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goldmund
10-26-2011, 11:44 PM
You know the problems film, music and book publishing companies face because of the illegal downloading. Some might cheer the giants taking a hit, but it's also hurting the individual artist -- at least in my part of the world. I don't know many people who still buy DVDs or music CDs. It's just so easy to use torrents etc. With the popularisation of e-readers, we could join musicians and film producers in the ranks of those robbed by evil pirates, arr.

I've noticed one thing, however: no matter how many content people are illegally downloading off the net, without paying the creator of the content, there's one party that's still -- and always -- getting paid. The Internet Providers.

So, the situation looks like that:
- People pay ISPs to download things.
- ISPs are the only ones who can exercise control over users (by switching off the net)
- If there were no things on the net to download, ISPs would earn much less than they do now. So piracy acts actually in their favor.

And here's my idea (maybe someone thought of it before, I haven't heard about it anyway):
Why not just tax the ISPs so that everyone whose content was downloaded gets paid by Them?
It would act a bit like royalties in the golden age of Radio and TV.
Also, no seedy torrentz or w4r3z sites. You're a film producer? You set up a pretty website with your film free to download. ISPs would pay you for each person downloading it. Because the person would have to pay the ISPs first.

I imagine some sort of digital watermarks would be needed to trace how much a single work got downloaded, but hey, the humanity overcame harder obstacles in pursuit of the buck.

jazzman99
10-26-2011, 11:59 PM
And what prevents the digital watermarks from being broken, just as hackers find a way around every other protection scheme?

I can't imagine this working. It would be an enormous bookkeeping headache for the ISPs and inevitably result in higher prices for everybody, not just pirates. It would require every studio and publisher to change their basic business models overnight. It assumes that pretty much everybody pirates, which isn't the case.

goldmund
10-27-2011, 12:10 AM
And what prevents the digital watermarks from being broken, just as hackers find a way around every other protection scheme?

Because there would simply be no incentive for the users to download cracked wares. The music, films and books would be free to download. The royalties for the creators of the content would be deducted from the money the user pays monthly to his/her ISP.


I can't imagine this working. It would be an enormous bookkeeping headache for the ISPs and inevitably result in higher prices for everybody, not just pirates.Naturally, the prices would be higher -- because the author would be paid (gasp!) ;-)


It assumes that pretty much everybody pirates, which isn't the case.As I said, I know this is a big problem in Europe, I don't know about overseas. For musicians to get a platinum record they now have to sell 10x less than before the advent of piracy, and the bands can't sustain themselves anymore from just selling CDs. They can earn they living only playing gigs.

Cyia
10-27-2011, 12:18 AM
Any correlation between illegal downloads and lost sales on novels is sketchy, at best. That's not to excuse the practice, but the fact is most people who illegally download a book never intended to buy it in the first place.

(FWIW, the electronic watermark is the method JK Rowling's using for sales through Pottermore. The mark tags the original purchaser and remains on the subsequent downloads so (in theory) illegal downloads could be traced back to the original uploader.)

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 12:46 AM
For musicians to get a platinum record they now have to sell 10x less than before the advent of piracy, and the bands can't sustain themselves anymore from just selling CDs. They can earn they living only playing gigs.

Perhaps they should examine the quality of their music before blaming piracy. The bands I listen to seem to be doing just fine.

Duncable
10-27-2011, 12:48 AM
If this were to happen (which it won't) everyone's monthly fees for internet use would go up. If I were the kind of person that didn'tdownload movies and TV shows and music illegally (which I do, and feel no guilt whatsoever), I would be pissed and I would throw a fit.

Torrents and other related technologies are not going away. And much to many people's chagrin, there is nothing anyone can do about illegal downloading. The majority of the people in the world that make use of these technologies have been able to easily bypass every single roadblock the authorities have erected, and that's not going to change, either.

The honest-to-goodness reason that I download every TV show I watch these days, and most movies, is because I refuse to pay for a product and then sit through countless commercials to enjoy it. The last couple of DVD's I bought were full of commercials you couldn't fastforward through! A commercial free house is a happy house, as far as I'm concerned.

Duncable
10-27-2011, 12:49 AM
Perhaps they should examine the quality of their music before blaming piracy. The bands I listen to seem to be doing just fine.

I think Radiohead had the right idea.

goldmund
10-27-2011, 02:55 AM
If this were to happen (which it won't) everyone's monthly fees for internet use would go up. If I were the kind of person that didn'tdownload movies and TV shows and music illegally (which I do, and feel no guilt whatsoever), I would be pissed and I would throw a fit.

Haha, so would I! Unless I was a musician/film producer.

But think about it this way. You are paying for downloading the shows and music - you're paying your ISP. It's like paying to watch a premium TV channel. Yet the TV channel pays the people who create its content.

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 03:03 AM
ISP's do indeed want to start charging separately for downloading music or streaming videos. Except they want it all for themselves.

SPMiller
10-27-2011, 03:19 AM
The reason ISPs hate streaming content and sustained downloads so much is that they intentionally oversell their bandwidth to maximize profits. If you actually use your allocated bandwidth, you're hitting your ISP right in the pocket, hence why they get mad.

jazzman99
10-27-2011, 04:32 AM
And here's my idea (maybe someone thought of it before, I haven't heard about it anyway):
Why not just tax the ISPs so that everyone whose content was downloaded gets paid by Them?
It would act a bit like royalties in the golden age of Radio and TV.
Also, no seedy torrentz or w4r3z sites. You're a film producer? You set up a pretty website with your film free to download. ISPs would pay you for each person downloading it. Because the person would have to pay the ISPs first.

I imagine some sort of digital watermarks would be needed to trace how much a single work got downloaded, but hey, the humanity overcame harder obstacles in pursuit of the buck.

Entirely aside from my previous objections, the way you're describing this doesn't make sense. A private transaction between the film producer and the ISP wouldn't be a "tax."

No matter what system you come up with, no matter how clever it is, no matter how many programmers work on it, some people are going to pirate. That's just human nature, plus at this point it's a firmly ingrained aspect of internet culture. A system like the one you describe here would be nightmarish to maintain and much more costly for consumers, and you're dreaming if you think that money is going to pass cleanly through the hands of the ISP and end up in the pockets of authors and other creators.

The way to combat piracy is to sell your product at a fair price, through a simple system, and cultivate loyalty from your customers. There are plenty of people out there who don't want to go through the hassle and potential risk of pirating; they're willing to pay a fair price, if they don't feel suckered (like, for example, paying a fair price and then still having to sit through commercials. This seems to me like a fairly trivial problem, but everybody's line is different).

Bottom line: I don't see any reason for authors to support a system that would once again make them reliant on the largesse of massive media companies.

Shadow_Ferret
10-27-2011, 04:38 AM
Why not just tax the ISPs so that everyone whose content was downloaded gets paid by Them?


I'm against anything that will deliberately raise the rates more than they already are.

Libbie
10-27-2011, 06:45 AM
Back when everybody had to use casette tapes, people would copy them and give them to their friends, if they were so inclined. Nothing has changed much. There are plenty of people out there who prefer to purchase a work of art in order to enjoy it, because they respect the artists and want them to prosper for their work. I buy all my music and movies. I subscribe to Hulu in order to watch any TV shows I want to see. (I don't own a TV, but if I did, I'd pay a cable service.) I buy all the ebooks I read, except those that are sent to me as review copies by the authors. Everybody I know does the same.

There will always be periods of adaptation while society adjusts to new delivery modes for its entertainment, but most people in the world are ethical and want to keep art viable. They know that means supporting artists.

In short, I'm not worried. I think the piracy problem is really annoying, but I don't think it's causing the devastating impact you think it is.

benbradley
10-27-2011, 06:58 AM
I can't watch this movie without ...

:popcorn:

DancingMaenid
10-27-2011, 08:43 AM
There will always be periods of adaptation while society adjusts to new delivery modes for its entertainment, but most people in the world are ethical and want to keep art viable. They know that means supporting artists.

I agree. There will always be people who will download simply because they want to get stuff for free. But I think convenience is probably a big factor in downloading. I think the digital age is changing our expectations.

For example, it used to be that if you missed an episode of a show, you were pretty much screwed until it was shown as a rerun. Now, I generally expect episodes to show up on Hulu or on the station's website.

I think given the opportunity and good service, most people will be willing to spend money for entertainment, whether they care a lot about supporting the artists or not. But if illegal downloading provides better service, people are going to be tempted.

Torgo
10-27-2011, 01:14 PM
Unfortunately this is too difficult to be workable, especially trying to track the number of downloads, which is nigh-on impossible. The instant reaction from a lot of content owners would be to set up little botnets to keep downloading their stuff. Look at all the various ways people have tried to game Google ads over the years.

In my personal experience, the way to cut out a lot of piracy is to offer really convenient, affordable and comprehensive subscription/iTunes-like services. Those will hoover up anyone who's actually willing to pay for stuff.

Terie
10-27-2011, 01:54 PM
If I were the kind of person that didn'tdownload movies and TV shows and music illegally (which I do, and feel no guilt whatsoever)

So you have no problem telling a bunch of people that you feel no guilt whatsoever about stealing their work? Nice.

Or, wait. Maybe you're one of those people who happily steals other people's work but wants to be paid for your own?

Duncable
10-27-2011, 06:13 PM
So you have no problem telling a bunch of people that you feel no guilt whatsoever about stealing their work? Nice.

Or, wait. Maybe you're one of those people who happily steals other people's work but wants to be paid for your own?

I'm not stealing anything, quite honestly. The only things I download are TV shows, movies, and occassionally a CD that I've never listened to before. In the case of CD's and movies, I'm not going to shell out the outrageous prices they charge these days for something I've never seen or heard and don't know if I'll like. If I like it, I'll go out and buy it; I have an extensive CD & DVD collection. And if it's an artist that I like, who sells tickets directly through a venue and not through one of those shady, 'secondary market' bullshit setups, then I'll buy a ticket and go see them live. So no, I have no problem telling people this.

