be argued that it should have a minimum span. Arguing for author+a set amount of years is quite a bit more difficult.

    So, I think the copyright laws are unfair to the society. I _think_ I feel this way because of the extreme length of time that copyright last

    >> - Secondly, if someone pisses me of, I do not
    >> support them, at least not with money.
    >> RIAA/lots of labels pisses me of.
    > So do you steal/copy/download RIAA backed music?

    Whether I do it or not will be left unsaid, but I fully understand and support those that do. Furthermore, I'm fully aware of you calling it theft, and by the laws it probably are. However, as I've already said, I've got a totally different perspective compared to yours.

    You mention that a boycot would be okay, but that stealing is is an entirely different matter. According to the current laws, its probably stealing. According to laws I would agree with, it is not. Personally I do not have a tiny shred of respect for laws which creates "intellectual property". I can understand the need for laws that gives you some RIGHT to creative works you've made, but they need to be totally different from the ones we've got today.



    --
    arcade
    [ Parent ]
    Definition of stealing (4.87 / 8) (#276)
    by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:04:05 AM EST

    Surely this depends on definition of "take".  If I take something, does this suggest the other party loses possesion of it?  

    But really, that's beside the point.  "Stealing" is used unfairly.  

    The reason stealing is illegal is not that the thief gains something for himself.  It is that the victim loses something that he had the right to.  

    Hmm,,, (2.50 / 2) (#280)
    by br284 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:27:16 AM EST

    If in the normal course of things, person A took something from person B and was forced to compensate B for what was taken, then in a new course of things, A takes something from B without having compensated B as would have normally happened, it seems to me that while B may not have lost that which was in his possesion, B did lose something in the new world -- namely the compensation.

    Or put another way. Suppose that I sneak into a movie instead of paying for a ticket. Let's assume that here is no danger of all the seats having been filled had I bought a ticket, so noone is not getting in due to lack of seats. The theater is not losing the movie to show again at other times, but it is losing the compensation it would have recieved otherwise. Is this theft? If not, what would you call it if not only a handful of people snuck in, but the entire crowd. Would that be theft then?

    -Chris

    [ Parent ]

    By arguing semantics, we're missing the point. (5.00 / 3) (#283)
    by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:09:25 AM EST

    If in the normal course of things, person A took something from person B and was forced to compensate B for what was taken,

    But I'm assuming that person B isn't entitled to charge for what was taken since he still has the original item. Without copyright he would not be, any more than he could charge for anything else you bought from someone else.  

    I'm not saying that copyright infringement is neccesarily right, just that the reason for it being wrong is not that it's stealing.  In your cinema example, trespassing would be a more appropriate crime.  This is still just an appropriate crime already available to use for a prosecution.  Really the crime is watching a movie without paying for it.  In the case of copyright infringment, it may be wrong because the victim is entitled to the compensation, but we're simply not giving him the compensation.  He never had it, so it has not been taken.  

    Really the fact that people don't agree that "stealing" is an appropriate word should be a good reason to stop using it.  The question is whether piracy is right or wrong.  Calling it stealing implies it's wrong by equating it with a different albeit similar act.

    [ Parent ]

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#304)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:58:31 AM EST

    Labeling copyright infringement as 'stealing' is yet another example of the copyright industry to twist the English language to demonize people who work against their interests. By definition, 'stealing' requires removal of physical property, so it cannot apply to intangible information. At a minimum, we need a new word to describe the act of making an unauthorized copy of information.

    It may be helpful to examine the criminal code to clarify this matter. Note that the file-sharers are not being charged with 'stealing' or 'theft', but 'copyright infringement'. The legal definitions of those two acts necessarily precise, and they should trump common usage for the purposes of intelligent debate.


    [ Parent ]

    Trespassing (5.00 / 3) (#320)
    by dipierro on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:58:31 AM EST

    Suppose that I sneak into a movie instead of paying for a ticket.

    Is this theft?

    No, it's trespassing.

    If not, what would you call it if not only a handful of people snuck in, but the entire crowd. Would that be theft then?

    Nope, still trespassing.



    [ Parent ]
    Tort not crime... (none / 0) (#408)
    by broter on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:51:53 PM EST

    (IANAL)

    From the article:
    So, the question: "Is file-sharing 'stealing'?" Again, Merriam-Webster: "to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully." Unless you pay for copyrighted music, legally, you don't have the right to possess a copy. So yes, if you're downloading copyrighted music across unregulated network, then you are stealing. "Duh."

    From parent comment:
    If in the normal course of things, person A took something from person B

    My problem with all this is that it isn't taking anything, but rather making an unlawful copy. That's not a crime, it's tort. The difference is fundamental. The first is procecutable by the state. The second is only procecutable by the copytight owner in civil court.

    From this, I wonder "if the RIAA really does place the value of the infringement at $150,000 per title, why isn't it going through federal criminal court?" A loophole in the above crime/tort was pushed through in the 90's where if the total value was over some amount (I think it was $2,000) then it was a federal crime with jail time - please correct if wrong.

    My own personal is that copyright law is wrong and unjust. While I don't use P2P networks (I just buy CD's from local band's shows), I think non-profit use should be allowed. But then, that's a different rant.

    [ Parent ]

    Don't let it bother you, all the GOOD music is (4.00 / 1) (#279)
    by gr00vey on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:57:23 AM EST

    free, anyway! http://www.dozin.com/

    A modest proposal (4.20 / 5) (#281)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:44:01 AM EST

    I propose that we (the people) co-opt the word 'terrorism' for what the RIAA is doing to these students, just as they have co-opted the word 'piracy' for copyright infringement.

    It's topical enough that it might just stick.
    And I think it's reasonable, whichever side of the debate you're on.


    Sausages or cheese?

    Again. (none / 0) (#285)
    by i on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:21:15 AM EST

    Why is this ridiculous notion that RIAA had invented this usage of the word 'piracy'? It dates back to 17th century.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    That usage has been unused for centuries. (none / 0) (#302)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:52:07 AM EST

    Perhaps we should say that RIAA has 'repopularized' that usage of the word. Personally, I think the word should only be used to describe seagoing activities. The current usage is a blatant attempt to demonize P2P by applying the negative stigma of the word 'piracy' to file traders. The twisting of language is a common propaganda technique.


    [ Parent ]
    This is baseless. (none / 0) (#316)
    by i on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:46:40 AM EST

    The term 'pirate' or 'pirated edition' is in constant use since at least Shakespeare. I've heard it way before P2P or Internet or even personal computers became popular. Though my personal experience doesn't date back to Shakespeare's times, I have enough of it to tell you're wrong.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Even if that's true... (none / 0) (#335)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:25:33 AM EST

    ...the word hasn't been commonly used in that way for centuries, so my point still stands.


    [ Parent ]
    So? (none / 0) (#332)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:18:11 AM EST

    So? The use of the word 'terrorist' to mean 'another man's freedom fighter' also has a great tradition.

    Given the amount of money the RIAA is requesting of these students, I'd say this lawsuit is much more akin to terrorism than making copies of mp3s available is to violent invasion of floating vessels.


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    Bah. (none / 0) (#343)
    by i on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:12:22 PM EST

    Every author, every publisher, every book collector in the world knows what 'pirated edition' means. It was so before the advent of RIAA, and it quite probably will be so after RIAA bites the dust. And you're getting all emotional over an established technical term, and start to equate a civil lawsuit with flying passenger planes into tall buildings. Who is ridiculous here?

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Shush. (2.50 / 2) (#352)
    by RobotSlave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:40:45 PM EST

    He probably gets all bent out of shape over the fact that most people know perfectly well that the word "hacker" most often means "computer criminal."

    Do you know that there was at one time a serious effort in France to promote the phrase "deux tranches de pan avec quelque chose entre deux" or some such malarky in favor of the much simpler but culturally impure "sandwich?" It is to laugh.

    There's no reasoning with these Orwellian language fascists. Just let them be, and content yourself with the knowledge that so long as they keep tilting at windmills and refuse to accept common usage, they doom themselves to bitterness and disappointment.

    [ Parent ]

    Refuse to accept common usage? (none / 0) (#363)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:46:43 PM EST

    Au contraire. I'm merely proposing some new common usage. If you have a problem with that, why don't you have a problem with Mark Twain having done it?

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]
    See? (2.50 / 2) (#375)
    by RobotSlave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:50:44 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    My point exactly. (1.75 / 4) (#378)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:27:56 PM EST



    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]
    Windmill locality. (5.00 / 1) (#431)
    by it certainly is on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:31:03 AM EST

    Hey Quixote, quit savaging your North American brethren already!

    Here in liberal Europe, we techno-elite all agree on the following definitions:

    • hacker: guy who hacks (breaks into computer systems over phones and stuff)
    • cracker: guy who cracks (defeats copy protection on games/apps/whatever)
    • coder: guy who codes (writes cool stuff like demos/games/apps)
    • lamer: ist yuo! lolololololol
    This whole "hacker = coder" bullshit is some yankee crap over the pond. It's as stupid as calling petrol "gas" when it's blatantly liquid.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Don't be so obtuse. (5.00 / 1) (#364)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:47:41 PM EST

    I'm not getting all emotional over anything. Look in the mirror, and heal thyself.

    The fact that this use of the word 'piracy' has been around for ages is neither here nor there. At some point, someone decided that those who did not respect intellectual property should be tarnished with an inappropriately pejorative brush (or would you care to explain the 'technical' similarity between violating copyright, and raping, pillaging and plundering?).

    Now, I am suggesting a movement to do the same. The RIAA is neither operating outwith the law, nor using violent methods. However, if people use the word 'terrorism' to describe this kind of legal action, it serves to bring attention to the pejorative nature of the word 'piracy', which at least levels the playing field a little.


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    I dunno. (none / 0) (#377)
    by i on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:02:21 PM EST

    The usage predates copyright as such. Unauthorised edition in those days quite often equated to physically stolen manuscript. (It was important to be on the market early, as it is now.)

    It should be noted that 'did not respect intellectual property' doesn't quite cut it. These people, as opposed to modern P2P users, directly lined their pockets at authors' expence. To me that brush doesn't look that pejorative.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Erm... (none / 0) (#385)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:06:04 PM EST

    ...haven't you just argued yourself out of a point? At some stage, the word 'piracy' was perhaps appropriate, in the days when physical manuscripts were stolen (perhaps at knifepoint) for profit. For modern P2P users, who simply fail to respect intellectual property without individual gain, the word is inappropriate. So whilst there is one usage of the word outside of the high seas which dates back to the 17th century, that term has been pejorative since theft of copy became duplication of copy.

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]
    I only wished to highlight the history (none / 0) (#392)
    by i on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:42:08 PM EST

    of certain usage. I don't know or care whether unauthorised copying and distribution of copyrighted material is considered a respectable activity nowadays. If it is, your labelling this usage pejorative might well be justified.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    It's not a matter of whether it's respectable... (none / 0) (#436)
    by synaesthesia on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 04:19:06 AM EST

    ...it's a matter of whether it's swashbuckling.


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]
    Changing meanings (none / 0) (#403)
    by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:29:48 PM EST

    Piracy on the high seas happens so rarely now that the word has ceased to have any meaning except as a historical term.  Furthermore, it happened so long ago, that many people have simply forgotten many of the more negative connotations, and instead think of a more romantic figure of a seagoing highwayman.

    As it happens, if you mention the term piracy currently, the first concept pople thing of is illegal copyright infringement.  The overuse of the word has led to it having a reduced effect.  This may be why the cartels seem to use the more powerful term - "stealing".  

    The other side plays the same game.  On tech forums, RIAA and MPAA (and also BSA) have become pretty much synonymous with "Evil".   Personally, I tend to use the word "Cartel" as a collective term.

    [ Parent ]

    piracy is still in common usage (none / 0) (#416)
    by SocratesGhost on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:52:47 PM EST

    Piracy originally meanto only "theft", although the ocean is heavily implied in its usage. We associate it with eye patched blackbearded fellows, but any theft in the ocean is regarded as piracy. This includes, for example, fishing in waters where fishing is prohibited, or even taking lobsters out of another person's lobster traps. So, if you check out the records, fishing piracy is still very active on the open seas and is common and correct parlance.

    But, and maybe I'm alone on this one, there's something more romantic about being called a pirate than being a music thief.

    I have a feeling that you would probably object to any word that they would use and you're just using this excuse to hang your hat on.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    [ Parent ]
    Actually... (none / 0) (#442)
    by synaesthesia on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 07:14:25 AM EST

    ...according to some, piracy is more rampant now than ever before. Talk to geologists...

    http://www.geocities.com/glen_crippen/00-05/PIR-modern_pirates.html


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    Personal Note To RIAA / BPA (4.66 / 3) (#287)
    by meaningless pseudonym on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:25:34 AM EST

    Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
    Deep Purple - Made in Japan, In Rock, Deep Purple
    Def Leppard - On Through The Night
    Dio - Sacred Heart
    Eden Burning - Mirth and Matter
    Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Pictures at an Exhibition
    Guns 'n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
    Iron Maiden - The X Factor
    Primitive Instinct - Floating Tangibility
    Queen - Greatest Hits 1 & 2, A Night At The Opera, Sheer Heart Attack
    Radiohead - The Bends
    Rage Against The Machine - The Battle of Los Angeles
    Rainbow - Difficult To Cure, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
    Semisonic - Feeling Strangely Fine
    Whitesnake - Saints & Sinners

    Each and every one of those albums was _bought_ by me as a direct result of one of:

    * Borrowing a friend's copy then recording it
    * Borrowing a copy from a library and recording it
    * Borrowing someone's MP3s
    * Listening to bootleg recordings.

