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Where are SVC and Jean on January 18, 2011?
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Aabh
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Joined: 27 Aug 2011
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Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is always a fascinating topic...

There are a TON of arguments all over the place that support crackdowns on piracy as well as supporting reasons that piracy is good (If you can believe that).

I blacked out my site in protest of SOPA/PIPA as well. I appreciate ADB for supporting it too! Very Happy

It's a really tough topic to have to navigate... it's not really clear cut.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Rock wrote:
Either way, I think this is where the ball has been dropped. People don't look at IP theft in the same way they look at stealing $5 from someone's pocket. They should. ...


Why?

I don't mean in legal terms, but in terms of right and wrong.

Throw away such fictions as IP. Most people will intuitively see the $5 as really belonging to the person who had it and that if you take it he can't use it, and that they therefore shouldn't steal it. Most people would not intuitively say you can own an idea, or a particular combination of words, hence they cannot be stolen. No one else is deprived of using the idea, using or improving the words etc just because you used/copied them. Yet for some reason we say that you can't use an idea for 20 years without the say so of X, and that combination of words - 95 years!

We don't need a fiction or a law to see that stealing $5 is morally wrong and detrimental to someone. We need the fiction of someone owning an idea or words, and a law to say it is wrong to use without that persons consent, even though they cannot possibly lose anything without that fiction in the first place, and even then using it without consent only causes harm in certain circumstances.

Quote:

Certainly, those people whose income is primarily IP based look at it that way. But there are not enough of such people such that, as you say, you want to distinguish the "honest thieves." I am, like you, also with out a good solution, but I do feel that whatever solution, to be effective, it needs to be an attitude change, not (exclusively) a legal change.


I agree - but I think that attitude change has to come from 'right holders' as much as others. At the end of the day if society finds a law unacceptable then that law will go the way of the dodo - e.g. slavery, votes for men only. Society changes as technology changes.


At one end I certainly can't agree with those who pirate on a wholesale scale and see nothing wrong with it (e.g. Napster of yore). At the other end I can't agree with those who think 95 years are appropiate, want more intrusive enforcement, guilty until proven innocent, levies on CDs (why should you pay for compenstaion for something you don't do?) or the rhetoric that labels people thieves when they are not.

Copying is not theft. The copy did not exist upto that point so the 'owner' did not lose that. The 'owner' was not pemanently deprived of anything, unless, and only if, he was deprived of a sale. Percentages may vary across industries, but for some industries like the music industry it may be that 95% of copies are not lost sales. Under UK law (as it was when I studied it at least) that misses all the points needed for theft to have occured except in the minority of cases.

20 year patent rights seem to be perfectly ok. I see no reason why copyright should be any more than that. I don't recieve an annual benefit based on the sale of crowbars, knives or various other potential instruments of crime that I may suffer so why should some industries be taxing people for buying CDs that they have no intention of using for piracy.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I loved SOPA, but only as long as I got to use it against people who deliberately and knowingly violated my copyrights, and not have people use it against me when somebody posts something to my website that I do not know is violating somebody else's copyright. (We actually had that happen. Somebody sent me something I stuck it on the site. Then I got a bill from someobodyt for $800 for using it, insisting that I owed them even if I had no way to know it was a copyrighted item. I paid my lawyer to convince them that since the item had nothing to do with our company that they could not hope to convince a judge we owed them money.)

SOPA was an automatic penalty (banned from the credit card system) for a violation of copyright (horray!). The problem was the law was written so badly that Google could be penalized for indexing something that some website had on it that violated another party's rights. If somebody had copied a New York Times story about a new aircraft carrier and put it on his website and then one of the people we allow to post unverified military information links had linked to the guy's website and not the NY Times website, we'd have been banned from taking credit cards until we sued our way back into the system, which would pretty much destroy the company.
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Jean
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would think that in over 200 years, we'd have figured out that IP theft is depriving the owner of his rights of ownership, including making money off his words or pictures.

Copying a person's words and concepts has changed with technology. Once upon a time, the only way to get another copy of a book was for some poor soul to copy it out by hand. Making books by using moveable type made things more interesting -- many people could own the same book. That's where a lot of the concepts of copyright started entering the consciousness of the people who wrote and sold books.

Even then, people didn't always "get it." I think the first big outrage that I know of came from when Ace pirated (legally at the time) The Lord of the Rings because the US and GB didn't have reciprocal agreements and Tolkien needed to do some editing of the book to make it fall under the statutes for copyright protection in the US. People totally understood that Ace was stealing from Tolkien.

I truly think a lot of the morality stance comes from who the person sees as suffering the loss. As long as it is a company, people seem to have an easier time of things. People shoplift who wouldn't steal from a neighbor.