In the case of TV, which I already mentioned, I despise commercials and the entire idea of the marketing industry. I will not pay money for a product and then also allow myself to be advertised at. Getting rid of my cable subscription, signing up for Netflix, and downloading the majority of my TV entertainment is the best thing I've ever done for my sanity and pocketbook. I also have no problem admitting that.

As far as books go (and CDs and DVDs for that matter), I borrow just as many as I buy, and I go to the library often; does that mean I'm stealing those, too? What's the difference? Where do you draw the line? Times are changing, which means the distribution of intellectual property is going to continue to change, too. Artists and industry execs can either change with it, or keep bitching about it and perish. It's up to them.

Thanks for the judgemental tone, too; always appreciated.

Shadow_Ferret
10-27-2011, 06:25 PM
If I were the kind of person that didn'tdownload movies and TV shows and music illegally (which I do, and feel no guilt whatsoever), I would be pissed and I would throw a fit.



I'm not stealing anything, quite honestly. The only things I download are TV shows, movies, and occassionally a CD that I've never listened to before.

These two statements contradict each other. Either you're illegally downloading or you aren't.

Duncable
10-27-2011, 06:41 PM
I recognize it is illegal; I'd be ignoring reality to say otherwise. I do not think it should be, and I don't consider it theft. The statements do not contradict each other.

Smoking cannabis is illegal in the states, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Same concept.

I was only trying to say, in the first quote, that there are plenty of people who would throw a fit if they were asked to pay more every month for their internet connection so the ISP's could pay entertainment companies 'royalties' for downloaded content. It's an unworkable system for that, and many other reasons.

Momento Mori
10-27-2011, 06:46 PM
goldmund:
Why not just tax the ISPs so that everyone whose content was downloaded gets paid by Them?
It would act a bit like royalties in the golden age of Radio and TV.


Firstly because it would mean treating ISPs as effectively publishers responsible for content rather than distributors or facilitators who enable people to access different sites.

Secondly because how do you collect and enforce it? You'd either need to bulk up existing performance and copyright agencies to be able to police the entire internet and allocate responsibility.

Last year the UK passed a law making ISPs responsible for turning off the internet in houses that are identified as repeat illegal downloaders even though it's basically unenforceable given that people can piggy-back off wireless systems.


Duncable:
And much to many people's chagrin, there is nothing anyone can do about illegal downloading.

There might not be anything practical that governments or companies can do, but individuals can tackle it by changing their own behaviour to make sure that they do not illegally download material and parents can monitor the behaviour of their children to bring them up to respect intellectual property.


Duncable:
I think Radiohead had the right idea.

Before or after they decided not to release free music because it was costing them money?


Duncable:
I'm not stealing anything, quite honestly. The only things I download are TV shows, movies, and occassionally a CD that I've never listened to before. In the case of CD's and movies, I'm not going to shell out the outrageous prices they charge these days for something I've never seen or heard and don't know if I'll like.

It depends on where you're downloading from and whether you're doing it from a licensed site or an illegal download site.

If it's the latter then personally, I find the whole "I do it so I can try material out and then I'll buy it maybe" argument coupled with the "But [insert material] is so expensive" to be really irritating. In the first case, plenty of websites now give you the option of checking out the a sample of material to see if you're interested. You don't get to go to a restaurant and say you want to eat the whole buffet before deciding whether to pay for your meal. In the second case, you can always save up for something that you actually want rather than choosing to download it illegally for free instead.


Duncable:
I borrow just as many as I buy, and I go to the library often; does that mean I'm stealing those, too? What's the difference? Where do you draw the line?

Borrowing from a friend who's bought it or a library who's bought it is completely different from going to a website that makes its profit from making available material that's probably stolen in the first place. In the former cases, the sale will be registered so the artist has already seen a benefit from it. In the latter, the artist gets nothing as the site keeps advertising sales etc for itself.


Duncable:
Times are changing, which means the distribution of intellectual property is going to continue to change, too.

If you're talking about legitimate distribution then yes, times are changing. Sites like Netflix pay for the licences on that content, so too does iTunes and I can well imagine that becoming the way of the future. When you're downloading material that doesn't have a licence though then you're not changing the industry, you're undermining it. All industries run on making a profit and if they can't do that then they disappear and much as there are people out there who decry big music companies and big publishers, they are still the biggest investors in talent out there and you're more likely to find new artists from them than through any internet jungle search.

MM

Shadow_Ferret
10-27-2011, 06:47 PM
I recognize it is illegal; I'd be ignoring reality to say otherwise. I do not think it should be, and I don't consider it theft. The statements do not contradict each other.

Smoking cannabis is illegal in the states, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Same concept.

I was only trying to say, in the first quote, that there are plenty of people who would throw a fit if they were asked to pay more every month for their internet connection so the ISP's could pay entertainment companies 'royalties' for downloaded content. It's an unworkable system for that, and many other reasons.

Just because you can justify in your own mind why you steal doesn't change the fact that the activity is illegal and wrong.

And why should I have to pay higher rates because others steal? That would be like if I went to a department store and having to pay twice for a shirt to make up for the fact that someone shoplifted the other one.

Mr Flibble
10-27-2011, 06:51 PM
I was only trying to say, in the first quote, that there are plenty of people who would throw a fit if they were asked to pay more every month for their internet connection so the ISP's could pay entertainment companies 'royalties' for downloaded content. It's an unworkable system for that, and many other reasons.


Then perhaps they'll realise how it feels to be deprived of royalties because random people steal your shit. If the people doing the illegal thing are going to throw a fit when someone does something to stop them....I'm not seeing the problem, quite frankly. In fact I might pay good money to watch them have their fit :D Then perhaps post it on youtube...

I think the problem with this scheme would be that those people who don't download stuff would baulk at paying extra for the privilege of doing something they don't/won't do.

Momento Mori
10-27-2011, 06:51 PM
Duncable:
I recognize it is illegal; I'd be ignoring reality to say otherwise. I do not think it should be, and I don't consider it theft.

Good luck with that.

This attitude is exactly why I give a little cheer each time I read about someone who's been caught illegally downloading being forced to pay fines to the value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You have no problem hitting other people in the pocket with your activitity, so I would have absolutely no problem with the industry deciding to hit back and hitting people like you in the pocket.


Duncable:
Smoking cannabis is illegal in the states, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Same concept.

Oh please.

MM

Amadan
10-27-2011, 07:06 PM
Every Internet piracy debate ever:

WANT!

UR THIEVES!!!

AM NOT IS EXPENSIVE AND I H8 COMMERCIALS!!!

BUT STARVING ARTISTS AND ALSU UR THIEVES!!!!

DOWNLOADING DOWN WITH THE MAN GREEDY CORPORATIONS ALSO RADIOHEAD!!!

BUT UR THIEVES AND HOW I GET PAID??!?!

FREE SHOULD BE FREE AND CORY DOCTOROW AND NEW MEDIUM PUBLICITY SUBSCRIBERS MICROPAYMENTS IP LAW ALSO I WANT!

BUT UR THIEVES AND ILLEGAL!!!!!!!

LAW SUCKS HOLLYWOOD SUCKS WHY I PAY 4 TWILIGHT TRANSFORMERS UR SHITTY BOOK & I M POOR ALSO DRM SUCKS!!

BUT THERE WILL BE NO MORE BOOKS EVER!!!! ALSO UR THIEVES!!!!

xELEVENTY!1!!

Torgo
10-27-2011, 07:11 PM
I had lunch with that nice Mr Doctorow a little while back. He has strong views on the issue of DRM!

Duncable
10-27-2011, 07:31 PM
I think the problem with this scheme would be that those people who don't download stuff would baulk at paying extra for the privilege of doing something they don't/won't do.

My point exactly in my original comment. There are better ways to create new payment structures.


Borrowing from a friend who's bought it or a library who's bought it is completely different from going to a website that makes its profit from making available material that's probably stolen in the first place.

I respectfully disagree. First of all, how can you prove that the person who posted the content originally didn't purchase it? From what I know of the practice, most material begins with a consumer who posts content to share with friends and others around the world. And what about all those mixed tapes I recorded from the radio when I was a kid? I'm just saying it's a finer line than some people want to admit, many here included apparently.

I'm obviously not going to 'win' this one, but I'm also not backing down. I put plenty of money into the system by going to the movies on occasion, buying books, subscribing to Netflix, attending live shows when I know the artist is actually making money from the ticket sales, etc. I also download torrents. It's one of the few things I can do to fight against a corrupt system which takes advantage of consumers like all of you, whether you want to admit it or not. You guys can insert motives into my actions all day long and it won't change a single thing.

Rhoda Nightingale
10-27-2011, 07:49 PM
My point exactly in my original comment. There are better ways to create new payment structures.



I respectfully disagree. First of all, how can you prove that the person who posted the content originally didn't purchase it? From what I know of the practice, most material begins with a consumer who posts content to share with friends and others around the world. And what about all those mixed tapes I recorded from the radio when I was a kid? I'm just saying it's a finer line than some people want to admit, many here included apparently.

I'm obviously not going to 'win' this one, but I'm also not backing down. I put plenty of money into the system by going to the movies on occasion, buying books, subscribing to Netflix, attending live shows when I know the artist is actually making money from the ticket sales, etc. I also download torrents. It's one of the few things I can do to fight against a corrupt system which takes advantage of consumers like all of you, whether you want to admit it or not. You guys can insert motives into my actions all day long and it won't change a single thing.
Please keep in mind: A good many people on this site are in fact artists who are being taken advantage of by people who illegally download their stuff. NOT simply consumers who get ripped off by a "corrupt system."

