Is it wrong to download?

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AdamR
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Post by AdamR »

The owner of the product (owner of the copyright) has virtually any and every say in who and who can't use their product. For example, if I produced a piece of software, was releasing it for free, but all you had to do in return was give me your email address, I could in fact turn you down just because thought your email address wasn't creative enough.

If I owned a store, I could tell you that you weren't allowed in just because you smell funny.

It doesn't matter whether or not you would pay for the music anyway. It doesn't matter whether it is in infinite supply. Ownership is ownership, plain and simple. Copyright is copyright.

You have absolutely no right to take the decision away from the owner and put it in your own hands. Period.

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Post by VVVZZZ »

In theory, yes, that's how it would work. We would all know precisely the desires of the copyright owners, and we would know exactly what not to download and what we can download.

But it's far more complicated than that.

We can't all read each other's minds, and EULA's can be interpreted many different ways sometimes.

Also there is some ambiguity sometimes:

(Example: the game ZZT had a built-in warning that you're not allowed to copy it around. Epic, the company that owns the copyright, added a separate readme file that indicated it was freeware.)

Also there are variations, for example in Canada it's OK to download music because when you buy a blank CD, a percent of it goes to the music industry.

There is a gigantic blur of confusion between the copyright owners and the general public. It's hard to tell what should and shouldn't be downloaded.

And no, it wouldn't work to just avoid downloading anything for fear. With that attitude, we may as well smash all our hard drives with a hammer, burn all our books and paper, shred all the CDs, just to make sure there's a 0% chance we broke the copyright law.

Best example of this was the SCO vs. Linux problem. That's how mangled up the connection between copyright owners and the public is.
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Post by Drunky »

drathbun wrote:
VVVZZZ wrote:Downloading can never cause somebody to lose money.

Yes, it does. Why is that so hard to understand?

I sell a product. You didn't buy it but downloaded it from some website instead. You might not have physically removed $20 from my bank account, but you took $20 of value from me without reimbursement.
VVVZZZ wrote: Companies assume that the pirates are potential customers. What a silly assumption!

That does not change the fact that if you are NOT a customer, you have no right to my product. What an even sillier assumption!
VVVZZZ wrote: If your sales encounter a sudden drop, then it might be time to attack the downloaders. Until then, continue to nurture your customer base. :D

At that point it is too late. If you do not vigorously defend your rights, then the courts will at a later date often decide that you were lax in your own legal obligations, and therefore were given tacit approval to the illegal downloading and sharing of your works.


As I said there are some people who just DL something because they can. They would have never used the product otherwise. The company wouldn't lose money from these people because they never intended on paying in the first place.
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Post by drathbun »

VVVZZZ wrote: Because the supply is practically infinite.

I beg to differ. :-) It is only infinite because in the case of illegal downloading someone else has chosen to make it so. If I put out a music cd and decide that I want to limit the production to five copies for my friends, then any other copies of that production are illegal. Nobody else has the right to change that decision.
The traditional rules of Capitalism do not apply on computers too well. Capitalism works best when there's a limited amount of something.

We're not talking capitalism, we're talking legalism. Or some sort of "ism" anyway. :-) I've said this over and over in discussions like this: the fact that something is digital and therefore easy to copy does not minimize the effort taken to create the product in the first place, nor should it eliminate the right of the creator to decide what he or she wants to do with said product. If you take away my right to decide, that's stealing. No ism's there.
When all you need to do is create the product once, and the supply is infinite, that's the main reason why phpBB and Linux are able to do what they do for free.

Not exactly. phpBB is free because of the choice of the developers (see the theme going here?)

IBP used to be free, now it's not. Why? The developers changed their minds.
vBulletin and Windows are in the same universe. A pile of 1s and 0s that can be duplicated forever more. It is only the power of the government that allows creating vBulletin and Windows to be financially rewarding, the natural rules of Capitalism are irrelevant there.

The capital outlay required to create Windows is huge. If there is a market for that product, the company that creates it deserves to be able to set appropriate compensation expectations. It's up to the markets to determine if that compensation expectation is realistic. So now we're talking economics. ;-) But at no point does the power to decide to pay or not to pay transfer to someone other than the creator of the product.
drathbun wrote:That does not change the fact that if you are NOT a customer, you have no right to my product. What an even sillier assumption!