    There's also a large extra collection of albums by those artists where what's on the list there is only what first got me into them and where I've bought lots more since. Checking, I've got 23 albums from Deep Purple alone.

    I probably average 2-3 album purchases a month. That level of spending requires I learn about new bands. I have to find out about them from somewhere and recommendations / loans from friends / MP3s are an excellent way of doing this. Recognise that students never have much money to spend on this sort of thing but make more money later so by letting them do this you're letting them promote your music for you in exchange for sales down the line.

    Stop me doing this and I'd have probably bought half what I've had over the years, tops. You don't want that.

    -1... (5.00 / 2) (#333)
    by Run4YourLives on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:19:26 AM EST

    you bought a whitesnake album.

    :-)

    It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
    [ Parent ]

    Dio - Sacred Heart (none / 0) (#376)
    by Verve on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:52:46 PM EST

    Your comment was obviously done in a joking manner.  Come on, nobody would listen to Dio.

    [ Parent ]
    :-) (smileys really ought to be valid subjects) (5.00 / 1) (#383)
    by meaningless pseudonym on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:50:15 PM EST

    Well, not seriously, no, but for theatrical, overblown pop metal he's great fun :-)

    Come on, I dare you. Listen to the King of Rock and Roll or Rainbow in the Dark without smiling.

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, but are you a typical listener? <nt> (none / 0) (#419)
    by splitpeasoup on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:39:33 PM EST


    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
    [ Parent ]

    No, I buy more than most (none / 0) (#423)
    by meaningless pseudonym on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:49:12 PM EST

    I'm atypical in a way they want to encourage.

    Seriously, most want that. Most don't want crappy, scratchy recordings and handwritten sleeves. Most are fundamentally honest when the price is reasonable, and I tend to buy in sales.

    [ Parent ]

    A Question for Smart Europeans: (4.33 / 3) (#294)
    by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:19:17 AM EST

    Two posts in this story are asserting that the Danes and the Norwegians have the right to distribute one-off copies of copyright-protected works.

    Now, considering that Denmark and Norway are signatories to the 1952 and 1971 Universal Copyright Convention, as well as the 1971 Berne Convention, how can this be correct?

    Endorsed by the American Taliban Association

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#366)
    by Magnetic North on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:01:35 PM EST

    I have no idea what the contents of those conventions are, but I recently visited Norway and got updated on their practicing of IP law.

    In Norway, as long as you don't make money off copying, you are in the clear.

    This might change though. Four students sharing "The Two Towers" on a p2p network, were charged in february after a request from MPAA/New Line Cinema. But as of yet, nobody has ever been punished for these kind of violations in Norway.



    --
    <33333
    [ Parent ]
    On a similar note (5.00 / 1) (#379)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:33:04 PM EST

    Canadians can borrow a musical recording from someone and make a single copy, as long as they do not redistribute the copy. We have this right because we pay a levy on blank recordable media. More info here, if you care.


    [ Parent ]
    Not to be overly pedantic... (none / 0) (#407)
    by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:47:04 PM EST

    Do you see a difference between lending a work to someone who may, or may not make a copy of it and the case of making the copy yourself, then handing out that copy?

    I think plausible deniability is the crux of this matter.

    Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
    [ Parent ]

    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#414)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:13:58 PM EST

    Under Canadian law, you are allowed to borrow a recording from someone and make yourself a copy. You are not allowed to make a copy of a recording you own, then hand out the copy. I'm guessing the former situation was enacted to mitigate the rampant wholesale copying that would be allowed under the latter.

    If you mean 'plausible deniability' on the part of the Canadian government towards the recording industry, then yes, you're absolutely right.


    [ Parent ]

    I originally meant... (none / 0) (#421)
    by ti dave on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:01:04 PM EST

    as a defense on behalf of the hypothetical infringers, but you make a sound point about the government as well.

    Endorsed by the American Taliban Association
    [ Parent ]

    Danish guidelines (none / 0) (#441)
    by transport on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 06:57:27 AM EST

    ... is officially posted here (in danish). Note these are an official interpretation of the law. Translating central passage:
     
    "
    Legal copies
    You may
    - Copy a work, which the artist himself has permitted copying of
    - Copy an original cd/dvd borrowed from a friend
    - Copy a cd/dvd borrowed from the library
    - Copy a cd and play it at a private party (also at other peoples home)
    - Copy a cd and listen to it at the office at your workplace
    - Copy a cd/dvd for the car, the summer house, the boat and for your discman or mp3 player
    - Copy work for personal use downloaded from the net, if the work has been put there with the consent of the artist
    - Work around or break a password or encryption of e.g. a dvd-film, a music-cd or netradio to the extent necessary to be able to watch the film or listen to the music privately. For instance, it is not illegal to break the encryption of a dvd if it is necessary for you to be able to play the dvd on your private pc with the help of e.g. a Linux-operating system
    - Break a dvd region code (english term?)
     
    Illegal copies
    You may not:
    - Copy a copy of a cd/dvd, if you have received that copy from others
    - Copy work downloaded from the net, if the work has been put there without the consent of the artist
    - Give away a copied cd/dvd
    - Lend, swap or sell a copied cd/dvd
    - Forward a digitally supplied work via your e-mail.
    - Break a copy protection with the intent of creating a copy of the music-cd or dvd-film.
    "

    [ Parent ]
    Morals? Whose morals? (4.50 / 4) (#299)
    by grzebo on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:40:22 AM EST

    RIAA clearly takes the approach of twisting the current legal system they way they want through lobbying, using legal loopholes, etc. I don't see why people shouldn't do the same by breaking an unenforceable law. When a country is ruled by an oligarchy, civil disobedience is the only way to go. Since everyone is playing by RIAA's rules, they have no reason to whine.


    "My God, shouts man to Himself,
    have mercy on me, enlighten me"...
    A better form of civil disobedience (none / 0) (#329)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:14:20 AM EST

    would be to boycott artists who sign with RIAA member labels and seek out independant artists. Downloading the RIAA's music for free doesn't hurt them, it helps them.


    [ Parent ]
    purer != better (none / 0) (#351)
    by grzebo on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:38:37 PM EST

    Well, you can persuade some people to do that, but not enough to make any difference. On the other hand, giving people who care only about money and possible savings a way to diminish RIAA's income by p2p filesharing will have (and already has) much greater influence. With RIAA gone (or with its influence reduced) people will turn to independent artists.


    "My God, shouts man to Himself,
    have mercy on me, enlighten me"...
    [ Parent ]
    Good point. I'll go along with that. (nt) (none / 0) (#372)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:37:16 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Illegal <> unjust (4.80 / 10) (#310)
    by snitch on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:13:26 AM EST

    It seems to me your core argument is that sharing copyrighted material is illegal - "case closed".

    I won't overstate the opposing argument by quoting past laws which everyone's glad to be rid of (just one for argument's sake: the law forcing blacks to ride in the back of busses). Most, if not all laws have a clock attached to them; i.e. once they're outdated they simply vanish.

    Copyright-laws in their current form are archaic, and cannot be maintained, simply because technology has provided people with an easy way to circumvent them. This is a fact of life, and whining about "ye olden days" won't change anything.

    P2p isn't going to go away, and people will find sufficient justification in freely sharing copyrighted material in the amazingly unjust pricing of CD's (I doubt there are many artists who see even 1% of the profits of a CD-sale), the ridiculous stranglehold of the majors over all the media (resulting in homogenous crap drowning everything even slightly different from the norm), and the lies, deceit and aggression of the RIAA and other watchdogs.

    P2p will keep flourishing, becoming more and more anonymous, and people will keep sharing, resulting in the death of middlemen: majors, distribution, retail. Only artists and listeners will remain. What's wrong with that?

    Filesharing of copyrighted material and stealing are, of course, very different: stealing deprives the owner of the stolen object, filesharing doesn't. That's not to say I don't consider myself 'wrong' in downloading someone's hard work for free... I do.

    Just give me a simple, straightforward way to directly and exclusively compensate an artist, and I will do it. A direct donation of €3 to an artist (about the profit he or she would receive from the sale of ten CD's) would surely compensate for nine other p2p-users who wouldn't? And if it didn't, someone could calculate the fair amount, and I would pay it. But I won't pay a dime on top of the price an artist should get now that I have p2p.

    As for the RIAA, we seem to agree that it should seize to exist immediately, for the good of all (except RIAA employees... tough).

    I admit I've stopped buying CD's, simply because there's (finally) a way to circumvent the injustice of €20 CD's: p2p. The lesser injustice of depriving the artist of his 30 eurocent is easy to remedy by online means. It's up to artists to provide a way - just charge the startup-investements to the listeners, I won't mind the 10 eurocent on top for a couple of years.

    For the record (no pun): I've collected about 400 CD's, and about 500 12"'s for DJ'ing (which I do for free). Most of these 900 records are indie releases, ranging from medieval and classical via early industrial, experimental electronics, symfo and EBM to "cut & paste", breakcore and Japanese noise. I've spend the better part of two decades and €10000 collecting this stuff and expose as many people as I can to "other music" (via DJ'ing, spreading CDr's, and p2p). What do I gain from this except personal satisfaction? There's no money, no hidden agenda, no deceit at work - just the pure joy of sharing something dear to me: good music.

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett

    sacrilige (3.16 / 6) (#312)
    by Prophet themusicgod1 on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:16:05 AM EST

    first of all, before i even begin...please open your eyes and relaize that music is not being stolen - as in... when i copy a music file, YOU still have a copy...there is no physical loss, in fact the human collective has suddenly agained value, if it were possible to make such a statement...the metepohr comparing it to a superstore/clothing/if police were to studdenly stop proscecuting theft is faulty:   NO i would not...because shirts and clothing are made of fabric, which is in finite supply...it takes mass to produce, and you cannot imaginably just copy one shirt ifrom almost thin air into two shirts. if i could do that with shirts...YES i would...nevermind solving world hunger...
    now THERE is a problem where people like you should sink your teeth into...<BR><BR>
    <i>The immediate response: "We're helping bands. Artists rarely profit from albums, anyway. They profit from touring, and sharing their music online helps promote their shows." Well, that's a very polite argument, Robin Hood. Record companies may hoard album profits for themselves; but right or wrong, what they're doing is legal, and what you're doing isn't. And whatever your motivation, whomever you may be "helping"...stealing is stealing. Just because you feed the poor doesn't mean you're not stealing from the rich.</i>
    fair enough, that makes me a theif.  a just theif, and a theif who is stealing the right things... and being a good person, as opposed to a person defending a bloodthirsty system that steals from everyone, not just cushy lawyers and millionaries who could loose a few spare dollars that they earned from ripping the rest of us off, anyway...
    <BR><BR>
    i never saw anywhere in the US constitution, or the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms, or the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that guarntees us the rightto keeping others from copying information about us....perhaps you are reffering to a privilidge...????
    <BR>
    <i>"We're helping artists. Increased exposure is good." </i><BR>
    if you did a search for Jeff Cliff on AudioGalaxy...you would have came up fwith around 30-35 results...including just about everything i've ever put out into digital, and a few other things...<BR>
    and you are going to tell me that your local Sam the Record man is going to have a clue who some poor guy from Saskatoon  sakatchewan Canada is, an whether or not you will like him????
    <BR>
    "I can think of any number of reasons why an artist might not want his music shared online. "</i>
    name one, under this thread.
    <BR><BR>
    <i>
    "Maybe he feels embarrassed by the quality of an early album"</i>
    well then create BETTER QUALItY ALBUMS. problem solved.  don't restrict our freedoms because of your own personal failures.  be a better musician, and we'll talk.  and besides, some hardcore fans like having 'really bad songs'/etc just for the novelty of it
    [ie a good portion of ummagumma, and a video of reznor and patnera, for example of my found jewels...]...
    <BR>
    "Maybe he's decided to change direction, musically, and he doesn't want continued circulation of his older works.
    " so in other words he's the equivilent of a Stalin, Censoring us from "bad" ideas.  shame
    <BR><BR>
    " Maybe he feels that MP3 compression unacceptably distorts music, and he doesn't want his songs distributed in that format."
    THEN DISTRIBUTE THEM YOURSELF IN OGG!!!! or alternatively...push the mp3 compression committee people to put out 640, 1200 and 30000 kb/s bitrate standards, and record on them...
    and secondly on this topic... don't assume that alll of us have the stereo equipment necessary to handle this sort of thing anyway...hell vynil is still better than most mp3  if not all mp33 formats...but i have a record player from the 70's that has no bas, no stereo, etc...should that make using a record player illegal unless it has full quality digital ddts doldby surround sound?  that's insane...
    <BR><BR>
    " Hell, maybe he originally released 64 copies of an album as part of a conceptual performance artwork, and expanding its circulation will somehow violate the integrity of that work."
    that i think is a really flimsy excuse...but i can't find any way to defeat it yet.  are you REALLY going to sue people billions of dollars because it violates some artists performance art?...come on... i'd hope most artists out tther have enough humanity to understand when their art isn't is important as other people's food and shelter...etc...
    <BR>
    <BR><BR>i hope the rest of the intelligent people out there pull this article to peices, bit by bit, until everyone sees what a farce it is...
    "I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
    Why I use P2P (3.00 / 5) (#323)
    by randinah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:06:03 AM EST

    Quite simply, the biggest and most overwhelming reason for me to use services such as Kazaa is because CD's are too damned expensive.