Cyia
10-27-2011, 07:54 PM
In the case of CD's and movies, I'm not going to shell out the outrageous prices they charge these days for something I've never seen or heard and don't know if I'll like. If I like it, I'll go out and buy it;


You have heard of Youtube and Hulu, yes? Both free. Both let you hear music or watch a TV show to see if you like it.

virtue_summer
10-27-2011, 07:56 PM
Imagine if we applied piracy "justifications" to other things:

I don't like Walmart's business practices. I'm going to start shoplifting from them, and that's perfectly okay.

I think a car lot charges too much money for new cars. I'm going down there tonight to steal one off the lot. Don't judge me. I'm not a car thief. I should just be able to have what I want at the price I want, and to steal it if others don't agree.

A clothing store doesn't have a dressing room so I can't try before I buy. I'm shoplifting the clothes and only paying if I decide I like them well enough. This is a perfectly moral thing to do in this situation.

My opinion: Honestly, when you think a business is operating wrong and you don't want to support that, you stop getting their products. It's called boycotting. Boycotting is taking a stand for what you believe in. It's an honest way to express your disdain for business practices and your dissatisfaction with products. Piracy is not. It's stealing and expressing a gross sense of entitlement.

Mr Flibble
10-27-2011, 08:09 PM
Hmm the corrupt system takes advantage of consumers?

*puts on consumer hat*

I can walk away and not buy something if I think it's not worth the price. That's me, exercising my right to not buy. That doesn't mean I also get to have it. Not buying it and not therefore having it are not me being taken advantage of. If we were talking food, perhaps - we all need that to survive. But books?

I'm interested in how I'm being taken advantage of. Really. Because I have all the power in this relationship. I can give my support/money. Or I can take it away just like that.

ETA: Though Amadan is right about how these discussions go. No clue how to come to an arrangement where everyone is happy. I think the majority of people are currently happy to pay for what they want, as long as the price is fair and knowing that they don;t have to buy if they think it's too high. Also not sure what you can do about the 'But all art should be free!' brigade. Apart from perhaps the crocodile option.

Manuel Royal
10-27-2011, 08:36 PM
My first thought is that I wouldn't care to pay even higher rates to my ISP in order to facilitate thieves like Duncable.

On the other hand ... if this system were already in place, then everybody who uses it would be paying, to some degree (unless they decided they didn't want to pay for Internet service, either, and found a way to steal that). I imagine before long almost everybody who's online would be using the system. At that point, it would be reasonably fair.

But getting from here to there ... don't know you do that.

And I was about to say something really stupid. I was about to say, "But then works of music, cinema or literature would make money based simply on how popular they were, not on their artistic quality!" (As opposed to what? I guess I momentarily envisioned a land in which aesthetically sophisticated people like me, squatting on our onyx thrones atop our ivory towers and surveying the landscape of popular entertainment, would determine by fiat which works were to be granted our favor, guaranteeing their success. Guy Maddin: lives in a palace; Michael Bay: refrigerator box under a bridge. Aaah.)

cbenoi1
10-27-2011, 08:59 PM
> Why not just tax the ISPs so that everyone whose
> content was downloaded gets paid by Them?

We should tax the audio chip makers instead. Heck, every device that plays music needs one, right?

We could also tax the computer speaker and earbud makers. We can't listen to music and videos without them.

A better alternative that covers every possibility would be to tax the AC power cable makers. Entertainment devices work on electricity and sooner or later somebody needs to plug them into a wall.

-cb

Momento Mori
10-27-2011, 09:01 PM
Duncable:
First of all, how can you prove that the person who posted the content originally didn't purchase it?

Now you're changing the goal posts.

Libraries don't steal books from shops to put on their shelves, they pay for them. If you've got friends who steal a book or a CD from a shop, then you're just as bad for borrowing it from them.


Duncable:
From what I know of the practice, most material begins with a consumer who posts content to share with friends and others around the world. And what about all those mixed tapes I recorded from the radio when I was a kid? I'm just saying it's a finer line than some people want to admit, many here included apparently.

Actually, it isn't that fine a line.

Those mix tapes you made as a kid? I'm presuming you weren't making them simultaneously available to millions of people around the world at the same time. I'm also presuming that you didn't make them available to friends via premises where you sold advertising to third parties to cover your costs and make a profit. And finally, surely you weren't inviting other people to come to their premises with mix tapes that they made for the purposes of distributing them to the general public?


Duncable:
I put plenty of money into the system by going to the movies on occasion, buying books, subscribing to Netflix, attending live shows when I know the artist is actually making money from the ticket sales, etc. I also download torrents.

I don't have to pay for my gasoline at this gas station because I already paid another gas station the last time I filled up.

I don't have to pay for this turkey dinner from the supermarket because I paid for another turkey dinner just like it at another supermarket.

I don't have to pay for this dress because I just want to try it out and see if I like it. If I do like it then I'll buy the next dress I like from the same shop.

Yeah, I get it.


Duncable:
It's one of the few things I can do to fight against a corrupt system which takes advantage of consumers like all of you, whether you want to admit it or not.

You mean the corrupt system that pays people for their work and then on-sells it to the public at a price that covers the cost of bringing that work to market together with a reasonable profit margin for the producer, thus enabling them to invest in more work from different artists? Is that the corrupt system we're talking about?

I'd have more respect for this if you yourself were a producer making all of your work available for free. But there's no evidence that you are.

Categorising yourself as some kind of freedom fighter probably makes you feel better than seeing people like you as being too cheap and selfish to pay for the things that they want.


IdiotsRUs:
Though Amadan is right about how these discussions go.

Yeah he is. Rep point for categorising it so well. Even if he did forget the popcorn.

I don't know. I just find this attitude so utterly infuriating. You're effectively advocating stealing from yourself at the end of the day and it's completely self-defeating.

MM

Duncable
10-27-2011, 09:10 PM
Again, go on ahead and keep inserting your ideas of motive and intent into my actions and see how far that gets us. Tell me I have a "gross sense of entitlement," call me a "theif," whatever satisfies you. It doesn't phase me in the slightest. Neither do comparisons to car theft.

Like IdiotsRUs said, there is no arrangement that will make everyone happy, and it's obvious this discussion is going no where. The technology is not going away, and neither will people like me who "justify their theivery." I understand this is a touchy subject, and I'm sorry that I've apparently personally offended many of you, but my position doesn't and won't change. And this is where I'll end my participation in this thread. If you want to continue a dialogue, feel free to PM, but I've said all I want and need to say here.

TCnKC
10-27-2011, 09:15 PM
There's so many variables to this that it's not as right vs wrong as many make it out to be. I know quite a few friends who watch the first couple of episodes, seasons, etc of a tv show online(downloaded) and then bought all 5, 6, etc seasons of the DVDs. Same with movies(& then bought the DVD, etc.) Some of those sales(if not most) probably don't happen without the people seeing if they like the show, movie, etc by download. Plus, they give word of mouth to other friends(via Twitter, facebook, etc)

And someone brought up the library. From what I understand the library does pay for the product(DVD, book, etc) but they only have to pay once per copy or a set number, yes? What happens when that book/DVD is checked out 500 times. 499 of them are free & thus the author/etc isn't being paid for that. Is that also theft?

Phaeal
10-27-2011, 09:19 PM
I don't know. I prefer to pay a fair price for what I want. If I think the price isn't fair, I walk away without buying.

It must be teh ebil Objectivist in me. :evil

Mr Flibble
10-27-2011, 09:22 PM
And someone brought up the library. From what I understand the library does pay for the product(DVD, book, etc) but they only have to pay once per copy or a set number, yes? What happens when that book/DVD is checked out 500 times. 499 of them are free & thus the author/etc isn't being paid for that. Is that also theft?

Depends where you are - in the UK you get a royalty per checkout IIRC


And, sorry, whatever people like to call it in their heads, however they want to try to justify it, it's still theft, legally and morally. Every time someone downloads a free copy of my book, they are stealing my royalty. What else can you possibly call it? If I chose to give it away as a sampler to drive sales, that's one thing. But if I don't so chose, then you are taking something from me without my permission. Theft.

And so the roundabout goes...

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 09:30 PM
I had lunch with that nice Mr Doctorow a little while back. He has strong views on the issue of DRM!

Yes, this.

With how convenient it is to buy ebooks and movies online now, the only reason I would pirate is if the pirated version has a better quality version (often true for certain niche genres like anime) or because it is DRM-free and I want to own what I freakin' pay for, dammit.

I buy ebooks now because it's still just so much more convenient, but it kills a part of my soul each time, because they're still DRMed. It's a system that needs to die.

jazzman99
10-27-2011, 09:33 PM
I'm obviously not going to 'win' this one, but I'm also not backing down. I put plenty of money into the system by going to the movies on occasion, buying books, subscribing to Netflix, attending live shows when I know the artist is actually making money from the ticket sales, etc. I also download torrents. It's one of the few things I can do to fight against a corrupt system which takes advantage of consumers like all of you, whether you want to admit it or not. You guys can insert motives into my actions all day long and it won't change a single thing.

You put plenty of money into "the system"? What is this system of which you speak? If you buy a CD from Band A and then illegally, immorally, self-righteously download a torrent of a CD by Band B, you may feel that you've put enough money into the "system" but Band B is still getting nothing for their work. You may feel that they don't get enough because record companies are corrupt, but "not enough" is still a whole lot more than "nothing," especially if Band B ends up getting dropped because nobody is paying for their music.

Call the system corrupt all you want. Bottom line is you want free stuff, and you don't care that the people who actually worked to produce it get nothing.

cbenoi1
10-27-2011, 09:37 PM
> I buy ebooks now because it's still just so much more
> convenient, but it kills a part of my soul each time,
> because they're still DRMed. It's a system that needs
> to die.