When the supply has no major limit, it's natural for a product to be free (like tap water and fresh air and phpBB and Linux).

Heh, that's an entirely different subject. Water is hardly free. Neither is fresh air.
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Post by drathbun »

Drunky wrote: As I said there are some people who just DL something because they can. They would have never used the product otherwise. The company wouldn't lose money from these people because they never intended on paying in the first place.

*buzz*

Doesn't fly. If you never intend to pay for it, then you have to right to use the product. As I said in an earlier post in this topic, it's not your decision to make. You cannot decide to simply take a product because you don't want to pay it. While it might not physically reduce the amount of money in my bank account, you have removed something of value nonetheless.

I know the analogy is flawed (Darth Wong told me so years ago :-P) but it's like stealing a car because you never intended to pay for one yourself. The fact that building a car requires physical components and duplicating software does not doesn't excuse the difference, at least the way I see it. It isn't your choice whether to pay or not.

I'm waiting for someone to claim the "I'm a poor student and can't afford it" argument, that's one that hasn't popped back up in this discussion. Can't afford it? Go to Kinko's, they rent software by the hour. It's like renting a car for your prom... if it's important enough, you'll find the money. :-)

I'm probably coming across as a serious jerk in this topic, but it's because I feel quite passionate about this subject. To me it is quite obvious that anyone (and I realize blanket statements are often dangerous) that downloads illegal content has never been a content creator themselves. I've worked for software companies. I have friends that are musicians. I am a photographer. All of these (software, music, pictures) are so easily downloaded and shared on the web that people assume it must be okay.

It's not. It's really that simple.
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Post by Anon »

It is only infinite because in the case of illegal downloading someone else has chosen to make it so. If I put out a music cd and decide that I want to limit the production to five copies for my friends, then any other copies of that production are illegal. Nobody else has the right to change that decision.


Yes it is illegal. It is illegal as it is copyright infringement. That does not discredit the fact that reproduction is infinite.
I've said this over and over in discussions like this: the fact that something is digital and therefore easy to copy does not minimize the effort taken to create the product in the first place


Indeed, the production of the work itself is not diminished, however the work done to create my copy of Deus-There_s_nothing_impossible.mp3 is very little
nor should it eliminate the right of the creator to decide what he or she wants to do with said product. If you take away my right to decide, that's stealing. No ism's there.


Copyright infringement != stealing. Stealing is the deprivation of property. Sure, I am depriving your right to make money off it, however a right is not property. It is also a my right to enter a legally binding marriage. Does that mean marriage is my property?
but it's like stealing a car because you never intended to pay for one yourself. The fact that building a car requires physical components and duplicating software does not doesn't excuse the difference, at least the way I see it. It isn't your choice whether to pay or not.


Indeed Darth was correct. The two terms are not the same. It is illegal for me to use a car I stole, and to use an MP3 I copied without permission, but they are different crimes and must be treated as such.
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Post by Drunky »

drathbun wrote:
Drunky wrote:As I said there are some people who just DL something because they can. They would have never used the product otherwise. The company wouldn't lose money from these people because they never intended on paying in the first place.

*buzz*

Doesn't fly. If you never intend to pay for it, then you have to right to use the product. As I said in an earlier post in this topic, it's not your decision to make. You cannot decide to simply take a product because you don't want to pay it. While it might not physically reduce the amount of money in my bank account, you have removed something of value nonetheless.

I know the analogy is flawed (Darth Wong told me so years ago :-P) but it's like stealing a car because you never intended to pay for one yourself. The fact that building a car requires physical components and duplicating software does not doesn't excuse the difference, at least the way I see it. It isn't your choice whether to pay or not.

I'm waiting for someone to claim the "I'm a poor student and can't afford it" argument, that's one that hasn't popped back up in this discussion. Can't afford it? Go to Kinko's, they rent software by the hour. It's like renting a car for your prom... if it's important enough, you'll find the money. :-)

I'm probably coming across as a serious jerk in this topic, but it's because I feel quite passionate about this subject. To me it is quite obvious that anyone (and I realize blanket statements are often dangerous) that downloads illegal content has never been a content creator themselves. I've worked for software companies. I have friends that are musicians. I am a photographer. All of these (software, music, pictures) are so easily downloaded and shared on the web that people assume it must be okay.