    In what way is a CD really worth twenty to twenty five dollars? Especially when literally a handful of change is actually going to the artist.


    "Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
    that's fine... (none / 0) (#361)
    by llimllib on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:32:14 PM EST

    That's all well and good, but this article is asking you whether you know that you are still violating the rights of the artist who controls that music?

    The article doesn't try to argue that you shouldn't download music as a form of civil disobedience. It merely argues that downloading music, under today's laws, IS a violation of the rights of whomever owns the rights to that music.


    Peace.
    [ Parent ]
    No problem (5.00 / 1) (#373)
    by parliboy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:40:41 PM EST

    Don't want me to violate the rights of the artist?  Give me the artist's home address, and I'll send him a dollar.  That's 10 times what he would have made had I bought it.

    What?  It's still wrong?  But what's the other $19.90 going for?  Oh... "overhead".

    Well, since they're not having to pay costs for shipping the CD to me, for advertising to me, for packaging and shelf space, or otherwise *coughpayolacough* that's still zero, so I haven't stolen anything, right?

    Ah.  I see, well, screw them, I'm doing it anyway.

    ----------
    Eat at the Dissonance Diner.
    [ Parent ]

    Things to consider (none / 0) (#469)
    by damiam on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 09:55:46 PM EST

    In what way is a CD really worth twenty to twenty five dollars? Especially when literally a handful of change is actually going to the artist.

    First of all, very few CD's cost $25. Most major new releases (as in Eminem, J.Lo, etc. - major in the eyes of the American public) can be found for $10-$15 at major stores the week of their release. And second, while a small portion of the price of a cd does go to support the RIAA's crack habit, the majority goes to support the production of the CD. There is a huge number of recording engineers, technicians, photogrophers, etc. and other "non-artist" people that work on producing an album (I put "non-artist" in quotes here because many of these "non-artists" are tremendously talented artists in non-musical fields). All of these people have to be paid.

    There are costs involved in creating and operating a studio, there are costs involved in advertising and promotion, and there are costs involved in the physical production, pressing, shipping, and retailing of the CD. These are all legitimate expenses, and someone has to pay them. When you buy an album, you're paying for all the work done to produce the album, not just that of the main artist. If you download an album and do not purchase it because you downloaded it, you're not just screwing the artist and Hillary Rosen's crack dealer, you're also screwing everyone else who put their time and/or money into the production of the album with the expectation of being compensated.

    [ Parent ]

    Granularity of punishment, and reciprocity failure (4.88 / 18) (#326)
    by Dr. Zowie on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:13:18 AM EST

    I'm glad to see this article up -- after the discussion on the other site, I wanted to see a bit more debate here.

    Regardless of right and/or wrong here (and both sides do have both strengths and weaknesses in their point of view), the problem is that law is the wrong tool for affecting behavior on these scales.

    Law is meant to deter certain behaviors (e.g. killing people indiscriminately, robbing banks, etc.). But, as Greenspan pointed out in his recent remarks on the rule of law and copyright, it's impossible to enforce a law against even a significant portion of the population at once -- the court system is just too inefficient (and for good reason!).

    The result is that many laws that are designed to deter common behaviors have ludicrously stiff penalties: by really walloping the few people that the authorities can catch and prosecute, legislators hope to increase the average deterrence of the law -- there's some sort of reciprocal relationship: (deterrence) = (number of ppl caught) * (amount of punishment for each). But there are limits to that notion -- in particular, there's no real difference between the threat of charging a college kid $97,000 or $97,000,000 -- those fines are beyond the kid's experience.

    One sees the same thing in the drug war (where penalties are ludicrously stiff already but people continue to smoke pot) and numerous other examples that are less cogent.

    I call it "reciprocity failure" by analogy to a similar phenomenon in photography -- where very low light levels cause the film to react differently to each individual photon than at more moderate light levels.

    The lesson I take out of this observation is that it's impossible to enforce copyright -- as it stands today -- via court of law. The law itself is not sufficiently deterrent to combat the individual temptation of file trading. As with the drug war, attempts to enforce widespread compliance with the law will only increase the amount of tyranny in the nation, without providing real justice or deterring the behavior that they're meant to prevent.

    The remaining way to increase the deterrence of law is to improve the efficiency of law enforcement. But that way lies madness: more efficiency in law enforcement means more authority for individual police officers, more control over civilian population, and fewer checks on the process. In short, a more totalitarian state. I'm not kidding here -- the drug war provides many examples of what happens when enforcement is increased to achieve a particular end. Individuals are demonized, privacy is invaded (on all levels from increased surveillance of individuals to near-universal drug testing in the workplace -- does anyone else here remember the Nancy Reagan years?) The drug war did not completely reduce the U.S. to a totalitarian state -- but neither did it stop (or even significantly curb) illegal drug use.

    It is not worth the trade to me to descend into fascism for the sake of copyright holders' wealth.

    Regardless of right or wrong in the case of the michigan students, or the strawman justifications of the file traders (that the article author debunks so well), I believe that the best strategy for copyright holders really is to come up with a new business model that recognizes file trading as a permanent feature of the landscape. The current model -- using artificially augmented scarcity to raise the price of their intangible goods -- just won't work. It relies on the deterrence of law to prevent widespread duplication of their intangibles, and in the digital era that deterrence just isn't enough. The only legal remedy would involve removing a significant part of what freedom we still enjoy -- it's just not worth it.

    The "right" to get music (5.00 / 20) (#344)
    by Sloppy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:14:01 PM EST

    But again: If every jazz artist and record company decided to fold up tomorrow, copyright law says they can. You have no "right" to acquire jazz CDs.
    I think there is a good argument (based on the spirit of the law rather than the letter) that either that "right" exists, or the copyright doesn't.

    In USA, copyright exists because the Constitution says it should, in order to promote the arts and sciences. It's not a natural law; it's something society created in order to fulfill a useful purpose. If the purpose of a copyright is defied by its holder, then that copyright loses its legitimacy. If you're not willing to sell me the CD, then your copyright on that CD does not serve to promote the arts. Copyright is a quid-pro-quo deal. Why should society grant you a privilege if society doesn't get anything out of it? No quo, no quid.

    If a musician doesn't want their music to be available (and there might be some very legitimate reasons for this), then they shouldn't publish it or otherwise seek the deal offered by copyright. Then copyright never comes into play and their music is effectively just a secret.

    While I generally support copyright, I am in favor of its violation in cases where a work is so poorly marketed, that obtaining it becomes unreasonably difficult. (Alas, I have no objective definition for "unreasonably difficult.") This policy, I feel, is perfectly in keeping with the purpose of copyright, and the spirit of the law.

    That said, I think that a lot of music can be found if you're willing to do a little digging. Whenever RIAA goes after traders (as opposed to toolmakers) I have little sympathy for their "victims." If RIAA is after you, then you're probably trading RIAA products, and that stuff tends to be relatively easy to obtain without violating copyright -- especially when it turns out to just be recent pop. And if you're trading tens of thousand of files (as opposed to putting up a web page with a few songs from some garage bands in some foreign countries) then recent pop is invariably the stuff you're trading. I've never seen, or even heard rumors of, an exception to that.
    "RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."

    > 10000 (none / 0) (#475)
    by snitch on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:46:28 AM EST

    i know of several slsk users who trade > 20000 mp3's of indie music. my collection tops out at about 10000. specialties are breakcore, industrial, techno. little or no pop in sight.

    otherwise, i agree with your comments

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett
    [ Parent ]

    Bingo. (none / 0) (#487)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:03:20 AM EST

    Whenever RIAA goes after traders (as opposed to toolmakers)...
    That, by the way, is an excellent distinction. If the MPAA, for instance, had gone after people trading movies, as opposed to the authors and disseminators of DeCSS, I would have been on their side 100%.

    Well...OK. Maybe only 75%. But that's just 'cause they blow.

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    I like it (4.30 / 13) (#346)
    by cola on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:19:26 PM EST

    I particularly like the way the opening paragraph looks like an anti-RIAA post. "The RIAA is crushing college students like popcorn", new paragraph, "and they deserve it!" Then this theme recurs with the fourth paragraph, and there is a pretty repetition: another descent into attack.

    The invention of spurious arguments ("P2P is the only way" and "We only wanted the single") is masterfully performed. And cribcage improves on this traditional technique by refusing to say what the arguments prove. They're just arguments. Those music pirates, they're always arguing.

    "Both arguments, of course, are jokes." Well, yeah. I think they're supposed to prove that copyright infringement is legal. Is cribcage talking about the legality of infringement or the morality? That calculated ambiguity has hooked about ten people, all saying "LEGALITY in THIS CASE is not IMPORTANT."

    "I own several thousand CDs..." Probably true; cribcage's homepage is a jazz magazine. He might be a reviewer. There's a heartfelt rant about how stupid the tastes of music fans are. Then trolling, to a high standard, about CD singles. (Well, what about the prices? And that gets ffrinch to bite.)

    (I wonder: why is '"Duh."' in quotes?)

    If you can't laugh at a spirited attack on Robin Hood, dear reader, what can you laugh at?

    In a nod to Dubya, who popularized funky moral principles, cribcage says "...They're guilty of violating other people's rights without reason or justification, solely for their own benefit. And that behavior should never be celebrated."

    Finally, cribcage explains to the assembled readership why everyone who disagrees with him is an idiot.

    Not that I'm complaining. I just don't think trolling is appreciated enough. I mean, if you don't know anything about modern rhetorical techniques, newspapers can infect you with really dangerous memes. And trolling cannot be really accomplished unless you 'check your facts before posting', to make sure that they are glorious, unrestrained, and wrong; so it requires a grasp of the subject, experience in the field, and other good things.

    Lightening up on trolls. For tomorrow.

    LOL... (none / 0) (#486)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:00:22 AM EST

    Finally, cribcage explains to the assembled readership why everyone who disagrees with him is an idiot.
    ROTFL.

    It's good to see someone has a sense of humor. :-)

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    Major label Ligeti (4.83 / 6) (#348)
    by x31eq on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 12:22:37 PM EST

    In that middle of that article, we had the statement "You won't find Ligeti or Lutoslawsky on any major labels."

    Now, I'm not sure how it relates to the general argument, and I know it isn't that important in the greater scheme of things, but it's completely untrue. I only had to search Amazon to find Ligeti CDs on D G, Sony and Elektra.

    When people are disparaging of major label offerings on online fora such as this, can I assume that they're systematically blind to offerings such as these?

    Oh, I don't know who this Lutoslawsky is, but while you're looking you could check out the excellent composer Lutoslawski who has a confusingly similar name. The first hit on Amazon has a distinctive Philips cover, I haven't checked the rest.



    Geeze, lighten up when picking nits. (nt) (2.33 / 3) (#367)
    by Blah Blah on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:04:42 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    re: RIAA (3.66 / 3) (#362)
    by m0rpheus on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:36:20 PM EST

      the amount of damages being sought by the RIAA is ridiculous: $97.8 billion. i know they are trying to make examples of people, but that is just ridiculous. if these students were truly running their own p2p applications inside the school's firewall then they are similar to kazaa/morpheus which the RIAA attempted to sue before. I can no longer find record of this anywhere, but I read that one of the programs was simply a program that scanned public Windows Shares and then catalogued the shared files. If that is true, then I feel the RIAA is well out of line in suing that person without also going after the company that makes the public sharing possible: Microsoft. which will most likely never happen. IMHO, the only way to stop file sharing really would be to disable people's ability to download files, which means no viewing webpages since they are downloaded to a cache, which would be insane. this may be a bit extreme in thinking, but i am just trying to make the point that file sharing is pretty much going to be impossible to stop, but the RIAA is hoping they can scare enough people into not doing it.
       as a software developer i am somewhat sensitive to the issue and i think that it should be available as an option to evaluate things so people can see how good your product is and then go buy it. even at that level it will still be abused, but i don't think it should be stopped because of those that abuse it. i recently downloaded the new linkin park album a week before it came out because i wanted to hear it real bad and my pre-order was going to take at least another week-and-a-half to arrive and i also wanted to make sure my order was worth the money that i was paying for it and, luckily, i felt it was. my major disappointment with the album is that taking out the intro track and the sesion mix track it is only about 30 minutes long, but it was still worth the $15 i paid because i got the version that came w/a dvd loaded w/extra footage. i think using file-sharing for instances such as that should be allowed because once you shell out the money for a cd and listen to it, you can't return it to the store anymore (at least ones that i know of). you just have to trust that your fans will do the right thing and reward you for the hard work you put in on the album.
       i just wish they'd offer music at much more affordable prices ($10-12 instead of $15-20, which would be easier to do if they didn't pay clearchannel to play the songs 50 times a day, didn't spend millions and millions of dollars to try and protect the cds with protection that can be broken using a sharpie,and didn't waste money on some other stupid advertisement gimmicks, e.g. mtv) and allow me fair use of it also. i really like being able to listen to a cd to make sure it's worth the $15  that it usually costs (except for the rare lucky deals found at bestbuy and other places) and if it isn't then i delete it. The new DRM stuff they're adding which requires windows media player 9 to use in your computer screws me because i run linux and it will be unplayable w/o breaking some law so i can put it on my portable mp3 player so i have something to listen to while i run (cd players are a bit bulky to run with).

    thats just all my 2 cents tho...