It's funny how the eBooks DRM works. I had a chat with a bookstore clerk familiar with Kobo the other day and I asked her "So, what happens when by eReader dies?" And she went on explaining the book licenses can be applied to up to three devices, so it's no problem. "What happens if the one I have dies, then Kobo sends me two replacement duds in a row? Do I still own the books I paid for?"

Blank stare.

-cb

Terie
10-27-2011, 09:38 PM
Again, go on ahead and keep inserting your ideas of motive and intent into my actions and see how far that gets us. Tell me I have a "gross sense of entitlement," call me a "theif," whatever satisfies you. It doesn't phase me in the slightest. Neither do comparisons to car theft.

You are a thief. Every illegal download you make deprives artists of royalties.

I had a friend back in the early 1980s who had been in a popular band that cut two albums before they went their separate ways. The albums stayed in production.

Fast forward a few years. He was unemployed and his wife could only find part-time work. They were literally living on peanut butter sandwiches so they could give their two kids slightly better food.

An unexpected royalty check arrived that tided them over until his wife found full-time work and he found a job shortly thereafter.

So justify it to yourself all you want.

But depriving an artist of their royalties is stealing.

Amadan
10-27-2011, 09:50 PM
> I buy ebooks now because it's still just so much more
> convenient, but it kills a part of my soul each time,
> because they're still DRMed. It's a system that needs
> to die.


Vernor Vinge's new ebook Children of the Sky is DRM-free, as are a growing number of ebooks from big publishers. So the message is getting out, slowly. Remember how hard the music industry fought and insisted that DRM was absolutely necessary and the industry couldn't survive without it? I do believe in a few years, DRM for ebooks will be dead.


It's funny how the eBooks DRM works. I had a chat with a bookstore clerk familiar with Kobo the other day and I asked her "So, what happens when by eReader dies?" And she went on explaining the book licenses can be applied to up to three devices, so it's no problem. "What happens if the one I have dies, then Kobo sends me two replacement duds in a row? Do I still own the books I paid for?"

I just want to note here that it's very easy to strip DRM from your (legally purchased) ebooks, which makes it as eternal and transferrable as a text file.

Yes, it takes a bit of technogeekery and if that's not your bag, it's inconvenient to have to do that, which is why the system should die. But it bears repeating, because people keep citing fears of their ebooks vanishing into cyberspace and there are ways to make sure that doesn't happen and that you are not tied down to any particular device.

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 10:07 PM
Yes, it takes a bit of technogeekery and if that's not your bag, it's inconvenient to have to do that, which is why the system should die. But it bears repeating, because people keep citing fears of their ebooks vanishing into cyberspace and there are ways to make sure that doesn't happen and that you are not tied down to any particular device.

I don't think it's what you're saying, but I really hate the argument of "so what if it's DRMed, you can just remove it."

I'm more than enough of a technogeek to do that if I want to. But I shouldn't have to. People need to be afraid, because the default stance of content providers is to treat everyone as a criminal, and that needs to change.

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 10:11 PM
You are a thief. Every illegal download you make deprives artists of royalties.

So why is it covered by a completely different set of laws?

Sorry, I also think it's wrong, but both arguments are false. It is wrong, but equating it directly with theft suggests that the system of laws in place to protect physical property should also be applicable and comparable to what is required to protect intellectual property, which isn't true.

I know we like to make analogies, but it's dangerous in that it invites the application of pre-internet rules and regulations to a networked, digital world, and I think it's clear that such a system does not work.

Piracy can be wrong without it being theft. I don't understand why people are so eager to go down a road that ultimately leads to an unworkable system full of false analogies. We can say it's wrong, and tackle the problem on its own terms.

Terie
10-27-2011, 10:20 PM
So why is it covered by a completely different set of laws?

Theft is theft. Period.

Someone sticking a gun in your face and stealing your wallet, someone breaking into your house and stealing money from under your mattress, someone hacking into your bank account to steal your money. Each of these is covered (in most places) by different laws, but they're all still stealing.

Stealing your intellectual property is just one more form of theft.

Kuwisdelu, I'm not talking so much about re-downloading content you've previously purchased and for whatever reason can't access anymore. I'm very specifically talking about Duncable. Which is why I quoted his post, not yours.

Also? Bragging about it, the way Duncable is, in a forum of writers who earn money for their work from royalties is rude.

Wonder how Duncable will feel when people brag to him that they've downloaded his book for free from a piracy site and literally gloat that he didn't earn a penny from them for their enjoyment of his work. Yes, that happens to published authors frequently.

veinglory
10-27-2011, 10:28 PM
So why is it covered by a completely different set of laws?

Like buying a use license not a right of ownership that is endlessly transferable?

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 10:30 PM
Theft is theft. Period.

Yes. And copyright infringement is copyright infringement. Which is what piracy is.

Calling it theft implies that the same laws and systems that work (or don't work) for theft should work for copyright infringement, which is not the case. Fighting piracy requires new ideas and approaches. All moral arguments aside (because ultimately, they don't matter to the implementation), and just thinking pragmatically for a moment, treating piracy as identical to theft does not work now, it never has, and it never will. People can argue about the morality of it one way or the other all they like, but it's not going to do shit to actually fix the issue or get pirates to pay for their content.

It's like hiring a security guard to protect you from an SQL injection attack.

kuwisdelu
10-27-2011, 10:32 PM
Like buying a use license not a right of ownership that is endlessly transferable?

The "license" thing makes me sick.

In the vein of ownership, I think it's kind of self-evident that you can't treat a tangible object in the same way as an abstract, digital object. Pretending the same rules should govern them is ludicrous.

And I do hope no one thinks for a moment that I'm condoning piracy. I'm merely pointing out the flaw in the way most companies and artists are trying to fight it.

Soccer Mom
10-27-2011, 10:38 PM
My thoughts: DRM is evil. It does nothing to discourage illegal downloads and only frustrates legitimate consumers.

Taking stuff without paying just because you want to isn't cool. Saying that you know it's wrong and doing it anyway doesn't make it any cooler. Going on a writer's forum to brag about how you take stuff without paying is also not cool and frankly not too bright.

ETA: As someone who is epublished I would really, really like people not to download my books without paying for them. If I want to give something away, I can do but it's the product of my labor and I should get to choose.

In reality? Chasing the pirates is a waste of my time. It's like playing whack-a-mole. There isn't much I can do to stop people. The only thing that will help is a change in attitude from thinking it's okay to take stuff.

Amadan
10-27-2011, 10:48 PM
I don't think it's what you're saying, but I really hate the argument of "so what if it's DRMed, you can just remove it."

No, that's not what I'm saying. I hate DRM too, but my point is that a lot of people won't buy ebooks because they're afraid that if their ereader becomes obselete or Amazon goes out of business or something, their books will be lost forever. (Which is another argument against DRM: it acts as a deterrent against buying ebooks.) I'm just trying to point out that this isn't true (and also to encourage people to learn how to strip DRM and do so).


Wonder how Duncable will feel when people brag to him that they've downloaded his book for free from a piracy site and literally gloat that he didn't earn a penny from them for their enjoyment of his work. Yes, that happens to published authors frequently.

Most of them act like grown-ups about it and shrug. Piracy happens, it's going to happen, and there is nothing you can do about it. Gnashing one's teeth over the really egregious folks who rub your nose in it is understandable, but let's be real, there are a lot of people on this forum who do what Duncable does but just don't admit it. I really do wonder how many authors who are so very, very outraged that anyone would ever download their books for free can honestly say they have never, ever downloaded a free music track or movie.

(Oh, there I go again, finding both sides of this debate kind of annoying. :rolleyes:)

Soccer Mom
10-27-2011, 11:04 PM
:Shrug: Well, not to be pollyanna sunshine, but I haven't. I pay for my music, movies and books. Then again I cross at crosswalks and stop at stop signs when no one is coming.

virtue_summer
10-27-2011, 11:10 PM
Most of them act like grown-ups about it and shrug. Piracy happens, it's going to happen, and there is nothing you can do about it. Gnashing one's teeth over the really egregious folks who rub your nose in it is understandable, but let's be real, there are a lot of people on this forum who do what Duncable does but just don't admit it. I really do wonder how many authors who are so very, very outraged that anyone would ever download their books for free can honestly say they have never, ever downloaded a free music track or movie.

(Oh, there I go again, finding both sides of this debate kind of annoying. :rolleyes:)

Um, there are people who do things that are wrong and illegal and there always will be. Yes. But I think it's offensive to suggest one has to keep their mouth shut and avoid voicing objection to these things or one isn't acting like a grown up. As to ever having illegally downloaded something, that's not quite the right question. My problem isn't with what people may have done in the past. It's with what people are doing now. People can learn from their mistakes. I downloaded music illegally when I was in high school, but I don't do so anymore. To me, that's growing up.

Terie
10-27-2011, 11:26 PM
Most of them act like grown-ups about it and shrug.

I didn't wonder how Duncable would act; I only wonder how he'd feel. :)

And I'm not one of those gnashing my teeth over piracy. But it's still rude to tell artists that one thinks it's totally okay to steal artists' work.

Shadow_Ferret
10-28-2011, 02:26 AM
I really do wonder how many authors who are so very, very outraged that anyone would ever download their books for free can honestly say they have never, ever downloaded a free music track or movie.


I have downloaded free music tracks. They were available for free on a legitimate music site that features a new free MP3 every day.

I haven't stolen any music or movies however, and I wouldn't even know how to go about it, .

Amadan
10-28-2011, 02:46 AM
I have downloaded free music tracks. They were available for free on a legitimate music site that features a new free MP3 every day.