It's not. It's really that simple.


I never said they had the right to use it. I said the companies don't lose money.
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Post by geocator »

Drunky wrote: I never said they had the right to use it. I said the companies don't lose money.


The certainly do. There are legal fees. There are salrays to pay individuals to deal with it, etc. Further, you would buy the software or music or whatever if you had no other choice. If you really wanted it you would find the money.
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Post by Drunky »

geocator wrote:
Drunky wrote:
I never said they had the right to use it. I said the companies don't lose money.


The certainly do. There are legal fees. There are salrays to pay individuals to deal with it, etc. Further, you would buy the software or music or whatever if you had no other choice. If you really wanted it you would find the money.


You misunderstood. They don't lose money from somebody downloading it. Show me one case of a download actually losing a company money. They may lose money from suing an individual but there is no way they could possibly lose money from a download.
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Post by AdamR »

Drunky wrote: You misunderstood. They don't lose money from somebody downloading it. Show me one case of a download actually losing a company money. They may lose money from suing an individual but there is no way they could possibly lose money from a download.


In retail there's something called the close rate. What it shows is how many people bought something in ratio to how many people came into the store. And yes, everyone who doesn't buy something is considered a loss to the company. Just the other day at my local Best Buy we brought in more income than 90% of the other stores in the USA, but our close rate was only 35%. That means only 35% of the people who came in the store actually bought something. Yes, we still made a heck of a lot of money, but we had a considerable loss because of the 65% that didn't buy something.

Let's apply this same principal to the music business. While they may not be directly taking something away, they are most certainly indirectly creating loss for the creator.

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Post by VVVZZZ »

I'll give you my example:

In my whole life, I downloaded about 5000 songs. Out of that 5000, I would have only bought about 750 of them if buying a song was the only way to get a song.

That is about 4250 perfectly harmless downloads if I were American (all 5000 of them are perfectly good since I'm in Canada - the music industry gets money everytime I buy CD-Rs - which is why it's legal and all good).

If I ever moved to the United States, I would obediently chop up all my CD-Rs with music, delete all my MP3 files, delete Limewire, but only spend about $40 absolute maximum on music per month.
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Post by Drunky »

VVVZZZ wrote: I'll give you my example:

In my whole life, I downloaded about 5000 songs. Out of that 5000, I would have only bought about 750 of them if buying a song was the only way to get a song.

That is about 4250 perfectly harmless downloads if I were American (all 5000 of them are perfectly good since I'm in Canada - the music industry gets money everytime I buy CD-Rs - which is why it's legal and all good).

If I ever moved to the United States, I would obediently chop up all my CD-Rs with music, delete all my MP3 files, delete Limewire, but only spend about $40 absolute maximum on music per month.


Why would you do that?
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Post by VVVZZZ »

Although I have absolutely no intention to move to the United States (I'm hardly inclined to move to another province, let alone another country), the USA seems to have draconian copyright laws compared to Canada, and thus I would respond accordingly.

America is even annoyed with Canada's easygoing attitude with copyright law. We're on their Special 301 Watch List, and even some other IP associations are pretty upset with Canada.

As for Canada, Former Prime Minister Paul Martin attempted to make copyright law stricter (I was prepared even then to destroy my MP3 collection should it have fell through), but he failed because the non-confidence motion made his government fall down, and his bill fell down with it.

Current Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems somewhat interested in making copyright law stricter, but nothing has happened so far.
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Post by drathbun »

So, I didn't realize there were 5000 songs from Canadian artists. ;-) Obviously you must not have downloaded any music from American aritsts, as their works are protected under international copyright law, not just American laws.
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Post by tim96120 »

AdamR wrote:
Techie-Micheal wrote:In the US, it is considered stealing. Possibly other places too.


Technically, so is popping in a VHS/DVD or using your DVR to record a show. Which is why I have no problem with people downloading TV shows. Movies and music are a completely different story.

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you can record movies from tv and music from the radio too is that stealing too then??
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