    Elitist (3.20 / 5) (#365)
    by auraslip on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 01:55:59 PM EST

    "Invariably, they start rattling off names of pop artists who, to them, sound distinctive -- J.Lo, Puff Daddy, Dave Matthews, Eminem, etc. If it doesn't follow the pop formula, people simply don't want to hear it."

    bastard.

    Just becuase an artist is successful doesn't mean they follow the same formula as J.Lo.
    124

    Those 4 follow formulas (none / 0) (#463)
    by subversion on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 04:07:35 PM EST

    And yes, I am an elitist.  Doesn't change the fact that most pop artists follow formulas laid down 10-50 years ago, depending on style.

    Boy/girl groups are basically revisiting bubblegum pop.  Thank you Mr. Spector and Meek, and the 50s.

    Dave Matthews would kill to be a 60s guitar rocker.  Don't deny it, you know it's true.  Actually, Puffy might fall into this category too, but we'll lump him in with...

    The NWA imitators.  'nuff said.

    If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
    [ Parent ]

    what formula? (none / 0) (#464)
    by auraslip on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 05:31:35 PM EST

    Do you mean?

    Formula is in lyricly? OR chord porgressions? Or how the song is laid out (verse chorus verse)?

    Almost ALL western music follows these formulas to some degrea.

    Dave mathews might as well be a 60's rocker, just turn that 9 upside down and coke him up.

    and don't forget that NWA weren't the original rappers.
    124
    [ Parent ]

    Everyone needs a ray of sunshine. (5.00 / 1) (#465)
    by subversion on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 05:48:56 PM EST

    All of these are aspects, of course.  Progression, lyrics, theme, etc.  As you said, that's an aspect of western music.

    I was really more referring to an imitation of a stylistic formula - they really do all sound alike (which is true of many, many types of music, not just mainstream pop - it's just worse in pop).

    NWA weren't the original rappers, but Puffy and Eminem don't want to be Sugarhill.  NWA more or less originated gangsta rap, which is where I trace their roots.  (Actually, I have successfully argued to quite a few people that NWA are, to date, the most influential musical act in history - they inspired gangsta rap, indirectly influenced pretty much every style of hiphop since, and given that hiphop is now the most bought music in America...)

    If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
    [ Parent ]

    Just curious (none / 0) (#499)
    by auraslip on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:27:06 PM EST

    what type of music you into?
    124
    [ Parent ]
    A lot. (none / 0) (#503)
    by subversion on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:17:00 PM EST

    I work for one of the last remaining freeform radio stations in the country.  I play jazz (modern and old), experimental music (both compositional and 'avant-garde'), rock (everything from 50s r&b rock to modern electronic hybrids), electronic music (I have pretty tight connections with a couple of the major NA electronic scenes, as well as a pretty good understanding of the rest of them and the European scenes), blues, Americana (folk and country), a ton of hip-hop, and a little bit of other things for good measure.

    And I like all of them.

    If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
    [ Parent ]

    Ahh... (none / 0) (#485)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:57:18 AM EST

    Just becuase an artist is successful doesn't mean they follow the same formula as J.Lo.
    You're just mad because you were listening to Eminem when you read that line.

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    actually (none / 0) (#498)
    by auraslip on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:25:57 PM EST

    I learned a DMB song on guitar just the other day and was suprised at how much respect they deserve.
    124
    [ Parent ]
    In KC, I get no love from the radio. (4.00 / 2) (#370)
    by Jaritsu on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:17:34 PM EST

    Until I started listening to NPR, I used to just completely disconnect the FM antena to prevent people riding in the car from turning on the radio to some godforsaken top40 piece of shit radio station, of which we got about 8.

    In the last say, 2 months, I have downloaded MP3's as a means to preview CDs I purchase. I have grabbed The new CD from Sixpence, Plumb, Massive Attack and Jason Mraz this way.

    This is how I operate, I heard Jason Mraz on Letterman, and liked the sound, went and previewed a few MP3s and grabbed his CD at Barnes and Nobel.

    Illegal? Surely, but Jason Mraz made his margin or profit from my purchase that I would never had made without KazaaLite.

    MP3's can be ripped to sound almost as good as redbook audio from a CD, but rarely are. So personally, I prefer either the CD or MP3s I have ripped myself. I keep the MP3s inside, and the CDs in my car.

    Don't get me started on clearchannel and the RIAA

    "Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon

    Response to a bad law (4.45 / 11) (#374)
    by kphrak on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 02:41:50 PM EST

    It may be the law, but in this case it doesn't benefit the sciences and useful arts. I see nowhere in the Constitution the words "To promote the progress of Columbian drug dealers, by giving RIAA executives the massive wads of cash necessary to support their cocaine habits."

    OK, seriously. Although the author has spent a good deal of time crushing the arguments of freeloaders who are copying the latest Britney single, the final argument is a resort to legalism: "It may be bad, but it's the Constitutional LAW, so it must be obeyed." Nonsense. Others have chipped in and this is always a big debate, but almost everyone, even the author, agrees that the law is bad.

    Martin Luther King, quoting St. Augustine, states that an unjust law is not a law at all. Rather than make society fit a law, a law needs to fit society. If it doesn't benefit us (I refer to "us" meaning "not RIAA", because they are clearly the only ones who benefit), then we have not just a right, but a civic duty to disobey it. Obeying something unjust only gives it support that it has no right to in the first place. Disobeying it is a patriotic thing to do; the US was formed, among other reasons, as a result of laws we broke due to their lack of justice or benefit to our society (think tea parties).

    Granted, that's pretty cold comfort to students being butt-raped by the RIAA, but perhaps the cold will numb them into a blissful state of oblivion as they are made a spectacle for the public by being relieved of more money than they will probably ever see in their lifetimes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some "civic duties" to perform.


    Describe yourself in your sig!
    American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.


    Not quite. (none / 0) (#484)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:55:44 AM EST

    almost everyone, even the author, agrees that the law is bad.
    Not quite. I agree that the law is outdated.

    However, others here have suggested the elimination of copyright, altogether. One respondent described a "basic human right to copy," and explained that he felt copyright law was oppressive. I believe that is a radical stance, and I don't support it. I quoted the Constitution because I believe in that phrase. I believe that copyright is a legitimate concern, one which we should strive to protect.

    I agree that the law needs to evolve. Frankly, so do its participants; as we saw with MPAA v. 2600, reasonable arguments can fall on deaf ears when they concern technology that is beyond the experience of a judiciary. But I don't support the actions of file-traders; because they disrespect not only the letter of the law, but also the spirit of copyright. The more brazen among them do this while proclaiming their "support" of the artists. Whatever you think of Metallica, they addressed this point quite well.

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    Not outdated (none / 0) (#502)
    by kphrak on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:29:23 PM EST

    I have to disagree. Although copyright law need not be eliminated, it's not outdated; indeed, the updating is one of the things that has made it so bad. If we had a copyright law of a century ago, the works of bands such as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin...and yes, even Metallica, would be in the public domain at this moment (since the length of copyright was 14 years then). What changed? Have the bands gotten better? Do artists have a harder time distributing their music?

    No. The record corporations want to make money off past hits, not for 14 years, not for 20 or 50 or 70, but forever. (By the way, so does Metallica -- think about how many of their good albums would normally be considered public domain at this time besides the Black Album). So the concept is not bad, but the law is still bad.


    Describe yourself in your sig!
    American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.


    [ Parent ]
    Requirements (3.60 / 5) (#380)
    by bugmaster on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:37:29 PM EST

    For me, it comes down to a simple matter of requirements, and quality of service. Here is what I would look for in a digital music distribution system:
    • Legality. Well, duh. RIAA: 1, pirates: 0, free mp3 sites: 1
    • Fast, reliable servers. I should be able to download what I want, whenever I want, at close to maximum bandwidth. RIAA: 0.5, pirates: 0.5, free mp3 sites: 1
    • A good search system. I want to find complete, unbroken music files, at the bitrate that I require, with the names/artitsts/etc. of my choosing. Preferably with lyrics, if there are any. RIAA: 0.5, pirates: 0.5, free mp3 sites: 0.5 (google is your friend, lyrics-wise)
    • Ownership model. When I download a song, I should be able to play it where I want, how I want, on whatever device I want, whenever I like, until the end of time. RIAA: 0, pirates: 1, free mp3 sites: 1
    • Single track downloads. When I want an album, I'll ask for it, thanks. RIAA: 0.5, pirates: 1, free mp3 sites: 1
    • No ads. If I am already going to pay money for this service, I don't want to be bombarded with britney spears popups. RIAA: 0, pirates: 0.5, free mp3 sites: 0
    • Cheap price. I am not paying for physical media anymore, so I expect the per-song price to be cheaper than the CD. RIAA: 0, pirates: 1, free mp3 sites: 1
    • Customer satisfaction. I want to be treated like a valued customer, not like some criminal who needs to be watched at every step. RIAA: 0, pirates: 1, free mp3 sites: 1
    Totals: RIAA 2.5, pirates 4, free mp3 sites 6.5 (unless my math is wrong...)

    What does this mean ? This means that I will use the free mp3 sites (such as mp3.com or OCRemix) for most of my music downloads. I will use the pirate networks to get some songs that I can't get elsewhere, despite the hassle. I won't buy CDs or use RIAA's ridiculous attempts at digital distribution, unless hell freezes over.

    This model works for me because music is really not a large part of my life -- I am no audiophile by any means. I expect that people who are more interested in music would go with the pirates, because of the larger selection.

    If RIAA really wants my money, it should deliver a service that I (or any other average person) can comfortably use. This is not really about ethics; this is about supply and demand, pure and simple. If the RIAA wants to keep its outdated CD sales system, more power to them, but then they should not be surprised that their revenues are dropping.
    >|<*:=

    Subtract 0.5 from the pirates (none / 0) (#401)
    by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:13:30 PM EST

    # No ads. If I am already going to pay money for this service, I don't want to be bombarded with britney spears popups. RIAA: 0, pirates: 0.5, free mp3 sites: 0

    So many of the file sharing sites have advertising and hidden spyware that I don't think you should be as generous as to give them that 0.5.  

    OTOH, Many free mp3 sites don't charge for the service.  Why criticise them for advertising?

    [ Parent ]

    Fair Enough (none / 0) (#404)
    by bugmaster on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:36:49 PM EST

    Ok, I guess I was too hasty. Kazaa alone is probably worthy of -5.0 in ad/spyware rating. However, I will still stand by my 0 rating for free sites. While they have ads, but they compensate by having an excellent price (well, 0), and good services, for which they gain more positive ratings than the RIAA. I guess I should have weighted the ratings instead of inventing an absolute scale... But since all this is arbitrary anyway, it probably doesn't matter :-)
    >|<*:=
    [ Parent ]
    Who uses Kazaa anyhow? (none / 0) (#413)
    by Souhait on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:06:20 PM EST

    Kazaa Lite is just as useful and doesn't spam windows all over your computer.

    [ Parent ]
    Doesn't affect the numbers much. (none / 0) (#418)
    by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:24:52 PM EST

    It's your rating scheme.  You get the final say in what numbers you pick.   It should end up with the one that instinctively feels right anyway

    [ Parent ]
    pay mp3 sites also (none / 0) (#412)
    by gps on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:57:56 PM EST

    emusic.com is almost great.  for $10/month you get unlimited mp3 downloads of everything in the library to do with as you see fit (redistrubition excluded, duh).

    the down side is that they're only 128kbit/sec mp3s at the moment so while they're good for computer, headphone, car, casual listening they're not good CD replacements for a hifi stereo system.


    [ Parent ]

    Right and Wrong (3.85 / 7) (#384)
    by Gravaton on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:54:59 PM EST

    Here's my opinions on this whole thing, with two major ancillary points added for no charge!

    Saying "we shouldn't pursue that goal at the expense of Constitutional copyright law" has to be one of the most foolish statements I've heard of late (yes, above and beyond those damn protesters). Would you have said the same thing to the civil rights movement? The women's sufferage movement? And what the hell ARE all those amendments on our Constitution there for anyways? I always thought that the whole idea of having a Constitution and a lawmaking process like we do was for the purpose of allowing people to shape their society into somewhere that they want to live.
    So you're right, I do violate the law. But my violation of the law is a form of civil disobediance. I refuse to bow to a system that is so blatantly unjust. I commit my acts of piracy in hopes of dismantling a disgusting socioeconomic system. Saying I shouldn't because it goes outside the bounds of our current laws is simply rediculous; they can buy what laws they desire, but I can't protest what laws I don't?