The "illegal" qualifier was implicit, and I think fairly evident to those capable of apprehending context without annotations. I have also downloaded free music, free games, and free books of which legal examples are plentiful on the Internet, duh.

Jstwatchin
10-28-2011, 02:51 AM
I've noticed one thing, however: no matter how many content people are illegally downloading off the net, without paying the creator of the content, there's one party that's still -- and always -- getting paid. The Internet Providers.

So, the situation looks like that:
- People pay ISPs to download things.
- ISPs are the only ones who can exercise control over users (by switching off the net)
- If there were no things on the net to download, ISPs would earn much less than they do now. So piracy acts actually in their favor.

And here's my idea (maybe someone thought of it before, I haven't heard about it anyway):
Why not just tax the ISPs so that everyone whose content was downloaded gets paid by Them?
It would act a bit like royalties in the golden age of Radio and TV.
Also, no seedy torrentz or w4r3z sites. You're a film producer? You set up a pretty website with your film free to download. ISPs would pay you for each person downloading it. Because the person would have to pay the ISPs first.


Um, while that certainly sounds like a good idea at first...
...I teach at a public school over the internet. School is supposed to be free (to the students). This tax would run counter to that legal mandate. (Unless you would simply entrust the ISP with COLLECTING any fees due for downloads. At which the ISP would basically become a banking institution.)

Shadow_Ferret
10-28-2011, 02:53 AM
The "illegal" qualifier was implicit....

Yes it was. And I answered that in my last sentence. Duh.

bearilou
10-28-2011, 05:20 PM
As to ever having illegally downloaded something, that's not quite the right question. My problem isn't with what people may have done in the past. It's with what people are doing now. People can learn from their mistakes.

I won't deny that I've illegally downloaded stuff. In my defense, I had exhausted every other option available to me to get a copy of it through legal means and it just wasn't available.

This was years ago.

Nowadays, I can't really see any real reason to do so. There's YouTube that can help me find what I'm looking for. Amazon has this really nifty feature of reading the first chapter/previewing music tracks. They have the used books functionality for books which I've used to get those obscure/rare books/music/movies that are no longer in print/available.

And now, Amazon is not to the only game in town for that. Other sites, legitimate sites, offer the same kinds of 'free sampling'. With ebook popularity on the rise, prices are sometimes quite reasonable or if you're willing to wait for a sale/bundle.

I was given a file of illegally downloaded books electronically a while back. I felt guilty about it and I wasn't the one who did it. Out of curiosity, I opened a few of the ebooks. Their format was so dreadful I could hardly read it. It got deleted. The books that interested me, I ordered from Books-A-Million.

I was at NYCC early this month and bought some books from authors who were offering their stuff for sale at their tables. They weren't exactly eliciting an OMG MUST HAVE vibe but they are artists and writers and they're trying to make a living. I had my pennies saved up for frivolous spending at the con so the ones that caught my eye even a little, I kicked in and bought it from them.

I can't afford original works of art but sometimes I can afford the prints the artists offer for sale.

Support the artistic community. I'm all about that.

Momento Mori
10-28-2011, 07:17 PM
Amadan:
Piracy happens, it's going to happen, and there is nothing you can do about it.

I agree that there will always be a level of piracy no matter and I also agree that the enforcement action being taken will never stamp it out, but I disagree that nothing can be done about piracy.

For example adopting more flexible policies re accessibility and pricing of products publishers/producers can help to make piracy unattractive to people who feel that they have no choice but to go for pirated material, parents can monitor and educate what their children are doing on the internet to prevent their taking the view that anything on the net should be free by default and ultimately people can take responsibility for their own actions and let friends/acquiantances/family who download material know that it's not okay.

I do think that there is a kind of defeatist attitude that goes on with piracy sometimes and that idea of giving in and accepting it just doesn't sit well with me.


Amadan:
I really do wonder how many authors who are so very, very outraged that anyone would ever download their books for free can honestly say they have never, ever downloaded a free music track or movie.


Nope. Never have, never will.

MM

goldmund
10-28-2011, 07:30 PM
The sad truth is that the fight against illegal downloading of films, music and books will always be unpopular, because the majority of people don't produce anything others would like to steal.

Torgo
10-28-2011, 07:51 PM
The sad truth is that the fight against illegal downloading of films, music and books will always be unpopular, because the majority of people don't produce anything others would like to steal.

Hmm, I think that actually there's a disproportionate amount of effort applied to stopping piracy, when you consider the amount of people who pirate stuff.

Congress in the US wants to pass this PROTECT IP act, which among other things would have made Justin Bieber impossible. But it's not all good news: it's a very heavy-handed attempt to make it possible for copyright enforcement to black out parts of the internet that are alleged to be used for piracy (or even 'mainly for piracy', whatever that means.)

(The trouble is, as the old saw goes, the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. We'll see The Pirate Bay get blocked, say, but there will instantly be a way round that block via a VPN or Tor. Mark my words. It's already happened with Newzbin in the UK.)

This China-style Great Firewall approach is an escalation by the content industries, including mine, who have been extremely successful at getting legislatures to pass similar laws - all of which boil down to pulling the plug on infringing sites. Their lobbyists are managing to get things on the books that are pretty much impossible for technical or economic reasons.

Whereas I think if you took a magic wand and said to the entire population of the UK that you could instantly end all illegal downloading and streaming tomorrow if they voted for it - well, I think that referendum would be a close call. I mean, back in the day I used to tape songs off the radio and swap compilations with my friends, which makes me a filthy pirate - "Home Taping is Killing Music", after all. VCRs were technically illegal for a long time. iPods were about illegal format shifting. Copyright laws change regularly, and mainly because people stop respecting them.

I think the solution to this is not about governments, and we should be extremely wary of any governmental control of the internet. I note that Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan - cuddly regimes all - recently proposed to the UN that everyone sign up to a set of protocols on internet regulation, aimed at making us all 'safer' by switching bits of it off. I do not really want Vladimir Putin in charge of filtering my internet, thank you!

Momento Mori
10-28-2011, 07:59 PM
Torgo:
I mean, back in the day I used to tape songs off the radio and swap compilations with my friends, which makes me a filthy pirate - "Home Taping is Killing Music", after all. VCRs were technically illegal for a long time.

Taping for personal use was never an issue though, the problem was always with taping for wider distribution and nowadays it lies with the fact that digital formats make dissemination so much easier and harder to track.

MM

Torgo
10-28-2011, 08:17 PM
Taping for personal use was never an issue though, the problem was always with taping for wider distribution and nowadays it lies with the fact that digital formats make dissemination so much easier and harder to track.

MM

Oh, agreed - the net scales everything up. Still, I don't think "Home Taping is Killing Music" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Taping_Is_Killing_Music) was about people distributing their own tapes - it was about recording songs off the radio and then not buying the actual singles and albums at retail. Same goes for Jack Valenti from the MPAA and his classic anti-VCR testimony (http://cryptome.org/hrcw-hear.htm) - "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone." They were worried about people grabbing their movies and TV programs off the air for personal use, not about swapping stuff. There was even discussion in the testimony about a device that automatically edited ads out of video recordings - I guess they did manage to kill that, because I don't remember it growing up.

goldmund
10-28-2011, 08:45 PM
Torgo - you are right, but I'm proposing the exactly opposite solution: make it all free to download and pay the creators from the ISP charges. No nazi censorhip, hunting for the pirates, etc.

Also, I've often heard the ditty: Those who steal your work, wouldn't buy it in the first place. I'm sorry, but I consider it BS. Who says they wouldn't? Any statistical research?
Much depends on your financial situation. I've a decent income, but I'm a freelancer so I don't know how long it would last, and I have a child whose future I must secure. Now, there's a TV show I enjoy a lot. I would love to get a dvd box-set. But when I know I can download it in an hour without taking away from my family's money, I just can't bring myself to buying the set.

Amadan
10-28-2011, 09:27 PM
Torgo - you are right, but I'm proposing the exactly opposite solution: make it all free to download and pay the creators from the ISP charges. No nazi censorhip, hunting for the pirates, etc.

This scheme is not even remotely scalable, practical, or workable, not even on a national level and certainly not on an international level.

goldmund
10-28-2011, 09:36 PM
This scheme is not even remotely scalable, practical, or workable, not even on a national level and certainly not on an international level.

Ok.
Why?
For the same reason that paid premium channels can't exist?

Your cable network pays HBO and then sells it to you.

Your ISP pays Random House and then sells it to you.

What's the difference?

Terie
10-28-2011, 09:42 PM
Your cable network pays HBO and then sells it to you.

Your ISP pays Random House and then sells it to you.

What's the difference?

The difference is this:

The business of cable networks is to license content and deliver it to users.

The business of ISPs is to supply hardware, software, and connectivity to Internet users.

They are, quite simply, utterly different kinds of businesses.

goldmund
10-28-2011, 10:18 PM
Maybe it will change and they'll start licensing, too.

I just started wondering about piracy because every third visit to my website comes from a google search of "[title of my new book]+[the name of the most popular Polish warez portal]".

benbradley
10-28-2011, 10:22 PM
We could just expand the "Tape Tax" law to cover electrons as well as consumer blank cassette tapes and "Audio" CD-Rs.

Terie
10-28-2011, 10:51 PM
Maybe it will change and they'll start licensing, too.

But why would they want to? It means expanding their business into a totally different area with virtually no means of paying for the expense of doing so. Unless, of course, you're happy to have to pay a lot more for your Internet access, whether or not you download paid-for content, and a lot more for your paid-for content if you do download it. It's a whole extra layer of administrative costs, and someone would have to pay for it. That someone would be the consumer; it certainly wouldn't be the content licenser or the ISP.

To make a fairly simple comparison, let's say I'm a bicycle manufacturer. One of the components required to sell complete bikes is tires. That doesn't mean I'd go into business manufacturing rubber. Nor would I t go into business manufacturing paint because bike frames need to be painted. And so on.