I honestly feel that you should be able to make copies of something you own for your own use. Doesn't matter if you listen to the CD you bought at home, in the car, at work, wherever. You are listening to one copy at a time that you theoretically created. But when you start getting copies of works that you haven't purchased with no intention of purchasing a legal copy, you have crossed a line. You are stealing the money that the writer should have. It's sort of in the same category as stealing sperm from a prize-winning stallion -- yes he can make more, but you don't have the right to something that isn't yours. Just because you want "it" doesn't give you the right to take "it," even if you don't think it would hurt anything

Even if the loss of sales is "only" 5%, then the reported downloads from one site with the MRB topped 300, I believe. That's 15 copies. That's $650 in sales. Check our sales on e23 if you don't believe that is a hefty chunk of money for us.

That is why I think of it as theft. Rightly or wrongly, I see it as removing money from the company's wallet.

Some things probably do need to change. Copyright wasn't supposed to last forever and a day. But that needs to be balanced against a creator's need to make a living. SOPA and PIPA in their current incarnations are not the solution, in my opinion.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jean wrote:
It's sort of in the same category as stealing sperm from a prize-winning stallion -- yes he can make more, but you don't have the right to something that isn't yours. Just because you want "it" doesn't give you the right to take "it," even if you don't think it would hurt anything

You know, that is not an example I ever thought Jean would use. (I was about to say "come up with" instead of "use", but I figured I would get in trouble for the unintentional pun.) There are just far too many wrong mental images that pop into one's (OK, my) head when thinking of someone trying to steal a stallion's sperm ... (Like, for example, how are they getting it?)
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Zyffyr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
There are just far too many wrong mental images that pop into one's (OK, my) head when thinking of someone trying to steal a stallion's sperm ... (Like, for example, how are they getting it?)


First you put on a Barry White CD to set the mood....
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jean wrote:
Even then, people didn't always "get it." I think the first big outrage that I know of came from when Ace pirated (legally at the time) The Lord of the Rings because the US and GB didn't have reciprocal agreements and Tolkien needed to do some editing of the book to make it fall under the statutes for copyright protection in the US. People totally understood that Ace was stealing from Tolkien.


Legal Piracy?

The US currently seeks extraditon of a UK citizen for copyright infringement (I'm a bit vague on the actual charge), even though he has commited no crime in the UK.

Of course to rub salt in wound, the US are using the extradition treaty that was supposely only going to be used for counter terrorism. A prime example of legislation that was too broad (like SOPA from what I've heard), and a prime example of how to risk losing a law you want. That extradition treaty is often front page news here as it is seen as being abused and used for purposes unrelated to its original intent, and for 'offences' that are not worth pursuing in the eyes of many, hence plenty of calls for its repeal.

NB - none of that is a dig at the US, It just happens to be this weeks news over here. It is highlighting the issue of copyright, different jurisdictions and overly broad laws and how they can produce a lot of negative sentiments which don't really benefit those wanting such laws/processes.

Quote:

I truly think a lot of the morality stance comes from who the person sees as suffering the loss. As long as it is a company, people seem to have an easier time of things. People shoplift who wouldn't steal from a neighbor.


It may for some. That is not how I see it. I'm more interested in the morality, pros and cons of IP in and of itself. I find it a much more interesting debate, whether someone (or a company) should be allowed to own an idea or an image or some words for considerable length of time, and for some reason be allowed to prevent other using said idea, image or words without their permission. It isn't just copying don't forget, patents and copyright etc allow the prevention of things deriving from the idea or image or words etc. Society generally expects to advance itself, that requires taking and improving Intellectual ideas and other stuff. That flies in the face of someone restricting useage of those things.



Regarding Theft:

A quote from the US supreme court.

"Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple "goods, wares, [or] merchandise," interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use."

It seems that US and UK law is pretty similar on what constitues theft, and that copyright infringement is not it.
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Jean
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf, I agree that legally there is a difference. However, not being a lawyer, I tend to speak colloquially. The same court case includes "While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful [473 U.S. 207, 218] appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud."

Smile I guess I must not be the only one to think as I do.

As for what Ace did, it was legally correct at the time, but morally wrong. Fandom promised the company that if they didn't stop and pay Tolkien royalties, they'd stop buying other Ace books. Ace decided to do the morally right thing.

I did read the Sophos write up of the case. I don't know all of the particulars, but it does disturb my sense of right and wrong. Sad And it makes me even more sure that SOPA and PIPA in their current incarnations are Bad Things.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Why?

I don't mean in legal terms, but in terms of right and wrong.