    Stop giving the RIAA money damnit!
    Do you know how many CDs I own? Zero. Not a single music CD exists within my dominion. Do you know why? Because I despise the RIAA and everything its stranglehold on music, artists and taste stands for. Buying a single CD is tossing my money into their pockets and supporting the system they enforce. I don't give the RIAA a dime, and if you actually care about all the lip service you give to disliking them and wanting them gone, you shouldn't either. I mean think about it, they're making money hand over fist. You bought their CDs before. Now, filesharing comes along, and you buy MORE of their CDs, and are proud of it somehow. Then they prosecute the filesharers, instill the fear of God in all who oppose them, potentially net billions from them, and still you buy their CDs. Boycott goddamnit or quit your bitching.

    The Morality of "Digital Stealing"
    This is a rather hard topic considering the digital nature of the media. If I copy a file, you still have it (a point that has been raised before) so the only person who really suffers is the provider of said file (assuming they charge money). But this raises the question of whether the paradigm of "Charging money for information" is still really relevant. The entire idea is, whatever we make of it, slowly starting to break down as the Internet and other mass mediums start to reshape our culture. It doesn't matter if it's a bad thing or a good thing, it's happening.

    Dominion over Music CDs (none / 0) (#429)
    by Handyman on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 11:17:10 PM EST

    Although I understand and accept your viewpoint that it's silly to rant and rail against the RIAA and then go out and buy their CDs, an important distinction to note is that not all music CDs are associated or created by the RIAA.
    I personally have many (>100) music CDs, because I like to think that some small portion of their cost will get back to the artists I like best. However, a significant part of my music collection (>10) are CDs which I purchased directly from the musician, either at a street concert, a club gig, a mail-order catalog, or through a website. I get an awesome CD for $10, and I also get the knowledge that every penny goes directly back to the artist, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
    I digress. My point is, it's fine to hate the RIAA, but there are other places to get music CDs that help out the artists. Check them out before you write off music CDs completely.

    --
    Never be afraid to be the first one on the dance floor.
    [ Parent ]
    The little fish. (none / 0) (#482)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:43:36 AM EST

    I do violate the law. But my violation of the law is a form of civil disobediance...
    I wrote a different column elsewhere, recently, in which I mentioned how I bristle at media coverage of antiwar protests, when reporters use the phrases "civil disobedience" and "destruction of property" in the same breath. Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to go to jail peacefully for his civil disobedience. Will you be willing to do the same, if they come knocking? How about if they come suing? Will you take your licks?

    Do you know how many CDs I own? Zero. ... Do you know why? Because I despise the RIAA...
    Good for you. (Seriously.) But as has been pointed out, there is a ton of wonderful independent music out there...yes, on CD. Although I don't actively boycott the RIAA, very little of my money goes into their pockets; yet I spend far too much on CDs. One of the primary benefits of the internet, for me, has been my ability to learn about and obtain independent music. It has helped smaller labels to thrive, giving them the means to compete with the large distributors they can't afford.

    I'm all for crushing the RIAA. But the idea isn't simply to take your dimes away from them; it's to put that money to work, elsewhere, in competition. Welcome to capitalism. Have an indy CD. :-)

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    on finding 'independent music' (4.66 / 3) (#390)
    by Work on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:39:59 PM EST

    What a crock. I use kazaa lite, which is the largest network, and finding anything not popular or semi-popular is a crapshoot.

    I hunt for rare remixes and electronic tracks by one off groups or combinations of certain groups. These tracks are usually out of print or had only limited distribution. Most of the time, kazaa doesn't find them. On the rare occasion it locates someone with the track, it usually says 'Needs more sources'.

    If p2p music download advocates want a good argument, they'd better make sure its actually true before spewing it.

    RIAA - Yard Sales, Used CD sales, etc. (3.00 / 1) (#398)
    by hotkoolaid on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:12:04 PM EST

    What? They think they are going to police this too? Nope you didn't even mention Yard sales and Used CD stores, though you did mention profit from distribution. If that's the case, boy, a lot of people are in serious trouble!

    Yes. CDs are plentiful in the mega-store down the street. So try and get your hands on a 1970s Olivia Newton-John CD. Go ahead. Try and get one from Amazon, Buy.com. I have tried all to many times to find older music. It's not out there exactly for the reasons you point out - marketing, radio advertising dollars & "what the listener wants". But, the fact remains people want to hear what they want and damn the RIAA. If music is available and free, low cost or full price, the easiest way to get it is what will be used. Right now that is P2P. What will they attack next next? Yahoo! IM?

    I know from experience that stores dump thousands of CDs every day ... literally dump them. They put them in the Dumpsters, compactors, etc. Why? Say I go to the store and buy a disc that has a bad sector or a scratch or the label is misprinted or the case is broken or my doggie chews the case or disk. What am I going to do? Take it back and get a new one. Well, the broken cased disc is still usable... go Dumpster divin at any friendly neighborhood store, you'll be surprised at what you find. DVDs are the same way... Oh, wait. That's the MPIAA.... another time for that flame.

    The point? It's all MARKETING and MONEY. The industry doesn't want to lose it's market share. I personally don't think that will ever happen, even if some P2P network solution keeps popping up to provide poor college students with music to burn. You said it yourself, the industry has made a change to ADAPT to the market... younger more hip music... not Jazz and classical.

    If this (sharing) was around when I was in college... Wait. Oh yea, it was around. But we had Vinyl and tapes then. No. Tapes are not perfect copies, but swapping music has been around longer than P2P, napster...


    nuf said. dive when you find a good source [_]\
    Koolaid
    [ Parent ]
    ignorance... (3.00 / 3) (#393)
    by xo0m on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 04:50:49 PM EST

    "If you're trading copyrighted works, you're breaking the law and violating people's rights. If you feel fine about that, that's your prerogative. But stop whining about what file-sharing isn't. It is stealing. It is unlawful distribution. Claiming otherwise doesn't support your position. It just proves your ignorance..."

    ignorance is bliss :)

    Not at all. (2.66 / 3) (#397)
    by Whimsy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:09:14 PM EST

    If you're trading copyrighted works,

    I'm not.  People provide them and get nothing in return.  

    you're breaking the law

    I think the usual argument is that the law needs to be changed so that what a hell of a lot of people do is legal.

    and violating people's rights

    Why does someone else have the right to say what I may and may not share?  I don't agree that they should have this right.

    If you feel fine about that, that's your prerogative.

    I don't really.  I'd like some form of inbetween system.  I think someone who can come up with a working protocol for automated barter will change the way we do business, but until that happens, I find it's a choice between getting stuff for free, paying more than I am willing to pay, or going without.  Since I'm not willing to do the second of these, I'll have to do the first or the third.    On the whole, I'm going to do better out of it if I get stuff for free, and since there's no difference to the other party between that and my going without, I do what benefits me.

    But stop whining about what file-sharing isn't.

    Okay.  But stop using loaded terminology to try to describe what it is.

    It is stealing.

    No it isn't.  Regardless of what you claim, you will not convince me it is stealing.  Give up on that score.  We are using different terminolgy.  You might as well try to convince me that its murder.  Instead, focus on what's important.  Is it wrong?  If so, why?

    It is unlawful distribution.

    That is a fault of the law, not the distribution.

    Claiming otherwise doesn't support your position.

    Neither does parrotting what the media cartels state.

    Whoa! Free peanuts!


    [ Parent ]
    so what would be created? (none / 0) (#409)
    by gps on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:53:47 PM EST

    if the law were changed to accomidate your argument what incentive to create would exist and how many of those pop albums you so dearly pilfer would have ever been made?

    thankfully none.

    hmm..  perhaps you do hae a point. ;)


    [ Parent ]

    I only want to legally share, not to sell (4.00 / 1) (#415)
    by Whimsy on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:14:25 PM EST

    A lot of people are of the opinion that it is wrong to copy music (and software and videos) if you charge for it, but perfectly legitimate to give it away, or swap it. Many people do this not because they are criminals, but they are simply oblivious to what the law says. These people still buy music. They do so, because it's nice to own a legitimate CD with the packaging and everything, because they actually do feel bad about freeloading, or for various other reasons, such as the supply is limited. If the RIAA is too greedy, then the second of these motivations will actually diminish. Surely that's all that's needed to keep the music flowing - Enough of an incentive to allow creators to make money creating, not the absolute maximum they could possibly make. As long as there's some profit to be made somwhere along the lines, businesses will come in and take it. If people are not allowed to charge for non-authorised copies, then the copying will be self limiting. I can't copy more than 100 CDs in a day, and I'm probably not willing to do more than about 3 a week. I simply don't quite know what we should do about file sharing. I believe that this too only has a minor effect on sales, and that the risks are overrated, but it would possibly be a mistake to make it too legitimate. Nevertheless, want to share music, will share music and are sharing music. The law needs to adapt to that behaviour since their behaviour is not adapting to the law. If it was only a hadnful of people sharing file sthen it may be another matter, but thousands of people are, and we can't arrest them all.

    Whoa! Free peanuts!


    [ Parent ]
    "Hey brother... (4.20 / 5) (#400)
    by opendna on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:12:50 PM EST

    ...can you spare 98 Billion dollars?"

    "With my debt you could invade Iraq!"

    "I owe RIAA $300 for every American man, woman and child."

    "Dear VISA, I regret to inform you..."



    You're just a little biased, I take it? (2.75 / 4) (#417)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:09:00 PM EST

    In any event, do your best to intimidate people now, and brainwash kids growing up, because technology has a trump card.

    I reserve the right to arrange the bits on my hard drive in any pattern I see fit. And I'd like to see a whiny asshole and RIAA minion like you do something about it.

    Let me tell you a short story. Some unknown networking hobbyist wakes up one morning with an inspiration. Using mostly "off-the-shelf" VPN software, it would be possible to create a very, very large routed network, where it is virtually impossible to identify more than a handful (6 or less, in some setups only 3) of people. They are completely anonymous, with all sorts of international extradition and search warrant snafus to prevent the RIAA from shutting it down. It's small at first, but it grows. So even if the RIAA convinces some idiot to let them connect, they can browse it all they like, but they can't even figure out who to sue. And little weasels like yourself whine and bitch forever after, but no one listens. THE END.


    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

    Good to see a complete lack of bias there (5.00 / 1) (#420)
    by squigly on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 07:43:28 PM EST

    In any event, do your best to intimidate people now, and brainwash kids growing up, because technology has a trump card.

    Erm....  Did you read the same article?  I read a well reasoned article pointing out that Piracy is illegal, for very good reasons, and putting a very good case for the defence ofthe RIAA's tactics.  Why not talk about some of the points made?  This is rather a knee-jerk response.

    I reserve the right to arrange the bits on my hard drive in any pattern I see fit.

    No you don't.

    / Let me tell you a short story. Some unknown networking hobbyist wakes up one morning with an inspiration. Using mostly "off-the-shelf" VPN software, it would be possible to create a very, very large routed network,

    Are you this hobbiest?

    Personally, I came up with a concept for a perfectly good file sharing system, but I don't want it to be yet another mp3 trading mechanism.  I can't be bothered with the hassle.  

    /So even if the RIAA convinces some idiot to let them connect, they can browse it all they like, but they can't even figure out who to sue.

    Congratulations.  You have managed to come up with an untraceable crime.  Does this make you feel morally superior?

    [ Parent ]

    Good article? (3.00 / 2) (#422)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:03:15 PM EST

    Yes it's illegal. I'm tired of people telling me that it is, I'm aware of that fact.

    But not for good reasons. Purely for greed.

    And yes, I do reserve the right to arrange bit patterns however I see fit.

    Me the hobbiest? I'm not sure. I've got the theory tackled, but I think someone else will end up refining it to a usable state. Time will tell.


    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Bck up your arguments (5.00 / 1) (#435)
    by squigly on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 04:11:36 AM EST

    But not for good reasons. Purely for greed.

    No, the good reasons are to promote the arts.  You are being greedy by not paying.

    And yes, I do reserve the right to arrange bit patterns however I see fit.

    So I guess it's just concidence that when these bit patterns are decoded with a popular application, they sound remarkably like copyrighted music.

    The artists you are ripping off reserve the right to sue you for arranging the bit patterns in that manner.

    [ Parent ]

    You need only ask... (5.00 / 2) (#444)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 08:04:58 AM EST

    Promoting the arts was possible long before 100 perpetual copyrights. Sociologists and economists didn't go to congress begging them for the Mickey Mouse extension act because their research showed it "would better promote the arts". Disney bought it. Whatever moral argument they (and I mean corporations by "they") had were forfeited that very day. If others didn't agree with Disney, why weren't they lobbying against it? Hell, maybe it's not their duty to do that, but it's cheap, even free PR to say they were against it.

    The bits on my hard drive tend to be decoded more as software for 20 year old computers.. which is unbuyable, and the only other place it resides is on attic-stored 5.25" floppy disks that rot after a few years (Good luck discovering who's attic it's in, too). Rest assured the authors generally aren't concerned with keeping an archive copy safe (no profit).