So it might be an interersting theoretical idea to bang around, but in reality, the costs of doing something like this would far outweigh the benefits, with no real resulting dent in pirates who will always figure out how to game the system.

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
10-28-2011, 11:02 PM
So it might be an interersting theoretical idea to bang around, but in reality, the costs of doing something like this would far outweigh the benefits, with no real resulting dent in pirates who will always figure out how to game the system.

Ok, but we don't leave the locks/camera/alarms from our homes since there will always exist burglars who will break in regardless. The internet is an interesting puzzle. There is no good solution yet to make life harder on pirates but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be given consideration or one shouldn't look for one.

Torgo
10-28-2011, 11:12 PM
We could just expand the "Tape Tax" law to cover electrons as well as consumer blank cassette tapes and "Audio" CD-Rs.

Could expand it to cover hard drive space, I guess...

Torgo
10-28-2011, 11:14 PM
Ok, but we don't leave the locks/camera/alarms from our homes since there will always exist burglars who will break in regardless. The internet is an interesting puzzle. There is no good solution yet to make life harder on pirates but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be given consideration or one shouldn't look for one.

The root of the problem is that all the things that make worse for pirates also make life worse for people who use the Internet for anything at all. It's like music were being pirated over the telephone network, and in order to stop it, we gave the government the power to listen to every phone call.

jazzman99
10-28-2011, 11:36 PM
Torgo - you are right, but I'm proposing the exactly opposite solution: make it all free to download and pay the creators from the ISP charges. No nazi censorhip, hunting for the pirates, etc.

Also, I've often heard the ditty: Those who steal your work, wouldn't buy it in the first place. I'm sorry, but I consider it BS. Who says they wouldn't? Any statistical research?
Much depends on your financial situation. I've a decent income, but I'm a freelancer so I don't know how long it would last, and I have a child whose future I must secure. Now, there's a TV show I enjoy a lot. I would love to get a dvd box-set. But when I know I can download it in an hour without taking away from my family's money, I just can't bring myself to buying the set.

In terms of your first point: are you suggesting that every content producer, regardless of their size, would have to make contracts with every ISP, and then distribute their products in the manner you propose? I hope you can see the absurdity of that.

Take, for example, Rifftrax, a small content producer run by some ex-MST cast members. They sell MP3s of their riffs and, occasionally, video files. As it stands right now they do this directly through their own website, straight to the consumer. Do they suffer piracy? Certainly, but they also have enough loyal consumers willing to pay to keep the product going to make the business profitable.

You're suggesting that, in an effort to *possibly* reduce that piracy, they be required to enter into contracts with every ISP, thus complicating their business model, almost certainly leading to higher prices, lower sales, and alienating some of those customers. Or maybe you're saying that the contracts with ISPs would be optional, in which case they can continue their business model as it is, although their customers will be paying (much) higher rates for internet service and for other media. Result, again, lower sales. I just don't see how anybody gains from this plan, especially since it won't stop piracy; it just gives the pirates one more hoop to jump through, and a huge incentive to jump through it.

The fact that you admit to stealing yourself in your last paragraph here also doesn't help your case much, and I don't cut you any slack because of the "financial situation." It's one thing to steal a loaf of bread because your kid is starving. It's quite another to illegally download a TV show (or album, or story) for your own entertainment.

goldmund
10-28-2011, 11:55 PM
Well, every producer has a distributor, and each outlet does have a contract with the distributor. So I don't know what's absurd here.

Guys, I know very little about economy and business, so I can't present you a perfect working simulation; it's just that I've noticed the only entity that gets the money where the content authors don't.

And I never downloaded this dvd box-set, so hide your accusing finger ;-) Honestly!
I just didn't buy it, because it seemed too self-indulgent and I would feel stupid knowing that it's massively pirated, whereas I'd pay so much.

Amadan
10-29-2011, 12:15 AM
Yeah, this is why I roll my eyes at anti-piracy rants and have what some have called a "defeatist" attitude towards piracy. Not because I'm all "Yay, piracy!" but because every proposed cure is worse than the disease.

The answer is not technological, but sociological. If you're a content provider (whether a musician or an author or a filmmaker or an artist), the burden is on you to convince people to pay for your work. Yes, that's terribly unfair that there is no magic quantum encryption box that will guarantee that no one can ever enjoy your work without depositing cash into your bank account, but that's the way it is. So if people like what you do, they will pay you. Some won't; that's called the freeloader problem, and it's a factor in every system. You accept the fact that some people will be freeloaders and encourage as many people as possible to pay up. Proposing extraordinary measures to try to prevent freeloaders will never be completely successful and only turns legitimate customers off.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2011, 12:27 AM
You accept the fact that some people will be freeloaders and encourage as many people as possible to pay up.

Or you go for the crocodile option. Cheap, easy to run and environmentally friendly. Plus you get fat crocodiles, which are cute.

jazzman99
10-29-2011, 12:43 AM
Well, every producer has a distributor, and each outlet does have a contract with the distributor. So I don't know what's absurd here.

Guys, I know very little about economy and business, so I can't present you a perfect working simulation

No, every producer doesn't have a distributor, at least not in the traditional sense. More and more content producers in all fields--certainly music and writing, but increasingly video as well--are in effect their own distributors, selling what they produce directly through their websites.

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 12:46 AM
Also, I've often heard the ditty: Those who steal your work, wouldn't buy it in the first place. I'm sorry, but I consider it BS. Who says they wouldn't? Any statistical research?

Yes. Though it kind of happened the other way around in that most of the industry estimates of how much money they've "lost" to piracy are bogus (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/us-government-finally-admits-most-piracy-estimates-are-bogus.ars).


The answer is not technological, but sociological. If you're a content provider (whether a musician or an author or a filmmaker or an artist), the burden is on you to convince people to pay for your work. Yes, that's terribly unfair that there is no magic quantum encryption box that will guarantee that no one can ever enjoy your work without depositing cash into your bank account, but that's the way it is. So if people like what you do, they will pay you. Some won't; that's called the freeloader problem, and it's a factor in every system. You accept the fact that some people will be freeloaders and encourage as many people as possible to pay up. Proposing extraordinary measures to try to prevent freeloaders will never be completely successful and only turns legitimate customers off.

Yep. There have been times I've illegally downloaded a movie or an album or a TV show. And there have been times I've spent more than $100 on a single album, movie, or TV show. I am not unwilling to spend money. I am merely unwilling to spend money on an inferior product.

Look at sales of digital music before iTunes went DRM-free and after they went DRM-free. Customers will respond to good products that don't treat them like criminals, and they will respond with loads and loads of digital dollars.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2011, 01:02 AM
Thing is..

Thing is, much as I respect you and al Kuwi, you could call it fluffy bunnies orl God kills a kitten, some people (not you dude) still feel they have a right to stuff, and they should have it no matter what because, well, it's their right to have it cos, like they want it and stuff.


It it taking without permission, and it don't matter what you call it. The act remains the same.

This does not mean I should lay down and take it up the jacksie in the name of art or getting my name out there or all that jazz.

Nor will I.

When my stuff, the sweat of my brow is taken from me, without my permission, well, I get cranky. I'm pretty sure if the people who do his, if I snuck into their house and swiped all their dvds, or stole ideas out of their heads or that thing they made that they sweated over, they'd be cranky too.

ETA: There will ofc always be fuckwits who think the world owes them everything. Pandering to them doesn't help, in my experience. It just makes them worse. What we gonna do, just accept that hey, people do bad shit? Or see the laws we have are there for a reason and use them?

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 01:10 AM
Thing is..

Thing is, muich as I respect you and al Kuwi, you could call it fluffy bunnies of God kills a kitten, some people (not you dude) still feel they have a right to stuff, and they should have it no matter what because, well, it's their right to have it cos, like they want it and stuff.

This does not mean I should lay down and take it up the jacksie in the name of art or getting my name out there or all that jazz.

Nor will I.

When my stuff, the sweat of my brow is taken from me, without my permission, well, I get cranky. I'm pretty sure if the people who do his, if I snuck into their house and swiped all their dvds, or stole ideas out of their heads, they'd be cranky too.

I don't think I ever said you don't have the right to feel that way. All I mean is the problem is that right now many content providers are going about fighting piracy the wrong way, in doing so making the experience worse for their paying customers. When you treat your customers like criminals with methods like DRM, it doesn't really take much for that customer to decide "well, I'm already being treated like a criminal, so why don't I just become on and get a nicer product that I can actually consume the way I want?"

Yes, there will be people who will pirate no matter what. The current approach is to try to punish them first, and in doing so, give paying customers a worse experience and possibly turn them into pirates as well. I think a better approach would be to give paying customers a first-class product, possible turning the pirates who want to be paying customers into paying customers as well (and I think that number is far larger than many people assume). After that is accomplished, go after the remaining pirates who are entitled fuckwits, sure, but do it in a way that doesn't hurt your paying customers.

I don't see it as pandering to anyone. I see it as offering a great product.


ETA: There will ofc always be fuckwits who think the world owes them everything. Pandering to them doesn't help, in my experience. It just makes them worse. What we gonna do, just accept that hey, people do bad shit? Or see the laws we have are there for a reason and use them?

ETA: Huh? I didn't say anything about just ignoring it all. I do think it's more complicated than "all pirates are just people who feel entitled to free shit." There can often be a major overlap between paying customers and pirates. Do we really want to keep the current content delivery system that treats customers as criminals, and pretend that only those who put up with that system deserve to consume that content? Or do we want to admit the system is broken, and turn those who didn't like to put up with that shit into happy, paying customers who love our work, loved it before, wouldn't mind paying for it, but simply hated the way its packaging treated them?