I view it as the equivalent of someone sneaking into a theater without paying, even if the theater isn't full.

storeylf wrote:

Copying is not theft. The copy did not exist upto that point so the 'owner' did not lose that. The 'owner' was not pemanently deprived of anything, unless, and only if, he was deprived of a sale. Percentages may vary across industries, but for some industries like the music industry it may be that 95% of copies are not lost sales.


The person sneaking into the theater has not deprived the theater owner of any tangible object and the theater owner can still utilize the seat in the future. The owner was not 'permanently' deprived of anything.

Some would argue that only a small percentage of people sneaking into the theater would've paid if they couldn't sneak in and that the revenue loss to the owner is relatively small, but I think most people would recognize that this example is still theft.
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Sgt_G
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Somebody sent me something I stuck it on the site. Then I got a bill from someobody for $800 for using it, insisting that I owed them even if I had no way to know it was a copyrighted item.

Just curious, and you don't have to answer if the details are too gory, but was that the same somebody that sent both the article and the bill? Or did the two somebodies know each other? It could have been an attempted scam.

One of the fears about SOPA is that's just the sort of thing that could happen, only instad of a bill for $800, it's a court order to close down a web site. Somebody could post copyright matterial on a political candidate's web site just to be able to shut the whole site down and destroy their election campaign.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aabh wrote:
It's a really tough topic to have to navigate... it's not really clear cut.

This is probably why the lawyers want it. Imagine the income for endlessly wrangling over this for years to come......
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garth: the two were not related. The item was emailed by a thousand people to ten thousand of their freinds (I got six or eight copies of it in relatively short order).

We've all gotten the emails about "100 things we love about Kirk" and "200 notes for an insane dictator" and "cute animal photos" and "strange traffic accident photos" similar emails. Fun to read, but they do have an original author and a copyright SOMEWHERE and you can get in trouble posting them on a website (if only because that provides proof you did it).

Say I email a photo of Miss September to all of my pervert friends. Illegal copyright violation, surely, but nobody is going to catch us doing it. Putting her boxum image on a website means you CAN get caught.

As for a guy in the UK violating US law, he did violate US law and is subject to US prosecution. The UK can decide to do the morally right thing and hand him over or profit by his crimes. (Lithuania is famous for running illegal profit-producing websites and thumbing their noses at US laws.) If I flew to London and stole Storeylf's wallet and flew back to the US and took the money from his wallet and spent it on a fancy dinner, I'm enriched, the US is enriched, and I committed no crime on US soil, so why should the US sent my carcass back to UK for trial? SAME THING.
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Sneaky Scot
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are ignoring the idea of the law being reasonable. The prosecuting authority in an extradition case has to establish a case in the host country for extradition. Part of that includes establishing proportionality and reasonableness of the alleged offence. It does not automatically follow that breaking a US law overseas means you can be extradited. For example, I visit many parts of the US in the course of my duties, and let's say I jaywalk. Am I subject to extradition for this? Any UK judge will throw this out of court. However, if I shoot someone, then there is a reasonable expectation that due to the seriousness of the offence I should be extradited. Similarly if I jaywalk in the streets of sunny Bristol, there is no case for extradition even though this breaks the law elsewhere but does not break the law in England.

I guess the idea of reasonableness is why lawyers can make a living. Not that I am a lawyer of course, but having been responsible for hearing a number of disciplinary cases during my Military Career as a subordinate commander and served as a defending officer in a Court Martial and also as a Board Member in a Court Martial, I have had a bit of experience.

However, pirates stealing ADB's copyright? Make them walk the plank! Or more appropriately, eject them out of the airlock without a space suit!
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Or more appropriately, eject them out of the airlock without a space suit!


That's being too easy on them ---
Give them a suit, so they can watch the ship move off in the distance --
They will have time to review their decision on stealing before the air runs out ---
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:

As for a guy in the UK violating US law, he did violate US law and is subject to US prosecution. The UK can decide to do the morally right thing and hand him over or profit by his crimes. (Lithuania is famous for running illegal profit-producing websites and thumbing their noses at US laws.) If I flew to London and stole Storeylf's wallet and flew back to the US and took the money from his wallet and spent it on a fancy dinner, I'm enriched, the US is enriched, and I committed no crime on US soil, so why should the US sent my carcass back to UK for trial? SAME THING.


Big difference, you came to the UK and commited an act in the UK that would be an offense where you commited it (and back home in the USA had it been committed there). That is the the premise on which extradition treaties usually work. In the case in question the person has not traveled at all to the US or done anything illegal in the country that the so called offense was performed.

The case in question is analgous to an American doing something in America that happens to violate Iranian Law and the US being expected to extradite that person to Iran.
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