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    Fair enough (5.00 / 2) (#445)
    by squigly on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 08:31:25 AM EST

    So, would you still feel justified in file sharing (Or copying copyrighted material by whatever means) if copyright still expired in 14 years, and the files you were sharing were in print and under copyright?

    Just curious.

    On the matter of antique software, I totally agree.  Personally, I think there should be an expicit exception for out of print works, and possibly a shorter term for software.  How many people are profiting from software over 5 years old even?  Most software probably makes most of its profits in the first year.

    [ Parent ]

    Its already been done (5.00 / 1) (#460)
    by lordcorusa on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 02:36:24 PM EST

    http://freenet.sourceforge.net

    It makes anonymous distribution of files possible, along with numerous other benefits over traditional P2P. For example, the more you search for a given file, the more that file is spread. So Lars Ulrich searching for "Enter Sandman" will only cause more copies of "Enter Sandman" to be made, and he still would not know who was dsitributing it!

    The only reasons it hasn't caught on yet are that the user interface sucks and not enough people currently use it (chicken/egg). Give it time and the **AAs of the world will be permanently screwed.

    Of course, by that time, the RIAA will probably have purchased a law making it illegal.

    [ Parent ]

    [OT] That's not why Freenet sucks. (none / 0) (#472)
    by valeko on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 12:12:37 AM EST

    No, the real reason Freenet sucks is because it's so dismally slow that it takes 10 minutes to retrieve a webpage, 2 hours if it has pictures. And scoping it out initially, doing the search for the key, is a 2 hour process in itself, and that's prior to loading.

    The only way anyone would possibly want to use this network, which by and large, in my opinion, is useless, is if this paradigmal flaw were somehow remedied. Incidentally, I'm not "whining and bitching" -- I understand why it's slow. I'm just saying that it's impractical as it stands.

    I don't ever see this being made illegal, and if so, anyone caring.

    "Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
    [ Parent ]

    IMO it's the wrong idea... (none / 0) (#504)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 09:27:46 PM EST

    Most of the problems people have with the internet and censorship aren't at the "they won't let me have the file" level. Therefor, creating the ultimate file-trading network isn't even a solution to our problem. Doesn't matter though, I'm used to the "it's no different than freenet" crap.

    Keep in mind, if your only bitch is that "it's slow as hell", any scheme will cause that... volunteer networks (translation: no A1 grade internet connection, hardware) coupled with the overhead inherent to this sort of thing = slower than surfing yahoo and cnn.com. It goes with the territory...

    PS I still think no matter how large Meta scales, that a 2 hour webpage load is going to happen...

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    [OT] Rating patterns hilarious. (none / 0) (#473)
    by valeko on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 12:15:31 AM EST

    It's hilarious how RobotSlave, of the Arch-Libertarian Borg Collective of bc and friends, seems to have a problem with you arranging the bits on your hard drive any way you please and expressing this through his rating.

    Apparently absolute freedom is great, unless it jams an existing mechanism of making a profit.

    "Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
    [ Parent ]

    FYI (none / 0) (#474)
    by it certainly is on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 01:55:11 AM EST

    Ed Slocomb current is, or used to be employed by Sub Pop records as their computer janitor. As such, he has a mercenary interest in protecting the recording industry.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Really? (1.00 / 1) (#481)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:31:38 AM EST

    I reserve the right to arrange the bits on my hard drive in any pattern I see fit.
    There are about 5,000 child porn laws telling you that you're an idiot.

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    Well, why don't you pull another extreme example? (none / 0) (#488)
    by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:33:53 AM EST

    I don't want to arrange bits in the pattern of plans/blueprints to blow up the Pentagon either.

    I don't want lists of stolen credit card numbers.

    Nice attempt to smear me as a pedaphile though.

    --
    Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
    [ Parent ]

    if I were you (2.00 / 1) (#426)
    by gdanjo on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 09:33:28 PM EST

    If the record companies were smart, they would lower their anti-piracy/marketing budget at the same time as lowering CD prices.

    Dan ...
    "Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
    Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
    -ToT

    while talking about constitutional copyright... (5.00 / 3) (#427)
    by ph0rk on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 10:03:56 PM EST

    Our current laws aren't.  

    Your arguments are all sound, but your discussion of what is legal and what is not is too personal, to fine-grained.

    Filesharing is a herd phenomenon, and the aged lion who takes a few stragglers only makes the herd move, he doesn't kill it.

    Filesharing is by and large a reaction to percieved mistreatment, price fixing, gouging, and a host of other things.  

    Whether or not it is illegal, or it is wrong, it will most likely continue.  The RIAA will only make themselves look even worse by these lawsuits. (Honestly, a hundred billion dollars? who the hell do they think they are, Dr. Evil?)  Can they even pretend to show losses of even a thousandth that amount directly from the sharing done by these four students?  Of course not, it is merely a 'fuck with them' lawsuit, which by the way, are illegal normally (SLAPP, i believe they are called.)

    Unless they stamp out all the sharing geeks and participants in one fell swoop, they will only grow, and complicte, and dig in.

    .
    [ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]

    I might have to disagree there. (5.00 / 2) (#443)
    by valeko on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 08:02:40 AM EST

    Filesharing is by and large a reaction to percieved mistreatment, price fixing, gouging, and a host of other things.

    I'm not sure I agree here. First, let me qualify my statement in advance by noting that I am no advocate of the music industry, and basically support such piracy.

    But I'm inclined to think that a lot of the arguments against the RIAA and for unabridged file trading arose after file trading became a relatively mainstream phenomenon. The justifications seem to be mostly retroactive. I don't think the entire movement, complete with the software and the vision, was launched in response to price fixing and gouging per se.

    "Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
    [ Parent ]

    just a minute (none / 0) (#450)
    by ph0rk on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 11:17:12 AM EST

    I don't mean that filesharing is a <i>consious</i> response to the RIAA.

    But, they <i>do</i> charge an awful lot for CDs.  If their discs cost $5 a pop then the explosion of trading probably never would have happened in the way that it did.

    I'm not talking justification here, only economics/sociology.

    .
    [ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
    [ Parent ]

    If the discs cost $0.05 a pop maybe not (5.00 / 1) (#467)
    by dipierro on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 06:22:34 PM EST

    If their discs cost $5 a pop then the explosion of trading probably never would have happened in the way that it did.

    Oh come on. People don't generally pay for things they can get for free. How many people cheat on their taxes? How many people paid for Netscape after the 30 day trial period? How many people pay for any shareware? How many people cheat on tests in school? How many lie on their resumes? How many go over the speed limit?

    People use P2P because they aren't going to get caught. It's a simple cost/benefit analysis. The only way to get them to stop is to lower the prices so ridiculously low that it's not worth the hassle to use a P2P network, or to raise the costs (in terms of time consumption) of the P2P networks by making them less efficient at doing what they do. To a large extent the RIAA has been fighting in that second domain. Eliminating napster, filling the P2P networks with mislabelled crap, threatening lawsuits against the big dealers, etc.

    C'mon. People don't have morals when it comes to money. Not in America, or probably any other capitalist country.



    [ Parent ]
    exactly. (none / 0) (#471)
    by ph0rk on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 10:16:50 PM EST

    $5 was an arbitrary number, I'm sure $.05 would have been even better.

    My point was the economics and the general social mentality, which like you said is "hell no i won't pay $18 if i can ge tit for free".

    .
    [ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
    [ Parent ]

    Well... (none / 0) (#480)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:27:21 AM EST

    Honestly, a hundred billion dollars? ... Can they even pretend to show losses of even a thousandth that amount directly from the sharing done by these four students?
    As has been explained, the figure has little to do with profits, or with specific losses. The amount is derived primarily from a maximum per-violation penalty set forth by law.

    In other words: Blame your Congressmen.

    As to your other point: You're right, of course. It will continue. My intent wasn't to stop it, or even to sway the opinions of a few. My point was to address a few of the simpler arguments, which I hear recited everywhere, and to generally elevate the discussion.

    And reading through these posts, I think that I've succeeded. Aside from the predictable few, there have been some fascinating points written here. All told, this is one of the more intelligent discussion threads I've seen regarding P2P. Whether people agreed with me or not, they collectively made this page much more interesting than it was with the Op-Ed, alone. I'll chalk that as a K5 success.

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    this might not be piracy (or Google beware) (4.00 / 2) (#446)
    by caridon20 on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 08:55:54 AM EST

    Joe Barillari, a computer science student studying under Prof. Ed Felten, posted an legal analysis on his blog:

    http://barillari.org/blog/2003/04/07/#riaa-vs-peng

    It is worth a read !!!

    /C
    Dissent is NOT Treason Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    Excellent link! Excerpt: (4.50 / 2) (#451)
    by gilrain on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 11:47:56 AM EST

    Everyone should read this, even though you'll have to bother C&Ping the link in a new window. ;p

    Here's an excerpt, for the lazy, which I think destroys the RIAA's case right away. In fact, they have some nerve even bringing action:

    ----------
    Executive summary

    The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued Dan Peng, a Princeton sophomore, for direct and contributory infringement of their members' copyrights. This essay analyzes that contributory infringement claim. Peng allegedly operated a computer service called "wake" which cataloged the publicly-shared files on the campus network. The RIAA draws a parallel between "wake" and Napster, and calls upon the court to apply the reasoning from the Napster case. Their analysis falls short in three respects:

    1. "Wake" differs fundamentally from Napster in that it (allegedly) indexed a pre-existing network, just as Web search engines index the pre-existing web. Napster, on the other hand, created the network on which its users traded music.

    2. Napster's software indexed and shared only MP3 audio files. Wake, on the other hand, (allegedly) indexed all public documents on the network, which substantially expands its range of non-infringing uses.

    3. "Wake," as a pure search engine (rather than a search-engine-plus-file-sharing-system, as Napster was), is protected by the DMCA, a fact which the RIAA does not address.
    ----------

    Well, that seems pretty clear to me.

    [ Parent ]

    Major Flaw (2.50 / 6) (#449)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 11:14:43 AM EST

    Despite some otherwise well-reasoned arguments, this entire article blew its credibility by trying to drag out the old saw 'downloading files is stealing.' Plenty of people have already pointed out that this is not true; but for me, anyone who makes that fundamental mistake doesn't really have a handle on the issue of infringement and isn't much worth listening to. One of the major things to be discussed is how, in fact, file-sharing differs from theft and what impact this has on both producers and consumers. To simply blow by it and fall into the meme-trap of 'file-sharing=theft' avoids a lot of what makes up the real issue of on-line file-sharing.

    I guess what is disappointing is that this comes from someone who elsewhere says "File-sharing isn't a simple issue." Too true... and how unfortunate that the same person has oversimplified it to suit themself.


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)

    True. (3.00 / 2) (#454)
    by Trystan on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:26:40 PM EST

    Too many assume that downloading files is always stealing. Anything Box recently released an entire album of theirs. The best way to get it is P2P because their FTP site only allows 10 connections at a time. Cause and Effect is another disillusioned band which has offered high quality MP3s online before. They are currently on an independent label; a label from which I bought every CD they offer. Knowledge does not imply guilt. Posession of something does not imply it was used for illegal purposes. You have Kazaa, you have pirated! Wrong! You have a gun, you have killed! Wrong! People will say that because of the difference in scope between these arguments a comparison is not valid. But it is.
    -----
    http://www.schkerke.com
    [ Parent ]
    OK...try this, then. (2.75 / 4) (#479)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:17:03 AM EST

    One of the major things to be discussed is how, in fact, file-sharing differs from theft and what impact this has on both producers and consumers.
    OK. Do you have anything to offer in that regard?

    You criticize me for referring to file-trading as "stealing." I explained clearly, in the article, why I thought that term was appropriate, in cases where the trading is unauthorized. I even provided citation. Aside from "No it isn't," do you have anything to support your criticism?

    Someone below offered the classic, "It isn't stealing if you still own the original." Although this isn't nearly as definitive a response as you'd like to think, it does have merit. So let's assume, for a moment, that you (as a file-trader) aren't guilty of "stealing." What are you guilty of?

    Black's Law Dictionary, 6th Edition:

    conversion: An unauthorized assumption and exercise of the right of ownership over goods or personal chattels belonging to another, to the alteration of their condition or the exclusion of the owner's rights. ... Unauthorized and wrongful exercise of dominion and control over another's personal property, to exclusion of or inconsistent with rights of owner. Catania v. Garage De Le Paix, Inc., Tex.Civ.App., 542 S.W.2d 239, 241.
    I find that most people don't enjoy legalese, so I avoid it. But heck, if y'all want to argue semantics, I've got a library of WestLaw sitting here. I'm game.

    As a file-trader (which you may not be), you are exercising domain over someone else's intellectual property. In 99% of relevant cases*, the owner has authorized a specific degree of distribution for his work. By distributing that work beyond those specifications, you are committing an intentional tort. Law 101, folks.) You are exercising control to which you have no right. Period.