Shadow_Ferret
10-29-2011, 01:13 AM
Yep. There have been times I've illegally downloaded a movie or an album or a TV show. And there have been times I've spent more than $100 on a single album, movie, or TV show. I am not unwilling to spend money. I am merely unwilling to spend money on an inferior product.


With all due respect, Kuwi, there's a logic here I'm failing to understand. If the product is so inferior you're unwilling to spend money on it, why even bother downloading it?

Mr Flibble
10-29-2011, 01:19 AM
When you treat your customers like criminals with methods like DRM, it doesn't really take much for that customer to decide "well, I'm already being treated like a criminal, so why don't I just become on and get a nicer product that I can actually consume the way I want?[/quote}

can;t say I've ever had a problem with DRM soo....but do you have a problem wit stores having security guards? With websites that make you type in something to prove you aren;t a spammer? ( I do, mainly cos I can never read what they want me to type in). I don't think 'oooh they think I'm a criminal!' That would be assuming the world revolved around me, and it don't. I think - there are criminals and they are taking steps to stop them.

If people didn't pirate, there would be no DRM. It is there because there ARE many many people who pirate. It's the pirates that caused you this hassle in the first place.
[QUOTE]
Yes, there will be people who will pirate no matter what. The current approach is to try to punish them first, and in doing so, give paying customers a worse experience and possibly turn them into pirates as well.Exactly as they do in many other industries and no bugger complains about it.



Thinking that an anti-pirate thing is aimed especially at you is...well silly. It's aimed at pirates. If you aren't a pirate, then it ain't aimed at you so why be pissed? DRM gives me exactly zilch extra hassle, so why the heck should I care? (Plus there are DRM free titles available but as I said in rep, maybe not the books you are looking at)

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 01:20 AM
With all due respect, Kuwi, there's a logic here I'm failing to understand. If the product is so inferior you're unwilling to spend money on it, why even bother downloading it?

Because it's not necessarily the content that is inferior. It's the packaging.

If a great show is locked to specific software on my computer so I can't watch it on the device of my choosing, with inferior audio or video quality that doesn't do the content justice, peppered with ads that distract from the content even after I've paid for it, why would I want to spend money on that when the pirated version has no ads, will play on anything I want to consume it on, and has excellent audio and video quality because it was encoded by people who really love the content and want to see or hear it as the artist truly intended?

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 01:23 AM
can;t say I've ever had a problem with DRM soo....but do you have a problem wit stores having security guards? With websites that make you type in something to prove you aren;t a spammer? ( I do, mainly cos I can never read what they want me to type in).

I would have a problem if the store security guard left the store and followed me around, looking over my shoulder wherever and whenever I viewed my purchase.


I don't think 'oooh they think I'm a criminal!' That would be assuming the world revolved around me, and it don't. I think - there are criminals and they are taking steps to stop them.

They are taking the wrong steps.


If people didn't pirate, there would be no DRM. It is there because there ARE many many people who pirate. It's the pirates that caused you this hassle in the first place.
Exactly as they do in many other industries and no bugger complains about it.

It doesn't matter who caused it if it harms the customer's experience. And why do you believe no one complains about it? They do. Loudly.


Thinking that an anti-pirate thing is aimed especially at you is...well silly. It's aimed at pirates. If you aren't a pirate, then it ain't aimed at you so why be pissed? DRM gives me exactly zilch extra hassle, so why the heck should I care? (Plus there are DRM free titles available but as I said in rep, maybe not the books you are looking at)

Who cares if it isn't aimed at me? It impacts me. Why should I give a fuck what their reasoning was in implementing it if I have to deal with it?

Mr Flibble
10-29-2011, 01:32 AM
They are taking the wrong steps.
Then what are the right ones?






Who cares if it isn't aimed at me? It impacts me.


Loads of shit impacts me, and I have no control over it. It's called Life, deal with it.


Pirating happens, publishers would be fecking stupid not to try to counter it. Got a better plan? All ears. Because a lot of industries do much the same and they don't get all this for trying to stop people stealing from them. Books are an interactive, personal experience - it's not quote the same as buying a chest of drawers. The means to stop theft will, perforce, be more intimate.

That doesn't mean they should not be attempted. It also means those methods will piss someone off. There's plenty of people pissed off at all sorts of way companies try to stop illegalities. Should they stop too? Is this a special case, and if so, why?

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 01:43 AM
Then what are the right ones?

As I mentioned, a good first step is to get rid of the DRM.


Loads of shit impacts me, and I have no control over it. It's called Life, deal with it.

People do deal with it. They deal with it by choosing the superior product, which is often the pirated version.

Companies and artists will have to decide what is more important to them — punishing pirates? or getting more paying customers? Pragmatically, I think the latter makes a lot more sense.

There's hardly any reason to pirate music anymore. There are still many reasons to pirate movies, TV shows, and ebooks. Until they go away, I think content providers should look at themselves and their product before assuming absolutely everyone who pirates is just a self-entitled douchebag.

cbenoi1
10-29-2011, 02:01 AM
> Your cable network pays HBO and then sells it to you.
> Your ISP pays Random House and then sells it to you.
> What's the difference?

The cable environment is a closed one because it can control the terminals - the TV. Same as with phone as of not so long ago, before the advent of smartphones with Internet connections.

ISPs cannot control the content that runs through their cables just as you can't select which dam or coal powerplant feeds the AC current into your house's electric cables. ISPs can ban IP addresses. Like China does. But ISP can't analyze each and every packet that goes on their wires, and apply fees accordingly.

-cb

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 02:19 AM
But ISP can't analyze each and every packet that goes on their wires, and apply fees accordingly.

Actually they can, via deep packet inspection, and they would have liked to do just that (http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/07/Deep-packet-inspection-meets-net-neutrality.ars) so you would, for example, have to pay extra in order to watch YouTube or Netflix, or if you wanted to game online. All of which is why net neutrality is so important.

Alitriona
10-29-2011, 02:21 AM
it was encoded by people who really love the content and want to see or hear it as the artist truly intended?

Without actually paying the artist of course.

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 02:32 AM
Without actually paying the artist of course.

Unfortunate, isn't it? Wouldn't it be nice if content providers wised up, and it were possible to pay the artist for the better-quality product?

I've compromised before by buying a copy, and then pirating the version I actually wanted. Unfortunately, this method supports to current structure, which is what I don't like about it. I'd rather just be able to buy the better version.

cbenoi1
10-29-2011, 02:38 AM
Actually they can, via deep packet inspection, and they would have liked to do just that (http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/07/Deep-packet-inspection-meets-net-neutrality.ars) so you would, for example, have to pay extra in order to watch YouTube or Netflix, or if you wanted to game online. All of which is why net neutrality is so important.


... and apply fees accordingly? We're talking customer database connection here, accounts, billing, the whole back office thing. And if this is the realm of the NSA, then you can say Bye Bye to all those small ISPs who cannot afford the gear that such an operation would entail.

-cb

benbradley
10-29-2011, 02:44 AM
The root of the problem is that all the things that make worse for pirates also make life worse for people who use the Internet for anything at all.
Or people who do other things such as buy music CD's (see the Sony thing below), or who buy blank cassettes to record music they write and perform themselves.

It's like music were being pirated over the telephone network, and in order to stop it, we gave the government the power to listen to every phone call.
Furthermore, this would make phone service much more expensive just monitor it to make sure nothing illegal is happening over the phone.

The idea of a tax on hard disk drives was interesting. Let's see, if there's a 10 cent tax on audio CD-Rs, about 500 megabytes each, then a 500 gigabyte drive would have a tax of $100, about tripling its price. And people who aren't using a disk drive to hold pirated content would end up subsidizing those who do.

Then what are the right ones?
You don't have to have a perfect solution to a problem in order to point out a faulty solution.

Loads of shit impacts me, and I have no control over it. It's called Life, deal with it.
So kuwisdelu should just calmly go sit in the back of the bus?

Okay, maybe that's a bit of an over-the-top analogy. Having a crippled entertainment product isn't exactly a civil rights issue. People can choose not to buy a product, even if it's the just-revealed secret Elvis-and-Hendix collaboration.

(I've seen this kind of over-the-top response a little too often in P&CE lately, and it's annoying. Dunno what to do about it.)

On the other hand, to see what can happen and actually HAS happened in this area, google Sony rootkit. If a small "indie" label had done the same thing, someone would probably have gone to prison for it.

Alitriona
10-29-2011, 02:53 AM
Unfortunate, isn't it? Wouldn't it be nice if content providers wised up, and it were possible to pay the artist for the better-quality product?

I've compromised before by buying a copy, and then pirating the version I actually wanted. Unfortunately, this method supports to current structure, which is what I don't like about it. I'd rather just be able to buy the better version.

It would be nice if people paid for what they use unless it's provided free, as in not taken without permission.

I do see your point about wanting something for all devices once purchased as you've said on several occasions.

As for a person deciding to pirate because they can't get their own way and have a product how they want rather than how it is produced. Well, that's just a poor excuse. When I hear that I visualize a toddler stamping their feet.

I promised myself I wouldn't comment because these threads around in circles. There will always be those who badly justify taking something without paying and there will always be those who see taking something without paying as theft. I don't think an agreement can ever be reached.

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 03:04 AM
It would be nice if people paid for what they use unless it's provided free, as in not taken without permission.

I agree.


I do see your point about wanting something for all devices once purchased as you've said on several occasions.

As for a person deciding to pirate because they can't get their own way and have a product how they want rather than how it is produced. Well, that's just a poor excuse. When I hear that I visualize a toddler stamping their feet.

When it happens on such a large scale, and the demands are so incredibly simple to implement... yet rather than actually do it, content providers prefer to spend millions on lawsuit after lawsuit rather than admit maybe there is a flaw in their business model... well, it seems to me like they are the toddlers stamping their feet.