    Obviously, it doesn't have the glamour of criminal law, but it's got arguably more bite. I certainly won't yet concede that criminal larceny statutes don't also apply, but I'll readily agree that those questions will have to be tested in court before we know for sure. The merit of the traders' argument, there, is that most larceny statutes include something to the effect of, "with intent to deprive the owner thereof." However, we return to Black's:

    Obtaining possession of property by fraud, trick or device with preconceived design or intent to appropriate, convert or steal is "larceny." John v. United States, 65 U.S.App.D.C. 11, 79 F.2d 136; People v. Cook, 10 Cal.App.2d 54, 51 P.2d 169, 170.
    You'll notice the specific reference to conversion.

    Ultimately, the major flaw in the "it's not stealing" argument is simple. There are some statutes which are worded in such a way as to disallow their application, here. But in those cases where more general statutes exist, the determination will be left to a judge and jury. And I assure you, however large you may perceive the "anti-RIAA groundswell" to be, they've got better lawyers than whomever they'll drag into court. Whether they attack themselves, or simply arm a local D.A., they'll fight better and harder than their prey. When the law is gray, trials go to whomever wins the jury. Nothing's a sure thing, but my money's on the big money.

    crib

    * I am allowing that there are some musicians who retain the rights to their recordings, and who openly encourage and authorize their fans to trade those recordings across P2P.

    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]

    I hate having to go through this repeatedly... (5.00 / 1) (#491)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:43:36 AM EST

    You would think this debate had gone on long enough that people who have even a passing familiarity with it (as you seem to) would already be familiar with these distinctions. Certainly there are enough articles out there dealing with it; even the RIAA, when dealing with the legal system, doesn't pretend that this is stealing. They use the proper term: copyright infringement. The 'theft' label is a cheap attempt to shape the debate in the public forum, which has to a large degree succeeded--case in point, we're having to go over this again instead of debating the substance of the issue.

    So; you wanted cites? Probably the definitive one in this debate is Dowling v. United States, 473 U.S. 207 (1985). There is a fairly good overview of this case here: Memorandum of Order to Dismiss. Perhaps the most relevant section of Justice Blackmun's opinion is this:

    It follows that interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: "Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner," that is, anyone who trespasses into his exclusive domain by using or authorizing the use of the copyrighted work in one of the five ways set forth in the statute, "is an infringer of the copyright."
    And that is the basis of the reason why theft is not equivalent to copyright infringement. It is an entirely separate category of the law; the things you take for granted about chattel property do not apply to intellectual property. The use of the word 'property' may be misleading, I understand, but it does not refer to the same class of item in these two cases.

    The base problem is that you are trying to construct new legal theory on a matter for which precedent already exists. Your research and definitions, as you have interpreted them, certainly could lead to the conclusion that file trading is theft. There is nothing wrong with your logic. But the problem is that there is already another completely separate body of law which you ignore, and the courts (including the Supreme Court) have already considered those arguments and they haven't come to the same conclusion. You can argue that they were wrong; but so far it doesn't seem you are even aware that they had already considered the matter, let alone taken a position challenging it. In fact, you specifically say "...those questions will have to be tested in court before we know for sure." But of course, they have already, and because of that, none of the meticulous research you have done really applies. If you've been basing all this on the idea that traded files are chattel (as your reference to Black's definition of conversion implies) then you're going to have to start over. They are not chattel; citations you've made to cases dealing with chattel property are irrelevant.

    And the reason I take issue with this is that it obscures the real debate, which is over the extent to which fair use covers online file sharing. Again, from the Dowling case:

    A copyright, as Justice Blackmun explained, is unlike an ordinary chattel because the holder does not acquire exclusive dominion over the thing owned. The limited nature of the property interest conferred by copyright stems from an overriding First Amendment concern for the free dissemination of ideas. "The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors. but '[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.' Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 8." Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 U.S. 340, 349 (1991). Data general Corp. v. Grumman Systems Support, 36 F.3d 1147, 1187 (1st Cir.1994) (same). Justice Blackmun offered the "fair use" doctrine (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107) and the statutory scheme of compulsory licensing of musical compositions (17 U.S.C. Sec. 115) as examples of ways in which the property rights of a copyright holder are circumscribed by the Copyright Act [fn 3].
    So; I'd be more than happy to delve into that with you, but pulling out those arguments rooted in IP=CP and conflating infringement with theft, you're just exposing a massive ignorance on the subject, and that's why I slammed your article. Nothing personal; I just feel the debate needs to move past the misconceptions--and the idea that trading files is simply stealing is a misconception.


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
    [ Parent ]

    Clarification please... (none / 0) (#492)
    by Chubs on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 01:06:16 PM EST

    Is "an infringer of the copyright" an individual who is breaking the law or not? Theft may not be the best word to use, but is infringement all right?

    Personally I think a lot of the IP does not equal CP arguments are rather useless. Would you agree there are IP owners and CP owners? Let's put this in another context. The government (or a group of people) decide your house (apartment, whatever) is now open to public use. In your world is there no theft or injustice here since no one has taken over domain of your house. You still have access to it, don't you? Would this be purely a criminal issue, or a civil one as well?

    I agree that copyright laws were created to promote the progress of science and useful arts. In what way does copyright promote arts and science if it doesn't provide for financial reward?

    [ Parent ]

    Yes (none / 0) (#494)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 01:21:19 PM EST

    Infringment is violating a law--just not the same law that 'theft' refers to.

    I would agree that there are IP owners and CP owners; however, the crucial difference, and what is missing in your example, is that under the laws that establish copyright (and therefore, infringement) there are also responsibilities placed on the IP owner. Actually, I guess you could still make a comparison... there are certain responsibilities incumbent on owners of real property as well (although your example is also incorrect in that it uses a house--which is 'real' rather than 'chattel' property... by my understanding chattel is basically portable) such as keeping your walks shoveled in winter and maintaining a basic degree of serviceability in the interest of public safety. So those things already exist and we don't go bonkers over that sort of restriction on our ownership rights, eh?

    And you have reached the real issue at stake in your last paragraph--to what degree is financial reward necessary to promote the arts and sciences? How much money is a copyright holder due? How much can they regulate their intellectual property and yet still be said to be providing an equitable benefit to the general public? That's what the conversation needs to be about.

    As far as file-trading goes, I'm not sure I have the answer. I do believe that the current studio system represses far more artistic expression than it furthers. The system is set up to produce a relatively narrow range of mega-stars rather than increasing the depth and breadth of the art. Does file-trading promote that better? I doubt it, but I'm not sure--no one is, because the RIAA has successfully framed the argument to such extent that no one seems to really be studying this.

    And as far as other recent copyright issues, such as extensions, go, I think clearly the restraint imposed by broader grant of copyrights is beginning to inhibit arts and sciences far more than the financial reward is promoting them. When a successful franchise is successfully locked down for extended periods, the copyright holder has no pressure to produce new works; and others who may have wanted to produce derivative works are unable to.


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
    [ Parent ]

    Somewhat agree... (none / 0) (#510)
    by Chubs on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 02:02:02 PM EST

    The use of a house in the example was wrong as it is real property and not chattel. Substitute "car" for "house" and my original question will be in the correct context.

    I don't agree that the current studio system represses artistic expression, in fact, I would say it has not impact at all. If the artist expresses themselves in a commercially viable way then the studios are more likely to pick them up because there's a greater likelihood they'll make money. People will say that studios dictate public taste in music - but looking at most music trends over the past 30 years I'd say it's mostly the other way around where a movement starts in the bars and small venues and works its way up. In the end, artists can express themselves any way they want to and whether they are financially rewarded or not is up to capitalism in action, not good taste - unfortunately.

    I do agree the current copyright extensions aren't really necessary and work against the original purpose and time frame. I don't agree with the "no pressure to produce new works" theme, though. As a book publisher I've found most creative folks don't give up being creative because they're making a living. They're more likely to stop producing because they can't be rewarded and have to spend their time and energy making money through other means.

    So, do you want to be the one to submit the long article to kuro5hin to send the dialog down the right path of "how much is enough" when it comes to compensation? ;)


    [ Parent ]

    hehe... God no (none / 0) (#514)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 10:49:43 AM EST

    I guess I wouldn't really say that the studio system represses artistic expression, necessarily, only that it is probably not the most efficient way to encourage it. My thinking is that the resources are rather narrowly focussed into producing certain popular types of hits; like all businesses, studios want predictability and it shows in what they support. It just seems to me that the same amount of resources, spread rather more evenly, could support a lot more, and more varied, expression than we currently see.

    But I'm not invested enough in the matter to want to type an essay on it, no. :)


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
    [ Parent ]

    Yes; sometimes (none / 0) (#495)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 01:27:40 PM EST

    Actually, let me clarify the clarification and throw a link at you. :)

    A better answer is "Sometimes". There are some categories of infringement that are criminal offenses; there are others that have only civil remedies. This is the section of the Act in question: Copyright Act

    Dry stuff, but it answers the question better than I can.


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
    [ Parent ]

    Oh, and incidentally... (5.00 / 1) (#497)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:01:42 PM EST

    Nice shot at trying to avoid the criticism by modding my parent comment down to zero. It doesn't show up, of course, when looking at the ratings directly, but it does show on your recently rated comments page.

    Very classy. I'm sure that that privilege exists expressly for you to get rid of comments that critique your stories.


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
    [ Parent ]

    LOL... (none / 0) (#512)
    by cribcage on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 07:52:35 PM EST

    Nice shot at trying to avoid the criticism by modding my parent comment down to zero.
    ROTFL.

    I quoted, and responded to your comment. How could anyone possibly accuse me of "trying to avoid" your criticism?

    I modded your comment to 0 because I felt it was appropriate. A few other people posted into this article, arguing, "The artist doesn't lose any money." My article had specifically addressed this argument; yet these people neither made reference to that fact, nor countered any of my points, as if they had skipped over that section entirely. These type of comments, which can be quashed with a simple "RTFA," generally deserve 0s.

    Your criticism was similar. You took issue with the term "stealing." My article had explained why I thought this term was acceptable. You didn't offer any counterargument; you simply said the term was wrong, and then you quipped that I wasn't "much worth listening to." I stand behind my rating of your comment: It deserved a 0.

    (As does this empty accusation of yours, incidentally. But I'll be chartiable, and let you have infinitera's 5. Don't ever say I never gave you anything. ;-)

    And BTW, I don't know what you're talking about, when you claim that my moderation "doesn't show up...when looking at the ratings directly." Looking at the ratings "directly," I see six ratings of your comment: two 5s, one 3, two 1s, and one 0 -- and the 0 is clearly attributed to "cribcage." You seem to think I was trying to "hide" it. As far as I know, aside from using another ID, there isn't any way to hide moderations on K5. Methinks you're a bit paranoid. (Which is probably the case, anyhow, because I can't imagine why you would spend time going through anyone else's rating history.)

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    Sure... (none / 0) (#515)
    by ScuzzMonkey on Fri Apr 11, 2003 at 11:11:10 AM EST

    ...you gave a moderation that would, had no one else modded the comment, dropped it off the screen. Tell me again how that is encouraging the debate?

    But let's take your argument at face value. Let's say you really didn't understand the criticism, thought it didn't contribute to the conversation (which, if you've bothered to read your trusted user guidelines, is the reason for zero ratings--offensive, script-generated, content-free, intended only to abuse other users--not a "RTFA" comment, as you allege). There was no abusive language in it; if you really didn't understand it, why didn't you just ask? We actually might have had a reasonable discussion (although pardon me for noticing that when I provided exactly the sort of "countargument" you claim to have desired, you haven't responded--sort of makes a joke out of that justification). Frankly, as you might have said "RTFA" I similarly pointed to the other comments making the distinction between theft and infringement--the 'added value' was the point that if you didn't understand that basic distinction, you probably weren't qualified to be writing the article.

    What really happened is your feelings got hurt and you decided to get a little petty revenge. I have trouble believing that you didn't know that zero mods only show up for you on the direct view if YOU were the one who modded them... for the person modded, it shows like this:

    Others have rated this comment as follows:
    acceleriter 5
    infinitera 5
    noogie 3
    RobotSlave 1
    Detritus 1
    Zero Rating: 1

    No doubt to prevent the modded person from seeking revenge. But frankly, I'm better than you, so no worries there. Call me paranoid, but at least I'm not petty and spiteful. :)

    If you want to discuss the meat of the issue further, reply to that comment. Show me I'm wrong, that your cites are somehow relevant in the face of the Supreme Court's decision. If you want instead, as I suspect, to simply 'get even' somehow, you can reply to this and get your last word in and feel like you are moral and just. I won't debate it further--you and I and anyone else reading here can see what's happened easily enough.


    No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
    [ Parent ]

    Several thousand CDs of independent music (2.50 / 2) (#452)
    by Pac on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:00:09 PM EST

    I own several thousand CDs of independent music

    I didn't even know there were that many CDs of independent music out there. But then again that is not my point. My point is that I am in doubt if you are single or just filthy rich. Because I know my wife would throw me out of the house if I insisted in maintaining several thousand CDs of unknown, mostly bad music around. My several hundred sci-fi and tech books are already a rich point of discussion.

    Evolution doesn't take prisoners


    Well, not if you share ideals. (5.00 / 1) (#453)
    by Trystan on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 12:24:23 PM EST

    That is if his wife enjoys independent music as much as he does then quite possibly he does enjoy it. And there's a few more filthy rich people out there than you can probably imagine. I don't have a single pirated MP3 but my collection still numbers a bit over 1,000. I don't trade them, I own the CDs, but do you think "innocent until guilty" would even come into the picture if the RIAA visited me? The preponderance of proof would be on me, not on the RIAA. And that's where the system breaks down.
    -----
    http://www.schkerke.com
    [ Parent ]
    Umm... OK. (none / 0) (#476)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:24:14 AM EST

    I didn't even know there were that many CDs of independent music out there. ...I know my wife would throw me out of the house if I insisted in maintaining several thousand CDs... My several hundred sci-fi and tech books are already a rich point of discussion.
    Other than advertising your ignorance and your marital problems, did you have any contribution to offer the discussion?

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    what is the k5 obsession with wordiness? (1.71 / 7) (#455)
    by dh003i on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 01:00:12 PM EST

    Look, this entire tired article could have been compressed down to about three or four paragraphs. Why the hell do self-righteous jerk-offs like this guy feel the need to speak in round-about philosophical terms? I had trouble staying awake while reading this. It comes down to this. You may or may not think that sharing copyrighted files is immoral. That doesn't matter. What matters is reality. Reality is that millions of people are doing this, and nothing the RIAA or MPAA does is going to have any significant impact on it. P2P software will get better, more anonymous, etc. These businesses will be in trouble if they don't change their business model. It's called evolution. Whether they make it or not is of no concern to me, especially since this will ultimately be beneficial for music and culture. There is an entire generation of children growing up with file-sharing and P2P being part of their lives. This is becoming universal in our culture. These tired moral arguments are as irrelevant as the moral objections of XXX-tians who think that homosexuality is "wrong". No-one cares and it isn't going to do anything.

    Social Security is a pyramid scam.

    what is the k5 obsession with wordiness? (1.85 / 7) (#456)
    by dh003i on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 01:00:30 PM EST

    Look, this entire tired article could have been compressed down to about three or four paragraphs. Why the hell do self-righteous jerk-offs like this guy feel the need to speak in round-about philosophical terms? I had trouble staying awake while reading this.

    It comes down to this. You may or may not think that sharing copyrighted files is immoral. That doesn't matter. What matters is reality. Reality is that millions of people are doing this, and nothing the RIAA or MPAA does is going to have any significant impact on it. P2P software will get better, more anonymous, etc. These businesses will be in trouble if they don't change their business model. It's called evolution. Whether they make it or not is of no concern to me, especially since this will ultimately be beneficial for music and culture. There is an entire generation of children growing up with file-sharing and P2P being part of their lives. This is becoming universal in our culture.

    These tired moral arguments are as irrelevant as the moral objections of XXX-tians who think that homosexuality is "wrong". No-one cares and it isn't going to do anything.

    Social Security is a pyramid scam.

    What is this k5 obsession with echoes? (5.00 / 2) (#458)
    by Dr. Zowie on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 01:57:36 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    That's GOT to be a joke... (none / 0) (#477)
    by cribcage on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:26:55 AM EST

    dh003i reiterates:

    what is the k5 obsession with wordiness?
    ROTFL.

    Can you say, "irony"?

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    Are these cases truly P2P? (4.33 / 3) (#466)
    by lpret on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 06:03:29 PM EST

    Look at the programs that are under scrutiny. They only help to make searching the network faster. This is like saying that google.com is an evil P2P program because it allows you to search for music faster -- just simply ridiculous.

    Also, the network is used for other types of files as well, which means that the network is not used solely for music-sharing. Microsoft could be sued as well under these circumstances, as the integration of the search function in the OS clearly facilitates faster searching of files on other computers. It's ridiculous.

    In these cases, there is no way that the RIAA could actually win, and I'm looking forward to them losing. That is to say if they actually get to court, because I bet this was all one big scare tactic for some settlement outside of court.


    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb

    Why would I care ? (2.00 / 2) (#489)
    by Eivind on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 07:36:26 AM EST

    All you are doing is arguing that using p2p to download or share copyrigthed music is illegal with current American copyrigth-law.

    Question is, why should I care ? Why should anyone ? It is a fact that millions of people share copyrigthed music with eachothers by way of p2p and other methods. This was true 10 years ago too, only then it was called "casettes".

    Technology makes sharing easier, so people do more of it. Hardly surprising. The RIAA can adapt, or simply become irrelevant. Personally I guess I find their current course a-ok, they're heading firmly for the cliff.

    Stop spreading FUD (4.00 / 4) (#490)
    by richieb on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 08:41:40 AM EST

    Let's be clear from the beginning. If the RIAA's complaints are accurate, these kids are plain, run-of-the-mill idiots. They weren't simply trading files; they were running independent networks, allowing massive numbers of people to trade files. Specifically, the RIAA is charging that the four networks distributed 27,000 files, 500,000 files, 650,000 files, and over a million files, respectively. That's a hell of a lot of pirated music. To use a common analogy: These four were dealers, not simply users.

    You article maybe well reasoned, but you are starting from some flawed premises. For example the student accused of sharing 650,000 files was actually running a local search engine that indexed all files available on people's shared drives within Princeton network.

    See the analysis here.

    Are you saying that it is a copyright violation to run a search engine?

    ...richie
    It is a good day to code.

    Not Really FUD (1.00 / 1) (#493)
    by OneEyedApe on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 01:11:03 PM EST

    ...If the RIAA's complaints are accurate...

    This is not really a flawed premise, at least to me. I would say that it is the premise of the RIAA that is flawed, not the premise of cribcage. I have seen FUD. This is not FUD, this article is making more sense than most parties I have seen in this discussion.



    [ Parent ]
    I guess you're right (none / 0) (#500)
    by richieb on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 04:36:01 PM EST

    This is not really a flawed premise, at least to me. I would say that it is the premise of the RIAA that is flawed, not the premise of cribcage.

    I guess you're right. But in this case the validity of RIAA claims is dubious at best. So, even a perfect argument from such a start is equally dubious.

    For example, assuming that angels can fit on the head of a pin, I could supply a very logical argument that at 42 angels can stand on a head of a pin at once. Unfortunately such a result is useless.

    ...richie
    It is a good day to code.
    [ Parent ]

    I can't believe this made it on K5! (2.00 / 2) (#496)
    by Lethyos on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 02:21:11 PM EST

    How on earth does an article like this get posted to the front page of K5!  The author of this piece is doing little more than mimick the RIAA's lawsuit, a lawsuit that is not only flat-out wrong technically speaking, its logic is severely flawed.

    I highly suggest that everyone here at least skim over this analysis written by an understudy of Edward Felton -- a man who knows a lot more about logic and the law than the author of this article.

    What these students were guilty of, is running a service that is fundamentally no different from Google.  If you think that's worthy of a 100 billion dollar lawsuit, you're insane.

    earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit

    downloading from kazaa, p2p, napster and the like (5.00 / 1) (#501)
    by ibbie on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 05:08:18 PM EST

    plenty of artists release music on their websites via mp3. some even release entire promotional albums using this medium.

    downloading that kind of music is just fine. when they released them into the wild, it was of their own volition. hence, this is not stealing.

    downloading an album which is being sold in stores, whether it's by song or by ISO, is stealing.

    why is this so hard to grasp?

    i would just like to state for the record, that personally i don't give a flying crap if someone downloads one, or a million songs. as a matter of fact, i hope you do. just download the pop songs, the mainstream crap that keeps me from buying a radio, and leave the talented artists alone. (:

    --
    george washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but he also admitted doing it. now, do you know why his father didn't punish him? because george still had the axe in his hand.
    But what they did wasn't wrong! (3.75 / 4) (#505)
    by mcrbids on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 01:35:26 AM EST

    These students may or may not have been sharing files - but they did so using Microsoft File Sharing!

    Their "magic tool" was simply a search engine that crawled open SMB (Windows File Sharing) shares on the local network.

    In short, these guys wrote a search engine for Files on people's hard drives! It wasn't just "copyrighted marterial", it included (among other things) word documents, windows .DLL files, the whole shooting match!

    So, perhaps google is next?

    The line of "file sharing" == "piracy" has gotten rediculous. When you print a file on a network, you are "file sharing".

    And, when you actually get the facts, the colors aren't so black and white.
    I kept looking around for somebody to solve the problem. Then I realized... I am somebody! -Anonymouse

    Piracy prosecution = speeding cameras (3.00 / 2) (#507)
    by CAIMLAS on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 04:42:53 AM EST

    The concept of prosecuting nearly the entire populace for piracy is about as unjust as the speeding cameras used in much of Europe, or any other type of device that automates sending you a ticket.

    But speeding is dangerous and can kill people, you say. I say, so do cell phones, so does eating and drinking in a car, or even holding a conversation. They're equally as dangerous, yet only speeding is illigal (and punished). Why is that?

    It's because they can. This is what is called a "police state" - "A country that maintains repressive control over the people by means of police". The RIAA is just that, if not in name then in function. They're attempting to use P2P networks (and other htings like them) to further their gasp on the control of both citizens and the musicians which they supposedly serve. The technology behind P2P networks drive their thirst for power. They didn't complain too loudly when there were just as many people downloading full albums from FTPs or HTTP servers. They respond now because of the potential for further control - centralized items are easier to control than thousands of non-connected items.

    There are more people that 'pirate' music than those that don't, just like hardly anyone obeys speed limits. If they do, it's ususally for fear of a speeding ticket.

    Laws only work when people are willing ot obey them, and that usually only happens when people see the sense behind those laws. The comparision to the US alcohol prohibition is a good comparision. Organized crime took a terrible hit at the end of prohibition, because there was no longer any market.

    It's almost always an indication that there's something wrong with either the underpinning mores of the society being in dire conflict, or a restrictive and contradictive law. It might very well be both, but it most certainly is the latter.
    --

    Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

    this... (5.00 / 2) (#508)
    by melia on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 09:51:10 AM EST

    just like hardly anyone obeys speed limits. If they do, it's ususally for fear of a speeding ticket.

    No, it's because these people aren't selfish idiots who aren't mindful when they're in control of a vehicle or think it's ok to speed. Incidentally, i wouldn't call the enforcement of speeding laws "repression" either.
    Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
    [ Parent ]

    A wild leap... (none / 0) (#513)
    by cribcage on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 08:17:52 PM EST

    Let's review your contentions.

    • Speeding is equally dangerous as talking, while driving.
    • People obey speed limits only for fear of government.
    • The RIAA is equivalent to a police state.
    I'm going to go out on a limb, here: Someone, somewhere, at some point in your life, once characterized your opinions as "radical."

    crib



    Please don't read my journal.
    [ Parent ]
    This is yet another outrage (none / 0) (#516)
    by funklord on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:26:57 PM EST

    How many times do people need to have it explained to them that piracy is not theft,
    they are fundamentally different concepts of ownership transfer.

    A thief takes something from the previous owner, which in turn loses his possession.

    A software pirate (in worst case theory) takes a percentage of software sales away from the author/owner. No loss of possession takes place in this matter, therefore it is not theft.

    The reality however is quite different, the concept of copyright is deprecated, controlled by old fashioned laws.

      According to some people like the RIAA and software federations we should be paying in "lease type" forms for our media. (be it software, music or movies)

    The idea that media sales have decreased due to piracy is fundamentally flawed, since so many more factors affect this kind of statistics than sales/yr.
    When media industries have been earning money as most, it's been during higher economy times, and due to very much bigger advertisement budgets and larger channels to the customer (the internet for information retrieval wasn't always an option, and thus TV and other controlled forms were predominant)
    Thus, their number of sales today are a lot higher than one would ever expect. (due to the free advertisement gotten from the many forms of piracy)

    People simply don't want any more britney spears, backstreet boys, nor the never changing form of commercial rap.
    In the UK this is most notable, since if people are unhappy with the types of music on offer, they create new ones themselves. (looking at the amount of professional artists)

    Offer us something we want, on an acceptable media, at a reasonable price, you will see sales rise drastically.

    For example CDs are a very good media, and offer top quality sound, as long as they aren't made incompatible due to copy protection schemes.

    The DVD video on the other hand is not a very good media since it's increased complexity and demand on playback hardware. due to once difficult and today laughable region/copy protection schemes and closed encoding codecs. This makes the choice for a tech savvy person very simple, copy and reencode the movie into a free format (and technically superior) like xvid and ogg/vorbis in which case it'll fit on a CD, or several movies on one DVD and playback possibilities in the future are safe since the format is free and open for everyone and price is non existant.
    Basically, when buying a DVD, part of the sales need to go to:
    Author
    Distributor
    Advertisement
    Macromedia
    MPEG

    And of course those unintelligent copy protection designers/consultants.

    Why are we paying for all this?

    Advertisement means that we don't really need the product.

    Copy protection schemes mean that we are frowned upon as ignorant fools who will pay to make their received media worse.

    It has to stop somewhere, either we will copy it, disregard it, but sure as hell still won't buy it unless it meets our needs and demands in all areas.

    RIAA vs. Captain Teach | 518 comments (482 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
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