I promised myself I wouldn't comment because these threads around in circles. There will always be those who badly justify taking something without paying and there will always be those who see taking something without paying as theft. I don't think an agreement can ever be reached.

I'm quite happy with how I can buy music right now. I'll be even happier with iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match. Apple gets it, and it's elegantly simple. You don't win customers by treating them as criminals, but by making a great product that's so much better than free that people are falling over each other to give you their money. Very often, the content is there, and it's great, but the packaging sucks.

DeadlyAccurate
10-29-2011, 03:20 AM
I had lunch with that nice Mr Doctorow a little while back. He has strong views on the issue of DRM!

Ubisoft has one of the worst DRM policies in the gaming industry*, and this (http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/10/07/opinion-ubisoft-piracy-and-the-death-of-reason/) is the result of overly-restrictive DRM.



However, Ubisoft provides a test-case. We are almost two years into its aggressive attack on PC piracy. Recently, Ubisoft called its “always-on” DRM a success (http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/07/28/ubisoft-our-drm-is-a-success/), claiming “a clear reduction in piracy.”

In terms of actual sales, however, the results seem decidedly mixed. Michael Pachter told Eurogamer that Ubisoft’s “PC game sales are down 90% without a corresponding lift in console sales.”


*Why does everyone talk about the DRM in music, film, and books and forget about games? The gaming industry has been dealing with piracy for decades.

kuwisdelu
10-29-2011, 03:32 AM
Ubisoft has one of the worst DRM policies in the gaming industry*, and this (http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/10/07/opinion-ubisoft-piracy-and-the-death-of-reason/) is the result of overly-restrictive DRM.




*Why does everyone talk about the DRM in music, film, and books and forget about games? The gaming industry has been dealing with piracy for decades.

Good point. (http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/01/ubisofts-new-drm-solution-you-have-be-online-to-play.ars)


If you're annoyed when you have to show your receipt to someone when you walk out of an electronics store, Ubisoft is not the company for you. This is like having to show your receipt every time you want to turn on your television. If your Internet goes out, if you're on a flight with no wireless or don't want to pay the fee, or if you're at a hotel that only offers for-pay Internet, you aren't going to be able to to play your games.

"This is fine," one self-professed pirate told Ars. "I only have to access the Internet once to get Ubisoft games. You're the ones paying for a broken copy."

bearilou
10-29-2011, 03:50 AM
Ubisoft has one of the worst DRM policies in the gaming industry*, and this (http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/10/07/opinion-ubisoft-piracy-and-the-death-of-reason/) is the result of overly-restrictive DRM.

*Why does everyone talk about the DRM in music, film, and books and forget about games? The gaming industry has been dealing with piracy for decades.


And here's the kicker. For someone like me who already has exorbitantly high internet fees (I'm on satellite because we can't get cable and DSL out where we live), I have to be choosy in what video games I buy.

So games that I would have normally bought if I had access to cable or DSL? I don't buy. And I'm not about to try to bittorrent a cracked copy. I don't trust those and I am not comfortable with doing that. I simply do without.

Congratulations, DRM-company. You just lost a sale. Not just on this game but on anything you put out.

DancingMaenid
10-29-2011, 05:43 AM
can;t say I've ever had a problem with DRM soo....but do you have a problem wit stores having security guards? With websites that make you type in something to prove you aren;t a spammer? ( I do, mainly cos I can never read what they want me to type in). I don't think 'oooh they think I'm a criminal!' That would be assuming the world revolved around me, and it don't. I think - there are criminals and they are taking steps to stop them.

I don't think those are valid analogies, because those things only impact your experience while you're actually shopping. Sure, the store has security guards, but once you leave with your purchases, those purchases are yours.

I'm not an expert on DRM, but like kuwisdelu, I have a growing problem with not being able to watch things I've paid for on more than one device. It's frustrating that when I want to buy a movie these days, I have to decide if it's worth being able to watch it on my computer (usually at a better price) at the expense of being able to watch it on my TV, as well.

It'd be like if you wanted to get a CD, but you had to choose if you wanted to be able to play it in your car, or play it at home.

Cyia
10-29-2011, 05:50 AM
DRM isn't really security (at least in practice). What it ends up being is a way for the people who put out different devices to say "You can only shop through us and buy what we offer! Nothing else will work on your machine! HA... aren't we brilliant?!"

If you buy a book formatted for nook, then you read it on nook. You can lend it to someone who has a nook. You can't lend it to someone with a Kindle or transfer it to a Kindle. The big, unspoken secret is that the "sale" price isn't a sale so much as it's a licensing fee you pay the company that made your device and that runs its store. They own the actual file, so it's not yours to play with.

"justified" pirates crack the DRM so the file can be read on any device or transferred from iPhone to PC to Kindle if you so choose. Without DRM, the company that owns the file (ie, not you) loses control of that file.

Pauline Nolet
10-29-2011, 06:10 AM
The idea of a tax on hard disk drives was interesting. Let's see, if there's a 10 cent tax on audio CD-Rs, about 500 megabytes each, then a 500 gigabyte drive would have a tax of $100, about tripling its price. And people who aren't using a disk drive to hold pirated content would end up subsidizing those who do.

This actually already exists in many countries. I believe it's called a levy not a tax. Here in Canada blank CDs cost 29 cents extra per CD. Now I use external drives for backup instead which don't have a levy on them...yet.

benbradley
10-29-2011, 06:30 AM
This actually already exists in many countries. I believe it's called a levy not a tax. Here in Canada blank CDs cost 29 cents extra per CD. Now I use external drives for backup instead which don't have a levy on them...yet.
That's the "tape tax" I mentioned earlier, so named because the idea first came about when recordable cassette tapes became popular, but the US law wasn't made until 1992 (amid fears of the then-new DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorders and of people at home being able to make "perfect copies" of commercial CDs). In the US it's officially called the Audio Home Recording Act:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Home_Recording_Act

There's a short and slightly cynical history of it here:
http://philip.greenspun.com/politics/tape-tax-history.html

(is the distinction between data CD-Rs that don't have the tax and the now-virtually-obsolete "audio" CD-Rs too subtle to mention here?)

Also, googling tape tax brings up by far the worst Wikipedia article I've ever read. Don't dare read this for info, read it for Entertainment Purposes Only!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy

Mr Flibble
10-29-2011, 04:03 PM
DRM isn't really security (at least in practice). What it ends up being is a way for the people who put out different devices to say "You can only shop through us and buy what we offer! Nothing else will work on your machine! HA... aren't we brilliant?!"



Ahhh, I think I get you now. See, I buy generic format* (PDF or whatever) and read on an ereader app that will read almost anything that isn't kindle - and I didn't buy a kindle because I didn't want to be restricted to Amazon. I haven't had any problems being able to load them to my other device either, or onto a similar program on my PC - several books are loaded on to all three. Hence, I've had no problems with DRM at all, it doesn't impact my reading or buying in the slightest.

I thought it was the format that was the issue (only read kindle format on kindles), not DRM?

*I almost always buy direct from the publisher. I only use Amazon to browse and note what titles I want.

ETA: What teh answer is eludes me. Obviously a lot of people have problems with DRM that I've never experienced. But publishers are, naturally, going to do what they can to stop piracy and protect their investment. You won't stop all of it, ofc, because some people just delight in , but there must be some way of making things easier for those who would pay...

Amadan
10-29-2011, 06:21 PM
ETA: What teh answer is eludes me. Obviously a lot of people have problems with DRM that I've never experienced. But publishers are, naturally, going to do what they can to stop piracy and protect their investment. You won't stop all of it, ofc, because some people just delight in , but there must be some way of making things easier for those who would pay...

Not using DRM makes things easier for those who would pay. If you've never experienced problems, then you must not have ever replaced a hard drive on your computer or moved files to a new computer or bought a new ereader.

The thing about DRM is that it doesn't work. It does absolutely nothing to stop piracy. I can (and do) strip the DRM from any ebook I buy in seconds. It takes knowing where to download the scripts, but anyone who can Google and follow instructions can figure out how to do it in minutes.

If I were piratically inclined, I could then upload the DRM-free book to a torrent or other filesharing site in an instant, and that's exactly what pirates do. I'll bet you there is not a single commercially available DRMed ebook in the world that isn't easily found on pirate sites -- if it's a popular one, it will be available within hours (or minutes) of its commercial release.

it's just not true that DRM is something that protects publishers. It does nothing. Seriously, how does it prevent lost sales? Someone explain the logic. Maybe there are a few people too stupid and lazy to figure out how to strip DRM but who will email a (DRM-free) ebook to their friends who would otherwise buy it (and said friends being too stupid and lazy to find pirate booksharing sites). That's the only scenario I can envision in which DRM is protecting a sale.

I think a lot of you are stuck on the myth that there is (or can be) an "uncrackable" DRM and that what the publishing industry really needs to do is figure out how to DRM books in a way that will actually make piracy impossible. Sorry -- the music and software industries have put their best minds to work on that problem for decades. It can't be done.

There are publishers who've been publishing DRM-free books for years. Baen Books is one of the most well-known. Yes, I'm sure pirates download their DRM-free books and then promptly put them on filesharing sites. So what? The pirates do the same thing with DRMed books, just taking the extra five seconds to remove the DRM.

DRM is wholly imaginary protection.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2011, 06:49 PM
Not using DRM makes things easier for those who would pay. If you've never experienced problems, then you must not have ever replaced a hard drive on your computer or moved files to a new computer or bought a new ereader.

.

Done two of those three..

Is it (and I have no idea, I do admit) because I don't buy from third party sites but direct from pubs perhaps? Hmm, maybe I should do a little test.

ETA: easy peasy. Even the kindle ones (I was weak and bought two...).